The most expensive smartphone lines have been made up of different models for some time, including not only the top-of-the-line but also simpler versions of the flagship. Samsung has two such models – Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+, which, at first glance, differ only in the size of the cases. But the difference is a little more than that, although it is hidden in rather small details. I will talk about them in today’s Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ reviews.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ specifications

Samsung Galaxy S23 Samsung Galaxy S23+
Dimensions and weight 146.3×70.9×7.6 mm, 168 g 157×8×76.2×7.6 mm, 196 g
RAM and storage 8 GB + 128-256 GB 8 GB + 256-512 GB
CPU Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
GPU Adreno 740 Adreno 740
Wireless modules Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC Wi-Fi 6e, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, UWB
Displays 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Resolution: 2340×1080
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
Refresh rate: 48-120 Hz
6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X
Resolution: 2340×1080
Aspect ratio: 19.5:9
Refresh rate: 48-120 Hz
Rear camera module

Wide-angle sensor: 50 MP, ƒ/1.8

Ultra-wide: 12 MP, ƒ/2.2, 120°

Telephoto: 10MP, ƒ/2.4, 3×


Wide-angle sensor: 50 MP, ƒ/1.8

Ultra-wide: 12 MP, ƒ/2.2, 120°

Telephoto: 10MP, ƒ/2.4, 3×

Front camera 12 MP, ƒ/2.2 12 MP, ƒ/2.2
Battery 3900 mAh 4700 mAh
OS Google Android 13 with OneUI 5.1 Google Android 13 with OneUI 5.1
MSRP 39 999-41 999 UAH 47 999-51 999 UAH

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ configurations

Technology companies continue to try to reduce their impact on environmental pollution, which in turn minimizes smartphone configurations. Flagships have long been left with minimalist box contents, where there is only a “pin” for accessing the SIM card and a USB-C-to-USB-C cable. Last year, Samsung also abandoned factory protective films for smartphone displays, so buyers will now have to take care of such protection separately (if, of course, there is such a need).

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

However, for such a smartphone, many possible additions can significantly improve the user experience. Various manufacturers offer a considerable selection of interesting covers and display protection. Powerful chargers will also not be superfluous, and induction stations at the workplace and next to the bed will allow more convenient charging of the smartphone without the need to connect a cable. And this is not to mention more expensive accessories, such as “smart” watches and wireless headphones, which increasingly complement the image of the modern user. And Samsung offers all of this together with its smartphones.

Design and usability

Major updates in the design of A-brand flagships happen once every few years. In the interval between such external upgrades, the design still undergoes small changes. Some of them are purely cosmetic, and some are aimed at improving the user experience. With the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+, there are several such small changes.

The “silhouettes” of the cases were minimally polished, which accordingly affected the dimensions of the gadgets: 146.3×70.9×7.6 mm for the S23 and 157×8×76.2×7.6 mm for the S23+. Compared to last year’s models, the difference is barely noticeable even in numbers. It’s the same with weight, where both models added a gram — 168 and 196 grams, respectively. At the same time, only one “ingredient” was changed in the “recipe” of the case – Gorilla Glass Victus 2, and the frame stayed aluminum.

Of course, in most cases, it is more convenient to use the smaller model. Its compactness will be especially appreciated by users with small hands. In addition, such a smartphone is easier to put in small pockets of clothes, which does not stretch things with its weight. But there are times when a larger body wins. The most obvious cases would be watching videos/reading/etc. and working with the keyboard. And for those users who conduct a lot of correspondence from a smartphone, the S23+ will be a significantly better option, because the larger keyboard significantly affects the comfort of text communication.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

Returning to the model updates, the most noticeable change on the body was the camera unit, which this time got rid of the frame around the lenses. Now, these are three separate “islands”, as was done last year in the “older” Ultra model. The solution is minimalistic and neat, and the cameras do not rise too much above the entire panel. And a suitable protective case will easily add the necessary level so that the smartphone does not balance on flat surfaces. Personally, I like this version of the camera designs much more than the previous one.

There have been practically no significant ergonomic changes, there are unlikely to be any major inconveniences in using the device. But there is still one point to keep in mind. Next to the SIM card slot is the microphone slot and it is the same as the SIM opening slot. I did not check whether it is possible to damage the microphone in this way, and I hope that the manufacturer has thought of this. And although there were no reports of such a problem before, extra caution still does not hurt.

