Samsung’s Galaxy S range of flagship smartphones has become one of the top selling Android devices available for each generation. Let’s take a look at how the Galaxy S progressed through the years to reach the current generation, the S6, which was announced a couple of weeks ago and is due soon. Although Samsung had released a Galaxy-branded handset before 2010, the Galaxy S Samsung Galaxy S, designed as an out and out competitor to the Apple iPhone. The original Galaxy S was based around a 1 GHz processor, a 4.0-inch AMOLED screen and had a 5MP rear facing camera without a flash. At the time, the Galaxy S was considered to be one of the better Android devices although sales were a little disappointing. The device was originally launched running Android 2.1 Eclair, which was not the smoothest of experienced. It was later updated to 2.2 FroYo, a much better experience and then officially updated to 2.3 Gingerbread. However, the Galaxy S formed the basis of the second Google Nexus smartphone, the Nexus S. There are many, many custom ROMs available for the Galaxy S thanks to a devoted cache of developers around the world, helped by the Nexus associations.
The Galaxy S was followed up by the Galaxy S II, released in 2011 and featuring several important upgrades over the original Galaxy S. The Galaxy S II featured a dual-core processor, 1 GB of RAM and a newer generation, 4.3-inch SuperAMOLED screen, packed into a squared design that was very thin. There was an 8MP rear camera and this time it came with a flash. The S II was made available in a number of different models for various global carriers and won the Smartphone of the Year award at the Mobile World Congress Global Awards. The S II was released running Android 2.3 Gingerbread but has subsequently been updated to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean. The device has been a sales success and was followed up by the Galaxy S III in 2012.
The Galaxy S III represented something of a change of design for the Samsung Galaxy S III in that it had a curved design wrapped around a quad-core processor and a 4.8-inch, 720p HD resolution SuperAMOLED screen. The S III arrived running Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich but was bumped up to Android 4.3 Jelly Bean by most carriers around the world. There’s an 8MP rear camera around the back. Samsung also changed the software of the S III, including many additional features such as Smart Stay, which was designed to keep the screen on when the user was looking at it. The S III also introduced the Nature UX, which meant a new notification whistle and watery sounds when unlocking the device.
A year later in 2013, Samsung released the Galaxy S4. This was based around a 5.0-inch, 1080p SuperAMOLED screen. Samsung used a higher clocked version of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 processor, a 32-bit, quad-core unit running at up to 1.9 GHz, which was backed up by 2 GB of RAM, at least 16 GB of internal storage and a 13MP rear camera. The S4 also came with a heart rate sensor. The S4 was released running Android Jelly Bean and is in the process of being updated to Android 5.0 Lollipop. The S4 was reasonably well received around the world, but some reviews are decidedly lukewarm: nevertheless, the S4 has sold extremely well and took 65% market share of all Android devices.
The 2014 Galaxy S model is the S5, which featured a slightly larger 5.1-inch display, a 2.5 GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor, a biometric fingerprint sensor and IP67 water and dust resistance. Although the S5 has many features over and above the older models in the Galaxy S range, it was not the outright sales success of the S4, perhaps because although Samsung worked on improving the build quality of the device, it remained a bit too plasticky for the high price tag. The S5 was released running Android 4.4 KitKat and, as with the S4, is in the process of being upgraded to Android 5.0 Lollipop.
And now for 2015, Samsung have announced the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge devices. The release announcement contained much discussion and promotion about the hardware design of the S6 and the device features several in-house state of the art components. It’s too soon to know if the S6 will be a sales success or not, but Samsung’s considerable marketing budget will bolster the device’s already-high appeal.
How many Galaxy S models have you used? What was your favorite? What didn’t you like about them and are you planning on picking up the new S6 or S6 Edge? We’d love to read your comments; let us know below.