There’s a considerable probability that you are already aware of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus’s situation. Naturally, you’ll have to pay for the privilege, but getting a larger screen and a larger battery for a little bit more money than the standard Galaxy S23 is definitely worth it.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Important information
There is a lot to enjoy here for that money, and there is also a lot new for 2023. It includes a larger 4,700mAh battery (up from 4,500mAh in the S22 Plus) and a slightly altered overall design.
The debut of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which promises significant performance and endurance improvements over last year’s Samsung-produced Exynos 2200, is the major change this year.
The Galaxy 23 Plus lacks the Ultra’s enormous 200MP sensor because it uses the same triple camera array as the standard S23. Instead, you get a 50MP main camera with 10MP 3x optical zoom and 12MP 120-degree ultrawide units on either side. Meanwhile, the front-facing selfie camera has been improved from 10MP to 12MP.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Cost and Rivals
The S23 Plus is £100 more expensive than last year’s phone, with prices starting at £1,049 for the 256GB model. You need additional storage. For the 512GB model, add extra £150 to your budget.
The Plus is right in the middle of the new S23 price range with those prices. The normal Galaxy S23 costs £200 less (£849) and has a smaller battery and display but otherwise is identical. The S23 Ultra, on the other hand, costs £1,249 and comes equipped with a 200MP camera, a S Pen stylus, and a superior 100x hybrid zoom. You might also want to think about the £999 foldable Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The Apple iPhone 14 Pro, which costs £1,099 and features a smaller 6.1-inch screen, is arguably the biggest rival. Although the Oppo Find X5 Pro arrived last year and will soon be replaced, the Oppo S23 Plus costs the same.
Another choice is to choose a less expensive Android flagship phone to save some cash. The Google Pixel 7 Pro, which costs £200 less (£849), is the major competitor in this situation. For an even bigger discount, there’s also the OnePlus 11 (£729).
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus’s design and main features
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus differs from the model from the previous year in a number of ways, starting with the removal of the “Contour Cut” camera housing, which left the lenses floating free and without even the slightest hint of a camera surround.
Although the S23 has a cleaner appearance, I contend that as a result, some of the appeal of its predecessor is lost. In contrast to the S22’s Contour Cut housing, which perfectly complemented the color scheme, its new appearance is relatively plain. However, I do appreciate the new color options; the phone is now offered in Phantom Black, Cream, Green, or Lavender.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Display
Despite having the same size, resolution, and refresh rate as the S22 Plus, the S23 Plus’ 6.6-inch 1,080 x 2,340 120Hz Dynamic AMOLED 2x display is still probably one of the greatest smartphone displays available.
The panel has a total volume of 95.3%, a Delta E of 1.09, and covers 94% of the sRGB color gamut in the Natural profile. When you switch to Vivid, the colors appear to be extremely saturated (105% of DCI-P3). You might consider this to be either a good or a terrible thing, depending on your preferences.
The S23 Plus is a fantastic on-the-go media consumption gadget even if it lacks the Ultra’s pixel-packed QHD+ resolution. When viewing HDR video on Netflix and Disney Plus, it looks simply great, with brightness peaking at 1,010cd/m2 under normal use and 1,536cd/m2 in HDR.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus’s functionality and battery life
The S23 Plus has Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 onboard, which is so new that we haven’t tested many phones with it yet. Additionally, it has a specific “for Galaxy” designation, which causes it to operate at a base clock speed of 3.36GHz rather than 3.2GHz.
This year, switching from Samsung’s Exynos chip to Qualcomm’s chip has paid off greatly, with the S23 Plus scoring much higher on Geekbench 5 than the S22 model. If you examine at the numbers, you’ll see that single-core processing has increased by 33% and multicore processing has increased by 39% when compared to the S22 Plus.
In terms of day-to-day operations, this is really crucial. In addition to starting up faster than my S22 Plus of a year ago (18 seconds vs. 1 minute and 22 seconds), the S23 Plus also feels considerably more snappy while moving between apps. Additionally, images are taken and analyzed almost instantaneously.
Tasks involving the rendering of graphics have an even bigger performance boost. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus delivered an average frame rate of 322fps in the off-screen (1080p) benchmark when running the GFXBench Manhattan 3 gaming test, as opposed to the S22 Plus’s 167fps. That’s nearly twice as quick.
Additionally, the S23 Plus has Android 13 pre-installed, with Samsung’s OneUI 5.1 software modifications applied on top. Even if Samsung still insists on pre-installing its own bloatware apps on the phone, the company has at least pledged a generous four years of core Android upgrades and an additional year of security patches. However, that still falls short of what iPhone users receive, who receive five years of upgrades and an additional two years of security patches.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Cameras
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus sports a 50MP (f/1.8) main camera, a 12MP 122-degree ultrawide camera, a 10MP 3x telephoto camera, and an enhanced 12MP (from 10MP) selfie camera. New camera capabilities include more accurate skin tone capture, akin to the Real Tone facial mapping of the Pixel 7, Astro Hyperlapse and Astrophoto modes, Super HDR selfie video at 60fps, and more.
This is a capable photographer’s companion even though I would have preferred more of a change with the S23 Plus’ main camera technology. The default “pixel-binned” 12MP setting produces images with a good level of clarity, and I’m especially struck by how colorful pictures appear when taken in natural light.
As the light fades, things don’t really grow any worse either. Pictures taken at night are clear and sharp with excellent HDR application. It’s important to note that low light surroundings have a modest effect on color tone, giving it a slightly warmer tint.
Although the ultrawide camera isn’t particularly noteworthy, it is still better than several other phones I’ve lately tried. When compared to the main camera, there will be a loss of detail, but the images will still appear to be crisp enough, and the post-processing algorithms will do an excellent job of removing lens distortion from the corners and edges of the frame.
Despite having similar camera technology, the S23 Plus’ portrait photos are noticeably better than the S22 Plus’. The facial capture is much better defined, the windswept hair looks lovely and sharp, and the skin tones appear more natural overall.
Zoomed photos are one area where the S23 Plus falls short of the Ultra. Optical telephoto zoom is limited to 3x, but the Ultra’s secondary telephoto camera can zoom up to 10x, and digital zoom is limited to 30x, as opposed to the Ultra’s 100x. At greater zoom levels, zoomed photographs can still appear good, but they lack the Ultra’s crispness and can appear a little murky.
The Plus has access to up to 8K recording at 30 frames per second because video functions are shared across the full S23 range. As the increase in detail comes at a shakey price due to the lack of image stabilization, I advise lowering the settings to fully stabilized 4K at 60 frames per second. In my tests, the video had rock-solid stability, good detail, and quick autofocus.
Conclusion of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus review
Instead of merely playing it safe and adhering to its tried-and-true “bigger screen, bigger battery” formula, Samsung would have done better to provide at least something unique with the Plus model this year to help it stand out. It’s a better phone than its ostensibly minor improvements might imply, though.