For a few years now, Samsung has brought a tradition to the smartphone market, the Fan Edition: the idea is simple, to offer the experience of a flagship smartphone, in this case with a little delay but we are referring to the Samsung Galaxy S23, but with some compromises to achieve a more affordable price.
The truth? Samsung has largely succeeded in its goal, offering an experience that comes with very few noteworthy compromises. There is, however, only one big problem, namely the timing of the market launch of this smartphone: we are a little late with this review, but it is still a smartphone launched in the last months of 2023, with prices of the same S23 in sharp decline. However, let's find out all the details in the review.
SAMSUNG Galaxy S23 FE review
Design and Materials
Visually speaking, it is very difficult to distinguish at first glance Samsung Galaxy S23FE and the flagship range Galaxy S23, but then again the goal of Samsung it was just that. This means the smartphone arrives with the same minimalist design employed by the company's 2023 flagship lineup, complete with rounded edges, a flat screen, a trio of camera lenses similarly arrayed on the back and poco other.
The S23 FEFurthermore, it is also available in similar pastel colors, such as Lime, Cream, Purple, Indigo, Tangerine and Graphite. In any case, if observed more carefully, it is normal to find some aesthetic differences, necessarily dictated by the lower price: I am referring in particular to the slightly thicker frames compared to the super thin ones of the S23 range. Plus the new one Fan Edition The S23 is noticeably taller and wider than the regular S23, thanks to a larger 6,4-inch panel compared to the 23-inch S6,1, but it's also heavier, around 209g.
This is not only due to the display, but also to the different materials used in the construction process: although it is always aluminum and glass, here we have the Gorilla Glass 5 compared to Victus 2, definitely a step backwards in terms of resistance. Be careful, however, because this does not mean that it will not survive a fall like the S23 model, but it could fail sooner, even if we know how purely random this parameter is in the various drop tests.
In any case, I tried to find nitpicks to highlight the differences between the two smartphones, but trust me, this S23 FE still has its reasons and, as Samsung has accustomed us to, it won't make us feel the lack of nothing on any front, especially the aesthetic and constructive one.
The screen surface is one of the places where the Galaxy S23FE it deviates from the normal Galaxy S23, and I am mainly referring to the dimensions: here we have a screen from 6.4 "inches as I mentioned before, against the 6.1" of the S23 model.
Dimensions aside, the screens are quite similar from a technological point of view. Both the S23 and S23 FE share the same Dynamic AMOLED 2X with bright, vivid colors and deep blacks, features for which this technology is best known, and above all my absolute favorite. Leaving aside personal tastes, both also have a 120Hz refresh rate, although the S23 FE can only switch between 120Hz and 60Hz and does not have a dynamic refresh rate like that of the S23; let's be clear, this does not influence daily performance in any way, but perhaps it could affect the battery a little more, albeit in very minimal percentages.
The screen resolution is always the same, FHD + (1080 x 2340), but the peak brightness is a bit lower, 1450 maximum nits compared to the 1750 of the S23, differences that are however perceivable only on paper or only if we place the two smartphones next to each other, since in both cases we are talking about extremely positive and noteworthy values.
Hardware and Performance
The performance of the Galaxy S23FE they essentially depend on which part of the world we are in, a bit as often happens with all of Samsung's flagship smartphones. For those who aren't clear what I'm referring to, I'm talking about the difference in processors that Samsung often uses with its smartphones in the various sales areas. Again, those who purchase an S23FE in the United States will find the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, while those in most other states, including Italy and Europe itself, will find theSamsung Exynos 2200.
There is always a bit of general frustration with this distinction of processors, but seeing as it Snap 8 Gen 1 wasn't perfect, especially in terms of energy management, the Exynos in this case is more pleasant to have on board. The rest of the hardware, however, includes 8GB of RAM and 128 or 256GB of internal storage, a bit few if you consider that there is no possibility of expansion via MicroSD.
In any case, here the performances are certainly high-end, despite the age of the processor used: all scenarios enjoy maximum fluidity, whether it is apps like Facebook and for purposes, or even rather heavy games, which they are always performed without lag or overheating of any kind. Of course, if you think about the price of the S23 and the hardware you would have, you could almost think of buying it instead of this S23 FE, but on the other hand, I can only agree with you on this front.
From a software point of view, however, the S23 FE has the latest release of Android 14, with Samsung's OneUI in version 6, so essentially no difference compared to even the most recent top of the range products from the same company.
We have known Samsung's interface and functions well for years now, the usual reliability distinguishes all Samsung software and here, moreover, we can count on the same number of updates expected for the flagship models, i.e. 5 years of patches security and four Major Android Updates.
Il Galaxy S23FE it comes very close to what the S23 offers in terms of photographic hardware, with a 50MP primary lens and a 12MP ultrawide angle lens that are virtually identical. Only the telephoto lens makes a small difference, since here it is 8MP compared to 10 on the S23.
That said, the primary objective from 50 MP it offers results rather similar to the former Samsung top of the range, in practically the majority of situations, both well lit and not. As usual and as seen in last year's generation from Samsung, the photos are often characterized by excessive saturation, and although this means that the images are not entirely faithful to reality, they appear particularly vivid on the AMOLED panel of the smartphone and present well on social media, which is what mainly interests those who take photos with their smartphone.
The images taken on a beautiful sunny day tend to always be good, as well as at night, thanks to a rather wide aperture of f/1.8, the smartphone manages to capture as much light as possible. The telephoto lens, however, despite the reduction in the number of megapixels compared to the S23, is able to offer excellent 3x shots. The only negative side concerns the color calibration, slightly different compared to primary and ultra-wide angle lenses, although I believe it is a secondary and negligible problem especially because it is difficult to find telephoto lenses in this range, given that often the third lens is a macro lens or of depth, always of little use.
Moving on to the ultra-wide angle, however, it is the same 12 MP as the standard S23, with roughly similar performance: shots with well-balanced colors, although it suffers from a slight distortion in the edges of the photos. The 10MP selfie camera is good for most uses. Interesting videos can also be recorded in 8K at 24fps with the primary lens, although 4k 60fps is the most suitable mode for daily use in terms of weight balance, good stabilization and video quality.
The battery, however, is slightly lower than the market average, at least in purely numerical terms. S23 FE, in fact, has one on board battery from 4500 mAh which however is larger than the S3900's just 23 mAh. Having said that, I had no problems with the overall battery life, this is a smartphone that will easily allow you to last until the evening with average use. If you are the type of user who, instead, squeezes the smartphone to the maximum, I won't deny that you might not make it until the evening with this S23 FE.
The charging speeds are not quite up to par with other smartphones in the same price range, since we have maximum here 25W in wired charging and only 15W in wireless charging; in the first case it takes about an hour and a half for a complete charge while in the second it takes about 3 hours.
Price and considerations
Samsung Galaxy S23FE arrives on the market with a list price of 719 euro, and a current street price of poco less than 600 euros, depending on the stores analyzed. What did Samsung do wrong, in my opinion? Certainly the timing of the launch on the market, decidedly late and above all at a decidedly higher price than we could have expected in relation to what is currently available on the shelves, without considering that the new Galaxy S24, which ok are more expensive, but for little difference they certainly offer an edge.
Therefore, the S23 FE is advisable if purchased for amounts of around €480-520 at most, otherwise I would advise you to raise the bar slightly and aim for a top model from Samsung to make a more intelligent purchase.
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