Samsung skipped two ahead in just one year – is the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE really that much better than the S21 FE from last year? Yes and no. There are several key upgrades especially relating to the chipset and camera, but it is still isn’t on the level of the true S23 models (or even something like the S22+).
Let’s address the elephant in the room – the chipset. Samsung is typically quiet on the subject and only says “Advanced 4nm Processing”. We know that it’s an either-or situation – you’re either getting the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or the Exynos 2200 and it will depend on where you live. Not impressive compared to the 2023 phones and their “for Galaxy” chips, but still a solid upgrade over the Snapdragon 888/Exynos 2100 of the S21 FE.
This year the base configuration includes 8GB of RAM, doing away with the outdated 6GB option. You can’t have more than 8GB, but the same is true of the S23 and S23+. The storage is 128GB or 256GB with no expansion slot.
With that covered, the next major thing to discuss is the upgraded main camera – it now sports a 50MP sensor, up from 12MP. This doesn’t mean that the S23 FE is on par with the S23 or even S22 phones, however, as it still has lower resolution ultrawide (10MP, 123°) and telephoto cameras (8MP, 3x). Also, the selfie camera inexplicably falls to 10MP resolution after two generations of 32MP sensors in the FE models.
The display is as expected – a flat 6.4” Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel with FHD+ resolution and 60-120Hz refresh rate.
The phone measures 158 x 76.5 x 8.2mm and weighs 209g. That makes it larger than the S21 FE (155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9mm) and quite a bit heavier at 177g. The body and internals of the phone are made out of recycled materials – pre-consumer aluminum and glass, plus post-consumer plastic (sourced from discarded fishing nets, water barrels and PET bottles).
In terms of longevity, the Galaxy S23 FE follows other high-end Samsung devices with 4 OS updates and 5 years of security patches (note: the phone comes with Android 13/One UI 5.1 out of the box). The phone is rated IP68 for dust and water resistance and you can subscribe to Samsung Care+ for cheaper repairs of accidental damage.
Despite being chunkier than its predecessor, this new model does not increase the battery capacity, which remains at 4,500mAh, wired charging similarly remains at 25W (0-50% is done in 30 minutes). Wireless charging is supported as well.
Pricing and availability will be confirmed shortly.