Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Plus is the Goldilocks in its 2023 smartphone lineup

pros and cons

Strong Points

  • fast performance
  • long battery life
  • great camera

  • Some photos are too saturated
  • Sometimes selfie cam smoothing is too strong
  • Samsung’s software can be overwhelming


Samsung’s S23 lineup spans a wide range of prices and features.standard $799 Galaxy S23For example, is the most affordable and boasts the smallest display of the lot.of S23 Ultra It’s on the other end of the spectrum, with a $1,200 price tag, massive camera upgrades, and the largest display Samsung has ever offered in a smartphone.

next, $999 Galaxy S23 PlusApparently, Samsung just got the right phone. Priced at just under $1,000, he’s got a display big enough to work and play with, camera settings that are sure to draw attention to your photos, and performance that rivals the S23 Ultra.

At least that’s what it looks like on paper. I’ve spent the last few weeks testing the S23 Plus, putting it through its paces to see if this is the Galaxy S23 model most people should get. is needed.


operating system Android 13, One UI 5.1
screen 6.6″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X Infinity-O FHD+, 1080 x 2340, 120Hz, 1750 nits (peak)
processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy
depository 256GB, 512GB
memory 8GB
rear camera 50MP Wide, 12MP Ultra Wide, 10MP 3x Telephoto
front camera 12 MP
battery 4,700mAh (wired 45W, wireless 15W)
connectivity 5G (sub6, mmWave), Wi-Fi 6E 802.11ax, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC
IP rating IP68
colour Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Graphite, Lime
size 6.21 x 3 x 0.3 inch
weight 6.91 ounces
price $999

Classic but sophisticated design

At first glance, the Galaxy S23 Plus looks a lot like last year’s Galaxy S22The phone has a 6.6-inch display on the front, with a hole-punching selfie camera centered along the top of the display.

again: 3 Hidden Samsung Galaxy Camera Features You Should Use

The only physical buttons on the S23 Plus (power button and volume up/down keys) are on the right side of the armored aluminum body. There is a USB-C port on the bottom of the phone, next to the physical SIM card tray.Samsung is not following Apple Throw away the physical SIM cardbut the Galaxy S23 Plus supports dual SIM cards. eSIMs.

The back of the Samsung S23 Plus on a table.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

It’s only when you flip the S23 Plus over that you can see the biggest difference from last year’s design. S22 plus S23 Plus: camera array. The S23 Plus still has a distinct camera lens, but rather than extending from the phone’s body and being in the area that houses the camera lens, the camera is stacked vertically on the left side.

again: Samsung Galaxy S23, Plus, and Ultra: Which model do you need?

It’s a cleaner design, and I much prefer it to the layout of the S22 Plus. It also standardizes the design language of all three Galaxy S23 models to some degree, with the only real visual difference between the S23 Ultra and both S23 models being the Ultra’s two additional lenses.

The S23 Plus comes in a variety of colors, but if you’ve decided on the S23 Plus as your next smartphone, be careful where you buy it.The standard color lineup found at Samsung’s retail partners is Phantom Black, Green. , lavender and cream.

However, if you purchased the Plus directly from Samsung, you’ll have two more color choices. There is a near-black graphite option and a lime-colored option. They all look great. I use the Lavender model, and it’s a very light purple that works fine for everyday use on my phone.

again: 5 hidden features in the new Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Ultra

just have S23 Ultra reviewalthough it’s a huge phone, objectively, I found the S23 Plus much easier to hold and manage.

The bottom of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus on a table.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

ultra performance

The same processor is used in the entire Galaxy S23 lineup, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for GalaxyThat last part, “For Galaxy” is important.

It comes out of a partnership between tech giants to optimize Qualcomm’s latest chips for Samsung phones.

Effectively, this is an overclocked version of the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, giving Samsung access to processing speeds of up to 3.36 GHz.

The result is three smartphones that are extremely fast and responsive and can handle heavy workloads without issue.

The S23 Plus comes with a single 8GB memory option and a choice of 256GB or 512GB storage. As a new starting point for mobile phones, 256 GB of storage is required.

We ran a quick benchmark test with Geekbench 6 simulating common tasks and workloads on the S23 Plus to get a general idea of ​​its performance. , with an average multi-core score of 5,207, virtually matching the S23 Ultra’s score in the same test.

of iPhone 14 Pro Max Powered by Apple’s A16 Bionic processor, the S23 Plus outperforms the S23 Plus in the Geekbench 6 test, scoring 2,527 and 6,290 respectively.

