Samsung Galaxy S series ranked from worst to best

Samsung’s Galaxy S series made its debut on June 4, 2010, and since then it’s develop into the cellphone line most individuals consider when Android is talked about.

Not all telephones are created equal although, so to mark a decade of Galaxy S gadgets we thought it might be a enjoyable concept to rank every technology so as from worst to best. We tried to steadiness the essential and business reception with the precise significance of every cellphone(s), the options and specs on supply, and our personal intestine emotions. We’ve additionally determined to solely stick to the mainline releases, so which means no entries just like the Galaxy S20 FE and Galaxy S4 Zoom.

Related: Best Samsung Galaxy deals

It goes with out saying that that is all for a little bit of enjoyable, your opinions could fluctuate! It’s additionally price remembering that many of those telephones are among the many best the smartphone world has ever seen — being the worst of the very best continues to be fairly nice. With all that mentioned, make sure to vote on your favourite Galaxy S series within the ballot under and provides us your personal rankings within the feedback!

For a extra detailed take a look at the historical past of Galaxy S telephones, make sure to learn our retrospective here.

12. Samsung Galaxy S6

2015’s Galaxy S6 was a notable launch for a few causes. It marked the vary’s first foray into the glass design territory popularized by the iPhone. It additionally noticed Samsung match Apple when it comes to pricing technique, having usually been cheaper than the iPhone till this level. But the Galaxy S6 takes the wood spoon in our rankings as a result of it minimize or compromised so many options seen on the Galaxy S5 so as to obtain this design. That meant no IP score, no detachable battery, no microSD help, and a a lot smaller battery.

The good

  • Premium design
  • Exynos 7420 chipset was a beast
  • Great digicam
  • Fingerprint reader that wasn’t horrible
  • Native wi-fi charging (no particular case required)

The unhealthy

  • Tiny battery
  • No IP score
  • No microSD enlargement or detachable battery

11. Samsung Galaxy S

Samsung Galaxy S Original

The cellphone that began all of it, the Samsung Galaxy S (or Galaxy S1) appears laughable now while you take a look at the specs. A 1Ghz single-core chipset, 512MB of RAM, a 4-inch 480 x 800 display. But this was just about pretty much as good because it bought within the early days of Android, and it actually was early. The greatest downsides had been the uninspired design, gaudy software program, and lack of a digicam flash.

The good

  • Great browser again when Chrome wasn’t on cell
  • As good because it bought when it comes to core specs

The unhealthy

  • No digicam flash
  • Battery life wasn’t implausible
  • Dull design

10. Samsung Galaxy S2

The Samsung Galaxy S2.

Between the early nature of Android on the time and a basic lack of polish, the Samsung Galaxy S1 fell simply shy of greatness. Samsung’s second try in 2011, however, delivered one of many best Android telephones to date. The Galaxy S2 supplied a sturdy design, detachable battery, an OLED display, and brisk internals. An completed, vital step in Samsung’s ascent to the highest of the Android world, the one purpose it isn’t greater on this record is that Samsung US and its community companions created so many variants (Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, anybody?) that discovering a real Galaxy S2 (the GT-I9100) was an virtually Sisyphean activity.

The good

  • Rear digicam might compete with iPhone lineup
  • 2MP selfie digicam when VGA or 1.3MP was the norm
  • Wide number of video codecs
  • OLED display was fairly nifty

The unhealthy

  • Mediocre battery life
  • A ton of variants that created market confusion

9. Samsung Galaxy S4

The Galaxy S4 wasn’t simply Samsung’s hottest Galaxy S series cellphone, it’s additionally the best selling Android phone of all time. But it additionally felt just like the second the place Samsung jumped the shark. The major offender right here was TouchWiz, as Samsung usher in a ton of bloatware and took an “everything and the kitchen sink as well” strategy to its personal software program additions. Do you actually need web page scrolling by way of a head tilt? Or the power to create a 5.1 encompass sound system with six telephones? That’s not to say that it didn’t have any fascinating software program additions, like “bothies” (sure, means earlier than Nokia) and Drama Shot, however be trustworthy, did you ever use even these novel options greater than as soon as?

