History of Samsung Galaxy S series:
- Galaxy S (2010)
- Galaxy S II (2011)
- Galaxy S III (2012)
- Galaxy S4 (2013)
- Galaxy S5 (2014)
- Galaxy S6 / S6 Edge (2015)
- Galaxy S7 / S7 Edge (2016)
- Galaxy S8 / S8+ (2017)
- Galaxy S9 / S9+ (2018)
- Galaxy S10 / S10+ / S10e (2019)
- Galaxy S20 / S20+ / S20 Ultra (2020)
- Galaxy S21 / S21+ / S21 Ultra (2021)
- Galaxy S22 / S22+ / S22 Ultra (2022)
Samsung Galaxy S (2010)
Released: June 2, 2010
The very first Samsung Galaxy S was announced in 2010 and it quickly became clear that Samsung has a best-seller in the cards. Actually, Samsung sold way more than 20 million units of the phone, which undoubtedly warranted that it will be the forefather of a new device lineup.
The Samsung Galaxy S ran on Android 2.1 and had an 800 x 480 Super AMOLED display. It also had a single-core 1GHz processor and 0.5GB of RAM.
The rear camera was 5-megapixels, while the front was just 0.3-megapixels.
The Galaxy S was not a perfect phone by any means, as it had certain issues and quirks, but regardless, it is one of the more notable phones in Samsung’s history and undoubtedly among the best phones of 2010. Many, including us, consider as the best Android had to offer in 2010.
Samsung Galaxy S2 (2011)
Released: April 28, 2011
Also known as the Samsung Galaxy S II, the refreshed phone was released in April 2011 and sported a similar 800 x 480 screen as its predecessor.
The Galaxy S II, had the tough job of repeating the success of the Galaxy S. Spoiler alert, it did. Actually, it took Samsung merely 55 days to sell more than 3 million units worldwide, and in 5 months, over 10 million Galaxy S II units were shipped worldwide. Additionally, the phone was proclaimed as “Smartphone Of The Year” at MWC 2012.
The processor got a bump up to dual-core and 1.2GHz, and there was 0.75GB of RAM.
The rear camera was 8-megapixels this time, with a 2-megapixel front-facing cam.
Samsung Galaxy S3 (2012)
Released: May 22, 2012
If the Galaxy S II had a tough job of making a name on the market, it’s safe to say that the Galaxy S III had to accomplish a true feat. The public’s expectations for the third Galaxy S flagship were quite high in 2012. Shortly put, the it was expected that the handset will pack enough hardware punch to sit atop the Android food chain and sport head-turning new design. Well, it met one of these for sure. Spoiler alert: it was mostly the hardware expectation.
Its resolution of 1280 x 720 was pretty revolutionary at the time. It also sported Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich.
There was a 1.4GHz quad-core processor with 1GB of RAM on launch, although Samsung stuck with an 8-megapixel rear camera.
Samsung Galaxy S4 (2013)
Released: April 27, 2013
Samsung Galaxy S III. Hold that image in your mind, now imagine a similar device with a slimmer profile, more powerful hardware, and… better in every other way, actually. That’s the Galaxy S4 for you. Apart from switching from roman to Arabic numerals, the S4 came with a larger display, speedier SoC, improved camera, and even more feature-rich TouchWiz UI, while being even more compact than its immediate predecessor.
It also upped the processing power to a 1.9GHz quad-core chip, with 2GB of RAM.
The rear camera had a jump too, up to 13-megapixels.
Samsung Galaxy S5 (2014)
Released: March 27, 2014
Coming in April 2014, the S5 also had a Full HD screen but it was slightly bigger, measuring 5.1-inches (an LTE-A model eventually upped that to 2560 x 1440).
With the Galaxy S5, Samsung decided to spice things up. Although the design remained mostly the same, the handset was the first Samsung flagship to be water- and dust-resistant, borrowing these features from the S4 Active. The “glam” design of the rear cover was not the most appealing thing out there, but still, it did its job fine – it attracted attention.
There was a 2.5GHz quad-core processor on board, with 2GB of RAM. And the rear camera was once again improved, to a 16-megapixel module.
Samsung Galaxy S6
April 2015’s Galaxy S line was the first to offer two separate devices at the same time.
The more standard Galaxy S6 featured a flat 2560 x 1440 Quad HD Super AMOLED display, measuring 5.1-inches.
It ran on a Samsung-made octa-core processor, had 3GB of RAM and a 16-megapixel rear camera capable of recording Ultra HD footage. A 5-megapixel camera was adopted for the front.
Samsung Galaxy S6/S6 edge (2015)
Released: April 10, 2015
Like its stablemate also released in April 2015, the Galaxy S6 edge had a 5.1-inch Quad HD screen, octa-core processor, 3GB of RAM, 16-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front-facing cam.
Keeping an ear close to the ground, Samsung really stepped its design game with the Galaxy S6. Glass and metal, intertwined in a slim body that is as eye-catchy as it gets. For the first time here, a super sharp Quad HD panel arrives for an even crispier experience: that’s a full 2560 x 1440 pixels, more than on most laptops at the time. Interestingly, Samsung abolished three features that many people loved in the S5: the water protection, the removable battery and the microSD card, and that led to a wave of criticism from some in the community.
Where it differed is that the sides of the display are curved and wrap around to give the illusion of no bezel – a radical alternative at the time.
Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 edge (2016)
Released: March 11, 2016
The Galaxy S7 edge was (and even now it’s two years old, still is) a true flagship phone in every respect. It too was announced in February 2016 and its 5.1-inch/5.5-inch dual edge QHD display was simply superb.
A regular Galaxy S7 and a radical, curved-screen Galaxy S7 Edge that was bigger and bolder. The two were an evolution of the successful S6 design and indeed, why change what people loved.
The biggest change in these phones was probably in the camera department: these were the first to adopt the Dual Pixel auto focus technology that allowed the camera to focus incredibly quickly. The S7 series also delivered a big improvement in low-light photos and were widely considered as a big step forward for smartphone photography.
All of the same features as the S7 were on board and the design was a touch rounder than the S6 edge that preceded it.
Samsung Galaxy S8/S8+ (2017)
Released: April 21, 2017
The Galaxy S8 series arrived after a hugely successful year for Samsung and the S7 lineup. The Galaxy S8 and the Galaxy S8 Plus were not a revolutionary improvement, but they did introduce much slimmer bezels on the front as Samsung moved the front-facing fingerprint sensor from the S7 series to the back on the S8 family.
These were also the first phones to come with Bixby, the unfortunate Samsung assistant that never really got popular and was more of an annoyance than an improvement.
While there was also a second variant in the S8 Plus, which came with a bigger screen and better battery, but the standard Galaxy S8 came with curved edges as standard.
Apart from that, the Galaxy S8 family was powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processor, while in markets outside the US, it used Samsung’s own Exynos 8895.
Samsung Galaxy S9/S9+ (2018)
Released: March 16, 2018
On the surface, the S9 looks very similar to the S8 from 2017. The phone still offered that curved edge design and comes with a 5.8-inch OLED screen size and was once again, waterproof.
The Galaxy S9 also offered AR emoji, which allows the phone to create a 3D avatar by scanning your face and creating a range of custom emoji for you. These can be used when chatting in WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger, for example, rather than using basic emoji. Social.
The Samsung Galaxy S9+ also launched alongside the S9 offering a dual aperture main camera that was a step up from the previous year.
The S9 were powered by the top of the line chip for the time, the Snapdragon 845, in the United States (globally, phones shipped with the Samsung-made Exynos 9810 chip) and had 4GB of RAM on the S9 and 6GB of RAM on the S9 Plus. On board storage stood at 64GB with the option to expand via microSD cards.
Samsung Galaxy S10/S10+/S10e (2019)
Released: March 8, 2019
The Samsung Galaxy S10 launched alongside the larger S10+, the more affordable S10e and a 5G capable model.
Galaxy S10+ is Samsung’s latest flagship for 2019. It has a bright 6.4-inch AMOLED display and has a hole-punch design. While the hole-punch does sacrifice a small portion of the display, it isn’t distracting. The display is crisp and gets really bright when outdoors. Samsung has picked the Exynos 9820 to power the Galaxy S10+ and has paired it with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage.
The S10 and the S10 Plus introduce a new, triple-camera system that includes an ultra-wide, a wide and a telephoto lens, while the super compact Galaxy S10e did not have the telephoto lens.
There are three cameras at the back of the S10+ consisting of a 12-megapixel wide angle sensor, 12-megapixel telephoto lens and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle sensor. At the front, it has a dual camera setup consisting of a 10-megapixel selfie camera and an 8-megapixel RGB depth sensor.
Galaxy S20/S20+/ S20 Ultra (2020)
Released: March 11, 2020
The S20 series consists of flagship Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20+ models differentiated primarily by screen size, as well as a larger camera-focused model, the Galaxy S20 Ultra. Key upgrades over the previous model, in addition to improved specifications, include a display with a 120 Hz refresh rate, an improved camera system supporting 8K video recording (7680×4320) and a super-resolution zoom of 30–100×, depending on the model.
The phone was released in the United States on 6 March 2020 and in Europe on 13 March 2020. The Galaxy S20, S20+, and S20 Ultra launch prices started at $999, $1,199 and $1,399, respectively.
It is the first smartphone lineup to receive USB fast-charger certification from the USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF).
The S20 series also mark the first time Samsung removes the 3.5mm headphone jack from its flagship series.
Galaxy S21/S21+/S21 Ultra (2021)
Release date: January 29th, 2021
The lineup was unveiled at Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Series Unpacked event on 14 January 2021.The phones were released on 29 January 2021.
The lineup comprises three devices, with the Galaxy S21 being the least expensive with a smaller screen size. In contrast to the Galaxy S20+, the Galaxy S21+ is very similar to the S21 spec-wise, with the exception of a larger display, higher battery capacity, and back glass instead of plastic. The Galaxy S21 Ultra has an even larger screen size, battery, and a host of other improvements over the other models.
The Galaxy S21 and the S21 Plus have identical triple-camera setup, with a main, ultra-wide and a 3X hybrid zoom telephoto camera. In fact, they use the same hardware as the S20 and S20+, but some improvements have happened in the way these cameras process photos. The S21 Ultra, however, is different: it features a larger main sensor, a 108-megapixel one, an ultra-wide shooter, and then, two telephoto zoom lenses, one at 3X zoom, and another one of the periscope kind that provides 10X zoom. Combined with Samsung’s clever algorithms, you can use the latter camera to get up to 100X zoom in shots.