The Galaxy A23 5G is a viable alternative to the mid-range A53, offering a similar set of features for under $300. You get a decent 120Hz LCD panel that's great in daily use, and it is backed by reliable hardware and a large 5000mAh battery that lasts nearly two days. The software is the best you'll find in this category, and the phone will get more updates than its rivals. That said, there are a few trade-offs; the cameras aren't particularly great, there's no 4K video recording, no ingress protection, and you miss out on basics like Wi-Fi 6 connectivity and stereo sound.
- 120Hz LCD panel
- Outstanding battery life
- Reliable in daily use
- Excellent software features
- Poor camera quality
- No ingress protection
- No 4K video recording
- No stereo sound
Just the basics
The Galaxy A22 5G costs less than the A23 — coming in at under $200 — but you miss out on a lot of features. The 90Hz LCD screen isn't quite on the same level, the phone is prone to lag in daily use, and the cameras are nowhere up to the mark, and you miss out on essentials like 4K video recording. There's no glass protection or Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and the design looks dated. Unless you absolutely need a phone for under $200, you should get the Galaxy A23 5G.
- 90Hz LCD panel
- Multi-day battery life
- Feature-rich software
- Cameras not up to the mark
- Lags in daily use
- No ingress protection
- No 4K video recording
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 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.
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
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.
|Galaxy A23 5G
|Galaxy A22 5G
|Android 12, One UI 4.1
|Android 11, One UI Core 3.1
|6.6-inch 120Hz PLS LCD, 2408 x 1080, Gorilla Glass 5
|6.6-inch 90Hz TFT LCD, 2400 x 1080
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 695, 6nm
|MediaTek Dimensity 700, 7nm
|Rear camera 1
|50MP f/1.8 OIS
|Rear camera 2
|Rear camera 3
|Rear camera 4
|Sub-6 5G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.1
|Sub-6 5G, Wi-Fi ac, Bluetooth 5.0
|5000mAh battery, 25W wired charging
|5000mAh battery, 15W wired charging
|165.4 x 76.9 x 8.4mm
|167.2 x 76.4 x 9mm
|White, 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?
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.
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.
The Galaxy A23 5G is the best 5G-enabled phone for under $300 you can get in the U.S. at the moment. It has reliable hardware, exhaustive software features combined with long-term updates, a smooth 120Hz screen, and incredible battery life. The large screen is great for streaming content and playing games, and overall, you are getting a good value here.
Just the basics
The Galaxy A22 5G is a little more affordable than the A23 5G, but that comes with considerable disadvantages. The phone lags in daily use, the cameras are unusable in most situations, there's no Gorilla Glass protection for the screen, and you don't get all of Samsung's software features. Yes, it gives you 5G connectivity for under $200, but you should consider paying a little more and getting the Galaxy A23 5G.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.