Samsung Explains Absence of a Crucial Feature in Galaxy S23 Series

Might not even receive the feature through OTA

Samsung Galaxy S23 series is finally out. And it is missing one key upgrade everyone was looking forward to. Yes, it is the satellite connectivity that Apple made a lot of noise for by including it on the iPhone 14 series. In fact, Apple’s satellite connectivity feature is already making a prominent impact. It is saving lives!

Nonetheless, right after Apple came up with its satellite feature, Qualcomm announced Snapdragon Satellite, which is available for the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2. And as all the Galaxy S23 phones come with that SoC, it was a no-brainer thing for Samsung to add the feature to its latest flagship. But it didn’t.

Here’s Why the Galaxy S23 Series Does Not Include Satellite Connectivity

In an interview with CNET, TM Roh, the President and Head of Samsung’s Mobile Experience Business, admitted that there is interest and promise in bringing satellite connectivity to Samsung phones. However, he explained that it was too early to do so. He views the tech to be fairly limited. And he explains:

When there is the right timing, infrastructure, and the technology [is] ready, then, of course, for Samsung Galaxy, for our mobile division, we would also actively consider adopting this feature as well

Snapdragon SatelliteRoh explains that satellite connectivity in the Galaxy S23 would have been a good upgrade to the series. It could have made the devices better by helping people in emergencies. However, he thinks that the feature is not “the end-all or be-all solution to ensure peace of mind among users.”

TM Roh further explained that Samsung has been making improvements. That includes enhancement in security, better 5G coverage, and high-end sensors. And those are all present in the Galaxy S23 series. So, according to him, the current flagship devices are not inferior for excluding the satellite feature.

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“Not Ready”? An Excuse?

It’s pretty strange why Samsung did not feel that the tech was not ready for adoption in the Galaxy S23 series. Qualcomm’s solution, based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, already enables proper two-way satellite-based connectivity for premium Android smartphones.

You can’t forget that the Galaxy S23 devices already have a beefed-up version of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC. That means it is more capable than other devices with the same chipset. So, the reason behind the lack of satellite connectivity on the S23 devices might be entirely different than what TM Roh is claiming.

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Android satellites

Maybe it is an Apple move. You know, Apple does not go all-in with a new feature when Android phones come up with one. Instead, Apple waits for the technology to mature. And once the specific tech has reached its full potential, iPhones get it. Or maybe, the Galaxy S23 devices are not meant for satellite connectivity at all (more about it below).

No Possibility of Galaxy S23 Devices Getting the Feature With an OTA

When Qualcomm announced the Snapdragon Satellite tech, Qualcomm made one thing clear. The SoC maker explicitly stated that not all the devices with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 would have the support of the tech. Instead, devices must be built specifically to support the service. And most importantly, the feature can’t be added through OTA.

Therefore, Samsung might not have designed the Galaxy S23 devices by keeping satellite connectivity in mind. Also, you should note that Qualcomm stated that smartphones with Snapdragon Satellite would launch in the second half of 2023.

Galaxy S23

So, there is a chance that Qualcomm is still making some final touches on the tech. And maybe Qualcomm is not confident enough to roll out to partner OEMs before it is fully ready. However, there is a high chance that the Galaxy Z Flip 5 or Z Fold 5 might come with the feature.

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  1. February 2, 2023

    Good to see

  2. February 2, 2023

    Not evan this time