If there is a flagship smartphone that can compete with the iPhone, it is the Galaxy S series device. However, it took Samsung years to inspire the Galaxy S smartphone, the Android alternative, as much as the Apple iPhone. More than the marketing muscle, Samsung has really helped watch the trends and develop premium smartphones accordingly. Today, as Samsung is ready to unveil the Galaxy S21, let’s take a look at how the Galaxy S series has changed over the years.
Samsung Galaxy S (2010)
Samsung had made smartphones for years, but the Galaxy S was the company’s first attempt at cracking the high-end market. Announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in 2010, the Galaxy S was a true premium phone, a direct competitor to the iPhone 4. The Galaxy S featured a 4-inch Super AMOLED touchscreen with a resolution of 480x 800 and 1 GHz processor, 512 MB RAM, a 5 megapixel rear view camera, a 1,500 mAh battery and Android 2.1 Eclair.
Samsung Galaxy S II (2011)
In every way, the Galaxy S II was a step further than its predecessor. It was ridiculously thin and had an industrial design. Not to forget, the Galaxy S II was the fastest Android smartphone of its time. The phone had a larger 4.3-inch Super AMOLED Plus display, but kept the 480 x 800 resolution with Corning Gorilla Glass protection. It was powered by an Exynos 4210 dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and up to 32 GB of storage, an 8 megapixel rear camera, a 1,650 mAh battery, and Android 2.3.4 Gingerbread. The Galaxy S II proved to be a worldwide success as the company sold 20 million units in less than a year.
Samsung Galaxy S III (2012)
The Galaxy S III was the first “Galaxy” smartphone that changed the fate of Samsung in the mobile phone market. The phone had everything you’d expect from a flagship smartphone, including a larger 4.8-inch AMOLED display with HD resolution and 4G LTE. The phone came at a time when Nokia had already lost its market attraction and Apple was struggling to innovate. All of these factors benefited Samsung, establishing the South Korean giants closer to replacing Nokia as the world’s largest phone maker.
Samsung Galaxy S4 (2013)
While the Galaxy S4 was a hit device, the phone failed to impress critics. The reason: The Galaxy S4 went too far with features that people never wanted. Those hand gestures and floating touch made the Galaxy S4 a breeze, though buyers appreciated the phone’s performance. The Galaxy S4 came with a 5-inch Full HD Super AMOLED screen, a 13-megapixel rear camera, a 2-megapixel front camera, and a 2,600 mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S5 (2014)
The Galaxy S5 came at a critical time when Apple was getting back on its feet. The iPhone 5s was well received and its successor, the iPhone 6/6 Plus, broke all sales records. Despite the monumental success of the iPhone 6 series, the Galaxy S5 held up well. Samsung had built in everything to set the Galaxy S5 apart from the competition, a 5.1-inch Super AMOLED Full HD display, a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor, IP67 water and dust resistance, and a fingerprint reader on a wipe basis. The Galaxy S5 was fast and had superior cameras too. However, the design language of the Galaxy S5 raised a lot of questions as the cheap plastic designs began to look stale.
Samsung Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge Plus (2015)
The arrival of the Galaxy S6, especially the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, marked a turnaround in the Samsung Galaxy S range. The Galaxy S6 was the first Galaxy S smartphone made out of metal and glass. This gives Samsung an advantage over its Android competitors. Equipped with the curved Edge screen and a slightly larger 2,600 mAh battery, the Galaxy S6 Plus became an even bigger hit. The surprise success of the Galaxy S6 Edge Plus even surprised Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge Plus (2016)
The Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge Plus turned Samsung into a tech giant. For the first time, it seemed like Samsung was challenging the entire smartphone industry, not Apple. The expertise in display technology was in nature with the superior AMOLED display and a novel screen with curved edges. But the Galaxy S7 series received praise from all sides. Critics particularly liked the camera performance of its phones, a recognition previously reserved for Apple or HTC smartphones.
Samsung Galaxy S8 / S8 Plus (2017)
The Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus both had powerful hardware, a feature Samsung used to beat its competitors. Both were the best Android smartphones of their time, but it seemed like the Galaxy Note 8 was primarily a Galaxy S8 Plus with a stylus and a 2x optical zoom lens. For the first time, critics noticed the similarities between the Galaxy S series and the Galaxy Note series.
Samsung Galaxy S9 / S9 Plus (2018)
The launch of the Galaxy S9 series wasn’t monumental, but it brought about a big change. For the first time, Samsung began to differentiate between two flagship Galaxy S series smartphones. Both the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus had many notable differences other than physical size. With the Galaxy S9 Plus, Samsung absolutely wanted to target a segment that appreciates a larger display and a larger battery. The Galaxy S9 series was clearly geared towards the Apple iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max.
Samsung Galaxy S10 / S10 Plus / S10e (2019)
The Galaxy S10 range was Samsung’s biggest upgrade in years. They also cost more than their predecessors, but Samsung was looking for new customers. The Galaxy S10e, the cheaper option, was more exciting from the start. In a way, alongside the iPhone XR, the Galaxy S10e started a conversation about the “affordable flagships”. And the strategy worked – at least partially. While Samsung tried to offer a flagship smartphone experience at a cheaper price, the Galaxy S10e didn’t get the praise it deserved.
Samsung Galaxy S20 / S20 Plus / S20Ultra / S20 FE (2020)
Let’s talk about an overhaul. For the first time, Samsung offered four variants of the Galaxy S20. All four phones have fulfilled the promise, although the Galaxy S20 Ultra was a bit controversial because it was too similar to the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. This sparked a debate on social media about whether Samsung should merge the Galaxy S and Note series. Only Samsung knows the answer, but the company recently announced that it would be moving some of the Galaxy Note’s features to other smartphones. Should Samsung Let the Galaxy Note Die? We will get the answer soon.