Galaxy S23 FE vs S21 FE: Slight upgrade in a beautified package

Samsung’s back at it again with a new Fan Edition smartphone. The direct sequel to the Galaxy S21 FE will go on sale as the Galaxy S23 FE on October 5 in select markets (and reach more countries by the end of the month), and it’s high time for a direct comparison between the two devices.

Have things changed over the past one and a half years? To keep things simple, we can summarize that the Galaxy S23 FE outmatches the Galaxy S21 FE primarily through an upgraded design, display, camera system, and chipset. It also ships with Android 13 and One UI 5.1. You’ll find more details below.

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Galaxy S23 FE feels like a higher-quality phone

The Galaxy S21 FE was announced roughly at the same time as the Galaxy S22 series last year but didn’t borrow too many design elements from the flagship series.

In contrast, the Galaxy S23 FE looks a lot closer to the Galaxy S23 and S23+. It has a flat design, circular camera cutouts, an aluminum frame, and a Gorilla Glass 5 back panel. The upgraded materials added a bit of weight, too, which helps the Galaxy S23 FE feel like it’s a higher-quality phone. It weighs 209 grams, whereas the Galaxy S21 FE weighs roughly 177 grams.

Even though display specifications look the same on paper, the Galaxy S23 FE’s 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X display now benefits from Vision Booster technology, which helps the panel reproduce colors more accurately in varying lighting conditions.

The camera system now consists of a 50MP primary shooter with Adaptive Pixel tech, a 12MP ultra-wide camera, and an 8MP telephoto sensor with 3x optical zoom. The Galaxy S23 FE offers 2x portrait zoom, OIS, VDIS, Nightography, and a full-fledged Director’s View.

For this year’s Fan Edition model, Samsung improved the performance through the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 and Exynos 2200 chipsets (market-dependent). The company ditched the 6GB of RAM version, so the Galaxy S23 FE starts at 8GB of RAM paired with 128GB or 256GB of storage.

Check out our specs sheets below for a more in-depth look at the hardware differences between the two models, and don’t forget our hands-on video above if you want to get a better feel of how the build quality and design have changed.

Galaxy S23 FE

Galaxy S21 FE

General Information

  • Model Name

    Galaxy S23 FE

    Galaxy S21 FE

  • Model type

  • Mint (Mint)Cream (Cream)Graphite (Graphite)Purple (Purple)Indigo (Indigo)Tangerine (Tangerine)

    Graphite (Graphite)Lavender (Lavender)Olive (Olive)White (White)

  • 2023, October

    2022, January

  • 2023, October

Physical specifications

  • Dimensions

    Bar: 158 x 76.5 x 8.2 mm

    Bar: 155.7 x 74.5 x 7.9 mm

Operating system

  • Operating system

    Android 13

    Android 12

  • One UI version

    One UI 5.1

  • Dual SIM model

    Dual SIM model

  • SIM card sizes

    Nano-SIM (4FF)

    Nano-SIM (4FF)

  • eSIM support

  • Main Display

  • Infinity-O Display

    Infinity-O Display

  • Technology

    Dynamic AMOLED 2X

    Dynamic AMOLED 2X

  • 6.4 inch / 162.6 mm

    6.4 inch / 162.6 mm

  • Resolution

    FHD+ / 2400×1080 pixels

    FHD+ / 2400×1080 pixels

  • Pixel density

  • Refresh rate

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