Samsung’s Galaxy M series is known for its more affordable, long-lasting devices. These were launched starting in 2019 as exclusive online devices and positioned a step lower than the Galaxy A series. But the newer models like this Galaxy M23 5G have slowly started to creep up in price and adopt some of the A series’ features.
I discovered many of the good things about this phone as I continued to use it, but I also saw the areas where it was lacking.
Let’s explore its better features first.
True to what the series is known for, the Samsung Galaxy M23 5G is built for users who want to go through long periods between charges. It’s possible to go two days before your next recharge. I can typically go through a day and a half before I need to recharge this handset.
It’s the kind of phone you don’t have to worry about if you leave your power bank at home for the day. The 5,000mAh battery gets 25W fast-charging support. And it typically takes me an hour and a half to fully charge this.
One way the Samsung Galaxy M23 5G adopts the more premium features of the Galaxy A series is with its design. You can easily mistake this for a Galaxy A series phone from the back. And I don’t mind that. Yes, it’ll make it hard to distinguish them, but this is Samsung playing to its strengths. Why fix a design that works? I really like this look the brand has settled with on its mid-range and premium devices, and since this is priced in the former, it makes sense.
But also, I’m just happy to see colors that aren’t just black and white on a phone. While those are fine shades, the Deep Green on the unit we were lent is quite striking. It makes it look pricier than it is, even if we still get the plastic shell on this phone. The other two colors the Galaxy M23 comes in include a bright Light Blue and an appealing Orange Copper that has some salmon tones that I love.
Access to multi-tasking features
An extra feature that I hope becomes a standard is an interconnectivity between devices. Through its collaboration with Microsoft, Samsung allows for easier use of its smartphones with Windows laptops. Yes, I know it’s an Android feature and works with many Android devices. But Samsung gets the extra feature (or at least these phones support the option) of Windows laptops being able to mirror your smartphone screen on your computer. And I’m happy to see a Galaxy M device have this option. I’ve typically seen this on the Galaxy A series’ more expensive phones (or, of course, the Galaxy S series).
I like using my phone without touching it, especially when I’m in my office. It makes it easier to transfer files from the smartphone to the laptop, which helps when I’m trying to write stories like this.
Trying to tick the other boxes (with some compromise)
Samsung tries to tick boxes with what you expect from a smartphone released in 2022. But you can also see it where compromises have been made. It has a 6.6-inch LCD display that, unfortunately, has a TFT panel. It’s not the clearest/crispest screen I’ve used from Samsung recently. But the brand tries to make up for it with a 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. So, that should automatically smoothen animations in the areas you need it to.
This is also an Android 12 device with One UI 4.1. But then it runs an older Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G chipset. And if having a 5G-ready handset with you, at least this phone is ready for that. The Samsung Galaxy M23 5G also comes with up to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of expandable storage, which thankfully offers a dedicated MicroSD slot so you can use the dual SIM slots freely.
For cameras, you get a 50-megapixel triple rear setup, including an 8-megapixel ultrawide and 2-megapixel macro. In front, there is an 8-megapixel selfie camera. The photos and videos don’t stand out, but they are serviceable for your online posting needs.
You can check out some sample photos here.
And a couple of sample videos, starting with this one:
But wait, there’s more…
I wish this was just a good rundown of the cool features on this phone. But that wouldn’t be fair to you if that’s all I talked about. For its price point, the lag is too much to ignore. It kind of negates the great features this phone offers. My test unit’s 4GB of RAM causes it to stall quite a bit, whether I switch between apps or try to load things like the camera for a quick snap.
If you are planning on picking this handset up, get the one with 6GB of RAM. I’m expecting the experience to be far better with that unit. In the Philippines, thankfully, the only option is the 6GB option. But if you’re looking at this device and you’re in Europe, the lowest price I’ve seen online for the 4GB variant (which seems to be the only one available there at EUR 229), which I still think is a bit too pricey given the performance issue I run into on this device.
I am confused about where the Galaxy M23 5G plays into Samsung’s overall smartphone strategy. The company already has some good Galaxy A series phones at this price point, making it tougher to recommend this particular one with its shortcomings. But if all you care about are the three initial things I mentioned, you might be happy with this one.
The Samsung Galaxy M23 5G (6GB) retails at PHP 15,490 (around USD 297).
If you have more questions about the phone, let us know on social media!
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