Samsung offers a wide range of phones at different price points, which is successful for the company, but it also means that they have to compete with their own products as well as other brands. Choosing between options like the budget Galaxy A13 5G and the mid-range A53 can be tough. It begs the question of whether it's worth spending more on a high-end Android phone or a cheaper device that might not have as much power.
The Samsung Galaxy A23 5G is a budget option that competes well with other devices in its price range. Priced at $300, it offers a balance of features and performance without significant compromises. The 120Hz display and solid performance make it a strong contender for the title of best budget device of the year. However, with such fierce competition, it may not be the best option for everyone.
Before reading the full review, you can familiarize yourself with the detailed Samsung Galaxy A23 5G specs or watch the video below the article.
- Release date: 2022, August 05
- Colors: Black, White, Peach, Blue
- Dimensions: 165.4 x 76.9 x 8.4 mm.
- Weight: 197 g.
- Screen: 6.6" inc, 1080 x 2408, PLS LCD
- Camera : Quad, 50MP
- Chipset: Qualcomm SM6375 Snapdragon 695 5G (6 nm)
- CPU: Octa-core (2x2.2 GHz Kryo 660 Gold & 6x1.7 GHz Kryo 660 Silver)
- Memory: 64GB 4GB RAM, 64GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 4GB RAM, 128GB 6GB RAM, 128GB 8GB RAM
- Battery: 5000, Li-Po, non-removable
- Network: GSM / HSPA / 5G
- Operating system: Android 12, One UI 4.1
- Sensors: Fingerprint (side-mounted), accelerometer, proximity, gyro, compass, barometer
Design, hardware and assembly:
All the A-series phones have a similar design and it becomes quite difficult to distinguish them from each other, in this case the A23 from the more expensive A53 5G that was released earlier this year. While the differences are subtle, the most noticeable is the presence of the headphone jack at the bottom of the Galaxy A23, while the power and volume buttons are located higher on the right side. Additionally, the front camera is housed in a teardrop notch instead of a punch notch, and the fingerprint sensor is embedded in the power button.
The Galaxy A23 has minor cosmetic changes from the Galaxy A53, but is an upgrade from last year's A22 5G. The most notable change is the screen upgrade from 90Hz TFT LCD to 120Hz PLS LCD and the switch from MediaTek to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 695 5G processor. However, it still has 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage, so users will have to rely on the microSD card slot if they need more storage.
The camera design has been changed - it has a rectangular shape that is similar to Samsung's current offerings and also has an additional 2MP macro camera lens.
The Galaxy A23 phone does not come with headphones, which can be inconvenient when watching videos or listening to music. This is a common option that is missed on budget phones. Another downside is that the phone doesn't come with a charger, just a cable.
Software, performance, battery life
The Galaxy A23 5G comes with Android 12 and includes the Material You design features, which can be found in the Color Palette menu. The phone also features a theme store where users can find a wide selection of free and paid themes with custom app icons.
Another reason to consider buying a Samsung A-series phone is the company's commitment to providing long-term support for all its devices, including budget options like the A23. The Galaxy A23 will receive four years of security updates and three Android version updates, ensuring that the device will be supported for a long time. The phone ships with Android 12 and will eventually receive future updates like Android 15.
The Galaxy A23 5G has a noticeable performance boost due to the move from the MediaTek Dimensity 700 to the Snapdragon 695 chipset. This is a more powerful chipset usually found in more expensive phones, but the A23 5G offers it at a budget price. With a battery capacity of 5000 mAh, the phone lasts for a long time. It does not support wireless charging. Although the maximum charging speed is 25W, the actual charging speed may be a little lower, around 20W or even 16W. But it is still good enough for overnight charging.
Availability and network connectivity
A23 5G supports Sub-6GHz 5G and provides relatively fast 5G download speeds. 5G coverage is now widely available and upgrading from a 4G LTE device will result in a noticeable speed increase. It is compatible with GSM and CDMA networks, making it compatible with most major carriers. Samsung is offering the Galaxy A23 5G in various international versions in the UK, Australia, Europe and select countries in Asia Pacific and the Middle East.
The Galaxy A23 5G uses a PLS panel, which is an upgrade from the TFT panel used in its predecessor. It has higher overall brightness, better viewing angles and more detail. The screen has an almost 180-degree viewing angle, and although the resolution is only 1080x2408, the display is sharp.
The screen can get bright enough to see in sunlight or under studio lights, but not too bright to cause discomfort. At maximum brightness, it's easy to see the edge of the display, as black levels appear more like dark gray. However, when the brightness is reduced, it is difficult to see the edge of the screen.
Dynamic range is better than most phones in this price range. However, it's still an LCD panel, so it's not as good as OLED performance. But it's good enough to watch on YouTube, and the 20:9 aspect ratio helps avoid the notch in most cases.
The Galaxy A23 5G has an improved refresh rate compared to the previous year's model. The Snapdragon 695 may not always be able to maintain a frame rate of 120fps during heavy gaming sessions, but the display still looks smooth when scrolling. If you prefer longer battery life or aren't a fan of high refresh rates, it's easy to adjust the refresh rate to 60 Hz in the display settings.
The back of the Galaxy A23 5G has a bump with four cameras, including a flash, but you'll only actually use two of them. The main camera is 50MP, but it has been reduced to 12.5MP and the wide-angle camera is 5MP. Samsung follows the trend of other budget phones with the inclusion of 2MP macro and depth cameras.
Despite being advertised as a 50MP camera, the main camera on the A23 5G only takes 12.5MP photos as it lacks a full-resolution shooting mode. While it's not a bad camera, it takes decent pictures, but there can be a delay between pressing the shutter button and taking the shot. With an aperture of f/1.8, it performs well in well-lit conditions, but isn't the best in low-light situations.
The 8MP front-facing camera is the second-highest resolution lens on the phone, which makes sense since it's the primary or secondary camera for most people. Photos taken with this camera are satisfactory in good light, but in low light they look 'grainy'.
The Galaxy A23 5G's ultra-wide-angle lens is f/2.0, which means its low-light performance isn't as good as the main camera. However, with a resolution of 5MP, it is still sufficient for taking photos for Instagram and wide enough for landscapes and group photos. Unlike the main camera, the ultra-wide lens does not have a night mode, so low-light shots are best taken with flash or the main camera.
The Galaxy A23 5G's video recording feature offers two settings: 30fps recording at 1080p and 720p resolution on the main, ultrawide and front cameras, and 4x slow motion at 720p resolution on the main lens. Footage looks acceptable in daylight, but becomes grainy in low-light conditions and at high ISO settings.
Should you buy it?
The Samsung Galaxy A23 has impressive specs for its price, making it more of a mid-range device than a budget phone. While most budget devices have some compromises to reach their low price point, the A23 is one of the best budget phones on the market in terms of specs.
Samsung's strategy of offering phones at different price points has been successful, but it can lead to some of their phones competing with each other. The Galaxy A53, which was launched earlier, is a better device than the A23, with a better-looking OLED display with the same 120Hz refresh rate at a price of $350 and up.
- Low price
- Headphone jack
- Long-term operating system support
- For a little more money, you can get the A53, which is better
- Small memory
Samsung Galaxy A23 5G video review
Disclaimer: The information presented in this article is based on our team's personal experience with the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G and third-party sources. While every effort has been made to provide accurate and reliable information, readers should keep in mind that this is a subjective assessment. The writing of this article was not paid for or sponsored by Samsung.