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Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Early Feels: Selective Luxury For the Discerning User

Among Samsung’s extensive line of smartphones, the FE always intrigued or even confuse the masses. Where does it actually stack up in the lineup? Who is it targeted for? Typically attached to their S-series devices, FE models are usually released about six months following the unveiling of their annual flagship lineup. For the uninitiated, within Samsung’s vast lineup of smartphones, the S-series are considered the flagship line, with the A being seen the mid-tier while the M-series is considered as the most affordable option of the three. In case you are wondering what about the folding devices? They get the ‘Z’ designation.

Lacking some fireworks typically reserved for the top shelf products but comfortably sitting within the realms of ‘premium’ thanks to its build and overall offering, would it be right then to label the FE as sitting squarely within the Goldilocks zone of ‘Premium mid-tier’? Let’s find out.

Thanks to the folks at Samsung Malaysia, we recently got our hands on Samsung’s latest S-tier phone release, the Samsung S23 FE. Just like you, we are excited to find out how this latest device stacks up against its flagship-tier brethren and not to forget, its more affordable cousins, the A-series lineup.

From the get go, the S23 FE packaging exudes the sleek and minimalistic traits synonymous with S-series devices. A slim box with the bare essentials including the USB-C to USB-C cable, SIM card remover tool and some paperwork. Whilst we still yearn for Samsung to include a charging block alongside their phones, we do understand that this move to ship their devices is in-line with their conscious and continuous sustainability efforts when it comes to their products’ packaging.

Compared to the standard S23 devices, the FE delivers what is expected from a device which is somewhat opulent yet pragmatic. We know it is hard to encapsulate the experience in words so we will use the seats in a flight analogy here. Imagine the Z series as being the First Class as they are the most expensive of the lot, the S series being Business and the A series being the bog standard Economy seats. The FE is basically the ‘Premium Economy’ seats. Slightly costlier for those extra life comfort but still missing some features seen and found in the Business class seats.

In hand, the S23 FE definitely feel more premium than the mid-tier A54 but you can definitely feel something is missing which differentiates it from the full-fledged S23 offering. Unlike on the S23 which uses Gorilla Glass Victus 2, the S23 FE uses Gorilla Glass 5 for the front and rear glass panels with aluminum frame sandwiched in the middle.

The fingerprint magnet, glossy finish in the back does make it feel less premium when compared to the matte found on S23 devices. Weighing about 209g, the S23 FE is significantly heavier than the normal S23 but this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. What it lacks in touch and feel, it makes up in heft.

Powered by last year’s flagship chip which powered the S22 family – even the S22 Ultra- in the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, apps launch instantly and you won’t suffer a drop in performance when running even the most demanding of apps. A year removed from being the most powerful smart device chip in the market, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 is still a very formidable beast, way more than capable of running your daily tasks.

Camera-wise, the S23 FE does the job as expected from a phone in its price range. If you are in search of a device that shoots decent photos nine times out of ten without the need of having you break the bank, then this is the device for you. The camera setup on the S23 FE is perfect for those who require a point-and-shoot device, rarely dabbling with the settings. But when the need arises, is still a formidable device. This is one device you should not sleep on.

We are running our S23 FE review unit through its paces so stay tuned for the full review coming out soon. Real-life usage would include how well the battery lasts, its camera performance and of course, how it stacks up against its more well-equipped, more expensive siblings such as the S23 Ultra and Z Fold 5.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes in four colours and is now available at all Samsung mobile outlet stores if you want to cop a feel before committing your hard-earned cash on one. Starting at RM2,699, purchasing the S23 FE online may net you some significant savings (or upgrades depending on how you see it) including the ability to get the 256GB version at the price of 128GB.

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  1. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE: A Fulsome Experience For A Fraction of the Price | Kakuchopurei

    October 27, 2023 at 5:01 pm

    […] mentioned in our first impression piece, the S23 FE delivers what is expected from a device which is somewhat opulent yet pragmatic. Upon […]

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