May 23, 2024
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE

With nearly flagship-level specs and pricing that fall between the most expensive A Series smartphone and the most affordable S Series smartphone, Samsung’s FE series has long been a fan favorite. This was evident with the debut of the first Samsung Galaxy S20 FE. Samsung released two FE smartphones this year: the updated S21 FE, which now sports Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 888, and the new Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, which sports the Exynos 2200 SoC and a slew of other features that could theoretically make the smartphone appear like a flagship. Should you get the much-awaited Samsung Galaxy S23 FE at its starting price of Rs. 59,999, and does it live up to the brand’s promise made when it debuted the first “Fan Edition” smartphone? Let’s investigate this through the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE review

Cost of the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE in India

I’ve been using the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE base variant, which costs Rs. 59,999 and comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage in the Mint color option. For Rs. 64,999, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is also offered in a more expensive 256GB storage version with the same amount of RAM (8GB). This edition of the smartphone is quite similar to the standard Samsung Galaxy S23, which is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. There are two additional color possibilities for the smartphone: graphite and purple. Additionally, the company has introduced two limited-edition color variants for this smartphone: Tangerine and Indigo, which are only available for purchase on their official website.

Design

Many individuals may be familiar with the design of the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE. It has matte-finished aluminum side rails, volume rockers, and a power key that is as tactile and responsive as a flagship smartphone should be. It shares design cues with the Samsung Galaxy S23 and A54. With the dual nano SIM card slot on the smartphone, users can use two physical SIM cards or one physical card and one E-Sim simultaneously. It is a little unfortunate because there is no extendable storage. It has dual speakers that are fairly powerful and a USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C port.

Display

The 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display on the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE has a resolution of 1080 x 2340 pixels. Whether I discuss the sharpness or the colors it generates, the display itself is amazing. Although the bezels are rather thick for a smartphone that costs over $50,000 and is positioned as the manufacturer’s entry-level flagship, I didn’t have any qualms on that front. If I claimed that it vanishes when you immerse yourself in content—that would be a lie—because it still remains and confronts you directly.

With a peak brightness of up to 1450 nits, it is HDR10+ certified and feels exceptionally bright both indoors and outside. While utilizing the smartphone in direct sunshine, I did not notice any significant discoloration on the display. You can select an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz or the regular 60Hz refresh rate on the smartphone. When navigating the UI, apps, or gaming, everything feels seamless.

Camera

It has a triple rear camera setup: an 8-megapixel telephoto camera with a 3x optical zoom and a f2.4 aperture and a 75mm focal range with OIS, a 12-megapixel ultra-wide camera with a f2.2 aperture, and a primary 50-megapixel camera with a f1.8 aperture and 24mm focal range with OIS.

The smartphone’s primary and telephoto cameras both use phase detection autofocus (PDAF), which helps it focus on moving objects quite well. The primary camera’s daylight photographs were fairly impressive, with plenty of fine details in the highlights and shadows and crisp images from corner to corner.

For selfies, it has a 10-megapixel, f2.4 lens that produces great daytime, evening, and portrait images. It keeps the same color palette as the other cameras on board, and because it takes a while to display the finished image, you will see that post-processing is taking place in the background when you click.

With its primary camera, the smartphone can capture images in up to 8K resolution at 24 frames per second. This is a capability that is uncommon for smartphones in this price range. Using this smartphone, I recorded several handheld 8K videos, and I was pleased with the quality of the footage I obtained. If you ever wanted to edit these videos, you could play about with the large dynamic range, abundant details, and stabilization of the videos. It is also capable of recording videos in 4K at 60 frames per second. For content creators, the front camera’s ability to record films at up to 4K 60 frames per second is fairly impressive.

Battery and Charging

The smartphone’s 4500mAh battery lasts a respectable amount of time for moderate use, but not long at all when gaming and video streaming with a high refresh rate are engaged. In our battery loop test, the Samsung S23 FE ran for 16 hours and 25 minutes. As 25W charging capability is far too sluggish for 2023, support for charging would have been nice, especially as Samsung does not include a charger in the retail packaging. In comparison to other smartphones in this price range, the smartphone charged up to 25% in 30 minutes and 65% in an hour during our testing. This is far too slow.

Performance

It’s unfortunate, at least theoretically, that the Samsung S23 FE in India uses Samsung’s Exynos 2200 4nm SoC rather than Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 that US customers are receiving. We utilized the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE to run all necessary benchmarks, and the outcomes were quite favorable. It received scores of 3,232 on GeekBench 6, 1,174,800 on AnTuTu v.10.0.10, and 1130 on single core. I used high graphic settings and played Call of Duty & Real Racing 3. Both games performed flawlessly.

The gameplay was fluid and the framerate didn’t drop too much. It was true that the smartphone warmed up a bit after each game session. Based on Android 13, OneUI 5.1 works on the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE right out of the box, providing a somewhat seamless user experience with minimal pre-installed apps.

 

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