There was speculation that Samsung’s Galaxy S23 lineup might include satellite capabilities for use in emergency situations. Even though the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset in the Galaxy S23 series allows for satellite communication, the functionality was not highlighted during last night’s announcement.
Samsung MX CEO TM Roh recently spoke with CNET about the need of having satellite connectivity on smartphones for use in emergency situations. In response to a question on why the latest Galaxy flagships lack the capability, TM Roh said, “of course for Samsung Galaxy, for our mobile division, we would also actively consider adopting this feature as well when the timing, infrastructure, and the technology are ready.” He even went as far as to say that he doesn’t think this feature “is the end-all, be-all of the solutions to ensure peace of mind among users.”
The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset supports emergency messaging through satellite networks. The company joined together with Iridium to utilize the latter’s satellite constellation and its weather-resistant L-band spectrum. In any case, the functionality won’t be available until the second half of 2023. It is unclear if current Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 smartphones will be able to use the future capability.
Some Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 devices, according to Qualcomm, will be unable to access the feature. The Galaxy S23 series may or may not have the necessary hardware to access satellite connectivity, which is why it is necessary for smartphones to have a specially designed hardware design. It has been established that this capability cannot be activated via software alone. Furthermore, Google has not yet implemented native support for the functionality in Android; this will change with the release of Android 14. If the functionality isn’t yet finished, it’s possible that the Galaxy S23 didn’t get it.
Any way you look at it, the Galaxy S23 series smartphones won’t be able to compete with the iPhone 14 lineup in this area, and that will be a sore missing point from the phone’s features, especially for people who occasionally want off-grid connections. TM Roh, a representative for Samsung, has stated that the business has prioritized other features that provide customers peace of mind. These features include enhanced security, higher-quality sensors, and expanded 5G coverage.