Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Review

The Samsung Galaxy S23 series, which offered significant improvements over the Galaxy S22 series, made an impression earlier this year. As part of its latest release, Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy S23 Fan Edition (FE), giving consumers access to the best features at a more reasonable price.

The newest model in the $599 S23 lineup, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, promises to deliver the best Galaxy experience available at this price point. The FE has been awarded the S23 label for its overall strength, productivity features, and build quality. While the FE costs $200 less than the next-cheapest Galaxy S23, some features, such as a slightly older chipset and larger bezels around the screen, fall short of the higher-end S23 range. Yet, these are easily overlooked. However, the $699 Google Pixel 8 offers many of the same features, including AI-powered image editing tools and the ability to work offline, making it our Editors’ Choice for midrange Android phones.

Unlike other phones, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is forced to fend for itself, which puts it in an uncomfortable position. The normal Galaxy S23, which has all the features of a Samsung flagship phone, can be seen above. The Galaxy A54, one of the cheapest phones available, sits just below it. Given that these options offer either greater features or lower prices, why not get the Galaxy S23 FE?

Samsung is guessing that while some phone users can’t live without certain features, others can easily sacrifice them to save a few dollars on a more powerful smartphone. And that’s the Galaxy S23 FE’s selling point: it offers some of the essential features of a Galaxy S phone in a more reasonably priced package.

Could a $599 handset with a dedicated telephoto lens tempt users to overlook the more sophisticated design and powerful processor of the Samsung flagship phone? Or is it able to convince consumers to spend more money than the highly praised Galaxy A54? This Samsung Galaxy S23 FE review seeks to confirm that.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Full Specification

AnnouncedOctober 04, 2023
First ReleaseOctober 05, 2023
Dimensions158 x 76.5 x 8.2 mm
Weight209 g
BuildGlass front (Gorilla Glass 5)
Glass back (Gorilla Glass 5)
Aluminum frame
SIMNano-SIM and eSIM
TypeDynamic AMOLED 2X
Size6.4 inches, 100.5 cm2 (~83.2% screen-to-body ratio)
Resolution1080 x 2340 pixels
ProtectionCorning Gorilla Glass 5
Operating SystemAndroid 13, One UI 5.1
ChipsetExynos 2200 (4 nm) – International
GPUXclipse 920 – International
Adreno 730 – USA
Card SlotNo
Internal128GB/ 8GB RAM
256GB/ 8GB RAM
Triple50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide)
8 MP, f/2.4, 75mm (telephoto)
12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
FeaturesLED flash, HDR, panorama
Video8K@24fps, 4K@30fps
Single10 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide)
LoudspeakerYes, with stereo speakers
3.5mm jackNo
WLANWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac/6e, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct
Bluetooth5.3, A2DP, LE
SensorsFingerprint (under display, optical), accelerometer, gyro
TypeLi-Ion 4500 mAh, non-removable
Charging25W wired, PD2.0, 50% in 30 min
ColorsMint, Cream, Graphite, Purple, Indigo, Tangerine
ModelsSM-S711B, SM-S711B/DS, SM-S711U1, SM-S711U, SM-S711W, SM-S7110
CameraPhoto / Video
Battery lifeUp-Comming
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Specifications

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Design

If you’re familiar with Samsung’s smartphone releases this year, the Galaxy S23 FE’s design won’t come as a surprise. It looks a lot like the flagship model and has many of the same design elements. Its dimensions put it in the range of the Galaxy S23 and S23+, almost matching the Galaxy A54 5G. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE has a similar aesthetic appeal to its more expensive predecessors. Though its build quality may not be the same.

The smartphone is well-built, with clean, well-defined edges and a glossy exterior. Furthermore, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE features Gorilla Glass 5, which has an IP68 rating and is dust and water-resistant. The phone’s glass back may be slick, as expected. The phone is designed in the standard Samsung manner and the button positions are similarly traditional.

