Home / News / Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S23+: Should you go bigger?

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S23+: Should you go bigger?

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Samsung Galaxy S23 in Lavender

  • Samsung Galaxy S23

    The little one

    The Samsung Galaxy S23 offers the same power and performance that the larger S23+ does in a more compact package, making it easier to use with just one hand. It’s more affordable, but it has less storage and slightly worse charging performance.

    Pros

    • Better for one-hand use
    • Same performance as the 23+
    • Less expensive
    Cons

    • Smaller display
    • Slower charging
    • Less storage

  • samsung-galaxy-s23-plus-green-render-square

    Samsung Galaxy S23+

    Living large

    The bigger battery and screen, faster charging, and high storage are all solid reasons to choose the Galaxy S23+ over its smaller brother; however, at $1,000, it doesn’t offer any difference in performance over the standard S23.

    Pros

    • Larger display
    • Bigger battery
    • More storage
    Cons

    • More expensive
    • Less manageable for one-hand use

The Samsung Galaxy S24 lineup tempts us with devices featuring powerful new chipsets and the promise of AI wizardry, but the latest and greatest isn’t always the smartest choice for your wallet. The Galaxy S23 and S23+ still offer flagship-level build quality, excellent raw performance, and years of software support.


So, if you’re in the market to save a few bucks without compromising too much on performance, let’s look at which device is best for you.


Price, availability, and specsSamsung Galaxy S23 with a castle in the background

Samsung’s Galaxy S-series devices have always been widely available, meaning regardless of what carrier you’re with, you should have no problem using your Galaxy S23 or S23+. Plus, both phones have sub-6 and mmWave 5G compatibility, making them some of the best 5G phones, just like their predecessors were.

Storage options have changed slightly on the bigger Samsung Galaxy S23+ as the minimum storage is now 256GB — twice that of the S23, which starts at 128GB — but can go as high as 512GB. The S23 only goes up to 256GB.

With the release of the S24 lineup, prices have come down. The Galaxy S23 has officially dropped to $100 to $700, though the S23+ has stayed at $1,000.

That’s buying new from Samsung though — a Galaxy S23+ can typically be had on Amazon Renewed for around $625, with new stock priced at $800. Samsung also offers a renewed program, and we expect S23 lineup devices to be made available as trade-ins for the newer phones start to roll in. A renewed Galaxy S23 will cost around $500, with new devices available for $675.

With either device, you’re saving significantly off the original prices for devices in good shape with excellent performance. Both phones have the same color options: Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender.

  • Samsung Galaxy S23Samsung Galaxy S23+
    SoCQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for GalaxyQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
    RAM8GB8GB
    Storage128GB, 256GB256GB, 512GB
    Battery3,900mAh4,700mAh
    PortsUSB-CUSB-C
    Operating SystemAndroid 14 and One UI 6Android 14 and OneUI 6
    Front camera12MP, f/2.212MP, f/2.2
    ConnectivityNFC UWB, NFC
    Dimensions146.3 × 70.9 × 7.6mm163.3 × 78 × 8.9mm
    ColorsPhantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender + Samsung.com exclusive Lime, GraphitePhantom, Cream, Green, Lavender + Samsung.com exclusive Lime, Graphite
    Weight168g196g
    IP RatingIP68IP68
    PriceFrom $700From $1,000
    Rear camera50MP, f/1.8, OIS main; 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 10MP, f/2.4, OIS, 3x telephoto50MP, f/1.8, OIS main; 12MP, f/2.2 ultrawide; 10MP, f/2.4, OIS, 3x telephoto
    Display typeAMOLED, 120HzAMOLED, 120Hz
    Charge speed25W wired, 15W wireless45W wired, 15W wireless
    Display dimensions6.1″, 19.5:96.6″
    Display resolution2340 × 10802340 x 1080
    Wi-Fi connectivityWi-Fi 6EWi-Fi 6E
    BluetoothBluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.3

Hardware and designA Samsung Galaxy S23+ running One UI 5.1 sitting on a shelf.

Well, it’s no big surprise that the major difference between the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+ is the size, not the design — that’s exactly what happened with the Galaxy S22+. The bigger phone has a larger display, with the Galaxy S23+ sporting a 6.6-inch screen, while the base model only has a 6.1-inch screen. Still, 6.1 inches isn’t too small by any means; you may have trouble touching the top corners without using more than one hand, but it is much more manageable than a 6.6-inch screen.

When it comes to screen technology, both devices have an AMOLED FHD+ display with an adaptive refresh rate that can reach 120Hz when it needs to (like when you’re gaming). Both screens have a 19:5:9 aspect ratio, but due to the smaller display size on the Galaxy S23, it has a slightly higher pixel density at 425ppi, while the Galaxy S23+ only has 393ppi. In practice, this difference will not be noticeable to most people as Samsung has a knack for making amazing-looking displays for its flagship phones. The screens also get equally bright with a max brightness of 1,750 nits, an upgrade for the base S23 model over last year’s S22.

