Samsung has launched its Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+ smartphones in India today. Dubbed as the latest and the best in their class, these phones are seen as the flagships for 2017, which will challenge the iPhone 7, Google Pixel and the upcoming LG G6.
Samsung’s first Galaxy S phone came in 2010, nearly three years after the first iPhone. From then on, with each passing year, fresh S-series phones have been launched. The Galaxy S series is a mere eight years old and it started off with a smartphone which, in today’s world, would pass off as an entry-level feature phone claiming to be a smartphone.
Here’s a brief look on how the Galaxy S series transformed itself over the years.
Samsung Galaxy S
The first Galaxy S phone arrived with 512MB of RAM, a 4-inch Super AMOLED WVGA resolution display. It had a 8GB/16GB storage option which was expandable to 32GB with a microSD. Also on board was a 5MP rear camera with 720p video-recording capabilities and there was 0.3MP VGA front camera.
The processor was clocked at 1GHz and the phone sported a removable 1,500 mAh battery.
Samsung Galaxy S also had Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 along with FM Radio. Featuring a plastic body, the phone ran Android 2.1 Éclair which was upgradable to Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. It supported 2.5G and 3G connectivity.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Samsung Galaxy SII was launched at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2011. It had a 4.27” WVGA (480×800) Super AMOLED Plus display, a dual-core 1GHz processor, and ran the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS. It came with 16/32GB storage options, along with a microSD support of up to 32GB.
The Galaxy SII also came with an 8MP rear camera with 1080p full HD video recording support and a 2MP front camera. The rear camera also had features like face detection, auto focus and touch focus. However, the battery capacity remained somewhat the same at 1650 mAh. On the connectivity front it offered HSPA+ internet speeds.
It also came with a host of enterprise application features, and other additions from Samsung.
Samsung Galaxy S III
The Galaxy S III was launched in May 2012, and with this Samsung introduced a bigger 4.8-inch HD SAMOLED display screen for the first time. The display had a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels, which would serve as a new industry standard.
Galaxy S III also included improved specifications like a quad-core processor clocked at 1GHz, 1GB of RAM, up to 64GB of storage which was further expandable by 64GB via microSD. Also on board was a 2,100 mAh removable battery, along with an 8MP rear camera and a 1.9-MP front camera. The camera sported features like ‘Burst shot & Best photo’, ‘Recording snapshot’, and ‘HDR.’ The display came with Gorilla Glass 2 screen for protection.
Samsung Galaxy S III also arrived with 50GB of free cloud storage on Dropbox, a new S-Voice natural voice command feature, and an improved TouchWiz user interface over Android 4.3 Jelly Bean OS. This would be one of the most successful phones for Samsung in the Galaxy S series.
Samsung Galaxy S4
Samsung Galaxy S4 launched in March 2013, and featured a 5-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080p) Super AMOLED display, which put it ahead of the iPhone at the time. It also came with 2GB RAM, 1.9GHz quad core processor, though some markets got the octa-core processor. On board was 16GB/32GB of storage, plus space for a microSD slot supporting up to 64GB.
The camera got bumped to 13MP with large 1.14 µm pixels, autofocus and dual video recording, on the front was a 2MP camera with 1080p video recording. Samsung offered Zero Shutter lag on the new phone. The S4 also came with a 2,600 mAh removable battery and ran the Android 4.2.2 (Jelly Bean).
But the S4 was known for its host of software features that Samsung had added. From the S Translator, to Story Album function, 12 shooting modes in the camera, one of which was dual camera that let customers use the front and rear camera simultaneously. It also had Samsung Optical Reader, S Voice Drive, an IR blaster and a whole lot more.
Samsung later introduced other versions of the S4, include one with a zoom camera.
Samsung Galaxy S5
Samsung introduced the Galaxy S5 in February 2014, which did bring in improved specifications and features, but most of them were at best incremental upgrades without any add-ons. Featuring a much-improved Android 5.0 Lollipop OS, Galaxy S5 came with a 5.1 -inch Full HD display. Samsung also bumped up the camera to 16MP on the back, and went for a more powerful 2.5Ghz quad-core processor, and included 2GB RAM on the phone.
A home button-mounted fingerprint sensor made its appearance for the first time as well as a heart rate monitor to support fitness apps including S Health. The microSD slot now supported up to 128GB of external storage. But for Samsung, the S5 didn’t quite enjoy the success the previous phones had done, and the plastic body didn’t impress most people.
Samsung Galaxy S6 & S6 Edge
For the first time in 2015, Samsung decided to release two Galaxy S6 models, one of them featuring a curved-edge wraparound display for better user experience. The standard Galaxy S6 model did away with the removable nature of Galaxy S-series batteries, and Samsung introduced an all metal and glass design, which has set the standard for the S series.
Samsung, however, removed the microSD slot with more cloud storage options, and was later forced to bring this back with the S7 series.
Galaxy S6 features a 5.1-inch Quad HD (2560 x 1440p) display protected by a Gorilla Glass 4 screen, and featured 32GB, 64GB and 128GB of storage options. It had 3GB of RAM and an octa-processor, along with 16MP and 5MP cameras. The battery on the S6 was 2,550 mAh, while S6 edge had a 2600 mAh battery.
Galaxy S6 was also the first to support Samsung Pay contactless payment system and ran Android Lollipop 5.0.
Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge
Launched last year at MWC 2016, Samsung’s Galaxy S7 and S7 edge bought back the microSD slo, dual SIM, and added IP68 for dust and water resistance.
In terms of specifications, the Galaxy S7 featured a 5.1-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED display, an octa-core Exynos 8890 processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB and 64GB of storage options, a 12-MP Dual Pixel rear camera, a 5-MP front camera and a 3,000 mAh battery.
The larger Galaxy S7 edge phone featured a more powerful 3,600 mAh battery, a larger 5.5-inch display and a 128GB storage variant. With S7 series, Samsung took the camera to another level, and it was widely acknowledged as one of the best Android flagship smartphone for 2016.