The good

  • Removable battery with microSD card slot
  • Good daytime image high quality
  • Great show

The unhealthy

  • Bloated Android pores and skin with many gimmicky options
  • Basically Galaxy S3.1 when it comes to design
  • Low-light picture high quality paled as compared to HTC One

8. Samsung Galaxy S20

samsung galaxy s20 plus review display in hand 2

It looks like for each couple of positives in regards to the Galaxy S20 series, there’s a adverse. You’re getting a ton of options typically, spectacular hybrid zoom (and periscope zoom on the Ultra), a stunning 120Hz OLED display, 5G, good battery life, and 8K recording. But you’re additionally getting a hefty price ticket (from $1,000 to $1,400), gimmicky 100x Space Zoom, no proper telephoto camera on the S20 or S20 Plus, and a tackle One UI that’s beginning to undergo from characteristic creep like Samsung skins of previous. This can be the primary Samsung Galaxy S series that utterly ditched the headphone jack. Boo. Nevertheless, these are nonetheless among the best premium phones of 2020, and are worthy entries in Samsung’s ongoing smartphone dynasty.

The good

  • Class-leading screens
  • 8K recording with the power to extract 33MP frames
  • 120Hz refresh charge
  • Versatile cameras
  • Good battery life

The unhealthy

  • Disappointingly costly pricing
  • Big efficiency hole between Snapdragon and Exynos variants
  • Zoom capabilities had been overstated
  • No 3.5mm port
  • No Galaxy S20e

7. Samsung Galaxy S21

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Galaxy S21 Plus backs

Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung’s 2021 flagships go a great distance in the direction of fixing the place the S20 series went flawed, however there are a number of main missteps too. The Galaxy S21 series is $200 cheaper throughout the board, beginning at $800 for the base S21 all the way in which to $1,200 for the S21 Ultra. The Ultra mannequin is the star of the present right here although, that includes two zoom-focused cameras (3X and 10X), S-Pen help, and a major digicam that doesn’t undergo from main autofocus points just like the S20 Ultra. The series does have a number of downsides, because the S21 has a plastic again whereas the S21 and S21 Plus each lack QHD+ screens. All three telephones additionally ditch the in-box charger, microSD enlargement, and don’t help ultra-fast charging. Still, the value drop mixed with an upgraded Ultra mannequin appears to have resulted in huge initial sales growth within the US.

The good

  • Good screens with excessive refresh charge
  • Great image/video high quality
  • Cheaper than S20 series
  • Two zoom cameras on Ultra mannequin
  • S-Pen help for S21 Ultra
  • Exynos chipset narrows hole to Snapdragon SoC

The unhealthy

  • No microSD card slot
  • S21 and S21 Plus ditch QHD+ screens
  • No in-box charger
  • Plastic again for Galaxy S21
  • S21 and S21 Plus don’t see digicam/charging/battery modifications over final yr

6. Samsung Galaxy S9

Galaxy S9 Plus Front shot of home screen

The Galaxy S9 was primarily the Galaxy S8.1, which in flip shared some DNA with the Galaxy S7. It featured an identical glass design to the Galaxy S8, with a lot of inner specs staying the identical too. The Galaxy S series bought a dual-camera setup for the primary time, however this was restricted to the Galaxy S9 Plus. Other upgrades embody native 960fps slow-motion recording, dual-aperture major cameras, and AR Emoji. The telephones usually took a comparatively secure strategy at a time when rival Huawei dropped the revolutionary P20 Pro, and we noticed loads of extra reasonably priced flagships too. If we had been simply taking into consideration the Plus mannequin, it’d rank above its direct predecessor, however as it’s, the Galaxy S9 sits in a good place within the sixth spot.

The good

  • Super slow-mo could possibly be cool
  • Fingerprint reader was in a extra handy location
  • Holy trifecta of a 3.5mm port, IP68, and wi-fi charging

The unhealthy

  • Standard Galaxy S9 was gimped (no secondary rear digicam, much less RAM)
  • Design was an evolution of S8, which wasn’t an enormous change over S7
  • Battery measurement didn’t see a rise over S8 series both
  • Dual aperture characteristic was fascinating, however an evolutionary dead-end

5. Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8 was the primary with Bluetooth 5.0, sort of.

2017 noticed the overwhelming majority of telephones adopting an 18:9 display ratio or greater. The Galaxy S8 household was no exception. It delivered loads extra attractive OLED display whereas nonetheless feeling simple to maintain. Samsung’s early 2017 flagships additionally noticed the debut of quite a lot of options, resembling DeX, the Bixby voice assistant, the much-maligned Bixby button, and an iris scanner that wasn’t as horrible as many thought it was going to be. The similar can’t be mentioned of the rear fingerprint scanner, nevertheless. How did anybody assume that sticking it subsequent to the digicam was a good suggestion? Nevertheless, after a tough few months following the exploding Note 7 debacle, the Galaxy S8 series was a well timed reminder that Samsung was nonetheless the highest canine.

