Now the time is ripe. Although it is not as crowded as other segments, the market for compact smartphones is increasingly appreciated by users, to the point of pushing various brands to offer more "comfortable" alternatives to the usual huge top-of-the-range devices, while trying at the same time to reduce the possible all the compromises deriving from a smaller space.
We have seen this with theAsus Zenfone 9, or with the newcomer Google Pixel 7a, but if there is a product that has been talked about since its arrival on the market, it is the younger brother of the highly appreciated Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra: for some time now the brand has embarked on a long journey in search of the "perfect compact", a device that is not only beautiful and comfortable, but also reliable and with performance at the top of its category.
Features that, above all thanks to the integration of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen. 2 in its new lineup, we find in the Samsung Galaxy S23 which I've been using for a couple of months now, and now that all its main competitors (in terms of size) have been presented and that street prices have settled, we can come to an epilogue: Samsung Galaxy S23 is it really the compact to buy considering that, to date, it is possible to buy it for 613 euros (via the box below)?
Samsung Galaxy S23: pros and cons after 2 months
Let's start with the "pros" of the little one from Samsung. Large 146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6 mm and weighing 168 grams, there is no doubt that one of the strong points of the Samsung Galaxy S23 both the design, but not intended exclusively in terms of size and weight. Even if compared to other compacts, from the first approach with the smartphone you notice the quality materials and the lines studied with great care, which make Samsung Galaxy S23 the best compact in terms of design and materials currently in circulation.
A design that, combined with the technical characteristics of the device, makes it (finally) solid in terms of performance and battery life: things that have always been considered the Achilles heel of compact smartphones.
It's IP68 certified, has Gorilla Glass Victus 2 to protect the front and back, and features Samsung Dex Mode – a desktop mode not found in any other small phone.
When compared to the Pixel 7a (and yes, I know, the price ranges are slightly different), Samsung Galaxy S23 has an extra camera, and having a good quality telephoto lens can be appreciated by many people. Then, all the editing features we saw on the S23 Ultra have been integrated into the Gallery app, including object eraser, shadow reduction and customizable color filters starting (also) from another photograph.
However, it must be said that in terms of photographic hardware there are not many innovations compared to the predecessor, if not for the new image processor integrated in Qualcomm's SoC.
In essence, the photographic sensors remain the same seen in the S22: the main camera uses a 50 megapixel sensor, with stabilized F/1.8 optics, and is flanked by a 12 megapixel F/2.2 ultrawide and a 3x telephoto from 10 F/1.39 megapixel with optical stabilization.
And then, despite not being of the LPTO type, the display of the Samsung Galaxy S23 it is among the best in the sector: 1750 peak nits in HDR stand out a lot on a 6.1-inch FullHD + panel, especially if the frames are balanced and pleasant from the front and it is possible to customize the color profiles in the settings: something that probably won't be necessary , given that a very accurate calibration is already adopted at the factory.
The big news of Samsung Galaxy S23 as well as its biggest "pro" lies in the processor. As well as the whole lineup, even the little one is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen. 2 and LPDDR5X and UFS 4.0 memories: however, be careful that only the 256 GB storage version is equipped with UFS 4.0, the same cannot be said for the 128GB.
And it is precisely from this discrepancy relating to internal memories that I would like to start. Despite Samsung Galaxy S23 from the hardware point of view both the classic donut with the hole, I am convinced that the right choice is to differentiate the speeds of the memories, also because we are talking about a product which, although compact, should be included in the top of the range segment.
And just considering it a top of the range, it must be said that although of a good standard, even the connectivity of this Samsung Galaxy S23 has some snags. First of all, the company must do something to improve the reception of the cellular network which, as in all the exponents of the series, is a bit subdued especially with some operators, and UWV connectivity and WiFi 7 are missing (although it is not excluded that the brand can enable it with a software update).
It must also be said that although Qualcomm's SoC is able to totally outclass the old Exynos 2200, the compact size of the Samsung Galaxy S23 make him the hottest model in the entire lineup. Let me be clear, the work done by Qualcomm makes it the best in its category in terms of thermal management, especially when the little one in the family is under stress, it tends to heat up especially in the bump room areas.
Poco bad though, because it will rarely happen to feel the discomfort of a hot smartphone in your hands, and if you consider the new image processor of the Snap 8 Gen. 2, probably that of temperatures is a "compromise" that is worth accepting: last year, in the compact segment, I would have placed the S22 in third place, after the Pixel 6a and the iPhone 13, but now things have changed.
Let me be clear, despite the presence of an extra camera, I am of the opinion that in the compact category the Pizel 7a is the best in terms of photographic quality, but there is no doubt that Samsung Galaxy S23 beats Apple's iPhone 14 hands down which, let's face it, now has a camera that hasn't been screaming for a miracle for years, except for videos.
Why yes, a point on which Samsung has to work a lot in its compact is on the general quality of the recorded videos which not only suffer from the limitation of the optics when recording in 4K at 60 fps, but lack "grain", which instead is very more appreciable in both the Pixel and (of course) the iPhone.
And in terms of photo/video content, it is important to specify another thing: if you publish a lot on social networks, especially on Instagram and TikTok, aim for a Pixel or an iPhone. Why yes, the brand has made great strides in optimizing the cameras in the most used social apps, but the work done by Apple and Google is clearly superior, both in terms of quality and in terms of image fluidity.
In short, to sum up and be able to understand if the Samsung Galaxy S23 is the best compact on the market, we must not forget the most important factor: the selling price, or rather the street price. Is possible to buy Samsung Galaxy S23 on Ebay for 613 euros using a coupon that you find in the box below, and considering that in principle we are talking about 100 euros more than the official sale price of the Pixel 7a and the sex price that would be needed to buy an Asus Zenfone 9, I'd be a fool not to recommend the purchase of the small Samsung home.
Because you see, up to poco Once upon a time “compact” meant hardware and design compromises poco cared for, but the job done with Samsung Galaxy S23 it's really high-level: it's well-finished, it has the most powerful SoC out there, a good display and a respectable photographic sector.
It's not perfect, that's clear, but if you don't want a huge and advanced device like the S23 Ultra, without having to give up performance and comfort, in the world of compact Samsung Galaxy S23 is the model to buy, especially if you pay around 600 euros.
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