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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE: Everything we know so far and what we want to see
Update: September 25, 2023 (1:20 PM ET): We’ve updated the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE rumor hub with leaked information regarding the specs, price, colors, and release date.
Original article: Samsung hasn’t had the most consistent relationship with its Galaxy S Fan Edition lineup. Since launching the Galaxy S20 FE model in 2020 to much fanfare, the company has only released one other FE phone, namely the far-less-well-received Galaxy S21 FE. While Samsung originally planned to supplement its flagship Galaxy S series with a new affordable model every year, it conveniently gave the Galaxy S22 FE a pass. We never even got a reason from Samsung for canceling the S22 FE. However, the company reportedly failed to execute its plans due to the global chip shortage.
Now, fresh rumors have once again stirred up hope for a new Fan Edition phone. The Galaxy S23 FE is reportedly in the works to replace one of Samsung’s A series devices. Will the company resurrect the glory of the Galaxy S20 FE? Or will it skip the 2023 FE phone altogether? Here’s everything we know about the Galaxy S23 FE.
Will there be a Samsung Galaxy S23 FE?
If rumors are to be believed, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE will replace what would have been the Galaxy A74 to join the current Galaxy S23 lineup. This would have been the most high-end A-series phone to launch globally in 2023, following last year’s Galaxy A73, which introduced 108MP cameras to the range.
A not-so-well-known Korean publication called SisaJournal went on record in mid-March, claiming that Samsung is indeed planning to launch the Galaxy S23 FE in the fourth quarter of this year. That would give it a launch timeframe anywhere between October and December 2023. However, we wouldn’t put too much faith in this since we can’t vouch for the news outlet’s credibility.
Thankfully, Android Authority interviewed Justin Hume, vice president of mobile for Samsung South Africa, in July. Hume stated that there will be a Galaxy S23 FE, and there will be an announcement soon. So as of now, the existence of the Galaxy S23 FE seems to be cemented.
What is the Galaxy S23 FE release date?
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE — September 23, 2020
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE — January 11, 2022
As you can see from previous launch dates of Samsung’s Fan Edition phones, there’s no set timeframe for when the company will release a new FE model. The scattered nature of the previous FE launches tells us nothing about the Galaxy S23 FE release date. There’s the fourth quarter launch prediction by the Korean publication we mentioned above. This Q4 2023 release window was corroborated by SamMobile as well.
This Q4 2023 release window was corroborated be SamMobile as well. The outlet also claimed the device would first arrive in select markets with a wider release to come in Q4 2023 and Q1 2024.
Lending more credence to a launch sooner rather than later was the fact that the Galaxy S23 FE was listed on the Bluetooth SIG website on August 25. A listing of this nature usually means that a launch is a few months away at worst and days or weeks away at best.
According to MySmartPrice’s sources, the exact launch date could be October 4. This just happens to be the same launch date as the Pixel 8.
What features and specs will the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE have?
We have quite a few leaks already about some of the upcoming phone’s specs and what it could look like.
The Fan Edition phones usually take inspiration from the design of the more premium Galaxy S series. Of course, there’s always a chance that the company could do something different. Judging by leaked renders provided by tipster OnLeaks, it looks like the S23 FE follows in line with the rest of the S23 series.
The design is so close to the base model Galaxy S23 that the only difference appears to be where the LED flash is located. On the base model, the flash is aligned with the top camera sensor. In contrast, the flash on the FE model is situated between the top and middle camera.
Along with these renders, the leak provided the dimensions as well. It appears the phone could be 158 x 76.3 x 8.2mm. This would be about the same size as the Galaxy S23 Plus, albeit slightly thicker.
A listing on the Wireless Power Consortium website that appeared in July also provided a real-world photo of the handset. This is the first time we’ve had a real look at the device.
The handset was also seen on China’s TENAA website with real-world images from three different angles. These images show a device that looks an awful lot like the Galaxy A54.
The listing did not provide any specifications, but it appears an earlier version of the page did. This version of the page points to features like a 6.3-inch 2,340 x 1,080 display, a 4,370mAh battery, 50MP+8MP+12MP rear cameras, a 10MP selfie camera, and an under-display fingerprint sensor.
In September, a leaked marketing render provided the potential color options for the Galaxy S23 FE. These colors include Pearl White, Black Graphite, Purple Lavender, and Olive. However, MySmartPrice’s sources, from the leak mentioned earlier, claim the colors may actually be Graphite, Mint, Purple, White, Indigo, and Tangerine. The Indigo and Tangerine colors are reportedly exclusive to the Samsung store.
In the same month, renowned leaker Evan Blass provided a new render of the Galaxy S23 FE. Unlike other renders, however, this leak is a rotating gif that show all sides of the device.