The good

  • Improved photograph high quality due to multi-frame picture processing
  • Fantastic design
  • DeX genuinely introduced a PC-like expertise to the desk
  • 3D Touch residence button was an incredible alternative for a bodily button

The unhealthy

  • No twin cameras when rivals had it for a yr
  • Bixby button couldn’t be remapped at first
  • Fingerprint scanner location was terrible
  • Average battery life

4. Samsung Galaxy S3

The Galaxy S/Galaxy S1 could have began the series and the Galaxy S2 could have proven us that Samsung’s digicam staff might compete with Apple, however the Galaxy S3 was the excessive level for the agency’s first few flagships. The Galaxy S3 delivered an fascinating plastic design, a retooled, nature-themed TouchWiz UI with a number of neat options (Smart Stay to preserve the display on, a popup video participant), and speedy internals. Taken collectively, you had the vary’s first actual iPhone killer when it comes to each gross sales and general high quality.

The good

  • Powerful internals
  • Removable battery and microSD help
  • Great digicam
  • Some helpful software program additions

The unhealthy

  • TouchWiz UX not as clean as many different Android skins
  • Plastic design didn’t really feel as premium as steel or glass

3. Samsung Galaxy S10

samsung galaxy s10e software display android pie

2019’s Galaxy S10 household had one thing for everybody, from the extra reasonably priced Galaxy S10e to the Galaxy S10 Plus with all of the bells and whistles, and even a souped-up 5G model. This something-for-everyone strategy resulted in among the best Galaxy flagships ever. It additionally marked the primary yr of Samsung providing a number of cameras on all gadgets, a long-overdue transfer when the likes of LG, Huawei, and Xiaomi had twin cameras or extra for a few years already. Toss in slick punch-hole designs, the debut of the One UI pores and skin, and lovely OLED screens, and there was lots to like right here.

The good

  • Flexible digicam setups on all fashions
  • Class-leading OLED screens
  • The Galaxy S10e with its nice specs and value
  • Last Galaxy flagships with headphone jacks
  • IP68 score and wi-fi charging

The unhealthy

  • Cameras good however not nice (particularly at night time)
  • 15W charging is sluggish in contrast to most rivals
  • In-display fingerprint scanner was hit-and-miss

2. Samsung Galaxy S5

Was 2014 the best ever year for smartphones? If it’s, then some credit score has to go to the Galaxy S5, which noticed Samsung bringing its A sport. The Galaxy S5 was the primary mainline Galaxy flagship with water resistance, nevertheless it didn’t come on the expense of a detachable battery or microSD help. This was additionally one of many first Samsung telephones with 4K recording (following the Galaxy Note 3). Furthermore, the cellphone’s real-time HDR functionality was an incredible addition at a time when HDR pictures on most telephones was nonetheless a sluggish, blurry mess. The solely large disappointment was the swipe-based fingerprint scanner, which paled as compared to the iPhone 5S’s touch-based scanner. A beloved phone that simply misses out on the highest spot by a hair.

The good

  • Water resistance
  • Removable battery and microSD help
  • Great picture high quality with real-time HDR

The unhealthy

  • Swipe-based fingerprint scanner wasn’t as intuitive as touch-based scanners
  • MicroUSB port requires a plastic flap to seal in opposition to water harm

1. Samsung Galaxy S7

The best Galaxy S series of all-time addressed the entire Galaxy S6 series’ evident points, and boy did it repair lots. Bigger batteries? Check. Water resistance? Yep. MicroSD enlargement? Indeed. Otherwise, the Galaxy S7 series additionally delivered a equally succesful 12MP major digicam, 240fps slow-mo (matching the iPhone), and speedy internals. A top seller and a textbook case of significant evolution and never simply iteration for iteration’s sake, the Galaxy S7 additionally served because the antithesis of the iPhone vary on the time. All hail the Galaxy S7.

The good

  • Water resistant design
  • Wireless charging
  • MicroSD enlargement
  • Great photograph/video high quality

The unhealthy

  • Glass design simply attracts fingerprints
  • MicroUSB when main rivals switched to USB-C

That’s it for our Samsung Galaxy S series rankings! Do you agree with the order? Let us know down under.

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