Samsung Galaxy A23 5G vs. A22 5G: Which should you buy?

The Galaxy A series extends to the entry-level and budget categories, and Samsung is doing a lot of interesting things in this area. For starters, the brand's budget portfolio offers 5G, lowering the barrier to entry for the latest connectivity standard. The Galaxy A23 and A22 deliver stellar battery life and come with a decent number of features, so if you are in the market for a new 5G phone for under $300, here's what you need to know.

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G vs. A22 5G: What's the same

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Samsung Galaxy A23 5G vs. A22 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung changed a lot of features between generations, but the Galaxy A23 5G and A22 5G share a few fundamentals. For starters, both devices have the same 5000mAh battery, and they manage to easily last over a day even with heavy use. More often than not, you'll get two days of use out of either device with a full charge.

The fundamentals are largely unchanged, with both phones offering outstanding battery life and 5G connectivity.

They also share the same materials, featuring a plastic back and a plastic mid-frame. The design at the front is identical as well, with large bezels and a noticeable cutout that's not as elegant as what you get on the Galaxy A53. Both devices have a 3.5mm jack, single speaker located at the bottom, and are limited to Wi-Fi ac connectivity — you won't find Wi-Fi 6 here.

That said, they both have Sub-6 5G as standard, and come with a similar set of bands for use in the U.S. and global markets. You'll find a side-mounted fingerprint reader on either device, and it works well enough in daily use. Samsung bundles 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage as standard on either model, and you can pick up the A23 or A22 with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. If you need additional storage, there's a MicroSD card slot.

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G vs. A22 5G: What's different

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

With the Galaxy A23 5G launching a year later, it has benefitted from a slew of upgrades. First up is the screen; while it has the same 6.6-inch size, the LCD panel is a little more vibrant, and it goes up to 120Hz — the A22 only hits 90Hz. The Galaxy A23 5G also has Gorilla Glass 5 screen protection, giving it added resilience to tumbles; the A22 misses out in this area.

The biggest difference is the internal hardware. The Galaxy A23 5G is powered by Qualcomm's 6nm Snapdragon 695, and it does a good job in daily use, ensuring there's no lag when using the device. The Galaxy A22 5G features the 7nm MediaTek Dimensity 700, and while it has a lot to offer, it tends to lag every now and then. The A22 doesn't hold up during gaming, and while the A23 isn't designed for high-end gaming either, it does a better job.

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CategoryGalaxy A23 5GGalaxy A22 5G
OSAndroid 12, One UI 4.1Android 11, One UI Core 3.1
Display6.6-inch 120Hz PLS LCD, 2408 x 1080, Gorilla Glass 56.6-inch 90Hz TFT LCD, 2400 x 1080
ChipsetQualcomm Snapdragon 695, 6nmMediaTek Dimensity 700, 7nm
MicroSD slotYesYes
Rear camera 150MP f/1.8 OIS48MP f/1.8
Rear camera 25MP wide-angle5MP wide-angle
Rear camera 32MP macro2MP macro
Rear camera 42MP portrait2MP portrait
Front camera8MP f/2.08MP f/2.0
ConnectivitySub-6 5G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1Sub-6 5G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
Audio3.5mm jack3.5mm jack
Battery5000mAh battery, 25W wired charging5000mAh battery, 15W wired charging
Dimensions165.4 x 76.9 x 8.4mm167.2 x 76.4 x 9mm
ColorsWhite, Black, Blue, Peach, Gray, White, Mint

In a similar vein, neither device takes great photos, but the Galaxy A23 5G has a 50MP main lens with OIS that gives it a distinct edge over the 48MP sensor used in the A22 5G. The 5MP wide-angle lens is also a little better on the A23, and in general, the A23 takes better photos. Note that neither device has 4K video recording, so if you're in the market for a new phone and intend to take a lot of photos and videos, you're better off waiting for a deal on the Galaxy A53 5G.

There are also big differences on the software front. The Galaxy A23 5G has full-fledged One UI 4.1 based on Android 12, while the A22 is running One UI Core 3.1 instead. There aren't many user-facing changes, but the key difference between the two is that the A22 misses out on the Knox security features. Furthermore, the Galaxy A23 will get more software updates considering it is launching with Android 12 out of the box.

Finally, the battery. The Galaxy A23 5G lasts roughly the same as its predecessor, and while it uses a 6nm design — versus 7nm for the A22 — that's offset by the power-hungry 120Hz panel. However, you get 25W charging with the Galaxy A23 5G, and the device takes marginally less time to charge than the A22. In short, the Galaxy A23 is among the best phones for under $300

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G vs. A22 5G: Which should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy A23 5G

(Image credit: Samsung)

Given the lack of Xiaomi and Realme options in the U.S. market, there isn't much in the way of choice in the sub-$300 category. As a result, the few phones that are available in the region have middling hardware and cameras that aren't up to scratch. Thankfully, Samsung got a lot right with the Galaxy A23 5G, and it is the best device officially available in the U.S. for under $300.

There's no ambiguity here — if you need a budget phone, just get the Galaxy A23 5G.

The Galaxy A23 5G isn't going to win any design awards thanks to the bezels at the front, but the plastic chassis is durable, and you get Gorilla Glass 5 protection for the screen. The 120Hz LCD screen has good colors and feels smooth in daily use, and the Qualcomm hardware doesn't have any slowdowns. The phone has the requisite 5G bands for Sub-6 5G connectivity in the U.S., so regardless of whatever carrier you're using, you should get decent coverage.

The standout feature is the battery life; the 5000mAh battery allows the Galaxy A23 5G to lasts nearly two days on a full charge, and while there's no wireless charging, you get 25W wired charging as standard — more than last year. The software is also the most refined you'll find in this category, with Samsung offering full-fledged One UI 4.1 based on Android 12. You will have to wait a bit to get the One UI 5 update, but Samsung will offer long-term updates for the phone.

You don't get particularly great cameras, but on the whole, the Galaxy A23 5G ticks a lot of the right boxes for a sub-$300 5G-enabled phone. It is my recommendation if you want a decent budget phone, and it has meaningful upgrades over the Galaxy A22 5G that make it a no-brainer. The A22 5G is showing its age, and it doesn't quite measure up to the A23 in key areas: it lags in day-to-day use, the cameras are mediocre, and you don't get full-fledged One UI. Considering there's a $50 difference between the two devices, you're better off buying the Galaxy A23 5G.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.