Regarding the devices’ build quality, the Galaxy S23 and S23+ feature an IP68 rating, meaning they can survive being fully submerged in water and are very sealed against dirt and dust.

Battery life and chargingBattery life on the Samsung Galaxy S23

Samsung was kind enough to give the Galaxy S23 and S23+ a slight bump in battery size, which means a little more juice to get you through your day. The S23+ holds a 4,500mAh battery, while the standard S23 now has a 3,700mAh battery.

Our Galaxy S22+ review noted that the battery life was a little worse than the S21+ due to higher CPU demands and a reduction in battery size. Hopefully, this increase will alleviate that pain point for heavy users. With pretty normal day-to-day use, a 4,700mAh battery should get you through your whole day with no problem and will have you running for a charger later than the 3,700mAh battery in the smaller S23 will. If battery life is one of your top priorities when purchasing a smartphone, the Galaxy S23+ is the clear winner in that department.

When it comes to charging, the Galaxy S23+ does have a bit of an advantage as it can receive 45W of charging power (wired) rather than the 25W the smaller S23 is stuck with. This should mean you have less downtime when juicing up your S23+, even with the bigger battery. The phones still get the 15W wireless charging speeds and feature reverse charging too, so if you want to top up your Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro on the go by using some of your phone’s battery, you can.

Cameras

samsung-galaxy-s23-plus-cameras-candy-hearts

Regardless of which phone you choose, the Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23+ have the same cameras on the back and front of the phone — unlike the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which saw a big bump in MP count in its primary camera.

The 50MP primary shooter on the S23 and S23+ is the same camera that Samsung used on its 2022 S-series lineup, and in our testing, we found it generally provided pretty great results in most lighting conditions. The 12MP ultrawide camera on both phones should be fine for casual photo takers and social media enthusiasts, even if the detail isn’t so great when you zoom in and scrutinize the photos. Those two cameras are paired with a 10MP telephoto that will help you get closer to your subject by offering a 3X optical zoom like last year.

Those rear cameras can record some serious video on both phones, as the S23 and S23+ can capture 8K video at 30fps, which is pretty impressive. If you’re recording in 4K, the phones can capture 60fps; if you go down to just 1080p, you’ll have 120fps to work with. Plus, the phones have Super Slow-Mo, which records 960fps to give you some incredibly smooth slow-motion video.

On the front, both phones feature a 12MP f2.4 camera that is decent for capturing selfies when you want and can also record 4K video at 60fps. Overall, the cameras on the S23 and S23+ are pretty versatile and should offer a solid experience to anyone looking to carry a decent set of cameras in their pocket.

Software and performanceTwo Samsung Galaxy S23 phones sitting on a book

Whether gaming, video chatting, or doing day-to-day tasks, you shouldn’t notice any difference in power or speed as the Galaxy S23 and S23+ features the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, and both have 8GB of RAM. The phones will offer incredible performance that should see you through even the most intensive tasks with relative ease. Samsung’s S-series phones have always come with enough power to satisfy anyone, and it’s nice to see that hasn’t changed.

Both devices are shipped with One UI 5.1, which is Samsung’s skin of Android 13, but were upgraded to One UI 6, based on Android 14. One UI 6 brought several cosmetic changes to the notification shade and useful improvements and upgrades to the camera app. Samsung unveiled additional AI enhancements included with One UI 6 at its recent Galaxy Unpacked event. It’s unclear exactly when/if these improvements will make it to the S23 lineup, but software support is expected for another four years, with at least three more Android version updates.

Which should you buy?

It’s hard not to point to the Galaxy S23+ as the Goldilocks phone out of the S23 lineup. However, its bigger battery and faster charging should result in you spending a little less time plugged in than the smaller S23, which is always something most smartphone owners will appreciate. Plus, the upgraded storage on the S23+ is an excellent addition, netting you 256GB with the option for 512 if you so choose. If the extra price isn’t too much to swallow, it’s the top choice for most people.

samsung-galaxy-s23-plus-green-render-square

Samsung Galaxy S23+

Living large

This one ticks nearly all the boxes

If the $1,000 price tag doesn’t scare you, the Samsung Galaxy S23+ is a fantastic phone for most people. The bigger battery and faster charging will keep the phone in your hands and away from the charger more often, and the increased storage capacity over the normal S23 is a welcomed addition this year.

That doesn’t mean that the smaller Samsung Galaxy S23 has no advantages; smaller phones are a little more portable and tend to fit smaller hands much better, not to mention it’s easier to find pockets that you can stuff your S23 into. In addition, it has the same power and performance. It sports the same camera array as its bigger brother, all for a good bit less. If you don’t mind the smaller battery because you use your phone only moderately or want to save as much money as possible on a still-powerful smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy S23 is a solid option.

Samsung Galaxy S23 in Lavender

Samsung Galaxy S23

The little one

Great performance at a smaller size

If you can handle a smaller battery, the Samsung Galaxy S23 offers the same power and performance that the larger S23+ does in a smaller, more compact package.

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