Samsung Galaxy S23+ – review
Not so long ago, a new generation of flagships from the Korean manufacturer debuted on store shelves. For the last two weeks I had the opportunity to test the middle model of the whole family, i.e. the Galaxy S23 +. How does it work in practice? Is it worth buying this model? I invite you to read the full review of the device.
Contents of the box and specification
At first glance, when it comes to the box, there are not many changes compared to its predecessor. We receive, as in the previous generation, a black box. There is one change here – we have a small smartphone graphic on the front of the packaging. What will we find inside? Apart from the device itself, not much else really. We only have a short USB Type-C cable and a set of paperwork. There is no charger, which has unfortunately become a standard for the Korean manufacturer, and it’s disgraceful. I don’t have anything else to add, because we simply won’t find anything else in the set.
In the case of the latest device from the Korean manufacturer, we have a top specification. On the other hand, a few elements could be tweaked a bit, but one at a time. We get a large 6.6-inch display that works at a maximum resolution of 1080×2340 pixels. Added to this is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 system and 8 GB of RAM. In addition, we also have 256 GB of built-in internal memory. The specification is complemented by a battery with a capacity of 4700 mAh, a triple main camera of 50 Mpx, 12 Mpx and 10 Mpx. The front eyelet is 12 Mpx. Of course, the full specification of the device can be found in the table below.
Build quality and design
The Samsung Galaxy S23+ is a device that does not differ significantly from its predecessor in terms of design. The body is simple, without unnecessary frills, although compared to the Galaxy S22 line, we can see a few minor changes. First of all, the device received some roundness. We have straight edges but rounded corners. In addition, on the back of the device we will not find a typical large camera island, and each lens is a separate protuberance on the back of the device. In the case of the quality of individual elements, I have no major comments. We have metal edges, additionally, the backs are finished with frosted glass, which makes the device look really good. There is also no way that any element creaks even under greater pressure. It is worth noting that the phone is IP68 certified, so there is no problem with flooding the device.
From the front we get a large 6.6-inch screen. Centrally on the upper beam we find the front camera lens, and just above it the loudspeaker for telephone calls, which also acts as a multimedia loudspeaker. Most standard elements are placed on the edges of the device. Let’s start with the top. On it we find only one of the microphones, vis a vis, in turn, there is a SIM card tray, a USB type C output for charging the device, and a multimedia speaker. The left edge is without any additions, while the right edge is two physical keys. The upper one is for volume control and the power button a little lower. The back of the device consists of three separate main camera eyes, each protruding noticeably from the body of the phone. Right next to them we find an LED illuminating diode.
When it comes to its smartphones, Samsung implements the strongest and most interesting displays in mobile devices. Koreans did not let us down. We get Dynamic AMOLED of the latest generation. The display works with a maximum resolution of FullHD +, i.e. 1080 × 2340 pixels, which gives a pixel density of 390 ppi. In addition, there is a refresh rate of 120 Hz. The whole is protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2nd generation protective glass and an oleophobic surface. On paper, it all looks great. How does the display work in practice? Well, the fly does not sit down. We have great color reproduction, in addition, the maximum and minimum brightness of the displayed image also does not cause any problems. Even in the case of high sunlight, the screen is doing really well. In addition, there are quite a lot of possibilities to personalize the screen. We can modify the screen refresh, color selection. There could also be support for HDR 10 technology. We also have Always on Display, which we have to modify in some way, there are no special fireworks when it comes to modification possibilities. To be honest, in terms of the screen, it’s hard to remember anything. It’s the top shelf, it’s just over, period.
The batteries in Samsung smartphones arouse quite a lot of emotions. Mainly due to the fact that we don’t have much change for the better. In the case of this year’s flagships, it is slightly better than last year, but there is still a lot missing when it comes to comparing it to the competition. We get a cell with a capacity of 4700 mAh, which is 200 mAh better than the Galaxy S22+. Added to this is the 45W fast charging technology, which is a decent result, although still far from the competition, i.e. 120W or 200W. However, we must have a 45W charger purchased on our own, which also needs to be taken into account. The cost of such an original charger is also not small, about PLN 150. As befits a flagship, we are dealing with inductive and reverse charging, but both are hard to call fast. The phone of standard use lasts about a day with a small hook, but you have to get used to the fact that you have to charge it almost every day. This is not a particular surprise, because now it’s hard to find a device that we don’t have to charge every day. When it comes to loading speed, we also have no major surprises here. With a standard charger, we can charge the phone in just over two hours, when we have 45 W, the charging time drops to about an hour and a half. A decent result, although it definitely lacks the strongest chargers.
