Galaxy S23 Plus vs iPhone 14 Plus: Which one's a plus and which one's a minus?

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Galaxy S23 Plus vs iPhone 14 Plus: Which one's a plus and which one's a minus?
Are you looking to jump ship between iPhone and Android, without breaking the bank on the most top tier flagships by the two brands that dominate those two worlds?

Well, now both Apple and Samsung are happy to offer "Plus" models of their flagship series for people who either want to do that, or simply want a big and reliable phone, and are not exactly sure whether the Galaxy S23 Plus, which was just announced, or the already-released iPhone 14 Plus is the better choice for them.

Luckily, we're here to compare those two Plus models, and see which one is right for you, and which one would be more of a minus for your needs. Let's get started!

Galaxy S23 Plus vs iPhone 14 Plus in a nutshell:
  • Android 13 vs iOS 16
  • The iPhone 14 Plus starts cheaper at $899, as opposed to the expected $999.99 for the S23 Plus
  • The S23 Plus has a third camera (Telephoto, with 3X optical zoom)
  • The S23 Plus' display refreshes at up to 120Hz, as opposed to the iPhone's slower 60Hz
  • The S23 Plus has extra power user features like split-screen multitasking and Samsung DeX
  • The S23 Plus starts at 256GB of storage, while the iPhone 14 Plus starts at 128GB
  • The S23 Plus is has a bigger battery and faster wired charging (45W, as opposed to the iPhone 14 Plus' 20W)
  • The iPhone 14 Plus unlocks with Face ID, while the Galaxy S23 uses an under-display fingerprint scanner (and thus has no notch cutting into its screen real estate, just a small selfie camera cutout)

Galaxy S23+, 256GB: save 10% on Amazon

The Galaxy S23+ with 256GB of built-in storage arrives at 10% off on Amazon. Additional savings can be unlocked with a trade-in.

iPhone 14 from Apple: save $30-$620 with a trade-in

You can buy the new iPhone 14 at Apple, where the device is sold at its regular price. If you wish to save, opt for a trade-in. Trade-in discounts vary between $30 and $620, depending on your device and its condition.

iPhone 14 Plus from Apple: save $30-$620 with trade-in

You can get the iPhone 14 Plus from Apple as well. You can save with an eligible device trade-in. The trade-in credit amounts to as much as $620.
$179
$799
Buy at Apple

AT&T iPhone 14 (256GB) at Walmart: save 23% right now

The iPhone 14 is now available to order with a carrier plan by AT&T Walmart. Prices for this device start at $21.64/month for 36 installments. The phone comes with 256GB of internal storage space. Currently, all color variants are available.
$779 04
$979
Buy at Walmart

Verizon iPhone 14 Plus: get it FREE with a new line activation

Get the iPhone 14 Plus for $00.00/mo with Verizon. This offer requires a new line activation and is only available online. It's available for a limited time.
$0 /mo
$24 99
Buy at Verizon

Table of Contents:


Design and Display Quality



As their names suggest, both the Galaxy S23 Plus and iPhone 14 Plus are basically larger variants of the base S23 and iPhone 14, respectively. And in today's world, where we do almost everything on our phones, it makes perfect sense to want a bigger phone, with a bigger screen, and… well, a bigger battery would be nice too, right?

Starting with the Galaxy S23 Plus, it's coming out on February 17, and features a very familiar design, identical to its predecessor, besides the fact that its camera island on the back was removed, and each of its three rear cameras are now their own separate element. We're talking about a minimalist, premium-feeling glass back with just a Samsung logo and three cameras on it. The Galaxy S23 Plus is a flat phone with a flat screen too, which many may appreciate.

Speaking of the screen, the S23 Plus sports a 6.6-inch AMOLED screen, and has a refresh rate of up to 120Hz. This bodes well for future users of this phone, as we know Samsung's AMOLED displays are beautiful, vivid, with great contrast and pitch blacks, and that 120Hz refresh rate means everything on it will appear super smooth. Good stuff!



