With Samsung’s latest range of flagships hitting shelves soon, it’s time to make a difficult (for some) decision: hang onto your old S22+, or bite the bullet and spend big on the S23+? It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, especially when there’s R24,000 on the line. Just think of how many PlayStation 5s you could buy instead (two!).
But that’s why we’re here. To help settle the decision. Not the R24,000 bit. That’s between you and your budget. You’ve probably already made a subconscious choice but this might sway you in one direction or the other.
If you’ve already got the S22+, you’ll hardly notice any difference between it and the latest addition to the Samsung Galaxy + family, as is often the case with smartphones nowadays. But just as your mother constantly reminds you; looks aren’t everything. It’s what’s inside and what you show to the world that really counts. Thanks, Ma.
In terms of display panels, there isn’t any difference. That’s okay. The S22+’s panel was already one of the best on the market. Both devices feature a 6.6in Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, complete with HDR10+, FHD+ resolution, and a variable 48-120Hz refresh rate. Brightness is no different either; reaching a peak brightness of 1,750 nits.
Clumsier folks will appreciate the newly added Gorilla Glass Victus 2, which Samsung promises will increase the phone’s resistance against falls and rough surfaces. It’s not Superman though. It can, and will break upon multiple drops. So… don’t do that. But is it worth the price tag just for a tougher screen? Not to us.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22+
One area that you’d hope gets a massive upgrade is the performance. And Samsung has provided. See, Samsung has struck up a deal with Qualcomm to produce a custom version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that’ll give it an edge over any other Android competition the S23 series is likely to find.
In terms of raw speed and power, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 offers a significant jump. It’s the fastest Android out and is a definite improvement over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that was featured in 2022. But that’s the case with any of Samsung’s latest flagships.
RAM-wise, nothing has changed. Each S23+ shares the same 8GB of RAM that last year’s models had. Storage, though, is a little different. Samsung has ditched the 128GB model, leaving only 256GB/8GB and 512GB/8GB models on the market. Throw in the latest UFS 4.0 tech though, and you’ll notice a rather large difference in speeds compared to the S22+’s UFS 3.1.
In short, the S23+ does everything better than its previous offering where performance is concerned.
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S23+
Shooting up a landscape
From a purely technical standpoint, cameras on both the S22+ and S23+ are nearly identical. There is one difference though. An oh-so-slight improvement to the selfie cam, an upgrade from 10MP to 12MP. Uh… woohoo, we guess?
The 50MP primary sensor, 12MP ultra-wide, and 10MP telephoto aren’t toting anything special that the last model didn’t. There’s a chance that Samsung’s chipset will help it all perform a little better in some small fashion. Were that the case, the differences would be nominal. But hey, better selfies, right?
Whether you think a 2MP addition to the selfie camera warrants the higher price, be our guest. Personally, we’d stick with the S22+’s shooter (if you’ve already got it).
Winner: Samsung Galaxy S22+
One of the most important facets of any smartphone is its battery life. Samsung just hasn’t gotten the memo yet. Sure, the S23+’s battery is an upgrade to its 2022 counterpart, but it falls short of the standards other manufacturers have set. In 2023, we’d hope to see at least a 5,000mAh battery attached. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for Samsung.
Where the S22+ has a 4,500mAh battery, the S23+ is only a small step up, featuring a 4,700mAh lithium-ion battery. We’re counting on Qualcomm’s customised chipset to optimise the battery life on this bad boy. Otherwise, the average S23+ owner won’t notice any significant differences from last year’s outing.
While the battery is bigger, charging it won’t be any different. Again, Samsung continues to avoid making any large strides to catch up to other manufacturers, choosing to keep the same 45W wired-charging capabilities that the S22+ already has. Wireless charging isn’t any different either, holding onto that 15W of charging stat for dear life.
Considering the S23+’s beefier components, it’ll chow through the battery that little bit faster, rendering the bigger battery negligible.
Galaxy S23+ vs. Galaxy S22+ verdict:
In a battle between these two phones, there’s not much to sway S22+ owners toward the latest model. This year’s iteration reflects that in the pricing, costing R24,000 compared to the S22+’s R28,000 launch price. Barring the immediate performance changes, slightly upgraded camera line-up, and marginally better battery, there isn’t anything that’ll compel even die-hard owners to upgrade.
If you’re coming from an older Samsung or a different brand entirely… that’s a different ballgame. If you’ve got the R24,000 on hand and are looking to upgrade, then switching to Samsung’s newest device could be worth the price tag. If the budget allows, going all-out on Samsung’s best phone yet would be a better choice.