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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is here: Specs, pricing, availability, colors, and more

It took long enough, but the Galaxy S23 FE is indeed a thing.
By

Published onApril 8, 2024

Samsung came up with a winner when it launched the Galaxy S20 FE back in 2020, offering a flagship-level experience at a cheaper price than its mainline flagship phones. The firm had a bit of a misstep with the Galaxy S21 FE and reportedly canceled the Galaxy S22 FE, but it’s back with the Galaxy S23 FE. Here’s what you need to know about Samsung’s affordable flagship.

Want to hear our thoughts on the phone? Check out our Samsung Galaxy S23 FE review.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE: Release date, price, availability

The Korean brand revealed the Galaxy S23 FE on October 4, 2023. Samsung’s FE models are typically cheaper than the base Galaxy S flagship, and this remains true. Samsung charged $599 for the base 8GB/128GB model in the US, or $629.99 for the unlocked variant. The phone hit shelves on October 26.

Want the 256GB model? Then you’ll be paying $689.99. The phone doesn’t support a microSD card, so keep that in mind when choosing the storage variant.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE specs

samsung galaxy s23 fe standing by a rainy window
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE

The Galaxy S23 FE ships with familiar features compared to previous models. We do see a couple of significant changes in terms of the processor and main camera, though. Check the table below for all the specs.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE
Display
6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED
FHD+ (2,340 x 1,080)
120Hz refresh rate
Gorilla Glass 5
Processor
Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (US)
or
Exynos 2200 (Global)
RAM
8GB
Storage
128GB or 256GB
No expandable storage
Battery and power
4,500mAh
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
Reverse wireless charging
No charger in box
Cameras
Rear:
-50MP primary (ƒ1.8, OIS)
- 12MP ultrawide (ƒ2.2, 123-degree FoV)
- 8MP telephoto (ƒ2.4, 3x optical zoom)

Front:
- 10MP single (ƒ2.4)
Audio
No 3.5mm headphone jack
Security
In-display optical fingerprint sensor
Water-resistance
IP68 rating
Connectivity
Wi-Fi 6E
Bluetooth 5.3
NFC support
eSIM
Dual-SIM (varies by region)
Materials
Gorilla Glass 5 front
Metal frame
Gorilla Glass 5 back
Software
Android 13
Dimensions and weight
157.9 x 76.5 x 8.1mm
209g
Colors
Cream
Graphite
Indigo (Samsung exclusive)
Mint
Purple
Tangerine (Samsung exclusive)

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE features

samsung galaxy s23 fe display in hand
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Galaxy FE series typically dishes out some flagship-level features at a more palatable price point, and this mostly rings true for the S23 FE. That means powerful (but old) silicon, a 120Hz OLED screen, a decently sized battery, and wireless charging.

Samsung’s new phone takes some design cues from the cheaper Galaxy A series, too, so don’t hold your breath for a fancy design. But you’re getting a reassuring level of durability.

Cameras

The Galaxy S23 FE now offers a 50MP main camera compared to previous FE devices offering a 12MP shooter. This should translate into solid image quality thanks to pixel-binning as well as more detail in daylight conditions. Samsung is also touting so-called “Nightography” here, meaning we can expect improved low-light snaps. It stands to reason that the image signal processors in these new chips will help deliver better images as well. Our full Galaxy S23 FE review gives you a better idea of the camera’s capabilities.

samsung galaxy s23 fe cameras close up
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE

Otherwise, the phone sticks with a 12MP ultrawide camera and an 8MP 3x telephoto lens. These are fundamentally the same cameras as previous FE models. Look at the front and you’ll see a 10MP selfie camera instead of the S21 FE’s 32MP shooter.

Performance

Those expecting the latest flagship silicon for the time like the original Galaxy S20 FE might be a little disappointed here. The S23 FE sticks with either a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200 chipset, depending on the region. US consumers will get the Snapdragon variant. It’s also interesting to see Samsung using the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 rather than the superior Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1.

This turn of events means that the Galaxy S23 FE will offer plenty of horsepower on paper, although it’s not quite on par with 2023’s flagship SoCs and definitely not on par with 2024’s high-end phones. We also lamented the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200’s sustained performance, and we can confirm that the phone lost almost half its speed during a GPU stress test.

