Mehul Reuben DasApr 25, 2023 19:29:50 IST
– Bright and vivid display
– Awesome performance
– Brilliant camera performance
– Great battery life
– Understated, but premium design
– Great ergonomics and feel in the hand
– Long software update commitment
– Cameras not as great as that of the Galaxy S23 Ultra
– 45W wired charging, with no charging brick in the box
– System applications take up a lot of memory
Price: Rs 94,999 for the 8GB + 256GB variant
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the best Android smartphone that money can buy right now if you’re looking for an option from a safe and reliable smartphone brand. On the other hand, The Galaxy S23, is the best compact smartphone in the market right now, no questions asked.
The Galaxy S23+, therefore falls straight in between these two smartphones and packs a lot of the same features as that of its elder and younger siblings. Yes, you won’t get the features of the Galaxy S Pen, and you also don’t get some of the awesome cameras of the S23 Ultra. Despite these shortcomings, the Galaxy S23+ is a brilliant smartphone.
However, because of the way it has been positioned, it has a lot of competition. In fact, we will go as far as to say that the Galaxy S23+ has taken all the competition that the S23 Ultra and the petite S23 had, onto itself.
Having said that, the S23+ is such a solid smartphone that, all things considered, it stands up to its competitors rather well.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 5G review: The design
Just like the other devices in the Galaxy S23 line-up, the Galaxy S23 has an unmistakable air of premiumness. Unlike most of Samsung’s competitors, there are no fancy tricks being played here – you get a device that is actually as premium as it looks. Furthermore, it isn’t as large and unwieldy as the S23 Ultra, which is a behemoth in every sense of the word, nor is it as tiny and petite as the S23 – it just strikes the right balance between the two.
When it comes to aesthetics, the Galaxy S23+, just like the S23 Ultra and the S23 is truly a sight to behold. Sure, it isn’t as comfortable to hold as the S23, but it still is compact and wieldy enough that makes it very easy for one-handed operations. Moreover, the device has been designed very thoughtfully and scores very high on ergonomics and on giving a very easy and pleasant user-friendly experience.m
From a distance the S23+ looks exactly the same as the S23, but only slightly larger. As a result, the S23+ truly looks premium. Make no mistake, the S23+ make heads turn.
In contrast to last year’s S22 series, this year, Samsung chose to go with a cleaner design for its S series. The S23+ sports a cleaner, flat-back design, in which the rear cameras and flash merely float, unlike the S22, which had a noticeable camera housing. Similar to the S23 Ultra, the cameras are encircled by a metallic ring on all of the glass components.
The Galaxy S23+ is built like a tank and you feel that the moment you pick the device up. Our test device was a cream-coloured, which looked particularly stunning, thanks to its matte finish. However, we reckon the phantom black version looks particularly stunning. These are the only two colours that you get. Given that the rest of the S23 series has a bunch of colour options, we would have loved to see a few more options with the S23+ as well.
The placement of buttons on all three S23 models is identical, with the volume rockers and power button is situated on the right-hand side. Despite being smaller in size, the power button and volume rockers on the S23 are of the same size as the S23 Ultra and have been slightly spaced out, making them easy to differentiate.
At the bottom, the device features a familiar setup, including a speaker grille for one of the speakers, a USB Type-C port, and the SIM tray, except for the S-Pen.
Samsung’s commitment to sustainability is evident in the Galaxy S23, with both the front and back panels incorporating a substantial amount of recycled materials like glass and plastic, as seen in the S23 Ultra. Additionally, the aluminium frame is made of recycled aluminium.
Samsung has gone to a great lengths to ensure that the exterior of the S23+is made using recycled plastic, glass and aluminium. The rear panel is made out of 80 per cent recycled PET plastic, and 20 per cent recycled ocean-bound plastic, whereas the front glass has been made using 22 per cent recycled glass.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 5G review: The display and audio
Samsung has some of the best displays for portable devices on the market that are also used by its competitors. Obviously, then, the Galaxy S23+, just like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and the Galaxy S23 has the best display that money can buy.
