HomeTechnologySamsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: a improbable cellphone (with a catch)

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: a improbable cellphone (with a catch)

Back of the pink Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

MSRP $999.00

“The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is not the S23 mannequin everybody can purchase. However for the fitting individual, it is fairly powerful to beat.”


  • Snug, sensible design
  • Lovely AMOLED show
  • Excellent efficiency
  • Storage begins at 256GB
  • Two-day battery life
  • 45W wired charging


  • Bland digital camera design
  • Solely 3x optical zoom
  • Awkward worth

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is a wierd cellphone. It sits proper in the midst of the S23 lineup — not the most affordable of the trio and never the high-end flagship both. It’s the odd selection of the S23 household, and it’s comprehensible why some individuals could write it off as that and nothing extra.

However to take action could be an enormous disservice to what’s a very nice smartphone. The Galaxy S23 Plus has an even bigger display screen, bigger battery, and extra storage than its cheaper sibling — all whereas being considerably extra reasonably priced than its Extremely counterpart. Competitors from different Android telephones could make it a troublesome promote, however for the fitting individual, it’s powerful to beat.

About our Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment

This assessment was written and printed by Joe Maring after utilizing the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus for over per week within the U.S., related to Verizon’s 5G community. The assessment beneath relies on that week of use, and we’ll frequently replace it with further ideas as we preserve utilizing the cellphone.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: design

The pink Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus lying on a pillow.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

In comparison with the Galaxy S21 Plus and S22 Plus earlier than it, the Galaxy S23 Plus brings a refreshed design. Gone is the wraparound digital camera housing; as a substitute are three floating sensors positioned straight on the again. It’s a clear, easy look that’s inoffensive and will get the job finished. I actually don’t hate it, although I do miss the stunning two-tone designs the S21 Plus’ digital camera introduced with it.

However the remainder of the S23 Plus’s design is so good that I actually don’t care. The entrance and rear glass are each lined with Gorilla Glass Victus 2, whereas the steel body will get Samsung’s Armor Aluminum remedy. Paired with an IP68 ranking for mud and water resistance, the S23 Plus has all the sturdiness chops you may ask for (although I’d nonetheless suggest Galaxy S23 Plus circumstances and S23 Plus display screen protectors — simply to be secure).

Not like the flat edges and sharp corners discovered on the Galaxy S23 Extremely, the S23 Plus has rounded corners and easy edges all through, making it a extra comfy smartphone to carry. That’s additionally helped by the cellphone’s 6.91-ounce weight, which is considerably lighter than the S23 Extremely’s 8.25-ounce physique. It’s nonetheless a giant cellphone, however the S23 Plus is vastly simpler to deal with one-handed and throw in a good pocket than the Extremely is.

Samsung additionally does an amazing job with the finer particulars. The buttons are tactile and clicky, the in-screen fingerprint sensor is tremendously quick, and — although a bit bland for my liking — the Lavender colour of my assessment unit appears fairly good. If that’s not your cup of tea, different Galaxy S23 Plus colours embody Cream, Phantom Black, and Inexperienced. When you order the S23 Plus direct from Samsung’s web site, you can too discover the cellphone in Lime and Graphite choices.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: display screen

A video playing on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Taking over the entrance of the Galaxy S23 Plus is a 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X show with a Full HD+ decision and 120Hz adaptive refresh fee. The pixel density clocks in at 393 pixels per inch (ppi), whereas the brightness will get all the way in which as much as 1,750 nits — the identical because the S23 Extremely.

The Galaxy S23 Plus has an unimaginable display screen.

There’s no different approach to put it: the Galaxy S23 Plus has an unimaginable display screen. That shouldn’t be a shock for a contemporary Samsung flagship, nevertheless it’s true. Colours are wealthy and vibrant, blacks are lusciously deep, textual content is razor crisp, and the 120Hz refresh fee permits the whole lot to maneuver like butter. And on the few sunny days we’ve had right here in southwest Michigan, the 1,750 nits of brightness allowed the S23 Plus display screen to be simply seen even in direct daylight.

One thing else to notice is the form of the show. Not like the S23 Plus, which has a slight curve on the left and proper edges, the Galaxy S23 Plus’ display screen is totally flat. I’ve but to have any points with the S23 Extremely’s curved strategy, however there’s one thing sensible and reassuring a couple of display screen that’s completely, 100% flat. I by no means have to fret about missed palm rejections, display screen protectors will likely be simpler to use, and it simply appears very clear.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: efficiency and software program

Quick Settings panel on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Powering the S23 Plus’ nice show — and the whole lot else — is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. As Samsung is completely happy to level out, this isn’t simply any Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. As an alternative, it’s a particular model of the chip that Qualcomm labored intently with Samsung to make only for the S23 lineup.

