How to Preorder Samsung’s Galaxy S23—and Which Model to Buy
Samsung has three new flagship smartphones for 2023 – the Galaxy S23, S23+ and S23 Ultra. They are available to pre-order now and will officially go on sale on February 17th. But should you upgrade? If you need a new phone, which Galaxy S23 model is best for you? We explain what’s different between each model, what’s new, and which one is right for you. We’ve also featured some of the top Galaxy S23 deals from Samsung and carriers to help you get the most out of your purchase.
Check out our guides to the best Android phones and best cheap phones for more recommendations. If you can snag last year’s Galaxy S22 on the cheap instead, we have accessory recommendations too.
Special offer for Gear readers: Get a 1-year subscription to WIRED for $5 ($25 off). This includes unlimited access to WIRED.com and our print magazine (if you wish). Subscriptions help fund our daily work.
The new technology in all 3 phones
The Galaxy S23 series shares a similar design philosophy across all three devices, although the Ultra is characterized by its angular edges. They all have the same bright AMOLED screens, a 120Hz screen refresh rate, and the basics like wireless charging, robust 5G and Wi-Fi 6E support, in-display fingerprint sensors, and IP68 water resistance. They’re made of aluminum, and the glass protecting the screen and back is Corning’s latest Gorilla Glass Victus 2. They’re all available in Phantom Black, Cream, Green, and Lavender, and you’ll find Lime, Graphite, Sky Blue, and Red Color options when you buy directly from Samsung.com.
These phones are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy chip with 8GB of RAM – not just in the US, but worldwide. The “for Galaxy” moniker indicates that the chips have a slightly higher clock speed than the base Snapdragon chips, so are slightly faster, and there are additional optimizations to make them more efficient. The lineup also features a redesigned cooling chamber that is 2x larger and aims to keep the phone cooler when gaming for longer sessions. Camera-wise, all three models share the same 12-megapixel ultrawide camera, a similar 3x optical telephoto camera, and a new 12-megapixel selfie camera.
All three S23 phones get five years of security updates and four Android OS upgrades (they start with Android 13). This is the best software policy you will find on Android phones. That’s exactly where the similarities end. That’s how they all differ.
The Galaxy S23 is the smallest of the range with its 6.1-inch screen. So if you’re looking for a phone that you can comfortably use in one hand, this is the way to go. It’s also the cheapest, although it’s by no means “cheap”. It’s the only S23 model to start with 128GB of internal storage – the other two now start at 256GB – but Samsung has increased the battery capacity by 200mAh over the Galaxy S22 to 3,900mAh. This phone is the only one in the bunch that’s limited to 25-watt charging speeds, so it won’t charge as quickly when you plug it in. (Remember there’s no longer a charging adapter in the box, so you’ll have to supply one yourself.) The big change is the main camera, which uses a new 50-megapixel sensor for improved dynamic color range.
The S23+ is the awkward middle child it’s not as feature-rich as the Ultra, but not as distinct from the standard S23 to justify a $200 price hike. Still, this phone is larger at 6.6 inches and has a larger battery capacity of 4,700mAh than its predecessor. Internal storage starts at 256GB, which is important since Samsung stopped putting microSD card slots in its high-end phones in 2021. Since the S23+ has the exact same camera setup as the S23, the only main difference is the charging speed – it supports 45-watt charging (charger not included), so it juices up a bit faster than the S23. In our experience so far, the loading speed doesn’t differ drastically, so it really shouldn’t matter in your decision. Get it if you want more battery or a slightly bigger screen.
The Galaxy S23 Ultra is the crème de la crème of Samsung’s lineup. It retains the same great 10x optical zoom camera as its predecessor, allowing you to take sharp photos of subjects that are far away. It Also has a 3x optical zoom, and who doesn’t love options? If you’re an S Pen fan, this is the only Samsung phone with an integrated stylus accessible from the bottom edge of the device. It’s the largest phone of the trio (and the heaviest) at 6.8 inches, and while it has an adaptive refresh rate like the other two, it can switch between 1 and 120Hz when needed, meaning it’s a bit more battery efficient. It has a 5,000mAh battery and Samsung says it will last 20 per cent longer than last year’s S22 Ultra despite having the same capacity.
https://www.wired.com/story/samsung-galaxy-s23-deals/ How to Preorder Samsung’s Galaxy S23—and Which Model to Buy