Galaxy S23 Plus vs S22 Plus: Have there been any camera improvements?

Galaxy S23 Plus vs S22 Plus: Have there been any camera improvements?

Samsung’s new top-of-the-line cell phones have already been announced and, as usual, three models were presented. The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is one of them, and the device arrived as the direct successor to the Galaxy S22 Plus.

There have been some changes in various aspects of the cell phone, but the camera set is basically the same – or at least in the technical sheet. With the exception of the front camera, the lens specs are pretty much the same.

That said, is there any improvement in the camera from the Galaxy S22 Plus to the Galaxy S23 Plus? Can post-processing or the hardware itself work well to deliver better photographs, even with so much similarity on paper?

I tested both cell phones and went out to take pictures with both at the same time, to clear that doubt and see which of the two is better in this regard.

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main camera

The main camera of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is exactly the same as that of the Galaxy S22 Plus: a 50 MP sensor with f/1.8 aperture, Dual Pixel PDAF and optical image stabilization. In this way, the images obtained with the two cell phones are almost the same.

I noticed some more simple differences, but some of them are only possible to notice with a closer look.

Colors appear darker and more intense on last year’s phone, and this can give the impression of higher quality at first glance. However, if you look closely at each photograph, you can see that the S23 Plus has an improvement in the dynamic range, which makes the image more defined in dark and shaded spots or even in those areas that “abuse” the strongest color in the picture. S22 Plus.

On the other hand, if the scenery is already very bright naturally, the Galaxy S23 Plus may have a little more work to compensate for the white, and it doesn’t manage it as competently as its predecessor. In these cases, the older model offers a little more detail and quality.

ultrawide camera

The ultrawide camera is also exactly the same on both devices: a 12 MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and a 120° viewing angle. But, in this case, I noticed an inverse work in definition.

Colors are still more intense and vivid on the Galaxy S22 Plus, just like the main one. However, the dynamic range is smaller in the new generation and, consequently, last year’s model offers more definition, with greater detail in poorly lit spots.

Despite this, it is important to note that post-processing does a pretty heavy job on the S22 Plus. It even manages to deliver slightly more defined images at ultrawide, but some points look a little artificial.

This can be proven if you compare the image below. In this comparison, you can see that the Galaxy S23 Plus is more realistic with the shadow under the construction — at the very front. In the same scenario, the image obtained by the S22 Plus masks this shadow more, and it is almost impossible to notice it.

Telephoto camera (zoom)

The last lens in the rear set of the two cameras is the telephoto, which is mainly used for photographs with a zoom from three times. In both cases, the resolution remains the same: they are 10 MP, with f/2.4 aperture and up to three times optical zoom — from then on the approximation is digital.

The color level of the telephoto camera in each device is practically the same as the other lenses: in the S23 Plus they are less intense and more realistic, while in the predecessor they are more vivid, but with more exaggerated post-processing.

In static images, the definition is practically the same, and none of the cell phones presents any difficulty to show all the content without much noise or pixelation. As for images with a little more movement — like this boatman on the lake — the two have a little more difficulty, but the S23 Plus does better to stabilize and deliver sharper results.

The telephoto camera is also used in portrait mode, being activated by default, with a three times zoom. If you switch to 1x zoom, however, the phone switches to the main camera.

But, speaking specifically of her, the two smartphones achieve a result very similar to each other, with a lot of definition, but, for the first time, the colors look better on the newer cell phone. Cropping is just as accurate, but I noticed a few flaws near the hair on the S23 Plus, as in the example below. Overall, though, the two get along pretty well.

Frontal camera

The front camera is the only one that has evolved from one generation to the next in terms of specifications. The Galaxy S23 Plus has a 12 MP sensor with an f/2.2 aperture and the Galaxy S22 Plus is slightly lower, with 10 MP and the same lens aperture.

This difference, although simple, is very well noticed in practice. Selfies are much more realistic on this year’s model, with great detail and definition.

Not that the S22 Plus is bad — quite the contrary, it’s just an improvement on what was already good in the previous generation. In addition to the good definition, the image seems to be much more vivid in general, with more striking colors but without an artificial aspect.

night mode

Despite all the similarity in the specifications of the set of cameras, the night mode was what caught my attention the most due to the improvement in performance and post-processing on the Galaxy S23+.

The two models can manage lighting well, but the 2023 cell phone manages to do this in a “custom” way. While the S22+ seems to lighten the whole photo to show as much information as possible, its successor does it in a more “intelligent” way: it lightens what should be lightened and keeps dark what doesn’t need more light.

This makes the photos closer to reality, without looking so artificial. In some cases, the smartphone still does the post-processing the way we are used to — brightening everything and making the image more artificial — but, overall, it manages to work better with it and deliver images closer to what we actually see.

Selfies also get more definition on the S23 Plus at night, as well as portrait mode images. In the latter, the change is even more noticeable and, although the photographs are still not so good, they have certainly evolved a lot in the new generation.

See more sample Galaxy S23 Plus photos:

Rear camera / Galaxy S23 Plus

Bruno Bertonzin/Canaltech

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