In 2023, Samsung has chosen to refine their plus-sized S-series smartphone with the Galaxy S23+ — an impressive smartphone that builds upon the success of its predecessor, the Galaxy S22+.
The Galaxy S23+ boasts a stunning camera system, powerful performance, plus a more muted and refined design and build that feels nice to the touch.
In this review, we’ll take a closer look at what makes Samsung’s Galaxy S23+ stand out from the competition.
Table of Contents
Design and Build
The Samsung Galaxy S23+, very reminiscent of its predecessor features a more matured and muted design that is sure to appeal to most users not looking for anything too flashy. Our review unit is in the featured Cream colorway but Phantom Black, Green, and Lavender can be found in physical retailers providing users with plenty of choices to fit their style.
The phone has a premium feel in the hand, with a combination of metal and glass that is both durable and stylish. It features an IP68 water and dust resistance rating, which means it’s rated for 1.5m of fresh water submersion for up to 30 minutes just like last year.
For I/O, at the top is a microphone for mixed recording usage. You can find the power button and volume rocker on the phone’s right side. Dual SIM card tray, USB Type-C port, noise-canceling microphone for calls, 1/2 stereo speaker grille at the bottom, the antenna bands here also quite pleasantly symmetrical too.
Overall for a diagonal difference of 0.66 inches compared to the base S23, you would definitely prefer the size of the plus model if you have medium to large hands, big pockets, or like to keep your device in a pouch or bag.
The S23+ sports a 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with a resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels (393 ppi) and a refresh rate that can go from 1Hz, when the screen idles, to 120Hz when in use for gaming and the like.
The screen is bright, vivid, and responsive, making it perfect for watching videos, browsing the web, and playing just about any game. Just like the Galaxy S23 Ultra and base S23, the S23+ features Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection in front and at the back, housed in a polished aluminum frame.
Gorilla Glass Victus 2 still isn’t as scratch resistant as you may all think though.
When taking the S23 and S23+ review units out with me to take photo samples, I placed both devices, caseless in one pocket in my backpack together with the S23+’s front behind the S23’s rear.
When I got to my destination, I took the plus model out and to my surprise the top left corner of the S23+’s screen had a hairline scratch that starts thin but grows thick in depth. The only explanation for this was: the S23 series’ safety camera bumps are definitely harder than Gorilla Glass Victus 2, go figure.
So make sure to get a screen protector for your device, and probably a case too. Other than that, I really loved this screen for anything you would use a smartphone’s display for.
For the chipset, Samsung has finally decided to ditch Exynos for their Galaxy S-lineup in favor of a partnership with Qualcomm. This means those interested in picking up any S23 device from anywhere around the globe can expect a custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset (SM8550-AC) dubbed made for Galaxy in their device.
Note that being “made for Galaxy” just translates to higher clock speeds compared to a stock Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.
With that said, anyone who picks up any S23 device can definitely expect more power and efficiency compared to their previous generation S-devices that featured an Exynos chipset.
For RAM and storage configurations, all S23+ devices come with 8GB of RAM out of the box, with UFS 4.0 internal storage configurations that start at 256GB and max out at 512GB.
Just like last year, we no longer get expandable storage either.
Although it’s arguable that 256GB and 512GB of internal storage should provide most average users with plenty of space to store their photos, videos, and applications.
For fans of benchmark scores, check out our test results below:
|Device:||Samsung Galaxy S23+|
|Chipset:||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (Made for Galaxy)|
|3D Mark Wild Life||Maxxed Out! (49-100 Avg fps)|
|3D Mark Wild Life Extreme||3,705 (22.2 Avg fps)|
|PCMark Work 3.0||15,454|
|PCMark Storage 2.0||39,742|
For software, we get Android 13 out of the box with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 skinned on top. I’m generally a fan of One UI as I’ve been using it on a daily since 2019. I’m used to most of its shortcuts and multitasking features, as well as Dex and Link to PC support along with its nuances.
In general, since 2020 nothing much has changed in how I use the interface and in the features I use. I believe each iteration of One UI sets out to see if any features from the latest stock Android OS is something it could use, if not already has. It’s overall a great experience and as a PC user I love the features I get to use when needing to bring something from my phone to my computer.
