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Is Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Worth the Upgrade? It Depends

There is no universal solution. To aid in decision-making, compare earlier Samsung smartphones.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 was only released in February, so you might be wondering whether it’s worthwhile to update. In actuality, there isn’t a single solution that works for everyone. Your decision should take into account the age and condition of your present phone, your financial situation, and whether your device will support updated Android versions.

Similar to the Galaxy S22, the Galaxy S23 includes a 6.1-inch screen with a 50-megapixel main camera and starts at $800. Nonetheless, the S23 boasts a bigger battery, a new processor, and significantly upgraded camera algorithms that enhance photo processing. The Galaxy S23 is often a small upgrade over the Galaxy S22, despite the fact that these modifications are appreciated. If you want to replace a phone that you’ve owned for a while, ideally one that’s more than two years old, the update is worthwhile. Even the 2021-released Samsung S21 probably still has enough life in it to last another 12 months.

Your needs and finances will always influence the purchases you make. Nevertheless, if you’re an existing Samsung user thinking about switching, here’s everything you need to know about how the Galaxy S23 stacks up against more traditional gadgets.

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S22

Samsung addressed my major complaint about the Galaxy S22’s low battery life with the Galaxy S23. In my testing, the new phone’s larger battery (3,900 mAh as opposed to 3,700 mAh) has made a difference.

In contrast to the Galaxy S22, which uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 CPU from last year, you get a new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that has been specifically designed for the current Galaxy series. Particularly when exporting video, performance is faster. But, you probably won’t notice much of a difference in regular use, as the majority of contemporary processors are capable of handling gaming, multitasking, and other commonplace chores.

The cameras on the Galaxy S23 are substantially identical to those on the Galaxy S22, with the exception that new algorithms have been included to enhance processing in low light. In addition, the selfie camera has a marginally greater quality (12 megapixels as opposed to 10), however I didn’t really detect the difference. The Galaxy S23’s camera doesn’t feel significantly different from that of the previous model, although I did note that pictures taken in low light appeared better.

The phone comes pre-installed with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 and Android 13, both of which are compatible with the Galaxy S22 series.

The bottom line: If you currently own a Galaxy S22, don’t upgrade to the Galaxy S23. Not enough can be noticed to justify an update. The only significant difference between the two phones is in battery life, therefore I’d only suggest upgrading if you can obtain the S23 for nothing by trading in your old phone.

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S21

Although there are more visible differences between the Galaxy S21 and S23, you can probably wait another year to upgrade if you already own the S21.

Although the Galaxy S23 inherits the Galaxy S22’s 50-megapixel sensor, its camera is substantially better. The Galaxy S22’s cameras perform better in low light, colour, and contrast than the Galaxy S21’s cameras, as I noted in my review.

In addition, the Galaxy S21’s processor is now two years old, as opposed to the Galaxy S23’s brand-new chip. But, the older Snapdragon 888 chip is probably still functioning just fine if you only use your phone for routine activities like video chats, gaming, and browsing social media.

The bottom line: You can wait another year before upgrading if your Galaxy S21 feels quick and has a good battery life. The Galaxy S21 will continue to receive new platform-wide software updates from Samsung through 2024 because Samsung supports three generations of Android operating system updates for it.

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S20

It’s not as easy to say whether you should upgrade from the Galaxy S20. There’s enough to gain that would warrant making the switch, but the Galaxy S20 also still has much to offer.

A speedier chip, an enhanced camera with much better low-light performance, and a new design are all benefits of upgrading. The Galaxy S20 was released in 2020 with Android 10, therefore going forward, it won’t be able to receive future updates to the Android operating system.

The Galaxy S20 range will receive three generations of updates from Samsung, with Android 13 serving as the last one. Hence, if you want to use future versions of Android and its new features, you’ll need to upgrade. Yet, the business continues to offer monthly security updates for the Galaxy S20.

The Galaxy S20 is still a highly powerful phone, though, in the meantime. The Galaxy S20 still has a triple-camera configuration, even though you can’t take photographs with a 50-megapixel quality as you can on the Galaxy S23. Like the Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S20 also offers a 30x digital zoom, so getting up close and personal won’t be a problem.

However bear in mind that compared to the Galaxy S23, the Galaxy S20 has a greater battery and a somewhat larger screen. The Galaxy S20, unlike the Galaxy S23, features a microSD card slot for expanding storage, which is crucial.

The bottom line: If you’re satisfied with your Galaxy S20, you don’t need need to upgrade; the improvements in the Galaxy S23 will feel significant enough to support the decision. Keep the S20 if you’re satisfied with its functionality, battery life, and preference for maintaining the microSD card slot over a better camera. But keep in mind that you won’t receive the newest Android release.

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S10

Owners of the Galaxy S10: it’s time to update. In addition to seeing a significant improvement in the camera and CPU, you’ll also receive 5G and the most recent Android version.

The processor and battery in the Galaxy S10 are four years old if you bought it when it first launched in 2019. This suggests that your phone may be beginning to feel sluggish and that the battery likely struggles to last a day. The battery gains should be significant because the Galaxy S10’s battery is smaller than the Galaxy S23’s (3,400 mAh capacity vs. 3,900 mAh) and the S23’s processor uses less power. Unless you splashed out on the 6.7-inch Galaxy S10 5G, which launched at a starting price of $1,300, your Galaxy S10 doesn’t support 5G either.

Perhaps more significantly, Android version upgrades are no longer sent to the Galaxy S10. The Galaxy S10 qualified for three generations of fresh Android versions, just as the Galaxy S20. So, the Android 12 update from last year would be the final one since the Galaxy S10 debuted with Android 9. (Whether you own a standard Galaxy S10, S10 Plus, S10E, or S10 5G, you will still receive quarterly security updates.)

