The new Samsung Galaxy S23 is an intriguing option for users, when considering the presence of the Apple iPhone 14
Samsung has started the year with the Galaxy S23 family series, an upgrade on the S22 family. The company, to our surprise, has adopted the Qualcomm Snapdragon Gen 2 processor, ditching the Exynos processor in its latest models. We are going to review the base variant today, which is the Samsung Galaxy S23.
In the Box
We received the phone unit, the USB cable (Type-C to Type-C), and product documentation.
- Display: 6.1 inches, Dynamic AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate
- OS: One UI 5.1 based on Android 13
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 octa-core
- Camera (rear): 50MP main lens, 12MP ultra-wide sensor, 10MP telephoto snapper
- Selfie Lens: 12MP
- Battery: 3,900mAh
- 3.5mm jack: NA
The new Samsung Galaxy S23 is simple yet elegant, as well as compact with high aesthetic appeal. We got our hands on the Green body variant, which caught the eye of people around us during the review period. The company has opted for a glass body using Gorilla Glass Victus 2, both at the front and back. Dividing the back and rear side is a shiny aluminium frame which at the top sports a secondary mic. On the bottom, one can spot a micro SIM tray, a Type-C port, and a speaker grille. The power button and the volume rockers are placed on the right side.
The phone feels very light and compact, allowing you to use it with just one hand. The rear glass back is prone to smudges, although it is easy to clean. The rear side is neat, with just three small circles protruding outwards, consisting of the camera sensors. The new Galaxy S23 comes with an IP68 rating.
The front side of the phone is all screen with a punch-hole selfie camera at the top. The fingerprint sensor is built into the display, which is lightning fast.
The new Samsung Galaxy S23 features a compact 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X screen, which was present in the previously launched Galaxy S22 as well. But the new Galaxy S23 has improved brightness which, according to the company, is 35% higher. This improvement is visible when you play movies, as the colour appears more punchy and bright, enhancing the HDR streaming experience. The screen has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and has an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz, which adjusts according to the screen usage.
The new Galaxy S23 is missing 10-bit colour depth, which is strange when considering the competition under the flagship range. Still, the colours produced are very bright, vivid, and accurate, making it impossible to miss the 10-bit colour depth.
The screen has a peak brightness of 1750 nits, allowing you to watch any content with ease under bright daylight. The display comes with HDR10+ and Widevine L1 support, allowing you to stream content at its best quality.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is the first smartphone that uses the latest One UI 5.1. The new version is built on the most recent Android 13 OS and expands on the One UI with new widgets and significant enhancements to the gallery, connectivity settings, and DeX mode.
The UI interface is smoother and faster when compared to its predecessor and even more seamless than the one we experienced in the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4.
The new Samsung Galaxy S23 is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, ditching the Exynos processor, which we think is a very smart move. The processor comes with eight octa cores with one core clocked at 3.36 GHz Cortex-X3, two cores at 2.8 GHz Cortex-A715, two cores at 2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 and three cores at 2.0 GHz Cortex-A510. The distribution of cores smartly aligns tasks, allowing you to multitask with no issues. For graphics, the company has used an Adreno 740 GPU clocked at 719MHz, which is overpowered when compared to other smartphones using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.
We just loved using the Samsung Galaxy S23 as it is one of the fastest and smoothest phones we used so far this year. We did not come across any minor glitches, even while playing intense games. The company has aided the processor with 8GB of RAM, which does a profound job of delivering a hassle-free experience.
For storage purposes, the variant which we got to review came with 256GB of ROM and relied on UFS 4.0, whereas the variant with 128GB ROM is based on the older UFS 3.1.
During aggressive gaming, the phone sometimes gets heated, which we think is less than satisfactory when considering the price and competition.
In the rear camera section, the new Samsung Galaxy S23 features an identical three-camera setup seen in the Galaxy S22. In the front camera, the company has integrated a new selfie camera with improved resolution power. The rear camera setups consist of a 50MP Samsung S5KGN3 1/1.57 primary sensor with an aperture of f/1.8, lens (OIS), and dual-pixel PDAF. Following the primary lens is an ultrawide camera lens of 12MP with an aperture of f/2.2 lens. The third sensor is a telephoto camera using a 10MP Samsung S5K3K1 sensor with an aperture of f/2.4 stabilised lens (OIS), and supports PDAF.
The main camera saves the pictures in the 12MP format by default. The images captured during daytime were sharp, bright, and maintained the right contrast levels, offering dynamic shots all the time.
We loved how the pictures turned out, replicating the natural colours of the subject. We also enjoyed how the ultra-wide lens captured a wide area without distortion. The details in the ultrawide shots are very precise, maintaining the right texture and colour balance.
You can utilise both the wide-angle and telephoto lenses in portrait mode. The portraits taken with the primary camera are superb. The background blur is pleasing and convincing; the subject is well-exposed, detailed, and coloured; and the subject is well-separated from the background.
If you are a camera enthusiast, you will relish the Pro mode, which offers granular exposure controls and manual focus with peaking, and up to 30s shutter speed control for all cameras. From the comparison point of view, we feel that the images processed on the iPhone 14 held more of a natural texture while the S23 added an artificially polished look, making the images look too bright.
The low-light images captured with the primary camera were brilliant and possessed a wide dynamic range, strong exposure, lots of resolved information, accurate colour rendering, and high contrast. There is very little to no noise in any of the pictures we took because it has been cleaned up so beautifully. The moon is within reach now, as you can capture it faithfully using the rear lens.
For selfies, the phone uses a 12MP Samsung S5K3LU sensor with an aperture of f/2.2 lens. The selfie camera saw an increase of 2MP when compared with the Samsung S22. The selfies captured maintained fine colour rendition. The sharpness was perfect and the detailing was on point without any noise.
Furthermore, all the lenses on the Samsung Galaxy S23 can capture video at up to 4K60, while the primary camera can also record at 8K30. Although electronic stabilisation is available for all cameras, resolutions, and frame rates, optical stabilisation is only supported by the wide-angle and telephoto lenses. There is also a Super Stable option in 1440p, and it functions best when recorded at 60 frames per second. The Galaxy S23 can capture HDR10+ videos, zoom-in audio, and 360-degree audio as well.
The new Galaxy S23 is powered by a 3,900mAh battery, which is 200mAh more than its predecessor. The battery lasted a day easily but required a second round of charging when used intensely for hours at a stretch.
Unlike the Galaxy S23+ and S23 Ultra which support up to 45W fast wired charging, the base variant’s charging power is only 25W. The charging speed can be considered moderate, taking between 1 and 1.5 hours to get completely charged. The phone also supports fast wireless charging, reversed wired, and wireless charging options.
The new Samsung Galaxy S23 is a perfect combination of power and beauty. We loved every experience on the phone, be it browsing, texting, playing, or watching movies.