The new iPhones are here and our iPhone 14 review is pretty positive, but there’s also room for improvement. And that means there’s also room for the Samsung Galaxy S23 to make a case for being the best phone for most people when it launches — tipped for early next year.
There’s only been a smattering of Galaxy S23 rumors so far, and many of them focus on the top-end Galaxy S23 Ultra. But it’s the Galaxy S23 we’re focusing on here because its most direct competitor is the regular iPhone 14 and that handset seems the most vulnerable.
Here’s 5 ways the Galaxy S23 could beat the iPhone 14 And become the best phone.
The Galaxy S23 should already have a built-in advantage over the iPhone 14 if Samsung sticks with a camera setup similar to the Galaxy S22. A dedicated telephoto lens would once again give you true optical zoom. The S22 features a 3x optical zoom and 30x digital zoom, so you can push in much further than the measly 5x digital zoom on the iPhone 14.
GalaxyClub's sources say that the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus will use a 10MP telephoto camera, like the S22 and S22 Plus. And you could see an upgrade for the front camera from 10MP to 12MP, which would match the iPhone 14 series.
It's also worth noting that in the S22 series have captured great low light shots indoors thanks to Samsung's Nightography advancements and in some cases looks better than the iPhone 14 even now. So the S23 could build on this strength.
Even if Samsung ships the same display as on the Galaxy S23 as the Galaxy S22, it will probably outclass the iPhone 14. And that’s because Samsung offers a 120Hz refresh rate display, which can scale down to 48Hz. That’s not as versatile as the iPhone 14 Pro’s 1-120Hz range, but the regular iPhone 14 maxes out at 60Hz.
All of the above means you can enjoy smoother scrolling and better video playback and gameplay on optimized titles. In addition, the Galaxy S22 offers an always-on display, which we would expect to continue on the Galaxy S23. This is another Pro-only feature for the iPhone.
While the iPhone 14 sticks with the notch, the Galaxy S23 will likely feature a punch hole display just like its predecessor. So you should be able to enjoy a more immersive viewing experience.
Samsung has been experimenting with under-display cameras with handsets like the Galaxy Z Fold 4, but we wouldn’t expect a premium feature like this to come to the Galaxy S23 and perhaps not even the S23 Ultra. And that’s because the image quality for these types of cameras is typically inferior.
Samsung could stand to make the back design a bit sleeker this year, as the contour cut look is now a couple of generations old.
This seems a bit far fetched, but there's a rumor that the upcoming Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip could outperform the iPhone 14 Pro's A16 Bionic chip — at least in the graphics department.
A leaker named Digital Chat Station posted to the Chinese blog Weibo that the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset could have an “ultra-high frequency” version capable of reaching speeds of 3.4 to 3.5GHz. The current Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 clocks in at 3.2GHz.
The post points to significant GPU upgrades and suggests that the chip could beat the graphics offered by the iPhone 14 Pro and its A16 Bionic chipset.
The current Galaxy S22 series maxes out 25W charging, but that's still faster than the iPhone 14. In our testing, the S22 got 60% in 30 minutes versus 54% for the iPhone 14. But we'd like to see the Galaxy S23 extend its lead.
For example, the Galaxy S22 Plus supports 45W charging, which enabled that phone to get to 70% in 30 minutes. So perhaps Samsung could extend this perk to the base model this year. Plus, you'll get USB-C charging instead of Apple's proprietary Lightning connector.
At least based on what we know so far, the iPhone 14 could very well maintain its lead in terms of overall image quality and overall performance. But Samsung could build upon the Galaxy S22's strengths with the S23's 120Hz display, sleeker notch-free design, more versatile zoom camera and more.
Stay tuned to our Samsung Galaxy S23 hub for all the latest rumors and leaks as we get closer to launch.
Next: Apple's October event reportedly now in doubt. Here's why.
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Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.