Samsung introduced three new phones today at its annual Unpacked event. The familiar Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus and the big new Galaxy S23 Ultra. And while the Ultra is getting all the attention, Samsung’s smaller phones offer a nice package, starting at $799.
Note: Samsung introduced the Galaxy S23 and S23+ during its Unpacked event on February 1, 2023. The new phones were accompanied by Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra, plus a new Galaxy Book 3 series of laptops.
The new Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 remain largely unchanged from last year’s models. We get the same 6.1- and 6.6-inch screen sizes, high-end specs, and quality cameras that sit just below the Ultra.
That said, there are some notable changes worth discussing, not to mention the significant differences between these two non-Ultra phones. More specifically, you’ll need to decide which one is right for you with regards to screen size, storage, battery capacity, and charging speeds.
- Show: 6.1 or 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED X2, Quad-HD AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, flat panel
- Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
- Operating system: Android 13 (OneUI 5)
- Storage/RAM: 8 GB RAM with 128 or 256 GB (S23) or 8 GB RAM with 256/512 GB (S23+)
- rear cameras: 50 MP f1.8 (wide) with OIS, 12 MP f/2.2 (ultra-wide), 10 MP f2.4 (telephoto) with OIS
- Zoom: 3X optical zoom, 30X space zoom
- Video: [email protected]/[email protected]/FHD at 120fps and 960 fps (super slow—Month)
- selfie camera: 12MP ultrawide
- Battery: 3900 mAh (S23) and 4700 mAh (S23+)
- charging speed: 25W Wired (S23), 15W Wireless, 4.5W Reverse Wireless, 45W Wired (S23+)
- Fingerprint sensor: Ultrasonic on screen
- networks: 5G sub6/mmWave, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS
- Headphone jack: Not
- Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, armored aluminum frame
- Colors: black ghost, cream, green and Lavender
Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S23 Plus: design and differences
In terms of design, the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ are almost identical to the S22 line released last year. The small frame and camera housing on the back are gone, though, and the phones are coming in new colors. Yes, there are small changes here and there, but that’s about it.
We’re getting a beautiful all-aluminum design with tough Gorilla Glass Victus 2 to keep the screen safe. Both phones have flat screens, which many prefer, and don’t curve to the sides like the Ultra. Also, it’s worth mentioning that while the entire S23 lineup comes in black ghost, cream, green and Lavender, those who pre-order on Samsung.com can also choose from four other exclusive colors. Those are Lime, Graphite, Sky Blue and Red.
At this point, most buyers should be aware of the differences between Samsung’s line of phones. For those who aren’t, or for cliff notes, here’s what you need to know, and how the two most affordable phones differ.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 is the smallest and most affordable of the bunch. For $799, you’ll get a 6.1-inch screen, the same powerful processor, and a great camera experience. However, the S23 has a smaller screen, just a 3900mAh battery, slower wired charging, and only comes with either 128 or 256GB of storage.
Those who opt for the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23+ for $999 get a bigger 4,700mAh battery, faster 45-watt wired “Super Quick Charge 2.0,” and the base model has double the storage at 256GB. Also, the S23+ can get 512GB of storage, which isn’t an option for the smaller model.
Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus: Cameras
Obviously being a year newer with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor means things are different. Overall specs (on paper) look about the same for the camera experience compared to last year’s Galaxy S22. That said, it did have one of the best smartphone cameras around, so it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ have the same powerful triple camera setup on the rear. You’ll enjoy a 50 MP main (wide-angle) camera with optical image stabilization and an f/1.8 aperture for improved low-light photography. Then, like last year, there’s a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide and a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto with OIS.
The cameras are capable of 3X optical zoom (versus 10X on the Ultra) and 30X space zoom, versus 100X on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
One notable change, though, is the new 12MP front-facing selfie camera, up from 10MP on the S22. With the Galaxy S23 series, Samsung is using a new “Super HDR selfie camera” with the fastest autofocus ever seen on a Galaxy phone, jumping from 30fps to 60fps for vastly improved images and video.
The improved front camera will be better for selfies, group selfies, video chats, and social media users. With how much we use our front cameras these days, this is a welcome addition.
Galaxy S23 pre-orders and release dates
Finally, the new Galaxy S23 series is available for pre-order starting today, February 1, and will go on sale on February 17th. That means you only have a few weeks to wait.
Just like last year, you can get the Galaxy S23 for $799 or get a little more bang for your buck with the $999 Galaxy S23+ and $1,199 Galaxy S23 Ultra. Samsung usually offers a lot of very lucrative discounts, deals and trade-in offers for users to use the latest devices, and we expect that again this year.
For example, anyone who pre-orders any S23 model will get a free storage upgrade to the option below, so if you pre-order a 128GB Galaxy S23 for $799, you’ll get the 256GB model. . Carriers will also have deals, and those switching to Verizon or upgrading an existing line can get $800 off any Galaxy S23 series phone with select trade-ins on a 5G plan. Plus, you’ll get a free Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G with purchase.
We expect similar offers from other carriers and will get more details as Samsung announces everything on stage. We will update this article with more offers, carrier links, and trade values as they are released.