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Samsung's Galaxy S23 is One of the Best Small Android Phones


The S23+ is also great if you want a bigger phone, though it’s less powerful than the Ultra.
Okay, so the 6.1-inch screen on the Samsung Galaxy S23 isn’t exactly tiny compared to the 4.7-inch display on the Apple iPhone SE, or the displays on mid-range Android devices like the 5.9-inch Asus Zenfone 9. Not to mention the 3-inch Unihertz Jelly Phone 2. But the Galaxy S23 is one of the smallest Android flagships you can buy right now, and thankfully, it’s also one of the most feature-filled.
The Galaxy S23+ is also a gem, with its slightly larger 6.6-inch display. Samsung improved the camera algorithms on both devices, so it doesn’t feel like you’re settling by not picking the Ultra—or a Pixel. And while Samsung’s OneUI can feel a little aggressive compared to Google’s version of Android, it comes with perks like Bixby Voice Text and stacked widgets.
A Samsung display that will fit in your pocket
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 has a 6.1-inch display, while the Galaxy S23+ has a 6.6-inch display. Both devices are Super AMOLED with a FullHD+ resolution and a 120Hz variable refresh rate. That’s quite the specification, considering the Pixel 7’s 90Hz refresh rate—it’s acceptable for everyday use, but there’s a smoothness to Samsung’s display when scrolling through webpages and flicking P oké balls in Pokémon Go that’s not present on Google’s smaller device. The Samsung Galaxy S23/23+ is also brighter than the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro by about 200 nits at maximum brightness.
Remember that buying a Samsung smartphone means carrying around a mini advertisement for the company’s display technology, which is in way more than its phones . That’s not a bad thing, as Samsung makes some of the best TVs and other displays i n the industry. Indeed, the color balance and vibrancy here are the same as on the Galaxy S23 Ultra, whether you’re on the smaller Galaxy S23 or S23+. And while the Galaxy S23 ha s a smaller display than the Pixel 7’s, the colors are much more vibrant on Samsung’s side, with bluer blues and whiter whites. T he latter of those can appear yellow-hued on the Pixel.
I was struck by how much presence the Galaxy S23’s stereo speakers had when i turned up the volume . There is a speaker at the bottom of the device and one facing upward at the top. I listened to typically bass-heavy genres like classic techno and synthwave without headphones, and Samsung’s little phone felt full-bodied each time . It’s not enough to fill up a room for an impromptu dance session, but it’s great for sharing a YouTube video or a new song with a friend sitting beside you.
Looks very similar to the Samsung S23 Ultra
Samsung tweaked the design of the Galaxy S23/S23+ since last year’s release. If you didn’t like the camera island on the Galaxy S22 and the model preceding it, the good news is that it’s gone in this generation. There is now more design parity across all three of Samsung’s flagship offerings. When you look at any of the Galaxy S23 phones from the back, you’ll know it’s a Samsung device—the same way you can tell if someone is using an Apple iPhone by its stove-top camera configuration or the Google Pixel by its signature camera bar.
Samsung’s color offerings for the Galaxy S23/S23+ are the same across the board: graphite, cream, green, lime, lavender (which appears more pinkish in person), and black. The gray graphite colorway and lime are only available if you buy the smartphones online, so keep that in mind when shopping . Still, i t’s an excellent spectrum of color offerings from Samsung.
The Galaxy S23/S23+ are IP68 rated for dust and water resistance, which means they can handle full submersion for 30 minutes . They’re enforced with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 panels on the front and backside and have an aluminum chassis . And yet , unlike Apple’s iPhone 14 Pro (which weighs 7.2 ounces), they do not feel like solid metal slabs. They’re pretty light to hold—the Galaxy S23 is 5.9 ounces and the Galaxy S23+ is 6.8 ounces—but there’s a hollowness when I use my fingernail to tap on their backsides that makes the phones feel somewhat chintzy. The Google Pixel 7 has a bit of that going on, too, and I wonder if this is just my penance for being an Android user (t hat’s a joke, don’t @ me ).

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