At the start of October, Samsung unveiled a trio of new 'FE' branded devices – including the Galaxy S23 FE – but despite a timely release that same month in the US, eager FE fans in the UK and Europe have had to wait for this newest member of the Galaxy S23 family, until now.
As of December 8, the Galaxy S23 FE arrives in the UK and European markets; a launch Samsung France had, in fact, telegraphed only a couple of days prior. While Stateside, the phone's pricing has fluctuated – starting at $599 and $649 for the 128GB and 256GB models respectively, before promptly dropping to $529 and $589 for the holiday season, in the UK the S23 FE is a little pricier, at £599 and £649, for the same two storage models.
One thing Samsung has pulled away from is the origin of the FE name. Where it once stood for 'Fan Edition' now it's solely there to imply Galaxy S series sensibilities at a more modest price. For your money, you get the same floating camera design, plus an aluminum frame surrounding a flat glass back – similar to the standard Galaxy S23.
The S23 FE is a little larger than its namesake, however, with a 6.4-inch Full HD+ OLED display with a dynamic refresh rate up to 120Hz. That size slots it right in between the 6.1-inch S23 and the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus, with a battery capacity that equally sits in between at 4,500mAh. Although this latest FE also possess a 50MP primary and 12MP ultra-wide camera, it's 3x telephoto sensor is a lower-resolution 8MP offering, while the front camera clocks in at 10MP to the S23's 12MP.
Perhaps the biggest difference regionally is the switch to Samsung's own Exynos 2200 chipset on the UK and European version, compared to the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip powering the US model. This happens to be the same silicon split that featured in last year's Samsung Galaxy S22 series internationally, which based on testing at the time highlighted the Snapdragon's advantages over the Exynos chip, especially when it came to graphical ability and power efficiency; suggesting Brits and Europeans are getting a slightly inferior version of the latest FE compared to customers in the US.
More fun and FEeling
With the S23 FE's focus on a great display, promising battery life and what looks to be a generally comparable camera experience to the standard Galaxy S23, where the phone does stand apart is with its finishes. The phone's six finishes (four in the UK), generally adopt a bolder presentation than the more muted colorways of the standard S23. Take the signature purple, for example; it's a far darker and more saturated hue than the standard S23's Lavender finish, not to mention the choice of a contrasting silver frame helps make the FE immediately stand apart from color-matched look of the original phone.
To sweeten the deal for UK customers, Samsung is also serving up a £100 cashback claim at purchase, along with a pair of Galaxy Buds FE and 12 months of Disney Plus too. Stay tuned for our Samsung Galaxy S23 FE review, later today.
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Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews.