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The best Samsung Galaxy S23 alternatives: 6 phones to consider before you buy

The Galaxy S23 series is finally here, but there are plenty of other options on the market.
By

Published onJune 25, 2023

Google Pixel 7 Pro
MSRP: $899.00
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Positives
Unique design
Flexible, high-class camera setup
Upgraded fingerprint scanner and modem
Clean Pixel UI software and exclusive features
Long-term software support
Incredible value
Negatives
Tensor G2 still runs hot at times
Slow charging
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
MSRP: $1,199.99
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Positives
Latest S Pen functionality
Stunning screen
Versatile cameras
Negatives
Only average battery life
Speakers could be louder
RAM reduced
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
MSRP: $1,099.00
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Positives
Excellent display
Powerful SoC
Advanced UI experience
Negatives
Expensive
Very heavy
Relatively slow charging
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
MSRP: $449.99
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Positives
Galaxy S23-inspired design
Color-rich, fluid display
Strong primary camera
Solid everyday performance
Good battery life
Excellent update commitment
Negatives
Prone to extreme camera saturation
Cheap plastic frame
No wireless charging
No 4K/60fps video
The Bottom Line.
The Galaxy A54 5G bridges the gap between Samsung's mid-range phones to its flagships by delivering the best of both worlds with only a few concessions. It rocks a premium design with a flexible camera setup and one of the best software commitments in the Android game, all while hanging onto its $449 price tag for yet another generation.Read full review...
OnePlus 11
MSRP: $699.99
Check price
Positives
Eye-catching design and finish
Stunning display
Powerful peak performance
Blazing-fast wired charging
Excellent software update promise
Negatives
No wireless charging
Hit or miss camera colors
Awful low-light shots
Mediocre zoom capabilities
Limited water resistance
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
MSRP: $999.00
Check price
Positives
Improved battery life and faster charging
Efficient performance
Solid primary camera
Negatives
Crease is still visible
No telephoto camera
Still not a battery champ

Samsung has launched the Galaxy S23 series, and the three phones look like incremental upgrades over 2022’s Galaxy S22 trio. Some of the biggest upgrades include a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset across the board, larger batteries for the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus, and a 200MP main camera for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. Otherwise, you’ve still got a long software update pledge, the same cameras on the base and Plus models, and the same pricing as last year (in the US anyway).

But what if you don’t want the Galaxy S23 series for some reason? Maybe they’re tough to find in your market or you’re not a fan of Samsung’s One UI skin. Perhaps you just want to investigate all your options. Either way, we’ve got you covered with a look at the best Samsung Galaxy S23 alternatives on the market.

See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Large AMOLED display
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 power
Bigger battery
See price at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
New 200MP main camera
Beautiful display
S Pen functionality

Buying the right Galaxy S23 alternative

The new Samsung flagships stand out thanks to the best update commitment on the market, some premium extras (e.g. IP68 rating, wireless charging, telephoto cameras), a supremely powerful processor, and wide availability. Even so, there are a few phones that pull ahead from the Galaxy S23 range in some ways.

The Google Pixel 7 series is perhaps the best rival in this sense, serving up great camera quality, a slick take on Android, a long update pledge, and a host of AI-powered features. Better yet, the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro are more competitively priced as well.

The best Galaxy S23 alternatives

Looking to make a quick decision? Here are our top alternative picks. Keep reading to know why we picked each phone on this list.

  • Google Pixel 7 series: The Pixel 7 range lags behind Samsung when it comes to sheer horsepower and availability, but it's also much cheaper to compensate. That results in some of the best value Android phones you can buy today. Both phones are powered by the capable Tensor G2 SoC, enabling offline dictation, nifty camera modes, and more. Toss in AI-powered calling features, relatively large batteries, and prompt system updates and you've got great handsets.
  • Samsung Galaxy S22 series: Like the idea of a Samsung flagship but want something a little cheaper? Well, the Galaxy S22 series can be had for a cheaper price now that the S23 range is out. You're still getting plenty of horsepower, great screens, versatile cameras, and a five-year update pledge. The biggest downside is that the base model has a really small battery, so you might want to consider the Plus or Ultra models instead.
  • Apple iPhone 14 series: Wondering if the grass is greener on the other side? The iPhone 14 series remains a safe bet. And even though the standard and Plus iPhones are disappointing upgrades over the iPhone 13 series, the Pro models got many key upgrades (e.g. Dynamic Island, new chipset, 48MP cameras). Either way, these phones are worth considering if you want more Apple hardware down the line.
  • Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: The Galaxy A54 5G is here, and it brings the core Samsung experience at a much lower price point. That Exynos 1380 processor is a solid improvement over last year's A53, while you're also getting features like an IP67 rating, 120Hz OLED screen, and a big battery. In saying so, the plastic design, lack of wireless charging, and underwhelming camera experience drag things down.
  • OnePlus 11: OnePlus joined Samsung as one of the first brands to launch its flagship smartphone in early 2023. The OnePlus 11's highlights include a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset, a 5,000mAh battery with super-fast charging speeds, and a competitive price tag. Unfortunately, OnePlus has skimped on some premium features to achieve a lower price.
  • Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: Looking for a Samsung phone that's a little more exciting than the Galaxy S23 range? The Z Flip 4 might be for you, owing to its clamshell foldable smartphone design. The phone isn't a one-trick pony though, bringing water resistance, a powerful processor, and nifty Flex Mode functionality.


Google Pixel 7 series: The best all-around Galaxy S23 series alternative

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Google Pixel 7
40%off
Google Pixel 7
Tensor G2 processor
Upgraded camera
Low price
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Google Pixel 7 Pro
55%off
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Best Google camera
High-quality display
Big battery

The Pixel 7 range is perhaps Google’s mobile business at its very best, delivering two critically acclaimed offerings. The Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro have a number of features in common, such as the Tensor G2 processor, IP68 water/dust resistance, wireless charging, and a slick take on Android. Google also commits to three major OS updates and five years of security patches, matching Samsung in that regard.

As you’d expect, the Pro model is the more premium device. It stands out thanks to features like a QHD+ 120Hz screen, a 5,000mAh battery, and a great 48MP 5x telephoto zoom camera. Meanwhile, the vanilla device offers a 90Hz FHD+ panel, a 4,355mAh battery, and no dedicated zoom lens.

The phones aren’t perfect, it must be said. Google’s Tensor G2 might deliver loads of AI-powered features, but it lacks grunt compared to even some of 2022’s chipsets. Furthermore, charging speeds are simply atrocious compared to even Samsung, let alone the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus. Still, the phones are hard to beat at a $599 starting price. You don’t get a zoom lens on the cheaper Pixel 7, but the lower price compensates for that.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and Google Pixel 7 Pro
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority

Pros

  • Good commitment to updates
  • Clean, slick take on Android
  • Distinctive designs
  • Great camera quality
  • Attractive pricing
  • Good zoom on Pixel 7 Pro

Cons

  • Extremely slow wired charging
  • Not as powerful as Galaxy S23
  • Phones tend to heat up

Samsung Galaxy S22 series: Last-gen flagship for a bargain

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Samsung Galaxy S22
23%off
Samsung Galaxy S22
Compact design
Impressive camera setup
Unrivaled software support
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
13%off
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Excellent display
Powerful camera package
Top-notch performance
See price at Amazon
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
46%off
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Ultra-premium build quality
Gorgeous screen
Solid performance

You might think it’s odd to see last year’s Galaxy S22 phones on this list. But we believe they’re the best Galaxy S23 alternatives if you value Samsung’s hardware, software, and associated services. These three handsets also offer high-end features like a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 SoC, a great software update pledge, an IP68 rating, and wireless charging.

As you’d expect, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is the star of the show. It stands out from the other two devices by serving up a 108MP main camera, a pair of telephoto shooters (3x and 10x), a 5,000mAh battery, QHD+ resolution screen, and an S Pen slot.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus share the same triple camera system (50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto), but differ in terms of display size and battery capacity. It’s worth noting that the base S22 has a 3,700mAh battery, which is certainly on the small side for a flagship Android phone.

Moreover, our Galaxy S23 review found that this year’s model delivers far better battery life. In fact, it delivers a level of endurance well beyond what you’d expect from a minor increase in capacity. Still, the entire S22 range should be a little cheaper now that the S23 series has launched.

Samsung Galaxy S22 family in blue on wood
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

Pros

  • Great software update pledge
  • Good performance
  • Versatile cameras
  • Water resistance and wireless charging
  • S22 Ultra has a fantastic long-range zoom lens

Cons

  • Speakers are a little disappointing
  • Standard S22 has weak battery life

Apple iPhone 14 series: The best non-Android alternative

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Apple iPhone 14 Plus
Apple iPhone 14 Plus
SOS satellite system
Updated 12MP camera
Large-display base model iPhone
See price at Amazon
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Apple iPhone 14 Pro
Premium design and build
Upgraded main camera
Dynamic Island
See price at Amazon
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max
Unbeatable software support
Powerful SoC
Dynamic Island

2022’s Apple iPhone 14 series actually feels like two different iPhone families. The standard iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus use Apple’s older but still powerful A15 Bionic SoC, retain the wide notch, and stick with a 12MP main camera.

Meanwhile, the iPhone 14 Pro devices bring major upgrades like the A16 Bionic processor, a display cutout that Apple calls Dynamic Island, and 48MP main cameras. Furthermore, the Pro models offer a telephoto camera and 120Hz refresh rates too, which are both missing from the standard variants.

All four iPhones also enjoy a host of other perks, such as IP68 water/dust resistance, wireless charging, and access to Apple’s ecosystem of services and tight hardware integration. So those curious about the world outside Android can do a lot worse than this. These phones certainly go up against Samsung’s best smartphones for 2023.

iPhone 14 Pro in hand
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Pros

  • Dynamic Island cutout for Pro models
  • Access to Apple’s ecosystem
  • Speedy performance
  • Unparalleled commitment to updates
  • Flexible cameras with top-notch video quality

Cons

  • iOS is more restrictive than Android
  • Lightning port rather than USB-C
  • Ho-hum battery life on smaller models
  • Smaller models lack 120Hz screens

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G: The best cheap Galaxy S23 alternative

Samsung Galaxy A54 5GSamsung Galaxy A54 5G
AA Recommended
Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Galaxy S23-inspired design • Color-rich, fluid display • Excellent update commitment
MSRP: $449.99
The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G packs a Galaxy S23-like experience into an affordable shell
The Galaxy A54 5G bridges the gap between Samsung's mid-range phones to its flagships. It rocks a premium design with a flexible camera setup and one of the best software commitments in the Android game, all while hanging onto its affordable $449 price tag for yet another generation.

