Samsung Galaxy S23 vs ASUS ZenFone 9
The Galaxy S23 is Samsung’s brand new, rather compact flagship. Well, it’s one of the three high-end smartphones that the company announced earlier this month. If you’re in the market for a more compact phone, well, then this comparison may interest you. We’ll compare the Samsung Galaxy S23 vs ASUS ZenFone 9. The Galaxy S23 may be a more familiar name to many of you, but the ZenFone 9 is an outstanding offering.
These two phones are considerably different, and yet they both have a lot to offer. They’re both quite compact, and true powerhouses at the same time. In this article, we’ll first list their specifications, and will then move to compare them across a number of categories. We’ll compare their designs, displays, performance, battery life, cameras, and audio performance. So, let’s get started.
|Samsung Galaxy S23||ASUS ZenFone 9|
|Screen size||6.1-inch fullHD+ flat AMOLED display (120Hz refresh rate, 1,750 nits peak brightness)||5.9-inch FullHD+ Super AMOLED display (60-120Hz refresh rate)|
|Screen resolution||2340 x 1080||2400 x 1080|
|SoC||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2||Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1|
|RAM||8GB (LPDDR5X)||8GB/16GB (LPDDR5)|
|Storage||128GB (UFS 3.1)/256GB (UFS 4.0)/512GB (UFS 4.0), non-expandable||128GB/256GB (UFS 3.1), non-expandable|
|Rear cameras||50MP (f/1.8 aperture, 24mm lens, 1.0um pixel size, OIS, Dual Pixel PDAF)
12MP (ultrawide, f/2.2 aperture, 13mm lens, 120-degree FoV, 1.4um pixel size)
10MP (telephoto, f/2.4 aperture, 70mm lens, 1.0um pixel size, OIS, 3x optical zoom, PDAF)
|50MP (f/1.9 aperture, 23.8mm wide-angle lens, 1.0um pixel size, gimbal OIS, PDAF)
12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 113-degree FoV, 1.4um pixel size, 14.4mm lens)
|Front cameras||12MP (f/2.2 aperture, 26mm lens, Dual Pixel PDAF)||12MP (f/2.5 aperture, 1.22um pixel size, 27.5mm lens, dual pixel PDAF)|
|Battery||3,900mAh, non-removable, 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging (Qi/PMA), reverse wireless charging
Charger not included
|4,300mAh, non-removable, 30W wired charging
|Dimensions||146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6mm||146.5 x 68.1 x 9.1mm|
|Weight||168 grams||169 grams|
|Connectivity||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.3, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C||5G, LTE, NFC, Bluetooth 5.2, Wi-Fi, USB Type-C|
|Security||In-display fingerprint scanner (ultrasonic)||Side-facing fingerprint scanner|
One UI 5.1
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs ASUS ZenFone 9: Design
Both of these phones come with a frame made out of metal, but their backplates are different. The Galaxy S23 has Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the back, while the ZenFone 9 has a polymer backplate. That polymer backplate is less slippery than glass, needless to say, and it offers an entirely different feeling (soft touch). What’s interesting is that the phone comes in three color options, and each of them offers a slightly different feeling in the hand, thanks to different polymer backplate implementations.
Both phones have rounded corners, and flattish sides. Well, the sides on the Galaxy S23 are flattish (they’re slightly curved in general), while the ones on the ZenFone 9 are flat, with chamfered edges. Both phones feel really good to hold, actually, and neither one will cut into your hand. The Galaxy S23 has a centered display camera hole, a flat display, and uniform bezels. The ZenFone 9 has a display camera hole in the top-left corner, a flat display, and very thin bezels, though they’re not uniform.
On the back of the Galaxy S23, you’ll notice three cameras, which are vertically aligned. Each of those camera sensors protrudes from the back directly. The ZenFone 9 has two cameras on the back, and each of them protrudes from the back directly as well, but those camera islands are noticeably larger on the ZenFone 9. The two phones are about the same height, while the ZenFone 9 is a bit more narrow, and a bit thicker. They weigh basically the same, the difference between them is only 1 gram. Both phones offer an IP68 rating for water and dust resistance, and both are really well-built.
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs ASUS ZenFone 9: Display
The Samsung Galaxy S23 features a 6.1-inch fullHD+ (2340 x 1080) Dynamic AMOLED 2X display. That panel is flat, and it offers a 120Hz refresh rate. The display also supports HDR10+ content, and gets very bright at 1,750 nits of peak brightness. The display aspect ratio here is 19.5:9, and the panel is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus 2. That is the same protection that Samsung included on the back.
