Samsung has launched the latest generation of its inexpensive M series. Today we want to take a look at the M23 5G and see how much smartphone is available for just under 290 Euros. Let’s start with our Samsung Galaxy M23 5G review!
Tough battle of the mid-range
The M series of the South Korean electronics company is still comparatively young. After all, it used to be more the A and Y series that were supposed to lure customers in the (lower) mid-range. However, there has been a lot of competition from China in this market segment for quite some time now with manufacturers like Poco, Xiaomi and others. This is gnawing at the success of the former top dog Samsung.
After all, the company was able to hold its own almost unrivaled just a few years ago both in the mid-range, but just as well in the high-end segment. It is no longer enough to position oneself with a good price. In the meantime, Samsung has launched smartphones with its M-series that are not only supposed to be friendly for the customer’s bank account. On top of that, there is a long-lasting battery and the latest mobile standard with 5G.
Technical details of the Samsung Galaxy M23 5G
|Name||Samsung Galaxy M23 5G|
|Display||6.6 inch TFT display with 1,080 x 2,408 pixels (FHD+) at 120 Hz|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G processor|
|Memory||4 GB RAM|
|Memory||128 GB internal storage (expandable to 1 TB via microSD)|
|Camera||Rear: Triple camera with main camera (50 MP, F1.8), ultra-wide angle camera (8 MP, F2.2) and macro camera (2 MP, F2.4)
Front: 8 MP front camera
|Safety||Fingerprint sensor on the side of the case|
|Dimensions||165.5 x 77.8 x 8.4 mm (198 grams)|
|Price||€ 256.00 *|
Scope of delivery
The packaging of the Galaxy M23 5G is very reminiscent of that of newer iPhones. This is not only due to the sheer design like the picture of the device inside. On top of that, the case is surprisingly flat. Once you open the packaging, it quickly becomes clear why this is so.
As is the case with Apple’s newer iPhones (since iPhone 12), Samsung also does without a separate power adapter here. This might be ecologically sensible, but some will certainly dislike it. Besides the Galaxy M23 5G itself, the usual paperwork along with the charging cable (USB-C to USB-C) and SIM card tool are in the packaging.
Design and workmanship
With a size of 165.5 x 77.8 x 8.4 mm and a weight of 198 grams, the affordable Samsung smartphone is by no means compact. It offers pretty much the same form factor as the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G we recently tested (test). The materials used also remind me of the competing model from China. Thus, the M23 5G also feels very high-quality processed. This is not self-evident in view of the fact that Samsung uses a plastic frame and a plastic back here.
The 6.6-inch display is lined by relatively narrow screen edges. The edge on the bottom is slightly thicker than on the left, right and top. The screen is interrupted by a teardrop notch at the top center, where the front camera is located. The dual-SIM slot is located on the left side of the device and can accommodate two nano-SIM cards as well as a microSD. The storage can thus be expanded up to 1 TB. Very attractive!
On the right side is the volume rocker with a pleasant pressure point as well as the standby button with an integrated fingerprint sensor. Samsung places a speaker, the USB-C port, a microphone and a 3.5 mm jack on the bottom. The latter will please headphone users thanks to Dolby Atmos. There is another microphone on the upper side.
A look at the back reveals another common feature. The M23 5G also has a matte back, which does not only look chic. On top of that, it prevents fingerprints better than smooth backs. After a few minutes of holding the notebook in our hands, we noticed a few taps here as well. Of course, there is no getting around the triple camera. It is a bit raised, which leads to wobbling on the table.
However, Samsung shows itself to be somewhat rebellious in one respect. While almost every manufacturer has jumped on the bandwagon of the new, edgier iPhone design in the meantime, the South Koreans remain rather classic with the M23 5G. This means that you get very rounded shapes here. This may seem sleek, but it can sometimes lead to the smartphone not having a really secure grip in the hands.
Our test model comes in the color Deep Green. We like this one very much in its dark design. Alternatively, the device is also available in Light Blue and Orange Copper. All in all, there is little to complain about in terms of workmanship and design. As a fan of angular shapes, I would have preferred a more angular design, but that is a matter of taste.
After the rather subjective part about the design, let’s get to hard facts – the performance. Samsung installs a Snapdragon 750G 5G from Qualcomm in its Galaxy M23 5G. According to the name, it also offers the latest mobile standard 5G. The octa-core processor with a maximum clock rate of 2.2 GHz is supported by 4 GB of RAM. Of course, Samsung cannot keep up with top models here, but we should not forget that we are just about in the mid-range with an MSRP of 289.00 Euros. It is certain that I managed very well with the Galaxy M23 5G’s performance in practice. No matter whether browsing or using conventional apps like Instagram or Amazon. The mid-range device did very well in these disciplines.
