Itel S23+ Review

Hello and welcome to my review of the Itel S23+. Itel has dropped its best phone yet and they’ve been making a lot of noise about this. So join me as we look through the specs on Itel’s latest device and see if it’s worth the hype.

The Itel S23+ is a lower Midrange phone from Itel. For those who do not know, Itel is a subsidiary of Chinese tech giant, Transsion. Transsion is the parent company of Tecno, Infinix, Oraimo, and of course Itel. Transsion also owns the after-sales service brand known as Carl Care.

Itel is very popular. Believe it or not, by sales, they’re the fourth most popular brand in Africa. Only Samsung, Tecno, and Infinix are more popular.

They also sell a lot of phones too. This is because Itel lives to service the low-end (entry-level) market. However, it seems that this is about to change.

With their recent releases such as the Itel P40 plus, Itel S18, and Itel S23, Itel has begun making a push into the Midrange market and no phone typifies this sentiment more than the Itel S23+. This phone could be Itel’s breakthrough device.

Key specifications of the Itel S23+

  • Body: 178g, plastic frame
  • SoC: Unisoc T616 + Mali G57 MP1
  • Software: Android 13, Itel OS13, Dynamic bar, GPT AI
  • RAM: LPDDR4X (1866MHz)
  • Display: 6.78″ curved FHD+ AMOLED, 388ppi, 500nits, Gorilla 🦍 glass
  • Camera: 50MP + 0.08MP
  • Selfie: 32MP
  • Video: 1080p @30fps
  • Battery: 5,000mAh, 18W fast charge
  • Network: 4G LTE (Cat. 7), BT 5, WiFi 5, 3.5mm, OTG, USB-C (2.0)
  • Colors: Blue, Cyan
  • Variants: 4+128GB (N120,000), 8+256GB (148,000)

I took a look at this spec sheet and I had mixed feelings. I’ll explain so that you’ll see.

Body

The phone is typically what you’ll expect from any midrange phone. It has a plastic frame that holds all of the phone’s components and gorilla glass protection. This part shocked me. An Itel phone and Gorilla Glass in the same sentence. The phone comes in 2 colors. Elemental blue and Lake cyan.

Performance

Now this is where this phone gets even more interesting. The Itel S23+ runs using a Unisoc T616. This SoC has a similar performance to the Helio G85. Thus this phone is definitely lower midrange.

Other SoCs within the same performance range include:

This SoC is capable of running many B titles at mid to low settings. Games such as eFootball 2024, Call of Duty Mobile, PUBG Mobile, SimCity, Free Fire, etc. However, triple-A titles like Genshin Impact, NBA 2K, Fortnite, and Call of Duty Warzone may not run.

I’ve always maintained that Unisoc has good SoCs but it is the smartphone companies that are refusing to use them.


Software

Itel has typically used Android Go 32-bit OS due to the weak SoCs that they utilize on their phones. However, with a better Unisoc T616 SoC on board the S23+, they’ve chosen to install a 64-bit Android 13 with their in-house Itel OS13.

Itel S23 dynamic

To sweeten things, they’ve ripped off the iPhone’s Dynamic Island and added a GPT AI assistant.


Itel S23

Display

Here comes another big surprise. The display on the Itel S23+ is a curved 6.78″ FHD+ AMOLED display. No, you did not read that wrong. There’s actually an AMOLED display with Gorilla Glass screen protection!


Itel S23 camera

Camera

This S23+ ships with a dual camera setup sporting a 50MP main camera and a 0.08MP depth sensor. At the front of the device, there’s a 32MP sensor for selfies. The cameras are decent in good lighting conditions and awful in low light.

Battery

There’s a standard 5000mAh battery here with a decent 18W fast charge. The T616’s 12nm is not exactly topnotch when it comes to battery life but it should get you through one day on a single charge if you use it lightly.

Network Connectivity and sensors

The S23+ supports 4G LTE (Cat. 7) with download speeds of 300Mbps. It also supports Bluetooth 5, WiFi 5, a 3.5mm Audio jack, USB OTG and USB-C (2.0)

There’s an in-screen fingerprint, accelerometer, gyroscope, proximity, and light sensor as well as GPS.


Pricing

The S23+ sells in two memory variants:

  • 4+128GB (N120,000),
  • 8+256GB (N148,000)

I’m a bit torn here. I mean, Gorilla Glass, AMOLED display, in-screen fingerprint sensor, and fast charging do not come cheap. However, for a phone with that T616 SoC, I think it’s a little bit overpriced. Just a little bit.

Besides the pricing, this is a phone that I could happily recommend to anyone. I think Itel is ready to chill with the big boys now.

What do you think?


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2 thoughts on “Itel S23+ Review

  1. This phone is surprisingly good in the spec department… Like I’ve never thought I’d see an itel phone like this.
    I also think that it’s well priced, I just think that a lot of people when spending that amount of money may not want to go for an itel phone even if it may have better specifications on paper than its competition. However, it seems great.

    1. I guess I’ll have to agree with you on almost everything, apart from the pricing. I could get better phones like the Redmi Note 12 for example at this same price. Itel are untested at this level so it’ll take quite a leap of faith to splurge on their device.

      For me, what they should have done was to rope people in, by using a customer friendly price.

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