Samsung Galaxy A23 5G Review – Great Display with Decent Processor

Samsung is getting more aggressive in the entry-level and mid-range smartphone segments through their new A-series lineup. A couple of months ago, they announced the Galaxy A04s, A13 5G, and A23 5G -a slew of new phones aimed at Gen Z Professionals who love to take photos and use social media. Samsung Mobile Philippines sent us the Galaxy A23 5G for evaluation and they would like to know if it can compete with the crowded mid-range smartphone market being dominated by the Chinese brands. Will the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G have a chance to win?

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G Specifications

OS:One UI 4.1 - Android 12
Processor:Qualcomm Snapdragon 695
Display: 6.6-inch 120HZ PLS LCD Display
Wireless Connections:5G, Bluetooth 5.1, WiFi, GPS. GLONASS, BDS, GALILEO
Memory:6GB RAM + 128 GB Internal Storage

8GB RAM + 128 GB Internal Storage
Connectors:USB Type-C, OTG
Cameras:Rear Camera
Main - 50MP, f/1.8
Ultrawide - 5MP, f/2.2
Macro - 2MP, f/2.4
Depth - 2MP, f/2.4

Front Camera
8MP, f/2.2
SIM Card Slots:Dual SIM (Nano-Sim) + Dedicated MicroSIM Slots
Battery:5,000mAh with 25W charging
SRP:6GB + 128GB: Php 17,990
8GB + 128GB: Php 18,990

The Design

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G Design

Our Samsung Galaxy A23 5G review unit comes in a shiny Silver color. The backplate build is made of glossy plastic, and the design is similar to that of other expensive A-series smartphones, such as the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G and A73 5G. If you are not a fan of this color, they have other variants such as Light Blue, Orange, and Black.

There is a smooth transition from the backplate to the camera module which consists of four cameras and an LED flash. Conversely, the front camera has a teardrop notch design.

For the buttons and ports, there is a power button with a built-in fingerprint scanner, and a volume rocker on the right side. The SIM tray is on the left side and can accommodate two nano SIM cards and a dedicated MicroSD card slot. On the bottom, there is an audio jack port, a microphone hole, a USB Type-C port, and a speaker grill.

The Display and Speaker

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G Display

It is great to see that, even though it is still using the teardrop notch design, they have upgraded its display quality. The Samsung Galaxy A23 5G now has a 120Hz Display, compared to its predecessor’s 90Hz Display. It is still a 6.6-inch screen, but now it is a PLS LCD, an upgrade from the TFT LCD of its predecessor with a resolution of 1080 x 2408 pixels.

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As for the quality of the display, it is bright and can be used even under the sun; the viewing angle is great and the details are crisp. The refresh rate settings with the A23 5G are only Standard, which will lock the refresh rate to 60Hz. Also we have the Adaptive, which will automatically adjust your screen refresh rate up to 120 Hz. Unfortunately, if you are looking for a 120Hz locked screen refresh rate, it doesn’t have an option for it.

It has a down-firing speaker and it sounded clear and adequate whether we listen to Spotify or watch streaming videos.

The Performance

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G OS

This year, the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G has chosen Qualcomm as its processor, rather than using MediaTek. Inside is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, paired with 8GB of RAM, which also has a feature that extends its RAM up to 8GB of virtual RAM if there is enough available space on its 128GB of internal storage. They also have a 6GB + 128GB model available in the market. Here are the benchmark scores of the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G:

One of the strong points of Samsung smartphones is their software updates. All Samsung devices are eligible for four major Android updates. So, we can expect that our Samsung Galaxy A23 5G, which is currently running One UI 4.1 on top of Android 12, will get an update in four years. This is quite impressive compared to other brands, which only roll out 1 or 2 years update support on their devices.

We do have the 5G version, which is great nowadays as 5G continues to expand its coverage. You will feel the advantages of 5G speeds if you are coming from a 4G LTE device. Take note, there is also a 4G LTE-only Samsung Galaxy A23 with lower specs. Don’t be confused.

Screenshot 20221208 231344 Genshin Impact

The Galaxy A23 5G has a Game Booster app that enhances our gaming experience. It helps us keep our focus on the game by giving us the option to hide notifications.

