Samsung’s 2022 Galaxy A lineup received quite the upgrade over their predecessors, while making 5G, IP67 water and dust resistance and OIS primary cameras as standard features, their prices have also gone up significantly with the Galaxy A33 5G starting at RM1,499, which is why Samsung has made the Galaxy A23 to be priced a shy Ringgit from RM1000 that would appeal to the masses for an ‘Awesome’ phone, and by all means, the phone does look attractive especially with the Peach Awesome color I received for evaluation.
Unlike its higher end siblings, the Galaxy A23 uses a glossy plastic frame and back that feels really slippery after a while, though thankfully my bright Awesome Peach color tends to hide fingerprints and smudges very well, the same can’t be said for those opting the Awesome Black color, which you might have to clean your phone more often if you don’t use it with a case, but do take note that the body isn’t protected against water splashes, so don’t go washing it under the tap but rather use a cloth to wipe it.
What isn’t too awesome about the Galaxy A23 is the 6.6-inch PLS TFT LCD display Samsung employs, although it is essentially an IPS display and refreshes at a smooth 90Hz, it isn’t bright let alone colorful to look at compared to the 800 nits AMOLED display on the more expensive Galaxy A line ups, let’s not even forget that there are several sub RM1000 phones offering high refresh rate AMOLED displays.
Also, the lack of stereo speakers is underwhelming for an ‘Awesome’ mid-range phone, though thankfully the mono speaker doesn’t produce tiny sound and lacks bass, I’m willing to forgive this shortcoming considering it has a 3.5mm headphone jack, which I have tested with my Intime Sora earphones and it offered a clean and detailed sound output.
The Galaxy A23 employs a Snapdragon 680 SoC for its performance and is supported by 6GB RAM and 128GB of expandable storage.
Like the Galaxy A33 5G and later, it runs on One UI 4.1 based on Android 12 and you get the benefit of receiving three years of major Android OS updates, while this is probably the biggest selling point of the phone compared to similar speced phones, the Galaxy A23 doesn’t come with Samsung Pay despite having NFC hardware and once again makes it a less ‘Awesome’ phone than the competition.
Thankfully, the Galaxy A23 has been very reliable during the review period with no app crashes or weird bugs across the user experience, though the Snapdragon 680 SoC isn’t the snappiest mid-range chipset we have seen from Qualcomm, it is sufficient to power the basics such as TikTok, Facebook, WhatsApp without any lags and can run games properly with low graphics setting, just don’t push it as hard as a flagship and you will be fine.
Samsung’s mid-range phone cameras are generally decent when it comes to image quality, the Galaxy A23 doesn’t disappoint with a quad camera setup that comprise of a 50MP primary lens with OIS, supported by a 5MP ultrawide, 2MP macro and 2MP depth lens, which is in a way better than many other phones of the same class that usually come with a primary and macro lens, while the benefit of OIS makes this phone a great shooter for shaky hands.
Image quality of the primary 50MP OIS camera is decent for mid-range phone standards, delivering good detail and naturally saturated colors in most photo samples I took, though when shooting under strong direct sunlight, the colors are washed out no thanks to an inaccurate white balance. In low light conditions, the camera does its best to produce bright visible photos but loses detail due to it smaller sensor size.
Ultrawide cameras on mid-range phones are always a welcome addition, however most of them don’t offer great image quality and the same goes to the Galaxy A23, though photos don’t warp like some other ultrawide cameras I have seen, you can definitely notice the oil painting effect on some parts of the picture, I won’t recommend that you use it in low light conditions either.
As for the 2MP macro lens, I am surprised with the sharpness and color it manage to deliver despite it isn’t something you might use everyday, but it can be useful if you want to take close up shots of things at times.
The 8MP selfie camera is unfortunately rather average even when used at bright outdoors, and this is where I think Samsung should have nailed it considering they want the phone to appeal to youngsters.
I face no battery life issues with the Galaxy A23, its 5000mAh battery can easily offer up to 2 days of usage when used moderately with a 2.5 hours screen-on-time, there’s also support for 25W fast charging if you want to quickly juice it up, but considering its competition are already offering faster charging speeds on similar battery capacities, there’s really nothing to be impresssed or disappointed with the Galaxy A23’s battery and charging.
For RM999, the Galaxy A23 isn’t an entirely good nor terrible sub RM1000 phone, it has a good selection of colors that will certainly turn heads, an optically stabilized primary camera and good battery life, but it won’t hurt Samsung to just include a better display and probably IP67 water and dust resistance to make it a more worthy contender to other mid-range phones, but otherwise, this is nonetheless a good phone that will serve you well for the next three years with guaranteed software updates.
If you are interested, the Galaxy A23 can be purchased here.