After the Galaxy S22 throttling disaster involving the Exynos 2200 chip earlier this year, we saw Samsung apologize to customers and investors. The company faced plenty of criticism and scrutiny, especially in its home market. Then, Samsung vowed to create a new set of flagship chips for its best phones. But the Galaxy S23 series that launches next year will probably run on Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon processor.
It’s all speculation at this point, but based on a significant announcement from Samsung and Qualcomm that claims the Korean giant will use more Snapdragon chips in its smartphones.
Exynos is a major disappointment
Samsung Exynos System-on-Chips (SoC) have never been able to match their Qualcomm counterparts, let alone outperform the iPhone. But Samsung kept using both Exynos and Snapdragon chips in its Galaxy S flagships for years.
The Exynos 2200 is the last such flagship Samsung-made chip, powering Galaxy S22 variants sold in certain markets. And the Exynos 2200 might be the final nail in the Exynos coffin. At least until Samsung reshuffles its chips teams and develops a new processor for high-end phones. The Galaxy S23 might come only in a Qualcomm Snapdragon variant as a result.
As soon as the Galaxy S22 series came out, buyers discovered the Exynos 2200 processor would reduce performance to conserve battery life. This was more aggressive than on previous phones, implying the chip is prone to overheating when under heavy stress.
The Exynos 2200 isn’t the first Samsung SoC to see criticism from buyers. Even Samsung mocked its previous Exynos variants last year while promoting the Exynos 2100. That was a chip that was supposed to fix all of the previous overheating and performance issues.
Galaxy S23 likely to be a Qualcomm-only affair
During the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Flip 4 rumors season, we learned the new foldables would come with Snapdragon chips inside. The phones would get the brand new Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC, leaks said. The 8 Plus Gen 1 is even more powerful and efficient than the 8 Gen 1 SoC that powers some Galaxy S22 variants.
That meant the new Fold and Flip will not suffer the same throttling issues at the hand of the Exynos 2200. Or any version of it.
Samsung, by the way, also mass-produced the 8 Gen 1 chip variant. But Qualcomm moved to TSMC for the 8 Plus Gen 1 SoC.
Fast-forward to late July, and Qualcomm and Snapdragon issued a joint announcement. The two companies said they’ll extend their patent licensing agreement for seven years through 2030. More importantly, the announcement says that Snapdragon Platforms will power future Samsung Galaxy devices. The list includes “smartphones, PCs, tablets, extended reality, and more,” the press release says.
Qualcomm didn’t list the Galaxy S23 as a beneficiary of the upcoming Snapdragon chips. But considering the context, it certainly seems like Snapdragon is a much better choice for Samsung’s future flagship. A report from an insider said earlier this month that Samsung would move to a Snapdragon-only strategy for the Galaxy S23 series.
Also, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Samsung use only Snapdragon flagship SoCs in future flagships beyond the Galaxy S23. As much as Samsung might want to make a high-end chip of its own that can compete with Apple’s iPhone and Mac chips and Qualcomm’s Snapdragons, it won’t happen overnight.