All three of Samsung's newest Galaxy phones have now been announced, and we’ve tried them! Read our Samsung Galaxy S23 review for our impressions of the most affordable option, our Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus review for our look at the bigger version, or our Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review for our opinion on the biggest, fanciest and most expensive model.
- What is it? Samsung's next big flagship phone
- When is it out? February 17, 2023
- How much does it cost? Starts at $799.99 / £849 / AU$1,349
The Samsung Galaxy S23 marks the first big phone launch of 2023, and – having been announced alongside the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra on February 1 – it won’t come as a surprise to learn that it’s likely to be one of the best phones money can buy this year.
The vanilla model in Samsung’s latest Galaxy lineup doesn’t represent a monumental upgrade over its predecessor, the Galaxy S22, but a slight design change – and one very significant under-the-hood improvement – does make the Galaxy S23 a worthy competitor to similarly-priced phones like the iPhone 14 and Google Pixel 7 Pro.
On the design front, both the Galaxy S23 and its larger sibling, the S23 Plus, do away with the S22's raised metal contour in favor of S22 Ultra-style individual camera lenses, though the phone is essentially the same size and weight as its predecessor.
Instead of inheriting the S22 Ultra's impressive camera array and 108MP sensor, Samsung opted to leave the S23 camera array largely unchanged, meaning it still sports a 50MP wide lens, 12MP ultrawide lens and 10MP optically stabilized 3x optical zoom camera. The front camera is just 12MP, though this is still an upgrade on the S22’s 10MP selfie camera.
The main improvement on this phone is its powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, which is the real highlight of the Galaxy S23 and its larger siblings.
Below, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about the Samsung Galaxy S23, collating details on its price, specs, design, display, and much more.
Samsung Galaxy S23: price and availability
- Starts at $799.99 / £849 / AU$1,349
- Available for pre-order now, shipping February 17
Samsung unveiled the Samsung Galaxy S23 alongside the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Ultra at its Galaxy Unpacked event on February 1. The handset is available for pre-order now and will ship on February 17.
The Galaxy S23 comes in two storage variants, 128GB and 256GB, which retail for $799.99 / £849 / AU$1,349 and $859.99 / £899 / AU$1,449, respectively. The larger Galaxy S23 Plus comes in either 256GB or 512GB storage variants, which retail for $999.99 / £1,049 / AU$1,649 and $1,119.99 / £1,149 / AU$1,849, respectively.
Samsung Galaxy S23: specs
|Header Cell - Column 0||Galaxy S23||Galaxy S23 Plus||Galaxy S23 Ultra|
|Display||6.1-inch AMOLED @120Hz||6.6-inch AMOLED @120Hz||6.8-inch AMOLED @120Hz|
|Screen resolution||2,340 x 1,080||2,340 x 1,080||3,088 × 1,440|
|Platform||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy|
|RAM||8GB (LPDDR5X)||8GB (LPDDR5X)||8GB / 12GB (LPDDR5X)|
|Storage||128GB / 256GB||256GB / 512GB||256GB / 512GB / 1TB|
|Telephoto camera||10MP, 3X optical zoom||10MP, 3X optical zoom||10MP, 3X and 10X optical zoom|
|Dimensions||5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches||6.2 x 3 x 0.3 inches||6.4 x 3.1 x 0.35 inches|
|Weight||6 ounces||7.3 ounces||8.2 ounces|
|Battery size||3,900 mAh||4,700 mAh||5,000 mAh|
|Charging speed (wired)||25W||45W||45W|
|Price at launch||$799.99 / £849 / AU$1,349||$999.99/ £1,049 / AU$1,649||$1,199 / £1,249 / AU$1,949|
Samsung Galaxy S23: design
- Near-identical design to last year's Galaxy S22
- The camera bump is gone
The design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 pretty much mirrors that of the Galaxy S22, save for the island of raised metal that surrounds the latter’s camera array, which is now non-existent.
Without the contour, the Samsung Galaxy S23's three rear cameras float on the upper left side of its 6.1-inch brushed Gorilla Glass Victus 2 back. The front is also Gorilla Glass Victus 2, but glossy instead of brushed.
