When Samsung launch new mobiles, they really take the phrase "go big or go home" to heart, don't they? And we're not complaining. The Galaxy S23 range is as gorgeous, sleek and heavy on the specs as we've come to expect from Samsung, and there's a lot to love.
The trouble is trying to decide which one you like best. Maybe the S23 with its fresh new design? How about sizing up to the Galaxy S23+ for more power? Then there's the simply enormous but beautiful Galaxy S23 Ultra with its super handy S Pen.
We're not going to lie – it's a toughie, and it all depends on what you want out of a mobile. Which is why we've gone to the effort of a nice and easy comparison of all three new devices to help you out. Cos we're nice like that.
Which S23 has the best design?
The design of the S23 range has been updated since last year's S22 range and honestly, it's a great, fresh look that's easy to get on board with.
As usual, there's a Phantom Black option, which is perfect for those of us that like to keep our mobiles neutral. However, the other three colours available include Green, Cream and Lavender – all of which are inspired by nature and offer a pretty subtle way to make a statement (they're also made with natural dyes!) These are the colour choices for the S23, S23+ and the S23 Ultra – so the decision you make doesn't mean you'll miss out on your favourite.
Each of the three handsets has been designed with the environment and longevity in mind, using polished Armour Aluminium for the frame and recycled materials for the Corning Gorilla Glass Victus front and back.
Beyond that, the S23 and S23+ are pretty similar in terms of shape and style – both feature rounded, soft edges and corners that are comfortable to hold. In a classic Samsung move, though, the S23 Ultra is a little more angled, a little more striking, and a little more symmetrical. And of course, the addition of the S Pen is so subtle you'll hardly notice it tucked away into the device itself.
The S23 is the smallest in the range, at 6.1 inches, with the S23+ nicely in the middle at 6.6 inches. As for the S23 Ultra – well, you'll need plenty of space to play with the S Pen, so it's the largest at 6.8 inches.
It's also worth mentioning here that all three devices feature an IP68 rating, which roughly translates to being able to survive a quick dip of up to 30 minutes in up to 1.5 metres of water. However, we wouldn't recommend it.
If you prefer pocket-sized convenience, the S23 might be the best choice. However, there are more specs to consider than design…
What kind of displays does the S23 range have?
A great display is a given with Samsung devices, and the S23 range is no exception – and we're not just talking about screen size.
The Galaxy S23 and S23+ feature Full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED displays at 6.1 and 6.6 inches respectively. They also share the same resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels and a 120Hz refresh rate, so no matter which of the two you prefer, the only real difference you're likely to notice is the size of the screen itself.
However, the S23 Ultra offers a more premium experience. At 6.8-inches, the display itself isn't that much larger than the S23+, however, it uses QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED tech and has a resolution of 1440 x 3088 pixels, which is a fair bit of an upgrade on the other two models (though with the same 120Hz refresh rate.)
All three models include Samsung's smart Adaptive Vision Booster technology, which has been created to make sure you'll never struggle to see your screen in just about any light. There's also their well-known Eye Comfort Shield on board all three, so you can keep gaming or streaming into the night without it tiring out your eyes.
What are the cameras like on the S23 range?
The Galaxy line from Samsung has always had a reputation for great cameras, and the S23 range has some seriously powerful lenses on board. Even if you're not into your photography, we dare you to not get wrapped up in playing with this tech – it's just too good not to.
As you might have noticed, there's a pattern with the Galaxy S23 and S23+ handsets – aside from their size, they're pretty similar so far (though there are key differences that we'll get to later.) This stands for their cameras too, as both feature a triple setup: 12MP Ultra wide + 50MP wide + 10MP telephoto.
If you don't know much about lenses, we'll make it simple – this is a professional-grade setup, set into a tiny device that fits in your pocket, and it's simple and intuitive to use, too. The software on board includes Enhanced AI, which is capable of capturing a surprising amount of detail, even when the light is pretty low.
This goes for the front camera too (which is a 12MP Dual Pixel Auto Focus lens, and the same as on the Ultra model) and has been specially designed to optimise your selfies to within an inch of their life. Seriously. With a quick snap, you can achieve, bright, sharp colours and crisp lines that mimic real life incredibly well.
As for the S23 Ultra, the specs are a fair bit higher, and the camera setup goes one step further to include a fourth lens. Here, you've got a 12MP Ultra wide + 200MP Wide + 10MP Telephoto + 10MP Telephoto. Now, that 200MP lens would be darn impressive all by itself, but Samsung have added epic support for their biggest sensor to make sure it absorbs as much light as possible.
The result, in Samsung's words, is the frequently asked question "Can you send me that?" and we're inclined to agree. Crisp photos in any light and a super-fast processor that brilliantly reduces noise mean gorgeous shots with amazing depth and dimension, even if you're not the most skilled behind the camera.
Put down the DSLR, ladies and gents – Samsung has delivered.
We'd be silly not to mention the video capabilities on this range, too – now that we live in a work where TikTok exists, that is. As the tech in this area advances, gimbals are becoming a thing of the past, and the S23 range has put some serious effort into its image stabilisation to make sure your videos are not only fantastic quality but shake-free.
Those are some great specs – but what about performance and battery?
With great power comes great responsibility – and the S23 range is pretty responsible, since its packs a whole lot of power.
All three devices in the new range share the same processing chip, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, which is a big improvement on the processing power from last year's S22 range, and keeps everything running not only like clockwork, but silky smooth for better efficiency.
That efficiency is pretty noticeable when it comes to battery life, which is one of the few things that the Galaxy S23 and S23+ differ on, though not by too much. The S23 includes a 3900mAh battery with fast charging, which is a pretty efficient little beast for just about any task you can carry out on a mobile. But with the larger screen size of the S23+ comes a larger battery, at 4700mAh – which might make this a better option for those who frequently stream and game on their phone, as you've got more juice to keep you going.
The S23 Ultra features the biggest battery size, as you might expect – though at 5000mAh, it's actually the same size as the S22 Ultra. The major difference you'll notice when using it is that the battery lasts longer because the whole device is optimised by that neat little Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that's running the show. So same battery, but more power.
How much does the S23 range cost?
At the moment of publishing, the whole range is available for pre-order, and as you might expect, the prices go up as the specs get better. However, we've got some fantastic value deals available that include not only the brilliant Galaxy S23 range of phones but massive amounts of data too – and it's worth keeping that in mind!
The Galaxy S23 is currently available from £43 per month on Three, with £0 upfront and 100GB data.
You can nab the Galaxy S23+ for £55 a month, also on Three with £0 upfront and 100GB data.
If the Galaxy S23 Ultra sounds more up your street, and you want to go all out, then you can pre-order yours for £57 a month on Three, for £124.99 upfront and 100GB data.