Samsung Galaxy S23
Minimal upgrades make it better
The Galaxy S23 might not be a must-have upgrade, but it’s still a solid buy-up from the S22 if you want a bigger battery, better performance, and access to longer support for software updates.Pros
- Bigger battery
- Better performance
- Longer software support
- Same camera
- Small upgrades comparatively
Samsung Galaxy S22
A year later and it isn’t stopping
The Galaxy S22 still does everything you need it to do, including running great and delivering fantastic 5G service. If you’re already sporting this small flagship device, don’t feel like you have to upgrade to the S23 just yet. Save your money and wait to see what Samsung does next.Pros
- Same camera performance as S23
- Great 5G connectivity options
- Vibrant and beautiful display
- Smaller battery
- Less overall speed
The Samsung Galaxy S-series continues to offer some of the best Samsung phones available, and the Galaxy S23 and the S22 before it are some of the best Android phones on the market. When Samsung released the Galaxy S23 in 2023, it did so to great applause. But is it worth upgrading to the newest Galaxy device if you’re already sporting a Galaxy S22? That’s the real question here, and we’re going to look at these two devices as they go head-to-head to see which one comes out on top. Is the Galaxy S23 a must-have upgrade, or does the S22 still do everything you need it to do?
Price, availability, and specs
While $800 isn’t cheap by any means, it’s nice to see that the Galaxy S23 didn’t get a price increase, as the phone has the same launch price as the previous generation’s. It also has the same storage options, meaning you’ll get 128GB or bump that up to 256GB for more money. Of course, with the Galaxy S22 being a year old now, you can find some pretty good deals on last year’s model, though the availability of that device is sure to dwindle as Samsung continues to push the S23.
The Galaxy S22 was one of the best 5G phones to buy thanks to its broad network compatibility — all major carriers in the U.S. support the phone — and the S23 is no different. So, if you have access to sub-6 or mmWave 5G, the Galaxy S-series phones are always an excellent way to take advantage of those speeds. Overall, the S23 doesn’t stray too far from what made the S22 successful, but it has a few key upgrades worth knowing about if you’re considering ditching your current S22.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Samsung Galaxy S22 SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Display 6.1″ FHD+ AMOLED, 48~120Hz refresh, 240Hz touch sampling 6.1″ 1080p AMOLED, 48 – 120Hz RAM 8GB 8GB Storage 128GB or 256GB 128GB, 256GB Battery 3,900mAh 3700mAh Operating System One UI 5.1 w/ Android 13 Android 12 with One UI 4.1 Front camera 12MP f/2.2 10MP f/2.2 Rear cameras 50MP f/1.8 OIS main, 12MP f/2.2 wide (120°), 10MP f/2.4 OIS telephoto (3x) 50MP f/1.8 primary; 10MP f/2.4 3x telephoto; 12MP f/2.2 120˚ ultra-wide Dimensions 146.3 × 70.9 × 7.6mm 146 x 70.6 x 7.6 mm Colors Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender + Samsung.com exclusive Lime, Graphite Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, Pink Gold, Graphite, Cream, Sky Blue, Violet Weight 168g 167 g Charging 25W wired (Quick Charge 2, Samsung AFC), 15W wireless (Samsung Fast Wireless Charging 2.0/WPC), Wireless PowerShare 25W wired; 15W wireless IP Rating IP68 IP68 Price From $800 $700 USD
Hardware and design
If you have a Galaxy S22, the S23 will look very familiar to you, as the design and even the phone’s dimensions stay almost the same at just a fraction of an inch difference in height and width. However, you will notice the one big difference: the camera bump from the S22 lineup has been replaced with a completely flush back glass that only has the camera’s lens protruding.
In keeping with tradition, Samsung has decided to put the latest Gorilla Glass on the Galaxy S23, making the display and back of the phone Gorilla Glass Victus 2. Corning has said its reformulated solution can withstand drops of up to 1 meter onto surfaces like concrete (specifically, 80-grit sandpaper) and up to 2 meters on those like asphalt (180 grit), which means the S23 should be a tad more durable than the S22 in theory. But glass is still glass and can be broken (nothing will change that), so in practice, this change is not that big of a deal. The good news is that the S23 is still just as protected from dust and water as its predecessor, as both phones have an IP68 rating.
The display hasn’t changed much from last year, either. You can still expect an excellent quality 6.1-inch FHD+ AMOLED display with an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz. That means scrolling, on-screen animations, or gaming will always look super smooth and crisp, but the phone will know to turn down the refresh rate when you don’t need it. The Galaxy S23 display does get brighter, though, offering a max peak brightness of 1,750 nits, making it considerably more visible in the sun.
