Since not all phones are made identical we felt it would be interesting to rank each generation of Galaxy S devices to commemorate a decade of Galaxy S devices. We attempted to strike a balance between critical and commercial feedback and the actual relevance of each phone, the features and specifications on offer, and our own gut reactions. We’ve also determined to only include mainstream releases, so the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S4 Zoom aren’t included. So, let’s spotlight the Samsung Galaxy S series list.
1. Samsung Galaxy S7
The best Galaxy S series of all time tackled all of the Galaxy S6’s major flaws, and it fixed a lot of them. More powerful batteries? Is there any resistance to water? Yes, it is correct. Is it possible to expand your microSD card? Yes, indeed. Aside from that, the Galaxy S7 series has a decent 12MP main camera, 240fps slow-mo, and quick internals. The Galaxy S7 was a best-seller and a textbook example of significant progression rather than iteration for the sake of iteration. It was also the antithesis of Apple’s iPhone line at the time. The Galaxy S7 is to be praised.
2. Samsung Galaxy S5
Was 2014 the best year for smartphones in history? If that’s the case, admiration must go to Samsung for bringing its “A” game to the Galaxy S5. The Galaxy S5 was the first Galaxy flagship to provide water resistance, but it did so without sacrificing a detachable battery or microSD support. This was also one of Samsung’s first phones to support 4K recording. Additionally, on the part of Samsung Galaxy S series comparison, the phone’s real-time HDR functionality was a welcome feature at a time when most phones’ HDR photography was still a sluggish, blurry mess.
3. Samsung Galaxy S10
Our Samsung Galaxy S series list encompasses Galaxy S10 here; from the cheaper Galaxy S10e to the Galaxy S10 Plus with all the bells and whistles, and even a beefed-up 5G version, the Galaxy S10 family offers something for everyone in 2019. This strategy of providing something for everyone evolved in some of the best Galaxy flagships ever. It was also the first year that Samsung offered multiple cameras on all of its devices, a long overdue step given that LG, Huawei, and Xiaomi had all had dual cameras or more for several years. There was a lot to enjoy here, with elegant punch-hole designs, the debut of the One UI skin, and magnificent OLED panels.
4. Samsung Galaxy S3
Although the Galaxy S/Galaxy S1 launched the series and the Galaxy S2 demonstrated that Samsung’s camera team could contend with Apple, the Galaxy S3 was the pinnacle of the company’s first several flagships. The Galaxy S3 pertaining to the Samsung Galaxy S series evolution has a unique plastic body, a redesigned, nature-themed TouchWiz UI with a few useful features and fast internals. When you put it all together, you got the first true iPhone killer in terms of both sales and general quality in the range.
5. Samsung Galaxy S8
Here, the Samsung Galaxy S range leads us to Galaxy S8. In 2017, the large bulk of phones had a screen ratio of 18:9 or greater. This was not the case with the Galaxy S8 series. It provided a larger, more beautiful OLED screen while being comfortable to handle. Samsung’s early 2017 flagships also saw the introduction of a number of features, including DeX, the Bixby voice assistant, the much-maligned Bixby button, and an iris scanner that wasn’t as bad as many expected. Nevertheless, the same cannot be true about the fingerprint scanner on the back.
6. Samsung Galaxy S9
The Galaxy S9 maintains it conspicuous position among the Samsung Galaxy S series list and was effectively the Galaxy S8.1, which linked DNA with the Galaxy S7 in certain ways. It had a comparable glass design to the Galaxy S8, as well as many of the same internal specifications. For the first time, the Galaxy S series received a dual-camera configuration, albeit only on the Galaxy S9 Plus. Native 960fps slow-motion recording, dual-aperture primary cameras, and AR Emoji are among the other enhancements. At a time when competitor Huawei released the revolutionary P20 Pro, the phones opted for a more conservative approach, and we saw lots of more cheap flagships as well.
7. Samsung Galaxy S21
Moving ahead, the Samsung Galaxy S series list includes Galaxy S21 here. Samsung’s 2021 flagships really go long way toward correcting the flaws of the S20 series, but there are still a few serious flaws. Starting at $800 for the base S21 and going up to $1,200 for the S21 Ultra, the Galaxy S21 series is $200 less expensive. The Ultra variant, on the other hand, is the star of the show, with two zoom-focused cameras (3X and 10X), S-Pen compatibility, and a main camera that, unlike the S20 Ultra, is free of serious focusing difficulties. The S21 has a plastic back, and the S21 and S21 Plus also lack QHD+ screens.
8. Samsung Galaxy S20
There seems to be a downside for every handful of pros of the Galaxy S20 series. In general, you’ll receive a lot of features, like excellent hybrid zoom (including periscope zoom on the Ultra), a beautiful 120Hz OLED screen, 5G, long battery life, and 8K filming. However, you’ll pay a high price (ranging from $1,000 to $1,400), receive a gimmicky 100x Space Zoom, no genuine telephoto camera on the S20 or S20 Plus, and a version of One UI that’s starting to suffer from feature creep like earlier Samsung skins. While we are concerned with the Samsung Galaxy S series ranking, it is worth-mentioning that S20 is also the first Galaxy S device to be released without a headphone port.
9. Samsung Galaxy S4
When it comes to the Samsung Galaxy S series evolution, not only was the Galaxy S4 the most popular phone in the Galaxy S series, but it was also the best-selling Android phone of all time. However, it appeared as if Samsung had jumped the shark. TouchWiz was the biggest culprit here, as Samsung crammed in a tone of bloatware and applied an “everything and the kitchen sink as well” approach to its own software updates. Is it really necessary to scroll pages with a head tilt? Or the capacity to use six phones to create a 5.1 surround sound system? That’s not to say it didn’t have some cool software features like “bothies” and Drama Shot.
10. Samsung Galaxy S2
The Samsung Galaxy S1 fell just short of excellence due to the early nature of Android at the time and a general lack of refinement. On the other side, Samsung’s second attempt in 2011 produced one of the best Android phones to date. The Galaxy S2 had a solid design, a changeable battery, an OLED display, and quick internals. The only explanation it isn’t on Samsung Galaxy S series list is that Samsung US and its network partners released so many versions (Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, anyone?) that getting a true Galaxy S2 (the GT-I9100) was a near-Sisyphean process.