The Samsung Galaxy S23 is in a little unusual situation. While many other little smartphones have limited features, this one is on par with the greatest while being much smaller than the normal current smartphone. It is in fact identical to its bigger and more expensive sibling, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, with the exception of the smaller screen and battery.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23: What You Need To Know
Apart from its size, the Samsung Galaxy S23 has a lot going for it. When compared to S22 devices from the previous year, it sports a redesigned design, updated internals, and a number of new camera features.
The switch to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset is the largest modification. This is a 4nm octa-core part with higher clock speeds of 3.36GHz, up from the 2.8GHz of last year’s Exynos 2200, moving away from Samsung’s own Exynos technology. Additionally, the battery’s capacity has increased by 200mAh to 3,900mAh.
However, the Dynamic AMOLED 2X display has the same dimensions and resolution as previously, measuring 6.1 in. and supporting a maximum refresh rate of 120 Hz. With a 50MP main camera sandwiched between a 12MP 120-degree ultrawide and a 10MP 3x optical telephoto, the camera hardware remains virtually unaltered.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23: Cost and Rivals
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is priced from £849 for the base 128GB model up to £899 for the 256GB model. That is £80 more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy S22 in both of its first configurations.
Coincidentally, this price increase pushes the Galaxy S23’s price closer to parity with Apple’s. If you choose the 128GB iPhone 14, you will pay the same price (£849) as the entry-level Samsung flagship. However, the S23 is the more cost-effective option here if you require additional capacity, as the 256GB iPhone 14 costs £60 more at £959.
For an additional £200 (£1,049), you can purchase the S23 Plus. It has a bigger 4,700mAh battery and 6.6in screen. With its S Pen stylus, QHD+ display, secondary 10x telephoto zoom, and enormous 200MP main camera, the Ultra is the top dog and costs even more at £1,249 than the previous model.
The greatest Android-based rival to the S23 is likely the Pixel 7 Pro, which has a starting price of £849 like the iPhone 14 but with less impressive performance. There is also the OnePlus 11, which retails for £729 and has the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU as the S23.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23’s design and main features
The Galaxy S23 completely omits the camera block where last year’s model included the “Contour Cut” camera housing. This year, the lenses were only arranged in a vertical line on the back.
Despite the fact that I like Samsung’s new “clean and linear design” (their words, not mine), I believe the S23 has lost some of its personality. It now resembles any other contemporary smartphone, and as it stands, we find it difficult to distinguish between different phone makers.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23: Display
The 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen on the S23 has a refresh rate of 120Hz, an FHD+ resolution of 2,340 x 1,080, and support for HDR10+ playback. The same as last year, with the addition of a protective layer of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 from Samsung, which the company claims is not only more durable than the model from last year but was also made using an average of 22% pre-consumer materials.
The Galaxy S23 offers two display modes to choose from in the phone’s settings, just like the majority of Samsung phones in recent years. The ‘Natural’ mode covers the sRGB gamut at 93.3% with an average Delta E of 1.58, whereas the default ‘Vivid’ profile improves color saturation and delivers a color gamut that is closer to DCI-P3.
Peak brightness is excellent, reaching 707cd/m2 under normal conditions and 1,054cd/m2 in automatic brightness mode. When viewing HDR content, the screen is much brighter, measuring 1,469cd/m2 in our testing. With visibly distinct black tones and brilliant specular highlights, the most recent episode of Disney’s The Mandalorian looked as amazing as it could.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23’s functionality and battery life
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 in the S23, which bears the ‘for Galaxy’ moniker, is a modified version of Qualcomm’s top-tier mobile CPU. In a nutshell, this implies that the GPU frequency has been increased from 680MHz to 719MHz while the main “performance core” has been overclocked to 3.36GHz from 3.2GHz on the standard version.
In terms of actual performance, it’s true that this doesn’t make much of a difference, but the Samsung Galaxy S23 really shines when compared to the Exynos 2200.
However, it’s important to note that we didn’t examine the standard S22 last year before I get into the numbers. However, we did test the S22 Plus, which had the same internal parts but for a larger battery.
The S23 scored 4,875 on the multi-core test compared to the S22 Plus’ 3,488 on the single-core test, a significant improvement over the prior model. A huge 40% improvement, in other words.
The S23 offers an additional degree of smoothness where the S22 Plus faltered in everyday use. Faster boot-up speeds, instantaneous app switching, and a far more pleasurable experience are all provided by modifying camera settings. For instance, I was able to take telephoto zoom and night photographs, which needed a lot of back-end processing power, in a remarkably short amount of time.
The game side of things is also enhanced by these changes. In the GFXBench Manhattan 3 off-screen benchmark, the S23’s on-chip Adreno 740 GPU performed better than the Exynos 2200 and its Xclipse 920 GPU, putting out 36% more frames.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23’s software The Samsung Galaxy S23 ships with Android 13 and the 5.1 update to Samsung’s One UI launcher. As opposed to some other recent heavy-handed Android launchers we’ve looked at, Samsung adopts a more soft-touch approach, so there’s generally not much to criticize here.
I will point out that Samsung continues to insist on packing its phones with its own-brand applications in addition to a variety of other third-party apps like Netflix, Spotify, and Facebook. Although they are bothersome, you can uninstall them if you’d rather.
Review of the Samsung Galaxy S23: Cameras
Not much has changed in this area regarding the cameras. Along with the 12MP (f/2.2) 120-degree ultrawide camera and the 10MP (f/2.4) 3x telephoto lens, the 50MP (f/1.8) main camera is still present. However, the front-facing 12MP (f/2.2) selfie, which was 10MP in the previous iteration, is now shared by all three models.
That’s not a particularly appealing design for a new flagship, but the S23’s cameras are still excellent for the price. The S22 Plus performed admirably in a side-by-side comparison of photographs taken with it, with rich images and lots of contrast.
This year offers several brand-new shooting options, like Astro Hyperlapse and Astrophoto, though I had trouble testing these in light-polluted London. Additionally, the phone’s Portrait mode now better captures skin tones.
If you’d like, you can capture video at up to 8K quality, but it can only do so at 30 frames per second and without any kind of stabilization. Once more, I would advise lowering the resolution to 4K, which enables both optical and electrical picture stabilization in addition to a switchable 60 frames per second. You won’t be dissatisfied with the overall quality, though, since the footage still looks stable, slick, and full of detail even in this mode.
Verdict on the Samsung Galaxy S23 review
A remarkably sophisticated handheld is the Galaxy S23. The S23 is a true pocket-sized powerhouse with considerable internal upgrades that enable a completely new level of performance, in addition to its stunning AMOLED display and excellent photographic abilities, which further increase performance.