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All Galaxy S23 models will have Snapdragon processors, not Samsung Exynos chips

Updated 1 day ago
Published Nov 7th, 2022 1:36PM EST
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Image: Samsung

Samsung is expected to release three Galaxy S23 variants early next year, all of which have already leaked. These are the successors to the Galaxy S22, S22 Plus, and S22 Ultra. Therefore, two Galaxy S23 models should be traditional phones, while the Ultra will come with an S Pen stylus. But perhaps the most exciting Galaxy S23 feature is something else, given the Galaxy S22’s early performance mishaps.

All Galaxy S23 models will feature Qualcomm’s next-gen high-end System-on-Chip (SoC). That’s probably going to be the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip that will power several 2023 Android flagships. The processor will surely power all Galaxy S23 devices, no matter what Qualcomm calls it. It’s not just a rumor either, as Qualcomm confirmed as much.

Samsung promised fans to improve its flagship Exynos SoCs last year, but the Exynos 2200 was hardly a chip that could compete against the iPhone’s A15 Bionic or Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor. We had those fears even before the Galaxy S22’s arrival when Samsung delayed the Exynos 2200, prompting speculation that it might cancel the chip altogether.

That’s why it’s good news to hear that Qualcomm will provide chips for all Galaxy S23 models.

As a reminder, the early real-life Galaxy S22 experiences showed that Samsung throttled the handset’s performance, especially in Korea. The country got the Exynos 2200 variant of the chip. And that was the chip that had to be slowed to avoid overheating.

In an even more embarrassing twist, testers discovered that Samsung was cheating on benchmark tests.

Samsung apologized and promised to create a new high-end chip for its mobile devices. But that’s not going to be the Exynos 2300.

Fast-forward to summer, and Samsung put the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus SoC inside all Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 variants.

Galaxy S23 Plus revealed in leaked renders.
Galaxy S23 Plus revealed in leaked renders. Image source: @OnLeaks/Smartprix

Qualcomm confirms Galaxy S23 chip deal

This brings us to Qualcomm’s earnings report last week when the chipmaker confirmed that the iPhone will continue to use its 5G modem for at least a couple more years. That’s also where Qualcomm indicated that it will provide 100% of the chips Samsung needs for the Galaxy S23 series.

Here’s what Qualcomm’s Akash Palkhiwala had to say:

So from a March quarter perspective, you’re right, the benefit from the Samsung launch for the new phone would be in the in kind of the second half of the March quarter. So it comes in towards the end of the quarter, but that will be an advantage, whereas our share from 75% in G S22 goes up to global share in G S23.

As GSM Arena points out, all three Galaxy S23 models have passed through Geekbench, showing the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip.

Moreover, Qualcomm might be the exclusive provider of chips for Galaxy flagships for several years. That’s according to Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon:

In handsets, we entered into a new multiyear agreement with Samsung, expanding the use of Snapdragon platforms for future premium Samsung Galaxy products globally.

The two companies announced this partnership in July when we speculated the Galaxy S23 might go Qualcomm-only when it comes to the SoC. But last week’s earnings report actually mentioned the Galaxy S23 series by name.

Again, that’s exciting news for the moment. Hopefully, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 and its successors will rise to the occasion. As for Samsung, the company has the resources it needs to develop an actual flagship processor. But we’ll have to wait a few more years to see it.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.