You might find it too early that I’m making this claim after only two weeks of use, but the Samsung Galaxy S23 is hands down the best phone I’ve used to date. In this Samsung Galaxy S23 Review, I’m excited to share the reasons behind my conclusion and the aspects that impressed me. So, let’s get started.
Table of Contents
The Launch of Samsung Galaxy S23
At the Samsung Unpacked event on February 1st, three phones from the S23 series were introduced. The S23, our subject of discussion, promises to offer the latest features in its compact form, boasting a 6.1-inch screen and weighing only 168 grams.
About two weeks ago, I switched from the S21 FE to the S23. I had initially planned to get the S23 FE earlier, but when the opportunity to get this phone arose, I couldn’t pass it up. While I will discuss the technical aspects later in this review, I’d like to continue by highlighting some features that caught my attention. It would be unfair not to say that my dear friends Kareen and Semih had a great deal of influence on the decision I made.
This won’t be your typical review, as the software experience is similar to other Samsung devices previously reviewed on our site, but I’ll try to share details from the software. You may also find more details on our OneUI 6 with Android 14 Review
My Second Flagship Phone after Years
Here’s a sweet little coincidence. About eight months after the LG G4 was released, I had purchased one. Similarly, about eight months after the release of the S23, I now own a white, 256 GB Galaxy S23.
It’s a remarkably light and slim phone with a sleek, rounded corner design. The frame and back are made of aluminum. On the top right, there’s a triple-camera setup with a flash next to it. The phone has dual speakers, and as expected, no headphone jack. The side button and volume controls are on the right side. The box includes the phone and a Type-C cable at both ends. You’ll need to purchase the power adapter separately. I’ve been using the 25W adapter from my S21 FE without any issues. A full charge takes about an hour.
Ergonomics and Power Combined
The S23 is a phone that can be comfortably used with one hand, making it easy to operate on the go. This is a significant advantage, especially since handling large, heavy phones can be challenging. You might think that a phone of this size would not perform well or have short battery life, but I can confidently say that’s not the case.
Setup and Accessibility
Setting up the phone is as straightforward as with other Samsung devices. Galaxy S23 Ultra unboxing and set up
I started by activating TalkBack on the welcome screen. Just like any other Samsung phones, you start with Samsung TTS. When I tried to backup my data from the S21 FE, Google couldn’t find my backup, so I used Samsung Cloud instead. Almost everything, including contacts, photos, my custom ringtone, connected bluetooth devices, wi-fi networks and nearly all my apps along with homescreen set up, were restored. This process took about half an hour, showing Samsung’s improvement in this area.
My Travel Experience with the S23
Before my week-long trip, I was a bit concerned about battery life, but it turned out to be unfounded. Using Bluetooth, mobile data, Google Maps, YouTube, and Spotify, I managed to get through the day starting at 100% in the early hours. The phone didn’t overheat while navigating using Google maps. With YouTube Premium, I could play videos in the background, saving screen time. After activating Sound Assistant from the Good Lock modules in Galaxy Store, I could control the music with volume buttons, eliminating the need to unlock the screen for song changes. This feature is well-thought-out. For Samsung Users: How to Switch Among Songs Using Volume Keys?
The camera also gave me better results than expected for reading texts using OCR apps like Lookout and Envision. It’s evident the difference a flagship phone makes.
The S23 may have a relatively smaller battery, but processor optimizations allow it to easily compete with mid-range phones with larger batteries.
What Could Be Better?
It might be too early to say, but there’s nothing about the phone that I dislike. I’ve occasionally struggled with the fingerprint unlock outdoors, which I attribute to getting used to the sensor’s placement. Perhaps I need to re-register my fingerprint.
Face recognition works really well, though it sometimes doesn’t recognize me with a day’s worth of stubble, remembering me only when clean-shaven.
Technical specifications of Samsung Galaxy S23
|Weight||168 g (5.93 oz)|
|Build||Glass front (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), glass back (Gorilla Glass Victus 2), aluminum frame|
|SIM||Nano-SIM and eSIM or Dual SIM (2 Nano-SIMs and eSIM, dual stand-by)|
|Water/Dust Resistance||IP68 (up to 1.5m for 30 min)|
|Frame||Armor aluminum with tougher drop and scratch resistance|
|Display Type||Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, HDR10+, 1200 nits (HBM), 1750 nits (peak)|
|Size||6.1 inches, 90.1 cm2 (~86.8% screen-to-body ratio)|
|Resolution||1080 x 2340 pixels, 19.5:9 ratio (~425 ppi density)|
|Protection||Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2|
|Chipset||Qualcomm SM8550-AC Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (4 nm)|
|CPU||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)|
|Memory||No card slot, Internal: 128GB 8GB RAM, 256GB 8GB RAM, 512GB 8GB RAM|
|Main Camera||Triple – 50 MP (wide), 10 MP (telephoto), 12 MP (ultrawide); Features: LED flash, auto-HDR, panorama; Video: 8K@24/30fps, 4K@30/60fps, etc.|
|Selfie Camera||Single – 12 MP; Features: Dual video call, Auto-HDR, HDR10+; Video: 4K@30/60fps, 1080p@30fps|
|Sound||Loudspeaker with stereo speakers, No 3.5mm jack|
|Battery||Li-Ion 3900 mAh, non-removable; Charging: 25W wired, 15W wireless, 4.5W reverse wireless|
|Colors||Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Graphite, Lime|
In an era where phones are getting bigger and heavier, Samsung deserves praise for offering such a compact and high-performing phone. Its ergonomic design, battery performance, sound output, camera quality, and seamless integration with its software make me an admirer of the Galaxy S23.
I should also remind you that if you get the S23, you’ll get 4 years of OS and 5 years of security updates from Samsung.