Samsung is reportedly bringing back the “Fan Edition” formula for a budget flagship this year by serving up a watered-down version of the Galaxy S23 to smartphone shoppers on a budget. A Korean outlet reports that Samsumg will likely launch a Galaxy S23 Fan Edition sometime in August or September this year.
The Fan Edition formula first arrived in 2020 to replace the trend of “Lite” versions of Samsung flagships. The Galaxy S20 FE marked the start, and Samsung subsequently promised to release Fan Edition versions of its flagships for the foreseeable future. The Galaxy S21 FE continued the trend, but owing to supply chain uncertainties and production woes, Samsung didn’t give the same treatment to the Galaxy S22 series.
It now looks like Samsung is back on track and is cooking up a cheaper version of the Galaxy S23. If the previous history of Fan Edition phones is anything to go by, Samsung will most likely go with a top-end Qualcomm chip for the Galaxy S23 FE. This is the first time we are hearing about a Fan Edition phone slated for 2023, so we’re still in the dark about how it will look and what it will bring to the table.
Given the cold shoulder recently given to the in-house Exynos chips, we can expect either Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1, or the latest and greatest Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. Of course, some cuts will be made, most likely in the camera and display departments, so it will be interesting to see how Samsung prices it.
The Galaxy S23 starts at $799, but its arrival also marked a price cut for the Galaxy S22, which now goes for $699. That’s a fantastic price for the phone. With a Galaxy S23 FE coming into the picture, Samsung will likely price it even lower to avoid cannibalizing its own portfolio. Regardless, it should be a lot cheaper than the $1,200 Galaxy S23 Ultra.
An alternate path is that Samsung will discontinue the Galaxy S22 by the time the Galaxy S23 FE is ready to hit the shelves. Samsung launched the Galaxy S21 FE in the U.S. for $699, so there’s definitely some overlap there. The phone won some laurels for the solid set of specs it offered, paired with a feature-rich Android experience.
Notably, the Galaxy S23 FE might come at the cost of its premium Galaxy-A brethren. Specifically, the Galaxy A7x lineup. Samsung is reportedly planning to ax the Galaxy A74, which was supposed to succeed the Galaxy A73. That phone, despite its pleasant looks and appealing specifications, veered into the Galaxy S21 FE’s playing field. It would make sense for Samsung to trim the lineup.
Irrespective of what device gets on the chopping block, I am really excited to see what the Galaxy S23 FE has to offer. A design refresh would be a welcome change, the chip upgrade also seems great, and — given the current software update trajectory of Samsung devices — the upcoming phone is shaping up to be a great value. Let’s just hope the camera algorithms are polished and users don’t run into heating issues.
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