Is Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Worth the Upgrade? It Depends

    This story is a part of Samsung Event, CNET’s assortment of stories, suggestions and recommendation round Samsung’s hottest merchandise.

    Samsung’s Galaxy S23 simply launched in February, so chances are you’ll be questioning: Is it definitely worth the improve? Truth is, there is not one reply that may be utilized to everybody. The age and situation of your present telephone, your finances and whether or not your system will help new variations of Android ought to all issue into your determination. The Galaxy S23, which begins at $800, has a 6.1-inch display screen and a 50-megapixel most important digicam, similar to the Galaxy S22. But the S23 has a bigger battery, a brand new processor and barely up to date digicam algorithms that enhance the best way images are processed. While these modifications are appreciated, the Galaxy S23 is usually a minor enchancment over the Galaxy S22. The improve is price it in the event you’re trying to change a telephone you’ve got had for a number of years, ideally one which’s greater than two years outdated. Even the Galaxy S21, which launched in 2021, doubtless nonetheless has sufficient life left to make it by way of one other yr.  Buying choices will at all times range relying in your wants and finances. But in the event you’re a present Samsung consumer contemplating making the leap, this is what to learn about how the Galaxy S23 compares to older units.
    Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S22 The Samsung Galaxy S22.
    Lisa Eadicicco/CNET
    With the Galaxy S23, Samsung addressed my greatest concern concerning the Galaxy S22: its brief battery life. The new telephone has a bigger battery (3,900 mAh in comparison with 3,700), which has made a distinction in my testing. Otherwise, in comparison with the Galaxy S22, you are getting a brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that is been optimized for the brand new Galaxy lineup particularly, whereas the Galaxy S22 runs on final yr’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. Performance is quicker, particularly when exporting video. But you in all probability will not discover a lot of a leap in on a regular basis use, since most trendy processors are well-equipped to deal with gaming, multitasking and different run-of-the-mill duties. The Galaxy S23’s cameras are largely the identical because the Galaxy S22’s, besides the algorithms have been up to date to enhance processing in low gentle circumstances. The selfie digicam additionally has a barely increased decision (12 megapixels versus 10), though I did not discover a lot of a distinction. There’s nothing concerning the Galaxy S23’s digicam that feels massively completely different from the earlier technology, though I did discover that low-light portraits appeared higher. The telephone launches with Android 13 and Samsung’s One UI 5.1 software program, each of which can be found for the Galaxy S22 sequence.  The backside line: Don’t improve to the Galaxy S23 when you’ve got a Galaxy S22. The modifications aren’t noticeable sufficient to warrant an improve. Battery life is the one significant change you may discover between the 2 telephones, however I’d solely advocate upgrading if you may get the S23 free of charge by way of a trade-in deal.  Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S21 Samsung’s Galaxy S21.
    Sarah Tew/CNET
    The variations between the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S21 are extra noticeable, however you may in all probability maintain onto your S21 for an additional yr earlier than upgrading.  The Galaxy S23 has a noticeably improved digicam because it inherits the 50-megapixel sensor that debuted on the Galaxy S22. As I wrote in my assessment, the Galaxy S22’s cameras provide higher coloration, distinction and low-light efficiency in comparison with the Galaxy S21.  The Galaxy S21 additionally runs on a processor that is now two years outdated, in comparison with the brand-new chip within the Galaxy S23. That mentioned, in the event you’re simply utilizing your telephone for easy duties like video calls, enjoying video games and checking social media, the older Snapdragon 888 chip might be holding up simply tremendous.  The backside line: If your Galaxy S21 nonetheless feels quick and the battery life is passable, you may wait one other yr earlier than upgrading. Samsung helps three generations of Android working system updates for the Galaxy S21, which means it is going to get new platform-wide software program updates till 2024.  Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S20 Samsung’s Galaxy S20.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Whether it is best to improve from the Galaxy S20 is not as simple of a solution. There’s sufficient to achieve that might justify making the leap, however the Galaxy S20 additionally nonetheless has loads to supply. By upgrading, you may get a sooner chip, an improved digicam with considerably higher low-light efficiency and a contemporary design. Since the Galaxy S20 launched in 2020 with Android 10, it’s going to now not be eligible for brand new Android OS updates transferring ahead.  Samsung dedicated to offering three generations of updates for the Galaxy S20 lineup, making Android 13 the final one. That means you may need to improve to get future variations of Android and the brand new options that come together with these updates. The firm does, nevertheless, nonetheless present month-to-month safety updates for the Galaxy S20.  