Samsung Galaxy A23 Smartphone REVIEW
This new, nicely priced Samsung phone has got oodles of storage, loads of RAM and multitasks like a dream, finds PAT PILCHER.
If you’re in the market for a new phone but don’t want to spend a lot of coin, the good news is that it isn’t terribly hard to get plenty of phone for your money. A case in point is Samsung’s new Galaxy A23. I spent some quality time with it as my daily driver. Here’s what I found.
Unlike its higher-end Galaxy siblings, the A23’s back is done out in Tupperware. It’s a glossy finish that looks slick, lending it a hint of designer chic as the plastic could easily be mistaken from a distance for glass. The upside of this approach is that the glossy plastic is far less likely to break should you subject the A23 to an involuntary drop test. The downside is that it is a fingerprint magnet and a slippery one at that. My advice is to get a good phone case on it as soon as possible.
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Its sides appear to be powder-coated alloy and are home to the volume power button and SIM/MicroSD card slot. Unlike its more upmarket counterparts, you also get a 3.5mm headphone jack, but it only has a single speaker. On the ergonomics front, Samsung placed the controls so they’re all within easy reach for one-handed use.
The A23 might be the more affordable device of Sammy’s line up but make no mistake, you get plenty of screen. To this end, it comes with a roomy 6.6-inch LCD display (with a 90Hz refresh rate). As you’d expect, contrast levels don’t compare to what you’d get with AMOLED, but the display does crank out decent colours. The only real downside with the display is that it sometimes struggled outdoors in the few rare moments when Wellington got sunlight (shocking, I know). It doesn’t have an edge-to-edge display, but its bezels are not too chunky.
The A23 comes with a quad-core 2Ghz CPU. I could not confirm what it was, but if the spec is the same as offshore, it’ll be packing the capable mid-range Snapdragon 680. This explains its surprisingly snappy performance for such an affordable price. You also get a generous 5,000mAh battery, 6GB RAM (which makes for super smooth multitasking) and 128GB of internal storage. If you have a sizeable media collection, take a lot of photos/shoot a lot of videos, but are on a budget, then the A23 might just be what the Witchdoctor ordered.
Out of curiosity, I paired the A23 with a PlayStation Portable emulator to see how hard I could push its CPU. I was astonished that it ran cool and performed well as a retro game emulator. This isn’t something I’d have expected from a phone at this price point. When paired up with a game controller, it worked like a charm. The only game it struggled with for some reason was GTA, which given its CPU and GPU demands, isn’t surprising.
Continuing with the more bang for your buck than you’d expect theme is its cameras. The A23 has a rear quad-camera setup with a 50MP main snapper, a 5MP ultrawide camera, a 2MP macro camera, and a 2MP depth sensor. In use, the cameras performed moderately well in decent lighting conditions, but in low light, some pixel noise and detail loss were noticeable, and saturation levels dipped too. That said, for a phone at this price point, its daylight photo and video capabilities were not too shabby at all. The A23’s battery life impressed too. The 5,000mAh battery ran through an entire day despite me engaging in hours of emulator-based gaming.
Samsung has got a lot right with the Galaxy A23. It mightn’t be a flagship smartphone, but once it’s tucked away in a phone case, you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. Considering its very reasonable $499 sticker price, you get oodles of storage, a decent CPU, and enough RAM to ensure that multitasking is smooth. As you’d expect with an affordable phone, it isn’t perfect. Its camera is no highlight, and some might find its plastic finish a turn-off, but for the price, who’s to complain?