WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2020
the history of the samsung galaxy
History of the Samsung Galaxy
Over a decade ago, the Samsung® Galaxy hit shelves and has been upping the game ever since. As a competitor to the iPhone®, the original Galaxy S offered a big screen, a high-performing display and a great camera. These features have only improved throughout the years. The Samsung Galaxy phones have been a powerhouse for the tech company, helping it take the crown in 2020 for the highest number of smartphone sales — and that's despite a drop from 2019.
The South Korean manufacturer's smartphones have come a long way from the first Galaxy S. We'll break down all Samsung Galaxy phones in order and look at the evolution of Samsung phones.
Samsung Galaxy phones have been a powerhouse for the tech company, helping it take the crown in 2020 for the highest number of smartphone sales.
Samsung Galaxy S
The very first Samsung phone that started the Galaxy lineup is the Samsung Galaxy S. This phone launched in June 2010 with a 4-inch display, which seems small compared to the 6.8-inch screen on today's S21 Ultra. Still, back in 2010, this was a big deal — the iPhone 4's screen was half an inch shorter, making the Galaxy the height of smartphone technology. Plus, the Galaxy's display used a technology called Super Active Matrix Organic Light-Emitting Diode (Super AMOLED), something Apple didn't use until the iPhone X.
Outside its size and display tech, the original Galaxy had a 1GHz processor, 0.5GB of RAM and the TouchWiz platform. The rear camera sported 5 megapixels, allowing for excellent quality at the time, while the front camera was less clear with only 0.3 megapixels. The Android OS offered a user-friendly interface, and the removable battery had enough power for Galaxy users to work throughout the day.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Steady improvements came to the Galaxy S II, which sported a slimmer design. Though it had similar screen tech, the size increased to 4.3 inches. The processor doubled in size, increasing to a 1.2GHz design, and the rear and front cameras jumped to 8 megapixels and 2 megapixels. RAM storage went up by 25%, letting the phone handle more at once. With this version, Samsung started to embrace widgets that let users customize their devices, helping establish the Galaxy's reputation as a more personable phone.
In the same year that Samsung released the Galaxy S, it also rolled out the Galaxy Note. The huge 5.3-inch display was remarkable in a time when smaller phones were common, and users' ability to pair a stylus with the device let them do even more with it. This model played a significant role in helping the "phablet" take off.
Samsung Galaxy S III
In May 2012, Samsung released the S III with the lineup's first HD screen at 1280x720, allowing for better, higher-quality visuals. Developers also added a third core to the processor, increasing the device's power to 1.4GHz. With this latest model, RAM storage went up by another 25%, breaking 1GB of available storage for users.
Samsung upgraded the battery to double its capacity, allowing for longer, heavier use. The manufacturer also introduced a high dynamic range for the camera to boost its quality. Otherwise, this step in the Galaxy order was relatively uneventful.
Samsung Galaxy S4
The 2013 introduction of the Galaxy S4 stands out for several reasons. With this next iteration, Samsung said goodbye to Roman numerals in the naming scheme and introduced a slew of new features. This phone was all about innovation.
In reviewing Galaxy models by year, the 2013 introduction of the Galaxy S4 stands out for several reasons. With this next release, Samsung said goodbye to Roman numerals in the naming scheme and introduced a slew of new features. This phone was all about innovation.
On top of the S4's innovative design, Samsung added a range of features like Smart Scroll, Air Gesture, Smart Rotation and more. Many of them didn't stick, but the creativity was there. Some that stayed around were wireless charging and S Health — later called Samsung Health — which allowed users to track data on steps, sleep and calories. As for the hardware, the S4 sported a 5-inch full HD display, a 1.9GHz processor with another additional core, double the gigabytes of RAM and a 13-megapixel rear camera, offering decent upgrades overall.
Samsung Galaxy S5
With the S5, we saw a slight boost to various features from the S4. The screen display increased just slightly for even better visuals. While the S5 stuck with a quad-core processor, the power increased to 2.5GHz. The rear camera gained three megapixels, marking significant strides in Samsung camera quality. The plastic back cover took on an interesting, dimpled texture to improve grip, while the home button got a fingerprint scanner.
We also started to see some advanced features that are still in use today, like water and dust resistance, improved autofocus and long-lasting power-saving modes. The Ultra Power Saving mode allowed the S5 to last several days on standby.
Samsung Galaxy S6
In early 2015, the Galaxy S6 was a flashy release for Samsung, as it added the Edge version of the phone to the lineup. The Galaxy S6 Edge and Edge+ used a screen that curved around the sides, adding unique abilities and a slick, modern look. The screen's HD quality doubled with these models, though the size remained the same for the base Galaxy. The Edge+ gained an additional half-inch of screen size.
