The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is here. As expected, the company boasted about upgrades, but the phones look almost identical to last year’s Galaxy S22 series. However, Samsung has done just enough to make sure your old cases won’t fit.
That might not sound unusual to you. Why would the cases from last year’s phones fit the new models? I have a follow-up question: why not? Samsung spent a lot of time talking about their commitment to using recyucled materials, but old phone cases are a big problem for the environment too.
Normally, I wouldn’t have a problem with a new generation of phones not fitting the cases of the old generation. But in the case of the Samsung Galaxy S23, it almost seems like intentional behavior—and it’s not the first time the company has done this.
Down to the Millimeter
Let’s first look at the design of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, Galaxy S23+, and Galaxy S23 compared to their Galaxy S22 siblings. As you can see from the image above, the physical design is essentially unchanged. The cameras, flash, and buttons are all in the same place as the previous generation. The radius of the rounded corners is also identical.
But visuals can be deceiving, what about the actual dimensions? Here’s where it gets annoying. All three models are the exact same thickness as their predecessors, down to a tenth of a millimeter. The height and width are all within 0.4mm—some are only 0.1mm different.
The same type of changes can be found from the Galaxy S21 series to the Galaxy S22 as well as the Galaxy Note 8 to Note 9. The physical design doesn’t change much, but the dimensions are changed just enough to make old cases not fit.
Change for the Sake of Change?
It’s one thing when a new generation of a phone looks different from the previous generation. Of course, you won’t be able to use an old case if the new phone moved the cameras and buttons around. But Samsung didn’t move any of the components that matter for a phone case.
There’s no question that Samsung could have manufactured the Galaxy S23 series to the same dimensions as the Galaxy S22 series. 0.4mm is not a significant enough increase in size for more battery to make a difference. Samsung could have boasted about reusing old cases along with recycled materials. Billions of phone cases are sold and thrown away every year. It’s time to stop treating them as disposable.
At the end of the day, wouldn’t it just be nice if the case for your Galaxy S22 Ultra, Galaxy S22+, or Galaxy S22 could carry over to the Galaxy S23?