The Galaxy S23 FE is trash at full price but this $399 Black Friday deal fixes that

White Galaxy S23 FE with Mint case
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Samsung's delayed Galaxy S23 FE finally made it to store shelves earlier this month and its $600 just wasn't worth it. Sure, it's normally $200 less than the regular Galaxy S23 but it uses last year's processor and skimps on the camera hardware compared to the mainline series.

But this $399 early Black Friday deal at Best Buy means the phone's downgraded hardware actually feels like a great buy. After all, you're getting basically the same hardware as the Galaxy S22 Plus — a phone that launched at $999 just a year ago — but in an updated frame and with an extra year of software updates.

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE 128GB: $599

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE 128GB: $599 $399 at Best Buy

This near-flagship grade phone looks much more expensive than it actually is thanks to Samsung's new universal design language and an early Black Friday deal that takes $200 off the normal price.

If you're looking for great early Black Friday Samsung deals, the Galaxy S23 FE and Galaxy A54 5G feature the lowest prices of any Samsung phone this year.

So why would you want to spend the extra money when the Galaxy A54 5G is just $324 right now? First off, performance. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 inside the Galaxy S23 FE is at least twice as fast as the Exynos 1380 inside the Galaxy A54, and nearly 3x as fast when playing mobile games.

If you find yourself playing games on your phone often — or just doing more than basic communication and browsing social media — the S23 FE is absolutely worth the extra $75 in the long run. After all, these phones get software updates for the next several years and that difference in performance is going to be felt after just a year or two.

The performance difference between the Galaxy S23 FE and Galaxy A54 means the S23 FE is a far better choice at this price.

Second, is the camera performance. While the Galaxy A54 has a great camera for its normal $450 price range, it pales compared to the 2022 flagship-grade camera on the Galaxy S23 FE.

Camera quality isn't just about the megapixel count, so ignore that both phones feature a "50mp main camera." The sensor and lens on the S23 FE are better than the A54, and Qualcomm's image processor inside does a much better job of producing top-notch photos and videos than the Exynos inside the A54.

But if camera quality is the most important factor for you in a smartphone, I'd recommend completely ignoring both of these Samsung phones and picking up the Pixel 7a, instead. The S23 FE has better battery life and performance, but Pixels are the camera kings of the smartphone world.

The Pixel 7a is available for $374 right now, making it the best Black Friday phone deal we've found so far. Pixels don't have as many software features as Samsung phones but, for someone like me, the camera quality overrides any software niceties that Samsung has.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones & VR
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu
  • bradavon
    It amuses me people seem to think even Samsung expect you to buy their phones at full price. They're always heavily discounted within weeks.
  • mustang7757
    bradavon said:
    It amuses me people seem to think even Samsung expect you to buy their phones at full price. They're always heavily discounted within weeks.
    Samsung. Com has good trade-in options also
  • Village_Idiot
    mustang7757 said:
    Samsung. Com has good trade-in options also
    Usually better than the carriers.