Galaxy S23 FE

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Review: Pros And Cons And Reasons To Buy

Samsung’s latest addition to its premium smartphone lineup, the Galaxy S23 FE, promises to deliver a blend of affordability and premium features. In this comprehensive review, we’ll dive into the key aspects of the phone, including design, display, performance, battery life, and camera capabilities. Additionally, we’ll explore whether the Galaxy S23 FE is a better deal compared to its flagship counterpart, the regular S23.

Design and Build Quality

The Galaxy S23 FE continues the tradition of the FE series by offering a premium yet more budget-friendly alternative to Samsung’s flagship models. The phone boasts a glass back in a stunning purple colorway, providing a sophisticated look. The silver accents on the camera rings add a touch of elegance, while the matte aluminum frame enhances the device’s overall feel.

Unlike its predecessor, the S23 FE steps up its game by featuring a glass back instead of plastic, contributing to a more premium feel. The increased weight, while unexpected, adds to the phone’s substantial and high-quality build. Furthermore, the device comes with IP68-rated ingress protection against dust and water, ensuring durability in various conditions.

Display Quality

The Galaxy S23 FE sports a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a 1080p resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate. While the bezels are slightly thicker compared to true flagship models, the display delivers excellent sharpness and color accuracy. The inclusion of HDR10 Plus support enhances the viewing experience for compatible video content.

However, it’s worth noting that the front uses Gorilla Glass 5 instead of the more advanced Gorilla Glass Victus found in the previous model, representing a subtle downgrade in display protection.

The adaptive refresh rate, although not as dynamic as on flagship devices, contributes to a smooth user experience, able to scale down to 60Hz when idling to conserve energy.

Audio and Biometrics

The Galaxy S23 FE impresses with its stereo speakers, delivering excellent loudness and richer, deeper sound compared to its predecessors. The provided under-display fingerprint scanner proves to be fast and reliable, allowing for convenient and secure unlocking of the device.

Storage Options and Software

Offering 128 or 256GB of non-expandable storage, the Galaxy S23 FE provides ample space for users’ needs. Running on Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1, the phone offers a familiar software experience found in higher-end Galaxy models. The promise of up to 4 years of OS upgrades and 5 years of security patches adds to the device’s longevity.

Performance and Chipset

Equipped with either an Exynos 2200 or a Snapdragon 8 Gen1 chipset, the S23 FE maintains the FE series tradition of utilizing flagship-grade yet slightly outdated processors. While not on par with the latest flagship devices, the phone’s performance remains snappy and powerful for practical use.

However, prolonged stress tests reveal some thermal management issues, with significant CPU throttling and unimpressive GPU stability during extended gaming sessions.

Battery Life and Charging

The new battery life test reveals that the S23 FE’s 4500mAh battery earns a commendable active use score of 9 hours and 45 minutes. While individual usage times vary, the phone performs well in calls and video streaming but falls slightly below average in web browsing and gaming.

The 25W fast charging capability, combined with support for wireless and reverse wireless charging, ensures efficient and versatile charging options. Shopping link: Galaxy S23 FE.

Camera Capabilities

The camera setup on the Galaxy S23 FE mirrors that of the S23, featuring a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, and an 8MP 3x telephoto lens. The main camera produces impressive photos with high detail, contrast, and dynamic range. In low-light conditions, the automatic night mode enhances photo quality significantly.

Video recording capabilities include 8K resolution at 24fps for the main camera, delivering good quality with true-to-life colors and wide dynamic range. The 4K footage maintains detail and sharpness, although some users may find the sharpening slightly excessive.

The 8MP telephoto lens provides adequate detail, but occasional drops in performance may occur during demanding games. The 12MP ultra-wide camera excels in capturing wide shots with excellent detail, low noise, and lively colors.

Selfies from the 10MP front camera exhibit high detail, good contrast, and realistic colors, enhancing the overall camera experience.


