itel S23+ Review: A Budget Smartphone with Surprising Features
itel known for its budget-friendly smartphones, has consistently aimed to offer affordable options to consumers without compromising too much on quality. With the itel S23+, it appears they’ve taken a step further in the right direction.
This review will delve into the key aspects of itel S23+, from its design and build to its performance, camera capabilities, battery life, and unique features.
Design and Build (4/5)
From the moment you lay eyes on the itel S23+, it’s hard not to be impressed. The sleek design, with its curved screen and shiny rails, gives the phone a premium look and feel that defies its budget-friendly price tag. The soft-touch back and lightweight build add to its overall appeal.
However, the one aspect that might divide opinions is the camera module, which resembles that of recent iPhone models. While some may find it generic, others might appreciate the design choice. Additionally, the rainbow effect on the back of the phone, which comes in various colors, adds a touch of uniqueness to the device.
In terms of button placements and ports, the phone offers some surprises. The under-display fingerprint reader is a standout feature, especially at this price point. It works efficiently, providing secure and convenient access to the device. On the downside, the absence of a headphone jack might disappoint users who prefer wired headphones, although it comes with Type-C earphones in the box.
The downward-firing speaker delivers decent sound quality, while the Type-C port ensures fast charging and data transfer. The dual SIM card tray is worth noting, but it lacks support for expandable storage via an SD card. However, with a generous 256GB of internal storage, this limitation may not be a significant concern for most users.
The itel S23 Plus boasts an impressive display that punches above its weight in terms of quality. The hole-punch cutout, small bezels, and curved AMOLED screen with a 1080p resolution offer a visually pleasing experience. The use of Gorilla Glass 5 provides added protection against scratches and minor drops.
Colors appear vibrant, and the display offers sufficient detail for everyday tasks, such as watching videos and browsing the web. Although the 60Hz refresh rate might disappoint users accustomed to smoother displays, it’s a forgivable compromise given the device’s budget-friendly nature.
The display settings also allow for some customization, including swipe and motion speed adjustments. With a peak brightness of 500 nits, the display performs well in most lighting conditions, though direct sunlight could pose a challenge.
Under the hood, the itel S23+ is powered by the Unisoc Tiger T616 processor, an upgrade from its predecessor. While this chip does offer a slight performance boost, it doesn’t make the phone a powerhouse.
The device handles everyday tasks with ease, but it may struggle with resource-intensive applications or heavy gaming. Multitasking is satisfactory for basic use, but demanding users may find limitations when juggling multiple apps or running graphics-intensive games.
The itel S23+ features a triple-camera setup on the rear, but in reality, it’s a single 15-megapixel wide camera. In favorable lighting conditions, it delivers color-accurate and solid photos, earning a 7 out of 10 rating. The 32-megapixel selfie camera also produces impressive results, especially when well-lit.
However, the camera’s weakness becomes apparent when you zoom in, as details tend to appear soft. Additionally, low-light photography isn’t the device’s strong suit, so adequate lighting is essential for the best results. On the video front, the device records up to 1080p, and there’s an Ultra Steady mode that provides stabilization without compromising on detail.
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Battery Life (4.5/5)
One of the standout features of the itel S23+ is its robust battery life. With a 5,000mAh battery, the device easily lasts a full day of regular use. Even during gaming sessions, the battery drain is relatively modest, demonstrating its efficiency. Charging is supported at up to 18 watts, but it’s worth noting that the charging brick is not included in the box, which may inconvenience some users.
Additional Features (4/5)
The itel S23+ runs on itel’s OS version 13, based on Android 13. It introduces a new AI assistant called Aviana, adding a touch of modernity to the user experience. While not everyone may find virtual assistants indispensable, it’s a welcomed addition.
The promise of a dynamic bar feature is intriguing, even though it wasn’t available during the review. Hopefully, this feature will be added in future software updates.
An impressive 36-month warranty and six months of free screen repair enhance the value proposition of the itel S23+, assuring users of its durability and support.
The itel S23+ is a notable step in the right direction for itel. With a sleek design, impressive display, solid battery life, and reasonable camera capabilities, it offers excellent value for budget-conscious consumers. While it may not compete with flagship smartphones in terms of performance, it performs well for everyday tasks and light gaming.
For those seeking an affordable smartphone that delivers a premium look and feel without breaking the bank, the itel S23+ is a compelling option. It represents a significant improvement for itel and demonstrates their commitment to providing quality devices at budget-friendly prices.