Today we are reviewing a new product: the Samsung Galaxy S23 flagship. The device is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, with a 6.1-inch AMOLED 120 Hz display and three cameras with 30x zoom. Let’s say right away that the smartphone turned out to be ambiguous, despite its premium characteristics, and then we will talk in detail about its features and experience of use.
The smartphone comes in a minimalist black matte packaging, on the front side of which there is only a glossy embossing of the silhouette of the model and a white inscription with its name. It looks quite interesting, at least the box attracts attention.
Inside, the user will find the following kit:
- Samsung Galaxy S23
- USB-C to USB-C cable
- SIM card tray clip
The design of the smartphone itself is as minimalistic as the packaging – black frosted glass on the back, 3 separate protruding camera units (the flash is under the glass) and a chrome black frame. The Samsung Galaxy S23 weighs only 168g and feels very light.
On the right side there is a volume control rocker and a power button.
Only the microphone is on the top.
The left side is empty.
And on the bottom USB-C port, a SIM card tray, conversational microphones and a speaker.
There are a total of 4 smartphone colors to choose from. The color of the viewing device is called Phantom Black – it is essentially just black, without ebbs and any shades.
The smartphone fits perfectly in the hand. From the point of view of ergonomics, it could be called close to ideal, if it were not for the sharp edges that unpleasantly cut into the hand. However, this nuisance is easily solved with a cover.
In the configuration under review, the SIM tray is designed for two cards. Memory expansion with a microSD card is not provided.
The smartphone is assembled with high quality, from expensive materials, and it is a premium device, but it does not feel like it. But it looks very noticeable and well-known. Credit must be given to the Samsung designers, who have created a well-known style while simplifying the overall appearance.
The smartphone has a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with support for an adaptive screen refresh rate of 48-120 Hz (a stable 60 Hz can be set in the settings). The resolution of the screen is 2340×1080 pixels and the density of points is 422 ppi. The display supports Always On Display, including the colored notification icons available to Android users for years.
The reserve of screen brightness is more than enough for the room even in standard mode, but the user always has an option in the settings that increases it even more. In sunny weather, the brightness, without the use of its amplification, is also sufficient even under direct rays.
The display is contrasty and rich, with good color reproduction, but a very noticeable PWM effectPulse width modulation. Unfortunately, this is noticeable not only when taking a screenshot of the smartphone, but also after half an hour of using the Samsung Galaxy S23. Eyes get tired much faster when compared to the same iPhone 14 Pro (review via link) and Google Pixel 7 (review via link), which should be considered by users who are sensitive to flickering.
The fingerprint scanner works without mistakes and quite quickly – the smartphone is unlocked before you have time to think about it.
The scanning area occupies a significant area, which is noticeable when entering fingerprints into the smartphone’s memory, but not so noticeable during its operation. For maximum reading speed and accuracy, it is best to hit the fingerprint icon directly.
The sound of the speakers is flat and unintelligible, so the quality of music transmission is at a very low level, especially for a smartphone of this price category. But the volume and clarity are quite enough for watching content or playing games. The speakers sound quite gradual, creating a stereo effect.
The smartphone has three cameras: 50 MP (f/1.8), 10 MP (f/2.4) and 12 MP (f/2.2).
It must be admitted that, despite all its shortcomings, the Galaxy S23 takes amazing photos. In some places, the pictures are sharp, but the bulk of the photos look very good.
Day photos are saturated, contrasted and natural, which favorably distinguishes Samsung from many Chinese brands. The colors are not excessively colorful, the photos do not show that the algorithm has twisted the contrast or saturation somewhere, so the photos turn out to be of high quality. Below are examples of wide, ultrawide and TV daytime shots.
Examples of 30x scaling.
An example of a photo of objects.
And examples of night photos in extremely poor lighting, judging by which Samsung’s algorithms are much better than the Google Pixel 4a, although not the most relevant, but still.
