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The right kinds
Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone keeps its small stature but gains more power with a new Snapdragon chip and a larger battery for more playtime. If you can get past the dull colors, this could be your next small Android phone.
- Clean design
- more durable
- A powerful new Snapdragon chip
- Bigger battery
- HD selfie camera
- boring colorways
- Charging only 25 watts
- There aren’t a lot of upgrades over the S22
Appearances aren’t everything
The Galaxy S22 is a great smartphone with plenty of power and great cameras, though it has poor battery life and some thermal issues when gaming. It might be worth taking a look if you find it at a very deep discount.
- Great performance
- Great cameras
- Small and pocket
- Long software support
- Bad battery life
- gets hot
- Slow shutter
- There is no microSD support
Another year, another major. Samsung has once again strengthened itself by launching its latest smartphone, the Galaxy S23. Its last major series was impressive enough, and despite a few hiccups and a few shortcomings, there doesn’t seem to be much to improve with this new series.
However, did Samsung really listen and make the improvements we asked for? Well, it’s hard to say without actually using the Galaxy S23. However, on paper, it looks like Samsung may have beefed things up a bit on the inside while shrinking things on the outside.
Here, we’ll compare the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S23 to see which one is better for you and to help decide if an upgrade is right for you.
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. S22: Design
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After mostly copying/pasting the S21 design onto the Galaxy S22, Samsung has opted for a fresher take on the Galaxy S23. It ditched the camera island in the top corner of the phone and instead opted to have the three camera modules protruding individually from the back panel. The effect is very clean, and it pretty much gives the LG Velvet but without the raindrop effect.
Samsung has clearly been trying to give the Galaxy S23 series a more cohesive design, and it has largely succeeded. The result is a flat back that won’t swing around as much, and in general, looks cleaner overall.
Interestingly though, Samsung has followed the exact same design for its new mid-range/budget smartphones, like the Galaxy A14 5G, and it’s been rumored that Samsung may do the same with A-series smartphones down the line. If so, it might simplify things for Samsung in terms of design, but it makes the Galaxy S23 look less premium against budget smartphones.
Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 still manages to stand out with its unique camera island. Not only that, but the Galaxy S22 features some great colors, like our favorite Green or the newer Bora Purple. The Galaxy S23 mixes it up and even goes into different shades of green, but somehow they don’t seem to stand out as much.
Other than the cameras and colors, the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S22 look pretty much the same. This includes a 6.1-inch display with a punch-hole selfie camera, a slightly curved aluminum frame, and the placement of ports and buttons.
For added peace of mind, Samsung has put the new Gorilla Glass Victus 2 in the new Galaxy S23 series. What this means is that it must be able to withstand being dropped on uneven surfaces such as concrete.
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. S22: Specifications
Not only do the devices look different on the outside, but there are some noticeable differences on the inside as well. For starters, the Galaxy S23 is now powered by a Snapdragon chip globally. This is a huge plus for fans in countries where Exynos variants have been sold.
The new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy features a more powerful core than its predecessor and also scores much higher than the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which means it should be able to perform even better. The Galaxy S22 was no slouch, though it did suffer some early throttling and heating issues. Qualcomm seems to be learning with the introduction of the 8+ Gen 1, and we’d expect similar improvements with these new chipsets.
In our chip comparison, we see that the 8 Gen 2 seems to offer noticeable improvements in performance and battery life, which is a good sign.
