Samsung Galaxy S23 FE leak reveals older Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chip, and that's a good thing

Galaxy S23 plus hands-on
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

We may not see the latest and greatest chipset in the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE, says Twitter leaker Connor (via 91 Mobiles), despite what previous phones in the series have done.

We'll instead get a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 inside the S23 FE, Connor claims, a chip from late 2022. It's since been replaced by the newer Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, and there's a custom Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy for the Galaxy S23 series. The 8 Plus Gen 1 is a powerful chip still, but it's not the latest silicon Samsung could have used.

That's different from the Galaxy S21 FE, Samsung's most recent FE model. It used the same Snapdragon 888 chip as the Galaxy S21 series, giving it comparable performance to its more expensive counterparts.

Connor adds that Samsung's doing this to the Galaxy S23 FE in order to "adjust the unit price," which we take to mean the phone will be cheaper than its predecessor. That would be ideal for potential customers, since the biggest downfall of the Galaxy S21 FE was its awkwardly high price that was only $100 off that of the standard Galaxy S22 when it launched, but with many inferior features.

The time is right for a Galaxy S23 FE

We had wondered if the Galaxy S FE line was dead since the Galaxy S22 FE proved to be a no-show according to rumors, and the fact it's been over a year since the Galaxy S21 FE launched. But rumors of the S23 FE have been bubbling up, including claims it'll replace the Galaxy A74 (via TechRadar), the top model of Samsung's cheaper Galaxy A line, due to their similarities.

Given the state of the economy, it makes sense for Samsung to revive the FE series. Shoppers will be looking for value-priced handsets, and it will be key for Samsung to have an option in the market this year. 

Going by previous Galaxy S FE models and this most recent rumor, we can assume the Galaxy S23 FE will be a cheaper version of the Galaxy S23 and Galaxy S23 Plus with some of the most expensive features removed, just like the Galaxy S21 FE. We can assume a 6.4-inch size between the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23 and the 6.6-inch Galaxy S23 Plus, like the S21 FE, but likely with downgrades to RAM, the adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and battery life.

Whatever Samsung does have in store for the alleged Galaxy S23 FE, the rumors are claiming it'll be coming in Q3 (July - September) of this year. That span includes the period where we'd expect the Galaxy Z Fold 5 and Galaxy Z Flip 5 to arrive, so perhaps Samsung will collect these three phones together for a single launch event. We'll wait for further rumors before we're completely certain though.

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Richard Priday
Assistant Phones Editor

Richard is based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.