Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus review - refined looks, powerful specs

1 month ago 31

Early Verdict

Our aboriginal verdict is that Samsung has refined the looks, focused connected performance, and whitethorn person a big-screen victor connected its hands.


  • +

    A caller look

  • +

    The bespoke Snapdragon for Galaxy

  • +

    More basal storage


  • -

    Not antithetic enough

  • -

    Deserved a 108MP sensor

Why you tin spot TechRadar Our adept reviewers walk hours investigating and comparing products and services truthful you tin take the champion for you. Find retired much astir however we test.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus: Two-minute preview

I'm a spot torn implicit the nonaccomplishment of the contour connected the caller Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus. In Samsung's newest handset line, the S23 series, that raised spot of metallic surrounding the camera array is gone. It's a cleaner look that I like, but I besides interest that this 6.6-inch phone, and its smaller 6.1-inch sister (the Galaxy S23), person mislaid a signature look and a favoritism from the remainder of the smartphone pack. You work our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 review for much connected the smaller phone, oregon our hands-on Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra review for our sentiment connected the adjacent much susceptible phone.

The communicative of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is not truthful overmuch the cleaned-up exterior arsenic it is what's inside. All 3 of Samsung's caller flagship phones diagnostic the caller Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. Strike that – they diagnostic a peculiar variation of that SoC, dubbed Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy.

It's a nifty, bespoke sanction that defines 1 small spot of peculiar condiment wrong these Android 13 handsets: each the CPUs are overclocked to what whitethorn beryllium an industry-leading 3.36GHz. 

Most mobile CPUs, including Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Apple's formidable A16 Bionic wrong the iPhone 14 line, are accelerated capable for the immense bulk of users. This other spot of foodstuff that Samsung and Qualcomm person coaxed retired of the 8 Gen 2 could mean amended video seizure astatine the highest resolution, smoother gaming, and much almighty CPU-intensive operations similar 8K video editing.

As you'll spot from my hands-on experience, I surely didn't person capable clip to genuinely trial that show (let unsocial benchmark it). Still, that CPU is cardinal to the ongoing communicative of the Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup, which includes the Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S23 Plus, and the bold Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus (foreground) and Galaxy S23. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

That processor is important to support successful caput erstwhile you look astatine the mostly unchanged camera array. It's inactive a 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP optically stabilized 3X optical zoom array. The beforehand camera is present 12MP, up from 10MP connected the Galaxy S22 Plus. 

Samsung is claiming amended photography, mostly done the powerfulness of the upgraded CPU and its much almighty AI features. In short, and adjacent successful our constricted hands-on time, those promises cookware out.

Samsung didn't hole what wasn't breached connected the 6.6-inch AMOLED display. There's inactive an ultrasonic fingerprint scholar underneath, and the selfie camera punch spread adjacent the top. Everything inactive looks agleam and colorful. Samsung did up the adaptive refresh complaint capabilities, truthful present they measurement each the mode down to 1Hz and inactive spell up to a buttery-smooth 120Hz.

Even though the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is simply a virtual duplicate of the Galaxy S23, determination are evident (size) and important differences.

Samsung has kept the dimensions virtually unchanged from the Galaxy S22 Plus, but compared to the S23, the S23 Plus is simply a larger telephone that feels much substantial. That larger Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and Armor Aluminum assemblage leaves country for a bigger 4,700mAh artillery (200mAh larger than the 1 successful the Galaxy S22 Plus) and a larger cooling chamber.

The Galaxy S23 Plus starts astatine $999.99/ £1,049 / AU$1,649, which is $200 / £200 / AU$300 much than the Galaxy S23 starting price. While some the S23 and S23 Plus person 8GB of RAM, the Galaxy S23 Plus starts with 256GB of retention and goes up to 512GB. The basal Galaxy S23 starts with conscionable 128GB of storage, and tops retired astatine 256GB. 

In summation to much storage, the Plus besides adds UWB (ultra-wideband) connectivity, which could beryllium utilized for precision determination of the telephone and different connected devices (think of what Apple does with its UWB and Find My features).

No azygous constituent jumps retired arsenic the crushed to upgrade from a Galaxy S22 Plus. However, it could beryllium a compelling prime for those coming to the Galaxy enactment for the archetypal time, those who mightiness disregard the too-small Galaxy S23, and find the almighty Galaxy S23 Ultra overkill and excessively expensive.

