The Galaxy S23 FE arrived on the market after a year’s hiatus in the ‘Fan Edition’ line. Now featuring hardware from the previous generation of the Galaxy S line, the model lags a little behind the others in performance. Will it still be a good value-for-money option for those looking for a premium cell phone? That’s what we’re going to discover in this analysis.
Design and Screen
The appearance of the Galaxy S23 FE is similar to the S23 and S23 Plus models. The aluminum sides are slightly curved, which increases its size a little, but offers a neat grip. The edges of the screen are very thin, and the front camera is in a centralized hole, right at the top.
At the back, the three camera lenses are embedded directly into the glass back, all slightly protruding outwards. The buttons are on the right side, and below are one of the speakers and the USB-C connector. The model is IP68 certified, so it can get wet and be submerged in 1.5 meters of water for 30 minutes, in addition to being protected against dust.
The screen is similar to the main line, but with a size between the S23 and S23 Plus, 6.4 inches. The panel is 2X Dynamic AMOLED, with excellent color accuracy and striking contrast. The brightness is optimal, but it is a little lower than the other two models.
Here, we enter what is perhaps the most controversial aspect of this model. Instead of bringing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip from the other S23, Samsung opted for the Exynos from the Galaxy S22 line. It is a processor that suffers from excessive heating and poor energy management.
The promise is that it has improved. But that’s not exactly what I saw during testing. The device heated up a lot in AnTuTu and games, forcing me to lower the graphics quality to get the expected performance. That’s a problem for Samsung to fix via software updates in the future.
The Galaxy S23 FE has similar cameras to the S23 but with slightly inferior sensors. That, combined with the previous generation chip, results in slightly inferior photos. Even so the color accuracy and textures are excellent and well above most competitors.
The main problems are in night mode and zoom. The first is well below the main line, with graininess in more challenging scenarios. Sometimes the S23 FE doesn’t even recognize the need to switch to night mode. The 3x zoom camera has quality well below what we saw on the S23 and S23 Plus.
The quality of the Galaxy S23’s photos is marvelous, higher than most phones. But, if you want the best set available, we recommend a more advanced model from the Galaxy S23 line (especially for zoom and night mode).
The Galaxy S23 FE has a battery life of 18 hours, according to the FreeGameGuide test. The test is quite demanding, and normal use should last a full day, with a small amount left over. But I expected a little more from this model, which has 4,500 mAh of charging capacity.
Quick recharging takes about an hour and a half to fill the entire battery. In half an hour you already have enough charge for half the day. The model also supports wireless charging, but it takes longer.
Features and connectivity
The Galaxy S23 FE doesn’t owe much to its more advanced brothers in terms of features and connectivity. The device comes out of the box with One UI 5.1, which runs on Android 13. And it promises four operating system version updates plus five years of security updates.
Speaking of security, the model has fingerprint reading under the screen, which is very accurate and fast. You can unlock the screen with PIN, password, pattern drawing or even facial recognition. And when you buy the S23 FE, you get two years of Galaxy Lock at no cost.
In terms of connectivity, the model has a physical USB-C connector. In wireless networks, in addition to 5G, it has dual-band Wi-Fi (and not tri-band like the other S23), Bluetooth 5.3, and NFC.
There is no shortage of alternatives to the Galaxy S23 FE. Motorola has the Edge+, which is excellent in most areas.
- Above-average stereo speakers
Good battery life
Cameras take good photos for a Motorola
It’s the best feeling of fluidity I’ve ever had on Android
High brightness and excellent definition OLED screen
For those who prefer Chinese options, the Poco F5 could be a good option:
- Beautiful design
Great AMOLED screen
Good main camera
Long battery life
If you want a Samsung phone, you can spend a little more on the more complete Galaxy S23 or S23 Plus. Or save money and take the Galaxy A54, which is not as good as the S23 FE, but is also very competent in all aspects.
- Great screen to watch media or play games
Battery with satisfactory autonomy
Decent performance for the price
IP67 protection is amazing
Android with four version updates
Is the Galaxy S23 FE worth it?
It is a decent mid-range phone but has some shortcomings and is not worth the launch price that Samsung charges.
The issue is performance and overheating. The smartphone will be one of the best value for money on the market once Samsung fixes those problems.
Galaxy S23 FE
Unlocked for All Carriers
Operating System: One UI, Android 13.0
Cellular Technology: 5G
Memory Storage Capacity: 128 GB
Connectivity Technology: Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, NFC
Screen Size: 6.4 Inches
Wireless network technology: GSM, CDMA