The Samsung Galaxy S23 features an identical three-camera setup on its back as the Galaxy S22's (wide, UW, 3x tele), but it does bring a new selfie camera with a higher-resolution sensor.
The primary camera uses a 50MP Samsung S5KGN3 1/1.57" sensor with 1.0µm pixels and a Tetracell filter. This sensor is paired with a 23mm f/1.8 stabilized lens (OIS), and dual-pixel PDAF is available. Being the same camera as on the Galaxy S22, this one also saves the photos in 12MP resolution instead of the expected 12.5MP. Its field-of-view is also quite wide.
The telephoto camera uses a 10MP Samsung S5K3K1 sensor. It is a 1/3.94" type with individual pixels at 1.0µm. It uses the same lens as on the Galaxy S22 - a 69mm f/2.4 stabilized lens (OIS), and supports PDAF.
The ultrawide camera relies on 12MP 1/2.55" Sony IMX564 with 1.4µm pixels and a 13mm f/2.2 lens. The focus is fixed at infinity.
Finally, the new selfie camera uses a 12MP Samsung S5K3LU sensor with 1.12µm pitch and 25mm f/2.2 lens. There is dual-pixel PDAF as usual. Many of the previous models, Galaxy S22 included, used 10MP sensors for the front cam.
The camera app is the same as you'd find on every Samsung phone these days. Swiping left and right will switch between all available modes, and there's an option to re-arrange or remove some of the modes from the viewfinder. Vertical swipes in either direction will switch between front and rear cameras.
There are three zoom shortcuts on the viewfinder - .6x, 1x, 3x. Tapping on any of them will reveal more zoom levels - 2x, 10x, 20x, 30x.
The full resolution mode on the primary camera is triggered from the aspect options, which is a rather unintuitive bit.
The settings icon is located in the upper left corner of the screen and gives you fine control over the cameras. You don't get separate setting screens for photo and video since the options aren't that many in total. Like grid lines, location data, etc., the usual stuff can be found there. You can also turn on and off the Scene optimizer.
The selfie viewfinder offers two zoom models - wide and standard (cropped). This is quite common among Galaxy phones.
All cameras support Night Mode, including Auto Night Mode, which works the same way as on the iPhones and Xiaomi devices.
There's a Pro mode, too. You get granular exposure controls and manual focus with peaking, up to 30s shutter speed control for all cameras.
Expert RAW mode is available, too - and now, it's built into the main camera app as a mode instead of being a separate app. It unlocks full manual control and the ability to retain both the built-in camera app's multi-frame processing and the raw image data for further edits. It can capture images with all five cameras and outputs both JPEG and DNG files.
Those DNG files can be edited in Lightroom Mobile, which has Samsung's full image data embedded through the built-in lens profile. You can do some great things using Expert RAW but should know its limitations too. It gives you the ability to play with the color and dynamic range to a much greater extent than with the default jpeg or heic files.
The main camera saves 12MP by default, and those are exactly what you'd expect from a Samsung phone. The samples we've provided for you below exhibit enough resolved detail, likable sharpness, and lively if a bit over-saturated colors.
The contrast across all photos is high, typical for the Galaxy S phones, and the dynamic range is good, but not over the top. There is some noise left in the shadows, but we suspect if it were to be removed, it would have smeared fine detail, and that's why we are happy with this type of processing.
The photos still have this somewhat artificial polished look, another giveaway for Samsung photos, but there are many people liking them exactly for that, so who are we to argue against it.
Overall, a solid performance, one identical to what we saw on the Galaxy S22. And while there is no real improvement, the main camera is incredibly reliable and offers consistently great output.
The Galaxy S23 has a 3x telephoto camera, but before we got to that, we thought of trying the 2x zoom. Last year Apple made a big deal of its 2x lossless zoom, but it seems Samsung didn't follow suit - the 2x samples are crops and upscales from the regular ones.
There is a 50MP shooting mode hidden inside the Aspect ratio menu. The 50MP images offer higher-than-expected resolved detail, accurate colors, and wider dynamic range than the Auto mode. They are noisier, but thanks to the higher resolution, if you were to downscale them to 12MP, you'd get much more natural-looking photos with more resolved detail and no artificial look.
The 3x telephoto camera saves 12MP instead of 10MP, meaning some upscaling is done in the processing - the same happened on the Galaxy S22. Luckily, we couldn't tell that - the photos are incredibly detailed, with accurate and lively colors, satisfying contrast and great dynamic range.
The noise reduction is once again gentle and leaves some noise here and there, but it doesn't get in the way.
Overall, we liked the 12MP 3x zoomed photos, and we can't think of anything that could benefit from improvement.
Samsung has been known for its good ultrawide-angle cameras on the Galaxy S phones, and the Galaxy S23 also delivers excellent performance on its 12MP UW shooter. The photos we took are detailed, with proficiently cleaned noise and nicely stringent out corners. The contrast and the dynamic range are quite good, too.
The color rendition on these photos could benefit from a touch of warmth as it is a bit cooler than the real colors.
The portrait mode can use the primary and the telephoto camera. The portraits shot on the main camera are excellent - the subject separation is great, the person is well-exposed, detailed and colorful, and the background blur is pleasant and convincing even if the default blur levels are a bit too extreme for our taste.
The 3x zoomed portraits are as great as the regular ones, with an even more impressive separation if the person has a more complex haircut.
The new selfie camera offers more resolution than the one on the Galaxy S22 - 12MP vs. 10MP - and should also offer better dynamic range thanks to new HDR capabilities.