I'll cognize more, though, erstwhile I get a accidental to afloat reappraisal the phone.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on: Price and availability

  • Starts astatine $999.99 / £949 / AU$1,649
  • Same terms arsenic past year
  • You get much retention for your money

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus prices
RAM / StorageUS priceUK priceAU price
8GB / 256GB$999.99£1,049$1,649
8GB / 512GB$1,119.99£1,149$1,849

At $999.99, pricing for the basal exemplary of the Galaxy S23 Plus successful the US remains unchanged since past year; however, you're present getting 256GB, treble the storage, for that price. That's a bully small worth upgrade successful these cash-constrained times. With the top-tier retention present upped to 512GB, you'll wage $100 much than for past year's 256GB apical model.

In the UK and Australia, the prices of the 2 phones person been hiked by £100 / £150 and AU$100 and AU$200 respectively.

For comparison, the Galaxy 23 Ultra offers up to 12GB RAM and 1TB of storage. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus successful white. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on: Specs

As mentioned above, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus comes successful 2 retention variants, 256GB and 512GB, and some person 8GB of RAM.

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The specs of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus Galaxy S23 Plus 256 GBGalaxy S23 Plus 512 GB
Price:$999.99 / £949 / AU$1,549$1,149 / £1099 / AU$1,749
Dimensions:76.2 x 157.73 x 7.62 mm76.2 x 157.73 x 7.62 mm
OS:Android 13Android 13
Screen Size:6.6-inch6.6-inch
Resolution:2316 x 1080 pixels2316 x 1080 pixels
CPU:Qualcomm Snapdragon Gen 8 2 Mobile Platform for GalaxyQualcomm Snapdragon Gen 8 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy
Rear Cameras:50MP Wide, 12MP Ultrawide, 10MP telepoto50MP Wide, 12MP Ultrawide, 10MP telepoto
Front Camera:12MP12MP

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S23 lineup (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on: Design

  • Design changes marque it cleaner and simpler
  • Excellent look, feel, and materials
  • Nice Gorilla solid upgrade

Samsung has taken a comparatively airy interaction with the Galaxy S23 lineup, making a fistful of plan changes that determination the phones a measurement oregon 2 distant from their Galaxy enactment heritage.

For the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus (and the Galaxy S23) this means removing the iconic contour from astir the camera array. Now each 3 lenses interval adjacent the upper-left broadside of the phone's brushed solid Gorilla Victus 2 backmost (there's besides glossy Victus 2 solid covering the display).

It's a precise cleanable look, but it means the phones look a small little evidently portion of the Samsung line. To debar confusion, Samsung has kept its sanction prominently displayed connected the back.

Despite removing the spot of Armor Aluminum comprising the contour, the dimensions of the Galaxy S23 Plus are astir precisely the aforesaid arsenic those of the Galaxy S22 Plus. Its 76.2 x 157.73 x 7.62mm and 195g framework was astir a cleanable acceptable for my manus – somewhat larger than my iPhone 14 Pro, but a small smaller than the 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max – and the curved metallic set surrounding the instrumentality felt chill and creaseless to the touch.

There are a fewer different plan alterations. The powerfulness and measurement buttons person been moved down a small connected the borderline of the instrumentality (maybe that'll marque them easier to reach) and immoderate antenna bands person been repositioned. Even the bottommost borderline speaker-grille holes, which are adjacent to the USB-C port, mic holes, and SIM slot, are somewhat larger.

For the archetypal time, immoderate outer portions of the phones are made from recycled materials, including the measurement and powerfulness buttons, and the talker grille astatine the precise apical of the display. In addition, Gorilla Glass Victus includes immoderate recycled glass, and immoderate of the phone's packaging is made from recycled materials. Even the integrative screen you'll peel disconnected the surface is partially recycled.

There's a bully postulation of colors to take from. I've seen the Cotton, Black, Lilac, and Green models, and determination volition beryllium further colors, similar Red, which volition lone beryllium disposable lone done

The full enactment of Galaxy S23 devices are IP68-rated, which means a driblet successful h2o oregon a rotation successful ungraded should not fuss immoderate of them.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus DO NOT USE BEFORE FEB 1 1PM

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus Gorilla Glass Victus 2 backmost (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on: Display

As with astir different Galaxy S23 enactment aspects, the AMOLED show hasn't changed overmuch since the S22 line.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus's 6.6-inch surface is big, bright, and responsive. The adaptive refresh complaint tunes the surface depending connected what you're doing, down to 48Hz. In my constricted experience, this means smooth-scrolling question and enactment successful the YouTube videos I played.

The telephone besides inactive supports 240Hz touch-sampling for speedy gaming response. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus show (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

I dipped into the settings to crook disconnected Adaptive refresh (and perchance prevention immoderate artillery life), and I noticed however antithetic the scrolling looked.

It's a responsive surface that had nary occupation beating backmost the agleam airy acceptable up for our merchandise photography. That's apt acknowledgment to the 1,750 nits of highest brightness, though typically the surface volition tally astatine 1,200 nits.

The phone's adaptive brightness strategy present includes much steps to decently set for your assorted viewing environments, though this was thing that was hard to spot successful my little hands-on time.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 show settings (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on: Cameras

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus camera array (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Thanks to the removal of the raised metallic contour astir the camera system, each 3 lenses look a small larger, but this is fundamentally the aforesaid camera setup arsenic connected the Galaxy S22. The large differences successful representation seizure show are driven, naturally, by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that backs them up.

The 3 main rear cameras are: 

  • 50MP (OIS) f/1.8 wide, 85-degree FOV
  • 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 120-degree FOV
  • 10MP (OIS) f/2.4 telephoto (3x), 36-degree FOV

It's a shame that the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus didn't follow the Galaxy S22 Ultra's camera array, with its 108MP sensor and that astonishing 100x abstraction zoom. Still, this array, with its upgraded representation sensor and representation processing, is thing to sneeze at.

I took a clump of photos successful the controlled abstraction of a studio, trying retired the wide, main, and telephoto lenses, and pushing the 30x Space Zoom. The show of each 3 cameras was good. In fact, it seemed similar they mightiness beryllium somewhat amended than what I experienced erstwhile I tested the akin array connected the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus.

Both colour accuracy and explanation were excellent. The 50MP sensor shoots, by default, successful 4.5-to-1 pixel-binning mode. I besides changeable immoderate unbinned 50MP images with the main camera. The seizure and processing were slower than I expected, but this is not the mode astir radical volition use. I volition accidental that, with those 50MP images, I could pinch and zoom to a precocious level of detail.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus DO NOT USE BEFORE FEB 1 1PM

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus main camera (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung is promising improved 'Nightography,' which is not thing I could truly test, but I did propulsion the low-light show a bit.

In the studio, I took a dense broad and enactment a vessel of fake lemons nether it. Then I held the telephone nether the blanket, and utilized the measurement up button, which besides serves arsenic a shutter button, to instrumentality immoderate photos. Considering the conditions, the Galaxy S23 Plus did a bully job.

On the beforehand is simply a caller 12MP camera, un upgrsde . I took immoderate selfies successful some modular and representation modes, and the level of item was fantabulous successful some cases. I marveled astatine however aged looked, and realized that it's clip to whiten my teeth. Thanks a lot, Samsung.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus low-light changeable (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on: Performance and audio

  • Promises of industry-leading performance
  • Early interactions were creaseless and snappy

Not lone does the full Samsung Galaxy S23 enactment get the champion Qualcomm has to connection successful mobile CPUs, the phones adjacent get their ain peculiar variation of it.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus (and each S23 devices) are moving the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform for Galaxy. What this boils down to is simply a small much juice, with the CPU moving astatine 3.36GHz. That's a batch of powerfulness for a small smartphone.

Obviously, I couldn't benchmark the telephone to verify the show boost. What I tin accidental is that immoderate I did connected the telephone felt responsive and smooth. I didn't get to play immoderate games, oregon accent the Galaxy S23 Plus successful a mode that mightiness amusement me, for instance, if the telephone gets hot. The S23 Plus has a amended cooling strategy than the S23, but that smaller telephone ne'er felt blistery either. Again, I lone had a mates of hours with the 2 phones, truthful instrumentality this accusation with a atom of salt.

I besides took the clip to ticker the caller Dungeons and Dragons movie trailer connected the Samsung Galaxy S23. It looked great, and the stereo speakers got large and crisp (not a batch of bass, obviously). I past switched connected Dolby Atmos, which seemed to amended the clarity a bit. I truly privation to walk much clip with the telephone to spot if the audio tin get adjacent much immersive.

All the Galaxy S23 phones are 5G-capable, and, yes, they inactive see carnal SIM slots.

One happening Samsung is not presently touting is immoderate benignant of outer connectivity, which, fixed the existent competitory environment, is simply a small surprising. Apple, for instance, introduced Emergency SOS via Satellite with the iPhone 14 line, and Qualcomm showed astatine CES however a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-equipped demo instrumentality could send and person texts implicit satellite

Both the S23 and S23 Plus brace the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with the X70 5G modem, the aforesaid 1 Qualcomm told maine is susceptible of outer communications; truthful conceivably, Samsung and its bearer partners could crook connected this diagnostic later.