The Galaxy S23 FE’s rear design largely mirrors Samsung’s flagship phones, including vertically stacked cameras that blend into the body of the device without the need for a camera bump. It has a pleasing minimalist design that highlights the colors of the phone The colors Samsung offers here are Mint, Purple, Cream, and Graphite. All of these colors seem a bit more vibrant than the S23’s more muted tones

The S23 FE differs from the S23 in that the camera lens extends slightly from the back of the phone. The design is more reminiscent of the Galaxy A54. Because of this, the Galaxy S23 FE is slightly wobbly when used with its back.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Camera

The S23 FE and S23 appear to have the same primary and ultra-wide cameras. This means that the level of detail and image quality are similar, if not identical. However, the Samsung Galaxy S23’s more powerful chipset may help produce better images.

Of course, telephoto cameras are not the same. While the S23 boasts a 10MP 3x telephoto lens (which produces more than passable shots), the S23 FE sports a 3x 8MP telephoto. Which we don’t expect much from. We don’t believe the fan version’s selfie camera will be comparable to the base flagship as that too is different.

Sample photos will be posted soon. So check back here to discover how these two camera systems differ in the real world

Galaxy S23 FE Camera Configuration

The Galaxy S23 FE has a significant upgrade in camera configuration. Compared to the previous FE model’s 12MP camera, the primary back camera now has 50MP, which is a big improvement. This improvement is especially noticeable in daylight shooting, which produces gorgeous images with good color accuracy and plenty of detail. For more detail in landscape shots, you can choose to switch to a 50MP setting. Even if the default setting only records images at 12MP. On the other hand, HDR performance is not always consistent.

An 8MP telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom is also included, providing versatility for a range of shooting situations. The 123˚ field of view and 12MP ultra-wide lens allow for capturing group photos and wide-angle landscapes. With this set of lenses, you can be sure that you can accurately and creatively capture various subjects and situations.

The 3x optical zoom camera delivers acceptable results in both normal and portrait situations. Regardless of whether you’re shooting at 3x or 30x, colors are attractive, and the dynamic range is decent, although the S23 FE’s zoomed images are rather soft. One good thing about the lens is that this softness has been corrected by some software updates.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Display

The Galaxy S23 FE features a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with a refresh rate of 120Hz and a resolution of 2340 x 1080. When there’s a lot of activity on the screen. Your screen scales up to 120Hz to smooth things out; Otherwise, it stays at a 60Hz speed. That’s a bit different from the Galaxy S23’s varied 48Hz to 120Hz rate. But if you opt for FE, you probably won’t notice the difference.

We’re finishing up tests in our lab on brightness and color reproduction. So we’ll share those results once we have them. The screen is rated for a maximum brightness of 1,450 nits, so it didn’t bother me too much. On reasonably sunny days, I was able to shoot outdoors without having to squint to see the viewfinder or controls. However, I found it useful to turn off adaptive brightness while playing games to prevent the on-screen action from getting too choppy.

In my opinion, the Samsung S23 has more color punch than the Galaxy S23 FE. The hauntingly dark moments of the Haunted Mansion on Disney+ felt a little blurry compared to other recent phones I’ve evaluated, like the Motorola Razr (2023). Although this is a brilliant video, everything looks better when watching the Napoleon trailer on YouTube.

While later testing may yield different results. I believe it’s safe to say that, while the Galaxy S23’s display is one of its best qualities. The Galaxy S23 FE is simply better.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Performance

Android 13 is the Galaxy S23 FE’s operating system, with Samsung’s One UI 5.1 overlay. It includes every feature found on non-FE models. Notably, it will be among the first Galaxy handsets to receive the upcoming One UI 6.0 and Android 14 updates, which promise a host of new features.

