Samsung has a lot of phones on sale at the moment, and while I think you're better off with the likes of the Pixel 7a — which is down to just $374 — I get that not everyone wants to switch phone brands. If you've used Samsung phones for a while now and are comfortable with the feature-set that One UI offers, there's a good chance that you'll only consider a Samsung phone when upgrading. And that's okay — the best part of using Android is the choice, and Samsung has plenty of options available.
The best Samsung phone that you can buy at the moment is the Galaxy S23 FE. Obviously, it isn't as good as the Galaxy Z Fold 5, but it doesn't cost $1,299 either — in fact, the S23 FE is now selling for just $399, a full $200 off its launch price. That makes it a terrific value, particularly when you consider that the phone launched just over a month ago.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE (128GB):
$599 $399 at Amazon
The Galaxy S23 FE launched just over a month ago, and it delivers the best features from the Galaxy S23 series at just half the cost. If you want to upgrade to a Samsung phone this Black Friday, make it this one.
Samsung also has the Galaxy A54 for $324, and while that's enticing in its own right, you should pay a little more and pick up the S23 FE. There are a lot of reasons why the S23 FE is better, but if I had to pick just one, it's the hardware; the S23 FE is powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, and it is significantly faster than the Exynos 1380 that's on the A54.
Right now, the Galaxy S23 FE offers the best overall value in Samsung's phone portfolio. That's always been the case with FE phones in general, but the S23 FE takes things to a new level. It has a 120Hz AMOLED panel that gets just as bright as the S23, it's just as fluid in daily use, the cameras are just as good, you get the same great battery life, identical software, IP68 ingress protection, and there's even wireless charging.
What you're basically getting here is a Galaxy S23 at half the cost, and that ultimately makes the S23 FE the only Samsung phone worth buying this Black Friday. There isn't another Samsung phone that gives you anywhere as much for $399, so if you're using a Samsung device and want to upgrade — but aren't willing to buy the Pixel 7a — you should get your hands on the S23 FE.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.