Samsung Galaxy S23 review

GSMArena Team, 8 February 2023.

Introduction

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

The new Galaxy S23 models introduce a refined design, and that's the first thing you will notice. The 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 Galaxy S23 retains the compact 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen with extended 1080p resolution and dynamic 120Hz refresh rate. The peak brightness of the panel has been improved, and it's 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 lineup uses a Snapdragon chipset, so you don't need to import a Qualcomm-powered unit if you are not a fan of the Exynos platform (we won't blame you). Even better, Samsung used an overclocked version exclusive to the Galaxy S23 phones with higher CPU and GPU clocks. The new models also rely on next-generation memory chips made by Samsung themselves.

The triple camera on the back has seen no improvements - the 50MP OIS primary, the 10MP 3x telephoto, and the 12MP ultrawide camera stay the same. What has been upgraded is the selfie camera - it is now 12MP and supports Super HDR, while autofocus and 4K capturing remain available.

Samsung Galaxy S23 review

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

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 larger battery. And a more beautiful design, though that is always subjective.

Samsung Galaxy S23 specs at a glance:

  • Body: 146.3x70.9x7.6mm, 168g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins), Armor aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (advertised).
  • Display: 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 (1x3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3x2.0 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 740.
  • Memory: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM; UFS 3.1 - 128GB only, UFS 4.0.
  • OS/Software: Android 13, One UI 5.1.
  • Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56", 1.0µm, 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, 13mm, 120˚, 1/2.55" 1.4µm, Super Steady video.
  • Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF.
  • Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 720p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps.
  • Battery: 3900mAh; 25W wired, PD3.0, 50% in 30 min (advertised), Wireless (Qi/PMA), 4.5W reverse wireless.
  • Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, ultrasonic); 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 that - it has the build and looks, the screen, the chipset, and the cameras of a premium smartphone. The only things we consider missing are 10-bit color depth for the screen - something many high-end phones are offering, and the Ultra Wideband support - a connectivity option that would have allowed support for the SmartTag+. You can still use the regular Bluetooth-reliant SmartTags, of course.

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

Unboxing the Samsung Galaxy S23

The Galaxy S23 arrives in a thin paper box, which contains the phone itself, a USB-C cable, and a SIM ejection tool.

Samsung Galaxy S23 review

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

Reader comments

You never even saw this phone, how can you possibly know if you're not using it?

Mine lasts a whole day with at least 50% left. This is with mixed usage mostly YouTube, reading webtoons, social media and messaging, and some lightweight games. I bought it last March 8th at a discounted price because my local Samsung store has...

  • Karna
  • 23 Mar 2023
  • upb

This phone is hanging every time I think I used before A71 that 100%better this one the phone also very slow I think don't buy this mobile