The ASUS ZenFone 9, on the flip side, includes a 5.9-inch fullHD+ (2400 x 1080) Super AMOLED display. That display is also flat, and it has a 120Hz refresh rate. It supports HDR10+ as well, but it gets considerably less bright. Its peak brightness is 1,100 nits, which is considerably lower than what the Galaxy S23 offers. This display has an aspect ratio of 20:9, and it is protected by the Gorilla Glass Victus.
Both of these displays do offer vivid colors, with deep blacks, and really good viewing angles. The touch response is also good on both of them. The thing is, if you do spend a lot of time outdoors, under the sun, you’ll appreciate the added brightness the Galaxy S23 offers. If not, well, either one of these two displays will serve you just fine. They’re both really good overall, and well-protected too.
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs ASUS ZenFone 9: Performance
The Galaxy S23 is fueled by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy. That is Qualcomm’s most powerful SoC at the moment, which is also clocked a bit higher for the Galaxy S23 series. The phone also includes 8GB of LPDDR5X RAM and UFS 4.0, well, instead of its 128GB storage variant, that model has UFS 3.1 storage. The ZenFone 9, on the other hand, is fueled by the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC, while it includes up to 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and UFS 3.1 flash storage.
The Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 is inferior to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, but not by much. That chip is basically the predecessor to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and it’s outstanding as well. That goes for both performance, and power consumption. Thanks to these chips, RAM, storage, and software optimization, both of these phones are outstanding performers. That goes for both day-to-day tasks, and gaming.
The Galaxy S23 will do better in benchmarks, but in real-life, they’re basically on par. They fly through everything you throw at them, and the Galaxy S23 series is probably the smoothest-performing series of phones Samsung ever released. The ZenFone 9 has been performing great constantly, since launch. They can handle even the most demanding games from the Play Store, and you really shouldn’t worry about the performance here, on either phone.
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs ASUS ZenFone 9: Battery
The Galaxy S23 features a 3,900mAh battery, while the ZenFone 9 has a 4,300mAh battery on the inside. So, not only does it have a slightly smaller display, but it has a noticeably larger battery. Does that reflect on its battery life? Well, yes, it does. The ZenFone 9 does offer considerably better battery life than the Galaxy S23. It is worth noting that the Galaxy S23 does a lot better in the battery life department than its predecessor, though.
Getting over the 5 hours of screen-on-time with the Galaxy S23 was easily doable. Stretching that to 5.5-6 hours is also possible, it all depends on what you’re doing with the phone. The ZenFone 9 goes above and beyond that. Getting over the 7-hour screen-on-time mark with that phone is not a problem at all, and we easily managed to get over the 8-hour mark a number of times, without gaming involved. Your mileage may vary, though, of course, but the ZenFone 9 is the best compact smartphone for the battery life we’ve used.
When it comes to charging, the Galaxy S23 supports 25W wired, 15W wireless, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging. The ZenFone 9 supports 30W wired, and 5W reverse wired charging, but no wireless charging. The thing is, the ZenFone 9 also includes a charger in the retail box, while the Galaxy S23 does not.
Samsung Galaxy S23 vs ASUS ZenFone 9: Cameras
The Galaxy S23 has three cameras on the back. It has a 50-megapixel main camera, a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, and a 10-megapixel telephoto unit. The ZenFone 9 includes two cameras, a 50-megapixel main camera, and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camera. The ultrawide camera on the Galaxy S23 does have a wider field of view, by the way.
The performance of these two cameras is, well, quite different. Both sets of cameras tend to boost up the saturation a bit, but the ZenFone 9 a bit more than the Galaxy S23, in our experience. The ZenFone 9 often opts for a more contrasty look, even though it doesn’t always nail the balance. It also tends to oversharpen a bit too much when there’s not enough light in the scene.
The Galaxy S23 tends to provide a bit warmer images, and it can push that limit too far in low light. It can also brighten up low light images too much at times. Overall, though, both smartphones do a good job in both taking images and videos. Their ultrawide cameras do keep up to the main ones when it comes to color science, and the Galaxy S23 wins the telephoto camera race, as the ZenFone 9 doesn’t have one. The ZenFone 9 does deliver more stable video, more often than not. Overall, both phones do a good job, but are not the best out there in the camera department, not even close.
You will find stereo speakers on both smartphones. Those speakers do provide good sound in both cases, though the Galaxy S23 speakers tend to sound a bit more detailed, are a bit louder, and offer slightly more bass.
Neither phone has a 3.5mm headphone jack. You’ll need to rely on their Type-C ports for wired audio connections. If you prefer a wireless connection instead, the Galaxy S23 and ZenFone 9 include Bluetooth 5.3 and 5.2, respectively.