Here's why the Samsung Galaxy S23 doesn't talk to satellites

Samsung thought about bringing iPhone 14-style satellite connectivity to the S23, but decided not to

Samsung Galaxy S23 series
(Image credit: Samsung)

The Samsung Galaxy S23 is among the best phones Samsung has ever made, but if you're comparing it to the iPhone you might have spotted one big difference between it and the iPhone 14

Apple's latest iPhones have emergency SOS satellite connectivity, so if you get in trouble when you're far from a normal mobile connection you can still get help. Samsung, it seems, thought about adding a similar feature to the latest Galaxy phones. However, it decided not to.

Don't blame it on the sleeping satellites

In conversation with CNET, Samsung's impressively titled president and head of Samsung's mobile experience business TM Roh explained that yes, Samsung is very interested in satellites. However, for Samsung the right time isn't right now.

"When there is the right timing, infrastructure and the technology [is] ready, then of course for Samsung Galaxy, for our mobile division, we would also actively consider adopting this feature as well," Roh explained. 

When Samsung does embrace satellite communications, it may go much further than Apple. Now that Samsung has standardised on Qualcomm Snapdragon chips, the Snapdragon Satellite platform could be part of its future plans. That platform, announced last month at CES, is designed not just for emergency use: Qualcomm reckons there's potential for social texting too. 

For now Samsung is dismissive of emergency satellite SOS, but of course this is the tech business where everything rivals do is a bad idea until you decide to do it too. But if you're planning to take your phone off-grid to throw yourself off mountains or similarly extreme sports, you might want to take a dedicated satellite communicator with you for the foreseeable future. 

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (