Firstly, allow me to be blunt. Surprise isn’t an element that Samsung is known for, especially given the fact that almost all of its best attempts have been easily thwarted by an insane number of leaks that could traumatise your local plumber. The latest of which being the official unveiling of the brand’s latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S23 series, which basically left nothing to the imagination thanks to the abundance of unofficial (yet mostly accurate) information that was kindly provided by numerous insiders in the tech industry.
Regardless, the South Korean tech giant’s next generation heavy hitters are finally here. And thanks to Samsung themselves, we’ve been provided the opportunity to experience all three models under its new flagship smartphone line-up for ourselves.
Given that the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus are pretty similar in aspects such as design and most key specifications, I’ve decided to cover both devices in a single article. Meanwhile, my hands-on with the Ultra will be available as a separate piece altogether, so keep an eye out for that if you wish to know more about the series’ top-of-the-line variant.
To kick things off, both starting models of the Samsung Galaxy S23 line-up offer a refreshed design for their rear panels, which the company dubs as the “Floating Camera” concept. Essentially, gone are the bumps and islands for the imaging system, which have been replaced by a more simpler and straightforward arrangement. This change also grants all three variants a consistent design language – something that the series’ predecessor severely lacked.
Personally, I welcome this shift in direction. Even though each camera still protrudes from the duo’s rear panels, it’s far less jarring than having a large bump or island that awkwardly looks out of place. However, mileage may vary as I’m sure that some may find this minimalist approach too simple, or even too boring.
Now, let’s move on to the hardware department – starting with the displays featured on the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus models. Despite being offered with different screen sizes (6.1-inches for the former, and 6.6-inches for the latter), both feature Dynamic AMOLED 2X panels, FHD (1920 x 1080 pixels) resolution, up to 120 Hz adaptive refresh rate, and up to 240 Hz touch sampling rate. Also not forgetting the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection, which are currently exclusive to all three Galaxy S23 variants.
As you can tell from the description above, the two are obviously similar in terms of visual performance, with the only thing that sets them apart are their difference in display size. That being said, I do feel that the aforementioned features are better appreciated on Plus variant’s larger screen.
For internals, it’s worth reminding that all three variants pack the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chipset, which has been custom-tuned just for the Galaxy S23 series. To put it simply, this variant of the flagship chipset has been overclocked, and is touted to outperform the regular version significantly.
Unfortunately, the limited time given to preview the devices denied me the chance to properly benchmark their respective performance and actually put Samsung’s claim to the test. Although, I can safely say that neither model showed any signs of struggle when handling typical yet taxing operations on the brand’s Android 13-based One UI 5.3 interface, which includes launching and switching between multiple apps, continuous page scrolling, or recording videos at the maximum resolution of 8K at 30 fps.
And speaking of the latter, let’s now talk about the duo’s imaging system. To recap, both the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus offer the same triple camera setup consisting of a 50 MP primary, 12 MP ultra-wide, and 10 MP telephoto with 3X optical zoom. If that sounds oddly familiar, that’s because this particular arrangement is actually no different from what was offered on their respective predecessors.
Nevertheless, there are improvements done to the imaging system’s software, which now offers better image enhancements and low-light photo capture. In addition, you’ll be glad to know that Samsung has upgraded the front-facing camera on the standard and Plus models to feature a larger 12 MP sensor that not only provides better picture quality for selfies, but also improved AI-powered enhancements that allows for natural-looking bokeh, lighting effects, and many more.
Unfortunately, I can’t share my thoughts on the battery life for both the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus as my time with the devices is short. But to refresh you on the specifics, the former packs a capacity of 3,900 mAh while the latter comes with 4,700 mAh – both figures are higher (albeit slightly) than their respective predecessors.
Pricing-wise, the standard model starts at RM 3,899 for the 128 GB variant, while the 256 GB option costs RM 4,199. On the other hand, the 256GB and 512GB configurations for the Plus model are set to retail for RM 4,699 and RM 5,199 respectively.
Pre-order for both starting Samsung Galaxy S23 models is open now until 23 February 2023, which also includes added promotions such as double storage upgrade, discounts on selected Galaxy products, and an RM400 e-Voucher. Also, don’t forget to use our exclusive LWGS23R promo code when ordering through the Samsung Online Store in order to get RM 200 off your purchase for the devices.
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