The Galaxy S23 FE launches in India, but you shouldn't buy it — here's what to get instead

Different colors of the Galaxy S23 FE
(Image credit: Andrew Myrick / Android Central)

Samsung launched the Galaxy S23 FE in India, and at an initial glance, it has a lot going for it. You get a 6.4-inch AMOLED panel, 50MP camera at the back with a 12MP wide-angle and 8MP 3x zoom lens, and 4500mAh battery.

But there's a problem. Samsung decided to bring the Exynos 2200-powered version of the S23 FE to India, and as a result, you're getting an inferior product. The global version is powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and although it is a year old, it continues to be excellent — just look at the Nothing Phone (2).

If you've used an Exynos phone in the past, you don't need me to tell you that it has a long history of overheating and thermal throttling. Those issues didn't go away with the Exynos 2200, and even Samsung deemed it wasn't good enough for its Galaxy S23 series, which uses the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 exclusively.

Samsung did something similar with the S21 FE, launching the Exynos variant in the country and then following it up with the Snapdragon 888 model earlier this year.

Then there's the cost: the Galaxy S23 FE starts off at a staggering ₹59,999 ($720) in India for the 8GB/128GB version, with the 8GB/256GB variant available for ₹64,999 ($780). While Samsung is incentivizing the launch by offering ₹10,000 off either model via various deals, there's just no way the S23 FE offers a good value.

The back of the black Google Pixel 7

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

So if you're eyeing the S23 FE, you have to ask yourself if it's really worth it to pick up a phone that's underwhelming out of the box when there are so many excellent alternatives available. The Pixel 7 is my recommendation; the 8GB/128GB model is now available for just ₹41,999 ($504), making it a terrific bargain. The Pixel 7 has great hardware, a gorgeous design, cleaner software with Google-exclusive features, and will get software updates ahead of Samsung's phones.

The best part about the Pixel 7 is the cameras; the phone takes better photos than any other device in this category, including the S23 FE. The only limitation is the screen, with the Pixel 7 limited to a 90Hz OLED panel.

The Glyph lights illuminated on the back of a Nothing Phone (2)

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

If you don't like the look of the Pixel 7 or want another option, the Nothing Phone (2) has plenty to offer. It is available for ₹44,999 ($540) for the 8GB/128GB version, and you get a unique design, powerful hardware, and highly customizable software that looks as good as the external design.

Whatever you do, don't buy the Galaxy S23 FE in India — there are much better devices to be had for a lot less.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.