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Will a 2023 Samsung Galaxy A23 5G phone bought in Japan work on 5G network in USA

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c(n*199780) Senior Member
Feb 18, 2002
EDIT: I just realized something, what if the User Interface is in Japanese only.... :-(
EDIT EDIT: Samsung USA rep said it can do English UI and confirmed that it has a microSD card slot.

Samsung released a 5.8 inch 5G phone WITH a microSD card in Japan, and only in Japan.
It is the Samsung Galaxy A23 5G Japan-only version. Here it is:

I am still on Samsung Galaxy S10e - the very last 5.8 inch phone with a microSD card slot. No 5G.
Neither Samsung nor anyone else has plans as of 2023 to release a 5.8" phone with a microSD card in the US.

Rumor that Pixel 8 will have a 5.8" version turned out to be false. Besides, no microSD card even if someone does release it.

Can these 2023 Japanese phones work in America on 5G?

Galaxy A23 5G Japan.jpg

EDIT: Samsung replied to me:

I'm sorry we are expertise in Samsung US and can't check the specifications for Japan model as specifications and parts will be different, the Samsung Japan support can share Network bands for A23 5G you can share it with US carrier to see if they support those bands. It is best to get US model for US carrier to get 5G.
Please contact Samsung Japan support using below link https://www.samsung.com/jp/support/ Ask them to share the Network bands for A23 5G, please share those bands with US carrier you want to use they will check if they are compatible with those bands or not.

I actually contacted Samsung Japan, but then tried another US rep who told me the bands are:

2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM only)
3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
4G bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41

Galaxy A23 5G (SM-A233CZKDRKT)
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The biggest problem you might have is getting updates for the OS and firmware. You will need to be sure to use only the Japanese firmware and not the US as you could brick the device. Lastly, the US version of that phone is actually better than the Japan version. You might be best off to buy the US version.

This is about 5.8 inch screen and a microSD card slot, there is no such thing on the market here. No microSD cards / 5.8 inch screens in America any more.

Screens are now all bigger, larger than 5.8 inches. This means Android phones can't be operated by one hand and can't comfortably fit in summer shorts pockets when it's 100 degrees outside.

And of course no microSD cards in Samsung phones any more in USA.

Non manual, phone initiated firmware updates should automatically correctly update based on the actual exact phone model, but the main question is will the phone work here on 5G?
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You will need to contact your cell provider to cross reference the used bands just as their support stated. Each provider uses different ones (maybe with some overlap) so you need to figure that out yourself and compare against the 5G modem that is in the device.
I contacted the provider - they do not have a clue. It's all on me and you Janus67 ;)

Samsung USA rep did give me this about the Japanese phone Galaxy A23 5G (SM-A233CZKDRKT)
I mean, it should work.

2G bands GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900 - SIM 1 & SIM 2 (dual-SIM only)
3G bands HSDPA 850 / 900 / 2100
4G bands 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 20, 28, 38, 40, 41

So basically I am gaining 5G over 4G in my current Galaxy S10e.


Won't you kindly look at these specs and tell me what I am losing over going with Japanese A23 5G vs S10e 4G
as far as speed of performance and camera:



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If you want a Samsung A23 that works in both Japan and the US you will probably have to buy the international version.
You should be able to get the band information from your cell service company, or find a phone locked to them and look at the specs to know, at least I'd imagine (or maybe they have a user forum that would have it).

Personally, I disabled 5g on my pixel 7 pro, at least on TMobile, I have had very inconsistent network connection and disabling it helped (although not perfect)

Depending on which internal storage size you pick you would end up with less RAM than you currently have (4gb is nothing by today's standards).

The resolution may also be worse too?
There is no international version, it's a Japan-only version and the one and only Samsung phone in the world after Galaxy S10 to have a microSD card and a 5.8" screen.

Good catch Janus67, it seem like I have twice the RAM on S10e. Thanks for noticing that deal-breaker.

And hold on, the entire reason for this is 5G, can people on here tell me a little bit about actual real world differences you actually noticed when you went from 4G to 5G?
It sounds like in your case it was not a good thing for your service stability.
I think ultimately, do you often download very large things when not on wifi (and not concerned with data limits?) If not, then I would not be concerned. IIRC, your home internet is not very fast, so maybe 4G and subsequently 5G would be faster if you needed to use it?
Oh I see, no I almost never download anything on my phone.

I thought they were selling 5G as more snappy, for regular web browsing?
Nope, that's all ping difference, which I can't imagine being significant between the two. Having 200mb or 900mb speeds won't affect page load speed
Thank you.

So if CPU, RAM, and GPU are adequate, can you tell me what advances in camera section of my Galaxy S10e specs above are missing vs. 2023 phones?
Honestly, I'm a little confused, which of the two pictures of the phone above, 2 or 3? They are hugely different (the bottom one has several sensors/lenses while the top looks to have a single one) for example.
You could try popping a SIM card in and see if it works. Also as far as I know all Samsung phones under the A series name have the ability to add a micro SD card. The newest S series, Z series, and Flip series in the US do not.

Janus67, the first spec is of my Galaxy S10e. Second and third screenshot are supposed to be of the Japan-only A23 5G, not to be confused with the rest of the world version which has a larger screen.

Japan-only version is this:

I read a news article about this, that's how I fond out about the 5.8" screen which Samsung stopped making until now.
It appears from that page that it has a 5.8" screen with microSD card slot. Model is Galaxy A23 5G with Model Number SM-A233CZKDRKT

[Samsung Japan support replied to me telling me to come back when I'm Japanese, saying they do not speak English.]

So now, thanks to you - we have established that there is no need for 5G for people who do not download huge files on their phones.
And that 4GB of RAM is unacceptable.
My Samsung Galaxy S10e has double that, at 8GB of RAM and 256GB internal storage space.

