Samsung Galaxy S23 FE First Impression – A More Powerful Galaxy A54?

Samsung took us off guard by announcing a list of Fan Edition devices this year including the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE which we thought Samsung axed in the lineup after skipping the Galaxy S22 FE.

I have received the review unit from Samsung Malaysia, here’s my unboxing video and first impression article.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Specifications

  • CPU: Samsung Exynos 2200, 4nm Process
  • GPU: Xclipse 920 based AMD RDNA 2
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB UFS 3.1
  • Display: 6.4″ 2,340 x 1,080 Dynamic AMOLED 2X, Adaptive 60Hz-120Hz, HDR10+, 1,450 nits Peak Brightness
  • Rear Camera: 50MP f/1.8, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS + 12MP f/2.2 123˚ Ultrawide + 8MP f/2,4 3x Optical, OIS Telephoto
  • Front Camera: 10MP f/2.4
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.3
  • Battery: 4,500mAh @ 25W Fast Charging / 10W Fast Wireless Charge
  • Dimension & Weight: 158 x 76.5 x 8.2mm @ 209g
  • Others: Corning Gorilla Glass 5, IP68 Water Resistant, Samsung Pay, In-display Finger Scanner
  • PriceRM 2,999 (8GB+256GB) / RM 3,299 (8GB+256GB)

Design

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE

Undeniably there are just too many similarities with the Samsung Galaxy A54 when it comes to its design. It sports the same rounded frame corners, same display size, Corning Gorilla Glass 5 protection, even the exact same camera position, and LED flash.

In actual fact, there is significant flagship hardware offered in the Galaxy S23 FE; a more advanced Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, an aluminum frame, an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, a powerful Samsung Exynos 2200 5G processor, and a more practical 8MP 3x optical telephoto.

The power button and volume rocker are positioned on the right, and the USB C and a down-firing speaker are found at the bottom. Formed dual stereo loudspeaker with the earpiece and support Dolby Atmos.

On the top, you will find the dual SIM card tray but lacks a microSD card slot – which I believe the Fans would like to have.

Offers four vibrant and charming colour selections; Mint, Purple, Graphite, and Cream which I have for review.

Display

The 6.4-inch 2,340 x 1,080 Full HD Dynamic AMOLED 2X display boasted a 120Hz refresh rate. This fills the gap between the Galaxy S23 (6.1-inch) and the larger Galaxy S23 Plus (6.6-inch).

Delivers vivid and immersive display experiences in any lighting conditions be it under bright sunlight or in the dark. This is thanks to the high 1,450 nits peak brightness with Vision Booster and Eye Comfort Shield that reduces blue light.

Processor

Offered with two processor options but for Malaysia, we are getting the Samsung Exynos 2200 chip. It is fabricated based on a 4nm process, an Octa-core CPU comprising a Cortex X2 core, three Cortex A710 cores, and four Cortex A510 cores. Paired with Xclipse 920 GPU, based on AMD’s RDNA 2 architecture. It is similar performance to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 which was offered to only the US counterpart.

Configured with 8GB of memory, with storage options of 128GB and 256GB.

Camera

Equipped with a triple rear camera setup; a 50MP f/1.8 primary camera with Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), a 12MP f/2.2 fixed-focus ultrawide, and an 8MP 3x telephoto with OIS. Samsung also included the Nightography features on this device.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is capable of recording video up to 8K/24fps and 4K/30fps if you want to record with the ultrawide camera. More on the camera performance and photo samples in my full review.

It still gets the awkward silver trim on its center-hole punch cutout that houses the 10MP selfie camera.

OneUI 5.1

Shipped with the Samsung OneUI 5.1 based on Android 13 and will receive the same software updates treatment; 4 years of major OS upgrade (up to Android 17) and 5 years of security updates.

Battery

Backed with a 4,500 mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging and 10W wireless charging. It should be able to provide all-day battery life for most users considering the screen size and power efficiency of the 4nm CPU.

Price & Availability

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is available with a starting price of RM 2,999. Samsung Malaysia is currently running Epic rewards with up to RM 800 instant rebate plus an additional RM 350 when you trade in your old device on top of the trade-in device value. Even without trade in any device, you can own the Galaxy S23 FE at only RM 2,199 (128GB) and RM 2,499 (256GB). The offer is valid until 30th November 2023 and is available on Samsung Malaysia E-store

A More Powerful Galaxy A54?

That is a yes and a no, aesthetically they looks identical but it is the bit and bits that made the Galaxy S23 FE a nearly flagship device. With the introductary promotion, this made the Galaxy S23 FE a better deal compared to the Galaxy A54.

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