Galaxy S23 And S23 Plus: Redefining the Premium Smartphone

At today’s 2023 Unpacked event, Samsung properly introduced the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and the large Galaxy S23 Ultra. Pre-orders for the phones are currently being accepted, and shipping will begin on February 17.

What’s new with the Galaxy S23 and its larger sibling, the Galaxy S23 Plus? Read on to find out!

Flat, cleaner and more minimalist design Galaxy S23/S23 Plus

One noticeable design difference is that the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus no longer feature a sizable camera island on the back, but rather, each of their three cameras is now its own distinct part, creating a more streamlined and minimalistic overall appearance.
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Of fact, it is also completely in keeping with the Ultra model, which gave up the camera island a year ago. The placement of the camera and flash on the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus is unchanged aside from that.
Keep in mind that the removal of the camera island is reason enough for your old S22 cases not fitting on those new S23 phones.

There are several lovely, fun hues available:

  • Cream
  • Green
  • Lavender
  • Phantom Black
For those who prefer flat phones, we’re happy to report that the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus have flat screens and flat backs, with only their metal frames being very slightly curved.
For those who are concerned about durability, we’re also pleased to report that the phones have IP68 water resistance, just like their predecessors. Since they have been proven to be able to survive for up to 30 minutes in fresh water up to 1.5 meters deep, light rain shouldn’t disturb them.
IP68 also includes resistance to dust, grime, and sand, but as always, Samsung (like the majority of brands) warns against using phones near swimming pools and beaches. Furthermore, it is comforting to hear Samsung refer to the frame of these phones as “Armor Aluminum.”
The Galaxy S23 weighs 168 grams (5.92 oz), which is plainly smaller and lighter than the larger S23 Plus, which weighs 196 grams and has a heavier battery (6.91 oz).
With pre-consumer recycled aluminium, recycled glass, and post-consumer recycled plastics sourced from fishing nets, water barrels, and plastic bottles, the Galaxy S23 series is also Samsung’s most environmentally friendly range of smartphones to date.
Even the Gorilla Glass Victus 2 used to cover the displays of the Galaxy S23 series contains roughly 22% recycled material. It’s also encouraging to learn that the packaging for smartphones is entirely made out of recycled paper.

Refresh rates of 120Hz for AMOLED displays

The Galaxy S23 Plus, as its name suggests, has a slightly larger screen at 6.6 inches while the smaller, original Galaxy S23 features a 6.1-inch screen with very narrow, symmetrical black bezels.

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Since the sizes are the same as last year, S22 users should have no trouble adjusting to the new S23. The panels on both versions are FHD+ (1080p), Dynamic AMOLED 2X-enabled, and include changeable refresh rates ranging from 48 to 120 Hz. So both of our phones have a 120Hz refresh rate.

Gamers might be surprised to discover that for an incredibly responsive mobile gaming experience, they can even employ a 240Hz Touch Sampling Rate option. Notably, this will speed up touch response time but not screen refresh rate.

As we already reported, the screens of the Galaxy S23 are also protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2, the most recent version of the popular protection material. We’ll definitely find out soon enough if this is actually the case.

We still don’t have any fancy under-display cameras, as we’ve come to expect, but hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t change it! The displays still have a selfie camera hole punch at the top centre.

Everyone gets the flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2!

On the inside, every phone in the Galaxy S23 series is equipped with the newest flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 CPU. What’s even better is that this time, Exynos devices won’t be available in all markets.
Your S23 phone will be powered by the same flagship Snapdragon chip wherever you are, which wasn’t the case in the past. For instance, Samsung’s flagships often come with Exynos processors in Europe, but this time around, that won’t be the case.
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The robust multitasking capabilities we get on Samsung flagships, such as split-screen multitasking, windowed apps, and my personal favourite, the desktop mode known as Samsung DeX, are made possible by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip (which is also a 5G chip, of course).

8GB of RAM is also included in the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus, which makes it possible to run more background apps. Additionally, you can obtain up to 500 GB of storage, which is regrettably not extensible.

Galaxy S23 storage options:
  • 512GB
  • 256GB
  • 128GB
Galaxy S23 Plus storage options:
  • 512GB
  • 256GB

As we can see, the base storage for the Galaxy S23 is 128GB, while the base storage for the Galaxy S23 Plus is 256 GB. No matter whatever storage option you select, 8GB of RAM is the sole choice.

