What does FE actually stand for on the newly launched Samsung Galaxy S23 FE? FE stands for Fan Edition, where the company listens to what the Fans want. So, does Samsung offer what the Fans really want?
Here are the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE specs:
- 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 6E, Bluetooth 5.3
- Battery: 4,500mAh @ 25W Fast Charging / 10W 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
- Price: RM 2,999 (8GB+256GB) / RM 3,299 (8GB+256GB)
Let’s begin with the price, which is the first thing Fans really want. Afford flagship. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is available in two storage configurations; 128GB and 256GB; at the launch price of RM 2,999 and RM 3,299 respectively.
Samsung Malaysia was offered an RM 800 instant discount plus an additional RM 350 cash rebate if you trade in your old device on top of the device’s value. That’s translated to RM 2,199 and RM 2,499 without trade-in. It can go further to RM 1,849 or RM 2,149 if you plan to upgrade your old device. To be honest, it’s more value for money compared to the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A54.
Design & Display
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is positioned at a more budget tier in the Galaxy S23 series lineup, the company didn’t cheap out the build.
Align with the same triple camera setup at the back that gives it a distinctive Samsung look just like the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23+.
Instead of being protected with Corning Gorilla Glass Victus, the front and both are protected with not-too-shabby Gorilla Glass 5 along with an aluminum frame. The device looks and feels solid but the edges between the frame and glasses are a little too sharp to hold caseless.
You can obviously tell cost cutting on the front, where it has quite thick and non-symmetrical bezels, especially the bottom chin.
Not forgetting the Galaxy A-series front selfie silver trim that looks cheap – sorry even other mid-range brands can have better implementation.
I’m still impressed with its display, sporting a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X Adaptive 120Hz display, supports HDR10+, and boasts up to 1,450 nits peak brightness. The Samsung Vision Booster increases visibility under bright sunlight without degrading its color output.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE even gets the flagship’s water and dust IP68 rating protection.
Audio Quality & Haptics
It features a stereo dual speaker and they are loud but they are not as full as other flagship lineups. The vibration motor and haptic feedback are rather weak for a flagship-tier device.
Performance & Battery
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes in two variants of chipset; either the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or the Samsung Exynos 2200. The Snapdragon version is made available for the US and North America, while the rest of the world gets the Exynos including Malaysia.
The Samsung Exynos chipset doesn’t receive a good reputation for its inconsistent performance, battery efficiency, and heating issues. Based on my usage for close to two weeks now, the random stuttering issue does occur when I play Asphalt 9 and Genshin Impact but it doesn’t affect a lot with the gameplay. This only happens with high-intensive games, I reckon it’s the hardware-accelerated Ray Tracing that compensates performance stability for better battery life.
It seems that Samsung has addressed the heating issue by using a larger vapor chamber for the 4nm Exynos 2200 chipset. I have run three rounds of intensive AnTuTu benchmark tests back to back and it was able to retain over 1,000,000 scores while keeping the temperature below 45 degrees.
Overall, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE performance is similar to last year’s Samsung Galaxy S22 series or maybe better.
Packed with a 4,500 mAh battery that provides enough day-to-day use if I use it cautiously. I wish it had a faster wired charging to compensate for the small battery. I’m glad to know it still features wireless charging where I can top up some juice while working and wireless reverse charge my Galaxy Buds2 Pro and my HUAWEI Watch GT3 when needed.
Equipped with a practical triple camera setup; a 50MP f/1.8 primary camera with OIS; and it is capable of recording up to 8K@24fps, alongside a 12MP f/2.2 fixed focus ultrawide camera, and an 8MP f/2.4 3x telephoto with OIS.
The photo quality is excellent and on par with the Galaxy S23 with plenty of detail and Samsung’s high contrast. I also noticed the photos taken on ultrawide now have a closer white balance with the primary camera. Night mode is great with its noise control.
Coming to the 3x zoom, the colors are pleasant with decent dynamic range but noticed some noises on darker colour objects or shadows.
Full resolution on GDrive
One UI & Updates
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with One UI 5.1 installed, and it will get 4 years of software updates with 5 years of security patches – a new standard for most midrange & flagship Samsung phones. This means the Galaxy S23 FE will get Android updates to Android 17 and security updates until 2028.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Review
Does it live up to the Fan Edition? It’s a yes and no. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is an affordable flagship device that the Samsung S-series fans would want to have but with a condition of permanent promotion of RM 800 discount. This is because the base model of Samsung Galaxy S23 with 256GB is going for just RM 3,299.
If you don’t have the budget to splurge for a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 phone, the Galaxy S23 FE is worth the consideration.