Samsung announced a new batch of Galaxy S flagship phones at its Unpacked event this week, all of which are set to arrive soon. As expected, the new class to choose from this year includes the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra. Samsung’s trio of flagships for 2023 offer some refined designs — which look a little iPhone-like, if I’m being candid — with some camera, battery, and processor improvements over last year’s S22 generation. But which one is the right one for you?
It may be a no-brainer if you don’t want a phone that’s too big (the S23 is the smallest of the three) or if you want a stylus (the S23 Ultra is your only option for S Pen use). But if you’re in the margins and need to contemplate which phone is the right one for your specific needs, let’s take a look at how they compare on paper. You can expect our detailed reviews soon, but, in the meantime, there are plenty of things you may be able to determine right now — especially if you’re in need of an overdue upgrade and want to take advantage of some juicy preorder promotions.
Samsung Galaxy S23 phones side-by-side comparison
|Specification||Samsung Galaxy S23||Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus||Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra|
|OS||Android 13||Android 13||Android 13|
|Display||6.1-inch OLED||6.6-inch OLED||6.8-inch OLED|
|Resolution||2340 x 1080||2340 x 1080||3088 x 1440|
|Max. refresh rate||up to 120Hz||up to 120Hz||1Hz to 120Hz|
|Dimensions (mm)||70.9 x 146.3 x 7.6||76.2 x 157.7 x 7.5||78 x 163.3 x 8.9|
|Weight||168g (5.93 ounces)||196g (6.91 ounces)||234g (8.25 ounces)|
|Processor||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Snapdragon 8 Gen 2|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB||256GB, 512GB||256GB, 512GB, 1TB|
|Rear cameras||50MP (f/1.8) wide, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto||50MP (f/1.8) wide, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10MP (f/2.4) telephoto||200MP (f/1.7) wide, 12MP (f/2.2) ultrawide, 10MP (f2.4 / f4.9) telephoto|
|Front camera||12MP (f/2.2) wide||12MP (f/2.2) wide||12MP (f/2.2) wide|
|Front video||4K @ 60fps||4K @ 60fps||4K @ 60fps|
|Rear video||8K @ 30fps, 4K @ 60fps, 1080p at 120fps / 960fpsS (slow-mo)||8K @ 30fps, 4K @ 60fps, 1080p at 120fps / 960fps (slow-mo)||8K @ 30fps, 4K @ 60fps, 1080p at 120fps / 960fps (slow-mo)|
|Biometrics||Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and face recognition||Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and face recognition||Ultrasonic fingerprint sensor and face recognition|
|Water and dust protection||IP68||IP68||IP68|
|Wireless||5G mmWave / sub-6GHz, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2||5G mmWave / sub-6GHz, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2||5G mmWave / sub-6GHz, LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.2|
|Wireless charging?||Yes, with reverse charging||Yes, with reverse charging||Yes, with reverse charging|
|S Pen support?||No||No||Yes|
|Available colors||black, green, lavender, cream, graphite, lime||black, green, lavender, cream, graphite, lime||black, green, lavender, cream, graphite, lime, sky blue, red|
Galaxy S23 vs. S23 Plus vs. S23 Ultra
When looking at the specs, the biggest “wow” number is the megapixel count for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Samsung’s Ultra model is always the one pushing the envelope with the most cameras, the largest amount of RAM and storage potential, and now, by far, the most megapixels. So for $1,199.99, you get that 200-megapixel main camera, the biggest battery of the S23 phones (5,000mAh), and a jumbo-size 6.8-inch screen. Last year’s S22 Ultra ended up being our favorite phone for photography when compared to the iPhone 14 Pro and Pixel 7 Pro, so it will be interesting to see what the Ultra’s new high-resolution sensor brings to the table.
The Ultra and its fancy camera sensor aside, the S23 and S23 Plus seem to offer a lot of great specs for $799.99 and $999.99, respectively. You get triple cameras in each model, albeit with a 50-megapixel main sensor for the S23 and its Plus counterpart. The S23 and S23 Plus also have bigger batteries (200mAh more each) than their 2022 predecessors, in addition to a revised camera lens bump that brings them more in line with the Ultra. Moreover, all three S23 phones have the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, 120Hz OLED panels, and now feature Wi-Fi 6E radios for potentially faster speeds on less congested bands.
What do you think? Is a Galaxy S23 phone going to be your next smartphone? Are any of the specs above a major decider for your next phone purchase? Let us know in the comments.