Samsung Galaxy S23 review

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One of the best compact phones in the world just got better – the Samsung Galaxy S23 is faster, more robust, better connected and with more battery juice. The Galaxy S23 is still as small, light and attractive as ever, and we expect it to be a fan favorite in the compact segment.

The new Galaxy S23 models introduce a refined design, and that’s the first thing you’ll notice. The contoured camera body is no more; there are only three small rings for the lenses. In addition, the front and rear glass panels are now made of Gorilla Glass Victus 2 sheets with improved drop resistance.

The Galaxy S23 retains the compact 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with enhanced 1080p resolution and dynamic 120Hz refresh rate. The panel’s maximum brightness has been improved and is now 1750 nits, up from 1300 nits on the Galaxy S22.

Samsung Galaxy S23 review

For the first time in a long time, the entire Galaxy S23 series uses a Snapdragon chipset, so there’s no need to import a Qualcomm-powered device if you’re not a fan of the Exynos platform (we wouldn’t blame you). Even better, Samsung used an overclocked version exclusively for the Galaxy S23 phones with higher CPU and GPU clocks. The new models also rely on next-generation memory chips made by Samsung itself.

The triple rear camera hasn’t seen any improvements – the primary 50MP OIS, 10MP 3x telephoto and 12MP ultrawide camera remain the same. What has been upgraded is the selfie camera – it’s now 12MP and supports Super HDR, while autofocus and 4K recording remain available.

Samsung Galaxy S23 review

The battery capacity has been increased by 200mAh, and it is now 3,900mAh. The charging options are the same as on the S22 – 25W wired charging, with wireless and reverse wireless options.

Connectivity-wise, the Galaxy S23 introduces tri-band Wi-Fi with 6e support and Bluetooth 5.3. The Ultra Wideband support is still reserved for the Plus and Ultra versions.

Long story short – the Galaxy S23 is a faster version of the Galaxy S22 with a brighter screen and a bigger battery. And a more beautiful design, although that is always subjective.

Samsung Galaxy S23 specifications at a glance:

  • Body: 146.3×70.9×7.6mm, 168g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m 30 minutes), Armor aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (announced).
  • Screen: 6.10″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak), 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 422ppi; Always on display.
  • Chipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 740.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM; Only UFS 3.1 – 128GB, UFS 4.0.
  • OS/Software: Android 13, One UI 5.1.
  • Rear camera: wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 24 mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0 µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm, 1/3.94″, 1.0 µm, PDAF, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120˚, 1/2.55″ 1.4µm, Super Steady video.
  • Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF.
  • Video recording: Rear camera: [email protected]/30fps, [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, [email protected], HDR10+, stereo sound recording, gyro-EIS; Front camera: [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]
  • Battery: 3900mAh; 25W wired, PD3.0, 50% in 30 min (advertised), wireless (Qi/PMA), 4.5W reverse wireless.
  • Miscellaneous: Fingerprint reader (under display, ultrasound); NFC; stereo speakers; Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support), Bixby natural language commands and dictation, Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified).

The Galaxy S23 is a flagship by the book; there are no two words about it – it has the build and look, screen, chipset and cameras of a premium smartphone. The only things we think are missing are 10-bit color depth for the display – something many high-end phones offer, and the Ultra Wideband support – a connectivity option that would have allowed for SmartTag+ support. Of course, you can still use the regular Bluetooth-dependent SmartTags.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 is a minor update over the Galaxy S22, and we doubt many S22 owners will find enough news to make them upgrade. But it has more than enough new features over the Galaxy S21 and older to make it an attractive proposition. Even better, it’s shaping up to be the best compact Android phone on the market. And now it’s time to properly face it, shall we?

Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S23

The Galaxy S23 comes in a thin paper box that contains the phone itself, a USB-C cable and a SIM eject tool.

Samsung Galaxy S23 review

Samsung removed chargers and headphones from its boxes a few years ago, but we’re glad it still provides cables (unlike Sony). And if you bought a Samsung 25W charger, the one that’s already been available for a few years, or any USB-C PD + PPS power adapter, you’re already well prepared.

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