The 12 MP (f/2.2) front camera is located in the center of the display. It is also at a very decent level both under conditions of daylight and under conditions of its almost complete absence. Below is a photo of the Samsung Galaxy S23 during the day, a photo of the Samsung Galaxy S23 in the dark, a Google Pixel 4a in the dark, and a photo of the Samsung Galaxy S23 without night mode.
The new Samsung is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. The smartphone comes with 8GB of RAM and two configurations of 128GB and 256GB of internal storage. The operating system works smoothly, the manufacturer’s proprietary shell copes well with increased hertzing.
All programs launch quickly and without problems, so if you like the visual style and design of Samsung, the system will provide aesthetic pleasure during use. But if you are used to the smooth animations of iOS or, on the contrary, rather sharp conventionally pure Android – the feelings will be mixed, because the system, although it works stably, gives the impression of a slightly crude software.
Raw unfinished software also includes the following: during testing, the smartphone had to go through the first setup three times, because after the first successful one, the Galaxy S23 went through it twice more.
A moment after unlocking, the smartphone offered to go through the settings again from the very beginning, as when turning it on for the first time. It’s a little thing and you could skip it if you wanted, but you had to re-enter the Wi-Fi password every time, which is unpleasant to say the least when you buy a smartphone of this level.
The Galaxy S23 also locked the screen on its own several times, that is, the power button was not pressed. And all this provided that the device was immediately updated to the current firmware.
Well, rather subjective dislike is caused by the fact that even without installed messengers, out of the box, the Samsung Galaxy S23 constantly reminds itself by sending loud messages about the weather, news that the user did not subscribe to and additional settings (which was especially nice at 7 in the morning). Here it is worth noting that this is a feature of the Samsung shell, not a smartphone.
The results of synthetic tests are as follows:
Geekbench: single-core 1559, multi-core 5011.
CPU Throttling Test:
8 minutes after the start of the throttling test, the smartphone got so hot that it became uncomfortable to hold in the hand. The metal frame feels especially hot, and its entire surface probably works as an additional heat dissipator, but it did not make it more comfortable to use the smartphone.
The power of the Galaxy S23 is enough to easily run the following games at maximum graphics settings: Diablo: Immortal, Asphalt 9: Legends and Shadow Fight 4.
Heating during long gaming sessions (from 30 minutes) is insignificant and does not affect the comfort of use.
The battery with a capacity of 3900 mAh provides a full working day of active use. The smartphone works from 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., leaving an average of 20-30% charge by the end of the day, which is not bad considering the most active use, which includes taking photos, working with messengers and documents, surfing the Internet, playing games and watching videos .
The Galaxy S23 charges from 0% to 100% in 1 hour and 17 minutes. During charging, the smartphone consumes 13-22W.
The cost of the review configuration of the Samsung Galaxy S23 8/256Gb Dual is UAH 37,999.
In this price range, you can consider the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 12/256GB Dual UAH 39,499Google Pixel 7 Pro 12/256GB for UAH 38,599 or Sony Xperia 5 IV 8/256GB for UAH 33,999 (A review of which is here).
For approximately the same price, Apple can offer the Apple iPhone 14256GB for UAH 38,899 or, paying a little more than UAH 6,000, you can consider the Apple iPhone 14 Pro 128GB for UAH 44,899.
display, dimensions, autonomy, photo capabilities
raw software, flickering of the display, sound, sharp edges of the case
The Samsung Galaxy S23 turned out to be a very controversial device, especially considering its price. Among the minuses, it is, first of all, peculiar and crude software, low quality of speakers, PWM, as well as strange ergonomics, which combines comfortable dimensions with an uncomfortable grip. The strengths of the device are photo capabilities, good autonomy and a high-quality display.
Today, general impressions from use are rather negative, because for such a price it is not enough to provide buyers with adequate cameras with a display. For an average price tag of $1,000, I would like to see not just a high-quality, but a premium product, which unfortunately cannot be said about a smartphone.