While the Galaxy S23 Ultra grabs the spotlight with its impressive array of features and premium design, it’s the Galaxy S23 that comes across as the more practical phone in the entire line-up. The Galaxy S23 is the most affordable model in the lineup, but that does not stop it from offering a terrific combination of design, features, and value.
In this review, we find out how well the S23 stacks up against the competition.
If you are familiar with the Galaxy S22, you will notice that not much has changed this year. However, there’s more than what meets the eye. While the form factor is identical to the Galaxy S23, there is one major change in the camera module.
The new Galaxy S23 model’s contour-cut camera housing is no more; there are just three small rings for the lenses. Additionally, the front and rear glass panels are now made of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 sheets with improved drop resistance. The flat metal frame on the sides of the smartphone is designed with a gentle arch to provide a comfortable grip.
The bottom compartment of the Galaxy S23 is home to the USB Type-C port, speaker grill, and SIM tray. The volume rockers and the power button are positioned at the right side. Overall, the Galaxy S23, in my opinion, is an extremely compact phone, one-hand operation is a breeze on the smartphone.
The glass and back of the phone now come protected with the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which is said to survive drops on concrete surfaces. The smartphone is also IP68 rated for protection against water and dust.
The new Samsung Galaxy S23 features a compact 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen, which was present in the previously launched Galaxy S22 as well. But the new Galaxy S23 has improved brightness which, according to the company, is 35% higher.
This improvement is visible when you play movies, as the colour appears more punchy and bright, enhancing the HDR streaming experience. The screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and has an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, which adjusts according to screen usage.
The screen has a peak brightness of 1750 nits, allowing you to watch any content with ease under bright daylight. The display comes with HDR10+ and Widevine L1 support, allowing you to stream content at its best quality.
In the rear camera section, the new Samsung Galaxy S23 features an identical three-camera setup seen in the Galaxy S22. In the front camera, the company has integrated a new selfie camera with improved resolution power. The rear camera setups consist of a 50MP Samsung S5KGN3 1/1.57 primary sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, lens (OIS), and dual-pixel PDAF. Following the primary lens is an ultrawide camera lens of 12MP with an aperture of f/2.2 lens. The third sensor is a telephoto camera using a 10MP Samsung S5K3K1 sensor with an aperture of f/2.4 stabilized lens (OIS) and supports PDAF.
The main camera saves the pictures in the 12MP format by default. The images captured during the daytime were sharp, and bright, and maintained the right contrast levels, offering dynamic shots all the time.
We loved how the pictures turned out, replicating the natural colours of the subject. We also enjoyed how the ultra-wide lens captured a wide area without distortion. The details in the ultrawide shots are very precise, maintaining the right texture and colour balance.
You can utilise both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses in Portrait mode. The portraits taken with the primary camera are superb. The background blur is pleasing and convincing; the subject is well-exposed, detailed, and coloured; and the subject is well-separated from the background.
The low-light images captured with the primary camera were brilliant and possessed a wide dynamic range, strong exposure, lots of resolved information, accurate colour rendering, and high contrast. It is very little to no noise in any of the pictures we took because it has been cleaned up so beautifully. The moon is within reach now, as you can capture it faithfully using the rear lens.
For selfies, the phone uses a 12MP Samsung S5K3LU sensor with an aperture of f/2.2 lens. The selfie camera saw an increase of 2MP when compared with the Samsung S22. The selfies captured maintained fine colour rendition. The sharpness was perfect and the detailing was on point without any noise.
Furthermore, all the lenses on the Samsung Galaxy S23 can capture video at up to 4K60, while the primary camera can also record at 8K30.
Although electronic stabilisation is available for all cameras, resolutions, and frame rates, optical stabilisation is only supported by wide-angle and telephoto lenses. There is also a Super Stable option in 1440p, and it functions best when recorded at 60 frames per second. The Galaxy S23 can capture HDR10+ videos, zoom-in audio, and 360-degree audio as well.
While the Galaxy S23 might not look too different from its predecessor, it does arrive with a whole new set of internals. Samsung has ditched its proprietary Exynos processor for the Qualcomm Snapdragon’s flagship 8 Gen 2 processor coupled with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The base variant arrives with 128GB storage.
Even better, Samsung used an overclocked version exclusive to the Galaxy S23 phones with higher CPU and GPU clocks; Adreno 740 GPU clocked at 719MHz, which is overpowered when compared to other smartphones using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.
We just loved using the Samsung Galaxy S23 as it is one of the fastest and smoothest phones we used so far this year. We did not come across any minor glitches, even while playing intense games. The company has aided the processor with 8GB of RAM, which does a profound job of delivering a hassle-free experience.
The new Galaxy S23 is powered by a 3,900mAh battery, which is 200mAh more than its predecessor. The battery lasted a day easily but required a second round of charging when used intensely for hours at a stretch.
Unlike the Galaxy S23+ and S23 Ultra which support up to 45W fast wired charging, the base variant’s charging power is only 25W. The charging speed can be considered moderate, taking between 1 and 1.5 hours to get completely charged. The phone also supports fast wireless charging, reversed wired, and wireless charging options.
There’s been a lot of buzz around the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s stylish design and 200-megapixel camera sensor, but in our opinion, if you’re looking for a practical option, you might want to consider the Galaxy S23 instead. The smartphone is the most affordable in the S23 line-up, has a compact form factor, and boasts a super AMOLED display that’s the brightest in its segment, even under direct sunlight. Another good thing is, despite its small size, the phone has all the qualities of a flagship device, including a commendable battery life.