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Rating
8

Smartphones are becoming increasingly homogenous, but despite the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE looking eerily similar to the latest iPhone, it's still a good option for the cost. It has all the features you would expect, with the camera being one of the best features.

Between the stabiliser and the quality of the photos, any amateur can take a photo, and the S23 FE significantly improves images with the inbuilt AI optimisation.

The performance upgrade due to the introduction of a new processor also stands out with the S23 FE.

While a lot of the features are not new, this smartphone is worth considering because of the evolutionary improvement of key software and hardware.

Agile camera, which takes vibrant, detailed photos.
Amazing display.
Stellar performance with new enhancements

No fan favourite microSD expansion.
Object eraser needs a little more work but still fun to play with.
Same with Photo Remaster tool.

The Samsung FE smartphones have been a popular Samsung offering because they sit under their top-end S23 Galaxy range, the affordable premium A5 series, and other upwards ranges, and over the last couple of weeks, I tested out their latest release, the Galaxy S23 FE.

Replacing the popular Galaxy S21 FE, the S23 FE model is $999 and features Dynamic AMOLED 2x display, new AI enhancements including an image eraser for photos which is powered by Samsung’s own Exynos 2200 performance processor.

Like many of its competitors, Samsung is pushing AI powered software across the CPU in an effort to reduce the load on the processor, battery management is also benefitting from the use of AI.

Due to the upgrades, processing is better with this device over previous models because of the increase in power and better utilisation of software.

The phone is hefty, weighing 209g due in part to the use of a glass back, this is a little more than the 196g Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus.

003 galaxy s23 fe mint back scaled REVIEW: Is The Galaxy S23 FE Worth $1,000?

From the back, the setup is similar to the S21 FE but with a greater resolution primary camera, that’s because Samsung is using a 50MP OIS main cam paired with an 8MP 3x zoom OIS telephoto and a 12MP ultrawide camera.

For the photos, I was impressed with the range, the colours, and the clarity from the images I took highlight that the new Galaxy S23 FE is definitely in the premium category.

20231124 0825010 scaled REVIEW: Is The Galaxy S23 FE Worth $1,000?

20231122 151251 scaled REVIEW: Is The Galaxy S23 FE Worth $1,000?

The most fun I had with this camera, however, was with the Object Eraser, which while neat to play with, is not yet 100% and could be better. As you can see from my photos, most objects erased left some sort of shadow or the photo was left a bit muddled. It was a little fiddly, but I enjoyed experimenting with it, and the eraser did an adequate job.

Object Eraser 1 REVIEW: Is The Galaxy S23 FE Worth $1,000?

Object Eraser 2 REVIEW: Is The Galaxy S23 FE Worth $1,000?

Object Eraser 3 scaled REVIEW: Is The Galaxy S23 FE Worth $1,000?
See the shadow left by the Object Eraser.

Most people, unless they really look and zoom on your image, most likely notice the shadows and I imagine these sorts of tools will only improve as AI continues to make these features sharper and more accurate.

Additionally, I used the Nightography, which took pretty clear photos even in gloomy environments. The feature is aided by advanced digital image stabilisation (VDIS) and stabilised shots enabled by the rear camera with optical image stabiliser (OIS) angle.

The stabiliser for me is especially important because I usually walk and snap. Often, these photos could be a little blurry, due to a classic case of my hand moving a little while taking a picture. I noticed that none of my photos were remotely blurry with the S23 FE.

I also used Pro Mode, which allows users to control shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and can be manually adjusted to their preferences to get the most out of the lighting of some of photos of the buildings shown below.

The Photo Remaster tool was not earthshattering but again, it’s a novelty and it really did not change the photo much. This is another tool I imagine will continue to get better and better as the new models roll out.

20231204 152637 scaled REVIEW: Is The Galaxy S23 FE Worth $1,000?

One thing missing, however, is the Galaxy S23 FE is missing the fan favourite microSD expansion, which is not included in the new model. I liked this option because it allows users to boost their phones’ storage capacity without paying extra for a higher storage configuration, but that’s not possible on this device.

For usage and battery, I found the 4,500mAh battery more than adequate, as it still had a 20% charge even after two weeks. Granted it was a test phone and my usage was relatively moderate, but still that impressed me.

I would buy this phone, but I would not say you MUST go out and purchase it because it really isn’t all that different from the last model. It is a nice premium option, however, and there are no major reasons for not buying, that is if you can afford it.

With Samsung Galaxy S23 series sales already having surpassed those of the Galaxy S22 series by a substantial increase of 22%, the latest launch of the Galaxy S23 Fan Edition (FE) in Australia could see that margin grow even more especially because it has all the bells and whistles users would expect for a Samsung device.

The Galaxy S23 FE series is available from $999 in Mint, Cream, Graphite, and Purple. Indigo and Tangerine are also available exclusively at Samsung.com. The new Fan Edition can also be purchased at select retailers, such as JB Hi-FiBing Lee, and others.

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Rating
8

Smartphones are becoming increasingly homogenous, but despite the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE looking eerily similar to the latest iPhone, it's still a good option for the cost. It has all the features you would expect, with the camera being one of the best features.

Between the stabiliser and the quality of the photos, any amateur can take a photo, and the S23 FE significantly improves images with the inbuilt AI optimisation.

The performance upgrade due to the introduction of a new processor also stands out with the S23 FE.

While a lot of the features are not new, this smartphone is worth considering because of the evolutionary improvement of key software and hardware.

Agile camera, which takes vibrant, detailed photos.
Amazing display.
Stellar performance with new enhancements

No fan favourite microSD expansion.
Object eraser needs a little more work but still fun to play with.
Same with Photo Remaster tool.