Samsung Galaxy S23 review: What the S22 should have been

    As flagship telephones go, the newborn Galasy S23 might be the least fascinating of Samsung’s latest flagship trio, nevertheless it’s additionally the telephone with probably the most to realize. Its predecessor was nice, however its few flaws had been notable sufficient that nearly any enhancements had been sufficient to get enthusiastic about.With the Galaxy S23, Samsung does not rock the boat very a lot, giving us a easy new design however with most of the similar specs, options, and cameras because the Galaxy S22. That means no 200MP digicam just like the Galaxy S23 Ultra or perhaps a 108MP sensor like its predecessor. However, with the few modifications Samsung does make, it brings the very enhancements we had been hoping for, primarily because of a brand new, environment friendly Snapdragon chipset that everybody can expertise.So did Samsung lastly give us the proper small flagship? Well, not fairly, however the Galaxy S23 comes fairly shut.About this reviewPrior to publishing this overview, I used the Galaxy S23 for per week on the AT&T community all through Seattle, Washington.The telephone was used on the identical software program that it shipped with, with One UI 5.1 (Android 13) and the January 1 Android safety patch degree.AT&T offered the Galaxy S23 to Android Central for overview and didn’t obtain a duplicate of this overview previous to its publication.Samsung Galaxy S23: Price & availability(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Samsung introduced the Galaxy S23 collection on February 1. The telephone went on sale on February 17, priced at $799.99 for the 8/128GB mannequin. The 8/256GB mannequin can be accessible for $859.99.The Galaxy S23 is on the market in 4 major colorways accessible throughout carriers and retailers. You can choose up the telephone in Phantom Black, Cream, Lavender, and inexperienced. You may choose up unique colorways on, together with Graphite and Lime.Today’s finest Samsung Galaxy S23 offersSamsung Galaxy S23: Hardware and design(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Regarding design, Samsung appears to have taken a step again with the S23. Previous flagship generations included a digicam island of some form, however Samsung did away with that for 2023. The result’s a clear, flat rear panel that is solely interrupted by three barely protruding digicam modules. It’s not probably the most fascinating design I’ve seen from the corporate, and I’ve already written about how I feel the brand new design language is uninteresting however successfully constant. It’s a boring design, however I prefer it. Maybe that is as a result of I’m boring.I admittedly do not like every of the colour choices Samsung included with the telephone. None of them spark pleasure and solely appear so as to add to the boring issue. My unit is Lavender, which is commonly extra of a pink hue than something (how firms select to call their colours, I’ll by no means perceive). It seems to be high quality, however I want Samsung had provide you with extra fascinating colorways like final 12 months’s blue-ish inexperienced or the Burgundy Galaxy S22 Ultra.(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)The telephone retains the identical flat-ish aluminum body and tender frosted glass again as its predecessor, though now it is bolstered with the brand new Gorilla Glass Victus 2 for added safety. Like the Galaxy S22, the telephone is extremely tender and has a pleasant heft to it. In truth, the 2 telephones are so comparable in each design and construct that you’d barely be capable of inform the distinction in hand, aside from the rear cameras.Speaking of the rear cameras, one downside I used to be notably frightened about with the brand new design was mud. Nick Sutrich usually complains in regards to the build-up of mud and filth across the digicam modules on the Galaxy S22 Ultra (see: under), so I figured I’d run into the identical downside with this new design on the S23.Dusty digicam lenses on the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Image credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)Fortunately, I have not seen any of that in my time with the telephone. I’m undecided if it is as a result of I exploit a case a lot of the time, however I’m nonetheless pleasantly shocked at how clear they’ve remained, contemplating how dusty my condominium will get. This could possibly be case for why it’s best to choose up a Galaxy S23 case.Swipe to scroll horizontallyCategorySamsung Galaxy S23SoftwareOne UI 5.1 (Android 13), 4 OS upgrades, 5 years of safety updatesDisplay6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display (1080×2340), 120Hz refresh charge (48-120Hz), Up to 1,750 nitsChipsetSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 for GalaxyStorage128GB, 256GBRAM8GBRear Camera 150MP Wide-angle, f1.8, 1.0μm (12MP 2.0μm), 85°Rear Camera 212MP Ultrawide, f2.2, 1.4μm, 120°Rear Camera 310MP Telephoto (3x), f2.4, 1.0μm, 36°Front-facing Camera12MP, f2.2, 1.12μm, 80°Connectivity5G (sub-6, mmWave), Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, Wi-Fi 6ESecurityUltrasonic Fingerprint sensor, Face UnlockBattery & Charging3,900mAh, 25W wired, 15W wi-fi, 4.5W reverse wi-fiProtectionIP68, Gorilla Glass Victus 2Dimensions & Weight70.86 x 146.3 x 7.62mm, 168.1gColorsPhantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Graphite, LimeThe extra vital modifications could be discovered on the within. The telephone is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, Qualcomm’s newest and best flagship SoC. Samsung additionally labored with Qualcomm to slap a “for Galaxy” on the identify, giving the telephone an unique enhance in CPU efficiency, however extra on that later.Aside from the brand new chipset, the internals are additionally practically equivalent to the S22. However, one noticeable change is the battery capability, which has now been elevated to 3,900mAh. Samsung additionally upped the decision of the selfie digicam to 12MP and gave the telephone a a lot brighter show at 1,750 nits. While I usually do not care a lot about brightness and did not have