Like the idea of a Samsung phone and Samsung software but don’t want to splash out on a flagship Galaxy phone? That’s where the mid-range Galaxy A54 5G comes in.

Samsung’s mid-tier Galaxy phone offers some flagship-like features, such as an IP67 rating, a 120Hz OLED screen, and a 5,000mAh battery. The latter is actually bigger than the S23 and S23 Plus. You’re also getting the same great software update commitment, namely four major OS updates and five years of security patches. The phone even brings a decent Exynos 1380 processor that’s an improvement over the A53’s chipset, although it’s nowhere near the level of even last year’s high-end phones.

There are a few downsides to buying this phone, though. You miss out on wireless charging and a telephoto camera, for one. The phone also ships with 25W wired charging, which is in line with the Galaxy S23 but still painfully slow. We also thought the plastic design was a bit of a disappointment.

samsung galaxy a54 camera hero
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Pros

  • IP67 rating
  • Long-term update pledge
  • Great screen
  • Feature-filled software
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • No telephoto camera
  • No 4K/60fps video support

OnePlus 11: The best Galaxy S23 alternative if you want fast charging

OnePlus 11OnePlus 11
OnePlus 11
Powerful peak performance • Blazing-fast wired charging • Excellent software promise
MSRP: $699.99
OnePlus is simplifying its lineup and packing all the goods into one flagship device
The OnePlus 11 is all about speed, thanks to 80W wired charging and Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset. It also features a third-generation Hasselblad camera setup, an IP64 rating, and OnePlus' most aggressive pricing in years.

OnePlus 11 has made its way to global markets at a rather attractive $699 starting price point. That’s a significant reduction compared to previous years, when OnePlus tried to compete in the big leagues.

Much like the Galaxy S23 series, OnePlus has brought a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor as well (albeit at a lower clock speed than the S23). So games and other demanding use cases shouldn’t be a problem here. The new phone also serves up highlights like a 6.7-inch QHD+ OLED screen, a 5,000mAh battery, and 100W wired charging. We’re also happy to see the phone getting four years of software updates and an additional year of Android security updates.

The OnePlus 11 isn’t too shabby when it comes to cameras either, offering a 50MP main camera, 48MP ultrawide lens, and 32MP 2x telephoto shooter. Unfortunately, there are downsides like the lack of wireless charging and a below-average IP64 water resistance (compared to the Galaxy S23’s flagship-grade IP68 rating). But all said and done, $699 is a very aggressive price considering you’re getting a much larger display and equally capable internals as the S23 Plus and higher.

OnePlus 11 vs Samsung Galaxy S23 rear panels placed on a book
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority

Pros

  • High-resolution screen
  • Big battery and fast charging
  • Flexible camera system
  • Long-term update commitment

Cons

  • No wireless charging
  • Sub-par water resistance

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4: The best foldable alternative

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
AA Editors Choice
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4
Efficient performance • Solid primary camera • Compact design
MSRP: $999.00
The affordable foldable
While it still costs a pretty penny, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is much more affordable than a lot of other foldable phones. It also has a retro vibe to it due to its clamshell design. But there's more to the phone than looks alone — it also packs plenty of power, a solid main camera, and a lot more.

What if you want something that stands out in terms of design? Well, Samsung has a Galaxy S23 alternative for you in the Galaxy Z Flip 4. The clamshell foldable bucks the trend of gigantic phones by offering a pocket-friendly form factor. But there’s more to the Z Flip 4 than a compact design.

Samsung’s late 2022 device also offers Flex Mode, using the form factor to offer features like tripod functionality and a kickstand of sorts for video playback and video calls. Moreover, you’ve got a still-speedy Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, a 6.7-inch FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, and a small cover display for alerts.

However, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 isn’t without its flaws either. You’ll particularly notice the below-average 3,700mAh battery capacity while the dual-rear camera system lacks a zoom lens. Nevertheless, you’re still getting one of the best Samsung phones with the familiar One UI software and a long-term update pledge. Thankfully, we frequently see this device on sale for way below its $999 launch price. We’ve also compared the Galaxy Z Flip 4 vs S23 Ultra if you’re curious to see how they stack up.

samsung galaxy z flip 4 folded camera interface
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Pros

  • Pocket-friendly design
  • Still powerful
  • Software takes advantage of form factor
  • Long update pledge
  • Water-resistant
  • Wireless charging

Cons

  • Cameras could be better
  • Display crease is quite prominent
  • More expensive than base Galaxy S23

That’s it for our list of the best Galaxy S23 alternatives on the market! Are there any picks we missed? Then let us know below!

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