As for the iPhone 14 Plus, its back is also premium-feeling and minimalist, with again just the Apple logo and a camera square adding a bit of character. The camera module here does have a defined rounded-corner square, so we could argue this is the less minimalist phone, oddly enough for Apple.

But on the front – we have an ever so slightly larger 6.7-inch screen, albeit a good chunk of it at the top is covered with a notch, so… Don't let those diagonal inches fool you; the Galaxy S23 Plus offers more screen real estate. Also, while the iPhone 14 Plus' display is OLED, meaning once again great contrast, colors and pitch blacks, it's only clocked at 60Hz refresh rate. So while you may not notice anything wrong with it at all, if you've never used a phone with a 120Hz screen, it does feel less fluid if you compare it with one side-by-side.

Both phones are IP68 dust and water resistant, meaning you should be fine using either one outside during a light rain, but still – it's advised to keep them away from beaches and pools.

In terms of weight, the Galaxy S23 Plus is 196 grams (6.91 oz), while the iPhone 14 Plus is ever so slightly heavier at 203 grams (7.16 oz).



Performance and Software



The Galaxy S23 Plus is packing the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and 8GB of RAM, which basically means – modern flagship specs. It also means we can expect smooth performance from the phone, during both everyday use, multitasking, and even gaming, but stay tuned for our full review when it comes out for concrete results. Will it have throttling or overheating issues, or will it perform like a champ without breaking a sweat? We're yet to find out, but the expectations are high.

On the software side, the Galaxy S23 Plus comes with Android 13 with Samsung's One UI 5 interface on top. One UI has traditionally been my personal favorite Android interface for its many, many great features, such as enhanced multitasking with both split screen apps and windowed apps, and best of all – Samsung DeX, which can turn your phone into a PC replacement when you hook it up to a TV or any external display.

Yes, on the software side, the S23 Plus comes packed with awesome features, and of course, we can't understate how nice One UI 5 and Android 13 look too. Both also allow for lots of user customization, from how your lock screen looks, to the primary colors of the entire Android system. And, as with any Android phone, you can even change your home screen launcher and download icon packs – the sky's the limit!



As for the iPhone 14 Plus, it's powered by the Apple 15 Bionic chip and 6GB of RAM. Now, that might not sound impressive on paper, but iOS is extremely optimized, so 6GB of RAM is plenty enough for smooth switching between apps and even editing videos or images on your phone without an issue. The A15 Bionic chip is also quite a beast, and in fact, one of the highest-performing processors on any phone. Since this phone is out, we've been able to benchmark its performance, so let's just look at the stats and let them speak for themselves:

Geekbench 5 SingleHigher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Plus1677
Samsung Galaxy S23+1542
Geekbench 5 MultiHigher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Plus4415
Samsung Galaxy S23+5062
3DMark Extreme(High)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Plus2817
Samsung Galaxy S23+3857
3DMark Extreme(Low)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Plus2244
Samsung Galaxy S23+2191


Whether you're gaming, working, or just using your phone for basic tasks, the iPhone 14 Plus will handle it all beautifully.

On the software side, we have Apple's iOS 16 running on this one. While iOS has traditionally been way less customizable than Android is, iOS 16 does bring a lot of lock screen customization features; it has home screen widgets too. And while it doesn't have huge desktop-mode features like Samsung DeX, iOS does come with a slew of great professional apps to get you started with any hobby you may have. Those include the iMovie video editor and GarageBand music-maker, plus office apps, and so on. Nice bonuses!

Camera



Check out our Samsung Galaxy S23 camera article for everything on that topic, but in short – the Galaxy S23 Plus packs three cameras. Those are a 50-megapixel main one, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, and a 10-megapixel telephoto camera with 3X optical zoom. So, a pretty versatile camera setup! And based on our experience with this phone's predecessor, the Galaxy S22 Plus, we can expect excellent camera performance from it, whether taking photos or capturing videos. Which, by the way, can now be up to 8K, 30FPS!

