The smartphone market has never been known for staying still for long as far as designs go, not unless you’re a company named after a fruit that keeps doctors away. The more open ecosystem on the Android side of the market fence required that its players be quicker and more agile in changing strategies to outdo their competitors, whether it’s in terms of features or looks. Although that strategy is still in play, smartphone manufacturers have started to be more conscious of what a more consistent and identifiable design language brings to the brand. It’s still not as long-lived as Apple’s iPhone designs, but companies like Samsung have started to keep their phone designs around for a bit longer, as demonstrated by leaked designs of next year’s Galaxy S23 flagship that bears a more toned-down and minimalist personality.
Designer: Samsung (via SlashLeaks)
For years, it seemed that the design philosophy in the smartphone market revolved around ever-changing eye-catching appearances. Even while the rest of the world embraced minimalism in many industries and products, smartphones remained obstinately lavish and conspicuous, sometimes driven by the hardware they forced into these small slabs of metal, plastic, and glass. Better cameras, for example, often demanded more room, and designs built bumps or islands around them to compensate.
There has been a recent trend, however, where smartphone companies have started to embrace the tenets of minimalism in their designs. More importantly, some have also started keeping those designs around for a few iterations, especially if they happen to be successful and popular. Newer designs don’t always win, especially when they start to give their owners visual overload and noise for very little reason other than looking flashy.
Next year’s Samsung premium phones will embody this trend, bearing a design that’s closely similar to this year’s generation. To be more precise, the base Galaxy S23 and S23+ models will be adopting a design a little similar to the Galaxy S22 Ultra instead of being different from the Ultra model. The Galaxy S23 Ultra, on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be that different from its predecessor from this year.
In short, there will be no significant design differences between the three Galaxy S23 models except for their size and one small detail about their edges. Both the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ will have somewhat flatter edges, while the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s left and right sides remain curved. The most distinguishing factor of Samsung’s upcoming phones is, however, their minimalist design. In an age where cameras are often enclosed in boxes or circles, the Galaxy S23’s camera lenses are left unbound and unadorned. It results in a cleaner look that almost makes it seem like the phone is thinner than it really is, at least compared to those with large bumps protruding off their backs.
This will be the second year Samsung will use this design, which helps cement it as an identifying mark of Samsung phones. Whether the brand will keep it for another year is unknown and can’t easily be predicted. The smartphone market dynamics are always changing, and, to be fair, these companies do often need to pivot or risk losing millions in a single year.