You’ll receive a significantly better camera on the Galaxy S23, which is one of the main reasons to upgrade along with software support and battery life. Over the past four years, Samsung’s camera has advanced significantly, offering a primary sensor with a larger resolution (50 megapixels versus 12 megapixels on the Galaxy S10) and improved low-light capabilities.

But bear in mind that switching to the Galaxy S23 means you’ll no longer have your favorite microSD card slot. Because you won’t be able to extend it, choose a storage capacity that makes sense for your needs.

The bottom line: It is worthwhile to upgrade to the Galaxy S23 if you now own a Galaxy S10. You’ll benefit from 5G compatibility, latest Android versions, better battery life, a quicker processor, and a significantly upgraded camera. But be ready to bid the microSD card slot farewell.

Galaxy S23 vs. Galaxy S9

There are a tone of benefits to replacing the Galaxy S9, so many that it’s difficult to know where to start. The Galaxy S9 is equally applicable to all of the points made above for the Galaxy S10. The battery and processor on Samsung’s five-year-old phone are probably starting to show their age, and it lacks 5G. Also, you won’t get any more Android version upgrades.

But upgrading has a tone of additional advantages as well. The Galaxy S9 just has one 12-megapixel rear camera, whereas the Galaxy S9 Plus includes a second 12-megapixel telephoto camera. This is one of the greatest changes. Along with a 12-megapixel ultrawide lens for shooting a larger field of view, the Galaxy S23 also boasts a 10-megapixel telephoto camera and a 50-megapixel primary camera with better quality. Along with other enhancements including better low-light capture, the selfie camera on the Galaxy S23 has a greater resolution (12 megapixels as opposed to the S9’s 8).

The Galaxy S23 has a 6.1-inch screen, so even if you already own the 5.8-inch Galaxy S9, you’ll receive a bigger screen. As comparison to the Galaxy S9, the Galaxy S23 has twice as much capacity in the base model, however there is no microSD card slot on Samsung’s latest smartphone.

The bottom line:  If you already own a Galaxy S9, there are a lot of good reasons to upgrade. You’ll receive updated versions of Android, a camera that is substantially better with multiple lenses, far faster performance, longer battery life, and support for 5G.

In general, if your phone is older than two years, it’s worthwhile to upgrade. If a Galaxy S20 is in good condition, owners can probably get another year out of their smartphone, but the Galaxy S23 also has enough new features to make the switch worthwhile. The answer to the question of whether you should upgrade if you own a Galaxy S10 or an earlier model is unambiguously yes.

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. older Galaxy phones

Galaxy S23Galaxy S22Galaxy S21Galaxy S20Galaxy S10Galaxy S9
Display6.1-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 resolution; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate6.1-inch AMOLED; 2,340×1,080 resolution; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate6.2-inch AMOLED; 2,400×1,080 resolution; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate6.2-inch AMOLED; 3,200×1,440 resolution; 120Hz Adaptive Refresh Rate6.1-inch AMOLED; 3,040×1,440 resolution5.8-inch AMOLED; 2,960×1,440 resolution
Pixel density425 pixels per inch425 pixels per inch421 pixels per inch563 pixels per inch550 pixels per inch570 pixels per inch
Dimensions (inches)2.79 x 5.76 x 0.3 in2.78 x 5.74 x 0.3 in2.80 x 5.97 x 0.31 in2.72 x 5.97 x 0.311 in5.9 x 2.77 x 0.31 in5.81 x 2.70 x 0.33 in
Dimensions (millimeters)70.9 x 146.3 x 7.6 mm70.6 x 146 x 7.6 mm71.2 x 151.7 x 7.9mm69.1 x 151.7 x 7.9 mm149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8 mm147.7 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)
Mobile softwareAndroid 13Android 12Android 11Android 10Android 9Android 8
Camera50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)50-megapixel (wide), 12-megapixel (ultrawide), 10-megapixel (telephoto)64-megapixel (telephoto), 12-megapixel (wide), 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
Front-facing camera12-megapixel10-megapixel10-megapixel10-megapixel10-megapixel8-megapixel
Video capture8K at 30fps8K at 24 fps8K at 24fps8K at 24fps4K at 60fps4K at 60 fps
ProcessorQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for GalaxyQualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1Qualcomm Snapdragon 888Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 5GQualcomm Snapdragon 855Qualcomm Snapdragon 845
RAM/storage8GB RAM + 128GB; 8GB RAM + 256GB8GB RAM + 128GB 8GB RAM + 256GB8GB RAM + 128GB8GB RAM + 128GB8GB RAM + 128GB; 8GB RAM + 512GB4GB RAM + 64GB; 4GB RAM + 128GB; 4GB RAM + 256GB
Expandable storageNoneNoneNoneYes (Up to 1TB)Yes (Up to 512GB)Yes (Up to 400GB)
Battery3,900 mAh3,700 mAh4,000 mAh4,000mAh3,400mAh3,000 mAh
Fingerprint sensorIn-displayIn-displayIn-displayIn-displayIn-displayBack
Headphone jackNoNoNoNoYesYes
Special features5G (mmw/Sub6), IP68 rating, wireless Power Share to charge other devices5G (mmw/Sub6), 120Hz display, IP68 rating, 25W wired charging, 15W wireless chargingIP68 rating, 5G-enabled, 30x Space Zoom, 10W wireless charging, 120Hz display5G enabled; 120Hz refresh rate; water resistant (IP68)Wireless Power Share; hole punch screen notch; water resistant (IP68); Fast Wireless Charging 2.0Dual-aperture camera, water-resistant (IP68); super slo-mo video; wireless charging; iris scanning