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Samsung Galaxy S23 series battery life: Here's what you need to know

Samsung's upcoming flagships pack some welcome and unexpected improvements.
By
February 1, 2023

Samsung’s hotly anticipated Galaxy S23 smartphones are finally here and available to pre-order. As with previous generations, the South Korean giant has launched three devices this year, each competing in a different price class. We praised the Galaxy S22 series for delivering a well-rounded Android experience last year, but we were left a bit disappointed with the battery life results.

Luckily, we now know that Samsung isn’t making the same mistake in 2023. So in this article, let’s break down what you can expect from the three Galaxy S23 smartphones in terms of battery life.

$799.99 at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23
Samsung Galaxy S23
Compact size
Brighter screen
Larger battery
$999.99 at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Large AMOLED display
Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 power
Bigger battery
$1,199.99 at Samsung
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
New 200MP main camera
Beautiful display
S Pen functionality
QUICK ANSWER

The Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus feature larger batteries than their respective predecessors. And thanks to other hardware changes, we'll likely see improved battery life across all three models. As for charging speeds, Samsung is playing it safe and sticking to the same 25W and 45W maximums as last year, depending on the model. Read on to learn more.

Samsung Galaxy S23 series battery specs

samsung galaxy s23 lineup selfie cameras
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Last year, Samsung inexplicably reduced the battery capacities of the regular and Plus Galaxy S22 models. Unsurprisingly, many reviewers and users reported a nearly proportional drop in real-world endurance. Luckily, Samsung has issued a course correction with this year’s Galaxy S23 series.

Samsung Galaxy S23Samsung Galaxy S23 PlusSamsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Battery capacity
Samsung Galaxy S23
3,900mAh
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
4,700mAh
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
5,000mAh
Wired charging
Samsung Galaxy S23
25W fast charging, USB PD PPS
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
45W fast charging, USB PD PPS

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
45W fast charging, USB PD PPS

Wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy S23
Qi wireless charging, up to 15W
4.5W reverse wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Qi wireless charging, up to 15W
4.5W reverse wireless charging
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Qi wireless charging, up to 15W
4.5W reverse wireless charging
Charging adapter
Samsung Galaxy S23
Not included in-box, sold separately
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Not included in-box, sold separately
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Not included in-box, sold separately

Galaxy S23 series battery life: What to expect?

samsung galaxy s22 ultra battery
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Galaxy S23

The vanilla Samsung Galaxy S23 features a 3,900mAh battery — that’s up 200mAh compared to its predecessor.

In our Galaxy S22 review last year, we criticized it for delivering sub-par battery life — often under four hours of screen-on time in our testing. Even if you stayed away from demanding tasks like navigation or gaming, the phone would rarely last the entire day. The capacity bump in this year’s Galaxy S23 will offer significantly more headroom. But we’re expecting more tangible battery life gains to come from Qualcomm’s brand new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.

The vanilla Galaxy S23 doesn't just get a larger battery, it also benefits from a more efficient chip.

According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is roughly 40% more efficient than its predecessor. The company delivered similar efficiency gains with its mid-cycle Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 last year. And with this new chip also being made on a TSMC node (rather than Samsung Foundry), we see no reason to doubt Qualcomm’s efficiency claims. We’re also optimistic because the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 helped Samsung deliver impressive battery results on the similarly petite Galaxy Z Flip 4 just a few months ago. Stay tuned for our full review where we’ll put the Galaxy S23’s battery through its paces.

Galaxy S23 Plus

The middle of the pack Galaxy S23 Plus houses a 4,700mAh battery — a step up from the Galaxy S22 Plus’ 4,500mAh capacity. That’s a smaller upgrade in percentage terms compared to the base Galaxy S23, but it’s still a welcome improvement.

We weren’t nearly as critical of the Galaxy S22 Plus as the vanilla model last year. In fact, it often exceeded our expectations, especially compared to the other two models. Even on days with a screen-on time of seven hours, the S22 Plus made it to bedtime with roughly 40% of its charge still intact. That’s enough to last you another half day of light use.

This year, the larger battery in the Galaxy S23 Plus, coupled with the efficiency improvements from the chipset, will likely result in chart-topping endurance figures.

Galaxy S23 Ultra

Unlike the previous two models, Samsung didn’t give its top-of-the-line Galaxy S23 Ultra a larger battery. At 5,000mAh, however, it already leads most of the flagship smartphone market.

The Ultra model features the largest battery, but it might not deliver the best runtime.

We’ve historically found that the Ultra model doesn’t always deliver the longest battery life. The large 6.8-inch QHD+ display might be the culprit here, so consider the Galaxy S23 Plus if you want to squeeze every last bit of longevity. That said, the S23 Ultra uses the latest AMOLED tech from Samsung Display, which could result in lower power consumption and longer screen-on times between charges.