It’s largely the identical chip you’ll discover in telephones just like the OnePlus 11 and Iqoo 11, however with a sooner CPU clock pace and improved software program tips for picture processing. The necessary factor you must know is that it makes the Galaxy S23 Plus ridiculously quick.

Open any app or sport, and it masses immediately. Bounce backwards and forwards by means of a number of apps all of sudden, and the S23 Plus has no downside maintaining with you. Play Marvel Snap or Name of Responsibility: Cellular with graphics settings cranked as much as their most, and the Galaxy S23 Plus powers by means of the whole lot with out breaking a sweat. I’m frequently and totally impressed with how insanely succesful this smartphone is — particularly when it does all of this with out ever heating up an excessive amount of.

Marvel Snap running on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

Aiding the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is 8GB of RAM, together with your selection of 256GB or 512GB of storage. The 256GB of storage is the brand new base quantity for the S23 Plus and S23 Extremely this 12 months, and it’s a improbable change. That’s in comparison with the 128GB that has turn out to be the usual base storage quantity for many flagship telephones, together with the Pixel 7 Professional, iPhone 14 Professional, and others. Getting 256GB for a similar beginning worth because the 128GB Galaxy S22 Plus final 12 months could appear to be a refined improve, nevertheless it’s a vastly necessary one that you just’ll be increasingly grateful for the longer you maintain on to the cellphone.

On the software program entrance, the Galaxy S23 Plus ships with Android 13 and Samsung’s customized One UI 5.1 interface layered on prime. When you’ve used a Samsung cellphone during the last couple of years, it’s best to know what to anticipate right here. Samsung provides a lot of additional performance on prime of “inventory” Android, and whereas it may possibly really feel just a little overwhelming at occasions, there’s additionally loads to like about it. Listed here are just some of my favourite software program options I’ve stumbled throughout:

  • You possibly can change the 2 lock display screen shortcuts to any app you need.
  • Lengthy-pressing the lock display screen brings up a slick customization UI for altering your clock and notification look.
  • You possibly can select button or gesture navigation choices, and entry deep customization choices for each.
  • Hyperlink to Home windows gives syncs notifications, photographs, and extra together with your Home windows PC.

There’s loads to sink your enamel into if you wish to expertise the whole lot One UI has to supply. But when there are options you don’t care about, Samsung does a great job of holding them hidden and out of sight. I nonetheless choose the aesthetics of Google’s Pixel interface, nevertheless it’s exhausting to not be impressed by the sheer utility of Samsung’s strategy.

However that’s not even the most effective half. Samsung guarantees 4 main Android upgrades for the Galaxy S23 Plus, along with 5 years of normal safety updates. Sure — that’s longer assist than even Google gives for its personal smartphones. This implies the S23 Plus you purchase right now will finally be up to date all the way in which to Android 17 and will likely be safeguarded from malicious vulnerabilities by means of 2028. It’s an enormous perk for anybody who plans on holding their cellphone for the subsequent few years — and one thing different Android producers (Google included) must be aware of.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: cameras

Rear camera on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

The massive Samsung digital camera information this 12 months is all centered on the Galaxy S23 Extremely — and rightfully so! The brand new 200-megapixel sensor is excellent; in our Galaxy S23 Extremely versus Pixel 7 Professional digital camera take a look at, Samsung greater than proved what its flagship cellphone digital camera is able to.

The Galaxy S23 Plus misses out on the 200MP sensor this 12 months, however the digital camera system it’s outfitted with remains to be superb. You get a 50MP major digital camera, 12MP wide-angle digital camera, 10MP telephoto digital camera with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP selfie digital camera.

Wanting on the major digital camera, most of the similar qualities from the S23 Extremely are current within the S23 Plus. Images ship vibrant, punchy colours that aren’t all the time 1:1 correct however are very pleasing to have a look at. Urgent the shutter button captures a picture shortly, there’s ample element all through photos, and I’ve typically discovered it fairly troublesome to take an outright dangerous picture.

Portrait mode photographs additionally look very nice. Samsung’s edge detection is noticeably higher than the iPhone 14 Professional, even when working in less-than-ideal lighting circumstances. Night time mode photographs are additionally stable. Zooming in intently on these photographs shortly reveals numerous noise and lacks high quality element, however the S23 Plus does an amazing job of actually brightening a scene whenever you want it to.

