Samsung Fan Edition (FE) phones have been around for an extended period. Remember the Note 7 case, when those S-Pen-equipped handhelds started exploding in peoples’ hands, and the South Korean phone maker had to recall the Note 7 entirely due to battery issues? Well, Samsung would later release the Note 7 Fan Edition (FE) just to appeal to customers who would have wanted to use the original Note.
Years later, Samsung started releasing other forms of FE devices. For instance, more than two years ago, it launched the Galaxy S20 FE, which was loved across the board for its low price and near identical specs/features to the S20. Samsung’s argument was that the S20 series was a little bit expensive to some customers, so it wanted to give them an affordable alternative while affording them the same experience as the S20.
The formula was replicated earlier this year with the launch of the S21 FE, which we had in the house for assessment. We loved it a lot. Its screen, cameras, software, and performance were all the same as those found in the S21. The only cost-saving measure was that the S21 FE had a plastic back, but does that matter anymore? However, Samsung Kenya priced it a little bit higher than we had expected at near KES 100K (the price has since been adjusted downwards), which didn’t make sense because you only needed to add a few thousands to get the ordinary S21.
That aside, Samsung has revealed that it will not be launching the S21 FE successor, the S22 FE. This will, obviously, rub some fans the wrong way. But Samsung has a reason: it says that it wants to ramp up the production of the S22 Ultra, meaning it will not have the resources or manpower to push for the launch of the said S22 FE. Samsung, reportedly, plans to sell 10 million S22 Ultra units.
The S22 lineup was released earlier this year. This time around, it dawned on us that Samsung had really abandoned the Note series of devices. The S22 Ultra, for instance, has all the DNA of a Note device, starting from design and the inclusion of an S-Pen that is siloed inside the phone (the S21 Ultra had some Note features, including S-Pen support, but it did not have a garage for the pen).
Replacing the Notes are foldable devices. The Flip and Fold devices have matured by now, and have since taken over the August Unpacked event that was a reserve of the Notes. We will be seeing new foldables on August 10, the Flip 4 and Fold 4, and perhaps some new smartwatches from the manufacturer, which will succeed the excellent Flip 3 and Fold 3.
Still, would you feel bad if the S22 FE will not be released?