Samsung Galaxy S23 vs Apple iPhone 14 camera comparison: the better shooter?

A face-off between compact premium flagships

Different models in Samsung’s S series have been competing with their respective Apple iPhone counterparts ever since the time these brands started introducing multiple variants in their flagship portfolios. Last week, we published a camera comparison article between the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra (review) and the Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max (review), where we saw that the Samsung phone outclassed the iPhone in most scenarios. Today, I’ll be comparing the base versions of both lineups — the Samsung Galaxy S23 and the iPhone 14 — and pitting them against each other to see which one is a better shooter. In this comparison, we’ll see if the S23 continues to outshine the iPhone or not. So, without further ado, let’s take a detailed look at their camera comparison.

Lowlight photo

In daylight, practically every phone captures decent colours and gives great results. Night photography is the real test for cameras. Hence, I’ll start the comparison with the low-light scenario. Here, you can see that the Samsung S23 follows in the footsteps of its elder sibling – the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. The picture taken from the S23 has dark shadows and in fact, the bulb inside the temple is also overexposed. In contrast, the image captured by the iPhone 14 is noticeably brighter and the furniture is also quite visible in the frame. This makes iPhone 14 a better performer in low-light situations.

Winner: Apple iPhone 14

Night mode

I took the same shot with night mode on both phones. The Samsung Galaxy S23 loses the battle again. Although the photo taken from the S23 has more light this time, the snap taken from the iPhone still has more vividness than Samsung’s photo. The furniture is more visible and in fact, the sky outside looks much better on the iPhone. Therefore, I can say that low-light photography goes in favour of the iPhone 14.

Winner: Apple iPhone 14

Lowlight selfie

To analyse the low-light camera performance further, let me share the results of the front camera in dim light. When looking at these photos, you can also observe that the iPhone 14 captured a better selfie in this dark situation than the Samsung S23. Although both photos appear dull and dark, the shot I took from the iPhone is vivid and has a better colour balance. The S23 captured some sort of magenta tone in the picture. It seems that Samsung’s snap to some extent is influenced by the multicoloured light behind me. So, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that the iPhone 14 is a better camera phone in low-light scenarios.

Winner: Apple iPhone 14

Daylight landscape photo

After examining the low-light pictures, let’s move on to the daylight scenarios. This is a standard shot that I took from both phones using auto mode. You can notice the outcome here is quite the opposite. The image captured by the Samsung Galaxy S23 comes out to be somewhat close to natural. The sky and grass appear neutral in colour, and the area under the shed is well-lit. In contrast, the snap taken from the iPhone has an unrealistic colour balance. The sky is excessively blue, the grass looks dark and scorched, and the shadow beneath the shed is dimly lit. Hence, the Samsung S23 rules this round and becomes the winner.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S23

Daylight ultra-wide angle

Moreover, in the daylight ultra-wide angle mode, the Samsung Galaxy S23 triumphs again. As prefaced, the sky, the grass and the area under the shed turn out to be more appropriate and near to natural. On the other hand, the photo taken from the iPhone 14 upholds the same colour balance. The sky is overly saturated, the grass is burnt and the shed area is poorly lit. As a result, the Samsung Galaxy S23 proves to be a better choice, if you frequently use the ultra-wide sensor.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy 23

3x zoom

The Samsung Galaxy S23 comes with an additional telephoto sensor with 3x optical zoom capabilities, which the iPhone 14 doesn’t offer. As a result, the S23 already leads the round. Yet, when we compare the pictures taken by both phones using 3x, the colours on the iPhone appear to be better and the sunlight exposure is more balanced. However, the real test comes when we zoom in to check the details.

Here, I’ve attached the zoomed versions of both photos. It is evident, that the image taken from the Samsung Galaxy S23 has a higher level of detail on board, whereas the text on the iPhone’s photo looks entirely distorted. Therefore, the Samsung Galaxy S23 is the winner of this round.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S23


Moving on further, the Samsung Galaxy S23 boasts a 50MP primary sensor, while, the iPhone 14 like the previous iterations, comes with a 12MP main camera. For this round, I pitted the Samsung’s 50MP mode against the iPhone’s 12MP shooter. You can see, that the picture clicked from the S23 still has a better colour balance than the image taken from the iPhone 14.

Moreover, if we observe them closely by magnifying the photos, the Samsung clearly surpasses the iPhone’s picture quality, as the text is much sharper in the snap that I took from the Samsung Galaxy S23. Hence, the Samsung Galaxy S23 stands as the winner here.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S23

Portrait shot

After examining the landscape photos, it’s now time to evaluate how these phones respond while capturing human skin tones. No doubt, the Samsung Galaxy S23 has been a winner in daylight situations in previous photos, but it fails to impress me in this round. The picture taken from the iPhone has better colour balance and my skin tone and hair colour looks accurate too. In contrast, the image captured by Samsung’s handset appears oversaturated, with dark and reddish skin tones, and has a cooler tone in the frame. Although both phones’ edge detection for portraits is impressive, the iPhone 14 leads this round because of its superior colour balance.

Winner: Apple iPhone 14


Next up, let’s take a look at both phones’ ability to capture close-up shots. Unfortunately, the iPhone 14, just like the 14 Pro Max, loses the game against the Samsung S23. The iPhone couldn’t go beyond this close while capturing the flower shot, which was really disappointing. Whereas, the Samsung Galaxy S23 excels at taking outstanding close-up photos. You can see the pollen and petals on the flower are sharp and eye-pleasing in the Samsung’s image. Although the iPhone 14 captures great colour balance and vivid images, the Samsung has an advantage in getting extremely close to subjects, and so, the Samsung Galaxy S23 takes the victory.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S23

Daylight selfie

Along with the back camera, the Samsung Galaxy S23 also trumps the iPhone 14 in taking front camera pictures in daylight. Although both pictures attached above look impressive, the colours are different. The S23’s picture has a cooler tone, while the iPhone captures a warmer tone. Another difference I noticed is that my sweater looks a little dark and my skin looks pale in the picture taken from the iPhone 14, whereas the Samsung camera captured somewhat close to the actual colour of my sweater and my skin tone is also neutral. When it comes to edge detection in selfies, both phones do an excellent job. Nonetheless, the impressive colour balance makes the Samsung camera wins in this aspect.

Winner: Samsung Galaxy S23


To sum up the comparison, I can say that the Samsung Galaxy S23 has an edge over the iPhone 14, as it offers better daylight camera performance, plus it comes with a telephoto lens and a high-resolution camera sensor as well. On the other hand, the iPhone 14 takes the cake in low-light scenarios. So, if you are specifically looking for a phone that allows you to capture impressive images in dimly lit situations, then iPhone 14 is the phone for you. However, if you want an all-rounder with an additional sensor and more detail in the images it can shoot, I recommend investing in the Samsung Galaxy S23.