The design also got an upgrade with more premium materials like a glass backing, a non-removable battery and a metal frame, which improved Galaxy phones' durability and lifespan. However, it removed the MicroSD card slot and lost its waterproof USB port.
Internally, we saw the additions of an eight-core processor and an increase to 3GB of RAM storage. In this update, the front camera got an upgrade to 5 megapixels, while the rear camera stayed the same.
The phone also debuted Samsung Pay for zero-contact mobile payments and adaptive fast charging. The S6 supports wireless reverse charging too, in which Galaxy phones can work as a wireless charger for other Qi-certified devices, like Samsung's Galaxy Watch or Galaxy Buds+.
Samsung Galaxy S7
The Galaxy S7 moved Samsung phone release dates from spring to winter, with Samsung announcing the S7 in February 2016. Most of the specs stayed the same and the S7 retained the Edge versions, though all models received some small upgrades.
The camera saw some big improvements in the S7 era. The wide-frame lens aperture offered better low-light photography, and the burst shot could capture 20 photos per second. This model had dual-pixel autofocus and the HD slow-mo increased in quality to take more frames per second.
The Galaxy S7 saw the return of waterproofing capabilities. While the model kept the eight-core processor, Samsung increased its speed. Users could also buy bigger batteries, with options ranging from 3,000mAh to 4,000mAh.
Samsung Galaxy S8
The notable change for the Galaxy S8 was the infinity display, which brought the sleek, screen-optimized design of the Edge models to the base models. This infinity display offered virtually no space between the screen and the edge of the phone and added rounded edges to the tall 18.5x9 display panel.
Samsung removed the physical home button and instead placed it and its fingerprint sensor function on the back of the phone, just beside the camera lens. This odd placement got a lot of flack, but Samsung also added facial recognition and iris detection to provide biometric security, which may have lessened the blow for many users.
The S8+ had a huge 6.2-inch display, with both the S8+ and the base models featuring the rounded infinity displays. Other additions to the S8 included a switch from Micro-USB to USB-C charging, an S8 Active version made with more rugged materials and the Samsung intelligence platform Bixby. Bixby can now offer various abilities, like voice assistance, object recognition through the camera and smart home device controls.
Samsung Galaxy S9
The Galaxy S9 fixed the fingerprint sensor's placement and improved the camera. While the fingerprint sensor was still on the back of the phone, the manufacturer moved this feature to a more central spot beneath the camera, so it was easier to reach. Samsung also improved touchless unlocking security by merging face recognition and iris scanning.
As for the camera, the S9 got a dual-lens setup with a dual-aperture and 12-megapixel main camera, which could switch between wide and close lenses for more photography options. The idea behind the adjustable aperture was that it works more like the human eye, making automatic changes based on how much light is coming in.
The S9 also saw the addition of AR Emoji, based on artificial reality face recognition. It's similar to Animoji from Apple and creates custom, live emojis based on the user's face and movements.
In this update, the video system received several boosts for higher-quality recording, including:
- A high recording capacity at fast speeds for a maximum of five minutes.
- 1080p recording at 240 fps.
- Super Slo-Motion recording at high resolutions for 0.2 seconds.
The S9 was a popular model, retaining the curved display and premium build while upping the battery capacity to 3,000mAh and 3,500mAh for the S9 and S9+, respectively.
Samsung Galaxy S10
The 2019 Galaxy S10 had a variety of improvements that brought the phone closer to what we see in today's flagships.
The 2019 Galaxy S10 had a variety of improvements that brought the phone closer to what we see in today's flagships. As usual, the processor got an upgrade, this time to the Snapdragon 855, allowing for better gaming and performance. With this model, Samsung bumped the minimum battery size to 3,100mAh, though some models reached as high as 4,500mAh.
The new UltraSonic fingerprint sensor offered in-screen reading, a triple camera system added professional-grade photography and the front camera moved to a "hole-punch" design. Punch-hole cameras have a small cutout circle for the camera instead of a larger notch on the top, keeping more of the display intact and making the screen look bigger.
The camera system kept some previous features, including the main and telephoto lenses, but added a new 16-megapixel ultrawide lens. This model also added various internal features such as shot suggestions and live filters for better visuals.
The Galaxy S10 lineup included the usual S10+, as well as a 5G model and the S10E. The concept of the S10E was similar to that of the iPhone SE, offering a more wallet-friendly version of the flagship phone. The S10 5G version was one of the first to use Samsung's Super Fast Charging mode.
