Skip to main content

Digital Trends may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site. Why trust us?

How the Galaxy S23 copies the iPhone, and why it’s great

Samsung has courted a ton of flak in the past for copying Apple, but in 2023, that penchant for imitating its archrival just might prove to be helpful for smartphone shoppers. Soon after revealing the asking price of the Galaxy S23 trio, Samsung announced that its previous flagship is officially getting a price cut — rather than getting axed from retail shelves.

Apple has been doing the same for years, and it has actually proved to be a wise move for everyone. With a lowered asking price worth a hundred dollars or more, buyers can digest the premium of spending on an iPhone with a lighter hit on their wallets. Of course, it also helps that buying a previous-generation iPhone doesn’t come with any serious FOMO, because Apple is usually quite modest with generation-over-generation upgrades.

Related Videos
Rear panel of Samsung Galaxy S22.
Samsung Galaxy S22 in white Digital Trends

This year, Samsung is serving Apple’s formula to Android phone enthusiasts. The Galaxy S22, which originally hit the shelves carrying a price tag of $799, will now be sold for $699 in the U.S. Assuming the track record of third-party sellers and retailers, you can expect the price to further go down. Should the average smartphone buyer care about the Galaxy S22 at its reduced price? Yes. More so in 2023, than ever.

A surprisingly good value

Almost every single time I am asked, “Which iPhone should I buy?,” I suggest splurging on a previous-gen iPhone instead of the pricier current-gen model. That’s because the differences aren’t huge in terms of hardware prowess. Plus, Apple keeps its phone running in tip-top shape with regular software updates for at least five to six years. Just over a week ago, Apple issued a software update for the decade-old iPhone 5S.

Of course, Samsung hasn’t ever done that, and it’s unlikely that Samsung will ever be able to match Apple in this department. But things have definitely improved. Actually, things have improved to an extent that you can put your trust in Samsung to keep your phone running smoothly for half a decade, at least for its flagships. For example, the Galaxy S23 will get four Android OS updates and general software updates for the next five years.

The display of the iPhone 13 as seen from an angle.
Dan Baker/ DigitalTrends

The Galaxy S22, which made its debut running Android 12, will be updated all the way up to Android 16. It currently runs Android 13, and from my own experience, I can say that the One UI 5 skin offers quite a rewarding smartphone experience.

As for the phone itself, I had a love-hate relationship with it when I initially reviewed it. The compact build is a refreshingly joyous experience, especially in a sea of Android slabs. The build materials are premium, the software is loaded with a ton of intuitive features, and the cameras are reliable.

My only gripe with the Galaxy S22 was its sub-par battery life and the heating problem. Over the past year, some system-level optimizations have been made, and both shortcomings have been resolved. But only to a certain extent. I used the Galaxy S22 for navigation in a car, and it lost about 30% battery in just over an hour.

Samsung Galaxy S22 punch hole display.
Digital Trends

However, if your smartphone usage doesn’t involve a ton of 4K video capture and in-car navigation, this phone should last you a day. Plus, the performance is top-notch. I reset my Galaxy S22 and enjoyed a few rounds of Call of Duty: Mobile at the peak graphics settings. To my pleasant surprise, the phone didn’t get toasty.

Plus, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip inside this phone is seriously fast. If you are interested in the Galaxy S22, rest assured that it will be able to handle anything you throw at it with ease, for the next few years.

Samsung enters the pit roaring

By slashing the Galaxy S22’s price down to $699, Samsung is matching the iPhone 13 right on Apple’s turf. If one were to compare the two yesteryear phones, Samsung’s device is a more compelling option, and it faces legitimate value heat only from Google’s excellent Pixel 7.

But let’s stick with Apple here. The pricier non-Pro iPhones don’t offer the convenience of a telephoto zoom camera. Over at Samsung’s side, the Galaxy S22’s camera performance is also surprisingly good. The output is good enough that the Galaxy S22 beat the OnePlus 10 Pro and its Hasselblad claims in almost all scenarios.

Holding the green Samsung Galaxy S23.
Joe Maring/Digital Trends

So, is the Galaxy S22 worth taking as a shooter for your next vacation? I’d say yes. In fact, it’s more versatile than the iPhone 14. The Samsung phone’s OLED screen is beautiful, and it offers the perk of a 120Hz refresh rate, which is again a convenience that you only get on iPhones worth a thousand dollars, or more. It’s the ecosystem benefits where Apple has a meaningful upper hand.

Where does this leave Samsung’s budget-centric Fan Edition? We don’t know yet, but buyers won’t mind if it goes away this year. Take, for example, the Galaxy S21 FE 5G, which also arrived carrying a $699 price tag, but still served a watered-down flagship experience.

With the Galaxy S22, Android flagship enthusiasts won’t have to live with a sub-flagship or budget flagship experience, and won’t have to pay top dollars for it, either. The new Galaxy S23 is still really enticing, but if you don’t have that kind of cash to spend, the S22 is now a better deal than ever before. In a nutshell, Samsung’s flagships are getting even more affordable with the Apple ‘copycat’ strategy. It’s a move that ultimately tilts the balance in favor of the buyer, and that is a forgivable imitation scheme.

Editors' Recommendations

Surprise Apple sale brings big discounts on iPad and Apple Watch
Data from a workout showing on the screen of the Apple Watch Series 8.

There are plenty of great discounts on Apple devices over at Amazon right now. That means substantial price cuts on the latest Apple Watch range as well as plenty of iPads too. If you're keen to learn more, we're here to help. We've picked out some of our favorite Apple deals going on right now. Check them out below to see how you can save big on highly sought-after devices.
Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) -- $220, was $249

The Apple Watch SE (2nd Gen) is a marvel at this price. Easily one of the best smartwatch deals, it covers everything you could need. You gain comprehensive yet easy-to-use fitness tracking thanks to Apple's Activity Rings system and steady stream of challenges and rewards. It's fast too thanks to having the latest processor. Despite that, you still get to enjoy a two-day battery life with the watch easily comfortable to wear all day long. It lacks the ECG and blood oxygen sensors of the Series 8 along with the always-on display, but that won't be an issue for everyone. The key thing is you get an excellent smartwatch at a great price.

Read more
iPhone 15: release date and price predictions, leaks, rumors, and more
iPhone 15 render by 4RMD

As great as the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are, they're both already a few months old at this point, and the rumors about the iPhone 15 are well underway. We still have several months before the iPhone 15 models drop, though, as Apple usually makes iPhone announcements in the fall. In other words, there's still a lot of time for rumors to circulate around the internet.

We're keeping all of the reports and rumors of the iPhone 15 here in a single place for your convenience, but do remember to keep in mind that these are all still just speculation. Nothing is final until Apple confirms it during an official announcement. Still, a lot of the rumors give us an idea of what to expect each year, which is unfortunate if you like surprises. Here's everything we know of the iPhone 15 so far!
iPhone 15: models

Read more
The Galaxy Z Flip 5 may get a feature we’ve never seen before
Render of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 with two cover screens.

As we get closer to the launch of the Galaxy Z Flip 5, details have started surfacing more regularly. In February, we learned that the cover display will be much larger than the one found on the Galaxy Z Flip 4. Now, rumors seem to suggest that the new foldable will be the first of its kind sporting two discrete cover displays.

According to renders shared in a recent video by mobile insider SuperRoader, the Galaxy Z Flip 5's dual cover screens will greatly differentiate the foldable from the rest of its kind. The two screens are vastly different in size, and seem to serve two distinct functions.

Read more