Battery life on the S23+ is impressive, with a 4,700mAh battery that can easily last all day with moderate use. The phone supports 45W wired fast charging, which means you can get a full charge in just over an hour. It also supports 15W wireless charging and 4.5W reverse wireless charging, making it one of the more versatile phones for charging in the market.
In our standard proprietary battery loop test, the Galaxy S23+ lasted a generous 21 hours and 39 minutes. And in PCMark’s Work 3.0 battery test, our review unit garnered us a score of 15 hours and 46 minutes.
In real-world use the Galaxy S23+ can easily last me one and a half days of use on not so busy weekends and one whole day on busier weekdays. That means on busier workdays I end up having to charge my phone at the end of the day with 15-10% left in the cell, and on generally relaxed days I end up questioning whether I should charge before going to bed with 30-25% of power left.
Overall battery life did not disappoint in the few weeks I had it with me.
Biometrics and Security
Compared to their first generation scanner from 2019, this iteration of Samsung’s Ultrasonic fingerprint scanner is much more reliable, secure, and fast. Not as fast as the fastest capacitive kinds from back in the day but realistically we’re talking about micro seconds here. We also get a bigger sensor reading size in comparison. Overall its great and works as one would expect it to.
But if face unlock is your thing the S23+ features that too. Its quick and reliable in varying lighting conditions, with less reliability in extremely dark situations. Personally, I’d stick with the Ultrasonic scanner as the main form of biometric security, but you can also have both setup for usage versatility, as most people do.
One of the standout features of the Samsung Galaxy S23+ is its camera system, which has mostly gone through some camera software tuning. Amongst other things, it features a triple-lens camera system, with a 50MP primary sensor [f/1.8], a 12MP ultra-wide sensor [f/2.2], and a 10MP telephoto one [f/2.4]. In front a 12MP [f/2.2] selfie shooter can be found at the upper center under the display.
The camera system is capable of taking stunning photos with excellent detail and color accuracy. Do note that we get the more vibrant and contrasty Samsung color science here as well, and sometimes photos can look a little too sharp if you were comparing images from another device side by side. In the end it all comes down to preference.
For video, the S23+ camera system has the ability to shoot up to 8K video at 30 frames per second. The camera also features a range of shooting modes, including night mode, portrait mode, and pro mode to name a few, providing users with plenty of options to capture their memories and play around with their camera system.
The Samsung Galaxy S23+ is a solid flagship smartphone that delivers excellent performance, stunning camera capabilities, and a beautifully muted design. While it may not have as many bells and whistles as it’s Ultra brother and Flip cousins, the S23+ is a reliable and dependable smartphone that is perfect for anyone who wants Samsung’s high-end, plus-sized device without the S-Pen.
To sum it all up, the Samsung Galaxy S23+ is a great choice for anyone who wants a smartphone from Samsung at their best so far. For those of you rocking a Galaxy S9+ or older I would definitely consider this if I wanted the latest and greatest from Samsung.
Launch Pricing is as follows:
PHP 68,990 for 8GB|256GB and PHP 76,990 for 8GB|512GB
Let us know what you think of the Samsung Galaxy S23+ below!
Samsung Galaxy S23+ specs:
6.6-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 120Hz, (FHD+ 2340 × 1080, 393ppi)
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
256GB, 512GB internal storage
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, tri-band, Wi-Fi Direct
GPS/GLONASS/ BDS/ GALILEO
50MP Main camera (f/1.8 aperture, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS)
12MP Ultrawide (f/2.2 aperture Super Steady video)
10MP Telephoto (f/2.4 aperture, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom)
@[email protected]/30fps, [email protected]/60fps, [email protected]/60/240fps, [email protected], HDR10+, stereo sound recording, gyro-EIS
12MP Selfie (f/2.2 aperture Dual Pixel PDAF)
@[email protected]/60fps, [email protected], Auto-HDR, HDR10+
4700mAh Li-on battery
Type-C, USB 3.2
One UI 5.1
157.8 x 76.2 x 7.6 mm (dimensions)
196 grams (weight)