June 7, 2023

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 launched again in February, and chances are you’ll be tempted to improve. However earlier than you do, contemplate the age and situation of your present cellphone, alongside together with your funds. You will additionally need to bear in mind whether or not your system will assist new variations of Android sooner or later. All of those elements are essential in figuring out whether or not it is the fitting time to improve your cellphone.

The Galaxy S23, which begins at $800, has a 6.1-inch display and a 50-megapixel fundamental digicam, identical to the Galaxy S22. However the S23 has a bigger battery, a brand new processor and barely up to date digicam algorithms that enhance the best way images are processed. Whereas these modifications are appreciated, the Galaxy S23 is usually a minor enchancment over the Galaxy S22. The improve is price it if you happen to’re seeking to change a cellphone you’ve got had for a number of years, ideally one which’s greater than two years outdated. Even the Galaxy S21, which launched in 2021, seemingly nonetheless has sufficient life left to make it by one other 12 months. 

Shopping for choices will at all times differ relying in your wants and funds. However if you happen to’re a present Samsung person contemplating making the soar, this is what to find out about how the Galaxy S23 compares to older units.

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S22

Samsung Galaxy S22

The Samsung Galaxy S22.

Lisa Eadicicco/CNET

With the Galaxy S23, Samsung addressed my greatest concern in regards to the Galaxy S22: its brief battery life. The brand new cellphone has a bigger battery (3,900 mAh in comparison with 3,700), which has made a distinction in my testing.

In any other case, in comparison with the Galaxy S22, you are getting a brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that is been optimized for the brand new Galaxy lineup particularly, whereas the Galaxy S22 runs on final 12 months’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip. Efficiency is quicker, particularly when exporting video. However you most likely will not discover a lot of a soar in on a regular basis use, since most trendy processors are well-equipped to deal with gaming, multitasking and different run-of-the-mill duties.

The Galaxy S23’s cameras are largely the identical because the Galaxy S22’s, besides the algorithms have been up to date to enhance processing in low gentle circumstances. The selfie digicam additionally has a barely increased decision (12 megapixels versus 10), though I did not discover a lot of a distinction. There’s nothing in regards to the Galaxy S23’s digicam that feels vastly totally different from the earlier era, though I did discover that low-light portraits seemed higher.

The cellphone launches with Android 13 and Samsung’s One UI 5.1 software program, each of which can be found for the Galaxy S22 collection. 

The underside line: Do not improve to the Galaxy S23 when you’ve got a Galaxy S22. The modifications aren’t noticeable sufficient to warrant an improve. Battery life is the one significant change you will discover between the 2 telephones, however I would solely suggest upgrading if you may get the S23 free of charge by a trade-in deal

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S21

Samsung's Galaxy S21

Samsung’s Galaxy S21.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The variations between the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S21 are extra noticeable, however you may most likely maintain onto your S21 for an additional 12 months earlier than upgrading. 

The Galaxy S23 has a noticeably improved digicam because it inherits the 50-megapixel sensor that debuted on the Galaxy S22. As I wrote in my evaluation, the Galaxy S22’s cameras provide higher shade, distinction and low-light efficiency in comparison with the Galaxy S21. 

The Galaxy S21 additionally runs on a processor that is now two years outdated, in comparison with the brand-new chip within the Galaxy S23. That mentioned, if you happen to’re simply utilizing your cellphone for easy duties like video calls, enjoying video games and checking social media, the older Snapdragon 888 chip might be holding up simply advantageous. 

The underside line: In case your Galaxy S21 nonetheless feels quick and the battery life is passable, you may wait one other 12 months earlier than upgrading. Samsung helps three generations of Android working system updates for the Galaxy S21, which means it should get new platform-wide software program updates till 2024. 

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S20

Samsung's Galaxy S20

Samsung’s Galaxy S20.

Angela Lang/CNET

Whether or not it is best to improve from the Galaxy S20 is not as simple of a solution. There’s sufficient to achieve that might justify making the soar, however the Galaxy S20 additionally nonetheless has lots to supply.

By upgrading, you will get a sooner chip, an improved digicam with considerably higher low-light efficiency and a contemporary design. Because the Galaxy S20 launched in 2020 with Android 10, it’s going to not be eligible for brand spanking new Android OS updates shifting ahead. 