So four years later my phone can hold its own on RAM, plus I don't notice lags with CPU and GPU, THEREFORE, what's left?


I would like to learn if and how my four year old phone is lacking in that department.
I think the low RAM and no need for 5G have convinced me to not turn Japanese.

But I'd still like to learn about the camera specs.

Second and third screenshots are search results for the Galaxy A23 5G Model Number SM-A233CZKDRKT available in Japan only and nowhere else.
If they are of different phones - then that just adds to our confusion.

But, bottom line is that I was mistaken in thinking that 5G is more snappy.
Thanks for correcting me on that.

Zuzzz, my phone, Galaxy S10e is the very last 5.8" phone with a microSD card slot.
In the last four years there were no comparable Android phones released anywhere in the world.

ALL either have a (too) large screen or lack a microSD card slot.

Anything above 5.8" requires two hands - that is why 5.8" screen size limit is important.
Also summer shorts pocket space.

And plus I mean, if there is no microSD card slot - then why am I even using Android!?! Might as well look at the dark side.

Twenty years ago I decided not to go with Apple based on this scientific research, I hear they still have 5.8" phones though...

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Twenty years ago I decided not to go with Apple based on this scientific research, I hear they still have 5.8" phones though...
Yes, I have an iPhone 11 Pro 256GB Green (Refurb) & it is 5.8". I bought it when the 13 was new to the market & it seems the 12 & 13 are 6.1". None of them have additional SD storage though.
Moto G200 5G, 6.8", haven't used the 5G yet, don't need 2 hands for it but it also doesn't have SD card, as far as I was told it by Motorola it had something to do with water resistance qualification, which I found very odd because my old S8+ had space for a microSDXC and had a higher rating than this one :shrug:

*insert rant or laughter at Motorola's answer below I guess*
Apple has never had microSD cards.
The reason initially was to force people to rely exclusively on Apple controlled cloud storage.

I have always had my *entire* music and *entire* photo collection in the palm of my hand on a microSD card.
Back in the days of much lower internal local storage even.
I never understood having to rely on the cloud.
It's beyond my control, what if it goes down? Why would I rely on internet connection or Apple for accessing personal stuff?

For so many years, I could have taken my phone to the most remote places locally, or anywhere on Earth... or to Mars, places with zero data service, and have my entire *everything* accessible by simply popping in a microSD card (!) Why would I give that up!?

Samsung Galaxy S10e is the very last phone to offer compact screen and removable storage.
In this thread I've learned that I do not need 5G, and to not settle for less RAM/CPU/GPU than Galaxy S10e has.

I do not think there is anything wrong with my camera, but that's where I am looking to expand my understanding.
What camera features don't I have? Are they important?
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I just checked and was surprised to see that my Samsung S21 5G phone has a smaller screen than your S10e (6.2" vs 6.4"). It is kind of a tradeoff because I like the size of the screen but sometimes wish the screen was bigger.

A friend just got a Samsung A53 5G and really likes it. It has a 6.5" screen.

I was disappointment at first that the S21 couldn't use a microSD card but my phone came with 128GB of storage which is plenty for me. If I thought I would have needed more storage I would have bought it with 256GB o 512GB of storage.

My previous phone a Samsung S7 could use a microSD card. I put a 64GB card in it. One annoying thing is that the phone apps didn't even use the microSD card unless you individually configured them to use it. Not all apps would allow this. That meant if I hadn't done this I would continue to fill up the main storage while the microSD card would remain empty.

On your S10e how do you use the microSD card? Did you have to configure the apps to use it?

BTW, my S7 was stolen but I didn't lose many of the photos. That is because they were backed up. I was able to restore them to my S21 when I got it.

Whether 5G is a benefit probably depends upon what carrier you have and where you live. I have Metro by T-Mobile. I used the Speedtest app to compare the speed with and without 5G. I got a faster speed with 5G disabled.
I just checked and was surprised to see that my Samsung S21 5G phone has a smaller screen than your S10e (6.2" vs 6.4").

My screen size is 5.8 inches, that's the magic number limit for single hand operation.
6.2" is already too big.

S10e was the very last phone to have 5.8" and microSD.

The 6.5 inch screen that your friend bought, hey now... :) that is not a mobile cellular device. That's a tablet :). Cannot be operated without two hands holding it (firmly). :)

On your S10e how do you use the microSD card? Did you have to configure the apps to use it?

Whether 5G is a benefit probably depends upon what carrier you have and where you live. I have Metro by T-Mobile. I used the Speedtest app to compare the speed with and without 5G. I got a faster speed with 5G disabled.

Some apps require manual switch, some apps immediately see the huge microSD space and switch to it.
My S10e is the 256GB internal storage version, plenty for apps, but I did setup all pics and videos to go to microSD, that's because I pop out the microSD card and insert it into my PC for SUPER FAST synchronization of personal files.


Synchronization between a physical microSD card inserted into a PC is EXPONENTIALLY faster, ungodly difference in speed.
You simply cannot sync a large number of files over the internet that quick, regardless of internet speed.

We're talking seconds vs. "grow gray hair while you wait" kind of difference in manually synchronizing files on a microSD card inserted into a PC vs. syncing non-removable phone storage.

The main purpose of the microSD card is the option for infinite storage as I can pop in multiple microSD cards at will, so terabytes of data are available as an option.
But really originally, having enough space for absolutely everything, all my music, all pics and videos, none of it requiring download from the cloud, or any internet connection - that's the power of microSD expandable storage.

You can still backup everything regularly, that has nothing to do with ability to go anywhere and still have access to *everything* you have without having any internet connection.

Also, hey thanks for confirming that 5G is not crucial unless super huge files are being download often.