Samsung Galaxy S23 in the test: Small smartphone, big gameandnews

With the Galaxy S23, Samsung has launched a compact Android smartphone that has only been minimally changed compared to the Galaxy S22. In fact, Samsung has eliminated the biggest weakness and thus offers one of the best compact smartphones. I used the Galaxy S23 in everyday life and will tell you all the details about it in the test report.


Samsung Galaxy S23 in the test: conclusion

GIGA rating: 8.4/10

The Samsung Galaxy S23 convinces in the test even more than the already good Galaxy S22. This is primarily thanks to the new Qualcomm processor, which is also used in Germany. The performance and efficiency are excellent as of this writing. The now brighter display not only creates a great presentation in all lighting situations, but also ensures lower consumption thanks to increased efficiency.

The battery life of the Galaxy S22 was rather moderate. You got through the day with luck. With the Galaxy S23, this is history thanks to a slightly larger battery and more efficient components. Samsung has eliminated the biggest disadvantage of the Galaxy S22, which was really noticeable on a daily basis and built one of the best compact smartphones with the Galaxy S23. If the charging speed were at least 45 watts and not 25 watts, it would be the almost perfect cell phone of this size for me.

I haven’t noticed any major disadvantages with the Samsung Galaxy S23 over the past few weeks. The camera could perhaps take a little less gaudy pictures. But that’s Samsung’s style. But the price of 949 euros is much too high. Here I would recommend you to wait for a price drop or to look for a good contract. Buy the 256 GB model directly because it has faster storage on board and is therefore better equipped for the future.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Android smartphone, 128GB, 3,900mAh battery, smartphone without contract Cream incl. 36

Samsung Galaxy S23 Android smartphone, 128GB, 3,900mAh battery, smartphone without contract Cream incl. 36

The price may be higher now. Price as of 02/25/2023 08:06


  • screen
  • camera
  • design
  • quality impression
  • performance
  • battery life
  • form factor
  • 5-year update guarantee
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  • No power adapter included
  • No option for memory expansion
  • Slower storage in 128GB version
  • Price

Brighter display convinces

The now brighter display of the Samsung Galaxy S23 is convincing in every lighting situation. (Image source: GIGA)

The display of the Samsung Galaxy S22 was already very good in terms of display quality, and it was easy to read outdoors. But especially in the summer when the sun was shining, the screen was sometimes a little too dark for me when taking pictures. Especially in backlight. That’s history with the Samsung Galaxy S23. When taking pictures on the beach with backlighting or the sun behind me, I could easily read everything from the now brighter display. I also noticed in everyday life that the brightness is set a little higher, which has a positive effect on readability.

However, it remains the case that only the Galaxy S23 Ultra has an LTPO panel with a higher resolution, which can really clock down to 1 Hz. At the Galaxy S23 it is 48 to 120 Hz. That didn’t bother me much in everyday life and the Full HD+ resolution on a 6.1-inch screen diagonal was sharp enough for me. An LTPO display might have been a bit more efficient though. After all, we are in the price range of almost 1,000 euros, Samsung could have delivered a little more. But then the difference to the Galaxy S23 Ultra would be much smaller.

Qualcomm processor is a blessing

The performance of the Samsung Galaxy S23 is outstanding. (Image source: GIGA)

For years, Samsung fed us in Germany with Exynos processors in Galaxy S smartphones that just couldn’t keep up with the Qualcomm processors in the rest of the world. The Galaxy S23 puts an end to that. The brand new one is coming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy used, which has a slightly higher clock compared to other processors in this series. Even though I got the version with 128GB UFS 3.1 storage, this smartphone runs like crazy.

It doesn’t matter if I have several tabs open in Chrome, use Messenger in the background and take photos, there is always power. You also notice how fast and efficiently the processor works when playing Diablo Immortal. Despite the highest possible settings, the game runs smoothly even after several hours. So the improved cooling works perfectly and the smartphone does not slow down over time. In general, the cell phone stays relatively cool even when playing games.

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If I were to buy a Galaxy S23, then I would in any case the version with 256 GB. UFS 4.0 storage is installed there, which is twice as fast, at least on paper. It may not be noticeable now, but in three or four years the difference will be noticeable. Since Samsung distributes updates for five years, this is not only a good investment because of the additional memory.

Software with small improvements

The latest software is installed on the Samsung Galaxy S23 with One UI 5.1 and Android 13. (Image source: GIGA)

Samsung pre-installs Android 13 with One UI 5.1 on the Galaxy S23 smartphones. In the new version were compared to One UI 5.0, however, only a few innovations have been made. For example, you have more options in Expert RAW mode when taking photos, you can edit the pictures in the gallery app even better, you can search for people in pictures more easily and you can automate more. Bixby also has new functions, you get a new widget that Samsung copied from Apple, and much more. Overall, it’s a rather small upgrade, but it runs clean and has introduced many functions that you’ve probably already seen on Google’s Pixel phones.

Cameras convince

The cameras of the Samsung Galaxy S23 do a good job in almost every situation. (Image source: GIGA)

Purely in terms of hardware, nothing has changed on the Samsung Galaxy S23 compared to the Galaxy S22. The same sensors are used. Samsung only tweaked the software a bit. Photos and videos are excellent in most situations. However, there is still a shutter lag that could not be eliminated despite the new processor. So if you snap multiple photos in quick succession, there will be a delay from a certain point in time and you might not be able to take the picture you actually wanted to take when you snapped it. This can be annoying, especially in situations where objects are moving quickly. The Galaxy S23 Ultra has exactly the same problem, as we show in the following video:

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Overall, I am very satisfied with the photos taken with the Galaxy S23. Depending on the lighting situation, I would describe the image quality as very good. However, as soon as it gets darker, you quickly see image noise. Every picture looks perfect on the small screen, but not quite so on the larger screen. The images are also quite warm overall. In backlight, the colors are slightly distorted. But these are really exceptional situations. The zoom does a decent job too. However, it must not be too dark, otherwise the image quality will deteriorate rapidly. Below are some photos I took with the Samsung Galaxy S23:

Battery life is finally good

The battery life of the Samsung Galaxy S23 is absolutely convincing compared to its predecessor. (Image source: GIGA)

The Galaxy S22 hasn’t really covered itself in glory when it comes to battery life. In my everyday life, the smartphone lasted a day with luck. I usually had to charge my phone again in the evening. Things are very different with the Galaxy S23. The battery has been increased by 200 mAh. In combination with the more efficient processor and display, this is enough to noticeably increase the runtime. In my everyday life, I no longer just get through the day easily, I also have a little buffer left over. That’s how it has to be.

I also noticed that the smartphone hardly loses battery power when not in use. So if you rarely use your Galaxy S23, you could easily get two days or more. The only pity is that the smartphone charges relatively slowly with a maximum of 25 watts. It takes me 1 hour and 15 minutes to charge. If I use my cell phone at the same time, then correspondingly longer. This is where Samsung finally has to shed its restraint. The competition loads much faster. Cell phones can be fully charged in 10 to 20 minutes.

ratings in detail

category Rating (max. 10)
sustainability 8th
Processing, haptics and design 9
screen 9
cameras 8th
software 9
performance 9
telephony and audio 8th
Storage 8th
Battery and everyday life 8th
In total 8.4

Note: The “Sustainability” category counts for 10 percent of the overall grade.

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