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The best Samsung Galaxy S23 FE alternatives: 6 phones to consider before you buy
Samsung has finally revealed the Galaxy S23 FE, and we’ve got a pretty capable smartphone for $599. Between the FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen, versatile triple rear camera setup, water resistance, and wireless charging, there’s a lot to like here. What if you want something different, though? We’ve got you covered with a look at the best Galaxy S23 FE alternatives.
1. Samsung Galaxy S23
The base Galaxy S23 is one of the better alternatives on this list, as you’re still getting Samsung’s full-featured One UI skin, a great update pledge, and extras like an IP68 rating and wireless charging.
However, Samsung’s base flagship stands out thanks to the more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. So those who value top-flight performance should keep this in mind. Other advantages over the S23 FE include a better telephoto camera on paper, a more compact design, and an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner.
In saying so, the S23 FE does have a larger battery compared to the S23 (4,500mAh versus 3,900mAh). Keep that in mind if endurance is high on your list of priorities. It’s also worth noting that the S23 had a launch price of $800, but deals will bring the price down significantly.
2. Google Pixel 8
The Pixel 8 launched less than a day after the Galaxy S23 FE, and it offers a pretty interesting proposition too. Google’s phone brings an incredibly impressive seven years of OS and security updates, a flagship processor that seems more powerful on paper, and a better main camera in theory. We also get Gorilla Glass Victus on the front, which should offer superior drop protection versus Gorilla Glass 5 on the S23 FE.
Google’s new handset also matches the Galaxy S23 FE with features like an IP68 rating, wireless charging, and an FHD+ 120Hz OLED screen. Toss in Pixel-exclusive software features and Feature Drops, and there’s a lot to like here.
It’s not all good for the new Pixel, though. The phone is $100 more expensive than the S23 FE and lacks a dedicated telephoto camera. But it’s certainly one of the best Galaxy S23 FE alternatives if you care about software, updates, and camera quality.
3. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
The last Galaxy FE phone is also worth considering if you want a Galaxy S23 FE alternative. The Galaxy S21 FE was overshadowed by the Galaxy S22 series launch roughly a month later, but the FE device is still worth a look in 2023, especially if you can find one on the cheap.
Samsung’s 2022 release shares plenty in common with its successor, namely the same 6.4-inch screen, 4,500mAh battery with 25W wired charging, wireless charging support, an IP68 rating, and the same secondary rear cameras. Oddly enough, this phone also packs Gorilla Glass Victus versus the new handset’s Gorilla Glass 5.
There are a couple of areas where the phone lags behind the S23 FE though. You’ve still got a 12MP main camera instead of a 50MP primary shooter. You’re also getting a Snapdragon 888 or Exynos 2100 chip instead of the slightly more powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200. Nevertheless, you’re getting most of the Galaxy S23 FE by opting for this model.
4. Apple iPhone SE 2022
Another 2022 release makes the list, and the third-generation iPhone SE is worth considering if you want a cost-effective entry into the Apple ecosystem. The iPhone SE 2022 ticks some of the same boxes as the S23 FE, such as an IP68 rating, wireless charging, a powerful processor, and a solid update pledge.
Apple’s phone does have loads of downsides compared to the Samsung phone, though. You’ve got a much smaller screen that tops out at 60Hz, a single 12MP rear camera system (no ultrawide or tele lens here), a smaller battery, and just 64GB of base storage.
The iPhone SE 2022 can be had for $400 or less these days, making it around $200 cheaper than the S23 FE. So you can always spend a little extra for a 128GB or 256GB model.
5. OnePlus 11
The OnePlus 11 is one of the best Galaxy S23 FE alternatives out there if you value performance and charging speed. More specifically, the phone packs a beefy Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and 100W wired charging (or 80W in the US).
The OnePlus handset brings the goods in several other areas too, packing a 5,000mAh battery, a great QHD+ OLED screen, and a flexible triple rear camera system with Hasselblad branding.
Unfortunately, the phone isn’t without its foibles. It’s $100 more expensive than the Galaxy S23 FE while lacking full-fledged water resistance and wireless charging. But those on the hunt for a reasonably priced powerhouse of a phone with brisk charging can do much worse.
6. Samsung Galaxy A54 5G
Can’t afford the Galaxy S23 FE but still want a decent, recently released Samsung phone? Then the Galaxy A54 5G is your next best option. The bad news is that you’re getting a squarely mid-range chipset, no wireless charging, and no telephoto camera.
The good news is that the A54 5G still packs features like an IP67 rating, a good primary camera, a slick display, and Samsung’s stellar update pledge. You even get a 5,000mAh battery that handily beats the S23 FE’s 4,500mAh cell.
The Galaxy A54 5G will set you back $450, which makes for a pretty respectable deal in light of what you’re getting.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE alternatives: Honorable mentions
Looking for more options? Here are two more phones worth keeping in mind:
- Google Pixel 7a ($477 at Amazon): Google’s mid-ranger brings plenty of features from the Pixel 7, including a Tensor G2 chip, great camera quality, wireless charging, and a lengthy update commitment. Expect a lower refresh rate, older Gorilla Glass, and even slower charging than the S23 FE, though.
- OnePlus 10T ($451.71 at Amazon): 2022’s OnePlus phone brings plenty of power, a big battery, crazy-fast charging, and a good screen. But you miss out on wireless charging, water resistance, and great cameras.