Mobile Phones

Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S21: Decoding the Flagship Upgrade

When comparing Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S21, it’s evident that the former brings notable upgrades and enhancements.

Samsung’s Galaxy S-series has long been synonymous with cutting-edge technology and premium smartphones. The release of Galaxy S23 lineup has generated significant buzz, with enthusiasts eagerly comparing it to its predecessor, the Galaxy S21. While Galaxy S21 remains a formidable flagship device, the S23 promises enhanced features and improvements across various aspects.

Specification for Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S21:

SpecificationSamsung Galaxy S23Samsung Galaxy S21
SoCSnapdragon 8 Gen 2 for GalaxySnapdragon 888
Display6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Display, FHD+ resolution6.2-inch Dynamic AMOLED FHD+ resolution
RAM8GB8GB
Storage256GB, 512GB128GB, 256GB
Battery3,900mAh4,000mAh
Operating SystemAndroid 13 / One UI 5.1One UI 3.1 (based on Android 11)
Connectivity5G, 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6E, Bluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.0, Wi-Fi 6, 5G
Dimensions5.76 x 2.79 x 0.30 inches (146.3 x 70.9 x 7.6mm)5.97 x 2.80 x 0.31 inches (151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm)
ColorsPhantom Black, Cream, Green, Lavender, Graphite, LimePhantom Violet, Phantom Gray, Phantom White, Phantom Pink
Weight5.93 ounces (168g)171g (mmWave), 169g (sub6)
Charging25W wired, 15W wireless, and 4.5 reverse wirelessWireless Charging, USB-C

Price, Availability, and Specifications:

Galaxy S23 boasts a price tag starting at $800 for the base model with 128GB storage, which is on par with the launch price of S21. Unlike its predecessor, Galaxy S23 enjoys wide availability at major retailers and carriers: Samsung, Amazon, and Best Buy. On other hand, while Galaxy S21 may be harder to find as a new device, it is possible to acquire used or refurbished models at a significantly reduced price.

Design:

In terms of design, both Galaxy S23 and S21 feature aluminum frames. However, S23 sets itself apart with its Corning Gorilla Glass Victus shell, which lends a premium and durable feel to the device. S23’s camera bumps, in contrast to the camera cutout on S21, provide a distinct aesthetic and slightly compromise stability on flat surfaces. Nevertheless, the overall design similarities between the two models make them visually appealing and ergonomic choices.

Display:

Both Galaxy S23 and S21 offer Dynamic AMOLED displays with adaptive refresh rates ranging from 48Hz to 120Hz, ensuring smooth scrolling experiences. The flat screens and hole-punch cutouts maximize screen real estate and prevent accidental touches. While the S21 features a 6.2-inch display, the S23 opts for a slightly smaller 6.1-inch display, contributing to a more pocketable form factor. Notably, the S23’s display boasts improved durability with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 and a higher peak brightness of 1,750 nits, enhancing outdoor visibility and HDR content quality.

Software:

Galaxy S21 was launched with One UI 3.1 based on Android 11, and it has since received an update to Samsung’s latest One UI 5.1. In contrast, S23 comes pre-installed with One UI 5.1. Both models offer refined user experiences, but the S23’s newer software version brings notable enhancements like Bixby Text Call and Expert RAW mode in the Camera app. With Samsung’s commitment to four years of software updates and five years of security updates, the S23 is set to receive support until Android 17, while the S21 will stop receiving updates after Android 15.

Performance:

Undoubtedly, S23 holds an advantage in terms of performance. Equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy, an overclocked version of Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 found in the S21, the S23 offers improved loading speeds, battery efficiency, and overall performance. Although the S21’s Snapdragon 888 chipset remains a formidable choice, power users may appreciate the enhanced capabilities of the S23 when using resource-intensive apps or games. However, for the average user, both devices’ 8GB of RAM ensure excellent speed and performance.

Battery Life:

While the S21 features a 4,000mAh battery and the S23 houses a slightly smaller 3,900mAh battery, the S23 compensates for the lower capacity with enhanced efficiency thanks to its new processor. As a result, users can expect comparable screen-on times of 7-8 hours on both devices. Additionally, the S23 supports 25W wired charging, 15W wireless charging, and 4.5W reverse wireless charging, similar to the S21, ensuring convenient and flexible charging options.

Camera:

Camera setups on both models deliver exceptional image quality and versatility. S23 inherits the S21’s 12MP primary wide, 12MP ultrawide, and 64MP telephoto lenses. However, S23 introduces improved image processing algorithms and advanced AI features, resulting in enhanced low-light photography and sharper details. Additionally, S23 supports 8K video recording at 60fps, while S21 tops out at 8K 30fps. These upgrades make S23 an attractive choice for photography enthusiasts and content creators seeking the latest advancements in mobile photography.

Pros and Cons on Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Galaxy S21

Samsung Galaxy S23:

Pros:

  1. Better camera array
  2. Improved processing speeds
  3. Solid build quality and design

Cons:

  1. Battery life is just OK
  2. No change in display resolution from S21

Samsung Galaxy S21:

Pros:

  1. Better battery life
  2. Less expensive

Cons:

  1. Plastic design makes it feel cheap
  2. Camera array isn’t the best
  3. No longer readily available

Conclusion:

Samsung Galaxy S23 represents a notable upgrade over the Galaxy S21, offering improved performance, an enhanced display, and a refined camera system. However, for users content with their Galaxy S21 experience, the incremental improvements may not justify the cost of upgrading. Ultimately, the decision to upgrade depends on individual needs, preferences, and budget. Whichever device you choose, both the Galaxy S23 and S21 exemplify Samsung’s commitment to innovation and deliver exceptional flagship experiences.

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