The history of the Galaxy: how Samsung's superphone has evolved over the past seven years

A look back at Samsung's Galaxy evolution, from S to S8

Can you remember anything notable that happened in 2010? We had to resort to Wikipedia ourselves, which is how we discovered that it was the year the Burj Khalifa officially opened - and it only took Tom Cruise another year to jump off it.

2010 also saw the launch of Samsung's first S series phone, the Galaxy S. We've moved on a lot in seven years (mostly by gaining weight and losing hair), but Samsung's smartphone champions have done just the opposite - getting sleeker, thinner, sexier, and more powerful.

With the Samsung Galaxy S8 currently ruling the smartphone world and the Galaxy Note 8 just around the corner, we thought we'd take a stroll down memory lane, looking back at all the handsets that made Samsung the smartphone giant it is today.

Additional words by Andrew Hayward

Samsung Galaxy S - 2010

The Galaxy S is the handset that kick-started Samsung's journey along the path to world smartphone domination. Announced in March 2010 and released in June, it packed in some of the most impressive specs available at the time. Its 1GHz ARM Hummingbird processor coupled with 512MB RAM and the most powerful graphics processing of any smartphone made it a spec-fiend's number one choice.

At 9.9mm thin (positively obese by today's standards), it was also the thinnest smartphone in the world, with a 5MP camera and 0.3MP selfie cam to boot. While its 4in 800 x 400 display sounds archaic by today's standards, it was still a Super AMOLED affair, making the Apple iPhone 4's screen look positively washed out in comparison.

Oh, and let's all take a moment to appreciate how horrible TouchWiz 3.0 looks skinned over Android Eclair. Shudder.

Samsung Galaxy SII - 2011

This is it folks. This is the handset that really put Samsung on the map. The 8.49mm-thin Galaxy SII received rave reviews, with many critics labelling it the best smartphone in the world, evs.

The Galaxy SII helped push Samsung ahead of Apple in smartphone sales, and it deserved the praise. Its superb Super AMOLED Plus screen was miles ahead of the competition, as Samsung ditched the Pentile matrix for a regular RGB matrix display. In English, that means that it was even sharper than the Original Galaxy S's screen, while maintaing its true blacks and rich colours.

It was also the most powerful phone in the world at the time, beating out the likes of the Motorola Atrix with its dual-core ARM Cortex-A9 processor and 1GB of RAM, along with up to 32GB of internal storage and expandable memory support - all of which helped to run Android 2.3 Gingerbread.

An 8MP rear camera (with 1080p video recording) and a 2MP front-facing snapper rounded off the rest off the impressive spec sheet, while NFC - a real rarity back then - and MHL support for multimedia playback finished off the mighty feature list.

Samsung Galaxy S III - 2012

The Galaxy SIII is where it all went horribly wrong for Samsung. Wait, did we say "horribly wrong"? We meant to say "incredibly well". Like, really, massively, unbelievably well.

The quad-core beast was once again the most powerful handset in the world at the time of its release, and its 1080p screen was a joy to behold. Samsung packed more bells and whistles into TouchWiz than a hoarder at a... bell and whistle factory.

The usefulness of some of these features, such as screen-on eye-tracking and picture in picture (PIP), were debatable, but the very fact it could do so much without stuttering was testament to the incredible hardware beneath its glossy plastic shell.

No, the SIII wasn't as pretty as its iPhone 4s rival, but that didn't stop it from outselling Apple's poster child. Throw in an impressive 8MP camera and 8.5 hours of non-stop video playback, and it's clear to see why the Galaxy SIII jumped straight to the top of Stuff's Top 10 smartphone list.

1
2
3