Looking Back at What Shaped the Samsung Galaxy S Series to What We Know Today

Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S7/S7 EdgeFrom selling dried Korean fish, vegetables and fruit back in 1938 to being the number one Android smartphone manufacturer, Samsung has surely come a long way.

The first ever Samsung phone was the SH-100, which was manufactured in 1988, and was the first phone to be manufactured in Korea. Fast forward to April 2009, when Samsung released the first ever Samsung Galaxy, also known as GT-I7500.

Since then, Samsung has produced smartphones year after year with each iteration proving to be better than the last, at least in some areas. In this piece, we will look at a brief history of every Samsung Galaxy S smartphone, looking at what the device had to offer and thus get an idea of how far Samsung have come.

The Samsung Galaxy S


Back in March 2010, Samsung announced the Galaxy S. It featured a 4 inch (800×480) Super AMOLED display, a 1GHz ARM Hummingbird (Exynos) processor, 8GB/16GB of internal storage, a 5MP rear camera and a 0.3MP front camera. It ran on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread, with Touchwiz 3.0. It had 512MB of RAM and a removable battery of 1500mAh capacity.

Samsung Galaxy S II


The S II was announced at MWC back in February 2011. The Galaxy S II sported a 4.3 inch WVGA Super AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz dual-core Exynos processor, 1GB of RAM and an 8MP rear camera capable of recording 1080p video. At the front, the S II had a 2MP shooter. It was running Android 2.3 Gingerbread out of the box, but was later updated to Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean.

Samsung Galaxy S III

At Samsung Unpacked in May 2012, the company announced the Galaxy S III. The device launched with Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0) and was later updated to Android 4.4 KitKat. The device featured a 4.8 inch 720p Super AMOLED display, Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 processor, 1GB/2GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB of storage, an 8MP rear camera coupled with a 1.9MP front camera and a 2100mAh battery.

The S III also introduced Multiwindow capabilities, automatic brightness (ambient light), smart stay (Prevents device screen from turning off by looking at the phone), S-Voice, S-Beam (transfer files via NFC), LED notification light and motion gestures such as Air view.

Samsung Galaxy S4

Launched in April 2013, the Galaxy S4 featured a 5 inch Super AMOLED 1080p panel, Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 600 processor, 2GB of RAM, 16GB/32GB/64GB of internal storage and a 2600mAh battery. It sport a 13MP rear camera and a 2MP front camera.

The device also brought with it an IR blaster, barometer, temperature reader, humidity sensor and a one-handed mode – since at that time a 5 inch display was pretty huge. The S4 was not short of gimmicks either with the air view, air gesture, smart pause, smart rotation and smart scroll features all making a comeback from the S3.

Samsung Galaxy S5

Galaxy S5 Dual-SIM

The S5 was released in April 2014 to a lot of criticism on its build quality and design. It had an upgraded Snapdragon 801 processor (Exynos 5422 in some markets), ran on Android 4.4 KitKat out of the box, had a 2800mAh battery, with Gorilla glass three protecting the 5.1 inch 1080p Super AMOLED display.

The camera optics featured a 16MP camera at the back and a 2MP selfie camera. The S5 also brought water resistance, a fingerprint reader and 4K recording. However, the S5 took away the temperature sensor and the humidity sensor.

Samsung did not forget the S5, as it was updated to Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow.

Samsung Galaxy S6

With the S6, Samsung took a swing at a more premium design, using aluminum frame with glass on glass and not plastic as the previous devices. The Samsung Galaxy S6 featured a 5.1 inch 1440p Super AMOLED display, a 64-bit Exynos 7420 processor, 3GB of RAM, and either 16GB/32GB/64GB/128GB storage options.

The device launched with Android 5.0.2 Lollipop and is being upgraded to Android 7.0 Nougat. As far as camera optics go, it featured a 16MP rear camera and a 5MP front shooter.

With the S6, Samsung introduced the S6 Edge, which had a curved edge screen on both sides of the display. This was a new design language that got people talking. The edge display introduced by the Galaxy Note Edge, had been well implemented.

The S6 brought quick charge to the lineup, virtual reality capabilities and theming options within Touchwiz UI. However, with the S6 we said goodbye to the MicroSD slot, removable battery, air gesture, air view, smart pause, smart rotation, smart scroll, one handed mode and USB 3.0 support.

Samsung Galaxy S7

The Galaxy S7 was a worthy improvement over the S6. While maintaining the S7 Edge variant (this time it was bigger), we saw some slight hardware improvements such as a Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 processor (or Exynos 8890), 4GB of RAM, 32/64/128GB of internal storage, a 5.1 inch QHD display for the S7 and a 5.5 inch QHD display for the S7 edge.

The S7 had a 3000mAh battery while the S7 Edge packed a 3600mAh battery. Both packed a 12MP main camera with f/1.7 aperture, a dual pixel lens and a 5MP selfie camera.

The S7 and S7 Edge was considered by many to have one of the best camera phones last year. It also brought back Micro SD support, water resistance and new features such as the Always On Display.

Samsung Galaxy S8

Samsung Galaxy S8

There’s no way to downplay how far Samsung has come. The S8 is a testimony by itself. With the S8, Samsung has virtually removed the side bezels and drastically reduced the top and bottom chin. We have also seen an introduction of the iris scanner that was first seen on the late Samsung Note 7 and a new digital assistant, Bixby.

The S8 features a 5.8 inch edge-to-edge infinity display while the S8+ features a bigger 6.2 inch edge-to-edge infinity display. Samsung also removed the physical home button, in favour of on-screen navigation buttons and moved the fingerprint reader to the back of the phone.

The S8 maintains the same megapixel count from the S7, at least at the front, but the front camera was bumped up to 8MP. Powering the devices will be either a Snapdragon 835 processor or an Exynos 8895. We have 4GB of RAM, 3000mAh battery for the S8 and 3500mAh battery for the S8+.

The aspect ratio of the displays change from 16:9 to 18.5:9, which means the devices are taller than their predecessors. Samsung has also moved away from Touchwiz UI and introduced Samsung Experience UI, which honestly is much improved.

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