Main Camera - Good Light




As we can see from our daylight samples above, both phones are about on par when it comes to clarity, but they do process color differently. As usual, we get warmer colors from the iPhone 14 Plus, while the Galaxy S23 Plus delivers slightly colder, and more vibrant shades. Whether you prefer one or the other is up to you, but either way - you can't go wrong.

Ultra-wide




It's a similar story with the Plus phones' ultra-wide cameras - once again we get more vibrant images out of the Galaxy, while the iPhone delivers a bit bleak, yet arguably more true-to-life colors. Regardless, both phones' ultra-wide cameras are there to capture more from your surroundings, and they do so about on par, with perfect clarity.

Zoom




We have 3X and 10X zoom samples above, and besides the usual color difference, there's no contest when it comes to 10X zoom - the Galaxy S23 Plus shows the signs more clearly, with the text being readable. Meanwhile the iPhone 14 Plus struggles with clarity at 10X zoom.

Portrait Mode




Portrait Mode shots are absolutely great from both phones, with the differences between the two being miniscule. For example, the iPhone 14 Plus applies a tad stronger blur to the background, and if we don our detective hat and hold up a magnifying glass - the subject is slightly more sharply cut in that second sample, which is desirable.

Selfies




Video and microphone quality


Video Thumbnail

And last but definitely not least, we've done a video quality test with both phones, which you can check out above. Once again, we can see warmer hues from the iPhone 14 Plus, colder from the S23 Plus. In terms of clarity and microphone quality, neither disappoints. But notably, we can see what big of a difference the 12x zoom on the Galaxy does, and for some people - it's going to be a huge advantage to have.

Audio Quality


It appears that Samsung has improved the Galaxy S23 Plus' speakers when compared to its predecessors, which is good news. The setup itself is the same - a bottom-firing speaker, plus the earpiece chiming in, creating a stereo effect when gaming or watching movies in landscape. Now, Samsung's phones, unfortunately, have always been a bit disappointing in the sound department, when compared to iPhones, sounding a bit more tinny. But stay tuned for our full review, where we'll find out exactly how much of an improvement the Galaxy S23 speakers are.

And as for the iPhone 14 Plus, it also packs a bottom firing speaker, plus an earpiece, but that speaker actually kicks out loud, full sound with even some bass, so gaming and movie-watching feels a bit more impactful and satisfying.

And of course, neither of those phones have a headphone jack, if that's even worth mentioning anymore. But you can use all of your favorite Bluetooth headphones or speakers, or, plan B – get a dongle for that.

Battery Life and Charging



The Galaxy S23 Plus is packing a 4,700 mAh battery, which is bigger than its predecessor's 4,500 mAh battery, so that's good news when it comes to our battery life expectations – it should be improved. In terms of charging speeds, the Galaxy S23 Plus has 45W wired charging, and 10W wireless charging.

As for the iPhone 14 Plus, it packs a smaller 4,325 mAh battery, slower 20W wired charging, but slightly faster 15W wireless charging.

Video Streaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Plus10h 53 min
Samsung Galaxy S23+8h 15 min
Web Browsing(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Plus14h 51 min
Samsung Galaxy S23+16h 37 min
3D Gaming(hours)Higher is better
Apple iPhone 14 Plus8h 18 min
Samsung Galaxy S23+6h 47 min


Our battery life test results (shown above) give us a clear image of how variously the two phones perform in different use case scenarios. The iPhone 14 Plus beats the Galaxy S23 Plus in our video playback test, yet the Galaxy beats the iPhone in our 3D gaming test, which is much more intensive on a phone. Regardless, most users should easily get two days out of either phone, before needing to charge, with light to average usage.

Specs Comparison



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