any challenge with the 1,300 nits on the S22, I may actually inform the distinction with the added brightness on the S23, particularly when outdoors.Samsung Galaxy S23: Software(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Samsung’s taste of Android has been my favourite for the previous few years. One UI 5 refines what made One UI 4 nice, maintaining issues pretty minimal and compact. With the Galaxy S23 collection, Samsung pushes the needle barely with the brand new One UI 5.1 replace, which is type of like Samsung’s model of a characteristic drop.There are many new options with One UI 5.1, greater than I’ve had time to familiarize myself with within the week that I’ve performed with the Galaxy S23. Many of the modifications, whereas small, are fairly helpful, and others are way more helpful.Perhaps my favourite new characteristic is the Image Clipper. The characteristic is a part of the gallery app and lets you press and maintain a picture whereas the AI does its magic to separate the topic from the background. You can copy, share, or save the cutout as a separate picture, which is nice for individuals like me who take pleasure in making memes.The gallery additionally has different cool options, comparable to a brand new GIF Remaster that enhances low-resolution GIFs, much like the usual Image Remaster characteristic.(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Speaking of, Image Remaster takes a few of my favourite Gallery options from the Object Eraser and makes use of them to enhance a picture by eradicating shadows and reflections, which may prevent a while. And swiping up on a photograph or video will now offer you much more details about the photograph, such because the machine used to seize the picture, the date and time it was taken, location, digicam parameters, and extra.There’s so much to love about One UI 5, particularly with the newest .1 replace.The settings app now offers customers strategies, which I discover handy for individuals who might not know the best way to use their telephone’s full potential. The Galaxy S23 additionally borrows from the Pixel collection with some new One UI 5.1 options like Bixby Text Call, which is mainly Samsung’s model of the Google Assistant Call Screen, however with the additional benefit of with the ability to textual content your individual responses. The new battery widget exhibits the telephone’s battery ranges and different related units like my Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Buds 2.Overall, One UI 5.1 provides loads of options that I do not actually need, however now that I’ve them, I can not think about going again. And the very best half is that almost all of those options are coming to older Galaxy telephones because the One UI 5.1 replace continues rolling out throughout units and areas.I also needs to point out that the S23 will make the most of Samsung’s incredible software program promise, that means 4 main OS upgrades and 5 years of software program updates. That means you will get Android 17 and an additional 12 months of safety updates, which may embrace extra options.Samsung Galaxy S23: Performance and battery life(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)When Qualcomm launched the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, I used to be curious to see how this chip would carry out. Given the efficiency and thermal points Samsung confronted with the earlier chip, I leveled my expectations of the. I used to be skeptical about whether or not or not the chip would offer the facility and effectivity I so desired. However, I’m pleased to say that the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy has allayed my fears.The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 was no slouch, however I can inform that that is higher. Everything is tremendous snappy, and the telephone runs a lot cooler than the Galaxy S22, which might get fairly sizzling if I discovered myself juggling apps. Not with the Galaxy S23. It stays pretty cool, even when enjoying graphics-intensive apps like Nier Reincarnation, Gyee, and Genshin Impact, and efficiency is comparatively easy enjoying at 60fps. It will get a bit of heat enjoying on the highest settings, nevertheless it does not appear to get practically as sizzling because the S22. And that is not even the very best half.The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 powers by way of video games with ease whereas offering the effectivity to get by way of a day of use.One of my largest gripes in regards to the Galaxy S22 was battery life, and I’m pleased to report that the mere 200mAh bump in battery capability has made a world of distinction. I can really get by way of a complete workday while not having to cost the telephone, which is spectacular since I normally begin my day at 5 am. In my week of use, I sometimes common a few full day and am solely regulated to cost the telephone earlier than going to mattress round 10 pm.With the slight battery enhance and extra environment friendly chipset, Samsung and Qualcomm labored wonders with the Galaxy S23, giving it the facility and longevity one won’t count on from a small telephone. And because of their partnership, the telephone ships globally with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, so everybody will get to expertise the very best that Snapdragon has to supply on the Galaxy S23.