Samsung Galaxy S23 Review: display, design, performance and camera specs

Updated on 28 June 2023

Published 13 Apr, 2023 - The Samsung Galaxy S23 represents a significant step up from the S22 series. However, is the budget-friendly little brother of the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra worth investing in?

Introducing the Samsung Galaxy S23

Samsung dropped the Galaxy S23 along with the rest of the S23 series on 17 February 2023. The Samsung Galaxy S23 release date might have been overshadowed by the souped-up S23 Ultra, but this palm-friendly smartphone is an affordable choice for those looking to upgrade. 

The Galaxy S23 offers many improvements to the S22, especially when it comes to battery capacity and display credentials. What's more, it holds up well when you compare it to its more expensive sibling, the S23 Plus. Considering ditching your existing device and seeing what all the fuss is about? Our Samsung Galaxy S23 review has all the information you need.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Design

At first glance, the Samsung Galaxy S23 doesn't look massively different from the Galaxy S22. While the redesign is a subtle one, there's a lot to love about the new and improved Galaxy S23. 

If you found the contoured surrounds of previous Galaxy S phones a little cumbersome, you'll be glad to know those edges have been milled away here. The result is a handset that looks right at home alongside its contemporaries like the iPhone 14

This stripped-back design gives the impression that the rear cameras are larger than they are. They're the same size as with previous Galaxy S releases. While the Galaxy had a defined housing for the camera array, the vertical stack of lenses here gently protrude from the body of the phone. This low-profile aesthetic is a welcome one, drawing comparisons with the Galaxy Ultra. 

Despite its slimline design, the Samsung Galaxy S23 is incredibly durable. Gorilla Glass Victus 2 delivers a crack and scratch-resistant screen. This handset is also IP68 rated, offering excellent dust protection and water resistance at up to depths of 1.5 meters. 

At just 168 grams, the Galaxy S23 is one of the lighter smartphone models on the market. This palm-friendly device is a fair bit lighter than the S23 Plus which comes in at 196 grams. It's also significantly less bulky than the S23 Ultra which weighs in at 234 grams. 

The layout of the Galaxy S23 is pretty much identical to the S23 Plus. You'll find a primary microphone at the bottom of the screen, along with a secondary mic at the top and one at the rear. Since the introduction of the Galaxy S20, Samsung has positioned the volume and side keys on the right side, making the Galaxy S23 a good choice for Apple fans for a new device that still feels familiar. You'll find the SIM tray and a multi-purpose USB-C port at the bottom, while the speaker grille is positioned at the top, just above the selfie camera. 

There's also plenty of variety when it comes to Samsung Galaxy S23 colours. All the standard Samsung shades are available, including Cream, Phantom Black, and Lavender. Lime and Graphite are also available as online exclusives.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Screen Size and Display

If you're familiar with the Galaxy S22, the display specs of the S23 aren't going to be anything new. Once again, a Dynamic AMOLED 2X brings you a phone that more than delivers when it comes to brightness, contrast, and colour vibrancy. 

At 6.1 inches, the Samsung Galaxy S23 screen size does fall slightly short of its bigger sibling. However, the S23 outperforms the S23 Plus when it comes to pixels per inch. As with previous models, the S23 boasts a maximum brightness that puts other smartphones to shame. While the S22 impressed with a max brightness potential of 1,300 nits, the S23 goes even further at 1,750 nits. At peak brightness, the Galaxy S23 comes out on top compared to the iPhone 14 and Google Pixel 7

Although the screen Samsung Galaxy S23 size necessitates a smaller display, the screen resolution of 2340 x 1080 pixels is identical to that of the S23 Plus. Whether you're watching TikTok videos or streaming blockbuster movies, enhanced definition is the standard here. 

With a refresh rate of 120Hz, the S23 allows for smooth scrolling, without impacting on-screen animations. That being said, the refresh rate is variable. If you're looking to push a fully-charged battery further, turn off the adaptive refresh feature and opt for 60Hz instead. 

Another welcome feature here is a new and improved Advanced Vision Booster. This will adjust your screen automatically, bringing you the best contrast and colour accuracy in all ambient light settings. Furthermore, the dark mode feature here is incredibly impressive, offering a degree of sharpness that's comparable with standard viewing on many devices.

Performance Specs

As with most phones, it's the details you can't see that really drive performance with the Galaxy S23. Samsung has upgraded to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. If you thought the S22's Gen 1 chipset was something to write home about, wait until you see what the S23 can do. The enhanced internals bolster the CPU and GPU potential, making the Galaxy S23 one of the fastest smartphones on the market. The iPhone 14 Pro series might just outpace it, but the Galaxy S23 is nipping at its heels. 

The upgraded internals means you have a smartphone that can comfortably cope with intensive applications. Video editing and mobile gaming work like a dream on this phone, while the image capture capabilities of the S23 have been greatly enhanced. Although the hardware itself remains unchanged, the chipset upgrade means that AI features get a helping hand to take your photography sessions to the next level. 

