We didn't get a Samsung Galaxy S22 FE last year, suggesting that Samsung had given up for good on the mid-range line – but there's a growing body of evidence hinting that the Fan Edition series will make a return with the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE.
The latest twist in the story comes courtesy of SamMobile. Its sources are saying that the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE is indeed going to appear, and that it'll be powered exclusively by the Exynos 2200 processor.
That distinguishes it from the main Samsung Galaxy S23 line: all of those phones use the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. The Exynos 2200 CPU was previously used for the Galaxy S22 phones from 2021 in certain parts of the world.
According to SamMobile, the Galaxy S23 FE is also going to come with a 50MP main camera lens on the back (matching the standard S23 model), and it's set to be offered with either 128GB or 256GB of internal storage.
Rounding out the rumored specs, we've got 6GB or 8GB of RAM, as well as a 4,500mAh capacity battery. That's the same battery size as the Samsung Galaxy S21 FE that launched right at the start of 2022, the most recent Fan Edition handset.
As for the release window, it's said to be the fourth quarter of 2023 – October, November, or December. That would be close to two years after the last FE phone from Samsung, and it's success (or lack of it) will likely determine whether or not we get any more.
Analysis: Samsung needs to tweak its FE formula
It's easy to see the appeal of the FE series, in theory: you get some of the best bits of the flagship phones, at a cheaper price. The best mid-range phones should always get you asking if you can really justify spending any more to get a top-end handset.
Of course there are compromises, but they can be carefully made. For example, as long as a camera module takes decent pictures and videos, most users aren't going to care if it uses the very latest lenses and sensors on the market.
It's an approach that works for phones such as the Google Pixel 6a: lots to like, a select number of trade-offs most people are going to be happy to make, and a price point that's substantially less than what you'd pay for a flagship.
Samsung needs to make sure the Galaxy S23 FE hits the sweet spot between premium and budget, rather than falling between two stools. That's going to mean a smarter set of decisions around specs than we saw with the Galaxy S21 FE.