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Samsung Galaxy S23 Review: Small Size, Big Impact:

S23 Review
Samsung Galaxy S23 Review

Samsung Galaxy S23 Review: Samsung Galaxy S23 is the smaller and less expensive model of the new Galaxy Flagship Trio, the Samsung Galaxy S23. You may not get the fancy new features of the ultra model, but there's still a lot to like here. Let's see what the regular S23 is all about in our full Samsung Galaxy S23 Review.

The Galaxy S23 is the most compact model of the new series and also packs nearly the same features as the previous model. Anyone looking for the fancy new features would have to shell out a lot of extra cash for the ultra, but still, there are a handful of notable upgrades here compared to last year. The battery is larger, the screen brighter, and you also get a much more powerful and power-efficient chipset.

    A detailed Samsung S23 Review

    S23 Review of Design and Build Quality

    The design has changed too. You get the same compact form factor, but both the back and the front are now made from more durable Gorilla Glass. Vectors too, and you also no longer get the camera bump that wraps into the aluminum frame. Now each camera sticks out individually from the back.

    Of course, you get the IP68-rated water and dust resistance like last year and the generations before it, but this year's phones are made from even more recycled material to reduce waste.

    S23 Review

    S23 Review of Display and Visual Experience

    The display of the Galaxy S23 is again a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED with a 1080p resolution and a 120-hertz refresh rate. As I mentioned earlier, the major difference in the new model is the maximum brightness. We measured up to 790 nits with the manual slider, and this can boost to an impressive 1200 nits in auto mode.

    That's compared to the already impressive 980 nits max on the S22. This panel is also quite sharp at over 420 PPI, and the color accuracy is consistently great. There's support for HDR10 Plus too, but no 10-bit color, maybe next year. The refresh rate is handled similarly to the S22. While using the interface, you get the smooth 120 hertz, and when the screen is idling, it can go down as low as 10 Hertz. We only saw it dial down to 24 though.

    You get a pair of stereo speakers on the Galaxy S23 with Dolby Atmos support. The loudness is good here, and the sound quality is better than the S22's, with rich vocals, nice highs, and noticeable bass.

    There's an ultrasonic under-display fingerprint reader, which is quite fast and reliable, and you can get the S23 with 128, 256, or 512 gigs of storage onboard. However, the 128 gig model uses the older UFS 3.1.

    S23 Review of Performance and Chipset

    Now let's talk about the interface of the S23. It's Samsung's new One UI 5.1 based on Android 13. Amongst many other changes compared to earlier versions, One UI 5 brings enhanced optimization and feels much faster and more fluid. We have a dedicated video about One UI 5 if you'd like to learn more about its specific features. 

    But we will mention here that the 0.1 update for the S23 series adds a few things here and there, like a new battery widget. You also get wallpaper options and modes for further customization, and within the connected devices menu, there's now the option to continue browsing on your PC if you're using the Samsung web browser.

    Probably the most significant upgrade you'll find on the S23 is the new chipset. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is Qualcomm's new chipset that's starting to appear in flagships, but the new Samsungs go a step further. 

    They have a custom version with higher CPU and GPU clock speeds called the Snapdragon HN2 for Galaxy. The improvements in both CPU and graphics performance over the previous generation are huge, and on top of that, there's now support for advanced memory technologies like UFS 4.0 and LPDDR5X RAM.

    When it comes to benchmarks, the S23 sits at the top of the charts right now, only bested by the Red Magic 8 Pro, a dedicated gaming phone, and that's because of the thermals, which are just average here. Still, the overall performance of the S23 is quite impressive, even by flagship standards.

    S23 Review of Battery Life and Charging

    Another change from last year is that the battery capacity is 200 milliamp hours larger at 3,900 milliamp hours, and together with a more power-efficient chipset, that makes for a better battery life. The S23 was able to earn an endurance rating of 101 hours in our proprietary tests, an excellent showing. 

    The runtime of the all-important web browsing test has improved by 30 compared to the S22. The S23 supports 25-watt charging, though, of course, you don't get an adapter in the box. With the proper one from Samsung, we were able to charge the S23 from 0 to 57 in half an hour, which is in the same ballpark as the S22 but slightly slower, probably because the battery is larger now. And again, there's support for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.

    S23 Review of Camera Capabilities

    The S23 gets the same three cameras on the back as last year's model: a 50-megapixel main cam, a 10-megapixel 3-times telephoto, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide cam. The main camera saves 12-megapixel photos by default, and the performance is solid and consistent. It's identical to what we saw from the S22 last year. You get good resolved detail, likable sharpness, high contrast, and lively saturated colors. The dynamic range is good but not over the top.

    Portraits taken with the main camera are excellent, with great separation and exposure, detailed and colorful subjects, and convincing blurred backgrounds. It can also take zoomed portraits using the telephoto cam; they're just as great as the regular ones, and maybe the separation is even better around tricky areas like hair. Three times zoom photos from the telephoto cam are excellent, even though they're upscaled from 10 megapixels to 12.