One area where the S23 falls short is battery performance. With a battery capacity of 3,900mAh, the S23 falls short of the S23 Plus and the S23 Ultra, which boast capacities of 4,700mAh and 5,000mAh respectively. However, it holds up well when you compare it to the other devices. When using the Adaptive Feature, the S23 should run for around 10.5 hours, beating the iPhone 14 by approximately 60 minutes and the Pixel 7 by several hours.

Charging times are respectable, with the S23 offering the same 25W wired charging capabilities as the S22. Wireless charging is also supported, while the reverse wireless charging function lets you share your reserves with other devices.  

Audio quality should impress, especially if you're making the switch from an earlier Samsung model. You'll get beautifully balanced sound here, although the S23 does struggle at higher volumes. However, even the S23 Plus suffers from distortion and has issues with wide soundstages.

How Well Does the Samsung Galaxy S23 Camera Hold Up?

The Samsung Galaxy S23 camera array is one of the best for its price point. Although the camera array looks a little bit different from the S22, you'll have a good idea of what to expect if you've used this previous model. 

As with the Galaxy S22, the S23 features three cameras at the rear. The standout is the wide camera with its 50MP sensor, letting you capture candid snaps with high levels of clarity. The Galaxy S23 consistently delivers, whether you're shooting inspiring landscapes or intimate portraits. Image detail is balanced, while colours are rich and vibrant.


However, as with other Galaxy S series models, the S23 can struggle in low-light environments. Thankfully, you've got a night mode feature that gives you longer exposures. That being said, this only goes so far in compensating for lower light levels. If You're looking for high-quality nighttime shots, you'll want to think about upgrading to the S23 Ultra. 

The 12MP ultrawide camera and 10MP telephoto sensors are perfectly serviceable, although the zoom capabilities are a little limited. The 3x optical zoom feature is good for everyday applications, but the 30x Space zoom function isn't particularly reliable. Nonetheless, it's the only phone in its price range that boasts a telephoto lens. Thankfully, the 12MP front sensor is a first-rate selfie camera. 

The Samsung Galaxy S23 does stand out with its video capture capabilities. You can record video at up to 8K at 30fps, while the front camera can capture 4K at 60fps. Effective image stabilization is also on hand if you're recording moving objects.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Specs



Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2


Octa Core

Operating System

Android 13

Memory (RAM)

8 GB

Internals and Battery



Battery Capacity



Up to 22 hours

Max Charge Speed

25W (wired), 10W (wireless)


Ultra-wide camera (rear)

12MP, f/2.2

Wide-angle camera (rear)

50MP, f/1.8

Telephoto camera (rear)

10MP, f/2.4

Selfie camera (front)

12MP, f/2.2


3x optical zoom, 30x Space zoom

Video recording

4K at 60fps, 8K at 30fps



Dynamic AMOLED 2X

Screen Size

6.1 inches

Screen Resolution

2340 x 1080 pixels

Pixel Density

425 ppi

Display Frequency


Height and Weight


168 grams


70.86 x 143.3 x 7.62mm


Internal Storage

128 GB / 256 GB

Availability and Price

Looking to replace your existing handset with a new smartphone? If you're buying direct, Samsung Galaxy S23 prices start at £849 for the 128 GB model. If you have your eye on the 256 GB version, expect to pay £899. 

If you want to get your hands on the Samsung Galaxy S23 for less, Back Market has what you're looking for. We offer an unbeatable range of refurbished devices, including the entire Galaxy S23 series

We provide consumers with a more eco-friendly alternative to buying brand-new devices. What's more, purchasing a refurbished device doesn't mean you have to settle for second-rate performance. Every smartphone we sell is checked and restored before being listed. You also benefit from a 12-month guarantee. Need more convincing? If you're not happy with your purchase, you have 30 days to return it and claim a full refund.

Should You Buy the Samsung Galaxy S23?

There's no denying that the Samsung Galaxy S23 is a great smartphone. It's smaller than many of its contemporaries, but the streamlined dimensions should appeal to anyone looking for an ergonomic replacement for their existing phone. 

The 6.1-inch screen might be a little smaller than what you're used to, but you won't have to settle for a subpar display. The Galaxy S23 when it comes to brightness and image detail, while the camera setup should satisfy the needs of everyday users. 

The next-gen Qualcomm Snapdragon chipset also means you have a phone that can cope with CPU-intensive applications. Perfect for high-definition video streaming and mobile gaming, the only thing that's really holding you back here is the limited battery capacity. However, if you make use of the adaptive battery feature, you can wring a full day of use out of the Galaxy S23.


Written by HaziqTech Expert for Back Market UK, Ireland & Australia

When not fighting the good fight for environmental sustainability, Haziq loves making reviews of everything and anything tech-related.

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