Itel S23 review: slight improvements

Hello and welcome to the Itel S23 review. In this post, we are going to be looking at all the specs on Itel’s latest device and what to expect.


Note:  This is not to be confused with the Itel S23+. Click here for the Itel S23+ review.


The Itel S23 is Itel’s latest submission for buyers to try their hands on. For the uninformed, Itel is a sub-company of Chinese Tech giant, Transsion. It specializes in manufacturing low-end (entry-level) phones for Africa and South East Asia.

For a long time, Itel has been saddled with the tag of being a company that makes phones that are not only affordable but are also substandard. This is what they are hoping to fix with the Itel S23.

Itel S23 review

Itel S23 review

The Itel S23 is a budget device from Itel that brings decent performance, display, a big battery, and lots of RAM.

The key specs of the Itel S23 are:

  • Body: Plastic frame, plastic back (reflective colors)
  • SoC: Unisoc T606 + Mali G57 MP1
  • OS: Android 12
  • Display: 6.6″ FHD IPS-LCD, 90Hz, 269ppi
  • Cameras: 50MP + QVGA
  • Selfie: 8MP
  • Video: 1080p@30fps
  • Audio: Loudspeaker + 3.5mm jack
  • Memory card: Yes, up to 512GB
  • Battery: 5000mAh (10W charge)

Performance

This phone is powered by the Unisoc Tiger T606. The T606 is a budget-class SoC from Unisoc. The T606 has 2 A75 and 6 A55 CPU cores running at 1.6 GHz. This is decent enough to run the full versions of social media apps like FB, IG, Telegram, etc. It’s also good to play games like eFootball 2024 Mobile, Genshin Impact, PUBG mobile, PUBG New State, Call of Duty Mobile, Mobile Legends etc. It can also run emulators like the PPSSPP and Duckstation.

Itel S23 review, Genshin Impact
Genshin Impact on the Itel S23. Credit: HibikiPlays

Similar phones with the same performance category include:

  • Samsung Galaxy A13 (Exynos 850)
  • Samsung Galaxy A04s (Exynos 850)
  • Samsung Galaxy A21S (Exynos 850)
  • Poco C40 (JLQ JR510)
  • Infinix Hot 30i (Unisoc T606)
  • Nokia G22 (Unisoc T606)

To get the best out of the Unisoc T606, it should be paired with at least 8GB of RAM. This has been proven above by YouTuber HibikiPlays who has successfully demonstrated that Genshin Impact does run on the Itel S23. However, you have to play games at mid to low settings.


Itel S23 review
Itel S23 specs sheet (Credits: HibikiPlays)

Software

It runs on the full version of Android 12. However I’m not certain if Itel are ever going to send it an OTA update for Android 13.

Memory

To assist the T606 is either 4GB or 8GB of RAM, depending on which one you can afford. In addition, there’s memfusion, a fancy name for extended RAM (virtual memory) which claims to double the RAM.

Itel claims that the Itel S23 is the first 16GB RAM phone in India, a very bold claim. However, this claim is not completely true as I have explained here and here. It is rather misleading and to an extent can be filed under false advertising.

Display

It comes with a run-of-the-mill 6.6″ LCD with an HD (720p) resolution. However what I didn’t expect to see was a 90Hz refresh rate, a huge first on an Itel phone. This spec is mostly restricted to the midrange category so kudos to them.

Camera

Another new ground they’ve broken is in the camera segment. They’re shipping the Itel S23 with a 50MP camera. However, this camera, if it is truly 50MP, is wasted on this phone as the T606 processor doesn’t support 50MP cameras. According to Unisoc’s official website, it maxes out at 24MP.

I have looked at the shots taken from this phone, both from the front and the back, and they’re not my cup of tea.

Battery

This phone ships with a 5000mAh battery that can take you a whole day on a single charge, however, you’ll have to make do with a 10W charge. Yup, the phone only supports 10W so it’ll take upwards of 2 hours to get a decent charge on this phone.

Other specs

The S23 is 4G LTE capable and supports Bluetooth 5, WiFi 5, OTG, and GPS. It has a side-mounted Fingerprint sensor, USB C, an accelerometer, a proximity + light sensor, and a compass.

Prices

  • 4+128GB (₦66,200, ₹8,799, $109)
  • 8+128GB (₦76,400, ₹9500, $119)

Conclusion

The Itel S23, if we were to ignore all of its bells, whistles, and gimmicks, is actually a very decent phone. Performance wise that is. Its display is also decent for its price range. However, its poor cameras and snail-slow charging speeds can be a huge turnoff.


Thank you for reading to the end. As always, ensure to check out our links for more information and…

2 thoughts on “Itel S23 review: slight improvements

  1. If they truly used a Cat 7 modem, added OTG as well other features you’re surprised about—at those prices— it’s a steal! (To use a famous phrase of yours😊)

    Btw, I give it to Transsion! They know how to package. Look at how the gave it a flagship-like camera bump.

    #Thanks for posting.

    1. The modems are on the SoC by default so yeah, they definitely used it. This is a good one from Itel. The shift to the T606 is actually a lot better than that SC9863A and SC9832 that they favour a lot.

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