Smartphone photography has evolved immensely over the years. The same can be accredited to advancements in camera technology. And nowadays, a smartphone’s camera array is brimming with super-sized sensors and multi-camera setups. Understandably, buyers looking for a quality camera phone are spoilt for choices. Even then, budding photographers tend to knock on Samsung and Apple’s doors more than any other vendor.
Notably, Samsung and Apple offer superb imaging capabilities with their flagship devices. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus, for instance, have become somewhat of a household name for photography enthusiasts. But, the scenery could change as Samsung recently unveiled its Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus handsets, which come with a more versatile camera setup, among other things.
So, if you find yourself at a crossroads and can’t decide whether to side with Apple or Samsung’s offering, read on. In this post, we will be comparing the photography chops of the Galaxy S23 Plus and iPhone 14 cameras.
Before we dissect our contenders’ camera performance, let’s take a closer look at the specs on offer. Starting with the iPhone 14, the handset ships with a pair of 12MP sensors. The primary camera comes with an f/1.5 aperture and is backed by OIS tech. The secondary 12MP ultrawide sensor features an f/2.4 aperture and offers a 120-degree FoV. For selfies, the device gets a 12MP TrueDepth camera up front.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus comes with a 50MP primary sensor that works alongside a 12MP ultrawide snapper with 120-degree FoV and a 10MP telephoto shooter with 3x optical zoom. For selfies, the device gets a 12MP front-facing camera.
With the specs out of the way, let’s take a closer look at some stills captured by the duo. To kick things off, let’s first look at some shots we captured under broad daylight with the phones. Notably, both the Galaxy S23 Plus and the iPhone 14 click photos with a warm color tone. That said, Samsung’s offering tends to expose the shadows a bit better.
As an example, if you look at the gallery attached above, you’ll notice that the green flower pot towards the left-hand side of the frame offers slightly better details in the Galaxy S23 Plus’ photo. The iPhone 14, on the other hand, crushes the shadows ever so slightly to make the scene pop.
You should also note that Samsung tends to spruce up the colors in the photo. For instance, if you look at the slider attached above, then you can make out that the flowers near the walkway appear more vibrant in Samsung’s snap.
Further, the lid of the dustbins appears punchier too. Understandably, some readers might appreciate Samsung’s over-the-top post-processing. On the other hand, we won’t blame you for siding with Apple’s snap here either.
We will admit, though, that Apple’s offering clicks a tad more detailed images with better corner sharpness. In fact, if you take a 100 percent crop of the images attached above, you’ll notice that the iPhone 14’s snap has rendered the flower pots toward the edges of the frame a tad better.
Again, the difference isn’t night and day and you can simply use Samsung’s high-res, 50MP mode to mitigate the same.
Also read: OnePlus 11 vs Google Pixel 7 camera comparison
Be that as it may, Samsung’s contender is backed by better HDR tech. In fact, we noticed white blotches in countless photos snapped from the iPhone 14. As an example, take a look at the gallery attached above wherein, the Galaxy S23 Plus has rendered the apartment complex in the background better.
You can look at the 100 percent crop of the snap to get an idea of each phone’s HDR capabilities. More often than not, we noticed minor instances of highlight clipping on the iPhone 14. Further, the handset struggled to adequately expose the green leaves in the foreground too.
Here’s another example that substantiates our findings further. The iPhone 14 has, once again, overexposed bits of the scene. In contrast, the S23 Plus’ snap has brought out the shadows and the highlights much better.
You can refer to a 100 percent crop of the aforementioned snap attached above for more details.
With that said, the output from the phones is neck and neck in less harsh lighting conditions. Case in point, the gallery attached above wherein, both photos exhibit similar corner sharpness. Further, the photos are equally detailed towards the center of the frame. If anything, Apple’s composition is a tad warmer and has slightly more noise.
As prefaced previously, both phones ship with a dedicated 12MP ultrawide sensor too. That said, we gravitated toward the Galaxy S23’s output in this scenario. We say this, as the smartphone captured more detailed images with better sharpness and lesser fringing.
