Samsung’s back at it again with a new Fan Edition smartphone. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is the latest and greatest from the Korean tech giants, and it is packing some of the best the company has to offer. But, how does it compare to its previous iteration, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE? Comparing Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs. S23 FE: Uncover the upgrades and differences.
To find out whether the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is worth the upgrade from the Galaxy S21 FE, we’ve compiled a list of differences between the two devices. It’ll make things a lot easier to compare, and by the end, we should have a good idea of whether the Galaxy S23 FE is a worthy upgrade. More importantly, is the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE possibly still a better deal? Read on to find out more about Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs. S23 FE.
|Samsung Galaxy S21 FE||Samsung Galaxy S23 FE|
120Hz display refresh rate
120Hz display refresh rate
|Chipset||Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G|
|Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1|
|RAM||6 GB, 8 GB||8 GB|
|Storage||128 GB, 256 GB||128 GB, 256 GB|
12 MP, f/1.8, 26mm (wide), 1/1.76", 1.8µm, Dual Pixel PDAF, OIS
8 MP, f/2.4, 76mm (telephoto), 1/4.5", 1.0µm, PDAF, OIS, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 13mm, 123˚ (ultrawide), 1/3.0", 1.12µm
32 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide), 1/2.74", 0.8µm
50 MP, f/1.8, 24mm (wide), PDAF, OIS
8 MP, f/2.4, 75mm (telephoto), PDAF, 3x optical zoom
12 MP, f/2.2, 123˚ (ultrawide)
10 MP, f/2.4, 26mm (wide)
|Battery & charging||4500mAh|
25W wired charging
15W wireless charging
25W wired charging
|Weight & dimensions||177gms|
6.13 x 2.93 x 0.31 in
6.22 x 3.01 x 0.32 in
Design & Build:
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE takes on the design principals of Samsung’s latest and greatest, meaning you get a beautiful glass and metal sandwich. It’s sleek and svelte, though the glass can make it somewhat slippery. It’s also somewhat hefty at 209g, giving it an impressively solid build that feels robust and comfortable in the hand.
Meanwhile, with the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE, you get a slightly less premium plastic rear. While it may not feel as expensive as the newer Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, the plastic back also makes it a fair bit lighter at 177g. The plastic rear also makes it less fragile, meaning it’ll have a higher chance of surviving a fall. Build quality is still good here, with a metal frame and Gorilla Glass on the front.
Naturally, as a newer device, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE should have an upper hand in the performance sector. The newer device carries with it a Samsung Exynos 2200 chipset, the successor to the previous Galaxy S21 FE’s Exynos 2100 chipset.
The Exynos 2200 features 8-cores, broken down into one Cortex-X2 core clocked at 2.8GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.52Ghz, and four Cortex-A510 cores at 1.82Ghz. The highest frequency of the Exynos 2200 is a bit lower than its predecessor at 2800MHz, but with the new ARMv9-A instruction set, smaller 4nm fabrication and 7W TDP, it’s more power-efficient than the Exynos 2100.
Meanwhile, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE’s Exynos 2100 is no slouch either. It’s still an 8-core chipset with one Cortex-X1 core at 2.9GHz, three Cortext-A78 cores at 2.80GHz and four Cortex-A55 cores at 2.2GHz. It’s barely behind the newer chipset in all aspects, and in real world performance, should do similarly to its newer counterpart.
In benchmarks, the Exynos 2200 does generally outperform the Exynos 2100, but there’s a surprising twist. The Exynos 2200 has a proprietary Samsung Xclipse 920 GPU, while the Exynos 2100 has a Mali-G78 MP14 GPU. While the Exynos 2200 does eke out its predecessor in most CPU tests, the Exynos 2100 consistently beats out its successor in GPU tests, meaning it may be slightly better for gaming.
Camera capabilities are another sector where the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE shows significant changes compared to its predecessor. Both have triple camera setups, but the Galaxy S23 FE has a much better 50MP primary sensor with an f/1.8 aperture and OIS. Completing the setup is a 12MP ultrawide sensor, an 8MP telephoto lens, and finally, and surprisingly, a 10MP front-facing camera.
Looking over at the Galaxy S21 FE, we see two big changes in the camera tech spec sheet. When it comes to the primary camera, we have a lesser 12MP main sensor, though it still does come with OIS and an aperture of f/1.8. Otherwise, we have the same 12MP ultrawide sensor and 8MP telephoto lens. The final big change is to the front camera, as the S21 FE has a more impressive 32MP shooter.
Both will shoot excellent photos, though the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE slightly ekes out its predecessor in real world performance. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE shoots better photos with both its front and rear cameras on account of having better sensors. Despite this, the Galaxy S21 FE isn’t all that far behind, and again, both will shoot excellent photos and stable video.
As you would expect, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE handily takes the advantage when it comes to software. While the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE isn’t exactly lagging behind with Android 13 on One UI 5.1, it’ll also not have as long of an update cycle since it’s an older device. In about two years, the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE will no longer receive major updates, though we may still see security patches.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE on the other hand wins on account of being newer. It also runs Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5 on top, and it will continue to see major updates for four more years after its release, meaning you’re also getting a fairly future-proof device. If you care about your device staying up-to-date, then the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is the clear choice.
When it comes to display technology, both devices are practically the same. The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE and Galaxy S23 FE both possess 6.4-inch Super AMOLED displays. Both have an FHD+ resolution of 2,340 x 1,080, and both have a 19.5:9 aspect ratio. Both also have refresh rates of 120Hz, leaving them practically indistinguishable. However, the S23 FE display is slightly brighter than the S21 FE. Regardless, you’ll be satisfied as both these displays are top-tier.
Once again, we see no significant differences when it comes to batteries on either phone. Both come with the same 4,500mAh battery, with 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging. In theory, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE should have slightly better battery life with its more efficient processor and better optimizations, but the difference will ultimately be negligible.
Outside of the aforementioned specifications, there are a few other minor differences between the two device – Samsung Galaxy S21 FE vs. S23 FE. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE comes with support for Wi-Fi 6E and Bluetooth 5.3, while the Galaxy S21 FE only supports Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.0. The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE also has support for eSIMs. Outside of that, there aren’t really any other particularly meaningful differences.
Ultimately, this should come down to the pricing for most people, and it’s no surprise that the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a much greater deal than the S23 FE. The Galaxy S21 FE comes in at ₹29,999, which is relatively affordable considering all of the specifications it offers. It’s practically built like a last generation flagship, which is still excellent for day-to-day usage.
On the other hand, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE costs ₹59,999, which is practically double the price of its predecessor. Considering how both devices aren’t really all too different, unless you need something on the newer Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, the Galaxy S21 FE may be the smarter choice.
As mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is ₹59,999 in India. It’s a fair bit more expensive than the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE at ₹29,999.
Whether or not the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is worth the price is up to you, though if you don’t need the latest flagship, then the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is a much better deal.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE has an Exynos 2200 chipset in India. It features one Cortex-X2 core clocked at 2.8GHz, three Cortex-A710 cores at 2.52Ghz, and four Cortex-A510 cores at 1.82Ghz. It also has a Samsung Xclipse 920 GPU.