Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Apple iPhone 14: expectations

Intro

Samsung will be announcing the new Galaxy S23 in early 2023 — which happens to be very, very close. And, as is usual with hot upcoming devices, we already have a lot of leaks and reports to go on.

So, we can form some sort of idea and expectations of how the S23 will be… and how it would stack up against the relentless competition. A big part of it being, of course, Apple’s iPhone 14.

Well then, let’s ponder this — how will the Galaxy S23 fare against the iPhone 14? Or rather more… how will the iPhone 14 do against Samsung’s latest mainstream phone? Hardware, screens, cameras, and software — let’s discuss!
Galaxy S23 vs iPhone 14 as per the leaks:

  • Similar in size and weight
  • iPhone notch vs Galaxy in-display fingerprint scanner
  • Galaxy has multi-tasking and DeX on board
  • Galaxy has triple camera with optical zoom, iPhone 14 is dual cam
  • Galaxy has 120 Hz screen, iPhone 14 sicks to 60 Hz
  • Galaxy will have USB Type-C port, iPhone sticks with Lightning for yet another year

Table of Contents:

Design and Display Quality

OLED but one of them has an extra AM

Samsung’s AMOLED screens have been excellent for years now and we can already picture the Galaxy S23 continuing this trend. Really, all it needs to do is use the same panels as the S22, which are already excellent. But hey, Samsung may sneak in a max brightness buff or some energy trickery. Or it may try to match the iPhone 14 Pro’s capability of keeping an entire wallpaper in the Always-on state when locked.

But, in general, we expect the Galaxy S23’s display to be, yet again, an industry leader with vivid colors, great sharpness, and fantastic contrast.

Apple’s iPhone 14 line has OLED screens as well — funny enough, a huge portion of them are made by Samsung (and some are manufactured by LG). So, it’s the same build quality, but tuned to Apple’s requirements. Where Samsung gives you a couple of color calibrations to choose whether you want boosted colors or tamed and realistic ones, Apple goes for only one standard calibration.

Don’t get us wrong, it looks fantastic, though it’s worth noting.

Other features, like automatically tuning the white balance of the screen are present on both Galaxies and iPhones. So, these screens are usually a pleasure — and not a strain — to view.

The Galaxy S23 will, supposedly, have a 6.1-inch diagonal and a 19.5:9 aspect ratio, which is shockingly the same size and ratio on the iPhone 14. Apple’s screen has 457 pixels per inch, while the Galaxy’s will come to 422 but really, that’s not a difference to be bothered about.

As for design, many will prefer the fresh breath that the Samsung will supposedly offer — leaks show us a new look with a fully flat back and 3 protruding metal rings around the lenses on the back. On the front, of course, the Galaxy will only have a single hole for the selfie camera while the iPhone 14 still has that signature notch.

That is, of course, because Apple uses Face ID for biometric unlocks and payment authentication. It has been improved over the past 4 years and is now quick, accurate, and you barely even think about it. Samsung still prefers to stick to under-screen fingerprint scanners for that — ultrasonic technology, which has also improved in speed. The latter’s benefit is that it can accurately read a scan even if your finger happens to be smudged up, a bit too wet, or a bit too dry.

The iPhone 14 still has MagSafe — that ring of magnets on its back that allow it to utilize various smart accessories like stands and magnetic powerbanks. These definitely improve the overall experience and it’s sometimes hard to go back to a phone that can’t just stick to a wireless charger.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S23 will have a USB Type-C port for charging and data transfer, which makes it infinitely easier to find a spare cable when you are in a pinch. And, of course it also supports wireless charging, just no magnetic sticking to stuff.

Performance and Software

Qualcomm has just announced the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 with some big numbers in tow — 35% faster performance, 40% better power-efficiency. Hard pill to swallow — that may still not going to be enough to beat the Apple A15 Bionic in the iPhone 14.

The good news is that it doesn’t need to. It can be argued that iOS 16 barely makes use of all the power that the A15 chip has on tap. And, if the Galaxy S22 series is anything to go by — the Snapdragon series will do just fine with snappy performance, flicking and flipping through apps and settings with ease.

Also, and this is entirely up to how Samsung optimizes its software, we may get better sustained performance and longer battery life. We’ve seen Asus do wonders with the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 in that regard, so the jury is still out on how the Galaxy S23 will do. The good news is that all leaks point towards Samsung dropping the Exynos strategy with the Galaxy S23 series, shipping Snapdragon-equipped models to all markets. So, at least that will be less confusing when the time to compare benchmarks comes.

Now, as for software, it has come to the point where comparing Apple to Samsung is like comparing apples to oranges. The iPhones are still much more single-task oriented phones that are very reliable and have a robust ecosystem that Apple fans enjoy day in and day out. The Galaxy’s One UI interface is more flexible, as it basically invites you to utilize its split-screen multitasking capabilities and vast customization options.

An argument can be made that users who go for the smallest, 6.1-inch Galaxy S23 probably do not do so for multitasking. However, One UI has the tendency to constantly give you access to floating windows, so you can answer that text or check that email without leaving whatever you were doing on the phone. It’s definitely a different type of workflow — one that is also hard to leave behind if you consider switching away from the Galaxy.

