You need to hear the crazy origin story behind this Samsung …

Samsung Galaxy S23 FE mint green color with a bowl of lemon, a Samsung notebook and coaster.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Tushar Mehta/

Samsung has launched a new Galaxy S23 model, and it is called the Samsung Galaxy S23 FE. It’s a slightly weaker version of the regular Galaxy S23 with a lower price, but why is it called “FE”?

Some of you probably already know that it means Fan Edition, but you might not know about its unusual beginning. And once you understand that, it makes Samsung’s continued use of the name quite unusual.

when it all started

A man holding a Galaxy Note 7 phone.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7, in happier times digital trends

To tell the story of the FE name, we have to go back to mid-2016 when Samsung introduced the Galaxy Note 7. The successful continuation of the popular “phablet” line turned into a nightmare when reports came out about it. Flames started rising in the Note 7. Far from being a few isolated incidents, the problem was so serious that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) even banned Galaxy Note 7 phones from US flights.

The problem was traced to the battery and Samsung recalled the phones and discontinued the Galaxy Note 7 altogether. What could have been the death knell not only for the Galaxy Note line, but for Samsung’s phone efforts in general, was averted by some strong PR action and reassurances from the company about the future. However, Samsung still had a lot of Galaxy Note 7 smartphones left, some of which were in danger of exploding, and a fan base yearning for the model that didn’t.

After Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery explodes
After Samsung Galaxy Note 7 battery explodes crusher/reddit

What can Samsung do? It dreamed up the name Fan Edition and in July 2017, it released the Galaxy Note FE for those who were waiting for a new Note phone.

The Note FE was created from leftover Galaxy Note 7 phones, with a new, safe battery that went through an “eight-point battery safety inspection” to put everyone’s mind at ease. Samsung billed it as an “eco-friendly project” aimed at reducing e-waste from its unused phones and ultimately made 400,000 Galaxy Note FE phones. Most were released in South Korea.

The FE name was not a one-off

Rear panel of Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Samsung Galaxy S20 digital trends

The Galaxy Note series was always a crowd pleaser (God rest their souls), and Samsung has long said that people buying Note phones were among its most loyal customers. It made sense to make a fan version of the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. However, instead of using FE as a full stop to the Note 7 debacle, it has continued.

Since the Note FE, Samsung has launched a wide range of FE devices, not just phones. We’ve seen everything from the Galaxy S20 FE to the Galaxy Tab S9 FE and even a pair of Galaxy Buds FE. None of these devices were part of the recall, none were banned by the FAA, and as far as we know, none of them have caused any significant fires. Yet the FE name stuck, and it still stands for Fan Edition.

It seems Samsung knows this is a confusing name, and even has a webpage dedicated to explaining what FE means. Apparently, the FE phone is a response to you speaking and Samsung listening. The company takes your feedback with each new generation of devices, then creates a new one “packed with all your favorite features” and slaps the FE name on it. There’s some artistic license here, but it’s not that far From the actual origin of the name. However, Page conveniently ignores how the name came about in the first place. strange.

Why is it still used?

Wireless Power Share Reverse Charging on Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Mint Green color.
Samsung Galaxy S23 FE Tushar Mehta/

The beginning of the FE name isn’t exactly something a company would want to remember, and despite it being used today, the name disappeared for a moment, as if Samsung wanted to keep it all in the past. In 2019, Samsung used the Lite name for its simpler, cheaper models in the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy S10 range. But apparently, focus groups told Samsung that the Lite name made them think the phones were basic, and in response, it resurrected the FE name for the basic S20 models in 2020.

This was unexpected, but the company found that the FE name either appealed to people or was so vague that people didn’t really understand what it meant – and so there was no reason to associate it with the cheapest model of the popular range. Either way, the FE name has probably lost most of its “fan edition” meaning today, as we’re not sure that many “fans” are clamoring for cheaper versions of the phones they’re actually coveting.

Does this mean you should ignore Samsung’s FE phones or worry about a phone exploding on a future flight? No, in both cases. Samsung’s FE series are less expensive versions of its most popular devices, usually differing in some specifications to help keep the price down, but they are still high quality, desirable Samsung devices that have the best quality on the software, hardware, and support sides. But it’s everything you expect. , You have just learned the true origin of the name FE.

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