Samsung launched the Galaxy F23 5G smartphone earlier this year as the successor to the Galaxy F22, which was a 4G phone. The new model features a 120Hz FHD+ LCD screen compared to 90Hz HD+ AMOLED screen, and is powered by the popular Snapdragon 750G SoC. Is this a good phone under Rs. 20,000? Let us dive into the review to find out.
- Samsung Galaxy F23 5G smartphone 4GB RAM, 128GB storage version in Forest Green colour
- USB Type-C to C Cable
- SIM ejector tool
- Quick Start Guide and Warranty information
Even though the phone supports 25W charging, Samsung has removed the charger in the box.
Display, Hardware and Design
The phone comes with a 6.6-inch Full HD+ Infinity-U LCD screen with a resolution of 1080×2408 pixels at about 400PPI, aspect ratio of 20:9. The display looks bright, offers good color reproduction, and the sunlight legibility is good as well. The screen is protected by Corning Gorilla Glass 5.
It has a 120Hz refresh rate screen that offers a fluid user experience with smoother animations, scrolling and gaming. Similar to the other Samsung phones, there is an Eye comfort shield that limit blue light emitted by the screen. There is also dark mode.
On the top, there is an 8-megapixel camera in the notch, and the earpiece is present on the top edge. The phone has a proximity sensor, but it misses the ambient light sensor.
Automatic brightness adjustment takes a bit of time to adjust to the surrounding environment since the phone uses the front camera for adjustment due to the lack of ambient light sensor. However, it has gyroscope and magnetic sensor, otherwise known as magnetometer for VR, but it doesn’t have a notification LED.
Coming to the button placements, the power button that includes the fingerprint sensor and the volume rockers are present on the right side. The dedicated dual SIM + microSD slot is present on the left side. The secondary microphone is on the top. The 3.5mm audio jack, primary microphone, USB Type-C port and the loudspeaker grill are on the bottom. Since the sides have a plastic frame with a glossy finish, they attract fingerprints easily.
On the back, there is a triple camera module arranged in an array. There is a single LED flash. Even though the phone has a 6.6-inch screen, it is compact to hold. It is 8.4 mm thick, making it slightly simmer than the F22, and weighs 198 grams. The phone has a plastic back with a matte finish that doesn’t attract fingerprints or smudges, and is also not prone to scratches with day-to-day use. This might not feel premium, but the design looks attractive, and you can use the phone without a case, which by the way is not included in the box.
In addition to the Forest Green colour variant that we have, the phone also comes in Aqua Blue and Copper Blush colours.
- 50MP rear camera with f/1.8 aperture
- 8MP 123° ultra-wide angle camera with f/2.2 aperture
- 2MP macro camera with f/2.4 aperture
- 8MP front camera with f/2.2 aperture
The camera UI is similar to other Samsung phones running Android 12 with OneUI 4.1. There is Pro mode, single take, Night mode, Food mode, Panorama, Macro mode, Slow motion, super slow-mo and hyperlapse.
Coming to the image quality, daylight shots are good, and the camera captures a good amount of detail, creates well exposed photos with good dynamic range and detailing, and dynamic range can further be improved enabling HDR mode from the settings, which automatically turns on HDR when needed. Even though the phone has a 50-megapixel sensor, the final output has 12.5-megapixel resolution. Autofocus speeds are fast and accurate. Ultra-wide shots from the 8MP camera are good in daylight, but not the best in low-light.
There is a dedicated macro camera mode which is decent, but there is no touch to focus option in this mode since it is fixed focus, so you have to keep it in 5cm distance. Live focus is decent in detecting the edges. Low-light performance is decent, but there is noise. This can be improved further with Night mode, but there is not much of a difference. 50-megapixel shots have good amount of details, but the colours are not vibrant. Images with flash is good and is not overpowering.
The 8-megapixel front camera is decent in daylight, but not good for low-light. There is also a wide mode, similar to other Samsung phones. Software blur in the live focus mode has average edge detection.
Check out some camera samples.
It can record videos at maximum 4K resolution at 30 fps from both rear camera and 1080p 30 fps with front and ultra-wide cameras. You can switch between normal, ultra-wide and also between front and rear cameras when recording a video in a 1080p video. It can shoot slow motion at 720p and there is also super slow motion.
Software, UI and Apps
Coming to the software, the phone runs on Android 12, and it got June 2022 update a few days back. On the top of Android 12, it has the latest Samsung One UI 4.1, which brings several new features that include new theme options to configure home screens, icons, notifications, wallpapers and much more. There are also redesigned, upgraded widgets with deep customization, microphone and camera usage indicators and more. Samsung has confirmed 2 OS updates and 4 yeas of security updates for the phone.
The Device maintenance option lets you manage your device’s battery life, storage, RAM usage, and security all in one place. Out of 128GB storage in our unit, 108GB is free. Out of 4GB LPDDR4x RAM, about 3.4GB is usable and 1.2GB is free when default apps are running in the background. There is also a RAM Plus feature, which uses the internal memory of the phone to expand the RAM by an extra 4GB, in addition to the existing 4GB of RAM. This is enabled automatically. We got sequential read speeds of 850MB/s, so it should be UFS 2.2.
