In this Samsung Galaxy A23 review you can read everything you need to know about this affordable phone, and more. Why should you buy the Galaxy A23 model and not one of the other models in the range? The answer to that question seems logical, but is sometimes surprising.
After my time with the Galaxy A23, I can wholeheartedly conclude that it is a somewhat boring device. The A23 does all the important things reliably, predictably, and surprisingly smoothly. The main camera is – thanks to OIS – surprisingly good. Samsung promises four years of updates which is quite nice in this price range. On the other hand, it is also a missed opportunity to support an affordable phone like this for five years.
The other cameras of the Galaxy A23 5G are not that good, but you could guess that after a look at the price tag. The fact that the On/Off button is not so easy to feel is especially difficult because it also contains the fingerprint sensor.
The Galaxy A23 is the phone for anyone looking for a smooth basic phone with long support, for a modest price tag. Do you want to know more about the different aspects of the A23 5G? Then read the rest of my extensive Galaxy A23 review below.
Samsung Galaxy A23 review
With the Galaxy A23, we have already arrived at the fourth phone in Samsung’s Galaxy A series in 2022. Or the fifth, if you count the two A13 models – 4G and 5G – separately. And after the A13, the Galaxy A23 is also the most affordable in the series. That makes the device even more interesting in times when you may need a new phone, but would rather not pay the top price. How much Galaxy do you get now for over 250 USD?
Perhaps the most boring part of the Galaxy A23 is the design. The appearance is in line with the Galaxy A33 and Galaxy A53, but a bit more rounded – and with wider screen edges. That is actually quite nice in terms of feeling in the hand, but it looks a bit less chic. The device is not water resistant, and the fingerprint sensor is located in the On/Off button, not under the screen. That is usually fine in use, and moreover, such sensors are extremely fast and accurate.
However, Samsung could have distinguished the On/Off keys with the sensor a bit better from the rest of the side. Finding the right spot by touch takes some practice. Usually, Samsung ensures that such a sensor is a bit deeper in the frame, making it easier to find by touch. With the Galaxy A23, it took me longer to master its position.
In terms of build quality, the Galaxy A23 feels familiar: very sturdy, neither bending nor creaking. And unlike the A33 and A53, you will find a real 3.5 millimeter headphone jack in the lower edge of the A23. You can therefore continue to use your wired headphones without any problems.
In fact, there is little wrong with the design. The device is solid but predictable, simply put. The same goes for the display – except for one aspect. The TFT LCD screen has a full HD resolution and a refresh rate of no less than 120 Hz. The latter is comparable to the A53, and better than the A33, which has a 90Hz screen.
The image quality itself is fine, and the viewing angles are also okay for an LCD screen in this price range. The only thing that bothers us a bit is the lack of settings for a more natural color reproduction. For years, Samsung’s affordable phones also had this, and it is suddenly missing on the A23. The colors default to the saturated side. Many people like this, but those who want to make everything less splash off the screen do not have that option. I note that as a minus, because your own choice is important in this area.
A positive surprise appears to be the hardware of the Galaxy A23 5G. Last year, the Galaxy A22 5G was also remarkably fast for its price range, and the A23 takes it up a notch. In fact, for normal calculations it is almost as fast as the A33 and A53. Only graphically it has less to offer, so if you like to play nice games, the more expensive models in the series are a better choice.
In any case, the Snapdragon 695 processor can handle the 120 Hz screen frequency well. This ensures that the Galaxy A23 does its job smoothly for non-gaming activities. The memory of 4GB isn’t huge, so you can’t switch back and forth between endless apps on the fly – but for regular, everyday smartphone activities, it’s all more than enough for a smooth user experience.
The Galaxy A23 will initially appear on the market with Android 12 and One UI 4.1. A clear improvement over previous Samsung phones in this price range is that you get the full One UI with the A23. The A22, for example, has the simpler ‘Core’ version of the interface, which lacks a few useful features.
You will not be bothered by this on the Galaxy A23. You can use direct cloud integration in the Gallery , and you have Samsung Pass . This allows you to securely store login details so that you can identify yourself with your fingerprint everywhere – in apps, on websites. In addition, you also get the Secure Folder, in which you can store apps – with your own account – and files even more securely.
The other side of the coin is that you also get all the options, settings, and personalizations that the full One UI offers. That is ideal for the enthusiast, but I know that many users sometimes find it just a bit too much. The menus are logical enough, but many options are overlooked because there are just so many of them. How bad you think this is of course up to you – but I think Samsung can cut back on excess possibilities.