The Ukrainian market was not very lucky with case colors. Depending on the selected model, not all even standard colors can be found (at least on the company’s local website). For example, the S23 with 128GB of storage is sold only in black, while the 256GB comes in four options: Phantom Black, Green, Lavender, and Cream. S23+ in cream color is not available at all, and with 512 GB in the drive, there is only a black case. At the same time, in other countries, you can find exclusive options when ordering online.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

Having chosen the right size, the user is unlikely to be dissatisfied with the quality of any of these models. Smartphones are convenient and each of them has its nice features (purely related to dimensions). For so many years of manufacturing various smartphones, Samsung managed to accumulate enough experience to bring its flagships to an exceptionally high level. Therefore, users who will not test the strength of glass cases will be able to enjoy the convenience of such a gadget for a long time. As for the design, everything here is individual. I liked the current minimalist approach better, though, and I’m still downright fanatical about matte backs.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ displays

Last year, the “junior flagships” reduced the diagonals of the displays by a tenth of an inch, which actually became a micro-moment that hardly attracted the attention of users and, in principle, greatly affected the user experience. This year, the company almost did not touch the screens, leaving the diagonals at 6.1 and 6.6 inches. Or, again, compact and standard (large).

Meanwhile, the displays kept the same resolution for both diagonals (2340×1080 pixels). Therefore, there is a difference in pixel density between S23 and S23+ — 425 vs. 393 ppi. This is not a disadvantage for Plus, because in practice the difference is not noticeable (at least I don’t see it). Among other things, the aspect ratio remains the same (19.5:9), and the maximum refresh rate of the image is 120 Hz (it can also be reduced to 48 Hz).

Dynamic AMOLED 2X matrices will traditionally offer a choice of two color scheme options: Vivid and Natural. At the same time, Vivid has additional settings for image temperature and color correction according to the owner’s preferences. It is worth noting that Samsung has already fine-tuned the Vivid mode, which does not oversaturate the image so much and, subjectively, it is much more pleasant to use than before. In any case, users should compare both and then choose the more comfortable one for themselves.

Image settings:

Measurements of the Vivid profile in the S23:

Measurements of the Natural profile in S23:

Measurements of the Vivid profile in the S23+:

Measurements of the Natural profile in the S23+:

A pleasant update for the Galaxy S23 was an increase in the maximum brightness indicator to the level of the larger model — 1750 cd/m². Previously, the compact smartphone had less backlight, probably due to a correspondingly smaller battery, and the manufacturer had to pay more attention to energy saving. Our measurements did not show more than 923 cd/m² on each of the models (because the maximum brightness works only in automatic mode), and the minimum level surprised us. Mostly, on various smartphones, the minimum level of illumination stops at the mark of 1.8-2 cd/m². Here, our colorimeter saw 1.017 cd/m² in the Galaxy S23+ and a record 0.127 in the S23.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

By setting the backlight to a minimum, in a room with daylight, literally, nothing is visible on the display. Another thing when you do it at night and with thick curtains. Users who tend to spend a little time before going to bed on social networks, books, videos, etc., will definitely appreciate this level of minimum brightness. The smartphone automatically sets slightly higher values, but nothing prevents the user from setting the desired level.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

Images and backlighting are excellent, but the displays flicker a bit under certain circumstances, especially at low brightness levels. Picky users will be able to notice it, and some will not see it at all. Therefore, potential customers with eyes sensitive to this effect should pay attention to this.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ security

The company did not change the methods of quickly unlocking the smartphone. New flagships use two classic options. The first is a front-facing camera for face scanning. The difficulties here are also standard. In the dark, the display can briefly illuminate the face, which is not entirely comfortable in such conditions, but without this, this option will not work. Sunglasses will also interfere with the camera. Although in all other cases, unlocking happens quite quickly.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

The second method is fingerprint scanning. The ultrasonic sensor is placed under the display glass. It’s still one of the best sensors with this placement. It can feel heavy if your fingers are wet, but for the most part, it works very quickly. Up to four different prints can be stored in the memory, which should be enough for comfortable use.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

And although both methods of quick access to the system still have their drawbacks, the combined use is still much easier to use than PIN codes or other passwords. In addition, the system did not remove the possibility of “smart” unlocking, which allows you to bypass the password in a given location (at home, for example), and not to require a password when a watch or other gadgets are connected. However, when testing new models, biometric options were quite enough.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ sound

