The FE – fan edition – versions of the best Samsung phones promise to be among the best Android phones for budget buyers, offering many of the features of their more expensive siblings for considerably less cash.
We really liked the last FE phone: as you'll see in our Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review, we thought it did a great job of packing the key features of the Galaxy S21 - the best Android phone at the time – into a more affordable package. So we were surprised when Samsung decided not to make a Samsung Galaxy S22 FE.
Not hugely surprised, though, because the S21 FE was the subject of a will-they won't-they saga for some time. While that one ended in a "they will", a similar saga around its potential successor, the Galaxy S22 FE, ended with "they won't".
With Samsung deciding to skip a generation of Galaxy FE phones, the likelihood of a Samsung Galaxy S23 FE was looking very slim too. However, a new report says it really is happening.
That's the good news.
What do we know about the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE?
According to SamMobile, which doesn't name its source(s) but says "we only put exclusive information out there if we trust the source", the Galaxy S23 FE will launch in the fourth quarter of 2023 – but while the Galaxy S23 has moved from Samsung's Exynos chips to Qualcomm Snapdragons, the Galaxy S23 FE is going in the opposite direction.
The Samsung Galaxy S23 FE will reportedly feature the Exynos 2200, the same chip we had in the Galaxy S22 series in Europe. As SamMobile puts it, that chip was "quite a mess" – and it'll be nearly two years old by the time the S23 FE ships. Given that phone processor years are rather like dog years, that's a pretty old processor.
The upside is that that time has hopefully given Samsung the opportunity to fix the many problems that plagued the Exynos-powered S22s – problems such as losing GPS connectivity in apps such as Google Maps and Waze, video stabilisation being unavailable, S-Pen connectivity issues and so on.
According to SamMobile there's likely to be a camera upgrade to 50MP, a choice of 128GB or 256GB storage and a 4,500mAh battery, although it's unclear what fast charging support it will have.
Any release is still months away, so it's possible that Samsung may make more changes to the specification between now and the Galaxy S23 FE launch. I do hope it happens, and that the Exynos issues are solved: even the most affordable Galaxy S23 starts at £899, and FE models are usually around £200 cheaper.