The Galaxy S23 FE is coming in October, around 22 months after the Galaxy S21 FE. Many are excited about the phone, as the FE lineup has been an excellent alternative to the flagship Galaxy S phones Samsung launches each year.
The Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S21 FE offered most of the same features as the Galaxy S20/S20+ and the Galaxy S21/S21+ for a cheaper price. In fact, it was only the front camera on the S20 FE and S21 FE that could be considered a meaningful downgrade; the rest of the experience of using those FE phones was pretty similar to that of the non-FE models.
Galaxy S23 FE’s older chips could be a blessing in disguise
But can we expect the same this time around? The Galaxy S23 FE might be named after the Galaxy S23 series, but a major way in which it will be different is in the choice of chips. While the S20 FE and S21 FE used the same Exynos and Snapdragon chips as the other S20 and S21 models, the Galaxy S23 FE will come with the Exynos and Snapdragon chips Samsung used on the Galaxy S22 lineup last year.
Most markets are expected to get the variant powered by the Exynos 2200. Some, like the US, get a variant with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip inside it. But that may not be a bad thing. First off, it’s not like the Exynos 2200 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 are bad chips. They may not be as efficient as the Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that power Samsung flagship phones launched after the Galaxy S22, but they have plenty of power and Samsung has had plenty of time to optimize them well.
Secondly, it seems Samsung has decided that the use of older chips warrants a lower price tag. According to a recent rumor, the Galaxy S23 FE could cost $599 in the US, $100 less than the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S21 FE. Pricing in other markets could be similarly lower, even if not exactly the same as the US after accounting for currency conversion and/or additional taxes that are applicable in some countries.
$599 price tag would make Galaxy S23 FE an excellent deal
A $599 price tag would technically put the Galaxy S23 FE in mid-range territory, and, if we’re being honest, we think that price tag would make the Galaxy S23 FE an excellent deal and the best ‘mid-range’ phone from Samsung in 2023. We put mid-range in quotes there because while the pricing might make it feel like a mid-range device, the Galaxy S23 FE’s specs are much closer to a flagship.
For example, the Galaxy S23 FE is getting an upgrade to a 50MP primary camera and a 10MP front camera similar to the one found on the non-FE Galaxy S smartphones (the S20 FE and S21 FE used a mid-tier 32MP front camera). Other specs will include a 120Hz display, a 3x zoom camera, a 4,500 mAh battery with 25W wired charging and 10-15W wireless charging, stereo speakers, water and dust resistance (IP68), and Android 13 and One UI 5.1 out of the box and support for four major OS upgrades.
As mentioned above, the specs will also include the Exynos 2200 and Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipsets, which might be more than a year old but will still offer high-end performance well above what can be expected from Samsung’s latest mid-range Exynos offerings (like the Exynos 1380, which left us somewhat disappointed) or even from Qualcomm’s mid-range Snapdragon chips.