Not superfluous are the updates that come to the Galaxy A23 for four years. Samsung will support the device with security updates until the fall of 2026. You will also receive three major Android upgrades in the coming years. You will get Android 13 in the spring of 2023, followed later by Android 14 and 15 in – respectively – 2024 and 2025.
That is not bad at all for a phone in this price range. Still, I secretly think it’s a bit of a shame that the A23 doesn’t get updates for five years, as is the case with the A33. In the last fifth year, the phones will probably only receive a handful of updates. I understand that there must be a difference, but a small effort could provide a great pleasure here.
Galaxy A23 camera review
One part of the Galaxy A23 where my expectations were relatively modest is the camera. Where the Galaxy A53 offers an excellent camera, you can already notice some savings in this area with the A33 device. On paper, the cameras of the Galaxy A23 are a bit more modest, and in practice that is exactly how it works out.
The 5 megapixel wide-angle and 2 MP macro camera are fun for fun, but of course you can’t take really nice photos with them. The shots are not detailed, and noise quickly emerges. As far as I’m concerned, the A23 has to rely on the main and front camera. The latter can handle it – the 8 MP selfies don’t excel, but for average use on Whatsapp and social media it is sufficient.
What remains is the main camera. With its 50-megapixel sensor and optical image stabilization (OIS), it could just turn out surprisingly well. And this also happens under calm, well-lit conditions. The Galaxy A23 takes sharp photos with colors that are usually quite true to life – a bit saturated, sometimes. The phone sometimes has some difficulty with large differences between light and dark, but surprisingly often not.
Of course there are plenty of extra gadgets, such as the Portrait mode. This creates a nice, blurred background behind the sharp foreground. Occasionally these turn out a bit faded, but usually the result is okay. Not fantastic, but I didn’t expect that either.
As long as you keep the price range of the A23 in mind, and mainly take pictures with the main camera, you won’t be disappointed.
Galaxy A23 review: battery and battery life
If there’s one thing Samsung has been doing well with its affordable phones for years, it’s battery endurance. And also in the Galaxy A23, the fairly large battery – 5000 mAh – in combination with the fairly economical hardware – ensure an excellent operating time.
If you don’t sit down to play games or navigate for a long time, you have to do your best to empty the device in one working day. If you mainly do WhatsApp and other things in moderation – YouTube, internet, music – it is quite easy to do two days with a battery charge.
Charging is quite fast if you have a 25 Watt charger – it goes from zero to full in about 1 hour and 10 minutes. You have to buy it yourself, because it is not included in the box of the A23. In fact, there is no charger in it. That is not so strange in 2022, so I don’t count it as a downside. But you do need to know – especially that you do not automatically use the maximum charging speed with your old charger.
Of course, this maximum charging speed is not extremely high, even with a 25 Watt charger. There are Chinese phone manufacturers who now support much higher charging speeds. But: Samsung is not participating in that for the time being – possibly to keep the battery life as long as possible. If you support a phone for four years or more, the battery should also last at least that long, after all.
The mono sound from the speaker of the Galaxy A23 sounds…. well, mono. And therefore certainly not as good as the A33 and A53, which stood out in a positive sense. But come on, that mono sound sounds full enough to be usable.
The A23 has room for two physical SIM cards and a memory card. These all fit in at the same time, so you don’t have to choose either more storage or a second SIM card. There is no support for eSIM. In our time with the phone we had no problems with reception, and calls are clear enough.
Galaxy A23: conclusions
And so I come to the conclusion of this Samsung Galaxy A23 review. And these are actually kind of boring. Because the A23 is just a very decent affordable phone with smooth hardware, a smooth 120 Hz screen, and excellent battery life. The main camera is good, and the software very complete – thanks to the full One UI interface. The support with at least four years of updates is also very pleasant in this price range.
The main drawbacks for me are the non-adjustable color reproduction and the finger scanner that you cannot feel so clearly. It is to be expected that the Galaxy A23 has many more cameras than the main camera, but it is not very useful. Okay, you can take a group photo or something with the ultra-wide-angle camera, but it doesn’t turn out very sharp.
What you ultimately buy for roughly 250 USD is a smooth ‘basic smartphone’ that performs daily activities quickly, well secured (because functions such as Samsung Pass and Secure Folder ), and with a long battery life. Extra frills, such as fancy camera functions, you look for in vain. Moreover, the fact that all this will remain up to date until well into 2026 – in terms of software and features – is a big plus.
With the Galaxy A23 5G you don’t buy a spectacular phone – but one that does the most important things excellently, and is supported for a long time. If you can live with the flaws, it’s a great buy. The main choice is actually whether you want to save 50 USD for the Galaxy A33. That device has better cameras, five years of support, an AMOLED screen, and has more graphic power for games.