Time sure does fly by. Only yesterday we were celebrating the new year, and now it’s already time to welcome this year’s Samsung Galaxy S23 flagships. Straight off the bat, there are no major changes to the lineup and its structure. We still have a vanilla S23, a slightly bigger but very similar specs-wise S23+, which we are looking at today and an S23 Ultra, which continues in the steps of the S22 Ultra and, in turn, what was once the Galaxy Note line.
Another thing that hasn’t changed much is the Galaxy S23+, compared to its predecessor. This year Samsung is delivering a small incremental update rather than anything major. You’ll have to look at the Ultra and its fresh new 200MP camera for that.
Instead, the S23+ delivers a new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, a new 12MP selfie camera and a slightly larger 4,700 mAh battery. These are pretty much all of the major changes over the S22+, with a few other minor details here and there that we’ll cover in the review.
Samsung Galaxy S23+ specs at a glance:
- Body: 157.8×76.2×7.6mm, 196g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame; IP68 dust/water resistant (up to 1.5m for 30 mins), Armor aluminum frame with tougher drop and scratch resistance (advertised).
- Display: 6.60″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1750 nits (peak), 1080x2340px resolution, 19.5:9 aspect ratio, 393ppi; Always-on display.
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm): Octa-core (1×3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2×2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3×2.0 GHz Cortex-A510); Adreno 740.
- Memory: 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM; UFS 4.0.
- OS/Software: Android 13, One UI 5.1.
- Rear camera: Wide (main): 50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm, 1/1.56″, 1.0µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS; Telephoto: 10 MP, f/2.4, 70mm, 1/3.94″, 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom; Ultra wide angle: 12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 120-degree, 1/2.55″ 1.4µm, Super Steady video.
- Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), Dual Pixel PDAF.
- Video capture: Rear camera: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30/60/240fps, 1080p@960fps, HDR10+, stereo sound rec., gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps.
- Battery: 4700mAh; 45W wired, PD3.0, 65% in 30 min (advertised), 15W wireless (Qi/PMA), 4.5W reverse wireless.
- Misc: Fingerprint reader (under display, ultrasonic); NFC; stereo speakers; Samsung DeX, Samsung Wireless DeX (desktop experience support), Bixby natural language commands and dictation, Samsung Pay (Visa, MasterCard certified), Ultra Wideband (UWB) support.
Naturally, the S23+ has a new look, but just like its specs sheet, it isn’t radically different from last year’s design. This year the camera island is gone, and each snapper stands on its own on the back of the phone. This is much more akin and in line with the Ultra design, making the entire S23 line a lot more cohesive in terms of design.
Galaxy S22+ next to S23+
Pricing on the S23+ hasn’t changed all that much, either. In the US, you can get one starting at $1,000, which is the same as the launch MSRP of the S22+. Only this time around, Samsung decided to bump up the base storage of the phone to 256GB instead of 128GB. A pretty sweet deal even before any other bonuses and rebates Samsung is running. In Europe, however, the S23+ has seen a price hike compared to the S22+.
Overall, we don’t expect any major surprises from the S23+. It is shaping up as a solid refresh to last year’s model and hence a very “safe choice”. So, without further ado, let’s dig in.
Let’s get the retail package out of the way first. Samsung’s packaging remains minimalistic yet again. The slim two-piece box the phone comes in is made out of 100% recycled paper, except for the shrinkage vinyl wrap and the sealing label. The screen protector adhered to the phone’s display, and the sheet protecting the phone’s back side are also made of 100% recycled paper.
We’ve come to expect little in terms of accessories from Galaxy S devices, and the S23+ is no different. Inside the box, you get a USB Type-C to Type-C cable, a SIM ejector tool and a thin starter guide.
Long gone are the days of bundled chargers, so be prepared to pick one up separately if you don’t have a decent Power Delivery unit of at least 45W, preferably with PPS.