At the identical time, the Galaxy S20 remains to be a really succesful telephone. Even although you will not get the choice to shoot images at a 50-megapixel decision like on the Galaxy S23, you may nonetheless get a triple-camera setup on the Galaxy S20. The Galaxy S20 additionally has a 30x digital zoom just like the Galaxy S23, so you will not miss out on getting close-up pictures. But needless to say the Galaxy S20 has a bigger battery and a barely larger display screen than the Galaxy S23. And most significantly, the Galaxy S20 has a microSD card slot for including extra storage, which the Galaxy S23 doesn’t.  The backside line: The updates within the Galaxy S23 will really feel vital sufficient to justify the improve, however you additionally need not in the event you’re comfortable together with your Galaxy S20. Hang onto the S20 in the event you’re proud of its efficiency, battery life and in the event you worth preserving that microSD card slot over having a greater digicam. Just bear in mind you will not get the following model of Android.  Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S10 The Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup.
    Angela Lang/CNET
    Galaxy S10 homeowners: it is time to improve. Not solely will the digicam and processor really feel like an enormous step up, however you may get 5G and the newest model Android.  If you bought the Galaxy S10 at launch again in 2019, the processor and battery at the moment are 4 years outdated. That means your telephone could also be beginning to really feel sluggish, and the battery in all probability struggles to get by way of a day. The Galaxy S10’s battery can also be smaller than the Galaxy S23’s (3,400 mAh capability versus 3,900) and the S23’s processor is extra energy environment friendly — so the battery positive aspects ought to be significant. Your Galaxy S10 additionally would not help 5G, except you splurged on the 6.7-inch Galaxy S10 5G, which began at $1,300 when it launched. But extra importantly, the Galaxy S10 now not receives Android model updates. Like the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S10 was eligible for 3 generations of recent Android releases. That would make final yr’s Android 12 replace the final one because the Galaxy S10 launched with Android 9. (You will, nevertheless, nonetheless get quarterly safety updates when you’ve got the common Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10E or S10 5G.) While software program help and battery life are among the many greatest causes to improve, you may additionally get a significantly better digicam on the Galaxy S23. Samsung’s digicam has come a good distance over the past 4 years, now providing a better decision most important sensor (50 megapixels versus 12 megapixels on the Galaxy S10), enhanced efficiency in low gentle and a better digital zoom (as much as 30x on the Galaxy S23 in comparison with 10x on the Galaxy S10).  One factor to bear in mind, nevertheless, is that you will lose the beloved microSD card slot by upgrading to the Galaxy S23. So make sure to decide a storage capability that is smart to your wants since you will not be capable of develop it.  The backside line: Yes, when you’ve got a Galaxy S10 it is price upgrading to the Galaxy S23. You’ll get 5G help, entry to new variations of Android, longer battery life, a sooner new processor and a much-improved digicam. But be ready to say goodbye to the microSD card slot.  Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S9 The Samsung Galaxy S9.
    James Martin/CNET
    There are many causes to improve from the Galaxy S9 — so many, the truth is, it is onerous to know the place to start out. All of the factors talked about above for the Galaxy S10 additionally apply to the Galaxy S9. Samsung’s five-year-old telephone lacks 5G, and its processor and battery have doubtless began to indicate their age. You’ll additionally now not obtain Android model updates.  But there are many different advantages available from upgrading. The digicam is among the many greatest modifications; the Galaxy S9 solely has one rear 12-megapixel digicam, and the Galaxy S9 Plus has a further 12-megapixel telephoto digicam. The Galaxy S23 has a better decision 50-megapixel most important digicam, together with a 10-megapixel telephoto digicam and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens for capturing a wider discipline of view. The Galaxy S23’s selfie digicam additionally has a better decision (12 megapixels versus the S9’s 8), together with different enhancements like higher low-light seize.  If you might have the usual 5.8-inch Galaxy S9, you may additionally get a bigger display screen because the Galaxy S23 has a 6.1-inch show. The Galaxy S23 additionally has twice the storage within the base mannequin in comparison with the Galaxy S9, however there is no microSD card slot in Samsung’s new telephone for including extra storage.  The backside line: There are a bunch of causes to improve when you’ve got a Galaxy S9. You’ll get a considerably improved digicam with a number of lenses, a lot sooner efficiency, longer battery life, new variations of Android and 5G help.  Overall, it is price upgrading when you’ve got a telephone that is greater than two years outdated. Galaxy S20 homeowners can in all probability get one other yr out of their system if it is in good situation, however the Galaxy S23 additionally gives sufficient enhancements to justify the improve. If you might have a Galaxy S10 or earlier, the reply as to whether it is best to improve is a convincing sure. 

    Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. older Galaxy telephones

    Galaxy S23

    Galaxy S22

    Galaxy S21

    Galaxy S20

    Galaxy S10

    Galaxy S9


    6.1-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 decision; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate

    6.1-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 decision; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate

    6.2-inch AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 decision; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate

    6.2-inch AMOLED; 3,200×1,440 decision; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate

    6.1-inch AMOLED; 3,040×1,440 decision

    5.8-inch AMOLED; 2,960×1,440 decision

    Pixel density

    425 pixels per inch

    425 pixels per inch

    421 pixels per inch

    563 pixels per inch

    550 pixels per inch

    570 pixels per inch

    Dimensions (inches)

    2.79 x 5.76 x 0.3 in

    2.78 x 5.74 x 0.3 in

    2.80 x 5.97 x 0.31 in

    2.72 x 5.97 x 0.311 in

    5.9 x 2.77 x 0.31 in

    5.81 x 2.70 x 0.33 in

    Dimensions (millimeters)

    70.9 x 146.3 x 7.6 mm

    70.6 x 146 x 7.6 mm

    71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9mm

    69.1 x 151.7 x 7.9 mm

    149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm

    147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm

    Weight (grams, ounces)

    168 g (5.93 oz)

    167 g (5.93 oz)

    171 g (6.03 oz)

    5.75 oz (163 g)

    5.53 oz (157 g)

    5.75 oz (163 g)

    Mobile software program

    Android 13

    Android 12

    Android 11

    Android 10

    Android 9

    Android 8


    50-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)

    50-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)

    64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)

    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide)

    12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto)


    Front-facing digicam







    Video seize

    8K at 30fps

    8K at 24 fps

    8K at 24fps

    8K at 24fps

    4K at 60fps

    4K at 60 fps


    Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 855

    Qualcomm Snapdragon 845


    8GB RAM + 128GB; 8GB RAM + 256GB

    8GB RAM + 128GB 8GB RAM + 256GB

    8GB RAM + 128GB

    8GB RAM + 128GB

    8GB RAM + 128GB; 8GB RAM + 512GB

    4GB RAM + 64GB; 4GB RAM + 128GB; 4GB RAM + 256GB

    Expandable storage




    Yes (Up to 1TB)

    Yes (Up to 512GB)

    Yes (Up to 400GB)


    3,900 mAh

    3,700 mAh

    4,000 mAh



    3,000 mAh

    Fingerprint sensor














    Headphone jack







    Special options

    5G (mmw/Sub6), IP68 score, wi-fi PowerShare to cost different units

    5G (mmw/Sub6), 120Hz show, IP68 score, 25W wired charging, 15W wi-fi charging

    IP68 score, 5G-enabled, 30x Space Zoom, 10W wi-fi charging, 120Hz show

    5G enabled; 120Hz refresh charge; water-resistant (IP68)

    Wireless PowerShare; gap punch display screen notch; water-resistant (IP68); Fast Wireless Charging 2.0

    Dual-aperture digicam, water resistant (IP68); tremendous slo-mo video; wi-fi charging; iris scanning

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