Maybe the largest compromise in comparison with the S23 Extremely is the S23 Plus’s zoom capabilities. The 3x telephoto mode does a great job of getting near a topic whereas preserving numerous good element. However zoom in to 10x or 30x, and it doesn’t take lengthy for photographs to seem like watercolor work.

I haven’t felt compelled to exit with the Galaxy S23 Plus and search for distinctive picture alternatives the way in which I do with the S23 Extremely. However that’s additionally not likely the purpose of this digital camera. When you’re an avid photographer on the lookout for probably the most full digital camera expertise potential, the S23 Extremely will all the time be the higher selection. But when all you want is a well-rounded, dependable digital camera system that constantly delivers good outcomes, the Galaxy S23 Plus has what you’re on the lookout for.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: battery and charging

Battery settings page on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

The Galaxy S23 Plus sports activities a 4,700mAh battery to get you thru every day. That’s 200mAh greater than the 4,500mAh battery used within the S22 Plus final 12 months and simply barely beneath the large 5,000mAh battery within the S23 Extremely. And identical to the S23 Extremely, battery life on the Galaxy S23 Plus is superb.

Even with common use all through the day, the Galaxy S23 Plus can simply turn out to be a one-and-a-half-day smartphone. I started in the future at 9:05 a.m. with a 100% cost and proceeded to stream YouTube TV for properly over an hour, play Marvel Snap for over an hour, browse Twitter for half-hour, scroll on Reddit for 20 minutes, and stream about 20 minutes of YouTube. After racking up 4 hours and 26 minutes of screen-on time, I nonetheless had 31% battery left at 11:35 p.m. that night. Even after I wish to, I simply can’t kill the cellphone in a single day.

Battery life on the Galaxy S23 Plus is superb.

When you aren’t gaming or streaming dwell TV for an hour or extra, two days of use on a single cost with the S23 Plus isn’t out of the query. It’s not fairly as wonderful because the S23 Extremely’s endurance, nevertheless it’s proper there behind it.

When it comes time to cost up, the Galaxy S23 Plus helps wired charging as much as 45 watts, 15W wi-fi charging, and 4.5W reverse wi-fi charging. With a charger that helps the complete 45W output, count on the S23 Plus to go from 30% to a full 100% in just a little below an hour.

It doesn’t match the ridiculous 80W cost speeds of the OnePlus 11, however it’s sooner than wired charging provided by the iPhone 14 Professional and Pixel 7 Professional. It additionally handily beats the 25W wired charging the common Galaxy S23 remains to be capped at.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: worth and availability

A home screen setup on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is accessible for buy now
with 256GB of storage and a worth of $999. When you want extra space, you’ll be able to improve to the 512GB storage mannequin for $1,199.

As for availability, yow will discover the S23 Plus nearly wherever you look. Along with shopping for straight from Samsung’s web site, the Galaxy S23 Plus can be obtainable at Amazon, Finest Purchase, AT&T, T-Cellular, Verizon, and different smaller carriers.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment: verdict

Someone holding the pink Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.
Joe Maring/Digital Tendencies

So, do you have to purchase the Galaxy S23 Plus? By itself, there’s no query the S23 Plus is definitely worth the $999 asking worth. It has a improbable design, lovely show, nearly good efficiency, dependable cameras, highly effective software program, and improbable battery life. There’s truthfully not a lot to complain about.

However there’s a catch to all that. If you begin placing the Galaxy S23 Plus subsequent to the competitors — each from Samsung and different corporations — issues get sophisticated.

For $200 much less, the common Galaxy S23 offers you nearly the identical expertise. You need to be OK with a extra compact show, smaller battery, and slower charging, however at $799, it’s a superb deal. Much more interesting is the OnePlus 11. It may be yours for simply $699 and has the identical Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, a 120Hz AMOLED show, a equally nice digital camera system, and even sooner 80W charging. And if it’s a Google cellphone you like, the $899 Pixel 7 Professional delivers a extra succesful digital camera and cleaner software program for $100 cheaper.

The Galaxy S23 Plus wouldn’t be my first suggestion for everybody. However that’s to not say there isn’t a marketplace for it in any respect. If you already know you need a Samsung cellphone, want an even bigger display screen and bigger battery than the bottom S23, and may’t fairly afford the flagship S23 Extremely, that is the cellphone for you. It’s most likely not the Samsung cellphone most individuals can purchase, but when it’s the one you’re after, you’re extremely unlikely to be dissatisfied with it.

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