As for the chipset that Samsung uses for the Galaxy S23 FE. This is one area where it’s not afraid to make concessions. My review model has a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 system-on-a-chip rather than the more powerful Gen 2 silicon found in the rest of the S23 series because I’m in the US. An Exynos 2200 chip that you’ll find in other regions of the world Hopefully. This isn’t the first look at Samsung’s silicon handling strategy for the 2019 Galaxy S24.

powerful chip

Even though the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is still a powerful chip, you wouldn’t expect a phone running on an older system-on-chip to keep up with the current silicon. Still, according to our benchmark results, the Galaxy S23 FE outperforms the Galaxy S23 in both performance and graphics.

You can still notice the benefits of an older Snapdragon 8 series chipset when you compare it to the Galaxy S23 FE which seems to be better value. The S23 FE outperformed the Pixel 7a’s Tensor G2 chip as well as the Galaxy A54 and its Exynos 1380 chipset in both single- and multi-core tests on Geekbench 6. This also applies to 3DMark’s Wild Life Unlimited graphics test.

Our real-world test, where we convert a video using Adobe Premiere Rush and time the results, produces a particularly instructive result. The Galaxy S23 FE achieved an average time of 49 seconds, slower than the Galaxy S23, but the times were still within ten seconds of each other. By comparison, the Galaxy A54 needed over a minute and the Pixel 7a just 56 seconds. The Galaxy S23 FE will outperform other midrange phones, but it won’t offer flagship-level performance.

And the phone works perfectly in daily use. Playing PUBG Mobile never stuttered or slowed down, and switching between apps was a fairly easy process using the Galaxy S23 FE.

Audio Quality

Samsung’s Fan Edition line always has the same haptic feedback and audio quality as the flagship model. We’ll know for sure when we get a chance to test the S23 FE for ourselves. But for now, we think it’s fairly similar to the Galaxy S23. Which had speakers that seemed better than its predecessors. They had more bass and deeper sound.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Battery Life

One aspect of the Galaxy S23 FE with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset that worries me is how long the phone’s battery lasts. While the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 is incredibly efficient (just take a look at how many phones with that processor made it onto our list of top phones with the longest battery life). The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has a bit of a complicated history with power management. The Galaxy S23 FE, at least, has a larger 4,500 mAh battery that should help it last longer.

We can’t tell you if the S23 FE outlasts typical smartphones by surviving more than 10 hours because we didn’t complete our bespoke battery test. Where our device continuously browsed the web via cellular until it ran out of power. I’m aware that the battery indication dropped dramatically when I played several graphically demanding games and ran various tests on the phone. But that’s not truly representative of real-world usage.

charging speed

The charging speed of the Galaxy S23 FE is 25W, which is also the charging speed of the Galaxy S23. I wouldn’t call it a reason to celebrate, as it’s one of the slower charging rates, but at least you’re not giving up fast charging in favor of a less expensive phone. The Galaxy A54 doesn’t support wireless charging, but the S23 FE does.


  • 8K video recording
  • 6.4-inch display has 120Hz refresh rate
  • best photos, day or night
  • A dazzling display that’s so-smooth
  • A long-lasting battery


  • Heavyweight phone
  • Expensive


Anyone who takes a lot of photos and wants a camera system like the Galaxy S23 without paying the flagship rate is the perfect candidate for the Galaxy S23 FE. The Galaxy S23 FE succeeds in this regard, as its cameras take good pictures even in low light. However, night mode especially requires some fine-tuning.

The problem is that midrange cameras have improved. Even if they lack the special zoom lens of the Galaxy S23 FE. They’re still competitive in most other categories. Additionally, the Pixel 7a’s software-assisted Super Res zoom function can produce zoom-like results on the S23 FE.

The Galaxy S23 FE is a great option if you enjoy the Samsung name but find expensive smartphones too expensive. But I’d also say that the Galaxy A54 has its advantages and is more affordable. And that’s what really goes wrong with the Galaxy S23 FE, a phone I can recommend, though not very enthusiastically. It tries to balance the costs of midrange phones and flagship phones. But it fails to convince you that you should choose one over the other.

Also Read: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 Review