The $600 Samsung Galaxy S23 FE revives the corporate’s Fan Edition of telephones, and it is promoting for a a lot cheaper price than the unique $800 Galaxy S23. Samsung on Tuesday revealed the lower-priced flagship, which retains many higher-end options just like the inclusion of a telephoto lens for the digital camera and reverse wi-fi charging. There are noticeable modifications, nevertheless, that may not have an effect on the telephone’s general enchantment, however reveal how Samsung was in a position to provide the telephone at a $200 worth distinction. (International pricing wasn’t instantly out there, however its US worth roughly converts to £500 and AU$950.)

The S23 FE’s launch comes after Samsung paused the road in 2022, having launched the Galaxy S21 FE early that yr however determined to not launch a Galaxy S22 FE. These telephones have aimed to offer as a lot of the flagship telephone expertise as potential for much less cash, and in some circumstances enhance by together with an even bigger battery and display. While Samsung does provide a number of Galaxy A telephones priced at $450 and fewer, Samsung’s FE telephones are likely to deal with probably the most noticeable options from its higher-end line whereas making cuts in areas that may very well be much less noticeable.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE with Galaxy Watch 6.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE has a 6.4-inch show.

Numi Prasarn/CNET

In the case of the Galaxy S23 FE, Samsung determined to reduce through the use of final yr’s Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor — however that processor continues to be fairly highly effective for many duties and could be present in Motorola’s $1,000 Razr Plus foldable telephone. There can be a noticeable change within the telephone’s look, with the usual Galaxy S23 utilizing a extra shiny aluminum body than the aluminum used on the FE.  

The Galaxy S23 FE has a 50-megapixel broad digital camera and a 12-megapixel ultrawide camer, just like the Galaxy S23, however its 8-megapixel telephoto digital camera is a minor step down from the common S23’s 10-megapixel zoom digital camera. The S23 FE additionally makes use of a 10-megapixel front-facing digital camera, versus the 12-megapixel one seen on the usual S23.

Sample photo taken on Galaxy S23 FE of a fridge.

A photograph taken on the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE on the Samsung 837 showroom.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

However, the Galaxy S23 FE does embody a barely larger battery than the unique S23: 4,500 versus 3,900 mAh. The telephone can be a bit of larger than the Galaxy S23, with the FE together with a 6.4-inch show that makes it a hair shorter than the 6.6-inch show on the S23 Plus. The S23 FE’s show can run at a 120Hz refresh price, however will adapt between that 60Hz, relying on the telephone’s exercise, to save lots of battery.

But other than these variations, the telephone shares many similarities with the Galaxy S23. That contains Android 13, wired charging at a velocity of 25 watts, wi-fi charging together with the flexibility to wirelessly cost different units, an in-display fingerprint sensor and 128GB or 256GB storage choices. Unlike the cheaper $450 Galaxy A54 5G, the S23 FE doesn’t embody expandable storage by way of microSD.

The telephone shall be out there in six colours at launch, with shops getting mint, purple, cream and graphite. Indigo and tangerine colours can even be out there by Samsung’s web site.

In my transient time utilizing the telephone, I paired it with a Galaxy Watch 6, browsed web sites and took a number of pattern photographs on the Samsung 837 showroom in New York. 

Selfie photo taken on the Galaxy S23 FE

The Galaxy S23 FE makes use of a 10-megapixel front-facing digital camera.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

Photo of muffins

These muffins had been on show within the Samsung 837 showroom. This is utilizing the default digital camera zoom setting.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

Close up of muffins

The identical muffins zoomed in utilizing the Galaxy S23 FE’s telephoto lens.

Mike Sorrentino/CNET

While I’ll want extra time with the telephone to get a greater impression, my preliminary ideas put the Galaxy S23 FE as much less of an alternate for “followers,” however extra as an choice to contemplate as a step up from the $499 Pixel 7A and the Galaxy A54. While digital camera testing shall be wanted to see how the FE compares to the 7A, the brand new Samsung telephone does have a barely larger display than Google’s telephone. The S23 FE additionally features a telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom, which neither the 7A nor the Galaxy A54 embody.

The Galaxy S23 FE arrives within the midst of the busy fall telephone season, debuting the night time earlier than earlier than Google plans to unveil its Pixel 8 line. Samsung can be prone to reveal the Galaxy S24 early subsequent yr, just a few months from now.

But the FE does present a extra premium choice for somebody seeking to step up from telephones that usually price between $300 to $500, and it might present all of the necessities at that cheaper price.

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