The Samsung Galaxy S23 is one of the best smartphones you can buy in 2023. The phone was released earlier this year but its price might be a turn off for some people. This is where the Galaxy S23 FE comes into the picture. It is an affordable flagship with premium specs, last year’s flagship processor among a few other features. This is the MO of the Samsung FE series and it is exactly what the S23 FE offers.
You can get the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE in Kenya for as low as ksh 87,000 for the 128GB variant. The price varies depending on the configuration you choose and where you get it from.
What is it?
The Galaxy S23 FE is an affordable flagship from Samsung. It has some of the specs and features we had on last year’s Galaxy S22 series with a few improvements to make sure it is cheaper than the current S23 series. Some of its key specs include the Exynos 2200 processor, 8GB of RAM, 1080p AMOLED display, 50MP main sensor among others.
Who is it for?
The Galaxy s23 FE is for anyone who wants the S23 flagship experience but isn’t willing to get it at the current price. This phone can do almost all what the S23 series can do at a fraction of the price.
Where can you get it?
You can get this phone in Kenya through Samsung branded shops as well as most online retailers including Gadgets Leo, Jumia, phone Place Kenya and even Samsung Brand Cart.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Specifications
Here are some of the key specifications of the Galaxy S23 FE.
- Display: 6.4-inch (1080 x 2340 pixels)
- Processor: Exynos 2200
- Rear Camera: 50MP + 8MP +12MP
- Front Camera: 10MP
- RAM: 8GB
- Storage: 128/ 256GB
- Battery Capacity: 4,500mAh, 25W charging
- Android 13, One UI 5.1
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE: Design and Build
You can tell this is a cheaper Galaxy S23 from its appearance. It does have very thick bezels that you get used to very fast but do not look good when you see the phone for the first time. Compared to the S23 from earlier this year, the bezels here are visible and take a big chunk of the display.
The Galaxy S23 has Gorilla Glass on both the front and back with an aluminum side panel. The phone has the same design as the S23 and S23 Plus. From the camera placement at the back to the overall design, you may not really tell which is which unless you interact with both phones.
The design and build is good overall, very simple yet elegant. It is chunky and heavy but still comfortable to hold and use for long periods. The thick bezels and not that appealing to the eyes and I would have hoped for thinner ones for an even better look.
The phone also has dual stereo speakers. The sound quality you get from the speakers is quite good and worth the flagship status.
A 6.4-inch AMOLED display comes standard on the Galaxy S23 FE. This display has 120Hz refresh rate and a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. Using this display under direct sunlight is possible as it gets bright enough for that. If you are interested in the technical details, the display reaches 1450 nits. This is not as bright as what I had in the S23 when I reviewed it earlier this year but it still gets the job done.
The display is sharp form day to day use and even media consumption. You do get the flagship feel when using it as it is crisp with good color reproduction and amazing viewing angles. Since it is AMOLED, the blacks are very deep and very immersive.
There is an optical fingerprint scanner on this display to help unlock the phone among other security features. It is good and fast and works all the time but this is not the ultrasonic sensor the Galaxy S23 had. This is one of the areas Samsung has cut corners to keep the price low. I have no preference for the scanner as they both work great and I had no issues with the one of the S23 FE during my review period.
Performance and Software
The Exynos 2200 processor on the Galaxy S23 FE offers very good performance. The phone does get a bit hot when used over long periods but it does not get too hot to be uncomfortable to use. This processor is capable of anything thrown at it as I managed to play PUBG at high settings and the experience was smooth.
8GB of RAM comes standard on the S23 FE with either 128 or 256GB of storage. The variant you choose should be influenced by how you are planning to use the phone and how much you are willing to spend.
It comes with Android 13 with One UI 5.1. This is the same software we had on the Galaxy S23 Series. The phone is also scheduled to get One UI 6 later this year or early next year. The software experience has been good so far. Features like DeX are still available and work really well.
This is where I was really impressed with the galaxy S23 FE. Having used the base model S23 earlier this year, I have been impressed with the quality of photos I got with the S23 FE. I honestly feel like they look much better than what I got with the S23. Photos are sharp and detailed and night shots are even better. I mostly took photos with the primary 50MP camera that impressed me. Color accuracy is on point and saturation is equally as good. The back camera can also record 8K videos at 24 fps.
Below are some of the sample shots I got with this phone.
What is the battery life of the s23fe? A 4500 mAh battery provides all the power and can easily last an entire day on a single charge. I got around 5 hours of screen on time in most cases. I am a heavy user who is constantly on the phone and I had no issues using it for the whole day on a single charge. The battery drains significantly especially when on mobile data. For a chunky phone like this, 4500 mAh is a bit small and I hope Samsung bumps that up to 5000 mAh on the next model. With 5000 mAh, I am confident I can have over 20% battery remaining when I go to bed.
The S23 FE supports 25W charging which is not the fastest. Samsung has to improve its charging speeds and at least have 33W charging. 25W charging takes quite a long time to fully charge this phone when running low. The phone also gets warm when charging but this is what you expect. It does not get hot to make it uncomfortable to use.
Is the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE worth it? The answer is a resounding yes. I have loved using this phone for the 4 weeks I have had it. It has a flagship build and premium enough to make it worth the money. It has all the flagship features from last year but is equally as good as the S23 base model and costs less. This phone is perfect if you have been eyeing the S23 but are yet to buy one.
The S23 FE has a very good AMOLED display, is very powerful, has very good cameras and the software experience is smooth too. The only issue I have is the battery and fast charging options and the thick bezels. Everything else is flagship level. This phone will not disappoint you and is worth the money.
Is there going to be a Samsung S23 Fe?
Yes, there is a Samsung S23 FE already. This phone was unveiled in October 2023 and is available in Kenya starting from ksh 87,000.
What is the difference between S23 and S23 Fe?
The key difference is in the processor, the S23 FE comes with last years Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200. The base model Galaxy S23 is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2.
What does Fe stand for Samsung?
FE on Samsung devices stands for Fan Edition. It is a series of devices meant to be a cheaper flagship mostly having previous year’s processor and a few other features. It is meant to be an alternative to the current Samsung flagship phones.
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