Samsung Galaxy S23 FE leak shows cheaper flagship will have a surprising design

Samsung Galaxy S23 hands on back lilac
The Samsung Galaxy S23 (Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

We’ve been hearing rumors about a Samsung Galaxy S23 FE for a while, but we’re only now seeing leaked renders of how the phone might actually look, and they’re a mix of expected and surprising.

Shared by reputable leaker @OnLeaks on behalf of SmartPrix, the renders – some of which you can see below – show a design that’s, in many ways, similar to that of the standard Samsung Galaxy S23; complete with a trio of camera lenses in the top left of the phone's flat back.

Now, we’d expect the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE to look similar to its sibling, so that’s no surprise. But look closer and there are some telling differences, with the Galaxy S23 FE – which is shown here in black and white shades – having much larger bezels than the standard Galaxy S23.

That makes it look surprisingly low end, and not only that, but its LED flash is placed lower, leaving it with a design that actually looks a lot more like the mid-range Samsung Galaxy A54.

Indeed, the source of these renders claims that the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE has dimensions of around 158 x 76.3 x 8.2mm, which is almost exactly the same as the Galaxy A54; so it might even be that Samsung has simply put the FE in the A54’s shell.

The only other detail here is mention of a 6.4-inch screen, which would also be a match for the Samsung Galaxy A54 5G, but we’re expecting some specs will be better.

Samsung Galaxy A54 review Awesome Violet back angled

(Image credit: Future | Alex Walker-Todd)

Better than the A54 but worse than the S23

For one thing, it will probably either have a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 or an Exynos 2200 chipset – with most recent leaks (including a new tweet from leaker @Tech_Reve) pointing to the latter.

Those are both higher-end than the Exynos 1380 in the Samsung Galaxy A54, but they’re also a step down from the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset in the standard Samsung Galaxy S23. That’s notable because the previous FE model – the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE – shared a chipset with the Samsung Galaxy S21.

This might all sound disappointing, but we’d argue that a more mid-range design and chipset are actually good things for the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, because this might help Samsung keep the cost down, and therefore make it a distinctly different proposition to the standard Galaxy S23.

The FE line has always struggled a bit with finding a reason to exist, as the prices and specs are typically too similar to Samsung’s main flagship of the year. But this time, the FE might be an upper mid-ranger rather than something high-end, and that could help it stand out among the best Samsung phones.

James Rogerson

James is a freelance phones, tablets and wearables writer and sub-editor at TechRadar. He has a love for everything ‘smart’, from watches to lights, and can often be found arguing with AI assistants or drowning in the latest apps. James also contributes to, and and has written for T3, Digital Camera World, Clarity Media and others, with work on the web, in print and on TV.