2019 also brought the high-end Galaxy Z series into the mix. The first release was the Galaxy Z Fold, which opens like a book into a massive 7.3-inch screen to become much like a tablet.
Samsung Galaxy S20
As we near the end of our list of Galaxy phones in order, we see the S20 offering a massive change — many still consider it Samsung's best Galaxy phone currently available. It reduced the space between the screen and the edge of the phone even more, added a super-smooth 120Hz refresh rate and came with 5G capabilities across all models for faster, higher-quality connection. Verizon models even worked on ultrafast millimeter-wave networks.
With this model, Samsung chose to remove the headphone jack, similar to what Apple did back in 2017 with the iPhone 7. The S20s retained the screen resolution from previous models but upgraded to a Dynamic AMOLED 2X display, which adds support for HDR10+ — this screen display adds better color and even lowers blue light output to protect users' eyes.
In addition to the base S20, the lineup includes the S20+, S20 Ultra and S20 FE. The S20+ added a larger screen and a time-of-flight camera, which improves depth and distance analysis for a range of features, like photography improvements and support for the Quick Measure app. The S20 Ultra is a powerhouse of a phone, with a 6.9-inch screen, a battery that goes far beyond the previous power maximum and an impressive camera setup that outperforms any other Galaxy model.
All phones supported the new Space Zoom feature, which created a hybrid optical and digital zoom. It can zoom up to 30X on the S20 and S20+ and 100X on the S20 Ultra. The phones also have double video recording capacity at twice the speed of the S9 and use a high refresh rate.
Samsung released the S20 FE with very minor differences but a lower price point, similar to the S10E and the iPhone SE. It used the slightly older Snapdragon 865 processor, a larger battery and a cheaper build without the curved edges. It still included the large 6.5-inch screen, high refresh rate and a strong triple-camera system.
Samsung also added to the Z series with the Galaxy Z Flip. It folds vertically with a design that pays homage to older flip phones. This Galaxy flip phone is a significant reason behind Samsung's position as a pioneer of flexible-screen technology.
Samsung Galaxy S21
The latest of all Galaxy phones is the S21. This lineup, with the usual S21, S21+ and S21 Ultra, came out in January 2021 and only featured minor upgrades from the S20. It even had a few downgrades to drop the price. In an interesting move, Samsung reduced the specs of the base model screens to 6.2-inch 1080p AMOLEDs, perhaps to compete with the iPhone 12 mini as an option for those who like smaller phones. It also switched from glass to plastic for the back.
The S21 lineup includes many of the same features of the S20s, like the triple-camera setup and adaptive refresh rates. The Ultra still stands out with Quad HD resolution and more powerful lenses that users love. It is also the only phone that supports 45W chargers.
Inviting the New S22
Samsung started 2022 strong with the release of the S22, which came out in early February. The S22 builds off its previous model, the S21, while improving on problem areas. However, the S22 offers many new features for Galaxy fans to try. The phone includes a P-shaped camera lens setup with five different lenses. Further, Samsung has replaced the plastic backing with glass for a sleeker look.
The S22 has a slightly larger screen alongside its additional cameras, so users can optimize their screen space and better enjoy time online. Alongside the S22, Samsung released the S22 Ultra and Plus models, offering more features and perks to Samsung users. Like other models, the Ultra and Plus will have slightly larger screens than the regular S22. Additionally, the manufacturer released the Galaxy S22 S Pen, allowing Samsung users to update their accessories.
With the release of the S22, the Galaxy lineup's evolution has come a long way from those old Samsung phones. Samsung has been bringing innovative features to the mobile market for over a decade, and the Galaxy series is excellent for people who want a well-rounded flagship experience. If you're planning to buy a new Galaxy or are getting ready to upgrade now that the S22 is available, you might start thinking ahead now to decide what you'll do with your used phone.
Sell Your Used Galaxy With ecoATM
With ecoATM kiosks located across the United States, we can offer cash for your used smartphone or ensure it is properly recycled. By taking your used smartphone to an ecoATM kiosk you can use the cash payout to help pay for that shiny new Galaxy and help your phone have an opportunity for a new life instead of it ending up in the trash.
With ecoATM kiosks located across the United States, we can offer cash for your used smartphone or ensure it is properly recycled. By taking your used smartphone to an ecoATM kiosk you can use the cash payout to help pay for that shiny new Galaxy and help your phone have an opportunity for a new life instead of it ending up in the trash. See what your phone is worth on our price checker or find an ecoATM kiosk near you today!
WHAT TO EXPECT IN 2020