However, it might reach its limits when playing demanding games like Genshin Impact. You should keep that in mind if you are thinking about buying it. The Galaxy M23 5G achieves 647 points in single-core and 1935 points in multi-core in Geekbench. In contrast, the Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G managed 734 points (single-core) and 2215 points (multi-core). The Galaxy M23 5G achieved 1116 points in the 3DMark Wild Life benchmark test, which is very important for gamers. The Redmi managed 1957 points here. Of course, the direct comparison with the, at least on paper, better equipped Galaxy M33 5G is even more exciting. It achieved 746 points (single-core) and 1887 points (multi-core) in Geekbench and 2240 points in 3DMark.
Samsung Galaxy M23 5G Display
When it comes to display technology, Samsung has been considered the industry leader when it comes to smartphone features for years. Pretty much every device with a fancy AMOLED display relies on the South Korean company’s expertise. Accordingly, I was really curious how much screen there is for an MSRP of 289.00 Euros. And unfortunately, I was not positively surprised. Samsung does not rely on AMOLED here, but on a TFT display. This struck me immediately. After all, AMOLED panels are by no means reserved for upper-range devices nowadays.
Instead, the high-contrast display technology with vivid colors has long since arrived in the mid-range as well. So, especially from Samsung as the number one display manufacturer, I would have expected AMOLED to make its way into an inexpensive smartphone like the Galaxy M23 5G. So, enough complaining. Let’s take a closer look at the screen. The 6.6-inch screen resolves in FHD+ (1,080 x 2,408 pixels) and thus offers a good pixel density of 400 ppi.
Both color reproduction and contrasts cannot keep up with AMOLED counterparts, of course, but they are okay. This means that you won’t get a really deep black or gorgeous colors here, but those who don’t mind that will certainly be able to overlook it. But the display also has a highlight that will especially please fast scrolling enthusiasts – 120 Hz. Thanks to the high refresh rate, there are buttery smooth moving images here without annoying distorted images.
Samsung Galaxy M23 5G Camera
The triple camera on the back is pleasingly unobtrusive. In times of increasingly larger camera modules, we liked this very much. What is cool here is the fact that all three lenses are the same size. This results in a symmetrical picture that makes the device’s back look tidy. Samsung relies on a combination of main camera (50 megapixels), ultra-wide-angle camera (8 megapixels) and macro camera (2 megapixels).
The camera of the Galaxy M23 5G is not capable of any miracles, but will be perfectly sufficient for average users. The best conditions are given here for the snapshot in between. The ultra-wide-angle camera has to be emphasized.
This achieves a viewing range of 123 degrees, which makes for nice panoramas and thus enables great group photos. The selfie camera does not offer much reason to complain either. Its resolution of 8 MP is sharp enough and it offers the bokeh effect that is indispensable for social media. Of course, videos are also possible with the M23 5G. The smartphone enables a maximum of 4K resolution at 30 frames per second.
Samsung advertises its Galaxy M23 5G as a true battery wonder. After the extensive test, we can only confirm this. With a size of 5,000 mAh, the battery is pleasingly large and thus ensures that you can easily get through the day with the mid-range smartphone. Samsung has also integrated special energy-saving options to get the most out of the battery. For example, the so-called adaptive energy saving should ensure that the battery’s overall performance is improved once again. Furthermore, the Galaxy M23 5G optionally supports a fast charging function. However, you have to buy the required 25 watt power adapter separately.
The mid-range device also leaves hardly anything to be desired in terms of connectivity. The M23 5G supports the WLAN standards 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2.4 GHz + 5 GHz), Bluetooth 5.0 and also has NFC on board. Thanks to the 3.5 mm headphone jack, you do not necessarily have to use wireless headphones. The DUAL-SIM feature is also anything but standard. For example, you can comfortably use the smartphone as both a work and leisure device. When we talk about connectivity, 5G should of course not be left out. Samsung holds a real trump up its sleeve here, which should convince many prospective buyers.
Conclusion of the Samsung Galaxy M23 5G review
The Samsung Galaxy M23 offers a lot of light, but also some shade. For example, it scores with a high-quality build that quickly makes you forget that you are in the mid-range here. Features like 5G and the long-lasting battery also underline this positive picture. The camera does not set any records, but it should certainly be enough for most users. On the other hand, the display gives reason for complaint. I am a bit disappointed that Samsung does not use AMOLED. This would have completed the otherwise really solid overall package.