We were able to play demanding games with low graphics like Mobile Legends on Ultra graphics and High Refresh Rate without any issues. We also tried Genshin Impact, which is a graphically intensive game, and we were able to play with minimal stuttering at a low graphics setting beyond 30 fps. We can push it on a high graphics setting with occasional stuttering.

The Galaxy A23 5G was acceptably warm even during long gameplays or processing intensive-heavy apps. Our stress tests show that it is able to keep up the load and we did not see a degradation in its performance.

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With regards to its security features, it does have a fingerprint scanner on its power button which performs adequately while Face Unlock is mediocre at best.

The Camera

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G Camera

The cameras of the Galaxy A23 5G now sports a quad-camera configuration with a built-in flash. Its main camera is now 50 Megapixels with OIS, an upgrade from its predecessor’s 48 Megapixels without OIS. However, our default shots with the main camera were set to 12.48MP and you need to change the camera ratio if you want to take advantage of the 50MP camera. The other two are the 8 Megapixel wide lens and a pair of 2 Megapixel macro/depth cameras.

We are pleased with the quality we are getting from its camera. It performs well regardless of the light situation. We were able to get good details and decent colors, but there is somehow a shortcoming in the dynamic range. On the other hand, even in a poorly lit environment, it still manages to get a decent image without using the night mode of the camera. Regarding the A23 5G’s portrait mode, it is able to properly separate the subject from the background.

The ultrawide, as usual, it is only an 8MP camera. You will notice a decrease in quality as it is not that sharp, but it is still usable for your social media.

The selfie camera is passable; it is able to give us natural-looking results, but sometimes we will encounter some graininess in our shots.

For the video quality, we can only capture up to 1080p 30fps for both the main rear and front cameras. If you have good lighting when taking a video, it is just alright, but taking video in poorly lit environments might be difficult for you to get a good output, as it produces grainy videos.

The Battery

The Galaxy A23 5G uses a 5,000 mAh battery, but it has been upgraded in terms of charging, as it is now able to charge 25 W compared to 15 W from its previous generation. In our usage, it has been able to survive our general use. For 12 hours of general use such as scrolling through social media, browsing the internet with 5G data, taking selfies, and playing games, it managed to have 15% battery left after all of these usage. We also charged it afterwards and it took almost 1 hour and 45 minutes to charge from 10% to 100%.

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Samsung Galaxy A23 5G Verdict

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G Verdict

We were impressed with the performance of the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G. For under Php 20k, we are getting a 120Hz display, the ability to multitask or play graphic-intensive games in the market with a decent temperature, and the ability to last a day with its battery. It is a plus that it still has an expandable storage slot, a headphone jack, and four years of software support.

But it is not perfect as there is a trade-off. One of these is the camera; it is able to take a decent picture, but if you are picky with its dynamic range, ultrawide, and selfie camera, it might be a deal breaker. Additionally, if you have an extra budget, you might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, which has better specs, such as an OLED display and a selfie camera with 32MP, compared to the 8MP of the A23 5G. Nevertheless, it is still a good smartphone for its price, especially if you still want to have a headphone jack and expandable storage.

The Samsung Galaxy A23 5G is priced at Php 17,990 for 6GB+128GB and PHP 18,990 for 8GB+128GB. You can purchase it at Shopee and Lazada.

9 Total Score
Samsung Galaxy A23 5G

We were impressed with the performance of the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G. For under Php 20k, we are getting a 120Hz display, the ability to multitask or play graphic-intensive games in the market with a decent temperature, and the ability to last a day with its battery. It is a plus that it still has an expandable storage slot, a headphone jack, and four years of software support. But it is not perfect as there is a trade-off. One of these is the camera; it is able to take a decent picture, but if you are picky with its dynamic range, ultrawide, and selfie camera, it might be a deal breaker. Additionally, if you have an extra budget, you might want to consider the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, which has better specs, such as an OLED display and a selfie camera with 32MP, compared to the 8MP of the A23 5G. Nevertheless, it is still a good smartphone for its price, especially if you still want to have a headphone jack and expandable storage.

Design
8.5
Performance
9
Display
9
Software
10
Battery Life
9
Price
8.5
PROS
  • Great 120Hz display
  • It still has a headphone jack and expandable storage
  • Best software support
CONS
  • Still a tear-drop notch
  • Camera needs some improvement
  • The price is near to the next Samsung smartphone offering
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