It has long been difficult to surprise anyone with stereo sound in smartphones. At the same time, flagship models get much nicer speakers than cheaper smartphones. Samsung does not betray tradition and the Galaxy S23 and S23+ can also provide one of the highest-quality sounds on the market. At the same time, the company did not change the design features, using the usual speaker from the bottom and the earpiece for stereo sound. And together they still do not let you down when playing music, video, accompanying games, etc., and the difference in power between the speakers of both models is, subjectively, imperceptible.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

There are no problems with the capabilities of earpieces and microphones. It is possible to talk on the street next to the road, for example, without undue discomfort for both the owner of the smartphone and their interlocutor (although the noise reduction system may minimally affect the voice). And personally, I still really like how Samsung perfectly hides the speakerphone in a barely noticeable slot between the display and the frame.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

As for listening to music with headphones, the trend here has also remained unchanged — you will need wireless headphones, an adapter for classic ones, or a USB-C headset. The hope that manufacturers will change their minds about the usual 3.5 mm Jack has long since faded. On the other hand, the market can already offer a considerable selection of TWS headphones for every taste and at an affordable price.

Performance and software

The entire S23 flagship line has the same chips. This time it is Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is minimally overclocked specially for Samsung. And this year, the company abandoned the version with its own Exynos processor, which was previously presented in Europe and other regions besides the US. Unlike the Ultra, the S23 and S23+ have 8GB of RAM in all trim levels. The difference between the two versions is the storage capacity, where the S23 has 128 to 512 GB and the S23+ has 256 to 512 GB. At the same time, the smallest drive in the S23 has the UFS 3.1 standard, while the larger options have the much faster UFS 4.0.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

There is another small difference between the S23 and S23+ configurations — the larger smartphone supports the company’s Ultra Wideband standard, which the more compact version cannot boast of. In other words, you will not be able to use all the possibilities of finding things with Samsung SmartTag or Galaxy Buds2 Pro headphones with S23. And the set of communications remained the same in both smartphones: 5G, slots for two SIM cards, tri-band Wi-Fi 6e, a set of several navigation systems, Bluetooth 5.3 and NFS.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

It is extremely difficult to find any task that smartphones with such chips cannot handle. The smartphone performs any everyday tasks without a hint of lag (except for the age-old “micro lag” when going to the Google Discover page, which seems to be present on all Android smartphones). As already noticed on the Internet, with OneUI 5.1 they have optimized the system performance, and with such components you can safely count on several years of excellent device operation.

Samsung Galaxy S23 tests:

Samsung Galaxy S23+ tests:

With previous Snapdragon chips for top gadgets, there have been unfortunate cases of overheating. With the S23 and S23+, fortunately, there are no problems even with an overclocked chip. If you look at the stress tests, you can see that both smartphones maintain a good level of performance. Although the heating of the body is also felt well, especially without a cover. But in real situations, there was practically no such heating. Similarly, during games or video recording, the body of the smartphone heats up noticeably, but it is difficult to say that it is overheating.

Samsung Galaxy S23 stress tests:

Samsung Galaxy S23+ stress tests:

The progress that OneUI is making should also appeal to both owners of previous Samsung models and users who previously preferred other brands. The lock screen customization options, new widgets, aand  lot of small changes and innovations in the settings will take some time to learn, but after that, many of these things will still improve the experience of using the device. But before that, you will have to go through the settings more than once and adjust everything to your own liking.

As for the overall performance, I was personally satisfied with both models. They are fast and stable. Even taking into account the fact that we have the S23 in the basic configuration and with a slower drive, there are no special comments on the speed of its operation at the moment (yes, it takes longer to load, install updates, etc., but among other things, I wouldn’t say that it is noticeably slower). For Samsung, these are not the first such models, so enough attention has been paid to them so that the user is satisfied with the purchase, and not new problems. Perhaps, in long-term use, you can find some unpleasant moments, but so far I have not had such examples. The only more or less serious error was found in the next chapter.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ cameras

The cameras of the S23 and S23+ models also remained unchanged. Among the specifications, the only update was the transition of the focal length of the wide-angle camera from 23 to 24 mm, which hardly fundamentally affects the capabilities of the new products. All other specifications remained from previous cameras, namely:

  • main wide-angle — 50 MP, aperture value ƒ/1.8, optical image stabilization;
  • ultra-wide angle has 12 MP, aan ngle of view 1of 20°, aperture ƒ/2.2 and also optical stabilization;
  • and telephoto — 10 MP with ƒ/2.4 and 3x optical zoom.

