Samsung Galaxy F23 5G review
- Samsung's latest F-series smartphone, the Galaxy F23 5G has been launched in India.
- Featuring Android 11 and a 5,000mAh battery, the Galaxy F23 5G is aimed at the budget segment.
- Usually, Samsung has aimed the Galaxy F series at those who want budget and mid-range phones with a specific focus on cameras.
- Read on to find out if you should consider the Galaxy F23 5G for your next smartphone upgrade.
AdvertisementSamsung recently launched the F23 5G. With no big announcements and visibly reduced influencer promotions, this phone did go under the radar for many. However, I got my hands on a review unit and have been spending some quality time with it. After my thorough testing and usage, I can say that this smartphone is an outcast in its own clan, but it’s not outdated. I explain this paradox to you in my full review.
Price & Availability
The smartphone is available for you to buy from Samsung’s own D2C website, Flipkart, and chroma retail stores.
Unboxing - We don’t get a charger!
I was surprised when I had the F23 5G’s box in my hand. It was compact and I knew what it meant. Surprisingly, the F23 does not get a charger inside the box just like its premium siblings in the S series. The unboxing experience is underwhelming since we only get some basic paperwork, a Type-C charging cable, and of course the phone.
While I do appreciate the motive behind these reductions, Samsung needs to understand that a consumer buying a product at this price point expects these accessories inside the box.
Thanks to it’s massive R&D unit, the brand should be the first one to understand that this might move consumer preference toward other brands as they might not want to spend more for a charger.
Design & Build Quality - Back to Basics
Samsung has opted the tried and tested formula when it comes to F23 5G’s design. A minimalistic upgrade from the F22 in terms of looks, the only striking difference is the new camera array on the back. Now we see a triple camera set-up on the phone compared to the quad-camera set-up on the F22.
AdvertisementAesthetically, the aqua blue colorway with me is appealing to the eyes, even though it looks more like a lighter shade of minty green. If you like your phones with a bolder color then you can go for the forest green color option.
The build quality and material used are also familiar to F22, with the phone sporting a plastic body and back. Fortunately, the quality of the plastic is stellar and it doesn’t seem compromised by any means. The plastic body also helps in reducing weight since the smartphone is anyway carrying a massive 5000 mAh battery. All though it weighs 198 grams, a perfect blend of semi-flat edges and even weight distribution makes it easy to hold.
Other design aspects are what you expect from a Samsung Galaxy. On the right side, we get to see volume rockers and a power lock & unlock button. The power button also incorporates the fingerprint sensor, which is not as snappy as you’d expect it to be in 2022. It does unlock the phone, but only after placing your finger at a correct angle. A light tap on the sensor does not do the job, and I had to consciously press the power button for the phone to recognize my fingerprint. This was a turn-off for me since its counterparts like the Redmi note 11 Pro+ and the Realme 9 5G can unlock with just a tap.
At the bottom, we get to see a 3.5mm headphone jack which is a bonus these days. It also works really well and delivers crisp audio. Right next to it is a USB Type-C charging port along with a speaker grill.
The SIM card slot situation is also favorable with 2 dedicated slots for nano SIM and a slot for a micro SD card.
Display - Best in the segment
Before we touch upon the quality of the display, it’s important to point out that upfront the F23 looks outdated. With a teardrop design combined with considerably thick bezels and a chin, I felt as if I am using a smartphone from 2018.
Samsung’s recycled design choice takes away from what the brand has achieved in terms of the specs on this panel. The 6.6-inch display is an LCD screen, and it looks great. The screen produces rich colors that ensure you enjoy watching your content. It is also well lit and you can look at it under direct sunlight as well, given you set it to maximum brightness. The screen is also protected with Corning Gorilla Glass 5, ensuring an aid against scratches.
What made the F23’s display stand out for me was the smooth execution of the adaptive refresh rate feature. The phone can switch and adapt between 60 and 120 Hz depending on the app you are using. So far, the experience is smooth and I enjoyed the easy switch between a web page and a game.
AdvertisementThe display’s quality and higher refresh rate definitely make it stand out in the mid-range segment.
Issues like not having a punch-hole display and an always-on feature might not affect the general consumer, but I feel Samsung undermined its own product with this decision.
When I had just started enjoying the display Samsung’s cutbacks came back to haunt me, the convict this time was the speaker. Samsung Galaxy F23 features a single speaker set-up which by itself is a fairly loud unit, however, even after a week of usage I still miss a stereo set-up.
If you are someone who watches content on their phone, without earplugs then this is a point to note.
Samsung Galaxy F23 5G UI - Same old, same old
By now, I have accepted Samsung’s move of providing a more robust OS experience, which seems familiar across all its devices. While it does add a sense of reliability, it also makes the usage boring.
AdvertisementJust like other Samsung devices, the F23 5G also runs on Samsung’s own One UI skin paired with Android 11. With familiar animation and app icon designs, you won’t really feel a difference if you are coming from a Samsung phone. Familiarity also means the convenience of generic Samsung features like lift to wake, navigation gesture switch, and one-handed mode.
You can also use Samsung’s good old widgets to improve your workflow like calenders, reminders and even emails. Aesthetically, I could change themes, but I would suggest sticking with the classic Samsung One UI skin, it's subtle and less cartoonish than other options.
Booting up the device there is some bloatware onboard which was surprising. Apps like Byjus, Josh, Mx Takatak, Moj and even Sharechat are pre-installed. This is a first for me in a Samsung device. Thankfully this package can be uninstalled.
Before closing this section I have to talk about the security of the device. Both in terms of hardware and data privacy. Samsung provides you with both fingerprint sensor and face unlock feature on the F23. Unfortunately, both of them are sloppy in their job. While I have explained about the fingerprint sensor earlier, the face unlock is even more unreliable. It takes two steps to set up one with your glasses and another without them. Yet, I have not been able to unlock the phone seamlessly even once. Maybe this will improve with future updates but as of now the situation is abysmal.
From the data privacy perspective, a highlight of the device is the availability of Knox security which protects your data against unfortunate intrusions. While data safety as a concern is still picking up in our country, it is commendable on Samsung’s part to provide this feature at this price point.
Samsung Galaxy F23 5G is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G 5G chipset, which is decent for this price range given we see it on the Nord CE and Mi 10i. While I can’t test the 5G prowess of the smartphone yet, Samsung says it comes with 12 5G bands which do make the phone future proof.
Performance-wise, the F23 5G performs decently well across multiple strata. Be it calling, or web surfing the phone does not lag and provides peak output without breaking a sweat.
Memory management is a bit sloppy though, with the phone occasionally missing out on booting up basic apps like chrome from the point where I left them. The variant with me comes with 6GB of RAM and yet I faced this issue. If you are planning to buy the F23 then I strongly recommend ditching the 4GB RAM variant. As for storage, the 128 GB internal capacity will be enough for most of the users, but in case you still want more, you can always use an SD card.
Things get complicated for performance-hungry tasks like gaming. I had an hour-long session of BGMI on F23. It runs the game smoothly on HD settings but after the games were done, I could feel considerable heating. So in case you are buying it for serious gaming, then here’s a heads up.
With a 5000 mAh cell, the F23 should last well over a day for a generic user. This involves mostly calling messaging and casual social media browsing.
For a heavy user like me, mileage does get affected but not so much. After a long day of testing, the phone would stand at a solid 10%.
Since we don’t get a charger in the box, finding the right brick is important. The F23 supports 25W fast charging, so the usual Samsung wall adapter worked for me. I used the 20W Samsung brick and the phone charged from 10-100% in about 1 hour 20 minutes.
Now even if you don’t charge to a complete 100, the F23 won’t give up on you, thanks to the chipset’s efficiency and the big battery.
F23 5G Camera
The Galaxy F23 5G has a triple camera set-up at the back featuring a 50MP primary sensor, an 8MP ultra-wide sensor and a 2MP macro sensor.
AdvertisementThe primary sensor performs fairly well in bright outdoor environments with crisp images and commendable color reproduction. The image quality is clean and does not look burnt out.
The portrait shots are just about okay, providing you with acceptable edge detection in favorable lighting conditions.
The ultra-wide sensor performs its job well and creates more room for you to click pictures. With 10X digital zoom, you can also close up on your subject however you will be compromising on details.
The macro sensor when used can deliver surprising results, which are worthy of your social media feed.
There are other photo options like night mode which do bring upon a change however the results are grainy, lacking details.
AdvertisementVideo performance is decent for casual shooting, but if you are a content creator then this is not the device for you. While the camera can shoot 4K at 30 fps, the results are not desirable. The videos look saturated and the final product is not worthy of your social media feed.
The front camera is an 8MP shooter and gives you an option to go wide as well. The image results are decent, and generally quite nice. The portrait selfies have satisfactory edge detection and the output is worth the clicks.
Samsung Galaxy F23 5G is an everyday phone for the folks who don’t like experimenting with their devices. It brings in every possible feature Samsung can deliver at this price point and chooses to ignore the one’s that a consumer of this price bracket won’t really care about.
As my hypothesis said, the phone is an outcast when compared to its counterparts, but it’s not outdated.
AdvertisementIn a way, this is not a device for the young, but it is a perfect smartphone for people looking for an option for their elderly.
With Samsung’s trusted brand image, a solid UI and future proof 5G chipset, and a massive battery life, this makes it to be a great gifting option.
See also -
Nokia G21 smartphone with nearly 3-day battery life and 50MP camera launched today
Ola, Pure EV and Okinawa recall nearly 6,700 electric scooters after Nitin Gadkari’s warning and continued fire accidents
5G in India – who, what, when, why and how much?
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