Only a true Samsung fan will recognise these 10 innovations
If you’ve held any of these Samsung devices over the last few years, you're well on the way to winning an award we just made up: Sammy's biggest fanboy/fangirl!
With Mobile World Congress 2015 happening real soon, and the fabled Samsung Galaxy S6 on the horizon, now's as good a time as any to revisit some of the iconic Samsung devices that made a difference in your gadget life.
Let us know how many you owned in the comments box below, or if you think we got the list all wrong!
2008: Samsung Omnia I
Samsung Omnia I
Owned a Windows Mobile phone before? Welcome to the exclusive club of geeks who once hailed the first Samsung Omnia as the ultimate Windows Mobile device. In retrospect, smartphone choices were severely limited six years ago. But it was the best we had, allowing you to have your personal digital diary, media player and all sorts of new-fangled tech that were squeezed into one tiny device.
Verdict: it redefined Windows Mobile. Not for long though, just until iOS and Android showed up and decimated Microsoft's mobile operating system.
2008: Samsung Pixon 8
Samsung Pixon 8
8-megapixels? Pfft, that’s nothing in today’s context. But back then, the Pixon 8 was the pinnacle of smartphone imaging, squeezing camera features into this tiny mobile device. Did we mention that Samsung inserted an 8-megapixel sensor to make the Samsung Pixon a serious shooter? Now? We have 41-megapixels. The same rule applies - the numbers do not matter, if you can’t shoot for nuts.
Verdict: don't knock it, it made smartphone photography what it is today.
2010: Samsung Bada OS
Samsung Bada OS
Bada bing, bada boom. Realising that it’s getting too reliant on Google Android, Samsung attempted to break free with its own mobile operating system. Bada, meaning sea or ocean in Korean, was first introduced on the Samsung Wave. It tried to lure developers to release more apps on an untested and unheard of mobile operating system. Three years later, Bada folded into another operating system, Tizen. Never heard of it? Well, you should, especially since it’ll power the new Samsung Galaxy Gears.
Verdict: it tried, but failed to lord over iOS and Android.
2010: Samsung Galaxy S
Samsung Galaxy S
Into its fifth year, the Samsung Galaxy S series has spawned millions of Android smartphones into the warfront against its fellow droid supporters. Against Apple, the South Korean company’s poster boy faced numerous patent lawsuits and launched snarky commercials. Despite all that, it’s still the definitive smartphone that contributed to Android’s growing popularity and its never-ending battle against iOS.
Verdict: life-changing is an understatement when you consider how many Galaxy S phones have been sold.
2010: Samsung Galaxy Beam
Samsung Galaxy Beam
Why bother to watch a movie on the phone’s pathetic 3.7in display, when you can project it onto a wall and view it on an insanely huge, albeit grainy, 50in screen? Problem is, where are you going to find a wall suitable for the pico projector to shine on? Good effort, Samsung, but it wasn't enough.
Verdict: stick to your TVs.
2011: Samsung Galaxy Note
Samsung Galaxy Note
Hey Samsung, we owe you an apology. We didn’t believe in your vision of a smartphone and tablet hybrid. We ridiculed phablets and thought the first Galaxy Note was a monstrosity and had an identity crisis. We were wrong. The Galaxy Note series changed our lives. It gave us unbelievably great video quality, fast processing power and most importantly, it wasn’t too big in our hands. We can’t say the same for the Sony Xperia Z Ultra.
Verdict: the phablet was born because of it. Surely, that says a lot about its importance.
2012: Samsung Galaxy Camera
Samsung Galaxy Camera
Ironically, while Samsung’s smartphone business was turning a huge profit, its camera category was suffering, forcing it to re-think its approach towards digital imaging. Enter the Galaxy Camera. Yes. It can post Instagram photos. You can send images to other devices via Wi-Fi. No, you can’t make or receive calls with it. Even if you can, don't. You'll just look plain ridiculous doing it.
Verdict: we’re not sure if you’ll need an Android-powered camera. Don’t we have smartphones for that?
2013: Samsung Galaxy Gear
Dick Tracy, Samsung has your watch. Wait, what do you mean it’s way ahead of your time? The Samsung Galaxy Gear does exactly what your watch does. It takes calls, snaps pictures and plays music. Oh right, take photos and listening to music isn’t exactly your thing, since you’re too busy foiling The Big Boy’s nefarious plans.
Verdict: similar to the Galaxy Camera, we’re still torn on this, but we’ll give it a borderline passing mark.
2013: Samsung Youm
Curved TVs? Been there, done that when Samsung had one hell of a showcase at CES 2013. The show stealer, however, was Youm, an OLED display that can bend it like Beckham. It was a glimpse into what future displays could do. In 2014, concept became reality with a TV that transforms from a flat panel into a curved display. Wearable tech that bends and fits on your wrist? We already have that - think Samsung Gear S.
Verdict: it’s still early days, but we say this will be life-changing for wearable tech.
2013: Samsung Evolution Kit
Samsung Evolution Kit
Someone in Samsung must have done this before - convincing the missus that it’s time to spend a few thousand dollars to upgrade a TV that was bought last year, only to end up sleeping on the couch. Behold, the Samsung Evolution Kit - a black box that gives your last generation smart TV a brain upgrade, adding next-generation specs to an outdated smart TV.
Verdict: if only we can upgrade our brain like Samsung TVs.
2014: making virtual a reality
Samsung Gear VR Innovator Edition
When it comes to experiences, Samsung has the right concept. And the South Korean company moves pretty fast to adopt the latest trend, and in 2014, virtual reality was it. However, it's easy to jump on the VR bandwagon. What made Samsung stand out, is the fact that the Samsung Gear VR isn't just a VR headset - it's part of the ecosystem that allows smartphones to be integrated with virtual reality.
Verdict: in 10 years, we'll all be jacked into the Matrix, courtesy of Samsung. Sans the apocalyptic world and machines, hopefully.
Bonus: the future Samsung smart home
It’s almost 2015, and the McFly’s smart home is still nowhere in sight. Or is it? This concept smart home by Samsung, which even scans and recommends how you cook your food, shows that it’s not impossible for your house to turn against, we mean, work for you.
Verdict: Samsung, if you’re reading this, get cracking, we’d like to live in one. If the price is right.