Samsung Galaxy S23+ review: Samsung’s middle child might be the smart choice for most
A lot of people (including yours truly) don’t want a small, compact smartphone anymore. Some of the rationale behind the choice is, well, rational (the larger screen is just better for media consumption) and some just isn’t. Regardless though, these larger phones are all around us, and some manufacturers just don’t do smaller (read compact) versions of their flagship smartphones anymore. Thankfully, Samsung does. And I absolutely love the S23, but I just can’t bring myself to use a smaller flagship phone. This means that I do sacrifice the ability to use these larger smartphones with one hand for more screen real estate and a larger battery. The Samsung Galaxy S23+, as every other ‘+’ phone from Samsung for the past few years, is the same smartphone as the S23 but in a much larger body with a correspondingly larger screen (6.6-inch) and battery (4700mAh).
Although it is closer in size to the S23 Ultra, the S23+ is much easier to use. Part of that is down to the fact that the S23+ has a completely flat screen and square edges. The premium build quality is evident when you hold the phone. The Arbor Aluminium build chassis and the elegant use of glass and metal on the S23+ makes it the easily the best built Android phone for the price. There’s Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on both the front and the back which should make it more resilient than last year’s model. It gets IP68 dust and water resistance like the other S23 series phones as well.
Available in four shades (our review unit is in a shade of cream), the S23+ ditches the camera slab in favour of a cleaner look like the S23 Ultra. Additionally, Samsung has done away with the rings around the camera lenses and that has definitely contributed towards a much simpler aesthetic.
The 6.6-inch, 120Hz, Super AMOLED display is bright (with max brightness of 1750 nits), vivid and sharp like its Ultra sibling. It gets a full HD resolution with 393ppi (the S23 has 425ppi with the same resolution owing to the smaller sized display). As with the other S23 series phones, the display is very, very good and will be a strong selling point.
The S23+, much like the S23, gets a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide and a 10MP 3x telephoto. While there doesn’t seem to be much of a difference on paper, things have definitely changed in practice. Photos in just about all kinds of lighting are brilliant. The main camera seems to have improved substantially when it comes to low light settings. Samsung opting for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy has paid dividends when it comes to the object separation that the S23 Series cameras can achieve. The result is sharper shots with better HDR.
On the selfie front, the move to a 12MP from a 10MP shooter has made photos sharper and packed with even more detail than the S22+. Portrait mode for the selfie camera produces good results consistently and, as with the S23, the S23+ is the first smartphone in the segment to utilize Qualcomm’s Semantic Segregation tech for the selfie camera.
The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Samsung also comes with higher clock speeds for the CPU as well as the GPU and that results in improved performance, as does the new cooling system on board. The S23+ predictably crushes everything that comes its way. But most importantly, this increased headroom for performance is accompanied by gains in efficiency. The S23+ is significantly more efficient when it comes to battery usage. Moderate usage could mean that the S23+ easily lasts close to 2 days on a single charge. The faster charging (45W compared to 25W on the S23) makes it easier to juice up as well.
Priced at Rs. 94,999 for the 8GB/256GB variant we tested, the S23+ is an expensive buy. But for the money, you get a brilliant display, top-shelf performance, great cameras and exceptional battery life (for such a large phone). It is hard to go wrong with Samsung’s middle child this year.