June 16, 2024
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE on a kitchen table.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Developments

As an avid Apple fan, I used to be shocked once I obtained the Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE for assessment and located myself loving it. Might Samsung proceed to impress me? That’s what I needed to search out out once I obtained the Galaxy S23 FE. This “fan version” smartphone, which we simply ran by its paces in our Samsung Galaxy S23 FE assessment, gives lots of the similar options as the opposite Galaxy S23 fashions, however at a barely cheaper price.

My handset of alternative has at all times been the newest iPhone Professional. This normally means buying the Professional Max mannequin, which I did once more this yr with the iPhone 15 Professional Max. I didn’t count on the Galaxy S23 FE to match as much as my new iPhone, because the Apple system is double the worth and gives a lot better specs.

Nevertheless, I used to be desirous about figuring out whether or not the S23 FE had simply sufficient options the place I wouldn’t have an issue doing on a regular basis duties on it like checking electronic mail, making cellphone calls, browsing the online, watching a number of movies, and so on. How did the S23 FE maintain up? Fairly nicely, though there’s one vital factor that held it again for me.

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What I really like about this Android cellphone

A Samsung Galaxy S23 FE in front of a Tidbyt.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Developments

Samsung has a historical past of releasing “fan version” merchandise like smartphones. Whereas a few of these merchandise have been well-received, others haven’t. The Galaxy S20 FE, for instance, obtained excessive reward in 2020, together with being known as the “cellphone to beat for below $700” by Digital Developments. Nevertheless, when the Galaxy S21 FE 5G was launched, it obtained much less favorable evaluations — with our reviewer noting that “the sequel is rarely nearly as good.” The S21 FE 5G’s poor reception could have satisfied Samsung to not launch an S22 FE. However, skipping to the S23 FE appears to have been value it, because the handset boasts many glorious options.

The very first thing you’ll discover concerning the Galaxy S23 FE is its spectacular 6.4-inch Dynamic 2X AMOLED show with a peak refresh charge of 120Hz. The S23 FE’s show delivers vibrant and crisp visuals and the colours pop. The Galaxy S23 FE’s show is bigger than the one discovered on the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23 and smaller than the one on the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus.

The iPhone Professional collection has additionally included a 120Hz refresh charge for a few years. Sadly, the identical can’t be stated for normal iPhones. Like their predecessors, the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus are caught at 60Hz. So sure, name this Apple consumer impressed.

Name this Apple consumer impressed.

I’ve at all times admired the big selection of colour choices obtainable on Android units, particularly these manufactured by Samsung. Not like Apple, which normally gives conservative colour decisions for its iPhones, Samsung persistently offers extra vibrant and interesting choices.

All colors of the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE.
Digital Developments

The Galaxy S23 FE, for example, is available in some actually glorious colour decisions. Aside from the standard graphite and cream, you can too buy the cellphone in mint, purple (the colour of my assessment unit), and completely by Samsung.com, tangerine and indigo. Positive, like most individuals, you most likely slap a case in your new smartphone as quickly as you make the acquisition. Regardless, it’s good to know there’s one thing distinctive inside!

Simply take a look at the S23 FE in purple; spectacular, no?

A Samsung Galaxy S23 FE in purple, showing its back, sitting on a pillow.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Developments

This brings us to the S23 FE’s chip. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip within the U.S, in comparison with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip discovered on the opposite S23 fashions. (An Exynos 2200 chip is featured on the S23 FE in different areas.)

Samsung’s resolution to go along with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 versus the Gen 2 on the S23 FE will undoubtedly flip some heads for the reason that latter is vastly superior. It’s most likely one space the place the corporate shouldn’t have minimize corners, primarily for the reason that Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 has been identified to warmth up with overuse.

Throughout my utilization of the Galaxy S23 FE, I didn’t encounter any important points with efficiency when doing on a regular basis duties. It seamlessly dealt with duties comparable to checking emails, sending textual content messages, opening a number of tabs on Google Chrome, watching movies on YouTube, and taking part in primary video games downloaded from Google Play.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Mint Green color with leaf in the front.
Tushar Mehta / Digital Developments

Wanting on the cameras discovered on the S23 FE, it’s value noting that the cellphone encompasses a triple digital camera setup on the again, as is typical for Samsung telephones. That features a 50MP major digital camera, a 12MP ultrawide digital camera, and an 8MP telephoto digital camera. On the entrance, there’s a 10MP fixed-focus digital camera. I didn’t spend a lot time taking pictures with my assessment unit, as I knew our reviewer could be doing that. My focus was on seeing what Samsung was providing at this value level.

When evaluating the S23 FE’s digital camera specs to these of the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Plus, it’s value noting that the S23 FE’s specs are barely higher. The iPhone 15 and 15 Plus function a dual-camera system with a 48MP major digital camera, a 12MP ultra-wide digital camera, and a front-facing 12MP TrueDepth digital camera.

Puzzlingly, Samsung determined not so as to add autofocusing capabilities like those discovered on dearer telephones — and likewise on the iPhones.

The place Samsung may enhance

A Samsung Galaxy S23 FE on a hardwood table.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Developments

I’ve no important complaints concerning the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, however some areas gave me pause.

First, the bezels are barely thicker in comparison with different S23 fashions. The system options an older model of Gorilla Glass safety, that means the show could be much less protected over time.

Nevertheless, Samsung’s resolution to make use of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 on this mannequin stands out as the most vital disadvantage. This chip is nearly two generations outdated, and whereas I didn’t expertise any efficiency points doing on a regular basis duties, it’s value reiterating that this chip has been identified to generate extreme warmth in overtaxing conditions. For those who plan on utilizing your cellphone for lots of 4K video watching and greater than informal gaming, look elsewhere.

An Apple fanboy’s verdict

Galaxy S23 FE next to a iPhone 15 Pro Max.
Bryan M. Wolfe / Digital Developments

There’s a lot I like concerning the S23 FE, beginning with its shiny show, distinctive colour decisions, and largely good digital camera specs. I used to be additionally proud of the cellphone’s construct high quality. Nevertheless, I’d most likely get irritated by its older chipset with longer-term use. After which there’s the working system.

I’ve been utilizing iPhones for an eternity and have turn out to be accustomed to iOS. However, Android, whatever the model, doesn’t enchantment to me. It’s way more difficult to make use of, lacks the identical stage of enjoyment, and the Google Play Retailer feels way more just like the Wild West. Android is motive sufficient why I’d by no means take into account switching from the iPhone, regardless that I acknowledge the enchantment for a lot of who select Android over iOS.

Right here’s my backside line: For those who’re at present utilizing an Android cellphone and planning to improve, I like to recommend contemplating the S23 FE. Though it lacks among the fancy options current in different S23 fashions, it consists of all of the important functionalities and comes at a cheaper price level, which makes it an excellent deal. It received’t change you’re thoughts about Android for those who’re an iPhone loyalist like myself, however for everybody else, it’s an honest pickup.

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