Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus: bigger battery, faster chip and better pictures
With the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus, Samsung prioritizes improvements that can make performing daily tasks more convenient. Two new smartphones debuted along with the Galaxy S23 Ultra and multiple Galaxy Book 3s at the Samsung Unpacked event in San Francisco on Wednesday. The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus pack larger-capacity batteries, better sensors for selfies and a slightly updated design, while the Plus model also has twice the storage.
The Galaxy S23 is available from 959€while the larger Plus model is available from 1219€. Both devices will launch on February 17, and pre-orders are already available. These prices are similar to those charged by Apple for the iPhone 14 range, which start at €1,019 for the normal version and €1,329 for the Pro version.
Included in the new pair of smartphones incremental updates compared to the Galaxy S22 line. But those with a Galaxy S21 or earlier will likely gain a lot from the improvements brought by the S23. It’s another sign that phone makers are focusing more on standard, practical updates for their entry-level premium phones than introducing drastic changes. Apple took a similar approach with 2021’s iPhone 13, offering longer battery life and more storage.
The two new smartphones are equipped 200 mAh battery which is bigger than last year’s devices, a capacity of 3,900 mAh for the S23 and 4,700 mAh for the S23 Plus. We hope this change will significantly improve battery life.
The charging speed remains the same, with the Galaxy S23 supporting 25-watt wired charging and the S23 Plus compatible with 45 watts.
The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus are available in the same sizes as last year: 6.1 inches for the S23 and 6.6 inches for the S23 Plus. The base model of the Galaxy S23 Plus has more storage, now starting at 256GB instead of the S22 Plus’ 128GB. The classic S23 always starts with 128 GB of internal memory.
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 increases its storage capacity without increasing its price. Bobby Oliver/CNET
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus strikes a good balance in offering a large screen and longer battery life without going overboard. It’s nice to see Samsung paying more attention to the Plus model by setting it up more than the normal version.
The S23 and S23 Plus basically look like last year’s devices, until you flip them over and notice that the photo block is gone. Instead, Samsung modeled the design of the Ultra model by integrating the sensors directly into the chassis, creating a little more consistency across the range. All three phones are available in the same four colors: black, cream, green and lavender.
Left to right: The Galaxy S23 Plus next to the Galaxy S22 Plus. Bobby Oliver/CNET
The camera equipment of the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus is almost the same as last year’s phones. There’s a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle, and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens. Samsung claims to have brought some improvements under the hood which should increase dynamic range and other capabilities such as flare reduction. The new phones have a new 12-megapixel front camera that should better recognize objects in the frame and optimize the picture accordingly.
The image side of the Galaxy S23. Bobby Oliver/CNET
This selfie camera improvement is partly due to the new chip Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which is in the S23 range and is responsible for some of the S23’s image processing enhancements. All three phones in the S23 series run on a custom version of the processor that Samsung says is optimized for faster performance. This is a unique version of the chip that differs from the one we see in rivals like the OnePlus 11 5G.
This launch comes as smartphone updates start to become more monumental than in the past. All in all, the Galaxy S23 improvements seem more like practical changes than game changes. This is a continuation of a trend we have seen throughout 2022, as companies such as Apple, Google and Samsung prioritize factors such as privacy, security and longevity in their new products. The S23 Ultra, meanwhile, gets a more fleshed-out update with a new 200-megapixel camera, although we’ll have to test it before we know what makes it different.
Overall, the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus are likely best suited for Android fans who have been renewing their equipment for at least two yearsbut we’ll know more when we get a chance to review them.
CNET.com article adapted by CNET France