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  • Affordable Premium Option: The Galaxy S23 FE offers a more budget-friendly alternative to flagship smartphones while maintaining a premium build and features.
  • Impressive Display: The 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a 1080p resolution and 120Hz refresh rate provides sharp visuals, excellent color accuracy, and support for HDR10 Plus, enhancing the overall viewing experience.
  • Quality Stereo Speakers: The phone features stereo speakers with excellent loudness and richer, deeper sound compared to previous models, contributing to an immersive audio experience.
  • Versatile Camera System: The camera setup, including a 50MP main camera, 12MP ultra-wide, and 8MP 3x telephoto lens, delivers impressive photo and video quality. The inclusion of features like night mode and 8K video recording adds versatility to the camera capabilities.
  • Under-Display Fingerprint Scanner: The under-display fingerprint scanner is both fast and reliable, providing convenient and secure biometric authentication.
  • Ample Storage Options: With storage options of 128GB or 256GB, users have sufficient space for apps, media, and files.
  • Long-Term Software Support: Samsung promises up to 4 years of OS upgrades and 5 years of security patches, ensuring the device stays up-to-date for an extended period.
  • IP68 Ingress Protection: The phone boasts an IP68 rating for dust and water resistance, enhancing durability and reliability in various environmental conditions.
  • Fast Charging and Wireless Charging: The device supports 25W fast charging, allowing for quick replenishment of the 4500mAh battery. Additionally, it features wireless charging and reverse wireless charging for added convenience.


  • Slightly Heavier Build: The Galaxy S23 FE is surprisingly heavier compared to its predecessor, potentially impacting the user’s perception of portability and comfort.
  • Thermal Management Issues: During prolonged stress tests, the phone exhibits significant CPU throttling and unstable GPU performance, potentially affecting performance during demanding gaming sessions.
  • Front Glass Downgrade: The front uses Gorilla Glass 5 instead of Gorilla Glass Victus found in the previous model, representing a slight downgrade in display protection.
  • Average Battery Life for Web Browsing and Gaming: While the overall battery life is commendable, web browsing and gaming performance falls slightly below average, potentially impacting users with heavy usage in these areas.
  • Limited Telephoto Camera Performance: The 8MP 3x telephoto lens may experience occasional drops in performance, particularly during demanding games, which could affect the user experience for photography enthusiasts.

Reasons to Buy:

  1. Balanced Performance: The Galaxy S23 FE offers a well-rounded performance, suitable for everyday use, multimedia consumption, and casual gaming.
  2. Premium Design: The glass back and aluminum frame provide a premium look and feel, offering an aesthetically pleasing design in an affordable package.
  3. Quality Display and Audio: The impressive display, combined with quality stereo speakers, ensures an immersive multimedia experience for users who prioritize audiovisual quality.
  4. Camera Capabilities: The versatile camera system with night mode, 8K video recording, and reliable under-display fingerprint scanner make the S23 FE an appealing choice for photography enthusiasts.
  5. Long-Term Software Support: The commitment to extended software updates ensures that users can enjoy the latest features and security enhancements for an extended period.
  6. Affordability: As a more budget-friendly alternative to flagship models, the Galaxy S23 FE offers a compelling option for users seeking premium features without the premium price tag.


In conclusion, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE stands out as a well-rounded smartphone, offering a great display, impressive speakers, a powerful chipset, and capable cameras. As an affordable alternative to the flagship S23, the S23 FE delivers on many fronts. However, the decision between the two may depend on market pricing and individual preferences.

If the price difference between the S23 and S23 FE is minimal, opting for the higher-end model may be justifiable, especially for users who prioritize a slightly smaller screen. Nevertheless, the  Galaxy S23 FE remains an attractive choice for those seeking a premium smartphone that doesn’t break the bank, providing a satisfying blend of performance and features. Get it here: Galaxy S23 FE.


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Simon is a technology writer and researcher. He's also an avid sports fan, especially when it comes to the FCB. When not working, you can usually find him tweaking his Android devices or reading political news.