Such a set is designed for the vast majority of users who are not very picky about camera capabilities (such as fans of the more expensive Ultra model),but still want to get the best possible pictures and videos. Yes, these aren’t the latest smartphone sensors, but they’re still capable of handling most user needs in a fairly comfortable way.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

In the standard mode of the wide-angle camera, the smartphone takes 12-megapixel photos thanks to the technology of combining pixels. During the day, you can count on pleasant, detailed shots that the smartphone takes almost instantly. Post-processing has already learned well not to play with colors, although it still adds color saturation. At the same time, the result is pleasant both outdoors and indoors. There is also a separate mode for 50-megapixel photos, but their processing is significantly inferior to the main mode.

Night mode should improve with future updates. In the test photos, the smartphone did not quite cope with clarity and light sources, which last year’s models managed to process better. Therefore, it is too early to make a final conclusion, but it is unlikely to become a problem in the future (if it is not a problem of test models at all).

As is often the case, an ultra-wide-angle camera, in addition to having a lower resolution, also approaches white balance settings differently. Not that it’s a big deal, but the difference is noticeable. Photos also get less detail. At the same time, they still look very good in daylight.

The night mod here, unfortunately, has the same shortcomings of post-processing. Also, due to the difference in aperture with the main camera, there will be a little less light here, which will not be affected by software updates of the camera.

The telephoto here has an interesting feature. The resolution of the sensor is 10 MP, but the smartphone upscales the photo to 12 MP. The optical zoom will offer a 3x zoom, which is quite enough for undemanding users. However, this camera will need as much light as possible, because otherwise, even during the day, the main camera crop will be used (as in the case of the test image with plants).

In low-light conditions, this camera is also involved, but in certain conditions, the smartphone still chooses the wide-angle camera crop. And this is not uncommon for any manufacturers. It is difficult to determine exactly how the algorithm works. But you can bet that for the average user of such a smartphone this will not be fundamental.

And the front camera has undergone changes. The S23 and S23+ now have a 12-megapixel sensor (previously 10-megapixel), but with the same aperture value (ƒ/2.2) and focal length (26mm). At the same time, the camera will offer a choice of two options for the capture angle. It takes good pictures in different lighting conditions and quite skillfully imitates the portrait mode.

The camera application did not face significant changes, remaining quite concise and understandable even to switchers from smartphones of other brands.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ battery life

With the new chipset, the S23 and S23+ smartphones also received larger batteries. In each of them, they increased by 200 mAh, which now amounts to 3900 and 4700 mAh, respectively. Both factors, of course, had a pleasant effect on the durability of the devices in everyday work. In working mode, they work for a really long time between charges. If you do without games, but use a lot of the browser, mail, messengers, social networks, etc., then after 6.5 hours of screen use per day, the S23 will have approximately 40% charge, and the S23+ – 50%. But as soon as you load the system with games, taking pictures or video recording, the charge will start to be lost much faster and you will have to look for an outlet/power bank.

Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ review: two sizes and a few differences

The battery life test at the illumination level of 200 cd/m² showed satisfying results. S23 lasted 12.5 hours, unlike last year of the S22’s result at 8. The S23+ under the same conditions showed more than 14.5 hours of operation, instead of 9.5, like its predecessor. In general, as always, everything depends on the specific model of use. Users who don’t take a lot of photos and don’t sit around playing resource-demanding games are unlikely to be forced to carry a power bank with them.

Samsung Galaxy S23 battery life test:

Samsung Galaxy S23+ battery life test:

As for charging, there is also a slight difference in the capabilities of today’s review models. The maximum PSU power that the S23 can handle is 25 watts, while the S23+ can charge from 45-watt units. But here too there is a nuance — not every PSU is suitable for fast charging. For example, with the most powerful power supply unit I have (140 W), both models took an hour and a half to fully charge. Therefore, there may be some difficulties with the selection of the appropriate PSU. With induction stations, these smartphones work in the same way – up to 15 W with Qi or PMA standards. These models also have a 4.5 W reverse charging function.