I see the increasing pile of gadgets - especially smartphones - landing on my desk this month. Given a week or two with one review smartphone, I’m usually happy to move on to the next. However, that doesn’t seem to be the case with the new Samsung S23. I’m reluctant to leave it behind and move on to the next, despite there not being significant upgrades since last year.
To start with, the Samsung S23 has the same display as the S22 from last year. With a resolution of 2340 x 1080 (FHD+) on the 6.1-inch display, the screen continues to be crystal clear and the colors vibrant. The dynamic AMOLED 2X display technology provides a great viewing experience, with deep blacks and bright whites. A high refresh rate of up to 120Hz makes for smooth scrolling and an overall great user experience.
The Corning Gorilla Glass 2 seems to do its job well of protecting the smartphone; I didn’t notice any scratches or scuff marks after weeks of usage.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is equipped with the same primary camera system as its predecessor. It has a 50-megapixel primary lens buttressed by a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens and a 10-megapixel telephoto lens located at the very bottom, all stacked up vertically. The vertical strip demarcating the camera set from last year is gone.
Most of the stills I captured on the Galaxy S23’s camera were rendered with vibrant colors and sharp details. The device’s autofocus system is fast and accurate, and captures a fair bit of details even in low-light conditions without rendering the image too grainy.
What’s new, more significantly, is the 12-megapixel front camera. I have the choice to choose a neutral or a warm colour tone, and the former gives the best results in terms of overall colour accuracy and skin tone.
The camera system is equipped with an optical zoom of 3x and a digital zoom of up to 30x. The optical zoom feature on the Samsung Galaxy S23 works quite well, while digital zoom beyond 10x has given me some underwhelming results, with way too much noise.
The smartphone also supports UHD 8K (7680 x 4320) @ 30fps and the video stabilisation is one of the best I’ve seen over the past year. Here’s a video I took while on a fast and furious autorickshaw ride with video stabilisation on.
The smartphone runs the same customised processor as the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra - Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 mobile platform. Endless back-and-forth attacks on Fleet Battle, while transferring videos out through Wetransfer, and a couple of hours of streaming Spotify was a breeze on this device. I’ve had no heating issues wither no matter the duration of gaming or multi-tasking.
The device has a 3,900 mAh, unlike many mid-range smartphones that sport 5,000 mAh batteries nowadays. Despite a lower battery capacity, the smartphone discharges power quite efficiently, keeping me company throughout the day. With both mobile internet and the hotspot on, with at least an hour of gaming, and a couple of hours of browsing and streaming music, I don’t need to plug the smartphone back in till around next noon.
The Samsung S23 is one of the best compact Android flagships available in the market today. With a powerful flagship-grade processor, a brilliant display, decent battery life, and a sleek, compact form factor, the smartphone leaves very little room for complaints. The only thing you might find me grumbling about a bit is the price.