    They are incredibly detailed with accurate and lively colors, satisfying contrast, and great dynamic range. The ultrawide cam also does an impressive job. The photos we took are detailed, with proficiently cleaned noise and straightened-out corners. The contrast and dynamic range are quite good too. We were hoping that the ultrawide cam would get autofocus this year for macro shooting, and it was even listed in the S23's specs from some sources, but no, the focus is fixed just like on the S22.

    In low-light conditions, the Galaxy S23 will automatically switch into night mode. These photos shot with the main camera are excellent, with plenty of detail, nice exposure, realistic color rendition, high contrast, and likable dynamic range. The noise has been cleaned very well too.

    It's also worth noting that these sorts of shots seem to process faster here than they did on the S22 thanks to the more powerful hardware. You can also toggle on the night mode manually, which might be necessary in cases where the auto night mode didn't kick in. The quality between the auto and manual night modes is identical, but the capture speed is a tad slower here.

    The photos we took without night mode at all are more realistic as far as colors and exposure are concerned. They have fewer blown highlights too. There is more visible noise, but the quality is still very good here. The telephoto cam also applied the auto night mode processing. Night mode shots have a satisfying level of detail, low noise, and lively colors.

    The exposure, contrast, and dynamic range are good too. Shooting with a telephoto without night mode is possible, but there's less detail and more noise. At least the colors and dynamic range are still solid, and the phone won't crop from the main cam like it often used to do with the S22.

    The ultrawide does a great job in low light with the auto night mode kicking in. There's enough detail, low noise, and lively color rendition. The exposure and dynamic range are very good. Without night mode, the ultrawide photos are usable with good color saturation and enough dynamic range, but they're noisy and rather dark.

    On the front of the Galaxy S23, you'll find this year's new camera, a 12-megapixel selfie cam, which, like the previous one, has autofocus. The selfies are outstanding, with excellent detail balance sharpening, low noise, and great-looking colors. You get a wide dynamic range, and the subject is always well-exposed.

    Now on to video recording, and let's start with 8K from the main camera. Now you can record it at 30 FPS, up from 24 on the S22. These clips have true-to-life colors and excellent dynamic range, but the detail level is just average. 4K video from the main camera is outstanding in quality, with plenty of detail and sharpness, true-to-life colors, low noise, and wide dynamic range.

    4K videos from the telephoto camera are top-notch too, with good detail levels, low noise, excellent colors, and again, wide dynamic range. The ultrawide cam's 4K video quality is impressive. The field of view is quite wide, there's plenty of detail, and the colors remain consistently lively. The contrast and dynamic range are good too. There's electronic stabilization available on all of the cameras, and it works great.

    Now let's have a look at some low-light footage. The quality from the main cam is decent, with enough detail, realistic colors, and tolerable noise levels. The exposure and dynamic range are all right. The telephoto cam is uninspiring at night though. These 4K clips are noisy and blurry, and the dynamic range is rather low. Nighttime videos from the ultrawide cam are good, with decent exposure, enough detail, and realistic-looking colors.

    Samsung Galaxy S23 5G (Cream, 8GB, 128GB Storage)
    Samsung Galaxy S23 5G (Cream, 8GB, 128GB Storage)
    9/10 Our Expert Team Rating to this device
    • Brand: Samsung
    • Model Name: Galaxy S23
    • Network Service Provider: Unlocked for All Carriers
    • Operating System: Android 13.0
    • Cellular Technology: 5G
    • Price: ₹64,999 (28% off M.R.P.: ₹89,999.00)
    • Price:$672.50

    S23 Review of Pros and Cons

    Pros of Samsung Galaxy S23:

    Sleek design & solid build.

    Vibrant Super AMOLED display.

    Powerful performance & multitasking.

    Impressive camera system.

    Good battery life & fast charging.

    User-friendly One UI software.

    5G connectivity & NFC support.

    Secure biometric options.

    Ample storage options.

    Cons of Samsung Galaxy S23:

    Battery life concerns.

    Potential software glitches.

    Technical Details of Samsung Galaxy S23

    Watch the Unboxing of Samsung Galaxy S23

    Final Thought

    So that's the Samsung Galaxy S23. Compared to last year, it's not a huge update, but there are still some meaningful upgrades. Mainly, the battery life has improved, which was the sore point of the S22. And there's also a brighter screen, a new selfie cam, and of course, a more powerful chipset. Some people might be disappointed that here you don't get some of the fancy new tech that is debuting on the S23 Ultra. 

    In comparison, the vanilla S23 is a bit more boring and would hardly attract S22 owners looking to upgrade. Nonetheless, the S23 is a well-rounded and feature-packed compact flagship that is worth recommending.

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