iPhone vs Samsung: Which is Better in 2023?

June 27, 2023 • April Miller


iPhone vs Samsung – which smartphone is better in 2023? It’s a tough competition. Both companies’ current flagship phones are the most advanced smartphone tech to come out yet. Apple and Samsung have their own unique ecosystem and operating system. Both phone manufacturers use a different design aesthetic for their devices, as well. 

At the end of the day, though, which company makes a better device, Apple or Samsung? This comparison will break it down as objectively as possible. 

As of mid-2023, Apple’s leading phone models are the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro. Samsung’s current leading models are the S23 and S23 Ultra. Samsung has numerous other phone models available, but the S23 and S23 Ultra are the most comparable to the iPhone 14 lineup. So, this comparison will focus on the S23 and iPhone 14 device families. 

Build Quality: Samsung

Build quality is crucial for device durability. Apple has long had a lead in this category, but that’s starting to change. In 2023, the iPhone vs Samsung build quality contest goes to Samsung. The Samsung S23 Ultra holds up better than the iPhone 14 Pro in drop tests thanks to its new Victus 2 Gorilla Glass front and back panels.  

Both of these phones are among the most durable flagship devices on the market. Front panel damage is comparable on both, but the back glass on the iPhone 14 lineup is noticeably weaker than the Samsung S23’s back glass.  

The iPhone does have a couple advantages in this category, though. iPhones feature rounded corners and a boxy frame without curved edges. As a result, they tend to handle corner and edge drops better than Samsung’s curved glass panels do. Plus, the sheer popularity of the iPhone makes it easier to find a good case no matter what model you’re using. 

Affordability: iPhone

The latest smartphone from any company is not usually the cheapest way to get a smartphone. However, in terms of price for a new phone in 2023, it’s a close tie between iPhone vs Samsung. Apple has a slight edge in this category since the iPhone 14 starts at $799 while Samsung’s S23 starts at $859. 

What really wins the price category for Apple, though, is resale value. iPhones have long been the most valuable used phones out there. Whether it’s because of the longstanding popularity of the iPhone, brand recognition, or long-lasting product support, used iPhones are usually easier to sell and sell for higher prices than used Samsung phones.

A lot of people are still happily using the iPhone 5 or 6, both of which are over 10 years old at this point. So, this category goes to the iPhone since you will be able to sell your used iPhone 14 for more money than a used Galaxy S23. 

Ecosystem: iPhone

The phone ecosystem is the wider collection of devices and apps that a phone is designed to interact seamlessly with. When it comes to iPhone vs Samsung, there’s no competition. iPhone has the better ecosystem in 2023.

Of course, Samsung is trying to build its own ecosystem and some users may simply prefer the Android operating system over iOS. So, this category depends on user preference to a certain extent.  

However, iPhones have more devices they are made to easily connect to and work with. The iPhone ecosystem includes the iPad lineup, the Apple Watch, the Macbook Pro and Macbook Air, the Mac and Mac Mini, Beats headphones, AirPods, Apple TV, the HomePod and HomePod Mini, and soon the Apple Vision Pro headset. The iPhone is designed to integrate effortlessly with all of these devices.  

In addition to apps and devices, security is also part of a smartphone’s ecosystem. Apple wins in this category, as well. Since Apple is the only company that creates and controls all the devices in the iPhone ecosystem, they’re designed to operate very securely with one another. 

Samsung is part of the Android ecosystem, which is developed by a plethora of companies like Google, Xiaomi, Huawei, Vivo, and countless others in addition to Samsung. Apple is also stricter about what apps are allowed on its App Store, so it is more difficult for malicious apps to be available on the iPhone. 

Customization: Samsung

Customization is one area where Samsung has long had an edge over Apple. The iPhone is designed to be simple to use, but this means that Apple doesn’t offer many customization features on its phones. In contrast, Samsung’s phones are loaded with room for customization and creativity. 

On Samsung phones, you can change your phone’s theme, color theme, icon designs, keyboard appearance, and even the font. You can’t do most of those things on an iPhone, at least not in 2023. iOS 16 gave iPhone users more lockscreen customization options, but it’s still nothing like the level of customization possible on a Samsung phone. 

Camera Quality: Tie

The smartphone camera competition between iPhone vs Samsung is one of the toughest comparisons to make. Both phone lineups have incredibly good cameras today. Ultimately, it’s a tie. Which camera is better for you depends on what exactly you want to use your camera for. 

Samsung phones tend to have better video quality and better night time performance. The image stabilization on the S23 lineup is smoother than the iPhone 14. Plus, Samsung phones have better 4K video and even have 8K video, which the iPhone doesn’t have.

In photos, Samsung also has longer range zoom and better close-up focus, capturing more detail than the iPhone can. Samsung also offers more premade shooting modes and more access to settings customization in the camera app. 

However, iPhones have the edge for portrait mode and color. Both phones have great cameras, but the iPhones tend to have bolder colors and better contrast. Depending on what type of image look you prefer, the photos on the iPhone might look better. Apple seems to have a lock on Portrait Mode on the iPhone, as well, with crisper portrait focus than the S23. 

So, if you’re looking for good video quality and more camera app customization, go for Samsung. If you’re looking for good portrait shots and an all around easy to use interface, go for the iPhone. 

Battery and Performance: Tie

Battery is a key category when comparing any two phones. It can be a hassle your phone needs to be charged repeatedly throughout the day. Luckily, both Apple and Samsung phones have great battery life. Most users will be happy with either one. 

The iPhone 14 and Galaxy S23 perform almost exactly the same in battery tests. The iPhone has a slight edge of just a few percentage points of battery life, lasting about an hour longer than the S23. Both devices perform similar on everyday tasks like video streaming, web browsing, social media browsing and gaming.

How long a smartphone’s battery lasts depends heavily on how you use it. Some people may get hours more out of the S23 while others get better performance from the iPhone 14. Both are so close in battery performance that most users won’t notice a big difference between the two devices in this category.

iPhone vs Samsung: Who’s the Winner?

iPhone vs Samsung: who’s the winner in 2023? If you can only choose one of these phones, you’re probably better off with an iPhone. Samsung has the edge when it comes to video quality and customization features, but iPhones tend to have a longer lifespan, better battery life, better resale value and a better ecosystem. Most users will be happy with either brand of phone, though.

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 30, 2022 and updated on June 27, 2023 to provide readers with more updated information.