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Key Takeaways

  • The Galaxy S23 FE is Samsung's first Fan Edition S-series phone in two years
  • The phone features a 6.4-inch AMOLED display, 120Hz refresh rate, and is IP68 rated for water/dust resistance. It is available in unique colors and built from a mixture of recycled glass, aluminium, and plastic.
  • The S23 FE is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, has 8GB RAM, and comes with either 128GB or 256GB storage. It also includes a 4500mAh battery, 25W wired charging and wireless charging.

Samsung has historically used an 'FE' moniker to denote a phone that kept a lot of what made the flagship Galaxy products great but stripped down to the essentials and launched at a cheaper price. These fan editions were typically good value for money, delivering great cameras, screens and performance.

The last phone to hit the market was the S21 FE, a 'Lite' version of the Galaxy S21 and - while there were rumours that we would see it - the Galaxy S22 FE never happened. The S23 FE, then, is Samsung's first 'Fan Edition' S-series phone in two years. After months of rumours and leaks, the phone is finally official. Here's everything we know about it.

Galaxy S23 FE launch date

  • Announced on 3/4 October 2023
  • Availability and pricing region-dependent

Samsung officially announced the Galaxy S23 FE on 4 October in Korea (3 October in the US). Exact pricing and release schedules will be shared eventually, but the schedule is region-dependent.

Ahead of the launch, there had been a suggestion that retail release would be staggered across weeks and months, depending on region, which is typical for a lot of smartphone models.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE: Design, display and software

  • 158 x 76.5 x 8.2mm - 209g
  • 6.4-inch AMOLED display - FHD+ - 120Hz refresh rate
  • IP68 rated for water/dust resistance
  • Android 13 - One UI - Four OS updates - Five years of security patches

Before render leaks appeared we made an educated guess as to what the phone would look like, assuming - like most Samsung candybars in 2023 - that it would look something like the Galaxy S23 series. Given that the 'FE' editions typically look a lot like the S-series 'proper', it's no surprise that now it's here, it does look very much like the S23, with its three individual camera rings on the back arranged in a neat column.

To mark it as different, it is available in a unique set of colours. That includes the usual black and white variants (or graphite and cream) but also includes a deep purple colour and mint green version.

As for materials, Samsung has built the S23 FE from a mixture of recycled glass, aluminium and plastic for both internal and external materials. It also features water and dust resistance and has been rated up to an IP68 level.

The display is a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED 2X panel, which is somewhere between the 6.1-inch S23 display and the 6.6-inch S23+ screen. However, because of the chunkier bezels around the edges, the phone is actually larger than either of those two. It's thicker and heavier too.

As rumours had suggested, the display can reach refresh rates of up to 120Hz and can switch between 60Hz and 120Hz when required. That - along with the processor power - should mean smooth animations when scrolling through the interface.

It's loaded with Android 13 out of the box, running Samsung's One UI on top, and with a guarantee of four major OS updates (which includes the Android 14 update we're going to see towards the end of 2023), you'll be supported up to Android 17 in 2026. You'll also get five years of security patches.

Galaxy S23 FE: Snapdragon-powered

  • Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset - 8GB RAM - 128GB/256GB storage
  • 4500mAh battery - 25W wired charging - Wireless charging/reverse wireless charging
  • Wi-Fi 6E - Bluetooth 5.3 - 5G and LTE cellular connectivity

Moving on to discuss power and hardware briefly, there's a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 platform inside the S23 FE. That means a chipset that's approaching two years old. It's still a fast and powerful chipset, but it's one that was superseded by the more thermal and battery-efficient Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 a few months after a it was launched.

Backing up that Snapdragon processor, Samsung has equipped the phone with 8GB RAM alongside either 128GB or 256GB storage.

As for the battery, that's 4500mAh, which - crucially - means more battery than the S23 regular. Although, like the S23, it doesn't feature superfast charging and will be limited to 25W just like most of Samsung's recent phones which means about 50 per cent charge in half an hour plugged in.

To set it apart from the more affordable A-series phones, the S23 FE also has wireless charging and can charge your earphones or smartwatch using its Wireless Powershare feature.

There's fast wireless connectivity onboard, thanks to support for Wi-Fi 6E networks, Bluetooth 5.3 and both 5G and LTE cellular connectivity.

Galaxy S23 FE: 50MP camera leading the line

  • 50MP f/1.8 primary camera
  • 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide camera
  • 8MP f/2.4 telephoto zoom camera

Just like the S23, the S23 FE's triple camera lineup is being led by a primary 50-megapixel sensor. You'll get a lot of the same features as the S23 too, including night mode for shooting good-looking photos without any extra effort when light levels drop, and with 'Pro' mode you get access to manual controls for exposure, shutter speed and white balance.

That primary camera is joined by a 12-megapixel f/2.2 ultrawide camera and a 3x zoom telephoto camera with an 8-megapixel sensor. That likely means image quality from those two additional cameras won't be quite as strong as it is on the flagship S23. On the front, there's a 10-megapixel selfie camera punched into the top of the display in its own hole-punch cutout.

Galaxy S23 FE: The story so far

3 October 2023: Galaxy S23 FE launched alongside other FE devices

Samsung officially unveiled its latest 'Fan Edition' devices, including the S23 FE.

15 September 2023: Leaked poster shows four colours

We already knew what the phone would look like, but a poster/ad leak shows off four different attractive colourways.

28 August 2023: Official S23 FE support page lands, as FCC listing is also discovered

In something of a double confirmation, the S23 FE's certification page at the FCC has been found, alongside a product support page on Samsung's official site in Kazakhstan.

23 August 2023: Release expected in September

Giving us something of a more concrete launch date: a prolific leaker expects a September launch.

24 July 2023: Further confirmation of Exynos-powered units

Pocket-lint has heard from its own sources that Samsung is going to be returning to Exynos, and potentially even some Galaxy S24 models in some regions.

17 July 2023: A familiar Snapdragon/Exynos split for US and Europe?

A leaked benchmark - if accurate - suggests that the S23 FE for the US region will feature the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, not the Exynos processor that's still expected in Europe and other markets.

30 June 2023: Galaxy S23 FE gets 3C certification

If we needed any further evidence that the Galaxy S23 FE is in the works, a certification listing was it. A 3C listing is an important puzzle piece fitting in place.

28 June 2023: Galaxy S23 FE renders leave little to the imagination

A round of leaks published by Smartprix in collaboration with OnLeaks reveal a phone that's incredibly similar to the Galaxy A54.

13 June 2023: S23 FE to launch in Q3, with further rollout in Q4 2023 and Q1 in 2024

SamMobile's sources claim the phone will see an initial launch in the third quarter of this year, with wider rollout in the following months.

9 June 2023: Battery leak appears to confirm device's existence

While it may not seem like it, this is arguably the most important leak yet, because it's not just word-of-mouth from an online leaker. It's public record from a certification listing in South Korea.

2 May 2023: S23 FE to feature 50MP primary camera

A report from Galaxy Club suggests we'll see a flagship 50-megapixel camera in the S23 FE

1 April 2023: S23 FE to feature Exynos 2200 chipset

Another rumour says it is happening, and it will feature the same processor that powered the S22 series in Europe.

15 March 2023: S23 FE might happen after all

The S23 FE is being launched in Q4 2023 according to Korean media.

11 March 2023: S23 FE confusion reigns - will it ever happen?

A new report suggests that there might be no Samsung Galaxy S23 FE this year.

23 February 2032: S23 FE won't have the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2

It's been suggested that the next FE won't feature the latest flagship chipset, going with the cheaper 8+ Gen 1 platform instead