After using and reviewing the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, I’m back in the Samsung family with the Galaxy S23 FE which I’ve been using for some time now. FE stands for Fan Edition and as this implies, the phone features are a collection of fan’s most essential elements. Fan Edition phones are here to give users some of the premium feel of flagships, but at an affordable price.
The good people at Samsung sent me a purple one which I fell in love with immediately, but there is quite a variety of colours to fit different personalities, ie mint, cream, indigo and tangerine. Colour is really just a matter of preference and I love that Samsung has given users choice.
Here are a few of my thoughts.
The phone has a glass back, glass front and aluminium frame, materials that give it a premium finish, making it stylish and quite a statement. It is clutter free with just the triple camera bumping slightly up, the flashlight, and very subtle Samsung branding. I’ve always been a fan of simplicity, and this hit all the right spots as far as that is concerned.
To further this clean minimalistic look, Samsung has kept only two buttons on the sides of the phone. The power button and the volume rockers. These are on the right side and the left side is completely free. The fingerprint is in-screen, freeing up the back even more. The SIM tray is at the bottom of the phone alongside stereo speakers, microphone, and USB port.
The phone does not have a 3.5mm jack but this is not really a problem for me since I’m a Bluetooth girl. Besides, it has really good stereo sound.
As always, the first feature I go to when a new phone checks in is the camera. Samsung phones have always come with an assurance of good photography, and I could not wait to take some pics with the Galaxy S23 FE. The phone has a 50MP primary camera, an 12MP for ultrawide and an 8MP tele photo lens with 3X optical zoom. There is a whole lot that the camera can get upto especially if you tinker with the settings. Under the Pro mode for instance, users have ISO, white balance and exposure to play around with. These are settings which can be adjusted to transform the photography game from basic to professional. The front camera is 10MP, quite a win for selfie lovers and video calls. The selfie camera also has settings for photo customization.
Samsung has also really done good with the video. The main camera will capture video content in 8k while the front camera will do 4k. Quite impressive!
I went out and took some photos with the phone, and below are a few.
The screen is 6.4” with a 2340x1080p full HD resolution, making it pleasant to use due to great colour accuracy. It is highly responsive with a refresh rate of 120Hz, which is perfect for daily use and especially for gamers. At 209g, the phone is noticeably heavier than the predecessor but still light and easy to carry around.
Speaking of battery, the phone comes with a 4500mAh battery, supported by 25W charging which will take the phone from 0-50% in about half an hour. A fully charged battery lasts me all day and I’m a heavy user since my work and entertainment are mostly on phone. To be fair, I’m using it alongside another device so workload is divided. I can however tell that even as an only phone, I wouldn’t struggle with a dead battery in the middle of the day. It would still carry me through the day and maybe only show signs of going low in the evening when I’d be headed home anyway.
My unit has 128GB ROM and 8GB RAM though there is another variant with 256GB ROM and 8GB RAM. There is no slot for MicroSD and therefore no storage expansion, but I’m not really worried about that. 128GB is quite a lot of storage and besides, there are lots of options for transferring data to cloud.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE features an Exynos 2200 chipset. As mentioned earlier, it has a 120Hz refresh rate. With the combination of good storage and a good chip, and Android 13, it is a fast phone with zero lags even for the most ardent multitaskers and gamers.
Being a Samsung, users have the power of Bixby in their hands and can make use of voice commands for tasks ranging from making calls to managing other smart devices.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with quite an impressive stereo sound which is further customizable in the sound settings. Users can play around with the equalizer to get their preferred sound to fully enjoy the stereo capabilities that are inbuilt. The bass is not up there but we can only expect so much from a phone.
With all phones, there is always something new to discover and the full range of use gets clear with time. In this article we have explored the features that stand out and that are the backbone of any device.
The S23 FE has a lot of other features for users to explore and tweak, and eventually get a phone that is a true representation of themselves. To kick users off, the device comes with expert tips to help users learn it and to customize as per liking. I feel this is a very good place to start in the initial stages of using the phone.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is retailing at Ksh.95,000/- to Ksh.100,000/- give or take, a price I find quite reasonable given the power, aesthetics and brand assuredness that Samsung elicits.