Furthermore, most people won’t feel let down by the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s battery life. The efficiency gains from Qualcomm’s improved chipset this year will likely help this smartphone just as much as the vanilla Galaxy S23. In our Galaxy S22 Ultra review last year, we found the phone ended most days with 20% charge left over, delivering an average screen-on time of 6.5 hours in mixed usage conditions.

With this generation, Samsung has also partnered with Qualcomm to use its chips globally. In other words, the European market won’t have to deal with a potentially inferior Exynos chip as we’ve seen in previous generations. You can expect this single change to result in a big battery life uplift going from a European-spec S22 Ultra to the S23 Ultra.

Does the Galaxy S23 series charge any faster?

samsung galaxy s23 s pen and ports
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

If fast charging matters a lot to you, the Galaxy S23 series might disappoint you. The vanilla Galaxy S23 can handle just 25W of charging power, while the higher-end models peak higher at 45W. These are the same figures as last year’s Galaxy S22 series, meaning a full charge will take just over an hour on all three models.

It’s also worth noting that we found little difference between Samsung’s 25W vs 45W fast charging in the past. More specifically, the faster adapter shaved just seven minutes off a full charge on the Galaxy S22 Ultra. You’ll also have to bring your own Super Fast Charging adapter as Samsung won’t provide one in the box. Alternatively, you can use any third-party brick that supports the USB PD PPS standard.

As for wireless charging, Samsung continues to rely on the universal Qi wireless charging standard, which maxes out at 15W. A full charge will take you somewhere between 90 and 120 minutes. We can’t blame Samsung here as the Wireless Power Consortium is still working on the Qi2 charging standard and higher power profiles.

The Galaxy S23 smartphones also feature reverse wireless charging, or as Samsung calls it: Wireless Power share. The feature allows you to charge another device wirelessly, at a maximum speed of 4.5W. While that’s too slow to fill up another smartphone, it’s handy for short top-ups and charging smaller devices like wearables.

You’ll have to wait over three hours to fully charge a Galaxy Watch 5 or similar wearable using Samsung’s Wireless power sharing. Still, it’s better than nothing — especially if you forget to bring a specific cable or charger while on vacation. 

Galaxy S23’s battery tech vs the competition

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra vs Google Pixel 7 Pro
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

The Galaxy S23 Plus and S23 Ultra will almost certainly deliver better results than their predecessors, but you’ll have to wait for our review to know for sure. But at the very least, they match most other flagship smartphones on the market.

While the vanilla Galaxy S23’s higher capacity battery will also yield a small improvement over last year’s model, it’s unlikely to top the charts. In the compact smartphone space alone, we observed exceptional battery life from the similarly-sized Asus Zenfone 9, thanks to its larger battery. And if you don’t mind a taller display, the Sony Xperia 5 IV delivers even better endurance with its 5,000mAh battery.

The larger Galaxy S23 models offer competitive battery performance, but the vanilla model hangs in balance.

You also won’t find the Galaxy S23 series breaking any fast charging records. While we appreciate Samsung’s continued commitment to the universal USB PD PPS protocol, most flagship smartphones exceed 25W these days. That’s also true for the larger models, which max out at 45W instead.

For reference, the OnePlus 11 can pull 100W from the wall thanks to Oppo’s proprietary SuperVOOC charging technology. That’s fast enough to fully charge up the smartphone’s 5,000mAh battery within 25 minutes. Similarly, the Xiaomi 13 Pro charges at a blistering 120W when plugged in or 50W wirelessly. And unlike Samsung, both companies also ship a charging adapter in the box — no separate purchase necessary.

That said, if you’re coming from an Apple or Google smartphone, you won’t find any reason to complain. All three Galaxy S23 models charge faster than the Pixel 7 and iPhone 14 series, even if it’s only a slim victory.

Overall, Samsung’s 2023 flagships fall short of many enthusiasts’ lofty expectations but still deliver strong battery life and a decent baseline charging performance.


FAQs

No, Samsung does not include a charger in the box with any Galaxy S23 series smartphone. You’ll have to buy one separately or use a third-party USB PD PPS adapter.

You don’t need to buy a new charger for the Galaxy S23 if you already own a Samsung Super Fast Charging adapter or a third-party USB PD PPS adapter.

Samsung says it no longer includes a charger in the box with its smartphones so that it can minimize its environmental impact as many users already own an adapter. Taking out the charging brick also allows Samsung to shrink its packaging and occupy less air or sea cargo space before the phone reaches consumers.