For instance, in the comparison shots attached above, you can tell that the trees in the Galaxy S23 Plus’ photo offer a better definition. The leaves appear distinct and structured, which is great. In contrast, the iPhone 14’s shot appears muddy.
Similarly, in the snaps attached above, you’ll notice that the Galaxy S23 Plus has kept the lens flares in check. The iPhone 14’s snap, on the other hand, has rendered the sun like a giant white blob. What’s more, at a closer crop, you’ll notice that the S23 Plus’ snap is sharper and has richer colors.
As far as zoomed images go, Samsung’s offering wins the bout by quite some margin. The reason is that the Galaxy S23 Plus ships with a dedicated telephoto sensor with 3x optical zoom capabilities. Moreover, with the help of some software wizardry, the handset can snap photos at 30x zoom too.
The iPhone 14 doesn’t ship with a telephoto sensor and as such, struggles to impress in this scenario. As an example, if you take a look at the 3x shots from the two phones, you’ll observe that the S23 Plus’ photo has much better sharpness. Plus, the image doesn’t have a ton of noise either.
The iPhone 14, on the other hand, has struggled to resolve the finer details in the composition. The same is evident if you look at the AC units in the apartment complex, which appear quite soft in iPhone 14’s photo.
As another example, dart at the shot of the orange flower attached above. The image was captured under broad daylight with the phones. Here, the iPhone 14’s composition introduces a lot of noise when you zoom into the petals.
On the other hand, the S23 Plus retains the velvety texture of the petals and looks much sharper. Rest assured, buyers looking to click objects from afar should pick up the Galaxy S23 or the Galaxy S23 Plus in a heartbeat.
Unsurprisingly, both phones click remarkable selfies too. Now, you could go with one or the other, but we liked the selfies from the Galaxy S23 Plus slightly better. Here’s why.
Although the duo clicks stupendously sharp images, Samsung’s snaps tend to be a tad more detailed at a closer crop. The same is evident if you zoom into the subject’s hair in the images attached above. Further, the selfies we snapped with the iPhone 14 rendered the subject’s skin tone slightly orangish.
Both devices click terrific photos in tricky lighting scenarios too. For instance, we clicked the aforementioned selfie against the sun. Despite that, both phones managed to expose the subject’s face properly, which is great. Suffice it to say, if you’re an ardent selfie-taker, you can’t go wrong with either of the two handsets.
Both phones click good-looking closeups with their primary sensors too. In fact, barring the added vibrancy in the shots snapped by the S23 Plus, it’s hard to tell one photo, from the other.
For instance, if you look at the shot of the purple flower, then you’ll notice that iPhone 14’s snap has a warmer color palette. On the flip side, the purple hue looks more lively in the S23 Plus’ photo. Barring that, the images are at level pegging. So, be it the details around the center of the frame, or the consistency of the bokeh effect, the photos from both devices look just as good.
Lastly, let’s take a look at some photos captured with the phones after the sun had set. Here, Samsung’s offering edged in front of the iPhone 14 by a healthy margin. To that end, the iPhone 14’s photo exhibited a white balance issue, which rendered the light emanating from the lamps blue.
What’s more, the S23 Plus kept the lens flaring in check as well. Lastly, the device offered slightly better sharpness at a closer crop. Do note that both images were snapped with each phone’s dedicated night mode utility enabled. Further, with the feature enabled, both devices automatically selected an exposure time of one second.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus vs iPhone 14 Camera Comparison: Conclusion
Clearly, the iPhone 14 cannot hold a candle to the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus in the photography department. While the smartphones click similar photos during the day, the Galaxy S23 and the Galaxy S23 Plus offer a better ultrawide sensor.
What’s more, the handsets trump Apple’s offering in the zoom department too. Add to that the S23 series’ lowlight capabilities and buyers looking for a quality $800 camera phone will find the Galaxy S23 right up their alley.
Last updated on 15 February, 2023
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