In the basic versions of its flagships, the Korean manufacturer does not particularly experiment. Novelties are also hard to find compared to previous years, but more on that in a moment. The main eyelet is a 50 Mpx unit with f/1.8 light, then a 12 Mpx wide-angle f/2.2 and a 10 Mpx telephoto lens with f/2.4 light. The whole trio works very well in practice and it’s hard for me to fault anything if we have good lighting conditions. We have photos with well reproduced colors, adequate depth and a lot of detail. On the plus side, you can also include good night photos. Two more wide-angle lenses and a telephoto lens are also ok, although the main one is noticeably plus. The other thing is that the telephoto lens works well in a limited range and if you hoped to take a picture with a hundred times zoom in great quality, you are wrong. I think that the quality can be maintained at 10x zoom, then it is rather a toy and an interesting “ficher”. When it comes to recording videos, there are no major fireworks here. The whole thing keeps a high level, and as Samsung managed to get us used to it, there are quite a lot of options. We can record unhindered in 8K quality at 30 frames per second, and the choice of video quality and frame rate is large. When it comes to the software that supports the camera itself, I have no comments. One UI is well prepared and all the most important options are always at hand. Below you will find a gallery of photos and videos prepared with the Galaxy S23+.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ – review
Samsung is one of the few manufacturers of mobile equipment that actually tries to develop and update their phones to the latest versions of Android. In fact, a few months after the release of Android 13, we have most of the major Samsung smartphone models updated to Android 13, and the latest Galaxy S23 line also works under the control of the system signed with the green robot marked with the number 13. Importantly, the whole thing also works on security patches from January this year so also the freshest. Samsung also added its two cents when it comes to its own proprietary overlay. This one gained the number 5.1, but at first glance, the changes are not visible in One UI version 5.1. Some of the changes are under the hood and you just can’t see them. Samsung has added new possibilities for the Gallery or photo editing. The software itself works flawlessly. Fortunately for us, Samsung has not opted for a particularly large amount of additional software, thanks to which we are not immediately overwhelmed with all additional applications or games.
Samsung devices have been offering a full range of possibilities when it comes to multimedia aspects for many years. The manufacturer puts at our disposal a quite large 6.6-inch display with ultra-thin frames around the screen. Plus HDR and refresh at 120 Hz. It is a pity that the notch remained, but still watching videos on it is pure pleasure. There are also stereo speakers that sound decent, although on the other hand I was hoping that this time Samsung would be tempted to implement a full-fledged second speaker, but the sound is still of good quality and even at maximum volume. As a standard for Samsung devices, we have not seen a 3.5 mm mini jack headphone output in flagships for a long time, but this is also a standard when it comes to today’s smartphones.
The Korean manufacturer has put at our disposal a fingerprint reader integrated with the screen. Here, compared to its predecessor, little has changed. As it worked very well, it still works great. Configuration is a quick scan of our finger, and then the appropriate passage of several stages and saving the above data. The whole thing does not require any secret knowledge from us, so you can go fast. The speed of operation does not cause any problems, also the location of the reader itself is very convenient in my opinion. In terms of the operation of the entire fingerprint reader, it was not a problem.
Performance and gaming
Samsung in its flagship models in the basic versions implemented 8 GB of RAM along with the Qualcomm system, i.e. Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. You can say that in Europe we finally got a version with a system from a Taiwanese manufacturer. Well, in terms of operation, at first glance, there is no major difference, because the phone works smoothly like its predecessors, and it is difficult to bend it in any way. In the benchmarks themselves, however, the difference between last year’s Galaxy S22 is over 30%. Also when it comes to thermal management, the Qualcomm system is doing much better than its predecessor. All the latest games work without any complaints, but what sticks out to me is only 8 GB of RAM. In a phone for over PLN 6,000, we should get at least 12 GB of RAM. It is true that, as I mentioned earlier, it is hard to use the full potential of the Samsung device at this point, but if someone buys a smartphone for a long time, then it may quickly turn out that after some time the bottleneck will be 8 GB of RAM. As for the culture of operation itself, the whole thing really works very well, I used several different demanding titles and none of them managed to bend the Galaxy S23 +. As for the benchmark results, you can find them below.
Galaxy S23+ has been equipped with the latest versions of wireless communication modules, starting with Wi-Fi 6E (importantly, an update with support for Wi-Fi 7 will appear later), as well as NFC, 5G or Bluetooth 5.3. In fact, the entire set of wireless communication modules is complete and in the full latest version, which is definitely pleasing. Importantly, the individual modules did not cause any problems during the tests. When it comes to call quality, I don’t have either
The Samsung Galaxy S23+ is a successful phone that offers all the latest technological advances, but I still miss a stronger battery and more RAM, assuming that we have 2023. However, despite the big pluses and the generally successful design, I miss the novelties. “Killer ficzera” that would push users to buy the latest phone from the Korean manufacturer. This is just another good phone noticeably more expensive than the Galaxy S22 +, so you won’t lose much by buying last year’s flagship, and there will definitely be a lot of money in your wallet.