Samsung Galaxy S23+: Power performance in one compact device

Experience ergonomic comfort without compromising user satisfaction

Samsung-Galaxy-S23+phone Samsung Galaxy S23+

Bigger display and much better battery life on the middle sibling than the smaller S23 I reviewed Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra and S23 just a while back, and now it’s time for the middle sibling – the S23+. Starting at a price point of Rs. 94,999 and going to Rs. 1,04,999, the S23+ offers a bigger display and battery in place than the regular S23. Let’s see what it gets right and what it doesn’t.

Design: Well, to put it briefly, it’s simply a bigger version of the S23. The overall look and feel are very much like the S23, which isn’t a bad thing You get a 6.6-inch AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on top and a front-facing camera in a punch-hole near the top. The right side gets the Power/lock key near the middle and volume buttons near the top; while the left side all plain except for the stripes for network reception. The top only has the secondary mic; and the bottom houses the dual SIM card tray, USB type C, primary mic and loudspeaker. I didn’t find the device to be very slippery nor overweight. It feels decent in the hand and would comfortable to carry around for most people considering phone sizes in general these days.

Display: The phone sports a full HD+ (2340x1080) AMOLED display that supports refresh rates of up to 120Hz. It’s an 8-bit panel but handles HDR pretty well without sacrificing on losing out on details that can happen in streaming content at times. The display is bright, sharp and in line with Samsung’s flagship offerings in recent times in terms of vivid colour reproduction on default settings. Also, I think the phone handles high refreshing rates in third party apps better than the OnePlus 11R and 10T, where the S23+ doesn’t randomly cut down on refreshing the display while scrolling, which is nice to see.

Camera: For photography, you get a familiar triple camera setup on the back -- a 50MP (f/1.8) main camera, a 12MP (f/2.2) ultra-wide camera, and a 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto camera. The performance for these cameras is of course same as the S23. It can take really detailed and bright shots in daylight. Pro mode is nice to try in different conditions, tweaking different settings to see what might work a little better. With your subject moving, or in low light sitatuons, though, it can struggle a bit to keep up with details and can give grainy shots. On the front, there’s a 12MP (f/2.2) camera that can take sharp shots for your social media needs. There’s some nice filters to try though many of those go overboard in terms of skin toning.

Performance and software experience: For its hardware, the smartphone features a slightly customized Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (up to 3.36GHz octa core processor, Adreno 740 GPU and x70 modem) chipset to go with 8GB of LPDDR5X RAM and 256GB UFS 4.0 storage. I found its general performance to be not lacking in any significant manner. You can play a game like Ashpalt 9 without any troubles or excessive heating issues with the device. Apps open and close smoothly with no stuttering seen in day to day usage here. As mentioned above, the phone handles higher refresh rates pretty well in third party apps for scrolling or just navigating through the device otherwise. The device runs on Samsung’s One UI 5.1 that’s based on Android 13 OS with March security patch installed. In terms if customization and added features, One Ui doesn’t disappoint – whether it’s added options with the Gallery app or the handy file manager or Good Lock add-on that is a must try app from the Galaxy Store if you have a Galaxy device today. Just make sure to disable recommended apps and show customized apps under Samsung’s settings, which I found don’t really add any value to your user experience.

Battery life: The phone boasts a 4,700mAh battery unit and supports up to 45watt fast charging, though you don’t get a charger in the box (just a USB type C to C cable and a SIM card tray ejector tool). The phone lasted a day quite frequently with moderate to heavy use every day. It charges from 1% to full in about 90 minutes or so, which was expected. The battery life is nearly as good as the S23 Ultra, though not exactly as much, but significantly better than the S23.

Other stuff: The device latches on to 5G connectivity wherever available quite well, perhaps better than many other 5G devices that often show to drop to 4G LTE on a short movement even if you’re outside. The call quality here is top notch and so is the GPS performance for reliable quick lock-in. The loudspeakers on the device aren’t the best in terms of loudness or deep output for multimedia, but it’s still decent enough that you won’t mind using them for watching your videos or playing a game when alone. Optical fingerprint scanner is just decent enough when it comes to unlocking the device frequently and quickly, though its placement could have been slightly lower under the display for convenience.

Verdict: The Samsung Galaxy S23+ performed pretty much in line to what you might have thought about it. It’s a bigger version of the S23 with a longer battery life and a larger display that both do a good job. Its performance is top notch in this price segment, You might say this isn’t a huge change from the S23 or not a huge leap from the S22 in terms of design, but that isn’t necessarily a bad thing always considering it’s working fine and doesn’t really cause any dip in the user experience. 

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