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Quick take: Samsung Galaxy S23+



Quick take: Samsung Galaxy S23+

For one week now, I have been using the Samsung Galaxy S23+ as my daily driver. That is to say, for the last 7 days, this phone has been my main phone. It’s been my camera, my phone (receiving calls and sending SMSs), my computer and all those things that modern phones, smartphones, do.

Here are 6 things you need to know about it:

  • It is well-designed and engineered. It’s a beauty. The colour options are also very good. What I have with me is the cream colour option but there are other colour options i.e. Black, Green, Lime, Lavender, Graphite. It feels solid when you hold it, it doesn’t have the pointing corners of its Ultra sibling and, it is just the right size. It is not too big, like the Galaxy S23 Ultra, or too small, like the standard Galaxy S23. It is the middle child and it does a good job of staying there.
  • It has a crisp and clear display that is very visible and usable both indoors and outdoors. The 6.6-inch Full HD+ display is interrupted by the front-facing camera, though there’s a provision to hide that cutout in the software, and keeps everything that one gets in the one on the Galaxy S23 Ultra save for the higher resolution – the Ultra has a QHD+ panel, including the 120Hz that’s standard on the entire Galaxy S23 smartphone range.
  • The cameras, which is what Samsung has spent its most of its marketing budget on, are excellent. So good, in the one week that I have had the phone, I temporarily ditched the camera I use to shoot these videos for them and had a good time using them to shoot a bunch of videos I’ve since shared on TikTok, including a quick unboxing of an entry-level smartphone from Xiaomi. What you’ll notice when you watch those videos (there’s a Shorts posting as well) is that the voice, which is captured without the help of an external microphone, is also very good.
  • Talking about the voice, the Galaxy S23+ has some very nice-sounding dual stereo speakers. While the main one is very visible on the bottom, the secondary one is hidden in the recessed earpiece at the top, just above the selfie camera.
  • It is not all rosy about the Galaxy S23+, as I found out. On my first two days with the device, I experienced a very crazy battery drain – there’s a whole thread I did on Twitter documenting the same. While things have since stabilized and I had a better run in the last few days of my usage of the device, an impression had already been made and, unless I have a similar use case, given my short stay with the device, I may never know what the behaviour is like in the fullness of time.
  • The other that’s battery-related that bothers me, and that you will notice immediately you get the device is the approach by device makers these days, Samsung included, to just give you a cable in the box and leave you to your, well, own devices. There’s no charger in the box so you either use one of the (assumption) many chargers you have lying around or spend some few thousand shillings getting something that will take advantage of the 45W fast charging that the device is rated for. That may not exactly be a problem for someone spending Kshs 155,000 (the device’s RRP at Samsung) or Kshs 170,000 (the device’s pricing at Safaricom) since they have the money to splash but it may also be an issue to some, like yours truly. If I am paying all of that, I’d want my charger in the box, the environment be damned.

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