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Why the Galaxy S23 is the small phone you’ve been waiting for

I think we have the wrong idea of a “compact phone.” Sure, the iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 13 mini fit the bill with their 5.42-inch displays, but it’s 2023 – the era of content consumption. And In my opinion, any screen under 6 inches is too small for a regular person watching videos on their phone.

The definition of “big” phones has changed in recent years. In 2013, when the Galaxy Note 3 launched with its 5.7-inch display, it was considered huge. But a decade later, with the advancements in shrinking the bezels and phones getting bigger, I’m here telling you how a phone with a 6.1-inch display is the compact phone you’ve been waiting for.

No battery problems here

Galaxy S23 front in hands.
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Apple made a small phone for two years. The first one, iPhone 12 mini, had terrible battery life. Apple improved it with the iPhone 13 mini, but it’s still nowhere near the latest regular iPhone 14. With a 6.1-inch screen size, you get a bigger body than a 5.4-inch phone. As a result, the battery lasts longer — likely all day if you are not a power user.

I’ve been using the Galaxy S23 for a week, and the battery life is more than I expected. The phone lasts me an entire day when I’m mostly on Wi-Fi. The battery depletes faster when I’m traveling and reaches 20% by 7:00 p.m. when I get back home, which is what I was getting with big flagship phones like the Galaxy S22 Ultra from last year. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy is really making a difference, even on the smallest of the three Galaxy S23 series phones.

A compact phone that doesn’t compromise

Galaxy S23 in hand
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

Another aspect of opting for a small phone is that you also have to compromise on the camera capabilities. For instance, you get a main camera and an ultrawide sensor on iPhone 14 and a slightly bigger Pixel 7. You miss out on the telephoto camera, which is more important to me than the ultrawide camera. The 3x optical zoom lens lets me explore new perspectives and click even better portrait shots of animals.

The Galaxy S23 has all three cameras – primary, telephoto, and ultrawide. You don’t miss out on the camera flexibility. It’s obviously not as powerful as the Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it’s the most versatile camera on a small phone in 2023.

Another point is the display. Usually, if you are buying a small phone you don’t get a high refresh rate display. Case in point – the iPhone 14 with a 60Hz display and the Pixel 7 at 90Hz. But the Galaxy S23 offers a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate on its AMOLED screen. It’s the same experience as its bigger model, the Galaxy S23 Plus. It makes the UI transitions smoother and the whole phone experience faster.

The Galaxy S23 isn’t an afterthought

Samsung Galaxy S23 display
Prakhar Khanna / Digital Trends

The Galaxy S23 is the only compact phone you can buy in 2023 without compromising on screen, battery, or cameras. I’m not OK with the fact if I opt for a small phone, I miss out on flagship phone features. Samsung isn’t treating its base flagship model like an afterthought by limiting basic features like a 120Hz refresh rate or good battery life and a versatile camera setup to the bigger phones – something most other companies are doing.

If you are looking to buy a compact phone in 2023, you need to first come to terms with the fact that you can’t get any phone below 6 inches in screen size. If you are OK with that and want the smallest possible phone without compromises, Galaxy S23 is the way to go.

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Prakhar Khanna
Prakhar writes news, reviews and features for Digital Trends. He is an independent tech journalist who has been a part of the…
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