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Samsung Galaxy S23 series - is it worth upgrading?

If you’ve already got a Samsung Galaxy S22 or one of its siblings, the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus or Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, then you might now be wondering whether it’s worth splashing out on a shiny new model.

After all, the Samsung Galaxy S23, Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus, and Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra are all here now, and they sport a number of key upgrades.

That said, a lot has remained the same as well, so whether you should upgrade largely depends on what matters most to you in a phone – and how happy you are with your current handset. Below though, we’ll look at the key differences between the older models and the new ones.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series has a better chipset

Samsung Galaxy S23 seriesSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
Samsung Galaxy S22 seriesExynos 2200

Arguably the single biggest upgrade – particularly in the case of the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus – is the use of a new chipset in the form of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. This is used by the Galaxy S23 Ultra as well but that phone also has massive camera improvements that we’ll get to later.

In any case, this is more than just a typical yearly upgrade. The Samsung Galaxy S22 series all use the Exynos 2200 in the UK, which isn’t just a year older, it’s also from a typically inferior line of chipsets, with the top Snapdragon of a given year generally outperforming them.

So this year it’s an upgrade and a move to a superior chipset line. Better yet, this is a special version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that’s exclusive to Samsung. It has a higher clock speed and a better GPU than the standard version, meaning these phones aren’t just a lot more powerful than their predecessors but also potentially more powerful than any other Android phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus have a new design

The new phones don’t look dramatically different to the old ones, but the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus do sport a new camera design. They don’t have the metal camera block of their predecessors, and instead each lens juts out individually.

Whether that’s a change for the better or worse is entirely subjective but it’s a very noticeable difference. It also brings them in line with the Ultra phones, which have sported this camera look for a couple of years now.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus have bigger batteries

PhoneBattery capacity
Samsung Galaxy S223,700mAh
Samsung Galaxy S233,900mAh
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus4,500mAh
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus4,700mAh
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra5,000mAh
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra5,000mAh

As you can see in the chart above, the Samsung Galaxy S23 has a 3,900mAh battery, up from 3,700mAh in the Galaxy S22. Similarly, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus has a 4,700mAh battery, up from 4,500mAh in its predecessor.

So they’re both 200mAh bigger, which isn’t enormous but could still improve their life – especially when coupled with a new more efficient chipset.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra doesn’t see the same increase, but at 5,000mAh both it and the Galaxy S22 Ultra already have large batteries.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra has a better main camera

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra108MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

200MP + 10MP + 10MP + 12MP

Samsung Galaxy S22

50MP + 10MP + 12MP

Samsung Galaxy S23

50MP + 10MP + 12MP

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

50MP + 10MP + 12MP

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus50MP + 10MP + 12MP

Along with a massively upgraded chipset, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra also has a hugely upgraded main camera. The phone has a 200MP main sensor, where its predecessor has a 108MP one.

So neither phone is exactly lacking for megapixels, but there are far more in the new one, allowing for more detailed and all-round better shots. The other rear cameras haven’t changed in terms of their hardware, but early reports suggest there are under-the-hood upgrades that lead to better photos, particularly when using digital zoom to go beyond the 10x optical zoom these phones offer.

Sadly, the rest of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series hasn’t had any rear camera hardware upgrades – but it’s still likely that you’ll get slightly better photos out of them, due to the new chipset and software improvements.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series have better selfie cameras

PhoneSelfie camera
Samsung Galaxy S2210MP
Samsung Galaxy S2312MP

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus12MP
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra12MP

While only the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra gets rear camera upgrades, all three S23 models have new front-facing cameras.

Specifically, they have a new 12MP camera, which is up from 10MP on the S22 and S22 Plus, but oddly down from 40MP on the S22 Ultra. Does that mean it’s a downgrade in the S23 Ultra’s case? Not necessarily. Megapixels aren’t everything, and Samsung suggests this is better for portraits and night shots.

The colours differ

One thing that changes with every new Samsung Galaxy generation is the selection of colours they come in. In the case of the Samsung Galaxy S23 series your choice is Phantom Black, Cream, Green or Lavender from most stores – no matter which model you pick. There are a few extra colours that are exclusive to Samsung’s store though.

For the Samsung Galaxy S22, the selection includes Phantom Black, White, Pink Gold, Green, Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet, Cream, or Bora Purple for the S22 and S22 Plus – some of which are Samsung store exclusives.

The Galaxy S22 Ultra comes in a choice of Phantom Black, White, Burgundy, Green, Graphite, Red, Sky Blue or Bora Purple.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series is tougher

One small improvement on the Samsung Galaxy S23 series is the Gorilla Glass protecting the screen and back. They use Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which is tougher than the Gorilla Glass Victus Plus used by the S22 range, so you’re less likely to damage these phones when dropping them.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus have more potential storage

Samsung Galaxy S22128GB / 256GB
Samsung Galaxy S23128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus128GB / 256GB
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus256GB / 512GB
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra128GB / 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra256GB / 512GB / 1TB

Depending on where you buy them from, you can get the Samsung Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus with up to 512GB of storage, whereas their predecessors top out at 256GB.

The Plus and Ultra also have a starting capacity of 256GB, up from 128GB on the Galaxy S22 series.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series costs more

The main change for the worse with the Samsung Galaxy S23 series is the price, as when bought outright the Samsung Galaxy S23 starts at £849, the S23 Plus at £1,049, and the S23 Ultra at £1,249.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 for comparison starts at £769, the S22 Plus at £949, and the S22 Ultra at £1,149 – and that’s the RRP, whereas these phones are often available for less than that now. 

It’s a similar story on a contract, with prices on Three typically being around a few pounds more each month for the new models than the old ones – though the old ones aren’t all still available there.

Should you upgrade?

If you already have a Samsung Galaxy S22 or one of its siblings in good condition then there’s probably no desperate need to upgrade – but if you have an older model or a non-Samsung phone then it could well be worth it.

Even if you are using a phone from the S22 series there are reasons you might want to snap up an S23, with the key one being the far more powerful chipset.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the biggest upgrade of the three, since that also have a massively improved main camera, but the S23 and S23 Plus benefit from bigger batteries than the previous models, and they all have better selfie cameras, tougher builds, and potentially more storage.


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