Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S22 Plus

Intro

Samsung’s Galaxy S23-series is coming in early 2023 with tons of important enhancements in the pipeline, which will build on the strong foundation set by the Galaxy S22-series. While the most interesting phone will undoubtedly be the S Pen-touting Galaxy S23 Ultra, which will also score a 200MP camera, we should not forget the middle entrant in the upcoming lineup, the Galaxy S23 Plus, which could sadly be overshadowed by the much more appealing handset.
The Galaxy S22 Plus was a great phone that was sadly cannibalized by the much more powerful Galaxy S22 Ultra, which had a way more intriguing set of features, and the more compact but otherwise identical Galaxy S22.
Would that be the case with the Galaxy S23 Plus? To establish an answer, we need to see how the Galaxy S23 Plus would improve the Galaxy S22 Plus formula.
Galaxy S23 Plus vs Galaxy S22 Plus in a nutshell:
  • Galaxy S23 Plus to be wider and taller
  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 (Galaxy S23 Plus) vs Snapdragon 8 Gen 1/Exynos 2200 (Galaxy S22 Plus)
  • Larger Galaxy S23 Plus (4,700mAh) vs Galaxy S22 Plus (4,500mAh)
  • Unchanged price ($999)

Table of Contents:

  • Design and display quality
  • Performance and software
  • Camera
  • Battery
  • Specs comparison
  • Summary

Design and Display Quality

Few but important changes

From the get-go, there wouldn’t be that many differences between the Galaxy S23 Plus and the S22 Plus in terms of dimensions. The new phone is expected to be just a smidgen taller and wider: the Galaxy S22 Plus stands at 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm, while the S23 Plus is expected to measure in at 157.8 x 76.2 x 7.6mm. While it’s a mostly negligible difference from a size difference, it’s an important distinction to make as it could potentially change up the ergonomics of the phone. It would also mean that your old case wouldn’t fit the new phone, but there’s another reason for that.

The Galaxy S23 Plus will adopt the single camera cutout look of the Galaxy S22 Ultra at the rear, which means that the sloping camera island that gently transitions to the side chamfer is gone. This would definitely unify the design language of the Galaxy S23 range and boost the synergy between the three phones.

From a build quality perspective, we don’t expect much to change, so the S23 Plus will rely on the so-called Armor Aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass front and back. The same applies to the lack of 3.5mm audio jack, microSD card slot, a punch-hole front camera cutout, dual stereo speakers, and an overall super premium look all-around.

In terms of display, rumors keep mum on what’s changed, so the best guess is next to nothing. Expect a 6.6-inch Dynamic AMOLED LTPS display with a 2340 by 1080-pixel resolution and a 48-120Hz refresh rate, which is mostly identical to what the Galaxy S22 Plus had to offer. Despite the lack of any specific “numbers” improvements in the display section, if the Galaxy S22 Plus is anything to go by, then the Galaxy S23 Plus would certainly be a phone with an excellent display. Samsung flagships always boast excellent displays, with superb colors, brightness, and contrast.

Performance and Software

Enter the Qualcomm era

The Galaxy S22 Plus came with two different chipsets depending on the region — the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 mainly intended for the US and its in-house Exynos 2200 in most international markets. This all seemingly changes with the Galaxy S23 Plus, which will use a single chip no matter the region, the still unofficial TSMC-made Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. What forced Samsung to do this change?

Well, the South Korea-based giant actually was responsible for the manufacture of both the Exynos 2200 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chips, which had thermal throttling and efficiency issues, which has obviously forced the company to skip the Exynos 2300 and go with Qualcomm’s upcoming chip, which was fully relegated to TSMC.

What can we expect from said chip? It reportedly consists of one high-performance 3.36GHz core, four mid-range 2.8GHz cores, and finally, a trio of efficient 2.02GHz cores. Despite expectations that it could be built on a 3nm node, the chip is more likely to use TSMC’s 4nm node instead. Some preliminary benchmarks put the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 on par with Apple’s A5 Bionic, which is great news, and we are hopeful that it would deliver excellent efficiency as well.

Have in mind that Samsung hasn’t abandoned its Exynos 2300-series at all. Actually, we’ve been hearing rumors about this one, and although it might not make it to the Galaxy S23-series, it could be slated for the Galaxy A-series or even to serve as the foundation for Google’s next Tensor chipset inside the Pixel 8.

Memory and storage-wise, not many differences are expected in contrast with the Galaxy S22 Plus. Both phones will come with either 128 or 256GB of storage, no storage expansion options, and 8GB of LPDDR5 RAM on board.

Camera

The triple-camera setup returns
Unlike the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which is scoring a hot-new 200MP camera, the The Galaxy S23 Plus camera will mostly reiterate the same hardware setup that made it inside the Galaxy S22 Plus. Expect a 50MP f/1.8 main camera with a 1/1.56″ sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera with an f/2.2 aperture and a 1/2.55″ sensor, and finally, a 10MP 3X optical zoom lens with an f/2.4 aperture and a small, 1/3.94″ camera sensor. Up front, there could be a 10MP f/2.2 selfie camera, similar to the Galaxy S22 Plus.
As there likely wouldn’t be major hardware shake-ups, we expect Samsung to cater to us with various software and image-processing improvements in the camera department. For example, we hope Samsung goes lighter on the excessive over-sharpening that plagues the Galaxy S22-series and achieves a more natural, but still detailed look. Yes, we shouldn’t confuse over-sharpening with detail resolution, totally different things.

Audio Quality and Haptics

The Galaxy S22 Plus had excellent speakers and haptics, so our expectations for the Galaxy S23 Plus are already just as high. Having strong haptic feedback is something very important that some manufacturers used to underestimate, but Samsung has been giving us flagship phones with great haptic feedback for years now. Here’s hoping this won’t change anytime soon.

Battery Life and Charging

Optimism
With a much larger 4,700mAh battery and possibly a more efficient chipset, the Galaxy S23 Plus battery is already setting the potential bar high, raising our hopes for outstanding battery life in comparison with the 4,500mAh cell inside the Galaxy S22 Plus, which was also powered by less efficient chips.

In terms of charging, we don’t expect changes in the charging speeds, so the Galaxy S23 Plus will max out at 45W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. Good enough for today’s standards, but still way behind many Chinese smartphones that comfortably support charging speeds above 100W. For battery health in the long run, however, a slower charging is usually recommended.

Specs Comparison

Summary and Final Verdict

It seems that the Galaxy S23 Plus will improve many important aspects of the Galaxy S22 Plus and perfect the formula. Improved performance and better battery life are our main expectations of the Galaxy S23 Plus, but we are a bit pessimistic about any potential major camera improvements, otherwise we would have heard about those already.

Guess you could say the Galaxy S23 Plus is shaping up to be a minor upgrade over the Galaxy S22 Plus, but that’s fine. As most products on the market have matured long ago, we are in for a slower ride, with fewer and fewer major overhauls between device generations. And yet, there are lots of improvements slated for the upcoming Galaxy S23 Plus, which make it a much bigger overhaul in comparison to, say, the generational jump between the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14.

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