Samsung Galaxy S23+ review
|256 GB 8 GB RAM||$945.00||$999.99|
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Time sure flies by. Only yesterday we celebrated the new year, and now it’s already time to welcome this year’s Samsung Galaxy S23 flagships. Immediately, there are no major changes in the line-up and its structure. We still have a vanilla S23, a slightly larger but very similar spec S23+ that we’re looking at today, and an S23 Ultra, which continues in the footsteps of the S22 Ultra and, in turn, what was once the Galaxy Note line.
Another thing that hasn’t changed much is the Galaxy S23+ compared to its predecessor. This year, Samsung is delivering a small incremental update rather than something major. You’ll have to look to the Ultra and its fresh new 200MP camera for that.
Instead, the S23+ delivers a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, a new 12MP selfie camera and a slightly larger 4,700 mAh battery. These are pretty much all the major changes over the S22+, with a few other minor details here and there that we’ll cover in the review.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ specifications at a glance:
- Body: 157.8×76.2×7.6mm, 196g; 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: 6.60″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak), 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 393ppi; 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: 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM; 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″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13 mm, 120 degrees, 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: 4700mAh; 45W wired, PD3.0, 65% in 30 min (advertised), 15W 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), Ultra Wideband (UWB) support.
Naturally, the S23+ has a new look, but like its specs sheet, it doesn’t differ radically from last year’s design. This year, the camera island is gone, and each snapper stands on its own on the back of the phone. This is much more related and consistent with the Ultra design, making the entire S23 line much more cohesive in terms of design.
Galaxy S22+ next to S23+
The pricing of the S23+ hasn’t changed that much either. In the US, you can get one starting at $1,000, which is the same as the launch MSRP of the S22+. Only this time, Samsung decided to increase the phone’s base storage to 256GB instead of 128GB. A pretty sweet deal, even before other bonuses and discounts Samsung is running. In Europe, however, the S23+ has seen a price increase compared to the S22+.
Overall, we don’t expect any big surprises from the S23+. It is shaping up to be a solid refresh of last year’s model and thus a very “safe choice”. So without further ado, let’s dig in.
First, let’s get the retail package out of the way. Samsung’s packaging remains minimalist again. The slim two-piece box that the phone comes in is made from 100% recycled paper, except for the shrink wrap and seal label. The screen protector stuck to the phone’s display and the sheet that protects the back of the phone is also made from 100% recycled paper.
We’ve come to expect quite a bit in terms of accessories from Galaxy S devices, and the S23+ is no different. Inside the box you get a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, a SIM ejector tool and a thin start guide.
Long gone are the days of bundled chargers, so be prepared to pick one up separately if you don’t have a decent Power Delivery device of at least 45W, preferably with PPS.