Mobile enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that both Apple and Samsung have recently released a batch of new hardware, including both the iPhone 15 and Galaxy S23 FE.
There has never been a better time to upgrade your smartphone, with more options than ever on the market right now. Apple was kind enough to introduce us to the latest iPhone range, including the iPhone 15, iPhone 15 Plus, iPhone 15 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max in September.
Samsung has also brought in a new addition to the Samsung Galaxy S23 range with its latest mid-tier handset, the Galaxy S23 FE. This phone sits in the same realm as the iPhone SE (2022) and Google Pixel 7a, – a more affordable version of their high-end siblings.
Here, we break down all the key features of the iPhone 15 and Galaxy S23 FE so you can decide which handset is truly worth your time. It’s worth noting that we haven’t actually reviewed the Galaxy S23 FE in full just yet, but we can use the provided specs from Samsung to figure out which handset is best.
Higher refresh rate on the Galaxy S23 FE
For a mid-tier handset, Samsung kitted out the Galaxy S23 FE with an impressive screen. The 6.4-inch FHD+ uses a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display with an adaptive refresh rate of 60Hz-120Hz. This adaptive technology will allow for the display to jump up high during intensive tasks while still dropping down low to conserve battery, which should provide an overall smooth experience.
Apple has kept its adaptive ProMotion technology exclusive to the Pro and Pro Max series of handsets, with the trend starting with the iPhone 13 Pro. Due to this, the iPhone 15 comes with a simple 60Hz refresh rate, which we noted as disappointing in our review. The 6.1-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display is still vibrant and crisp to use, but it will likely feel slower than the Galaxy S23 FE.
Fewer cameras on the iPhone 15
Samsung also went all out on the camera setup for the Galaxy S23 FE; it comes with a 50-megapixel main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide camera and an 8MP telephoto lens with support for up to 3x optical zoom. Until we test this handset for ourselves, we can’t say how the camera will hold up, but photos taken using the 50MP sensor should be highly detailed and crisp thanks to all those megapixels.
The iPhone 15 has a more modest setup in comparison, with a 48-megapixel main sensor and 12MP ultrawide sensor with support for 2x digital zoom. We found that the main sensor was capable of taking sharper, detailed images and that shooting close-ups provided a natural bokeh effect that blurs out the background and brings the foreground into focus.
The Galaxy S23 FE comes with two different processors
The iPhone 15 uses the same Apple Silicon chip as the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the A16 Bionic. It comes with a 6-core CPU, 5-core GPU and 16-core Neural Engine. We thought this chipset held up fantastically well and is supremely capable for the price, offering up a very similar performance to the chip housed inside the iPhone 15 Pro and Pro Max models, the A17 Pro.
The Galaxy S23 FE is a little harder to pin down, as it comes with a different chipset depending on which region you’re buying it in. In North America, the Galaxy S23 FE comes with a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, with the European crowd being treated to the Exynos 2200 chipset. Both of these are last-generation chipsets, so it’s unlikely that they will be able to go toe-to-toe with the A16 Bionic. However, we still expect them to be more than capable of day-to-day browsing and even some light gaming.
The iPhone 15 is more expensive
It’s no surprise that out of these two handsets, the iPhone 15 is the most expensive option. It has a starting price of £799/$799 and can be found in five colours; Black, Blue, Green, Yellow and Pink.
The Galaxy S23 FE is a lot more accessible in comparison, sporting a £599/$599 price tag and coming in Mint, Cream, Graphite, Purple Indigo and Tangerine. It’s worth noting that those last two colourways are only attainable if you’re buying the handset from the Samsung website directly, but you will still have plenty of options to choose from.