The Galaxy S23 FE lacks horsepower compared to 2023's Galaxy flagships, but it should still be a speedy experience.

Otherwise, Samsung’s FE phone also brings 8GB of RAM and 128GB or 256GB of storage. We’re glad to see 8GB of RAM across the board, especially after the S21 FE started with 6GB of memory.

The new phone ships with Android 13 but received its Android 14 and One UI 6 update. The phone has since received the One UI 6.1 update in April too, bringing Galaxy AI features. Samsung is promising four major OS updates and five years of security patches, making for a very respectable update policy.

Screen quality and size

Samsung’s FE phones have long stuck with a 6.4-inch FHD+ OLED screen, and the Galaxy S23 FE continues this trend. Expect a similar 6.4-inch display compared to previous phones, packing a 120Hz refresh rate as well.

You’re also getting an under-display fingerprint sensor here, albeit of the optical variety rather than the S23 and S24 line’s faster and more reliable ultrasonic sensor.

Design and build quality

The Galaxy S23 FE’s design isn’t going to turn heads, but it seems to get the job done fine. Expect rounded aluminum edges here, some sizeable bezels, and a glass back with individual rear camera cutouts.

samsung galaxy s23 fe colors laid out
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE

Thankfully, Samsung is offering an IP68 rating here. So your phone should be able to survive a brief dunk just fine, provided it’s not salt water. Samsung also notes that the phone has a Gorilla Glass 5 back, and later specified that it offers Gorilla Glass 5 on the front too. Despite the use of this scratch-resistant coating, you might want to think about getting a Galaxy S23 FE case and screen protector to further protect the device.

The phone will be available in Cream, Graphite, Mint, and Purple color schemes. You can also get the phone in Indigo and Tangerine colors via Samsung.com.

Battery life and charging speed

It honestly seems like deja vu when we look at the S23 FE’s battery specs, offering the same 4,500mAh battery as previous Galaxy FE models. That’s still a sizeable boost over the likes of the base Galaxy S23 and S24. But it falls short of the Galaxy S24 Ultra and Galaxy A series phones.

Samsung is also sticking with 25W wired charging. If the speeds are anything like the Galaxy S21 FE then you should expect a full charge in about 90 minutes. That’s a far cry from the likes of Xiaomi, OnePlus, and others. At least wireless charging makes a welcome return.

Like its more premium namesake, the Galaxy S23 FE does not come bundled with a charger in the box. You’ll have to purchase a compatible Galaxy S23 FE charger yourself.

Where can you buy the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE?

Keen on getting the Galaxy S23 FE? The phone has been available in the US from October 26, 2023. You can buy it via the likes of Samsung.com and Amazon in North America and Europe. Carriers around the world also stock the phone. So you should be able to get the device in your part of the world.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FESamsung Galaxy S23 FE
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE
Slightly larger than S23 • Good size battery • Competitively priced
MSRP: $599.99
More than just a Fan Edition
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE landed as more than just a slimmed down S23, it's a fourth size phone in the line. With a 6.4-inch display, it's larger than the S23, but smaller than the S23 Plus. Running the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, this phone offers few compromises over the S23 for a decent cost savings.

Of course, there are a host of Samsung Galaxy S23 FE alternatives available right now if you aren’t convinced by Samsung’s latest Fan Edition model. You might also consider upgrading from the Galaxy S20 FE or the Galaxy S21 FE or grabbing a new Pixel 8 instead.

FAQ

The Galaxy S23 FE has an IP68 rating, meaning it’s water-resistant.

Unfortunately, the Galaxy S23 FE lacks a microSD card slot for storage expansion.

Yes, the Galaxy S23 FE supports eSIM and therefore offers dual SIM via one eSIM and one physical SIM. Some regional variants also support two physical SIMs.

No, the Galaxy S23 FE lacks a headphone jack. So you’ll need to rely on Bluetooth or the USB-C port.

No, it lacks a screen protector in the box.

You should consider the Galaxy S24 series if you’re willing to spend a little more cash on the best phone Samsung has to offer. However, if you need a cost-effective but full-featured phone right now, buy the Galaxy S23 FE.