Samsung Unveils Galaxy S23 FE With Upgrade Path To Android 17, New Buds And Tablet Too
Samsung released its 2023 foldables just a couple of months ago, but already there's a new raft of Samsung hardware. The Korean consumer electronics giant has revealed the Galaxy S23 FE, Galaxy Tab S9 FE, and the Galaxy Buds FE. These mid-range devices undercut the mainline S-series on price, but you can still expect most of the same features.
In Samsung World, the FE in these product names stands for Fan Edition. For whatever reason, that has become shorthand for a more budget-friendly take on existing device lineups. There was no Galaxy S22 FE last year, but the S23 FE actually has a few things in common with the S22 family.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FEThe Galaxy S23 FE runs on a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip in North America, which is the processor Samsung used in the S22 family. Internationally, the phone will have an Exynos 2200. The Galaxy S23 lineup has the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, and it's clocked a little higher for Samsung devices. The Gen 1 is still a powerful chip, so that's not a major concern, but we did notice heat issues with the 8 Gen 1 in Samsung's 2022 smartphones. Hopefully, the S23 FE runs cooler. You also get 8GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB of storage, and a 4,500mAh battery.
The S23 FE looks a lot like the S23, but it's a little larger than the base model with a 6.4-inch 1080p 120Hz OLED screen. The bezels are a bit chunkier than the more expensive S-series phones, and the back is plastic instead of matte glass. There are at least some fun colors. The camera array takes a step down from the heights of the S23 family, too. There's a 12MP primary, a 50MP ultrawide, and an 8MP 3x telephoto. The 10MP front-facing camera is actually an upgrade from the smaller 32MP sensor on the Galaxy S21 FE.
The S23 FE will run Android 13 out of the box, but Samsung promises updates through Android 17. It can be yours for $599, a $200 discount compared to the base model Galaxy S23. If you're all set with a phone, Samsung's new tablets might interest you. The Galaxy Tab S9 FE strips a few features from the Tab S9 series to keep the price more reasonable at a starting price of $450.
Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 FE And Galaxy Buds FEThe Tab S9 FE comes in 10.9-inch and 12.4-inch variants, and they're both 90Hz LCD instead of the 120Hz OLED panels from the more expensive Tab S9 series. There are two speakers instead of four, and they run on the Exynos 1380, which is an older 5nm processor. The Tab S9 series has the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip as Samsung's S23 family. They include the S Pen stylus, but there's no Bluetooth functionality (not that BT is very useful in the S Pen).
Lastly, Samsung has given its earbuds the FE budget treatment. The new Galaxy Buds FE offer noise canceling, audio passthrough, and up to 30 hours of total play time with the case (without ANC). They have fewer microphones and smaller drivers than the more expensive Samsung buds, but the $99 price tag is attractive. The boring black and white color options less so.
The new devices will begin launching tomorrow (Oct 5) in select markets. In the US, the S23 FE will debut on Oct 26, and the Buds FE and Tab S9 FE will launch on Oct 10.