At 5.8 x 2.8 x 0.3 inches, the Galaxy S23 is essentially the same size and weight (168g) as its predecessor (incidentally, it’s almost exactly the same size as the iPhone 14 Pro), though the power and volume buttons – which, for the first time, are made from recycled materials – sit a little lower. The bottom of the phone sports a USB-C port, mic holes, a speaker grill and a physical SIM slot.
The S23 Plus shares the same design philosophy as its smaller sibling, but comes in at a larger 6.2 x 3 x 0.3 inches. Unsurprisingly, it also weighs slightly more (1.3 ounces more, to be exact).
Both the Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus are available in four colors: Phantom Black, Green, Lavender and Cream. However, Samsung will also be releasing some exclusive colors, like Red, through Samsung.com.
As we’ve come to expect from top-end phones nowadays, the entire Samsung Galaxy S23 line is IP68 rated, which means the vanilla S23 is resistant to water drops and dust.
Samsung Galaxy S23: display
- Same 6.1-inch AMOLED display as Galaxy S22
The Samsung Galaxy S23 sports the same 6.1-inch, 120Hz AMOLED (2340 x 1080 pixels) display as its predecessor, the Galaxy S22. Its larger siblings, the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra, boast 6.6-inch and 6.8-inch displays, respectively, with the latter screen running at 3088 x 1440 pixels.
As mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy S23’s display is fronted by glossy Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which should provide a reasonable level of protection against everyday scuffs and scratches.
Samsung Galaxy S23: cameras
- Minimal improvements over Galaxy S22 setup
The Samsung Galaxy S23’s rear camera setup features a 50MP f/1.8 wide lens with optical image stabilization (OIS), a 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide lens and a 10MP f2.4 telephoto lens with OIS and 3x optical zoom. A 12MP selfie camera sits at the front of the phone, and this allows for video to be recorded at up to 4K.
Nightography has been improved versus the Samsung Galaxy S22, and the phone’s Expert Raw mode now supports 50MP stills (where the S22 only handled RAW imagery at up to 12MP resolution).
The S23 Plus shares all of the above with its smaller sibling.
Samsung Galaxy S23: performance
- Custom-made Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor
Despite fairly rudimentary upgrades across the rest of the phone, the Galaxy S23’s impressive under-the-hood credentials are possibly its biggest draw.
All three Galaxy S23 models are running the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy, a bespoke version of the standard mobile CPU overclocked to 3.36GHz. In theory, this superfast processor enables the S23 (and S23 Plus) to rival Apple’s best iPhones (with their A16 Bionic chips) for power, though we haven’t yet had a chance to properly benchmark the device.
Unfortunately, no phone in the S23 lineup supports any form of satellite connectivity – which is a surprise, given that both the S23 and S23 Plus pair the custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with the satellite-compatible X70 5G modem.
As mentioned, the Galaxy S23 comes in two storage variants, 128GB and 256GB, and both versions come with 8GB of RAM. The S23 comes in 256GB and 512GB variants, again with 8GB of RAM for each.
Samsung Galaxy S23: battery
- 3,900mAh battery for S23
- 4,700 mAh battery for S23 Plus
The Samsung Galaxy S23 packs a decent enough 3,900mAh battery, which is 200mAh larger than the Galaxy S22’s equivalent.
The phone supports Super Fast wired charging (25W), fast wireless charging and wireless PowerShare, allowing you to charge other Galaxy devices (like the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro) off the back of it.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus sports a slightly larger 4,700 mAh battery (owing to its superior size) and more powerful wired charging (45W).
Samsung Galaxy S23: software
- Android 13 on top of Samsung One UI 5.1
- Software features remain the big question
Every phone in the Samsung Galaxy S23 line ships with Android 13 'Tiramisu' and Samsung's One UI 5.1. Samsung has promised four generations of OS upgrades and five years of security upgrades for its new devices, so you won’t need to think about replacing the S23 for a good while if you’re someone who likes to hold on to your handsets.
Samsung has also introduced a handful of new software features with the Galaxy S23 line, including better Samsung Notes (co-create features), the ability to co-watch in Google Meet and enhanced security capabilities (for instance, you can put the phone in Maintenance Mode so all your data is protected while someone works on it).
Oh, and the Galaxy S23 has its own ringtone. Yes, really.
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Axel is a London-based Senior Staff Writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the latest Apple developments to newest movies as part of the site's daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion.
Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned an NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme.