Here is our review of the latest representative of the S23 series from Samsung. As a reminder, the Korean manufacturer introduced its latest flagship line in February 2023. It consists of three models: the classic Galaxy S23 (our review), the S23 Plus, and the most advanced Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (our test). This time, we’re going to focus on the Galaxy S23 Plus.
This review will not be as extensive as the articles about the S23 and Ultra, because the Plus version has almost the same features as the classic S23. We will focus more on describing the differences and what benefits the S23 Plus offers us.
- Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra smartphone review: An unprecedented flagship
- Samsung Galaxy S23 review: the cool compact flagship
Is the Galaxy S23 Plus a compromise version and the golden mean in the latest series? We checked it out.
Specifications of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
- Screen: 6.6″ Dynamic AMOLED 2X, 2340×1080 resolution, 393 ppi, maximum screen brightness 1750 nits, 120 Hz refresh rate
- Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 gen 2 for Galaxy (1×3.2 GHz, X3+4×2.8 GHz, A71 + 3×2.0 GHz, A51)
- Operating system: Android 13, One UI 5.1 shell
- Memory: 256 GB
- RAM: 8 GB
- Rear cameras:
– 12 megapixels – ultra-wide-angle
– 50 megapixels – wide-angle
– 10 megapixel – telephoto lens
- Front camera: 12 megapixels
- Video: Rear camera: 8K@24/30 fps, 4K@30/60 fps, 1080p@30/60/240 fps, 1080p@960 fps, HDR10+, stereo sound recording, gyro-EIS; Front camera: 4K@30/60 fps, 1080p@30 fps
- Battery: 4700 mAh
- Charging: fast charging function, additionally supports wireless charging (with reverse charging)
- Connectivity: 5G, LTE/LTE-A, 3G, GSM, WiFi 6E, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac/ax, 2.4 + 5 + 6 GHz, Bluetooth 5.3, NFC, Google Pay, Navigation: GPS, A-GPS, Beidou, Galileo, GLONASS
- Sensors: accelerometer, barometer, Hall effect, magnetometer, light, proximity, gyroscope, fingerprint scanner
- Additionally: Dust and water resistance (IP68), Dual SIM Standby – support for two SIM cards
- Body: display – Corning Gorilla Glass Victus 2, frame – aluminium
- Connectors: USB Type-C – 1 pc, nanoSIM card slot – 2 pcs
- Dimensions: 76 × 158 × 7.6 mm
- Weight: 195 g
- Available configurations: 8+256GB, 8+512GB
Positioning and price
This is the mid-level model in Samsung’s 2023 flagship lineup. It’s not as advanced as the Ultra, almost the same as the basic S23, but with a bigger screen and a bigger battery.
The cost of Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus varies from $1050 to about $1350, depending on the modification.
In an elegant box we get a USB cable, a needle for removing the SIM card tray, documents – a warranty card and a user manual. As in the classic S23, the charging cable has a USB-C connector at both ends. There’s no adapter, so you’ll have to buy one.
Design, materials and build quality
Narrow bezels, high-quality Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the front and the same in a matte version on the back. As with the other models in the S23 Plus series, we have IP68 certification (dust and water resistance).
In general, the design is similar to the standard S23 model. Looking at the Ultra version, where we have rounded edges, I prefer what we have on the S23 and S23 Plus, which is sharp edges.
As for the layout of the buttons, I refer you again to the description of the S23 – everything is the same.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is available in several colour variants (to choose from, just like the regular S23): black, cream, green, lavender. The manufacturer also produces so-called exclusive colours: grey and light green, which are available only on the official Samsung website.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus ergonomics
The difference with the S23 is in size and, of course, weight. The S23 Plus measures 76x158x7.6 mm and weighs 195 g (the regular S23 measures 146.3×70.9×7.6 mm, 167 g).
I usually use the iPhone 13 Pro with a 6.1-inch screen, the same as the S23, which I really liked during testing. It’s a comfortable size for me, and I wouldn’t change the phone for a bigger one. When using the S23 Plus, it’s nice to watch movies or use social media on a slightly larger screen, but for me, in terms of ergonomics, it’s a little too big, and for example, it’s already uncomfortable to use it with one hand, especially when using the phone outside the house. If someone likes a bigger screen and, for example, sharper edges than the Ultra, the S23 Plus is a very good choice.
