The Galaxy S23 FE could mark the return of Fan Edition phones later this year

The Cream Samsung Galaxy S23 held in hand
(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Samsung seemingly skipped out on launching a Galaxy S22 FE due to the semiconductor shortage.
  • Samsung is rumored to have a Galaxy S23 FE launch targeted for later this year.
  • The company may also skip out on launching a Galaxy A7x series phone this year.

It's been over a year since the launch of the Galaxy S21 FE, and its successor is nowhere to be found. However, despite indications that the Fan Edition series may be done for, a new rumor suggests that Samsung is prepping a Galaxy S23 FE launch for later this year.

This comes from a Korean news publication (via Android Police), which indicates that the device could launch around August or September. This would give it a launch window previously held by the Note 20 series and similar to the well-received Galaxy S20 FE.

According to the outlet, the lack of a Galaxy S22 FE could be attributed to the semiconductor shortage, which has continued to affect the industry. In addition, smartphone demand has fallen in 2022, which may have contributed to the phone's absence. However, that may not have discouraged Samsung from still considering the launch of a Fan Edition successor, and instead, the company may do a bit of shuffling to make it happen.

The publication says that Samsung may forego launching the Galaxy A74 this year. The phone would be a follow-up to the Galaxy A73, which sits at the top of its mid-range smartphone lineup and was only made available in select markets. Apparently, the decision not to launch the successor is an attempt to keep from cannibalizing the sales of other devices like the Galaxy A54, which will likely launch early this year with some fairly impressive specs like a 120Hz display, 50MP triple camera setup, and a large 5,000mAh battery.

Apparently, sales of the A73 haven't been great, so Samsung may be determining what to do with the series A7x lineup. However, this could benefit the launch of the S23 FE if Samsung doesn't have to throw resources at another phone that would likely be close in both specs and price. That said, if the Galaxy S23 FE does arrive this year, it's unclear if it will receive limited availability or expand to more regions beyond the Galaxy S21 FE.

The Galaxy S23 FE could work if the timing (and price) is right

The Pixel 7 next to the Galaxy S22

(Image credit: Derrek Lee / Android Central)

While we're still fresh off the launch of the Galaxy S23 series, talk of a Fan Edition phone has us cautious. On the one hand, the potential launch window for the device would help it attract more attention. Given that the August-September time frame is when we expect Samsung's foldable phone successors, this could give consumers a cheaper option for the second half of the year.

Samsung wants foldables to become more mainstream, but many users still aren't too convinced about the form factor, so it would be good to offer a more traditional phone alongside them. And since the Note series is no more, this gives the Galaxy S23 FE more breathing room. Not to mention, it would be a good mid-year launch as the company preps for the Galaxy S24 next year.

Nevertheless, Samsung needs to price the phone right if it wants this phone to sell better than the S21 FE did. The Galaxy S20 FE was $200 cheaper than the standard S20, which launched at a staggering $999. The S21 FE, however, was only $100 cheaper than the standard S21, which hardly seemed like much of a deal.

The base Galaxy S23 series obviously starts at a lower price point, but Samsung needs to give the FE a really attractive price tag it if wants the phone to stand a chance. The Galaxy S22 already got a price cut to $699 following the S23 launch, and the phone is still a full flagship with great performance, seemingly making the existence of a Fan Edition phone superfluous.

If Samsung can price under the S22 while still providing flagship features and specs, it could mark a proper return to form for the Fan Edition phones. In addition, it would better compete with Google's smartphones like the upcoming Pixel 7a or possibly even the Pixel 8 when it launches later this year.

Derrek Lee
Managing Editor

Derrek is the managing editor of Android Central, helping to guide the site's editorial content and direction to reach and resonate with readers, old and new, who are just as passionate about tech as we are. He's been obsessed with mobile technology since he was 12, when he discovered the Nokia N90, and his love of flip phones and new form factors continues to this day. As a fitness enthusiast, he has always been curious about the intersection of tech and fitness. When he's not working, he's probably working out.