Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14: What we know so far

A split image with a photo of the iPhone 14 on the left, and an unofficial render of the Galaxy S23 on the right
(Image credit: Tom's Guide/Onleaks/Digit)

When the Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14 battle comes to a head early next year, it's likely going to be hard to say which one's the victor.

We've already seen the iPhone 14 with its modest set of upgrades but typically high all-around feature quality. While it doesn't impress in the same way that the iPhone 14 Pro does, it's still one of the best phones you can buy.

In the other corner, the Samsung Galaxy S23 is the upcoming successor to the Galaxy S22, already one of the best Android phones and best overall phones. The rumors make it sound like not much will be changing between generations, which leads us to expect another excellent phone, but not one that can defeat the iPhone 14 without something special.

This comparison is looking at the standard iPhone 14 and Galaxy S23 models. If you're after a more expensive phone, then look at our Galaxy S23 Ultra vs. iPhone 14 Pro Max preview as well.

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14: price and availability

Arriving in September of 2022, the iPhone 14 starts at $799 for the 128GB model. That's the same price as the past few generations of basic iPhone, so we're happy that Apple decided to avoid increasing the price for another year.

As the current rumors go, the Galaxy S23 could arrive in January or early February, a little earlier than expected. The price is currently unknown, and there haven't been any rumors to fill in the gap, so we have to look at the current generation for context. The Galaxy S22 series retails for $800, and we hope that the S23 goes for the same price. But there's always a chance Samsung will decide to hike up the price.

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14: design and display

In keeping with the past two generations of iPhone, the iPhone 14 comes in a flat-sided 6.1-inch body, with a notch for Face ID unlocking on the front, and the typical combination of power/volume buttons, Lightning port and alert slider around its edges. The back is made of glass with a glossy finish, and comes in either Blue, Purple, Midnight, Starlight or Product Red colorways.

iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The Galaxy S23 should end up looking a lot like the curved-sided Galaxy S22, including keeping its 6.1-inch size. However, we've heard rumors of thicker bezels around the display, and also that the back could have a completely new look. The leak-based renders show a new camera layout like that of the Galaxy S22 Ultra, with separated rear camera lenses.

A render of the Galaxy S23

(Image credit: OnLeaks/Digit)

Apple equipped the iPhone 14 with a sub-FHD 60Hz OLED display, which is a bit disappointing given how much you're paying for the iPhone. The Galaxy S22 already offers FHD resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate for its OLED panels, and we're expecting to see those again unless any rumors appear to contradict us. While the iPhone 14's screen is good for what it is, we should see much better performance from the S23 here going by the S22's precedent.

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14: cameras

The iPhone 14 also doesn't change up its cameras significantly. It has a trio of 12MP snappers, covering main, ultrawide and selfie roles. New this year though is the Photonic Engine processing for improved low-light images, autofocus for the selfie camera and a larger main sensor with a larger aperture.

iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The iPhone generally outperforms the Galaxy S22 in our comparisons, but the Samsung does have one big advantage in the form of a telephoto camera as well as main and ultrawide sensors. That's something Apple only gives its Pro iPhones these days, so from a photography standpoint, the S22 offers better value. 

A render of the Galaxy S23

(Image credit: OnLeaks/Digit)

We should expect the S23 to offer something similar, as it's tipped to have neither an ultrawide camera resolution change, nor a telephoto camera resolution change. We've not heard rumors about the main camera yet, but we'd assume that'll stick with the current 50MP sensor. It could have a 12MP selfie camera instead of 10MP though, which would help against the new autofocusing iPhone front camera.

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14: performance

We're unlikely to see the Galaxy S23 outperform the iPhone 14, even with the latter's year-old A15 chipset. Although Apple reserved the new A16 Bionic chipset for its Pro phones this year, the A15 still beats the Galaxy S22's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset on benchmarks.

iPhone 14

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As for the S23's chip, it may come with only Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chips worldwide,or Exynos 2300 chips in most models sold outside the U.S. Either way, it still is unlikely to beat the iPhone 14 on the benchmarks, even if it will still have plenty of power for the average user's app and gaming needs

In terms of storage, both the iPhone 14 can be specced with 128GB, 256GB or 512GB of storage. We'd expect the S23 to come with 128GB or 256GB, just like the S22.

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14: battery and charging

Apple increased the battery size of the iPhone 14, but not by much. Even still, it's got a decent battery life, and one that beats the Galaxy S22 by over an hour, even with the S22's display fixed at its basic 60Hz.

A render of the Galaxy S23

(Image credit: OnLeaks/Digit)

The rumor mill claims there's going to be a battery increase for the S23, but that by itself won't be enough to beat the excellent battery life of the iPhone 14. Samsung will need to add power efficiency elsewhere if it wants to keep up with Apple.

Samsung will still have a charging speed advantage though. Although it's thought the S23 will stick with 25W charging for another year, that's still quicker than the iPhone 14's 20W charging. The iPhone 14 can also charge at 15W wirelessly, as can the Galaxy S22. We'd expect the Galaxy S23 to wirelessly charge at 15W also. 

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14: outlook

When Samsung does reveal the Galaxy S23 next year, it's hard to see where it'll eke out an advantage over the iPhone 14 where the S22 doesn't already have one. The value for money, display specs and charging speed are thought to remain ahead of those for the latest base iPhone, but Apple should still have the upper hand with battery life, performance and overall photo quality.

With the iPhone 14 already out, it's up to Samsung to take the initiative. If it keeps the Galaxy S23's price at the same level as the Galaxy S22 (and therefore the iPhone 14), it can continue to undercut Apple on overall hardware quality. However, without some improved photo processing and battery efficiency, it's not going to be able to tempt dedicated iPhone users over to the Android side.

Richard Priday
Staff Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide staff writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.