The S23 is Samsung's best-reviewed Galaxy S line yet

May 30, 2023
Wally Nowinski
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The turnaround comes just as Apple’s iPhone 14 left consumers disappointed.

A meta-analysis by PerfectRec of more than 388,00 user-generated reviews finds that the Galaxy S23 line reversed a long decline in Samsung Galaxy S ratings and the S23 Ultra is Samsung’s best-rated Galaxy S phone ever. 

Economists and data scientists at the product review website PerfectRec have analyzed 13 years of user-generated Galaxy S reviews, tracking consumers’ changing perception of Samsung’s flagship smartphone over time. We found that with the release of its three S23 models, Samsung reversed a half-decade decline in average user ratings for their Galaxy S series of Android phones. 

The positive trend contrasts with Apple’s iPhone 14 lineup, which an earlier study by PerfectRec found was a big disappointment among consumers

We looked at the Samsung Galaxy S, S+ and Ultra models released between 2010 and 2023 and charted what percentage of all user generated reviews that were five stars. After jumping with the release of the S7 in 2016, the percent of user reviews rating the Galaxy S series phones five stars gradually trended down and hit an all time low with the S22. Here’s a look at reviews of the base model Galaxy S since its release in 2010. 

Galaxy-S-Review-Line-Chart-1-v1

This year, that trend reversed with the Galaxy S23 line

Galaxy-S-Review-Line-Chart-2-v1

The rebound wasn’t limited to a single line. With 86 percent of users giving it five stars, the S23 Ultra is the best-reviewed phone in the Galaxy S line ever. 

Galaxy-S-Review-Line-Chart-3-v1

What happened? 

Battery life and processor quality. 

For the S23 lineup, Samsung featured the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. This was a big improvement in performance over the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor used in the S22 in the United States and the Exynos 2200 in Europe and Korea. Handsets made with the Exynos processor, in particular, generated large numbers of user complaints about overheating. With the S23, Samsung used the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip across the US and global market.

The S22 also faced user complaints about throttling, which Samsung apologized for during its annual shareholders meeting, and inappropriate cost cutting on its cooling system, which Samsung denied. In addition to the processor improvements, the S23 also features dramatically improved battery life. According to PerfectRec’s comparison, the S23 offers eight hours of screen-on time, a 50 percent improvement over the 5.3 hours managed by the S22.

The S23 win comes at the right time for Samsung

The strong reviews of the S23 could be particularly impactful  at a time when consumers have expressed disappointment with the latest Apple iPhone offerings

“Our research suggests the iPhone 14 didn’t meet expectations for a lot of consumers,” said PerfectRec Founder and CEO Joe Golden. “If you’re looking to replace an older iPhone, maybe this is the year to give the Galaxy S23 a closer look.” 

A survey from Statista Consumer Insights suggests about one third of Apple and Samsung customers are open to switching phone manufacturers. 

The most and least loved Galaxy S models 

PerfectRec analysis of reviews of all Galaxy S models, including short-lived versions not included in the data above: 

Galaxy-S-Review-Data-Table

Methodology & limitations 

This meta analysis is based on 388,00 user-generated reviews posted on Google. The data was collected in May, 2023. 

The analysis is limited to the S, S+ and Ultra models. 

It is possible that reviewer sentiment may change over time.

For any inquiries, please contact Wally Nowinski (wally@perfectrec.com).

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