Qualcomm: The Samsung Galaxy S23 will completely ditch Exynos chips

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
(Image credit: Daniel Rubino)

What you need to know

  • Samsung's upcoming Galaxy S23 phone will run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip in all regions, according to recent reports.
  • Previous flagship Galaxy phones ran on Exynos CPUs in some regions and Snapdragon chips in others.
  • Samsung had rumored plans to ship an Exynos-powered laptop at some point, but it's unclear if such a device will see the light of day.

Samsung's Galaxy S23 phone is only a few months away, according to the most recent reports, which suggest it could launch in February 2023. When the tech giant announces its new flagship phone, there could be one major difference between the S23 and previous Galaxy devices. Unlike its predecessors, the Galaxy S23 will reportedly run on a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor regardless of region.

Earlier this month, Qualcomm chief financial officer Akash Palkhiwala confirmed that all global variants of the Galaxy S23 will run on Snapdragon chipsets. In contrast, previous Galaxy phones ran on either Samsung's own Exynos processors or Qualcomm Snapdragon chips depending on where the devices were sold.

Shoppers in the United States wouldn't be affected by the change, as U.S. models of Galaxy phones already run on Qualcomm chips, but those in Europe would see some benefits. Generally, Exynos chips perform worse than their Snapdragon counterparts. Many would view a shift away from Exynos as a move in the right direction.

Palkhiwala focused on phones using Snapdragon chips of Exynos CPUs, but the development raises an interesting question about Samsung's Windows on ARM laptops, such as the Galaxy Book Go. At one point, Samsung was rumored to have an Exynos-powered laptop with an AMD GPU in the works. The rumored launch event for that device, however, did not happen.

Near the end of 2021, it was revealed that Microsoft and Qualcomm had an exclusivity agreement regarding Windows on ARM. Reports indicated that the deal was set to expire, which would pave the way for Windows on ARM PCs with chips from other manufacturers, such as MediaTek and Samsung.

If that exclusivity agreement does end, it will be interesting to see if Samsung makes laptops with its own Exynos chips or sticks with Qualcomm Snapdragon CPUs as it plans to do with the Galaxy S23. 

Microsoft has partnered heavily with Samsung for its Galaxy phones, integrating OneDrive into Samsung's version of Android, as well as Phone Link for Windows 10 and 11 sharing features. We expect that this partnership will extend to the Samsung Galaxy S23, which will undoubtedly become one of the best phones for Windows users when it drops. 

Sean Endicott
News Writer and apps editor

Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at sean.endicott@futurenet.com (opens in new tab).