Do You Need to Upgrade?
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 is the successor to 2022’s Galaxy S22. As such, it promises several upgrades that make it better than its predecessor. However, if you’re considering upgrading to the S23 from the S22, don’t just take Samsung’s word for it.
You need to look closely at how the two compare to decide whether it’s worth upgrading. Here’s a head-to-head comparison between the Galaxy S22 and S23 to help you make an informed decision.
Dimensions and Design
- Samsung Galaxy S22: 5.75 x 2.78 x 0.30 in; 5.89 oz
- Samsung Galaxy S23: 5.76 x 2.79 x 0.30 in; 5.93 oz
From a distance, it’s easy to distinguish between the S22 and S23 by looking at the rear cameras. Samsung ditches the camera bump on the new model. Instead, each rear camera stands on its own, making the camera protrusion look slightly more prominent on the S23. Other than that, the two phones are strikingly similar.
A punch-hole camera lives atop the display, and there’s a USB-C charging port at the bottom. Dimensions-wise, both have nearly the same measurements, but the S23 is slightly heavier than the S22. However, due to the minimal weight difference, it’s something you’ll hardly notice, if ever.
The S22 is available in four primary colors: Phantom Black, Phantom White, Green, and Pink Gold, plus five exclusive options: Graphite, Sky Blue, Violet, Cream, and Bora Purple. On the other hand, the S23 sells in Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender.
On top of the four, the company also offers four different exclusive colors: Lime, Graphite, Sky Blue, and Red. But you can only get the exclusive colors if you buy through samsung.com.
- Samsung Galaxy S22: 6.1-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED Display; 2340×1080 resolution; 422 PPI; 120Hz refresh rate; 1300 nits peak brightness; HDR10+ support
- Samsung Galaxy S23: 6.1-inch FHD+ Dynamic AMOLED Display; 2340×1080 resolution; 425 PPI; 120Hz adaptive refresh rate (48~120Hz); 1750 nits peak brightness; HDR10+ support
Both have a 6.1-inch flat 1080p display with a 120Hz refresh rate. However, the S23 has a slightly improved display over the S22. One key enhancement includes a variable refresh rate between 48 and 120Hz, which can help improve battery life. While there’s no LTPO technology on the S23, it’s better than having no adaptive refresh rate.
The S23 also has a higher 1750 nits peak brightness which should make the device more comfortable to use in bright light. Don’t get us wrong, though; the 1300 nits peak brightness on the S22 is still impressive.
- Samsung Galaxy S22: 50 MP f/1.8 primary (wide) with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS; 10 MP f/2.4 secondary (telephoto) with PDAF, OIS, and 3x optical zoom; 12 MP f/2.2 ultra-wide with a 120-degree field of view; 12 MP f/2.2 (wide) selfie camera with dual Pixel PDAF
- Samsung Galaxy S23: 50 MP f/1.8 primary (wide) with dual-pixel PDAF and OIS; 10 MP f/2.4 secondary (telephoto) with PDAF, OIS, and 3x optical zoom; 12 MP f/2.2 ultra-wide with a 120-degree field of view; 12 MP f/2.2 (wide) selfie camera with dual Pixel PDAF
Camera-wise, the two have identical systems both on the front and back. On the rear, you still get the same 50MP primary camera on the S23 with a 10MP telephoto camera capable of 3x optical zoom and a 12MP ultra-wide camera with a 120-degree field of view. On the front, Samsung also retained the 12MP wide camera.
However, the specs don’t tell the whole story. On the S23, Samsung is adding a few enhancements for improved performance. For starters, it has faster autofocus and boasts enhanced AI processing for better images, especially in low-light conditions.
If you want to get the S23 for shooting videos, it can shoot 8K video at 30 frames per second (fps), up from the 24fps on the S22. Using the selfie camera on both, you can also shoot up to 4K video at 30 or 60fps.
- Samsung Galaxy S22: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (Samsung Exynos 2200 in some regions)
- Samsung Galaxy S23: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy
With the S23, Samsung partnered with Qualcomm to make a slightly better chip for its devices. Instead of using the regular Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 launched at the end of 2022, Samsung uses a version of the chip optimized for the S23 series.
The key improvement is a higher primary CPU clock speed of 3.36GHz from 3.2GHz, and GPU clock speeds of 719MHz from 680MHz on the standard Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. In addition to better performance, the chip is also energy-efficient. It’s no wonder the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is one of the best features of the Galaxy S23 Ultra.
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powers the S22 with a 2.8GHz CPU clock speed. Despite the difference in performance, both chips use a 4nm die and work in tandem with an Adreno 740 and 730 GPU, respectively.
On paper, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is better than the 8 Gen 1, but given how powerful the latter already is, it’ll be hard to notice these performance improvements in real-life usage. The exception is if you’re in a region where the S22 used Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 chipset—you should see real improvements with the Snapdragon.
RAM and Storage
- Samsung Galaxy S22: 8GB RAM; 128GB/256GB storage
- Samsung Galaxy S23: 8GB RAM; 128GB/256GB/512GB storage
8GB memory is standard across both devices, but the S23 gains an edge by offering an extra 512GB storage option. This is an excellent move by Samsung, keeping in mind neither ships with a storage expansion slot.
The S23 should also have marginally better read and write speeds due to the latest UFS 4.0 technology instead of UFS 3.1, except for the base 128GB model.
- Samsung Galaxy S22: 3700mAh; 25W wired, 15W wireless, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging support
- Samsung Galaxy S23: 3900mAh; 25W wired and 10W wireless, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging support
If you prefer a bigger battery, the S23 adds 200mAh on top of the 3700mAh on the S22. That can result in slightly better battery life, especially since it’s paired with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which promises better energy efficiency.
While wired charging speeds stay the same, the S23 should take slightly longer to juice up its bigger battery. According to Samsung, it takes about 30 minutes from zero to 50% when using a 25W charging brick.
Unfortunately, the S23 steps down wireless charging speeds from 15W to 10W, which, surprisingly, is also true for the S23+ and S23 Ultra.
Should You Upgrade to the Galaxy S23?
In the grand scheme, the S23 is a cosmetic upgrade compared to the S22. The only noticeable changes include a slightly bigger battery, a new chip, 8K video at 30fps, an adaptive display refresh rate, higher 1750 nits peak brightness, and an additional 512GB storage option (if you can splurge on it). Downgrades include lesser 10W wireless charging support.
The good news is Samsung retained the $799 price for the 128GB S23 model in the US, the same as the outgoing S22 at launch.
All of this means you should only upgrade if you care about the minor improvements or are coming from a Galaxy S21 or older devices. Otherwise, for most people, you’re better off staying with your S22 for another year.