When thinking of Android, the Samsung S Series is often spoken about in the same breath. Years of built-up expertise in the smartphone market have led to a range of devices that represent the most appealing elements of Android: great performance and freedom to use the phone however you want.
We have compiled our expertise in the mobile space to highlight the best of the Samsung S Series, looking at the history of the range, the top phones across the years and which devices excel in dedicated areas, such as photography.
What is the Samsung S Series?
The Samsung S Series began in June 2010 with the launch of the original Galaxy S. Whilst it was not the first phone developed and released by Samsung, it did mark a significant change in their design philosophy, with the company going all-in on the slate-format of phone pioneered by Apple. The industry was shifting, phones were becoming 'smart’ instead of just being used as a way to communicate.
It was a huge success. With around 24 million sales as of January 2013, the Galaxy S Series paved the way for future sub-series, such as the Note and Advance. By catering to as wide an audience as possible with their phones, and continuing to sell large numbers as a result, Samsung cemented themselves as a go-to name in the Android mobile space.
Timeline of the Samsung S Series
Released 4th June 2010
Where it all started. Included a 4” Super AMOLED display and the powerful Samsung Exynos 3 processor.
Released 2nd May 2011
The successor maintained the first model’s momentum with an increase in screen size, and an improved processor.
Released 29th May 2012
Wireless charging made its way to Galaxy phones for the first time with the S3.
Released 27th April 2013
The Galaxy S4 introduced a 1080p Full HD display to Galaxy phones, alongside a considerable number of new camera features that made it a great phone choice for photographers.
Released 11th April 2014
Health and security were two of the main focuses for the S5, which included a heart rate monitor, fingerprint scanner, IP67 water resistance and USB 3.0.
Released 10th April 2015
Samsung launched the Galaxy S6 as an expanded range, with the S6 Edge and S6 Edge +. These additional models gave customers more options when deciding on a phone by catering to a particular usage, such as those who wanted a wrap-around display or a larger screen size.
Released 11th March 2016
An always-on display debuted with the Galaxy S7, as did improvements to the camera with the ‘Dual Pixel’ autofocusing feature. Water resistance also returned, having been removed from previous models.
Released 21st April 2017
The new iris scanner made it easier for users to secure their Galaxy S8 phone. Bixby also arrived on the scene, replacing S Voice as the S Series’ virtual assistant.
Released 16th March 2018
On the Galaxy S9, the fingerprint scanner moved beneath the rear camera for easier access, and an extra speaker was added for improved stereo sound when playing music, videos or games.
Released 4th March 2019
Four model options were available at launch for the Galaxy S10: the base model, S10e, S10+ and S10 5G, making it the first Galaxy range to feature this number of variations.
The S10 range introduced an ultrasonic fingerprint scanner within the screen, 5G (in the 5G model only) and the One UI version of Android 9 Pie.
Released 6th March 2020
Samsung continued to release four model options, this time with the Galaxy S20 range. 5G wireless connectivity was included on all phones in the range, including 8K video recording.
Released 14th January 2021
The Galaxy S21 incorporated features previously exclusive to the Note series of phones, such as support for the S-Pen stylus, following the Note’s discontinuation.
25th February 2022
Much of what worked in the S21 made its way to the S22, S22+ and S22 Ultra. The number of models was refined to three and Samsung updated the physical design with an Armor Aluminium frame and Gorilla Glass Victus+ screen.
Which Galaxy phone has the best camera?
The Samsung S Series includes phones with outstanding cameras and are therefore fantastic options for on-the-move photographers. We have brought together the best choices to help you decide on the ideal Galaxy camera phone for you.
How do I choose the best Galaxy phone for me?
When you are looking for a Galaxy phone that has exactly what you need, check out our detailed breakdown of the top devices in the Galaxy series and what they excel at.