Samsung debuted three new phones today at its annual Unpacked event. The familiar-looking Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and the big new Galaxy S23 Ultra. And while the Ultra is getting all of the attention, Samsung’s smaller phones deliver quite the package, starting at $799.
Note: Samsung unveiled the Galaxy S23 and S23+ during its Unpacked event on February 1st, 2023. The new phones were accompanied by Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S23 Ultra, plus a new Galaxy Book 3 laptop series.
The new Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 remain largely unchanged from last year’s models. We’re getting the same 6.1-inch and 6.6-inch screen sizes, high-end specs, and quality cameras that sit just below the Ultra.
That said, there are a few notable changes worth discussing, not to mention significant differences between these two non-Ultra phones. More specifically, you’ll need to decide which is right for you regarding screen size, storage, battery capacity, and charging speeds.
- Display: 6.1-inch or 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED X2, Quad-HD AMOLED, 120Hz refresh rate, flat screen
- Processor: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2
- Operating System: Android 13 (One UI 5)
- Storage/RAM: 8GB RAM with 128 or 256GB (S23) or 8GB Ram with 256/512GB (S23+)
- Rear Cameras: 50MP f1.8 (wide) with OIS, 12MP f/2.2 (ultrawide), 10MP f2.4 (telephoto) with OIS
- Zoom: 3X Optical, 30X Space Zoom
- Video: 8K@30fps/4K@60fps/FHD@120fps and 960fps (Super Slow—Mo)
- Selfie Camera: 12MP ultrawide
- Battery: 3,900 mAh (S23) and 4,700 mAh (S23+)
- Charging Speed: 25W wired (S23,) 15w wireless, 4.5w reverse wireless, 45w wired (S23+)
- Fingerprint Sensor: Ultrasonic in-display
- Networking: 5G sub6/mmWave, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2, NFC, GPS
- Headphone Jack: Nah
- Protection: Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, Armor Aluminum frame
- Colors: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender
Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S23 Plus: Design & Differences
In terms of design, the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ are nearly identical to the S22 line released last year. However, the little frame and camera housing on the back is gone, and the phones come 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 displays, which many prefer, and do not curve over the sides like the Ultra. Additionally, it’s worth mentioning that while the entire S23 line comes in Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender, those who pre-order from 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 well aware of the differences between Samsung’s line of phones. For those who aren’t, or for the cliff notes, here’s what you need to know and how the two more 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 great camera experience. However, the S23 has a smaller screen, only a 3,900 mAh battery, slower wired charging, and only comes with 128 or 256GB of storage.
Those who opt for the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23+ for $999 get a bigger 4,700 mAh battery, faster 45w wired “Super Fast Charging 2.0,” and the base model has double the storage at 256GB. Additionally, the S23+ can get 512GB of storage, which isn’t a choice for the smaller model.
Galaxy S23 & Galaxy S23 Plus: Cameras
Obviously, being a year newer with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor means things are different. The overall specs (on paper) look nearly the same for the camera experience compared to last year’s Galaxy S22. That said, it had one of the best smartphone cameras, so that’s not necessarily bad.
The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ have the same powerful triple camera setup on the rear. You’ll enjoy a 50MP primary (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 ultrawide and a 10MP f/2.4 telephoto lens with OIS.
The cameras are capable of 3X optical zoom (compared to 10X on the Ultra) and 30X Space Zoom, vs 100X on the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
However, one notable change 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 in a Galaxy phone, jumping from 30fps to 60fps for vastly improved images and video.
The upgraded front-facing camera will be better for selfies, group selfies, video chats, and social media users. With how much we use our front-facing cameras these days, this is a welcomed addition.
Galaxy S23 Pre-Orders and Release Date
Finally, the all-new Galaxy S23 series is available for pre-order starting today, February 1st, and will go on sale on February 17th. That means you only have a few weeks to wait.
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 for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Samsung typically offers a slew of highly lucrative discounts, deals, and trade-in offers to get users on the latest devices, and we’re expecting that again this year.
For example, anyone who pre-orders any S23 model will get a free storage upgrade to the next option, so if you pre-order a 128GB Galaxy S23 for $799, you’ll get the 256GB model. Carriers will also have deals, and those who switch to Verizon or upgrade an existing line can get $800 off any Galaxy S23 series phone with select trade-ins on a 5G plan. Additionally, you’ll get a free Galaxy Watch 5 and Galaxy Tab S7 FE 5G with the purchase.
We expect similar deals from other carriers and will get more details as Samsung announces everything on stage. We’ll update this article with more deals, carrier links, and trade-in values as they’re released.
Samsung Galaxy S23
Pre-order the all-new Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy 23+ today, with orders shipping by February 17th.