Apart from the usual set of utility apps and Google Apps, the smartphone comes with Facebook, ShareChat, Tatatak, Moj, and Microsoft OneDrive. You get the option to install apps when you are setting up the phone, which you can choose not to. It also has Samsung Max, Secure Folder and Samsung Knox support. The phone doesn’t have ads, but shows notifications of new Samsung products occasionally.
Fingerprint sensor and Face unlock
The phone has a side-mounted fingerprint sensor that immediately unlocks the phone even when the phone is locked. You can add up to 3 fingerprints, and adding fingerprint is easy. It has support for Face recognition, which doesn’t work well if the lighting is poor in the room, if you are hats, or use heavy makeup. Both these are protected by Knox security.
Music Player and Multimedia
YouTube Music is the default music player. It has equalizer, Dolby Atmos, UHQ upscaler, and Adapt Sound that can be enabled from the settings. All these improve the audio when listening through earphones, and Dolby Atmos works only with earphones. It also has FM Radio support. That said, audio through earphones is good. Loudspeaker output from the mono speakers is decent.
The phone comes with Widevine L1 support out-of-the-box so that you can enjoy HD content on Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar and other streaming apps. There is also HDR playback support for YouTube, but it doesn’t work with Netflix.
Dual SIM and Connectivity
It has support for 5G SA with support for 12 5G Network Bands (N1,N3,N5,N7,N8,N20,N28,N66, N38,N40,N41,N78) in India. Other connectivity options include, Wi-Fi 802.11 ac (2.4GHz + 5GHz), Bluetooth v5.0 and GPS with GLONASS. It has support for USB OTG and NFC that works with supported payment apps. It has 4G connectivity and has Voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) and Wi-Fi Calling or Vo-Wi-Fi support for Reliance Jio, Airtel and more, and also has support for LTE-A or Carrier Aggregation.
The Galaxy F23’s 5G’s head SAR is at 1.240/Kg which is well under the limit in India which is 1.6 W/kg (over 1 g), but it’s a bit high compared to most other Samsung phones.
Performance and Benchmarks
Coming to the performance, this is powered by an Octa-Core Snapdragon 750G 8nm Mobile Platform, which has 2 x Kryo 570 Performance CPUs (A77-based) at up to 2.2GHz, 6x Kryo 570 Efficiency CPUs (A55-based) at up to 1.8GHz. It has Adreno 619 GPU with support for Open GL ES 3.2, Open CL 2.0 FP, as well as Vulkan 1.1 graphics and up to 6GB LPDDR4X RAM.
Thanks to the larger Kryo 570 cores based on new Cortex A77, this is faster than the Snapdragon 765, promising a 20% performance uplift compared to Snapdragon 730G. The Adreno 619 GPU promises up to 10% better graphics rendering compared to Adreno 618 GPU used in Snapdragon 730, and it also has Snapdragon Elite Gaming features. However, the Snapdragon 695 is slightly better.
We did not face any issues or frame drops in the graphic-intensive games. It gets a bit warm on intensive gaming and 4G data use, but it doesn’t get too hot to handle. That said, check out some synthetic benchmark scores below.
The F23 gets a 5000mAh battery compared to 6000mAh battery in the F22, but it is more than enough even for heavy use. I got over 6 hours of screen on time with my daily use mostly on Wi-Fi and occasionally on 4G with 2 days of use in 120Hz refresh rate. Adaptive battery saving and other options will let you increase the battery life, but the performance might be affected.
Samsung doesn’t offer a charger in the box, but the phone supports 25W charging. With the official 25W fast charger, it takes about 1 and half hour for 0 to 100%, and 0 to 50% took about 40 minutes. With a 15W charger, it will take over 2 hours to charge.
Overall, the Galaxy F23 5G is the decent mid-range 5G smartphone from Samsung in the F series. It has a 120Hz display, offers good battery life, and the performance is decent and could have been better. The plastic matte back doesn’t attract fingerprints, but the phone misses the ambient light sensor.
The POCO X4 Pro 5G is a good alternative in the price range, with an AMOLED screen and a slightly more powerful Snapdragon 695 SoC. There is also OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite and moto G71 5G models.
The Samsung Galaxy F23 5G was launched at Rs. 17,499 for 4GB+128GB and Rs. 18,499 for 6GB+128GB variant. But you can get it from Samsung.com, retail stores and Flipkart for Rs. 15,999 and Rs. 16,999. As a limited-period offer, Samsung provides a cashback worth Rs. 1000 with ICICI Bank Credit cards and offers 25W Travel Adapter worth Rs. 1299 at Rs. 299 when you buy it with the phone.
- 120Hz display is good
- Good performance
- Dedicated dual SIM and microSD slot
- Good battery life
- Average low-light camera performance
- No ambient light sensor
- Notch display