In the software department, Samsung’s One UI 5.1 is installed on top of Android 13 out of the box on the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus. With all of the additional multitasking features we just discussed, along with pre-installed apps like Samsung’s own Internet browser, Samsung Notes, and the Galaxy app store, that one offers a distinctively Samsung Android experience. Naturally, you don’t have to use any of those because you also have access to the Google Play Store and all the third-party apps you may already be familiar with.

More good news includes larger batteries and quicker charging

The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus both have 3,900 mAh batteries, whereas the S23 Plus has a 4,700 mAh battery. Both of those are a little bit larger than what we received with the previous generation, which is good news for those who value longer battery life.

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Watch for our comprehensive reviews where we measure how much extra battery life that boost provides. Speaking of the battery, one difference between the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus is the charging rates.

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While the Galaxy S23 Plus has faster 45W wired charging, the Galaxy S23 offers slower 25W wired charging. Both phones support Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, though it’s unclear whether this entails 10W or 15W wireless charging rates at the moment.

With a 25W power adaptor, Samsung claims that the Galaxy S23 can be charged up to 50% in around 30 minutes (or faster). Similar claims are made about the Galaxy S23 Plus, which is said to charge up to 65% in about 30 minutes when using at least a 45W charger.

Battery life of two days?

Samsung estimates that the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus will both provide you with up to 22 hours of video playback and an astonishing 27 hours of video playback, respectively, on a single charge.
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Wireless PowerShare is also available on both phones. With PowerShare, you can place your Samsung Galaxy Buds or smartwatch on the back of your Galaxy S23 or S23 Plus and the phone will act as a wireless charger for your devices. This feature is all about convenience.

Last but not least, let’s talk about batteries and charging. Unlike most major smartphone manufacturers today, we don’t receive a charger in the package, but at least we do receive a charging cable. Yes, that is something.

The triple camera system is the same for both the S23 and S23 plus

But let’s talk about the camera, which has emerged as the central concern of any contemporary flagship smartphone. The triple cameras on the rear of the Galaxy S23 and S23+ both have the following specifications:
Galaxy S23 and S23+ cameras:

  • 12MP Ultra-Wide Camera (F2.2, 120-degree FOV)
  • 50 MP Wide Camera (F1.8, FOV 85)
  • Telephoto Camera 10 MP (3x Optical Zoom, F2.4, FOV 36)
  • 12MP Front Camera (F2.2, FOV 80˚, can film at up to 4K, 60FPS)

We have a 12MP super wide camera with a 120-degree field of view in addition to the 50MP primary camera for those times when a wider shot is required. On top of that, just like last year, there is a telephoto camera with a 3x optical zoom if you ever need to focus on a faraway object or scenery.

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Although the monster 10x zoom on the Galaxy S23 Ultra is undoubtedly more spectacular, 3x optical zoom is still a significant amount and can be the difference-maker in some circumstances.
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Additionally, we still have the choice of up to 30x digital zoom, which digitally crops the image in order to focus on a certain subject. This option degrades the image quality somewhat, but it is still quite useful to have the choice.

Although every phone in the Galaxy S23 lineup can now capture 8K video at 30FPS (frames-per-second), which is smoother than before, this is perhaps the most interesting and future-proof camera enhancement. And because iPhones don’t yet support 8K video capture, Samsung is outpacing its primary rival, Apple.

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Fair enough, not many people currently own 8K TVs, which explains why there aren’t many 8K videos available on YouTube or elsewhere, but hey – again, this is some wonderful, early futureproofing. 8K 30FPS today, 8K 60FPS perhaps in 2019?

Additionally, the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus can video in lower resolutions that require less storage space, like 4K at 60 frames per second and FHD at 120 frames per second. There is even a 960 FPS super slow-motion video recording mode for those who want to try something new!

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Speaking of camera features, Samsung is relying on “Advanced Nightography,” which from what we’ve seen so far, produces pretty stunning Night Mode pictures. If you were to take some nighttime photos of your friends, the results would often be a blurry, black jumble with scarcely discernible human forms. However, it appears that the improved night mode can virtually convert nights into days.

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Another advancement in selfies that is exciting is nighttime selfies. Samsung claims that the front camera now focuses more quickly even in low light and uses AI to produce realistic colours “that rival real time,” which is a problem that many phones have in low light.
For those of you who are professionals, the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus can also shoot high-resolution RAW photographs, which Samsung claims will result in “bright and detailed shots fit for pro-level editing.”

Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus pricing

Galaxy S23

  • 8GB + 128GB: INR 74,999 (around $917)
  • 8GB + 256GB: INR 79,999 (around $979)

Galaxy S23+

  • 8GB + 256GB: INR 94,999 (around $1,162)
  • 8GB + 512GB: INR 1,04,999 (around $1,285)
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