Let’s now look at the size of the entire S23 series to visualise what I’ve written.
In turn, we have:
- S23 with 6.1″
- S23 Ultra with 6.8″
- S23 Plus with 6.6″
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus screen
Like other models in the series, the S23 Plus has a 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. The screen is excellent in every way, with a resolution of 2340×1080 pixels. The refresh rate is up to 120 Hz (you can choose 60 Hz, 120 Hz or automatic mode). The S23 and S23 Plus have the same resolution, while the Ultra version has a solid 3088×1440 resolution.
The peak brightness of the S23 Plus is 1750 nits. In the settings, you can turn on additional brightness, which further improves the quality of the screen, so if you buy any of the S23 series models, you won’t be able to complain about low screen brightness.
I don’t see any difference in image quality from the S23. In fact, the only difference here is the size – someone who likes bigger phones will like the Plus version.
Performance, processor, memory
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, that is, developed by Qualcomm specifically for the Galaxy S23 series. It has “overclocked” components.
S23 Plus and S23 Ultra also have a more powerful cooling system. In fact, the entire series was created for people with high demands. We can write about this topic for a long time. We have already talked about this in the S23 and S23 Ultra reviews, we recommend that you read the relevant paragraphs in these reviews (links are left above).
The S23 Plus stays cold for the vast majority of the time. Compared to the classic S23, where I wrote that it heats up slightly, I can’t say the same with the Plus version. The difference in the quality of the cooling system is noticeable.
- Geekbench: single-core – 1922, multi core – 4 882
- 3DMark Wild Life Extreme: 3 864
- 3DMark Life Stress Test: 14 045
- PCMARK Work 3.0 performance: 15 401
Now let’s take a look at the results of the “regular” S23 for comparison:
- Geekbench: single-core – 1987, multi core – 5 170
- 3DMark Wild Life Extreme: 3 798
- 3DMark Life Stress Test: 12 739
- PCMARK Work 3.0 performance: 16 473
…and on the S23 Ultra:
- Geekbench: single-core – 1539, multi core – 4 928
- 3DMark Wild Life Extreme: 3 766
- 3DMark Life Stress Test: 12 241
- PCMARK Work 3.0 performance: 15 521
Well, the test results speak for themselves. The performance of the S23 Plus is excellent, and even if we talk about the difference between the other models in the series, what can we say – there is almost no difference. Even the Ulta doesn’t show the best results, but that’s because it has a larger screen with a higher resolution.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is available in two versions – 8+256 GB and 8+512 GB. To be fair, it’s worth noting that with the “growth” of the model, the amount of memory also increases. Let’s take a look at it:
- S23: 8/128GB, 8/256GB
- S23 Plus: 8/256GB, 8/512GB
- S23 Ultra: 8/256GB, 12/512GB, 12GB /1TB
As is usual for a mid-range model, we have an average solution when it comes to permanent memory. As for RAM, only two versions of the Ultra model have more than the standard 8 GB. Nowadays, 8 GB is quite enough, especially considering that the manufacturer provides the ability to use the phone’s memory to increase the amount of RAM. You can increase the memory by 2 GB, 4 GB, 6 GB, or even 8 GB.
It is important to note that there is no way to expand the permanent memory. The applications that are already installed by the manufacturer and the entire system take up as much as 45 GB. Therefore, it is better to pay a little extra and choose the 512 GB option.
How can you sum up the performance of the S23 Plus? Speed, smoothness and reliability. Samsung does not disappoint.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus cameras
On the back of the Samsung Galaxy S23 is a set of 3 cameras (all the same as on the regular S23). The main camera has a resolution of 50 megapixels and an ISOCELL GN3 sensor in 1/1.57″ format. The second camera is a wide-angle camera with a 12-megapixel sensor (Sony IMX564 in 1/2.55″ format). The third is a 10-megapixel camera with a Samsung S5K3K1 1/3.94″ sensor. It has a 3x optical zoom with a maximum magnification of 30x. All cameras support night mode and automatic night mode. Compared to previous Samsung Galaxy S models, the front camera has been updated. It has a 12-megapixel Samsung S5K3LU sensor with a pixel spacing of 1.12 microns and a 25 mm f/2.2 lens.
