Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Samsung is saying goodbye to what has been a reasonably successful year for the Korean brand. The Galaxy S22 series built on the sales momentum of its predecessors, the company’s latest foldables delivered significant growth over 2021’s devices, and it fared better than most rivals when it came to weathering a declining global market.
We already have a pretty good idea about how the upcoming flagship Galaxy S23 series is shaping up, but there are still plenty of ways for Samsung to improve matters next year, though. So here are our thoughts on how the company can make 2023 better than 2022.
Offer more exciting foldables
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
Let’s be honest. The Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 were basically last year’s phones with a couple of upgrades aboard. You’ll have to try pretty hard to tell the two generations apart.
It’s clear Samsung needs to deliver more exciting foldables in 2023 if it hopes to maintain commercial momentum and a positive critical reception. And there are plenty of ways for the company to accomplish this, such as offering dramatically reduced creases, dust resistance, higher quality foldable screens, and/or high-end camera tech.
Opinion: The Galaxy Z Fold 5 should have an S Pen slot, even if it means a smaller battery
We’re even open to seeing a Galaxy Z Fold 5 variant with an integrated S Pen slot, as colleague Ryan Whitwam mused in an opinion piece earlier this year. After all, that seems like the logical next step after the Z Fold 3 and 4 brought S Pen support. Nevertheless, with the likes of Honor and Oppo poised to finally bring their foldables to global markets, Samsung can’t afford to rest on its laurels next year.
Launch a Galaxy Watch FE
Kaitlyn Cimino / Android Authority
We really liked the Galaxy Watch 5 series, even though it was more of an evolution over the Galaxy Watch 4 line rather than a revolution. The Galaxy Watch 5, in particular, brings a pretty solid proposition for the $279 price tag. So we really want to see Samsung stay the course with its high-end wearables for the most part.
In saying so, we’d also like the Korean brand to launch a Galaxy Watch FE of sorts to take on cheaper offerings from rival smartwatch makers. This way, Samsung has a cut-price wearable to stave off the likes of the Mobvoi Ticwatch E3, Fitbit Versa 3, and Garmin Venu Sq, while also undercutting the Apple Watch SE.
Give us the Galaxy S23 FE
David Imel / Android Authority
Samsung skipped a Galaxy S22 FE in 2022, which was disappointing news for fans of the affordable flagship FE series.
Needless to say, we really want to see a Galaxy S23 FE in 2023. But a new model will need much better separation in both price and launch window than the Galaxy S23 series to avoid the pitfalls of the S21 FE. A $600 to $700 S23 FE would be a welcome addition to Samsung’s portfolio in much the same way that the Galaxy S20 FE made a splash back in 2020.
We’re guessing a future Galaxy S23 FE would make cutbacks to the design (using plastic instead of glass) and cameras, for starters. But as long as the phone still offers flagship horsepower, water resistance, flexible cameras, and wireless charging, this should be a great proposition. Furthermore, it’ll also help Samsung take the fight to the likes of Google.
Stop with the arbitrary exclusive features
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
Samsung offers a wide variety of ecosystem products, with its smartwatches and earbuds being among the best in the game. However, we’ve noticed a concerning trend with these products in 2022 that really needs to stop next year. We’re talking about Samsung requiring a Galaxy smartphone for many ecosystem product features.
For example, the Galaxy Buds 2 Pro only supports high bit-rate audio, spatial audio, and automatic device switching when paired with a Galaxy phone. Things don’t stop there; the Galaxy Watch 5 series requires a Galaxy phone for major features like ECG readings and blood pressure monitoring. That’s a pretty silly limitation when the hardware clearly supports the features anyway.
Either way, we really hope Samsung ensures that more of its ecosystem product features are available when paired with non-Galaxy phones. Right now, it just feels like a blatant, ham-fisted attempt to lock people into the ecosystem.
Enable Seamless Updates already
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
One UI 2
We previously mentioned this in our Samsung wishlist for 2022, but it turns out that the manufacturer has once again skipped out on Seamless Updates for its Galaxy smartphones.
For the uninitiated, this is a more modern take on the system update process. Your phone downloads and installs a system update in the background while you’re using it, then seamlessly reboots your phone into the new update. But Samsung insists on sticking with the legacy update method, which renders the phone unusable while the update is installed. More specifically, you can’t use your phone for 10 to 20 minutes as you have to watch an “installing” screen instead.
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We can understand why Samsung and some brands might not be too keen on Seamless Updates, as it requires more storage than the legacy update method. But we think it’s a small price to pay for a very convenient feature. In saying so, it looks like Seamless Updates could finally be a mandatory feature for Android 13.
That’s it for our list of must-see changes from Samsung in 2023. What about you?
What do you want to see from Samsung in 2022?