In this article, we’ll be reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe, the latest addition to Samsung’s Fan Edition smartphone series. Priced at $629, it positions itself as a value flagship, offering a significant cost reduction compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, which comes with a $1,200 price tag. Despite the lower price, the S23 Fe aims to preserve many quality and flagship features from the S23 lineup.
Throughout this Galaxy S23 Fe review, we’ll deep dive into design, display, software, camera, performance and gaming and Battery life test, to know is it’ budget-friendly alternative to the premium Galaxy S23 Ultra.
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What’s We Covered!
Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe: Design and Build
The build quality of the Galaxy S23 Fe includes Gorilla Glass 5 on the front and a glossy Gorilla Glass 5 on the rear, providing a sleek appearance. The edges feature a matte aluminum finish, adding a touch of elegance. Positioned at the bottom, the device houses a speaker, microphone, and SIM card tray, while the top accommodates three microphones. The side incorporates the volume rocker and power button, contributing to a well-rounded and visually appealing design.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe: Display and Audio
Regarding the display of the Samsung’s S23 Fe, it features a 120Hz refresh rate, providing the option to switch between a standard 60Hz or adaptive 120Hz for a smooth scrolling effect. The display boasts a resolution of 1080 by 2340 pixels across its 6.4-inch screen, supporting HDR 10 Plus with a maximum peak brightness of 1,450 nits. This ensures clarity even in bright daytime conditions and direct sunlight, making it an impressive choice for media consumption, including movies, YouTube videos, anime, and music videos.
The Galaxy S23 Fe is equipped with two stereo speakers—one at the top and another at the bottom. The inclusion of Dolby Atmos sound enhances the audio experience, offering a surround sound effect. While not reaching the level of dedicated external speakers, it provides excellent sound quality for a phone. Dolby Atmos is also available for gaming, allowing users to activate it and customize the equalizer for an enhanced gaming experience.
Despite the great display and speakers, it’s worth noting that, in comparison to the Galaxy S23 Ultra, the speakers are slightly less loud and clear, although the difference is not dramatic. The only critique mentioned is the size of the bezels, suggesting that they could have been more in line with the Galaxy S23 or the S23 Plus for a sleeker design.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe Software
In terms of security, the S23 FE is equipped with an optical fingerprint sensor. This sensor functions effectively, allowing for a quick double tap to both turn off and wake up the device. It’s important to note that it features an optical fingerprint sensor, not an ultrasonic one, but it operates as expected. Under the “Security and Privacy” settings, there is also the option for face unlock by registering your face, although fingerprints are considered more secure.
It has SamsungDex functionality, Connecting to devices and accessing Samsung Dex allows for both wired and wireless connections to a high-definition TV or computer, offering the complete Dex flagship experience found on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra seamlessly.
An additional noteworthy feature is the Galaxy S23 Fe software support, It is set to receive 4 years of OS updates and 5 years of security updates. This means that users with Android 13, for example, will continue to receive updates for Android 14, 15, 16, and 17. This ensures that the it remains up-to-date and offers a long-term solution without concerns of falling behind in terms of software capabilities.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe Performance and Storage
The performance of Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe, features the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor in the United States and Canada, while the rest of the world receives the Exynos 2200. The Snapdragon HM1 processor is the same as the one found in the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, providing flagship-level performance. Although not the latest, it matches the performance of the Galaxy S22 Ultra.
However, there’s a drawback: the S23 Fe is available in either 128 GB or a maximum of 256 GB storage. The model we have is the 128 GB variant, but I recommend opting for the 256 GB version due to its greater storage capacity. Unfortunately, with the 256 GB model, there is no Micro SD expansion option. If you plan on taking numerous photos and recording extensive videos, choosing the maximum capacity is advisable. Despite this limitation, the phone delivers excellent performance, effortlessly handling the latest games without stutter or lag. It ensures a smooth gaming experience and can handle any game from the Play Store.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe Camera Test
In the camera department, the S23 Fe boasts triple rear cameras: a 12-megapixel ultra-wide lens, a 50-megapixel main camera lens, and an 8-megapixel telephoto camera capable of three times optical zoom and 30 times hybrid zoom.
The 50-megapixel main camera captures crisp, clear shots with excellent dynamic range. The 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera also delivers clear shots, especially when paired side by side with the main camera. Overall, I am impressed with both the wide and ultra-wide cameras.
Moving on to video, I am highly satisfied with daytime photos and videos, which are clear and smooth. Some selfie shots, including one in portrait mode, showcase good edge detection. Transitioning to low-light photos, a comparison with the Galaxy S23 Ultra reveals that the S23 FE performs exceptionally well for a phone priced at half the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s cost. The S23 Fe retains detail, handles light effectively, and excels in night mode, even outperforming the Galaxy S23 Ultra in some cases.
Examining video samples at night demonstrates impressive stabilization, while the Galaxy S23 Ultra may offer slightly clearer videos, the difference is not substantial, especially considering the price gap. It’s worth noting that you can record up to 8K at 24 frames per second, but for optimal results, it is recommended for still videos. In 1080p or 4K recording, lens switching is limited compared to the Galaxy S23 Ultra. When recording at 1080p at 60 FPS, only the main 50-megapixel camera can be used, while switching between lenses is possible at 30 FPS, highlighting a consideration for users.
Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe Battery life
When it come to battery, there’s a slight letdown as Galaxy S23 Fe has 4500mAh battery, we would have preferred it to be 5000mAh, but it still provides a full day of use. S23 Fe supports fast charging, going from 0 to 50% takes just 30 minutes, while a full charge from 0 to 100% requires around 1 hour. Additionally, you wireless charging and reverse wireless charging, allowing you to charge other compatible devices on the back.
is it worth it?
So Samsung Galaxy S23 Fe is a robust and dependable smartphone, priced at half that of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, making the right compromises. The it features an excellent display and impressive speakers, matching the performance of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. The cameras, both for photos and videos, deliver solid results, and you benefit from full deck functionality. On the downside, there’s no micro SD expansion option, and the maximum storage capacity caps at 256 GB, which may be limiting for some users. It’s crucial to note that these pros and cons are in reference to the $600 price tag.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE emerges as a commendable choice, offering reliable performance, a vibrant display, and impressive sound quality. Priced at $600, it presents a compelling alternative to the S23 Ultra, maintaining a balance between features and affordability.