With a starting MSRP of $1,000 and €1,200 in the US and Europe, respectively, the Galaxy S22+ is not a cheap device. You get pretty much all of the bells and whistles that Samsung currently offers, but the price is still a bit on the steep side.
The one competitor that instantly springs to mind is the OnePlus 11. It retails for considerably less than the S23+ while still offering a lot of premium hardware. Like its 6.7-inch, 120Hz AMOLED display with LTPO3 tech for dynamic refresh rate adjustment and QHD+ resolution. It is also based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, though the base version of the chip has a large 5,000 mAh battery with 100W charging and a potent camera setup with a 50MP main snapper, 32MP 2x telephoto and 48MP ultrawide. It even comes with an IP64 rating, which is not quite the IP68 of the Galaxy, but still better than nothing.
Another viable contender that delivers on the IP68 promise, among other things, is the Google Pixel 7 Pro. It also costs notably less than the Galaxy S23+ while bringing a whole lot of hardware to the table, like a 6.7-inch, 120Hz, LTPO, QHD+ AMOLED display, a 5,000 mAh battery and a potent camera setup with a 50MP main snapper, 48MP 5x telephoto and 12MP ultrawide. It is only made better by Google's unsurpassed strides into computational photography, and the whole phone is backed by a clean AOSP Android experience. Just be warned that battery life is not the Pixel's strong suit. But other than that - an excellent device.
What can we say about the iPhone 14 that hasn't already been reiterated to death? It's the latest iPhone, and that's that. You can pick up an iPhone 14 Plus for about as much as the Galaxy S23+ for its bigger 6.7-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display. You also get the excellent A15 Bionic chipset with 4323 mAh of battery for solid battery life. You will be skipping out on a telephoto camera by going with the iPhone, though, in case that is a major priority for you.
The Xiaomi 13 Pro is another viable candidate to consider. It also offers a big 6.73-inch LTPO, 120HZ, 10-bit display and just like the Galaxy S23+ has an IP68 rating. You get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset with this one as well. Plus a decently large 4820 mAh battery with 120W fast charging support. Its camera setup is nothing to scoff at either, with a trio of 50MP cameras, including a telephoto and an ultrawide.
And for a slightly more "out there" suggestion, you can try the Realme GT2 Pro on for size. At less than half the price of the Galaxy S23+, it brings a lot of phone to the table. Some of its highlights include a 6.7-inch, 120Hz, 10-bit, LTPO2, QHD+ AMOLED display, a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and a large 5,000 mAh battery with 65W charging. Sure, the GT2 Pro is not the newest device on the market, but its value proposition is hard to argue.
A couple of notable mentions include the Realme GT2 Explorer Master - another great value device that is a bit tougher to find on the market. Also - the vivo iQOO 11 with its Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, excellent display, similar camera setup to the S23+ and a lot more.
Samsung has delivered an all-around great device with the S23+. Hardly a surprise, given the company's pedigree and the fact that the S23+ really isn't all that different from its S22+ predecessor. Dare we say it's even a bit boring, but not in a bad way, but rather in a dependable manner, if that makes any sense.
We knew exactly what to expect from the S23+, and it managed to live up to said expectations. It is a very well-designed phone with a clean aesthetic and excellent build, featuring Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and the IP68 ingress protection rating we've gotten used to from Samsung. Its display is still as gorgeous and slick as last year, with a lot of brightness to throw around and a smooth 120Hz refresh rate with excellent automatic refresh rate handling.
Battery life is also great this year, in no small part thanks to the move to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy mobile platform. It is an overclocked version of the base Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and is currently the best Android chipset around. Hence, it is no surprise that the Galaxy S23+ offers chart-topping performance and easily chews through every task. Plus, One UI 5.1 is as excellent as ever now, focusing on improving smoothness and responsiveness. It is filled to the brim with useful features, including a powerful multitasking system and a full-featured Samsung DeX platform on board.
The S23+, in particular, is chock full of modern connectivity features, including UWB support, which is only cut from the vanilla S23 in this generation. It also has an excellent stereo speaker setup. The S23+ camera setup is nothing short of excellent as well. It is the definition of a great point-and-shoot device. Photos look great across the board on the first try and with amazing consistency from shot to shot.
Like any device, however, the Galaxy S23+ is imperfect and still has its faults. That gorgeous AMOLED panel of its is still stuck at 8-bit color depth, while competitors now offer 10 or even 12-bit. Samsung also talked a lot about improving the internal cooling system in the S23 generation, but for what it's worth, our S23+ review unit throttled severely and very quickly under a sustained synthetic load. Also, for better or worse, Samsung is still sticking to its established battery charging rates which are starting to look slower and slower compared to what the competition is offering. Plus, you don't get a charger in the box, which could be worth considering as a potential extra expense at the time of purchase.
With a starting MSRP of $1,000 and €1,200 in the US and Europe, respectively, the S23+ is a bit on the expensive side, especially compared to most of its hardware and feature competitors. That being said, it's hard to put a price on things like brand loyalty, overall software experience and device support. Plus, Samsung's flagships do have a tendency to quickly go down in price shortly after their initial release.
Should you buy the S23+, then? Well, that's a pretty tough question and an ultimately personal decision. What the S23+ offers is a solid and dependable Samsung flagship experience with all of the bells and whistles, as well as potential drawbacks that come with that. As such, it is a great choice if you are in the market for a Samsung flagship. Given how little has changed this generation, we doubt that many S22 or even S21 generation owners will be compelled to upgrade. Then again, the switch to a Snapdragon chipset is a major incentive and might just convince many European Exynos-hesitant buyers to finally consider a Samsung upgrade path. Whatever the reason for picking up a Galaxy S23+ ends up being, however, we are confident that it won't disappoint users in any meaningful way.
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