Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ First Impressions: More of the Same
Samsung’s Galaxy S series of devices have been an easy recommendation over the years for anyone looking for a no holds barred, premium Android smartphone experience. While the Ultra model now comes with an S Pen stylus (replacing the Galaxy Note) and the best possible camera hardware in the series, it is also priced a lot higher from the standard models, making the regular S series the go-to for someone looking to get a flagship Samsung smartphone.
With the new Samsung Galaxy S23 and the Samsung Galaxy S23+, the upgrades appear quite minor compared to their respective predecessors. The differences are battery related, tweaks to the design, and a newer processor. Let’s take a closer look at what’s new.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ appear almost identical to their older counterparts when viewed from the front. It’s only from the back, where buyers will notice a few changes. The shiny Armour Aluminium frame is as flat as the one on their predecessors, but the iconic contour-cut camera housing has changed.
Samsung has replaced that with a newer floating camera design which has individual cutouts for each camera. While it feels more in line with last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra, the rings around each camera lens have now received a shiny chrome finish, making them stand out. Samsung has also upgraded the quality of glass.
Both, the front and rear glass on the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ are made from Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which according to the brand should be more resistant to shattering when dropped compared to previous models. The phones offer an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance and will be available in Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender finishes.
The 6.1-inch and 6.6-inch full-HD+ Super AMOLED displays on the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ respectively, offer a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz and up to a 240Hz touch sampling rate (in Game Mode). The displays on both phones appear very similar to last year’s models and come with no noticeable upgrades.
Thankfully, the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ get the same custom SoC like on the more expensive Galaxy S23 Ultra model. Samsung calls it the “Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 platform for Galaxy” and it promises to offer a number of performance-related (CPU, GPU and NPU) enhancements over the standard version. The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ will come with 8GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage.
The rear camera setup is quite similar to what’s available on the previous model, with a 50-megapixel primary camera (with OIS), 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom (with OIS), and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. Selfies are handled by a 12-megapixel front-facing camera which can now also record videos in HDR10+ and shoot RAW photos.
The Samsung Galaxy S23’s battery capacity has grown from the previous 3,700mAh to 3,900mAh, but the charging speed is still limited to 25W for wired and 10W for wireless charging. The Samsung Galaxy S23+ also gets a bigger 4,700mAh battery (from the previous 4,500mAh) but it can now charge at 45W when plugged in. Wireless charging is still limited to 10W. Both smartphones are powered by One UI 5.1 which is based on Android 13.
Just like last year, Samsung has reserved the best hardware for its ‘Ultra’ model and because of that, there’s little that has changed with the new Galaxy S23 and the Galaxy S23+ models this year when it comes to features. Minor cosmetic changes aside, Samsung seems to be banking on the customised Qualcomm SoC to set its phones apart. Stay tuned for our detailed review to find out if these should be your next flagship.