Samsung dedicated to offering three generations of updates for the Galaxy S20 lineup, making Android 13 the final one. Meaning you will should improve to get future variations of Android and the brand new options that come together with these updates. The corporate does, nevertheless, nonetheless present month-to-month safety updates for the Galaxy S20. 

On the similar time, the Galaxy S20 remains to be a really succesful cellphone. Though you will not get the choice to shoot images at a 50-megapixel decision like on the Galaxy S23, you will nonetheless get a triple-camera setup on the Galaxy S20. The Galaxy S20 additionally has a 30x digital zoom just like the Galaxy S23, so you will not miss out on getting close-up photographs.

However take into account that the Galaxy S20 has a bigger battery and a barely larger display than the Galaxy S23. And most significantly, the Galaxy S20 has a microSD card slot for including extra storage, which the Galaxy S23 doesn’t. 

The underside line: The updates within the Galaxy S23 will really feel vital sufficient to justify the improve, however you additionally needn’t if you happen to’re joyful together with your Galaxy S20. Hold onto the S20 if you happen to’re pleased with its efficiency, battery life and if you happen to worth retaining that microSD card slot over having a greater digicam. Simply bear in mind you will not get the subsequent model of Android. 

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S10

The Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup

The Samsung Galaxy S10 lineup.

Angela Lang/CNET

Galaxy S10 house owners: it is time to improve. Not solely will the digicam and processor really feel like an enormous step up, however you will get 5G and the newest model Android. 

Should you bought the Galaxy S10 at launch again in 2019, the processor and battery at the moment are 4 years outdated. Meaning your cellphone could also be beginning to really feel sluggish, and the battery most likely struggles to get by a day. The Galaxy S10’s battery can also be smaller than the Galaxy S23’s (3,400 mAh capability versus 3,900) and the S23’s processor is extra energy environment friendly — so the battery features must be significant. Your Galaxy S10 additionally would not assist 5G, until you splurged on the 6.7-inch Galaxy S10 5G, which began at $1,300 when it launched.

However extra importantly, the Galaxy S10 not receives Android model updates. Just like the Galaxy S20, the Galaxy S10 was eligible for 3 generations of recent Android releases. That might make final 12 months’s Android 12 replace the final one for the reason that Galaxy S10 launched with Android 9. (You’ll, nevertheless, nonetheless get quarterly safety updates when you’ve got the common Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10E or S10 5G.)

Whereas software program assist and battery life are among the many greatest causes to improve, you will additionally get a significantly better digicam on the Galaxy S23. Samsung’s digicam has come a great distance during the last 4 years, now providing the next decision fundamental sensor (50 megapixels versus 12 megapixels on the Galaxy S10), enhanced efficiency in low gentle and a better digital zoom (as much as 30x on the Galaxy S23 in comparison with 10x on the Galaxy S10). 

One factor to bear in mind, nevertheless, is that you will lose the beloved microSD card slot by upgrading to the Galaxy S23. So you should definitely choose a storage capability that is sensible to your wants since you will not be capable of increase it. 

The underside line: Sure, when you’ve got a Galaxy S10 it is price upgrading to the Galaxy S23. You will get 5G assist, entry to new variations of Android, longer battery life, a sooner new processor and a much-improved digicam. However be ready to say goodbye to the microSD card slot. 

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S9

Samsung Galaxy S9

The Samsung Galaxy S9.

James Martin/CNET

There are lots of causes to improve from the Galaxy S9 — so many, the truth is, it is exhausting to know the place to start out. All the factors talked about above for the Galaxy S10 additionally apply to the Galaxy S9. Samsung’s five-year-old cellphone lacks 5G, and its processor and battery have seemingly began to indicate their age. You will additionally not obtain Android model updates. 

However there are many different advantages available from upgrading. The digicam is among the many greatest modifications; the Galaxy S9 solely has one rear 12-megapixel digicam, and the Galaxy S9 Plus has a further 12-megapixel telephoto digicam. The Galaxy S23 has the next decision 50-megapixel fundamental digicam, together with a 10-megapixel telephoto digicam and a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens for capturing a wider subject of view. The Galaxy S23’s selfie digicam additionally has the next decision (12 megapixels versus the S9’s 8), together with different enhancements like higher low-light seize. 