Since the camera set and parameters are the same as in the S23, the photo quality is the same.
The camera app is just like any other Samsung phone. Swipe left and right to switch between all available modes. Vertical swipes in any direction switch between the front and rear cameras. There are a lot of customisation options. We have professional photo mode, professional video mode, multiple exposure, astrophoto mode, food mode, panorama, single shot mode, which allows you to take a series of photos and videos in motion, from which you can later choose the best shot. And, of course, portrait mode, slow motion, super slow motion, hyperlapse, portrait video, director’s perspective, and Expert RAW mode, which allows you to access uncompressed image data directly from the camera sensor.
If you want more details, I recommend reading our review of the Samsung Galaxy S23. And here is a brief summary + examples of photos!
Standard mode (as you can see, everything is fine):
Wide-angle module (photos are a bit dark, but generally okay):
The macro mode is certainly excellent for me, just like the standard S23.
And here are the shots from the telephoto lens (good ones):
Night photos (good quality):
And below is an interesting comparison of photos in night mode – Samsung S23 Plus and my iPhone 13 Pro, the difference is immediately visible. Samsung on the left, iPhone on the right:
The front-facing camera works well, separates the background well, and you can also choose different background options.
It’s also worth noting that the photos are a little lightened, which is certainly a plus.
As for the video, we have the highest quality recording (8K 30fps) and the default (1080p). In general, the quality and all the parameters are the same as in the standard S23, so I also refer you to the review for more information about video. And here are examples from the S23 Plus.
Battery and operating time
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is equipped with a 4700 mAh battery. This is more than the entry-level S23 (3900 mAh). For comparison, the Ultra has 5000 mAh.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus has inductive charging (including reverse charging), and the wired charging speed is 45W. The only thing is that yes, there is no charger in the package, so we will have to buy a power supply that will work with the Power Delivery 3.0 standard. I used my 45W charger and it took me a little over an hour to fully charge it from 20%.
The PCMark battery test showed a score of 16,579 and 10 hours and 43 minutes.
Let’s take a look at the S23 Ultra’s results for comparison: 15,521 and 14 hours 46 minutes, which is significantly better than the regular S23’s 15270 and 11 hours 15 minutes.
Sound and communication
In terms of connectivity and sound, the S23 and S23 Plus are like twins. They have Wi-Fi 6E (3-band), 5G, dual SIM, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, DeX and USB-C 3.2.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus software
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus runs on Android 13 with One UI 5.
I suggest you check out the Samsung S23 Ultra or Samsung S23 reviews. The whole series has the same software. In my opinion, One UI is the best shell for Android. It is extremely clear, convenient, smooth and very fast.
Here are screenshots of the interface:
We have previously tested the classic S23 model from Samsung’s latest lineup and the advanced S23 Ultra, so this review of the S23 Plus is more of a comparison with the other “brothers” in the series.
As is often the case, the mid-range model combines the features of the basic and advanced models.
The S23 Plus is a “tweaked” S23: it has a larger screen and a larger battery. At the same time, the smartphones have the same cameras, identical display matrix, identical design, that is, everything except batteries, screens and storage capacity.
On the other hand, if we look at the S23 Plus in terms of the Ultra version, we have weaker cameras, a smaller screen, a different shape (no rounded screen), but both models have the same processors with good cooling.
I also offer you a comparison of the three models in terms of specifications.
If you’re considering any of the models in this series, want a big screen and a classic “crisp” design, but can’t pay the extra for the Ultra version, go for the S23 Plus. If you want super cameras, a stylus, or an even bigger screen, and you have the money to spare, the Ultra is a good choice.
The S23 Plus is a solid smartphone that does not disappoint. As I wrote in my review of the S23, I had nothing to complain about, and now I have even less to say. Everything works as it should, it’s a great flagship with a big screen.
- Xiaomi 13 smartphone review: almost perfect
- Test drive of the Realme GT3 smartphone: Need for speed
- Motorola Edge 30 Ultra Review: Can Moto Make Flagships?
- Google Pixel 7 Pro review: The machine is learning