- Pocketable, minimalistic design
- All-day battery life
- True flagship performance
- Near-identical to Galaxy S22
- Slow charge speeds
- Display only drops to 48Hz
There’s no doubt that the top-end Galaxy S23 Ultra is the most capable Samsung smartphone around, but we’ve got a lot of love for its smaller sibling, the Galaxy S23. It’s not only much cheaper than the top-end Ultra model but it’s easier to hold, especially one-handed, with a pocketable compact design that’s still very much premium.
In fact, the Galaxy S23 is one of few Android smartphones to offer truly premium specs in a smaller chassis. The 6.1-inch display, while smaller than the 6.6 inches of the S23 Plus and 6.8 inches of the S23 Ultra, boasts the same dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a super smooth 120Hz refresh rate, delivering vibrant colours and impressive brightness.
We found it perfectly fine for watching TikToks and YouTube videos, but those who like to watch Netflix on the go may prefer the larger, but near-identical, Galaxy S23 Plus.
That premium experience extends to the chipset, using Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy (which is exclusive to the S23 range, by the way) to deliver top-end performance with benchmarks that comfortably surpass the standard 8 Gen 2 used in many competing flagships. The improved battery efficiency also means it’s a comfortable all-day device despite packing a relatively small battery, fixing one of the biggest issues with last year’s model.
We also love the versatility of the camera system, sporting three rear sensors including a rather powerful 3.5X telephoto zoom and an ultrawide for expansive shots. As you’d expect, images are reliably detailed and well-lit, even as light levels begin to drop, though it does suffer from Samsung’s signature OTT vibrancy which can be a little too much in some shots.
There are also a bunch of ‘nice to have’ features like wireless charging, full IP68 dust and water resistance and a long-term software update promise of four OS upgrades and five years of security updates.
It’s not perfect, lacking the impressive main 200MP sensor of the top-end Ultra model, and it’s slow to charge at just 25W, but it’s a tempting pocketable flagship that ticks most boxes.
Reviewer: Lewis Painter
Full review: Samsung Galaxy S23 review