But don’t get too hung up on these numbers. Despite the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s high scores, the benchmarks only tell part of the story. The S23 Plus feels as fast and capable as the iPhone 14 Pro Max in everyday use.

again: How to use the Galaxy S23’s new magic Photoshop-like trick

For me, daily use includes Reddit, megalodon (a mastodon client), Slack messages, blue bubblesFeedMe RSS, Apple Music streaming, watching random YouTube videos, and occasionally completing 1 or 6 races on Asphalt 9.

All of that, plus a quick selfie capture, weather check, or new object cutout tool I can’t recall a single instance of poor performance in the Gallery app. The S23 Plus handled it all with ease.

Also, watching videos and games and the S23 Plus’ display are a perfect match. The display is crisp, vibrant, and reasonably saturated. With a peak brightness of 1,750 nits, it can be viewed in almost any environment, including direct sunlight.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus laid flat on a table.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

The key to a robust camera is consistency

The Galaxy S23 Plus has one 12-megapixel front-facing selfie camera and three rear cameras: a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera, and a 10-megapixel telephoto with 3x optical zoom. camera).

On paper, the three cameras range from 200-megapixel (you read it that way) to two different 10-megapixel telephoto lenses, with 3x and 10x zoom capabilities, respectively. It doesn’t seem to hold anything of its own compared to the S23 Ultra’s five cameras.

Unlike my colleagues, I didn’t notice any perceptible shutter lag when taking pictures of both still and moving objects June Wan’s experience with the S23 Ultra.

glasses of iced tea on the counter

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

When it comes to everyday photography, the S23 Plus nails it in the traditional Samsung way. In other words, Samsung is known for boosting the saturation of photos to give them pops of color that many people like.

In both normal lighting settings and low-light environments, the S23 Plus’ photos are vibrant and have pleasing sharpness.

A photo of the entire restaurant interior taken in low light

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus selfie at the same restaurant

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

The front-facing camera took selfies that were smooth, sometimes too smooth. I’ve been frustrated with Samsung’s selfie camera for a long time. It’s way too aggressive in trying to smooth my skin and I end up with pictures that almost look fake.

again: S23 Ultra vs S22 Ultra: Is this year’s flagship worth the upgrade?

It’s natural to have megapixel envy when comparing the S23 Plus to the S23 Ultra, and it’s natural to want to spend more money on the Ultra just for the camera setup, but both Having used the phone, the Ultra’s camera is impressive, but the plus is no slouch. I think most people are happy with that.

Some pictures of the hallway.

Photo showing different zoom levels of the S23 Plus camera. From 0.6x to 30x.

Jason Cipriani/ZDNET

all-day battery life

Another small tweak Samsung made to the S23 Plus over last year’s model was increasing the battery size from 4,500mAh to 4,700mAh. is important. Whether you’re on Wi-Fi all day at home or bouncing between cellular and Wi-Fi connections on the go, you’ll never run out of battery life all day long.

review: Galaxy S23 Ultra: Best smartphone of the year (so far)

I used the S23 Plus’ hotspot feature a few times during my testing. At one point, I used it for exactly 60 minutes to check the battery consumption. With about 6GB of traffic (I downloaded his iPadOS update of 5.4GB) the S23 Plus charged from full to 90%. This is the first time we’ve tracked hotspot usage in this way, and while it’s not a tell-all metric, it’s a data point worth mentioning.

We also played a 4K video in a loop and monitored how long it took the phone to fully charge before it turned off. He took 36 minutes to run the same test. I admit, I was puzzled. The S23 Ultra has a bigger display and a bigger battery, and we didn’t expect the S23 Plus to last as long. Again, hands-on experience is most important.


I absolutely loved using S23 UltraIt has everything you need in your mobile phone. But I have to admit – there’s a large portion of me wanting the features and functionality of the S23 Ultra in the body of the S23 Plus.

That said, I think Samsung hit the perfect balance of performance, features, and price on the S23 Plus. Unfortunately, the $999 flagship phone is taking hold. But you’re getting your money’s worth, at least as far as the S23 Plus is concerned.

Alternatives to consider

of S23 Ultra The best Samsung has to offer.

apple iPhone 14 Pro is the same price as the S23 Plus and offers essentially the same experience, but uses iOS instead of Android.

Google’s flagship smartphone, pixel 7 proon par with the Galaxy S23 Plus, but $100 cheaper.

https://www.zdnet.com/article/samsung-galaxy-s23-plus-review/#ftag=RSSbaffb68 Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Plus is the Goldilocks in its 2023 smartphone lineup

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