Indeed, the selfies we took (the last one is also a selfie, yes) are outstanding - the detail is excellent, the sharpening is just right, the noise is minimal if any, and the color rendition is superb. These photos offer a great dynamic range, the background is rarely blown, and the subject is always well-exposed.
We shot all samples in the default (full) field of view, though the selfie viewfinder also offers a cropped FoV like on many other Samsung phones before this one.
Samsung's camera app supports Auto Night Mode in low-light conditions - it appears as a small moon icon and if you tap on it - you will disable it. It usually takes 1s less than the regular night mode, but we found the Auto Night Mode (where it triggered) and the regular Night Mode output to be identical across all cameras.
The low-light Auto photos shot with the main camera are excellent - they offer plenty of resolved detail, nice exposure, realistic color rendition, high contrast, and likable dynamic range. The noise has been cleaned very well, and there is little to none across all photos we took.
Overall, it's a solid performance for the Galaxy S23, and the Night Mode appears to be faster than on the Galaxy S22 by a second, which is nice. We didn't get any blurred photos, which deserves praise, too.
The Auto mode chose not to fire for three of the scenes, so here we provide the Night Mode samples for you to enjoy. The major difference is the noise - or the lack of it. Though the Night samples have slightly lesser dynamic range as we can spot more blown highlights here. It's not a major difference, but it's there.
The photos we took without Night Mode are more realistic as far as colors and exposure are concerned. They have fewer blown highlights, too, but they are noisy. Even with the present noise, we consider these Night Mode OFF shots of high quality.
Moving on to the ultrawide camera performance. It's consistent with the primary one - the Auto mode provides excellent photo quality with enough resolved detail, incredibly low noise, and lively color rendition. The exposure and the dynamic range are very good.
There are some minor artifacts, probably left by the noise reduction processing, but we are nitpicking here, really.
We also noticed that the Night Mode on the ultrawide camera of the Galaxy S23 usually takes about 2s less than it took on the Galaxy S22. Nice!
And here are the three Night Mode samples where the app decided not to trigger the mode automatically.
The Night Mode OFF ultrawide photos are noisy and rather dark, but they retain good exposure, color saturation, and enough dynamic range. They are usable, sure, but we'd stick to the Auto mode if possible.
Not surprisingly, the behavior of the telephoto camera is the same as the other two - it mostly uses Night Mode, and where it decided not to do it, you will get a much darker and noisier photo.
Indeed, the telephoto samples offer satisfying detail levels, low noise, and lively color saturation. The noise is low enough, the exposure dynamic and the contrast are good.
And here are the four scenes we forced the Night mode as it did not trigger.
Shooting without Night Mode is possible, the photos are rather poor - the detail is low, there is a ton of noise, but on a positive note - the colors and the dynamic are still solid.
And here are photos of our usual posters taken with the Samsung Galaxy S23. You can see how it stacks up against the competition. Feel free to browse around and pit it against other phones from our extensive database.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 can record video at up to 4K60 with all of its four cameras, while 8K30 is additionally available for the primary camera (up from 8K24 on the S22).
The primary and telephoto cameras support optical stabilization, but you can also enable electronic stabilization across all cameras, resolutions, and frame rates. Super Stable option in 1440p resolution is available, too, and it works best when shot at 60fps.
The Galaxy S23 supports HDR10+ video capturing, zoom-in audio (on by default), and 360-audio recording. The zoom-in audio increases/decreases the sound volume when zooming in/out while shooting videos. The 360-degree audio works with 3D headphones only.
And speaking of audio, it is recorded in stereo stream with 256Kbps bitrate and 48Khz sampling. It sounds really well across all clips we shot on the Galaxy S23.
Let's start with the main camera - it has seen the only upgrade since the Galaxy S22 - and now supports 8K video capturing at 30fps, up from 24fps on the older model.
The 8K video is good only for daylight conditions, and it's not bad - the colors are true to life, and the white balance is accurate, the dynamic range is excellent, the contrast is alright, and there is no noise. The detail, on the other hand, is just average, and the footage looks like upscaled from 4K, or maybe just a notch better.
The 4K clip from the main camera is outstanding with a likable rendition - there is plenty of detail, the sharpness is great, the colors are true to life, and the dynamic range is once again excellent. The video is clean of noise, too.
The low-light footage is solid as well. There is enough detail, the noise is tolerable, the colors are realistic, and the exposure and dynamic range are alright. These clips are quite usable, even in full resolution, which is nice.
The 4K videos from the telephoto camera are top-notch - plenty of detail, low noise, excellent colors, and the dynamic range is high.
The low-light footage is uninspiring, though. It is noisy and blurred, and the dynamic range is rather low.
Moving on to the ultrawide-angle camera. Quite expectedly, its daylight videos are impressive - the field of view is quite wide, the resolved detail is plenty, the noise is low, and the colors remain consistently lively and accurate. Despite having such a wide FoV, the dynamic range and the contrast remained high enough.
The nighttime videos from the ultrawide camera are also good, which is a rare occurrence among those types of shooters. The footage offers satisfying detail levels and exposure, noise is visible but doesn't get much in the way, and the colors are kept realistic.
The selfie video is as good as the rest of them, with a sharp and detailed subject, high contrast, accurate white balance and contrast, and enough dynamic range.
Finally, let's watch some stabilization videos. The electronic stabilization works great on the ultrawide, primary and the selfie cameras, and we do recommend keeping it on.
And here is a Super Steady video - quite good at that.
Finally, the Samsung Galaxy S23 in our video comparison database.