(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)I simply want Samsung would do one thing about its charging pace. Many of the very best Android telephones are crashing by way of the ceiling with new high speeds over 100W, bringing their telephones to a full cost in mere minutes. With the Galaxy S23, Samsung retains issues at 25W for wired charging, which is… okay. From 1%, the telephone can attain half a cost in simply 30 minutes, whereas a full cost appears to take over an hour. The 15W wi-fi charging additionally is not something to run residence about.We’ve already obtained the battery life down, now we simply have to do one thing about charging.Samsung Galaxy S23: Cameras(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)One space I’m not too impressed with is the digicam efficiency. I’m not fairly certain what occurred right here for the reason that firm is utilizing the identical rear sensors as its predecessor. However, the Galaxy S23 is commonly very aggressive in its processing, punching up the colours and distinction far more than they must be, notably on the first 50MP sensor.The consequence could be a little jarring at instances, particularly when in comparison with the Galaxy S22. However, at different instances, it may be nice. I like that the cameras do not overexpose as usually, and I can really get some element in photographs the place the sky is seen. The telephoto and ultrawide cameras additionally carry out equally, and I do not really feel like the standard degrades when switching lenses. Night photographs are nonetheless fairly good, and Samsung usually retains issues shiny even when Night Mode is turned off.Image 1 of 16(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)Samsung’s downfall continues to be shutter pace, which may usually lead to blurry photographs or missed moments. The firm updates the Camera Assistant app to assist alleviate this, nevertheless it nonetheless does not appear to fairly get the job accomplished.Still, Samsung offers you loads of instruments that will help you customise your digicam expertise so you will get the shot you need, and that is one thing I proceed to understand with the Galaxy S23. Aside from Camera Assistant, you additionally get handbook photograph and video modes, and the Expert RAW app is now accessible from the primary digicam for additional options just like the superior Astrophoto mode.Video continues to impress, and Samsung has bumped up its capabilities with 8K30fps. Most individuals will let you know 8K is overkill, and I agree. Still, the footage is easy, and I have not seen any dropped frames, though movies get the identical punched-up colours as pictures.One space of enchancment is Samsung’s portrait mode, one thing that Sutrich additionally factors out in his Galaxy S23 Ultra digicam overview. When capturing pictures, the telephone does an ideal job of separating the topic from the background and making the synthetic bokeh extra pure. It additionally appears to do a greater job of capturing inanimate objects, which I actually respect.Selfies additionally get a pleasant improve with the brand new 12MP front-facing digicam and profit from the identical nice portrait mode. You may modify the way you need the telephone to take selfies, whether or not you need them hotter or cooler.Samsung Galaxy S23: Competition(Image credit score: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)The Pixel 7 might be the closest competitor to the Galaxy S23, and for purpose. Google’s flagship has a smooth design, a quick Tensor chipset, and an ideal set of cameras that do all of the give you the results you want. Plus, it’s going to get many Android updates and options first. However, the telephone misses out on a telephoto lens, and the show is not as easy because the S23. It additionally has a lower-resolution selfie digicam and will get fewer OS upgrades.The OnePlus 11 is one other nice possibility, additionally powered by the newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. We love the design, digicam efficiency, lengthy battery life, and super-fast charging. It’s additionally priced very competitively, making it an ideal worth flagship. However, that lower cost comes with some compromises, like the dearth of wi-fi charging, a 2x optical zoom telephoto digicam, and no provider availability within the U.S. (though it helps U.S. carriers).The Xiaomi 13 can also be a compelling possibility. It has an ideal design; at first look, you could possibly virtually mistake it for an iPhone. It has a 50MP triple digicam setup, as much as 12GB of RAM, a comparatively massive 4,500mAh battery with 67W charging, and it is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Sounds good, proper? Unfortunately, regardless of the latest international launch of the Xiaomi 13 and Xiaomi 13 Pro, the telephones do not look like headed to the U.S.Samsung Galaxy S23: Should you purchase it?(Image credit score: Derrek Lee / Android Central)You can buy this if…You choose smaller telephonesYou desire a telephone that may get you thru the dayYou choose vibrant, colourful picturesYou should not purchase this if…You have already got the Galaxy S22You need super-fast wired chargingYou’re in search of a reasonable telephoneThere’s no such factor as an ideal telephone, however yearly, Samsung will get even near hitting the mark with its child flagship. Last 12 months, the corporate had some hurdles to beat, however the firm proved that it was listening to consumer suggestions and gave us the enhancements we had been hoping for.The Galaxy S23 crams a whole lot of energy right into a small physique, and it manages that energy fairly properly. Performance is stellar and battery life is way improved. There’s so much to love in regards to the Galaxy S23, a lot in order that I’m dissatisfied we did not get the identical degree of enhancements with the Galaxy S22.I’m not an enormous fan of the cameras, however they’re nonetheless good and positively not a deal breaker in my eyes. And there’s positively lots extra I wish to see in future fashions, like quicker charging and a bolder design, however the Galaxy S23 is a step in the suitable path and a return to kind for Samsung’s child flagship.If you are rocking the Galaxy S22, it will not be price upgrading, except you really want that additional battery life. Otherwise, this can be a telephone I’d advocate to anybody in search of a pocketable flagship. That is, in the event you’re not postpone by the value tag.
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    The Galaxy S23 is a incredible possibility for anybody in search of a small flagship telephone. The 6.1-inch show is attractive and shiny, even outdoor, and the brand new Snapdragon chip offers you loads of energy and effectivity. It additionally has a bigger battery that will help you get by way of the day with ease.

    Samsung Galaxy S23: Price Comparison

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