Samsung Galaxy S23 vs. iPhone 14: spec comparison
Apple’s iPhone 14 now has a new rival: the Samsung Galaxy 23. Announced at the company’s recent Unpacked event alongside a list of new Galaxy Books, the S23 series is available for pre-order starting this week. with a street date of February 17. The new phones arrive with faster performance, bigger batteries and updated selfie cameras, with the Ultra offering an even higher resolution camera than its predecessor.
But before you throw over $799 on a preorder, you might want to know how Samsung’s upcoming smartphones stack up against Apple’s latest and greatest handsets. Although both ranges include phones with impressive specs, there are a few key differences to consider.
Perhaps most obvious is the fact that Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup consists of four phones: the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. By comparison, Samsung only offers three: the Galaxy S23, Galaxy S23 Plus, and Galaxy S23 Ultra.
Each model varies in price and offers something a little different from their respective rivals. The iPhone 14 and Galaxy S23 both start at around $799, but Samsung’s high-end phones are more expensive. The S23 Plus costs $999.99, which is $100 more than Apple’s iPhone 14 Plus, while the S23 Ultra has an MSRP of $1,199.99 – $200 more than the iPhone 14 Pro and $100 more than the iPhone 14 Pro Max.
These are just some of the surface differences, however. When you dive deeper into their respective screens, design, and camera arrays, the phones become even more distinct. To make choosing between the two ranges a bit easier, we’ve compared some of the most relevant features to show you how they compare on paper.
At first glance, the differences between the two ranges seem minor. Each model in Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup and its corresponding Samsung rival measure roughly the same in terms of dimensions and display size. Generally, however, Samsung’s phones weigh slightly less, even though the Galaxy S23 Ultra is larger and heavier than the iPhone 14 Pro.
Design-wise, the iPhone 14 line notably lacks the Galaxy S23’s physical SIM card tray. Indeed, Apple’s new phones rely on eSIM technology (at least in the US), which is theoretically supposed to make it easier to switch between devices and plans. In practice, however, we’ve found it tricky if you’re switching between Android and iOS, and while most major US mobile networks support eSIM, not all do.
Display technology is another area where the iPhone 14 and Galaxy S23 phones differ. Although both share OLED panels, each S23 device features a 120Hz refresh rate, which allows for smoother scrolling and more immersive graphics. By contrast, only the high-end iPhone 14 Pro models offer a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, while the rest of the range tops out at 60Hz. Samsung and Apple also make devices with always-on displays; however, only the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max have the technology. This isn’t a new feature for Android phones, so it’s no surprise that every phone in the S23 lineup offers an always-on display. The S23 Ultra is also the only phone in either line that offers stylus support and comes with a built-in S Pen.
Samsung’s Galaxy S23 Ultra comes with a built-in stylus. Photo by Allison Johnson/The Edge
As for performance, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus models are powered by Apple’s A15 Bionic chips, while the Pro and Pro Max use the A16. Samsung’s entire lineup, meanwhile, is powered by a specialized version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. We’ll have to wait and see how Qualcomm’s Galaxy-optimized processors perform when we review the new devices, but they should be plenty fast and deliver the best performance similar to Apple’s A15 and A16 Bionic chips.
On the camera front, Apple’s main camera sensors aren’t as high-resolution as Samsung’s. Apple’s low-end iPhone 14 models only offer a 12MP sensor for their main camera and a 12MP ultrawide shooter. Only when you opt for the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max will you get a 48MP main shooter and a 12MP ultrawide, as well as a 12MP telephoto lens to capture more detail. The Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus, meanwhile, feature a 50MP main lens, a 12MP ultrawide, and a 10MP telephoto lens. If you shell out extra for the S23 Ultra, you’ll also get a 200MP main camera, a 12MP ultrawide shooter, and a 10MP telephoto camera.
However, it’s important to note that more megapixels don’t translate to better photos – something we pointed out last year when comparing photos taken with the S22 Ultra and iPhone 14 Pro. Samsung’s camera sensor often groups pixels together to improve light, which actually results in a more manageable 12-megapixel photo. It’s possible to take a 200 or 50 megapixel photo if you want, but that sort of resolution is overkill for the average 4×6 print.
The cameras on the back of the iPhone 14 Pro models. Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales/The Verge
Finally, you can’t compare Apple and Samsung phones without mentioning their respective operating systems. Samsung’s S23 phones come with Android 13, while Apple’s iPhone 14 comes with iOS 16. Both are solid operating systems, and which one you should choose often comes down to preference. . Apple’s mobile operating system is known for its simplicity, while Android is particularly good at flexibility and customization. Then there is the ecosystem of devices you would choose to consider.
That said, the two share many of the same features, like the ability to edit and cancel sent messages and a live text feature that can grab text from videos and photos. Some of the other differences are minor. Despite its plethora of customization options, for example, Android phones lack the ability to add widgets to the lock screen. They also don’t come with Apple’s new visual drag-and-drop search tool, which lets you pull something from a photo and drag it into another app as a standalone object.
By the numbers
This is just a snapshot of some of the key differences between the iPhone 14 and Samsung’s Galaxy S23 lineup. If you want to dive deeper into connectivity, storage options, and all the raw specs, we’ve collected them in the table below.