shy but purposeful changes

Samsung has unveiled three new Galaxy S23 flagship smartphones for this year. Products that change little compared to 2022, but bring interesting innovations. We were able to overcome them.

Samsung presented its new high-end smartphones for 2023. There are three items on the menu: Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23+ and Galaxy S23 Ultra. As always since the S20 series, the manufacturer serves us with a “basic” terminal, an improved model (+) and a slightly different Ultra. The latter strives to bring the best in terms of display, design and photography.

We were able to keep these phones in our hands for a while we give you our first impressions. The manufacturer remains consistent with what has been done since 2020 and brings only modest developments. However, these are very targeted and interesting for the user. Owner’s mini tour.

Revised design for more consistency

The first change made by Samsung to the Galaxy S23 concerns the design. With the S22 series, the brand wanted to mark a clear break in its range: the S22 and S22+ on the one hand, and the S22 Ultra on the other. In 2023 we have three smartphones with the same visual codes for more consistency.

Galaxy S23

Since then, we have said goodbye to the special photo module sensors mounted directly on the chassis. Customer demand according to Samsung. Taking over the design of the S22 Ultra in its time, this design brings an impression of sophistication and simplicity that smartphones have somewhat lost over the years. Note that the entire S23 will be available in four colors: black, cream, green and lavender.

Galaxy S23

What the S23 loses in personality it gains in sobriety with this very discreet module. No longer recognizable at first glance like previous models, this is a bit unfortunate. The S23 and S23+ are nice in the hand, slim (7.6mm with shiny aluminum bezels) and equipped with a very soft back cover under the fingers. Driving is a real pleasure. Once again, we appreciate the level of finish, it’s always perfect. The Korean manufacturer knows how to do it and proves it once again.

Galaxy S23

The case of the S23 Ultra is a bit special because Samsung has taken the 2022 model as is. You have to play the seven difference game guess which one is new, but we’re still seeing some minor changes, especially at the slice level.

Galaxy S23

The screen is slightly less curved than before, which helps to adjust steeper sides and emphasize the brick appearance of the product. Really restrained effect, even at hand, but present.

Galaxy S23

For the rest, S23 Ultra does not surprise with its design. It still houses the stylus in its chassis, which confirms it as the successor to the Galaxy Note, which Samsung has abandoned since 2020. Here again, the grip is pleasant, even if this model retains the heavy side of the previous one (it is 235 grams of titanium). You’ll have to make room in your pocket!

Galaxy S23

Basically, that’s why we have it visually more suitable range, but less noticeable. The choice expected by the manufacturer, for the moment, only half convinces us. We love products that stand out visually, and that’s not the case here. Maybe we will change our mind during our exam. When you pick them up, the magic works again thanks to the ever-perfect finishes.

Samsung has finally abandoned Exynos processors in favor of Snapdragon

One of the big innovations of the S23 series is not visible at first glance, because it is hidden inside the chassis: Samsung has replaced its eternal Exynos processor with a Snapdragon one. Finally! A first in Europe since the Galaxy S6. Three smartphones Powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC, the strongest on the market today.

Galaxy S23

Previous Galaxy ranges have been powered by the much criticized Exynos SoC (Exynos 2200 in the S22s), at least in Europe. If the latter were true, they paled in comparison to the competition. So, for example, consumers looking for a powerful smartphone for gaming, they mostly turned to competing models.

Also read – Snapdragon 8 Gen 2: we tested the chip that will power the Galaxy S23

Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 aims to eliminate this concern. Qualcomm’s new monster promises a perfect union between power and energy consumption. The result could be decisive for Samsung, which offers some of the most efficient phones on the market. This is the minimum for this flagship range! You have to be careful with the heat management, but after a few quick manipulations it seems under control.

Galaxy S23

For the rest, there are some tweaks, especially in terms of battery. The S23’s capacity remains at 3900 mAh, the S23+’s at 4700 mAh, and the Ultra’s at 5000 mAh. The S23 continues to charge at 25 watts The S23+ and S23 Ultra have a 45 Watt charging capacity. That may not seem like much, especially when you see the competition going over 100W today, but Samsung justifies it with long battery life. Of course, chargers are not supplied in the box.

Galaxy S23

The box has also been very neat by Samsung, which claims to be accurate that it is made entirely from recycled paper and no longer carries single-use plastic. A wish that makes you smile because there is only a drop of water in an extremely polluting industry, which is displayed in favor of the environment.

Galaxy S23

Of course, all S23s carry it Android 13 with OneUI 5.1 overlay. The latter, for example, wants to focus on customization, allowing you to deeply modify what is always on screen or Widgets. Everything looks very interesting and makes you want to change the terminal to put it in your own image. Samsung promises four years of Android updates on its phones, as well as five years of security updates. Something to buy for a long time.

Galaxy S23

Finally, the last word on screens. No change at this point, S23 takes over S22; 6.1, 6.6 and 6.8 inch AMOLED panels. The only notable change is at the S23 Ultra panel level, which is converted to LTPO 2.0 to consume less power.

Galaxy S23 Ultra, the new king of photography?

Changes on the photo side are not legion. The Galaxy S23 and S23+ retain the (quite effective) module of the previous generation, with a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens. you have to turn around on the Ultra side to find updates.

Galaxy S23

The latter is now available 200 megapixel main sensor, one of the largest on the market (compared to 108 on the S22 Ultra). It’s hard to say what’s in the belly of this sensor at the moment, but our first tests have definitely proved that the smartphone offers accurate and balanced shots. All this needs to be confirmed in testing, but this Ultra has all the cards to be the ultimate photophone. For other sensors, it uses the same ones from the S22 Ultra (two 10-megapixel telephoto lenses and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle). The terminal still allows X3, X10 optical zoom, as well as X100 digital zoom.

Galaxy S23

Note however the front camera is 12 megapixels, Versus 40 megapixels for the S22 Ultra. A somewhat odd compromise in the video era.

And the prices on all of this?

To finish this gripe, let’s end with an irritating topic: prices! All smartphones will go on sale from February 17, 2023. A pre-order offer is now available and lets you double your storage capacity at no extra cost (buy 256GB for 128).

Galaxy S23

We celebrate with a sense of disappointment Samsung has drastically increased its prices for 2023 this year. Only one smartphone (S23 128 GB) is shown in the sub-€1,000 range. Hard.

We present the prices of all models:

  • Galaxy S23 128GB: €959
  • Galaxy S23 256GB: €1,019
  • Galaxy S23+ 256GB: €1,219
  • Galaxy S23+ 512GB: €1,339
  • Galaxy S23 Ultra 256GB: €1,419
  • Galaxy S23 Ultra 512GB: €1,599
  • Galaxy S23 Ultra 1 TB: 1839 euros

Galaxy S23, smooth evolution

In the end, it seems that Samsung will remain in its small shoes with the 2023 models. The manufacturer does not take any risks in terms of both design and technology. However, we appreciate a few tweaks, especially at the processor level. Terminals that announce themselves without much surprisebut it will certainly represent sure values.

Galaxy S23

Anyway, the first approach was very satisfying without being exciting. If we don’t really like the new design of the S23 and S23+, which are smarter than before, the handling is quite pleasant. Once again, we are impressed by the level of finish of Samsung terminals. It remains to be seen whether they are at the top in terms of technique. Especially thanks to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, they have all the assets. With its 200 megapixel sensor, the Ultra is also a serious contender for the title of the best camera of the year. Now we need to confirm during the tests.

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