You probably have the usual 5.8-inch Galaxy S9, you will additionally get a bigger display for the reason that Galaxy S23 has a 6.1-inch show. The Galaxy S23 additionally has twice the storage within the base mannequin in comparison with the Galaxy S9, however there isn’t any microSD card slot in Samsung’s new cellphone for including extra storage. 

The underside line: There are a bunch of causes to improve when you’ve got a Galaxy S9. You will get a considerably improved digicam with a number of lenses, a lot sooner efficiency, longer battery life, new variations of Android and 5G assist. 

General, it is price upgrading when you’ve got a cellphone that is greater than two years outdated. Galaxy S20 house owners can most likely get one other 12 months out of their system if it is in good situation, however the Galaxy S23 additionally provides sufficient enhancements to justify the improve. You probably have a Galaxy S10 or earlier, the reply as to if it is best to improve is a powerful sure. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. older Galaxy telephones

Galaxy S23 Galaxy S22 Galaxy S21 Galaxy S20 Galaxy S10 Galaxy S9
Show 6.1-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 decision; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Fee 6.1-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 decision; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Fee 6.2-inch AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 decision; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Fee 6.2-inch AMOLED; 3,200×1,440 decision; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Fee 6.1-inch AMOLED; 3,040×1,440 decision 5.8-inch AMOLED; 2,960×1,440 decision
Pixel density 425 pixels per inch 425 pixels per inch 421 pixels per inch 563 pixels per inch 550 pixels per inch 570 pixels per inch
Dimensions (inches) 2.79 x 5.76 x 0.3 in 2.78 x 5.74 x 0.3 in 2.80 x 5.97 x 0.31 in 2.72 x 5.97 x 0.311 in 5.9 x 2.77 x 0.31 in 5.81 x 2.70 x 0.33 in
Dimensions (millimeters) 70.9 x 146.3 x 7.6 mm 70.6 x 146 x 7.6 mm 71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9mm 69.1 x 151.7 x 7.9 mm 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm
Weight (grams, ounces) 168 g (5.93 oz) 167 g (5.93 oz) 171 g (6.03 oz) 5.75 oz (163 g) 5.53 oz (157 g) 5.75 oz (163 g)
Cellular software program Android 13 Android 12 Android 11 Android 10 Android 9 Android 8
Digicam 50-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto) 50-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto) 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (huge), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (ultrawide) 12-megapixel (wide-angle), 16-megapixel (ultrawide), 12-megapixel (telephoto) 12-megapixel
Entrance-facing digicam 12-megapixel 10-megapixel 10-megapixel 10-megapixel 10-megapixel 8-megapixel
Video seize 8K at 30fps 8K at 24 fps 8K at 24fps 8K at 24fps 4K at 60fps 4K at 60 fps
Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5G Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM/storage 8GB RAM + 128GB; 8GB RAM + 256GB 8GB RAM + 128GB 8GB RAM + 256GB 8GB RAM + 128GB 8GB RAM + 128GB 8GB RAM + 128GB; 8GB RAM + 512GB 4GB RAM + 64GB; 4GB RAM + 128GB; 4GB RAM + 256GB
Expandable storage None None None Sure (As much as 1TB) Sure (As much as 512GB) Sure (As much as 400GB)
Battery 3,900 mAh 3,700 mAh 4,000 mAh 4,000mAh 3,400mAh 3,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensor In-display In-display In-display In-display In-display Again
Headphone jack No No No No Sure Sure
Particular options 5G (mmw/Sub6), IP68 ranking, wi-fi PowerShare to cost different units 5G (mmw/Sub6), 120Hz show, IP68 ranking, 25W wired charging, 15W wi-fi charging IP68 ranking, 5G-enabled, 30x Area Zoom, 10W wi-fi charging, 120Hz show 5G enabled; 120Hz refresh charge; waterproof (IP68) Wi-fi PowerShare; gap punch display notch; waterproof (IP68); Quick Wi-fi Charging 2.0 Twin-aperture digicam, waterproof (IP68); tremendous slo-mo video; wi-fi charging; iris scanning

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