|category||Samsung Galaxy S23||Samsung Galaxy S22 phone|
|an offer||6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (1080 x 2340), 120Hz refresh rate (48-120Hz), up to 1750 nits||6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display (1080 x 2340), 120Hz refresh rate (48-120Hz), up to 1300 nits|
|Slices||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Exynos 2200|
|storage||128 GB, 256 GB||128 GB, 256 GB|
|memory||8 GB||8 GB|
|back camera 1||50MP wide angle, f1.8, 85°||50 MP wide angle, f1.8, 1/1.56″, 1.0μm (12MP 2.0μm), 85°|
|back camera 2||12MP Ultrawide, f2.2, 120°||12MP Ultrawide, f2.2, 1/2.55″, 1.4μm, 120°|
|back camera 3||10 MP Telephoto (3x), f2.4, 36°||10 MP Telephoto (3x), f2.4, 1/3.94″, 1.0µm, 36°|
|selfie camera||12 MP, f2.2, 80°||10 MP, f2.2, 1.22µm, 1/3.24, 80°|
|The battery is charging||3900 mAh, 25 watts wired, 15 watts wireless||3700 mAh, 25 watts wired, 15 watts wireless|
|Connection||5G (sub-6, mmWave), Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi 6E||5G (sub-6, mmWave), Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi 6|
|protection||IP68, Gorilla Glass 2||IP68, food grade Gorilla Glass +|
|Dimensions||70.86 x 146.3 x 7.62mm, 168.1g||70.6 x 146 x 7.6mm, 167g|
|Colors||Phantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender||Phantom White, Phantom Black, Green, Rose Gold|
When it comes to battery life, this was something the Galaxy S22 struggled with. In my experience, the phone can barely last half a day without needing to charge. Thankfully, Samsung seems to have heard us and has given the S23 a little more juice. The extra 200mAh may not sound like much, but it can make a huge difference in the long run.
Screen brightness wasn’t among my complaints, but Samsung has made improvements here, too. Instead of a smaller phone pulling the short end of the stick, Samsung raised peak brightness from 1300nits on the Galaxy S22 to 1750nits on the Galaxy S23, which matches the S23 Plus and S23 Ultra. This should result in better visibility outdoors.
Wi-Fi 6E is also available on the Galaxy S23, allowing it to benefit from more consistent speeds. This is oddly present on the Galaxy S22 though it is on other models in the series. Unfortunately, it does not come with UWB on board.
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. S22: The cameras
As far as the camera department goes, there isn’t much difference between the two, at least when you look at the raw specs. Both feature 50MP primary sensors, 12MP ultrawide cameras, and 10MP telephoto sensors. Samsung is also touting improved night photography capabilities on both, thanks to iOS and AI processing. In my time with the Galaxy S22, it performed admirably in low-light conditions with both photos and video, even with the Pixel 7 head-on.
With a new chipset and newer software, the Galaxy S23 may have a cadence to the S22, but it’s not clear how much. I’ll have to wait until I get my hands on the device to determine if the S23 offers a big enough jump in camera quality, but my guess is it doesn’t.
On the other hand, selfies are likely to see some improvement thanks to the higher resolution of 12MP. According to Samsung, it’s capable of fast autofocus, “Super HDR,” and 4K60 video recording.
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. S22: Which Should You Buy?
If you’re trying to decide between buying the Galaxy S22 or Galaxy S23, the choice seems fairly obvious to me. The S23 seemed to address everything I found wrong with the Galaxy S22, and there weren’t many things on that list. The Galaxy S22 is very powerful, but the S23 takes it up a notch with its new chipset. And for most people, a long-lasting battery is a big deal, especially if you’re not trying to be tethered to your charger.
As far as design goes, it’s really a matter of preference, but I like the simplicity of the S23, even if I prefer the Galaxy S22’s color options.
Of course, price is always an important factor, and while the Galaxy S23 starts at $799, the Galaxy S22 will now retail for a new price of $699, which could make it more attractive to buyers.
If you decide to upgrade from the Galaxy S22, this decision won’t be easy. If you can find some great business deals, go for it, but the outdated chipset and poor battery life aside, the Galaxy S22 is still a great device with an exceptional camera and was one of the best Android phones of 2022. You might very well just stick with the S22 for another year. or so and get your money’s worth. And just like the S23, the Galaxy S22 gets four major OS upgrades and five years of security updates, so you’ll be supported for years to come.
Of course, I haven’t gotten my hands on the Galaxy S23 myself, so it all depends solely on what I know about the phone. Once I can get my hands on it and put it through its paces, I’ll be sure to update this with my full experience and thoughts on these two phones.
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New kid on the block
Galaxy S23 is Samsung’s latest flagship smartphone. It’s powered by an exclusive new Snapdragon chip, has a bright AMOLED display, and comes with a larger battery that can help you get through more of the day.
The Galaxy S22 is a great phone with plenty of power to handle just about anything you need it to. It’s small enough to fit in almost any pocket, while being large enough to enjoy all your favorite games and content on its sharp 6.1 inch AMOLED display.