Battery and charging
The Galaxy S22 struggles slightly in the battery department, which isn’t surprising given that the smaller form factor only has a 3,700mAh battery inside. Add in the fact that the phone is super powerful, and it’s easy to explain when the battery life is less than stellar. The Galaxy S23 includes a slightly bigger battery at 3,900mAh, which should hopefully alleviate a little bit of battery anxiety. However, there’s no doubt the smaller bump still won’t satisfy power users.
That Galaxy S23 also still has the same limitations on charging speed that we saw last year, meaning it can only get up to 25W of power while charging with a wire and up to 15W if you stick it on a Qi-enabled charging pad. It also supports reverse charging, so feel free to top up your Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro if you need it.
The Galaxy S23 doesn’t shake up the smartphone camera in any interesting way, offering the same camera array we saw on the S22 last year, and that’s okay because the S22’s camera was already a solid hitter.
The 50MP primary shooter on the S23 and S22 should generally provide great results in most lighting conditions, making it a great point-and-shoot camera for capturing a moment. It also has a high enough quality for image editing enthusiasts to sink their teeth into. That said, the 12MP ultrawide camera on both phones will be fine for casual photo takers and social media stars, but the details start to fall apart when you zoom in and scrutinize the photos. Those two cameras are paired with a 10MP telephoto that will help you get closer to your subject by offering a 3X optical zoom like last year and a digital zoom of up to 30X.
Capturing video on the Galaxy S23 will be slightly upgraded as it can record 8K video at 30fps instead of the 24fps the S22 can capture. Once you drop the resolution down, you’ll get the same performance as last year. 4K video at 60fps, 1080p video at 120FPS, and Super Slow-Mo up to 960fps (at 720p resolution). Plus, the front-facing camera got a minor bump up to 12MP on the Galaxy S23 as opposed to the 10MP found on the S22, so if you like taking selfies, the S23 should provide slightly better photos.
Software and performance
Samsung never holds back on giving its flagship phones as much power as they can squeeze in, and this year is no exception. The newest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is more powerful than the Gen 1 that powers the Galaxy S22, but I doubt most people will be able to tell too much of a difference.
Chipset upgrades from year to year tend to be pretty minimal, but they still operate just fine after a year. So there’s no reason the Galaxy S22 wouldn’t be able to handle all the productivity tasks or gaming you want just as well as the Galaxy S23. Still, if you like to push your phones to the limit, the newest chip will give you more wiggle room at the top end of performance.
Much like last year, Samsung’s newest version of its One UI will be the brains behind the operation, so expect One UI 5.1 (running Android 13) on board at launch. The S22 launched with Android 12 last year but has since been upgraded to Android 13 and One UI 5.0, though 5.1 is expected to come to the S22 lineup in the future. Plus, Samsung is still leading the pack with awesome software support promising four major OS updates and five years of security updates on its flagship phones. The S22 will eventually get all the way to Android 16, whereas the new S23 will stretch to Android 17. Bottom line: support won’t be a major issue in the future for either phone.
Should you upgrade?
If you’re happy with your current S22, there really aren’t any huge improvements the S23 brings to the table that you will miss out on. The slightly bigger battery is nice, and an upgraded chipset will always create some buzz, but for most people, the difference in day-to-day use will be minimal.
Still, the S23 is the better phone when it comes down to it, and on top of the bigger battery, it’s got a few tweaks that some people may absolutely love to get their hands on, not to mention the added longevity of software updates. The trade-in value of your S22 may be enough to make upgrading less of a financial burden. If you want to ditch your S22 for the new model, carrier deals are also something you’ll want to keep an eye on.
Samsung Galaxy S23
Our top pick
The better phone
$700 $800 Save $100
The Galaxy S23 might not be a must-have upgrade, but it’s still a solid buy-up from the S22 if you want a bigger battery, better performance, and access to longer support for software updates.
If you’re in the market for a new phone, there’s no doubt that the S23 is a better phone by every standard imaginable. But since the Galaxy S22 is already discounted at a lot of places, and it will likely get discounted further in the future, budget-minded folks will still end up with a great phone if they opt to save money and go with an S22.
Samsung Galaxy S22
Still great a year later
The Galaxy S22 still does everything you need it to do, including running great and delivering fantastic 5G service. If you’re already sporting this small flagship device, don’t feel like you have to upgrade to the S23 just yet. Save your money and wait to see what Samsung does next.