Will Samsung release a Galaxy S22 FE?
Samsung started releasing ‘Fan Edition’ phones in 2019, with the release of the Galaxy S20 FE. We finally received a sequel in January, the Galaxy S21 FE, which has now been overshadowed by the arrival of the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22 Plus, and Galaxy S22 Ultra. Even if you take advantage of the best Galaxy S22 deals now, there might be another FE phone in a few months to look out for. So, will Samsung release a Galaxy S22 FE? And even if there eventually is a Galaxy S22 FE, would there even be a point?
The turbulent Fan Editions
The Galaxy S20 FE Fan Edition was one of the best smartphones of 2020. It didn’t have any incredible innovations or exclusive software features, but it did take almost everything people liked about the Galaxy S series (One UI, three years of Android OS updates, flagship hardware, etc.) and cut a few minor corners. The result was a cheaper device, with a $699.99 retail price in the US that often dropped as low as $550. There aren’t many choices for flagship phones under $800 or so in the United States, and even outside of ‘Murica, the wide availability of the Snapdragon-powered variant made it a top seller.
However, the Galaxy S21 Fan Edition wasn’t nearly as exciting. While the original Galaxy S20 FE arrived in the latter half of 2020 (positioned perfectly between the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S21 series), the Galaxy S21 FE was released in January — one month before the Galaxy S22 series was officially revealed. That means it had a chipset that was already a year old (Snapdragon 888/Exynos 2100), and even though it had the same $699 price, it wasn’t the same fantastic value as the original FE. It also had less RAM, unless you bought the 256GB model, and dropped the microSD card slot.
Samsung hasn’t confirmed if it will release another Fan Edition phone, but it seems likely, on the basis of the legacy it has built up for the branding. If the company can release it about halfway between this year’s and next year’s phones, like the original, then it has a reason to exist. However, we also know Samsung isn’t afraid of throwing out its budget devices and trying something different — the Galaxy S10 Lite, Note 10 Lite, and S10e never had direct sequels. So it could go down that route too. If we had to bet, we’d say the likelihood of a Galaxy S22 FE is on the positive side, unless Samsung has other drastic plans.
What could the Galaxy S22 FE look like?
Going with the assumption that Samsung will make a Galaxy S22 FE, what could that phone look like? Well, both of the previous Fan Edition phones were pretty close to the previous base Galaxy S phone, so a Galaxy S22 FE will probably be a minor design iteration on the Galaxy S22. A plastic build is likely, and possibly slightly-worse cameras. For example, the telephoto lens on the Galaxy S21 FE is lower quality than the same one on the regular Galaxy S21.
The internal hardware will probably be close to the Galaxy S22, with the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset in the United States and an Exynos chip in other regions. Hopefully, all models of the Galaxy S22 FE would have 8GB RAM, like the Galaxy S20 FE, which is more than the 6GB available on the base model S21 FE. Sadly, a return of the microSD card and headphone jack is unlikely.
Both existing FE phones had slightly larger screens than the previous Galaxy S phone, so if that pattern continues for a third model, the Galaxy S22 FE should have a larger display than the 6.1-inch panel on the Galaxy S22.
We don’t know at this point if a Galaxy S22 FE is even in the cards for Samsung right now. The last model was something of a disappointment, but if it sells well (or if Samsung thinks it can address its failings), then we might still see a new model later this year or early next year.
Samsung’s phone lineup is already fairly crowded, with at least one phone model at every $100 interval from the cheapest Galaxy A03 to the high-end Galaxy S22 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3. The Fan Edition lineup is never too far away from the base Galaxy S phone in pricing, and even though the Galaxy A50 series doesn’t have the flagship Snapdragon chipsets that make the FE compelling, the hardware is usually close enough that most people wouldn’t tell a performance difference (except maybe when gaming).
If Samsung can release the next FE device sooner, with the same bang-for-your-buck value that the original Galaxy S20 FE offered, it might have a reason to exist. We’ll have to wait and see what Samsung comes up with.