December 8, 2023

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Samsung did something strange for its latest Android phones

Samsung did something strange for its latest Android phones
Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

Earlier this month, Samsung announced a slew of new products that will end 2023 on a high note. Along with some new tablets and a pair of earbuds, one of these new products was the Galaxy S23 FE. It’s very similar to the other S23 phones released earlier this year, but it has some lower specs and a cheaper price. When Samsung announced the S23 FE on October 3, it said the phone would be available for $600.

However, it seems that something has changed between then and now. The Galaxy S23 FE officially went on sale on October 26, but it doesn’t cost the $600 that Samsung claimed it would. If you purchased the phone from the Samsung website, You will have to pay $630 For the base model it has 128GB of storage – a seemingly random increase of $30. Samsung has not previously confirmed how much the 256GB version will cost, but it is currently listed on Samsung’s website for $690.

But here things get weirder. You can buy the 128GB Galaxy S23FE for the original price of $600 from Amazon and Best Buy. It’s the same phone that Samsung sells on its website, just $30 cheaper.

What is the reason for this sudden increase in prices? We’re not really sure. Plans change all the time when smartphones are launched, from revised specifications to different release dates. However, I can’t think of another time when a phone was announced at one price and then released at a different price, and without explaining why that happened.

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While a $30 increase isn’t the end of the world, it does put the Galaxy S23 FE in a bit of an awkward position. There’s now just $70 separating it from the Google Pixel 8, one of the best smartphones we’ve reviewed all year. It also pushes it a little closer to the Galaxy S23’s regular retail price of $800. While $630 isn’t a steep price for everything the Galaxy S23 FE offers — like a 120Hz AMOLED display, triple camera system, and 4,500mAh battery — the value proposition is a little worse than we expected. Again, the price change only applies if you buy the phone directly from Samsung.

Tushar Mehta/Digital Trends

After reaching out to Samsung for comment on the matter, the company told Digital Trends that the S23 FE still starts at $600, but that price is only for the carrier version, while the new price is $630 for the unlocked model. Obviously, this doesn’t explain why Amazon and Best Buy specifically sell “unlocked” versions of the phone for $600. We have reached out to Samsung for further clarification and have received the following:

“We are thrilled to offer the Galaxy S23 FE at the lowest launch price ever for a Galaxy FE smartphone – providing the ultimate combination of value and performance for our customers. Through our channel partners, the Galaxy S23 FE is available for $599 through carriers as well as unlocked for $599 at national retailers like Best Buy and Amazon.

Everything revolves around this. If you buy the Galaxy S23 FE from Amazon, Best Buy, or your carrier, it will cost $600. If you buy it from Samsung’s website, you’ll pay $630. This doesn’t make a lot of sense, but for whatever reason, this is how Samsung decided to handle this.

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