Specs and features
SamMobile and Maeil both asserted in April that the Exynos 2200 processor will power the Galaxy S23 FE. Yes, that would be the same chipset found in European Galaxy S22 models. This would be a disappointment as the Exynos processor was beset by performance woes, not to mention that it would be woefully underpowered when compared to a Galaxy S23, which kind of flies in the face of the Fan Edition concept.
This Exynos 2200 rumor was further supported when a prototype of the phone was spotted on Geekbench, which came with an Exynos 2200 chip and 8GB of RAM. But Maeil claims Samsung has made unspecified “design changes” to the chip to improve yield rates, so hopefully, these tweaks result in better performance and efficiency too.
Pocket-Lint echoed the claims of an Exynos chipset on July 24, citing a reliable source. The outlet’s source didn’t clarify whether it was the Exynos 2200.
It sounds like we should expect a flagship processor from 2022 in the Galaxy S23 FE.
We’ve also heard claims that the US model could gain a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 series chipset instead. But these claims were largely based on benchmark listings, which can be spoofed.
Most recently, leaker Yogesh Brar posted a list of Samsung Galaxy S23 FE specs on X, formerly known as Twitter:
It appears Brar also believes the Galaxy S23 FE will split its processor globally, just like we saw from most Galaxy S phones prior to the Galaxy S23 series.
The SamMobile article that alleged the FE would have an Exynos chip also revealed a few more apparent features. The most notable upgrade is a switch to a 50MP main camera instead of the 12MP shooter on previous models. The information was reaffirmed by GalaxyClub, which reported in May that the upcoming phone would have a 50MP main camera that’s similar to the base Galaxy S23. Later, Galaxy Club also asserted that the phone would see a selfie camera upgrade to the 10MP sensor seen in the Galaxy S22 series. Unfortunately, it looks like the 12MP ultrawide and the 8MP telephoto would remain unchanged.
The report from MySmartPrice added a few more details like the display having a peak brightness of 1,450 nits, an IP68 rating, a f/1.8 aperture for the main camera, and a f/2.4 aperture for the telephoto lens. This leak also claims there will be five color options instead of the four shown in the marketing render leak.
Otherwise, the phone is said to offer 128GB to 256GB of storage and a 4,500mAh battery with 25W wired charging. A Bluetooth SIG listing in August also suggests that we’ll get a dual-SIM variant at launch, as signified by the “DS” suffix in the listed model number.
What will the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE price be?
- Samsung Galaxy S20 FE — $699
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE — $699
According to SisaJournal, the Galaxy S23 FE price is expected to be around 20-to-30% cheaper than the basic $799 Galaxy S23 model with 256GB storage. That would make the S23 FE’s price somewhere around $560 – $640.
Once again, we advise you to take this information with a generous helping of salt. Nothing can be said for sure about the Galaxy S23 FE before more credible sources come forward to spill the beans on the phone. However, a $599 price would make a lot of sense. That would put the Galaxy S23 at $799, the Galaxy S22 at $699, and the Galaxy S23 FE at $599.
This estimate isn’t just our hypothesis, MySmartPrice’s own sources also say it may be $599. This price tag refers to the US and Canada; it’s unknown what the price will be elsewhere.
Regardless, it’s worth noting that the Galaxy S20 FE and S21 FE both started at $700. So it would be a very unexpected move if the Galaxy S23 FE came in under this price point.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE: What we want to see
A chip not older than the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
There were multiple issues with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, ranging from power consumption to overheating problems. Samsung should avoid the chip and opt for a newer SoC. We wouldn’t mind the slightly older Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 at all. It’s much more efficient than the Gen 1 thanks to TSMC’s superior manufacturing node against chips like the 8 Gen 1 produced by Samsung’s foundry.
Unfortunately, the most predominant rumors right now suggest the Exynos 2200/Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 powering the Galaxy S23 FE. We’re still holding out hope for something better, though.
The Galaxy S23 FE is long overdue for a camera update. The S21 FE’s photography skills failed to impress because it featured the same core capabilities as the S20 FE. We sure hope Samsung moves on from the aged 12MP main + ultrawide shooters and the pointless 8MP telephoto sensor it presented on the previous Fan Edition phone. It would be great if the company could match the camera setup of the standard Galaxy S23 model or at least keep the larger pixel size and the improved AI photography skills of devices like the Galaxy Z Flip 4.
Thankfully, rumors suggest upgrades for the selfie and primary shooters. It’s unfortunate we can’t say the same for the old-as-heck ultrawide and telephoto shooters, but you can’t win them all.
The Galaxy S21 FE offered a measly 6GB of RAM on the base model. We hope Samsung ups that to at least 8GB so that multitasking and opening heavy apps isn’t an issue on the Galaxy S23 FE.
Have any Galaxy S23 FE leaks to share with us? Send us a tip, and we’ll be sure to check it out.