The Galaxy S23+ boasts a stunning 6.6-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display, which is just excellent. With a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels and a pixel density of 393 ppi, the display is as sharp as it can get. It also has outstanding contrast, which results in vibrant colours. We also get support for a dynamic refresh rate of 120Hz, a broad colour gamut, and HDR10+. Because of this, content consumption on the S23+ is a joy. It really doesn’t get any better than this.
One remarkable feature of the display is the range of brightness. With a minimum brightness of only 0.8 nits, the Galaxy S23+ can be comfortably used in complete darkness without causing any eye strain. On the other hand, the maximum brightness is significantly higher than before, reaching approximately 1,100 nits in tests, making it one of the brightest phones available. In certain lighting conditions, the screen can even peak at an impressive 1,750 nits for short durations, providing exceptional visibility in bright environments.
The Galaxy S23+ also offers users the choice of two different colour profiles. The natural colour profile provides an sRGB-grade colour accuracy, while the vivid colour profile enhances the content viewing experience for those who want the best possible visuals.
The display produces colours that are not only rich and vibrant but also exceptionally contrasty, resulting in a beautifully saturated and immersive display. The images are displayed with impressive sharpness and clarity, providing an overall crisp viewing experience.
Furthermore, even under direct sunlight, the display performs admirably, and users should have no difficulty reading or viewing content on the screen.
All in all, the display of the device is truly exceptional, delivering a visual experience that is sure to impress.
The stereo speakers on the Galaxy S23 are an excellent addition to the already impressive screen. They are loud and deliver clear sound quality. With the Dolby Atmos feature enabled, users can enjoy a wider soundstage that provides an immersive audio experience. Additionally, gamers will appreciate the dedicated ‘Dolby Atmos for Gaming’ audio profile in the sound settings, which enhances the speakers’ performance in select game titles.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 5G review: The camera
The camera setup on the Galaxy S23+ is quite similar to that of the Galaxy S23. It features a 50MP primary camera, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP telephoto camera on the rear. Additionally, the device has a 12MP front-facing camera.
The primary 50MP sensor comes equipped with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS, while the 10MP telephoto camera also uses PDAF and OIS. The front-facing 12MP camera for selfies also employs dual-pixel PDAF.
The 50MP sensor on the Galaxy S23+ is set to shoot 12MP binned photos by default, which produce stunning results. However, the sensor can also be used to capture 50MP RAW photos and even try astrophotography with the Exper RAW mode, all of which can be accessed directly within the main camera app.
The primary 50MP sensor takes photos with vibrant colours, sharp contrast, and a wide dynamic range, particularly under optimal lighting conditions. The resulting images have a slightly warm tone and bold colours, although this might not be ideal for those who prefer to edit their photos later. However, for most users, the photos are ready to share on social media without any post-processing.
Switching to the 12MP ultra-wide sensor may result in some loss of detail and brightness, but the images still appear relatively sharp. The Portrait Mode, which uses the 10MP telephoto lens, produces gorgeous portrait shots with creamy bokeh and excellent edge recognition and details.
The night mode on the Galaxy S23+ performs admirably, capturing plenty of detail even in low-light conditions. While there may be some noise, overall, users will be satisfied with the device’s performance in challenging lighting situations.
The zooming capabilities of the Galaxy S23+ are noteworthy, although it doesn’t offer the 100X zoom found in the S23 Ultra. However, the 30X zoom available on the S23+ produces detailed images that are more than satisfactory.
In well-lit conditions, the 12MP front-facing camera captures decent detail and colours, although some flattening of facial features may be noticeable. The HDR feature is impressive, and the portrait mode on the front-facing camera is exquisite.
When it comes to video recording, the Galaxy S23+ can record at 8K resolution at 30 frames per second. The footage from the device features accurate colour tones and crisp images. Moreover, video stabilization has been improved compared to its predecessor, the Galaxy S22.
Check out some unedited photo samples from the Galaxy S23+ here.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 5G review: The performance, software experience and UI
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is considered the fastest Android smartphone currently available, and it may even surpass the Galaxy S23 Ultra in speed, according to some benchmark tests. The reason for this impressive performance is that the Galaxy S23 is powered by the same custom overclocked Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset found in the S23 Ultra, making their performance comparable.
The unit that was tested had 8GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB of UFS 4.0 internal storage. Unfortunately, none of the devices in the S23 series come with a microSDXC slot.
In day-to-day tasks, the Galaxy S23+ just glides by everything, no matter what you ask of it. And when you try to push its limits by going bonkers, it hardly breaks a sweat.
During our comprehensive testing, we did not encounter any issues such as stuttering or lagging with the Galaxy S23. The device offers quick app loading times and smooth multitasking, providing an impressive user experience. Even when subjected to demanding tasks like playing graphics-intensive games or rendering videos, the Galaxy S23 maintained stable and reliable performance.
We tried pushing the S23+ to the edge to see if it showed any chinks in the armour, if it overheated or if the SoC throttled in any way. We are happy to report that despite throwing everything at it, the S23+ just took on the punishment and performed exceptionally.
During our testing, we found that the Galaxy S23+ can handle graphically intensive games like Genshin Impact, Call of Duty: Mobile, and Apex Legends with ease, even at the highest settings, achieving 45-60fps without any issues. Ray tracing support at a hardware level is also present, but we couldn’t test it out as there aren’t any games available for that feature yet.
The Samsung Galaxy S23+ runs on OneUI 5.1, which is based on Android 13. It comes packed with numerous features, and exploring them all may take a few days.
Like the S23 Ultra, the Galaxy S23+ has all the features of a modern-day flagship device, such as Bluetooth 5.3, USB C 3.2, and support for all the necessary 5G bands. However, it lacks WiFi 7, which is supported by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
Also, neither the S23 Ultra nor the S23 or S23+ supports satellite connectivity, even though Qualcomm demonstrated the feature on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-equipped device that could send and receive texts over satellite. However, satellite connectivity may be specific to certain regions and unlikely to launch in India due to government regulations.
As with all the devices in the S23 series, S23+ will also be getting four generations of OS upgrades for these phones and five years of security upgrades.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 5G review: The battery life
The Galaxy S23+ has the same 4700mAh battery, which is more than what we had in the S22+ last year. However, the battery life will take you by surprise. Without any sort of optimisations, we were getting around 7-8 hours of screen on time with 70 per cent brightness, with about a quarter of power still left after a 13-hour day.
The S23+ can easily be an all-day device. Thanks to its larger battery, FHD+ screen, and a super-efficient Snapdragon SoC, the Galaxy S23+ has a phenomenal battery life.
The charging speed of the Galaxy S23+ may be considered unimpressive by some, as it only supports 45W wired charging with a compatible charging block, and does not come with a charging brick, but only a USB-C to USB-C cable.
Other manufacturers are offering higher wattage fast charging options, with some budget midrange phones even supporting over 100W fast charging. It would have been ideal for the S23+ to support at least 80W fast charging, considering the charging technology offered by other competitors. However, it does compensate with support for wireless charging and reverse wireless charging.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ 5G review: The verdict
The Galaxy S23 is a top-notch smartphone that’s difficult to fault when you consider it as a complete package. The only drawback we could find is the lack of a fast-charging technology that’s suitable for a flagship device. Samsung should come up with a better charging solution, particularly for their high-end smartphones, as 45W charging doesn’t seem to be sufficient.
Despite this, the Galaxy S23+ excels in all other areas that are essential for a flagship smartphone. While the S23 Ultra has gained a lot of attention and rightfully so, the regular S23+ is a great choice for most people. It’s much cheaper, has the best battery life in its class, superb speakers, excellent performance, and a stunning display. The cameras are also fantastic and more than enough for most users’ needs.
The S23+ has a lot of competition, especially from Xiaomi and OnePlus. There are areas where devices from these manufacturers are slightly better than what the S23+ has to offer. However, they make some glaring omissions as well, which spoil the experience of the user.
Moreover, Samsung has made a name for itself with stable OS releases and updates – then there’s the fact that Samsung has a very robust after-sales service, something that most Chinese smartphone manufacturers still haven’t been able to crack.
If you want us to summarise our experience of the Galaxy S23+, it would be this – unless you absolutely need the S23 Ultra’s smart pen, are planning to get the best Android smartphone on the market, and are not very keen on getting a compact smartphone, the Galaxy S23+ has to be at the top of the list. Barring a few instances, it is just as good as its more expensive and gargantuan elder brother, the Galaxy S23 Ultra.