Samsung also has the DeX interface, which is admittedly super niche. However, if you connect the phone to an external monitor, mouse, and keyboard — you get to work in a desktop-like UI powered straight from your phone. Or, you can connect it to an old laptop and let the Galaxy “take over” its screen and peripherals. You’d be surprised to see how an old Windows machine can be revived when a Snapdragon 8 is at the wheel.

Samsung has pledged 4 years of major Android updates for its flagship phones, meaning the Galaxy S23 will launch with Android 13 (One UI 5) and end up with Android 17 (One UI 9) when it taps out. History teaches us that the iPhone 14 will probably go a bit longer than that — maybe even up to 6 years. It launched with iOS 16 and we would absolutely not be surprised if we see it get iOS 22 in 2028.

Camera

Someone here needs an upgrade

According to leaks and rumors, it seems the S23 won’t change much about the Galaxy S22’s camera module. As per the latest reports, the Galaxy S23 will have the very same combo of cameras on its back — 50 MP main, 12 MP ultra-wide, 10 MP telephoto .

We do assume that there will be some updates in the backend — the post-processing after you press that shutter button, especially with the new Qualcomm chip. But overall, we expect to see the same great photography that the S22 delivers, maybe with a bit of a facelift.

The iPhone 14 on the other hand needed a bit more oomph than what Apple gave it. The Pro models got the new 48 MP sensor and the upgraded ultra-wide camera, the base ones got a slightly bigger — but still 12 MP — main sensor and they inherited the ultra-wide camera from the iPhone 13 Pro.

So, the Galaxy S23 will already have the iPhone 14 beat with the fact that it will have a telephoto camera for better portraits. But the iPhone 14 has also proven to have softer details and a bit more jagged oversharpening in its photos — take a gander at the camera section of our iPhone 14 vs Galaxy S22 review or iPhone 14 Plus vs Galaxy S22+ (same cameras) for multiple examples of that.

Now, the iPhone 14 does have an awesome selfie camera — a 12 MP snapper with autofocus that really upped that selfie game. It will be interesting to see if the Galaxy S23 matches that. Rumors do say that it will have a new 12 MP front camera (as opposed to 10 MP in the S22), but we’ve got no other info to go on right now.

Audio Quality and Haptics

The recent Galaxy flagships sound pretty good — with stereo speakers tuned with the AKG know-how. They are loud, a bit middy, but still well-detailed. The iPhone 14 has a bit more of a mid scoop going on, and more audible bass plus more air in the presence. It largely depends on what kind of content you are listening to, but in many cases, the iPhone 14 speakers win out.

Whether this will remain the case with the Galaxy S23 remains to be seen, but we’ve no reason to believe that Samsung is working on any serious audio tune-ups at the moment.

As for haptics — the flagship Galaxy phones have been clicking and clacking with very pleasant and reassuring feedback over the last few years. But so have iPhones with their amazing Taptic engine — the one that makes the Apple Watch vibration feel so great.

Battery Life and Charging

One has impressive standby, the other may have great sustained performance.

So, the Galaxy S23 will have a slightly larger battery — 3,900 mAh versus the 3,700 mAh in the Galaxy S22. Add to this the enhanced energy-efficiency that Qualcomm promises for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and we are already expecting better sustained performance.

Typically, iPhones are amazing at holding charge while in standby and they do very well with common tasks like browsing and video-watching. Usually, when it comes to gaming tests, Android phones do better, while Apple’s A15 chip drains the comparably small battery of the iPhone faster.

We’ll see if the story repeats itself when the Galaxy S23 comes out!

Specs Comparison

Well, here’s a good look of what we expect from the data sheets of the two phones. Keep in mind, all Galaxy S23 info is still speculatory:

Summary and Final Verdict

We’ve got two phones that are powerful and reliable, yes. Taken at face value, we’d say the Galaxy is definitely the better deal here — you have a 120 Hz screen (which should be standard in 2022-2023) and you have a triple camera module with a telephoto lens. The iPhone 14, in comparison, feels basic when it lacks those specs, yet costs the same price.

However, this comparison is about a lot more than Phone A vs Phone B. Both of these companies have become tech giants that offer smartwatches, headphones, tablets, and laptops — all of which work in tandem.

Like the always-mentioned Apple ecosystem — with all of its devices seamlessly talking to one another. If you are in there, with an Apple Watch, AirPods, AirTags, and a MacBook, of course you will probably lean more towards the iPhone. At the same time, you may feel a bit cheated, as the iPhone 14 seems so… uninspired.

Samsung has also gained a lot of ground and integrated into a lot of different areas. The SmartThings hub can connect to your Samsung home appliances, the Galaxy SmartTags, and the company also offers the excellent Galaxy Watch wearables and Galaxy Buds earphones. Samsung also has a strategic partnership with Microsoft, so you get exclusive features when pairing your Galaxy to Windows.

So, don’t let the green bubbles bully you, the Galaxies have a lot going for them!

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