However, Samsung is truthful acold keeping mum astir those capabilities connected the Galaxy S23 line.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on: Software

The full Samsung Galaxy S23 enactment volition vessel with Android 13 and Samsung's OneUI 5.1 overlay. Samsung is promising 4 generations of OS upgrades, and 5 years of information upgrades.

Overall, the bundle acquisition is precise familiar, and virtually unchanged from the S22 line. That said, Samsung has introduced a fig of caller bundle features that I didn't person the accidental to test, including amended Samsung Notes (there are present co-create features), co-watching successful Google Meet, and enhanced information features. The second adds the quality to acceptable your S23 to Maintenance Mode, truthful that each your information is protected portion idiosyncratic works connected your Galaxy S23.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 (left) and Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus (right) (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus hands-on: Battery life

One of the reasons you bargain a bigger telephone is for the bigger battery. The Galaxy S23 has a 4,700mAH battery, which is 200mAh larger than the 1 successful the Galaxy S22 Plus, and 800mAh larger than the artillery successful the Galaxy S23.

This, and what should beryllium a much businesslike Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, could effect successful a batch much artillery beingness than we got from past year's S22 Plus, though that's conscionable speculation until we tin tally immoderate artillery benchmark tests.

The telephone supports Super Fast Charging 2.0 (with a 45W wired accelerated charger). There's besides Super Fast Charging Wireless (which is up to 10W+), and wireless PowerShare if you privation to complaint your Galaxy Buds Pros, oregon different Galaxy S22 oregon S23, connected the backmost of the caller device. Naturally, I couldn't trial immoderate of these features.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus connected immoderate lovely, fake lemons. (Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is an impressively built, charismatic smartphone that appears to connection ample show and high-quality cameras backed by an awesome mobile CPU.

For US customers, the basal exemplary successful peculiar is amended worth than erstwhile Plus models acknowledgment the doubled storage, a amended cooling system, and a overmuch bigger battery, each for the  same terms arsenic past year's Galaxy S22. Still, I'll withhold last judgement until I tin afloat trial the handset,

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Samsung GalaxyS22 PlusApple iPhone 14 ProApple iPhone 14 PlusOnePlus 10 ProGoogle Pixel 7 Pro
Price:$999 / £949 / $1,549$999 / £1,099 / AU$1,749$899 / £949 / AU$1,579$899 / £799 (roughly AU$1,400) $899 / £849 / AU$1,299
Dimensions:157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm71.5 x 147.5 x 7.85mm160.8mm x 78.1mm x 7.8mm163 x 73.9 x 8.6mm162.9 x 76.6 x 8.9 mm
OS:OneUI / Android 13iOS 16iOS 16Android 12Android 13
Screen Size:6.6 in.6.1 in.6.7 in.6.7 in.6.7 in.
Resolution:1080 x 23402556 x 1179 2278 x 12843216 x 14403120 x 1440
CPU:Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1A16 BionicA16 BionicQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Tensor G2
RAM:8GB6GB (est)6GB (est)8GB12GB
Storage:128GB128GB128GB128GB128 GB
Battery:4,500mAh3,200mAh4323 mAh5,000mAh5,000mAh
Rear Cameras: 50MP f/1.8 main, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide, 10MP f/2.4 telephoto for 3x optical zoom48MP wide (24mm f/2.8), 12MP ultra-wide (13mm f/2.2). 12MP telephoto (77mm f/2.8)12MP 26mm, f/1.5 lens, 12MP 13mm, f/2.4 ultrawide 48MP main, 50MP ultra-wide and 13MP telephoto50MP main, 48MP 5x zoom, 12MP ultra-wide macro
Front camera:10MP f/2.212MP 12MP f/1.932MP f/2.210MP

A 35-year manufacture seasoned and award-winning journalist, Lance has covered exertion since PCs were the size of suitcases and “on line” meant “waiting.” He’s a erstwhile Lifewire Editor-in-Chief, Mashable Editor-in-Chief, and, earlier that, Editor successful Chief of and Senior Vice President of Content for Ziff Davis, Inc. He besides wrote a popular, play tech file for Medium called The Upgrade.

Lance Ulanoff (opens successful caller tab) makes predominant appearances connected national, international, and section quality programs including Live with Kelly and Ryan, Fox News, Fox Business, the Today Show (opens successful caller tab), Good Morning America, CNBC, CNN, and the BBC. 

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Hands connected reviews' are a journalist's archetypal impressions of a portion of kit based connected spending immoderate clip with it. It whitethorn beryllium conscionable a fewer moments, oregon a fewer hours. The important happening is we person been capable to play with it ourselves and tin springiness you immoderate consciousness of what it's similar to use, adjacent if it's lone an embryonic view. For much information, spot TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.

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