Samsung Galaxy S23 Review

Samsung Galaxy S23 Review

The Samsung Galaxy range of smartphones strive to balance excellent performance with industry-leading features, resulting in some exceptional phones in years past years. Here comes the Samsung Galaxy S23, and with it several significant improvements to processing power, camera quality and battery life.

Our in-depth Galaxy S23 review showcases the very best features and Samsung S23 specs. If you decide this phone is your next ideal upgrade, you can order the Samsung Galaxy S23 from us, including the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra models.

Design

With their recent phone releases, Samsung have landed on a design language that is gorgeous to look at and comfortable to use. The Galaxy S23 range maintains the brilliant sleek frame of these past devices, whilst refining durability to protect against damage.

In-between the Galaxy S23’s tough aluminium chassis is the upgraded Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which provides even stronger resistance to scratches and knocks. Given how often our phones go through tumbles during their lifespans, this improved damage protection is a much-welcome addition.

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The most significant design change this time around is on the rear of the S23. All three models feature camera lenses that sit independently on the back, rather than in a box that melds into the phone frame. This gives each device a distinctive appearance that flows more naturally compared to previous iterations.

IP68 dust and water resistance also features again in the S23 range, enabling the phones to be submerged up to 1.5m and come away unscathed.

The physical form factor of the Galaxy S23 sticks to what works. Weight and size changes very little across each S23 model compared to previous ranges; another example of Samsung smartly incorporating elements of past successful phones.

Display

The Galaxy S23 utilises the same stunning displays found in the previous Samsung range, and with good reason: they are beautiful to use.

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The base Galaxy S23 sports a 6.1” AMOLED 1080p screen with support for up to 120Hz refresh rate, all of which combine together to create a silky-smooth experience when using the phone. Visual quality stays the same on the Galaxy S23 Plus, but there is more space to use apps, play games and watch videos thanks to the larger 6.6” screen size. You’ll find the best overall viewing experience on the Galaxy S23 Ultra and its 6.8” 1440p AMOLED screen, capable of displaying images with superb, high-clarity detail.

A standout feature of the S23 Ultra is S Pen support, allowing you to use this handy accessory to draw and make notes directly onto the screen. If you previously owned the Galaxy S22 Ultra, which was the first S Series phone to incorporate features from the retired Note series, you can continue using the S Pen on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.

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The Galaxy S23 Ultra is undoubtedly the premium member of the S23 family, and so with the addition of S Pen support, this is the go-to phone if you want everything this range has to offer.

Software & Performance

Whilst the design and display of the Galaxy S23 maintains the same excellent standards of previous top-tier phones, processor performance has taken a considerable step forward, as well as each model being 5G-ready for blisteringly fast speeds when connecting to your mobile data.

This range marks the debut of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which is faster and more efficient when processing tasks. For anyone wanting to play the best games, this means higher frame rates and smoother gameplay, whilst photographers will benefit from quicker image processing too. Ultimately, everyone who uses the Galaxy S23 will experience improved performance, regardless of how you use it.

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To keep the phone cool when this new processor is working, the Galaxy S23 includes a larger cooling system. What’s particularly impressive is that this new cooling system - two-times larger than the cooler in previous Galaxy phones - doesn’t come at the expense of form factor. The size and weight of the Galaxy S23 hasn’t been impacted by including this cooler, meaning you get improved performance without a drastic change in design; a win-win for any owner of this phone.

Faster processing speeds give the Galaxy S23’s new software features room to flourish. It comes with a bespoke version of Android 13 and the updated One UI 5.1 interface, bringing with it a refreshed look, easier-to-share Gallery folders and facial recognition image sharing. These updates share the theme of making photography easier on the Galaxy S23, further reinforced by the phone’s stunning cameras.

Camera

The camera capabilities of recent Galaxy phones have been game-changing for budding photographers, thanks to their high megapixel counts and useful image processing tools.

If you’re looking to upgrade to the Galaxy S23 or S23 Plus, you can expect the same outstanding 50MP main camera, 12MP ultrawide lens and 10MP telephoto camera, which continue to capture beautifully detailed images.

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The biggest advancements in camera tech are in the Samsung S23 Ultra. Accompanying the existing 12MP ultrawide lens and two 10MP telephoto cameras is a 200MP sensor, which is a huge improvement from the previous range’s 108MP sensor. With this, you can take photos with significantly more detail, be it in light or dark environments. Samsung refer to the S23 camera arrays as ‘pro-grade’, and it is easy to see why.

Night-time photography is a key focus on the S23, and features updates to the phone’s Nightography mode. You can now take photos in dark settings without compromising clarity, thanks to the image processing AI, which can more accurately capture colours and detail.

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All three S23 phones also include the same 12MP front camera, albeit with fantastic additions such as Super HDR and faster autofocus to take richer, colour-accurate selfies.

Battery

Battery life also gets some extremely helpful upgrades in the Galaxy S23. The base S23’s battery capacity increases to 3900mAh, a 200mAh increase from the S22. In the S23 Plus, we see another increase in capacity, this time to an impressive 4900mAh. Finally, the premium S23 Ultra includes a Super Fast Charging 5000mAh battery, making this the phone of choice if battery life is a major selling point for you.

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Charging speeds are also the same in the Galaxy S23 range, with each model being capable of 25W recharging. Most users will be able to charge their S23 quickly, but if you want even faster speeds, the S23 Plus and Ultra phones are for you, as they support 45W wired charging.

The new processor and improved battery capacities combine together to create a powerful yet efficient phone.

Storage

There are a wide range of storage capacities you can choose from in the Galaxy S23 range. On the base S23 there are 128GB and 256GB options, with the S23 Plus offering 256GB and 512GB storage. The same can be found in the S23 Ultra, alongside a huge 1TB storage option if you want to store a large number of apps, games, photos, and videos.

Summary

The Galaxy S23 range stays true to what has allowed previous Samsung phones to excel. Fans of these devices will be right at home with each S23 phone, but if you want faster processing speeds and an even better photography suite, you’ll find lots to love here.

Samsung phones are renowned for their fantastic cameras. If you want to see which Galaxy smartphones offer the best tech for taking photos alongside the Galaxy S23, check out our detailed guide on phones past and present.