We tested the Samsung Galaxy S23 in a preview: 4 things to remember
Just announced, already tried. As with the Galaxy S22 last year, Samsung has given us a hands-on look at the Galaxy S23 ahead of its official announcement. Inevitably, we were not going to deprive ourselves of it.
Like Apple with the iPhone 14, the Samsung plays the durability card with subtle technical developments. On the other hand, like Apple, price changes are more straightforward.
After spending a few hours with the Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra, we determined 4 things to remember.
Our video work on the Galaxy S23
To know everything about its price, technical details and other detailed information, please also refer to our S23 special file.
Design changes (slightly)
For this new vintage, Samsung wanted to bring aesthetic homogeneity to the range. Gone is the S22/S22+’s rectangular photo unit, all models being released this year photo sensors integrated directly into the chassis. A choice that pushes the Galaxy S23 more towards minimalism, which we are not satisfied with. Obviously, tastes and colors are not discussed, everyone will be more or less sensitive to this change.
In search of unity, Samsung has equipped the Galaxy S23 Ultra with a flatter screen. The manufacturer, which is always quick to adapt to the demands of its customers, therefore responded to those who criticized the very curved format of the S22 Ultra. The new model is easier to handle as it’s still impressive, but it doesn’t have the extra flat panel like the S23 and S23+.
Samsung is also cleaning up the color options, which can quickly become a headache in previous years. So, the Galaxy S23 is available in four colors: black, cream, green and lavender. Two official Samsung store colors are also available: Graphite and Lime (our favorite, if we’re lucky). The Galaxy S23 Ultra is also only available in sky blue and red.
Finally, all models It is IP68 certified and protected by Corning Victus 2 Gorilla Glass.
Galaxy S22 users won’t be left out as the formats haven’t changed much. That’s fine, they’re not Samsung’s primary target, but rather aimed at users of the Galaxy S20 or earlier models. Surprise! Wow insured (according to Samsung).
As elegant as ever, the Galaxy S23 shines with its finish quality, sharp lines and slim silhouette. The Galayx S23 Ultra will appeal again and again to fans of giant formats (like the iPhone 14 Pro Max or Pixel 7 Pro). The Galaxy S23 is one of the latest smartphones compact enough to be used with one hand. According to the US, The Galaxy S23+ format remains the best compromise between a good grip and a comfortable screen.
Galaxy S23+ 8/256 GB at the best price
Base price: €1,219
Still great screens
The display, precisely, contributes greatly to the design of this Galaxy S23. Included in all models Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with 120 Hz refresh rate. The display ranges from 1-120Hz on the S23 Ultra and 49-120Hz on the other two models. The Ultra is also available in QHD+ definition when you need to “make do” with the S23 and S23+ Full HD+.
In summary, there are no changes compared to the previous generation, the diagonals are also strictly the same. The only interesting innovation is based on the brightness of the screens increased to the theoretical maximum value of 1750 nits.
That’s why Samsung changes the recipe very little, and we don’t blame it. The Galaxy S22s already shined with the perfection of their screens. The Galaxy S23s does at least that. A deeper test will give us confirmation (or not).
The return of Qualcomm
The main technical development of the Galaxy S23 is hidden under their hood. Since the Galaxy S6, Samsung has equipped European models of the Galaxy S with Exynos processors, internal chips. A profitable but unconvincing strategic choice, Exynos chips will never match Qualcomm chips (both in terms of performance and autonomy).
This year, Samsung decided to cooperate with the American company again. The official explanation is clear: Exynos chips require more development time to best meet the needs of high-end smartphone users. That’s why Samsung allows itself a few years to consider its copy and chooses to trust Qualcomm to push its new flagships.
So the Galaxy S23 all have the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip Launched in December 2022 in Hawaii. Samsung and Qualcomm have worked hand in hand to optimize this new platform to best meet Samsung’s requirements in terms of performance, autonomy and photography.
It is not possible to know for two hours whether this connection is definitive or not. In theory, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip promises to exceed all expectations. Wait and see.
Along with this chip, Samsung packs 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM in the Galaxy S23, S23+ and 256GB Galaxy S23 Ultra. The 512GB and 1TB Ultra models have 12GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Finally, all models are 5G and WiFi 6E compatible.
New 200 Mpxl photo sensor
There’s no new Galaxy S without photo enhancements. This year, Samsung is not revolutionizing the S23 and S23+ models both models have exactly the same optics as the S22 and S22+. The only difference: the selfie camera (common to all models including the Galaxy S23 Ultra) is based on a 12 Mpxl sensor with DualPixel autofocus.
Galaxy S23 Ultra was unveiled new 200 Mpxl sensor Made by Samsung. Along with the same optics as the previous generation (3x telephoto lens, 10x telephoto lens and ultra-wide-angle lens), it promises more detailed photos than ever before. Samsung insists on improving the quality of night photos, especially portraits. The first internal tests with moderately favorable light do not allow us to confirm or deny that Samsung is telling the truth. As always, photographic quality will be analyzed in more detail during testing.
Still, Samsung’s promises are tempting. He walks with the producer and the photographers Export photos in RAW format at 50 Mpxl (thanks pixel binding) or 200 Mpxl. Videographers are not left out of the possibilities of shooting up to 8K at 30 frames per second or 4K at 60 frames per second with the new larger stabilizer. Everything is brushed with artificial intelligence, of course, to overcome the technical limitations of miniature optics.
Besides, algorithms will also improve the quality of Stories, Reels and other TikToks. Samsung says it has worked with the major companies behind these social networks to minimize the compression of images directly from the apps.
Galaxy S23 Ultra 8/256 GB at the best price
Base price: €1,419
Prices are increasing
Does all this sound appealing to you? Prepare your portfolio. Like Apple, Samsung is raising the prices of the Galaxy S23. In order to pass the pill (or cause problems), the manufacturer also increases the storage capacity.
So, The Galaxy S23 starts at €959 for the 128GB version i.e. €100 more than the Galaxy S22 at launch. The 256GB version is offered for €1,019, or €110 more than the previous generation. The Galaxy S23+ starts at €1,219 for the 256GB version, or €110 more than last year. It’s also available in a 512GB version (which wasn’t available before) for €1,339.
Finally, the Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at €1,419 for the 256GB version, compared to €1,359 for the Galaxy S22 Ultra at launch. An increase of only 60 euros? Think again. Samsung only includes 8GB of RAM in this model, compared to 12GB last year. The Galaxy S23 Ultra is also available in 12/512GB and 12GB/1TB versions at €1,599 and €1,839, respectively, which is a price increase of €140 and €180!
On average, Therefore, Samsung is increasing its prices by 10% across the range. And it’s not an offer to double the storage space for the same price, which would bring relief to consumers whose finances are already severely strained by inflation.
Galaxy S23 8/128 GB at the best price
Base price: €959
As you can see, the Galaxy S23 is a smooth evolution of the previous generation. If you have a Galaxy S22, we don’t recommend upgrading unless you really want to.
Samsung knows it: the Galaxy S23 Series will make an impact Surprise! Wow In users of Galaxy S20 or earlier models. For others, small changes improve the whole, but not significant enough to get value for money. These are our conclusions after the first touch anyway. Our tests can change our minds.