6 months with the Samsung Galaxy S23: the treat – Frandroid

It’s been six months since the Samsung Galaxy S23 became my daily phone. What results and conclusions can be drawn after such a period? This report on my many years of experience is intended to provide an answer.

Source: Robin Wycke – Frandroid

Launched in February 2023, the Samsung Galaxy S23 had a specific mission: to fix the main flaws of its predecessor, the Galaxy S22, which I also tried for six months. To this end, the Korean brand has made a profound change: it has abandoned the Exynos SoC in favor of a Snapdragon chip.

After half a year of use, does the Galaxy S23 still appeal to me as well as it did in my test? In particular, were the small photographic anomalies identified at the time corrected? Spoiler: This high-quality and compact smartphone completely convinced me, in my opinion it is (almost) flawless.

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Performance and autonomy, everything under control

If there is one or even two areas in which the Galaxy S23 stands out from the S22, it is performance and autonomy. Samsung made a smart and relevant decision by replacing the Exynos 2200 with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that literally changes everything. We had already established this in our process, but does it still apply 6 months later?

Yes, sure. Qualcomm’s chip is a game-changer for the overall experience. I would even call it a centerpiece that manages to restore an almost perfect balance to a compact phone whose small size can generally be detrimental to energy efficiency and autonomy.

While the Galaxy S22 was a real toaster in the summer that was still easy to use, the Galaxy S23 can withstand even heat waves perfectly. Personally, I don’t have much to complain about, be it the heating, the long-term performance or the general fluidity of the phone, which is always at its best.

Samsung Galaxy S23Source: Robin Wycke – Frandroid

However, it’s important to clarify my uses: I don’t play resource-intensive 3D games. However, our first test produced excellent results on titles like Genshin Impact. Therefore, all viewers are generally satisfied.

Even after six months, the autonomy has not diminished. This is also a significant improvement from one generation to the next – due to the significantly better optimized SoC. With this Galaxy S23, I never had the slightest fear that the battery would run out at the end of the day.

For example, clearing your head after work or in a restaurant with friends after a day at work without having to worry about autonomy is much more than a possibility: it is a reality and still happy. Falling into the arms of Morpheus with 30, even 40% autonomy – around midnight – was legion during my long-term experience.

Finally, I think my previous 7/10 was a bit too harsh when it comes to autonomy. A note at the time that was justified by the lack of a charging block in the box and a relatively low charging power – I will come back to that later. None of these small defects bothered me in everyday life.

Software: the excellent student Samsung

We will not talk in any way about One UI and all its qualities. On this topic, we have a complete file on One UI 6, its new features and its deployment plan. Just know that it is a very pleasant interface to use, as fluid as possible, without bugs for six months but above all extremely well updated.

Samsung impresses with its regularity and speed in providing updates. For security and to improve certain functions, they occur monthly. This is reassuring and reflects the manufacturer’s genuine desire to be exemplary in this area. And the Korean brand goes even further with major Android updates.

Samsung Galaxy S23Source: Robin Wycke – Frandroid

In addition to the Pixel, Samsung was the first Android smartphone manufacturer to use Android 14 and One UI 6 with its Galaxy S23. So I was able to benefit from this new version from October. The software calendar in its catalog proves how much Samsung cares about updating everything as quickly as possible. Finally, this model benefits from four years of extensive updates, giving it long software longevity.

Very pretty photos

In its early days, the Galaxy S23’s photographic performance proved to be relatively capricious in my eyes… However, in certain situations: in this case, low light. Various updates have, in my opinion, fixed this small anomaly. Of course, in low light conditions you may have to try several times, but in the end you will always get a satisfactory result.

For the rest, this phone is simply excellent. And let’s be honest: these days it’s rare to find a model that’s both compact and equipped with three photo sensors, including a 3x optical zoom. The Asus Zenfone 11 does not offer it and neither does the iPhone 13 Mini. This is often the prerogative of larger models. We could also mention the iPhone 15 Pro, but its price is also much higher (expect at least 300 euros more).

Samsung Galaxy S23Source: Robin Wycke – Frandroid

Landscape, food, architecture, portrait mode, product photos in a professional environment, selfies with friends, whether in x1, x3 zoom or ultra wide angle: the Galaxy S23 was simply the ideal companion on my vacation, my everyday life, my trips abroad or on my business trips. Thanks Samsung Paw.

Since a series of photos is worth a thousand words, I’ll show you the results of just a few of several hundred shots:

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

When taking photos in low light, the result is sometimes high in contrast, especially with the optical zoom. This is proven by picture number 2, where the level of difficulty is still high for two reasons: the lighting conditions are not optimal, the subjects captured are constantly moving – dancing. As for the rest of the images, it’s hard not to be enchanted.

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Grégoire Huvelin – Frandroid

The little black dots

If the Galaxy S23 does not have any serious defects, two small weak points stand out: product wear and slow charging. My model has suffered the ravages of time and since then there have been numerous scratches on the magnificent display that this phone has. There are also numerous scratches, both on the edges and on a photo sensor.

Obviously this observation wouldn’t be valid if I had decided to put on a shell. However, you must remember that a phone with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 protection cannot withstand everyday dangers. Moral of the story: Go for a case if you want to preserve the beauty of this phone.

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Robin Wycke – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Robin Wycke – Frandroid

Samsung Galaxy S23

Source: Robin Wycke – Frandroid

Without being affected by the charging power of 25 W, this value bothers me symbolically. When buying such an expensive phone – 959 euros to start – we are generally entitled to a higher peak load. In fact, this limit didn’t bother me. I plugged my phone in mostly at night, before bed, and that was it.

The Galaxy S23, Samsung’s big safe bet

The Galaxy S23 is now a safe bet. A sure value for its software longevity (4 years update, monthly security patch), its excellent performance, its excellent design and its relevant photographic versatility. If you are looking for a compact phone with all its qualities, this is still the ideal candidate.

What makes the Galaxy S23 even more sensible today is that its price has dropped since its launch in February 2023: you can now find it for 600 euros on Fnac or even a little less on Rakuten. Promotional periods also make it even more attractive. In short, at these prices it’s simply a blast.

The Samsung Galaxy S24, expected in February 2024, raises fears of a return to Exynos. Obviously, recent experiences with the Galaxy S22 have not worked in Samsung’s favor. It could be that the Galaxy S23 still has a serious card when its successor is released. Only the future will tell us.