Samsung Galaxy S series ranked from worst to best – Android Authority

Samsung’s Galaxy S series made its debut on June 4, 2010, and since then it’s grow to be 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 units we thought it might be a enjoyable thought to rank every era so as from worst to best. We tried to stability the vital and business reception with the precise significance of every cellphone(s), the options and specs on provide, 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.

Associated: Best Samsung Galaxy offers

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 remains to be fairly nice. With all that mentioned, make certain to vote on your favourite Galaxy S series within the ballot beneath and provides us your individual rankings within the feedback!

For a extra detailed take a look at the historical past of Galaxy S telephones, make certain to learn our retrospective right 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 typically been cheaper than the iPhone till this level. However the Galaxy S6 takes the wood spoon in our rankings as a result of it lower 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 great

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

The dangerous

  • Tiny battery
  • No IP score
  • No microSD growth 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 screen. However this was just about pretty much as good because it obtained within the early days of Android, and it actually was early. The largest downsides had been the uninspired design, gaudy software program, and lack of a digital camera flash.

The great

  • Nice browser again when Chrome wasn’t on cellular
  • Pretty much as good because it obtained when it comes to core specs

The dangerous

  • No digital camera flash
  • Battery life wasn’t implausible
  • Uninteresting design

10. Samsung Galaxy S2

The Samsung Galaxy S2.

Between the early nature of Android on the time and a normal 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 screen, and brisk internals. An completed, vital step in Samsung’s ascent to the highest of the Android world, the one purpose it isn’t increased on this checklist is that Samsung US and its community companions created so many variants (Samsung Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Contact, anybody?) that discovering a real Galaxy S2 (the GT-I9100) was an virtually Sisyphean process.

The great

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

The dangerous

  • 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 promoting Android cellphone of all time. Nevertheless it additionally felt just like the second the place Samsung jumped the shark. The primary perpetrator right here was TouchWiz, as Samsung usher in a ton of bloatware and took an “every little thing and the kitchen sink as properly” strategy to its personal software program additions. Do you really want web page scrolling through 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 attention-grabbing software program additions, like “bothies” (sure, approach earlier than Nokia) and Drama Shot, however be trustworthy, did you ever use even these novel options greater than as soon as?

The great

  • Detachable battery with microSD card slot
  • Good daytime image high quality
  • Nice show

The dangerous

  • Bloated Android pores and skin with many gimmicky options
  • Mainly Galaxy S3.1 when it comes to design
  • Low-gentle picture high quality paled 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 concerning the Galaxy S20 series, there’s a destructive. You’re getting a ton of options generally, spectacular hybrid zoom (and periscope zoom on the Extremely), a beautiful 120Hz OLED display screen, 5G, good battery life, and 8K recording. However you’re additionally getting a hefty price ticket (from $1,000 to $1,400), gimmicky 100x House Zoom, no correct telephoto digital camera on the S20 or S20 Plus, and a tackle One UI that’s beginning to endure from characteristic creep like Samsung skins of previous. That is additionally the primary Samsung Galaxy S series that fully ditched the headphone jack. Boo. Nonetheless, these are nonetheless a number of the best premium telephones of 2020, and are worthy entries in Samsung’s ongoing smartphone dynasty.

The great

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

The dangerous

  • Disappointingly costly pricing
  • Large 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 good distance in the direction of fixing the place the S20 series went improper, however there are a couple of main missteps too. The Galaxy S21 series is $200 cheaper throughout the board, beginning at $800 for the bottom S21 all the way in which to $1,200 for the S21 Extremely. The Extremely mannequin is the star of the present right here although, that includes two zoom-centered cameras (3X and 10X), S-Pen help, and a primary digital camera that doesn’t endure from main autofocus points just like the S20 Extremely. The series does have a couple 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-field charger, microSD growth, and don’t help extremely-quick charging. Nonetheless, the value drop mixed with an upgraded Extremely mannequin appears to have resulted in large preliminary gross sales development within the US.

The great

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

The dangerous

  • No microSD card slot
  • S21 and S21 Plus ditch QHD+ screens
  • No in-field charger
  • Plastic again for Galaxy S21
  • S21 and S21 Plus don’t see digital camera/charging/battery adjustments over final 12 months

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 obtained a twin-digital camera setup for the primary time, however this was restricted to the Galaxy S9 Plus. Different upgrades embrace native 960fps gradual-movement recording, twin-aperture primary cameras, and AR Emoji. The telephones typically took a comparatively secure strategy at a time when rival Huawei dropped the revolutionary P20 Professional, 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 great

  • Tremendous gradual-mo might be cool
  • Fingerprint reader was in a extra handy location
  • Holy trifecta of a 3.5mm port, IP68, and wi-fi charging

The dangerous

  • Commonplace Galaxy S9 was gimped (no secondary rear digital camera, 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
  • Twin aperture characteristic was attention-grabbing, however an evolutionary useless-finish

5. Samsung Galaxy S8

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

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

The great

  • Improved picture high quality due to multi-body picture processing
  • Incredible design
  • DeX genuinely introduced a PC-like expertise to the desk
  • 3D Contact dwelling button was an awesome substitute for a bodily button

The dangerous

  • No twin cameras when rivals had it for a 12 months
  • Bixby button couldn’t be remapped at first
  • Fingerprint scanner location was terrible
  • Common 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 digital camera group might compete with Apple, however the Galaxy S3 was the excessive level for the agency’s first few flagships. The Galaxy S3 delivered an attention-grabbing plastic design, a retooled, nature-themed TouchWiz UI with a couple of neat options (Good Keep to maintain the display screen 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 great

  • Highly effective internals
  • Detachable battery and microSD help
  • Nice digital camera
  • Some helpful software program additions

The dangerous

  • TouchWiz UX not as easy as many different Android skins
  • Plastic design didn’t really feel as premium as metallic 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 mannequin. This one thing-for-everybody strategy resulted in a number of the best Galaxy flagships ever. It additionally marked the primary 12 months of Samsung providing a number of cameras on all units, a protracted-overdue transfer when the likes of LG, Huawei, and Xiaomi had twin cameras or extra for a few years already. Toss in slick punch-gap designs, the debut of the One UI pores and skin, and beautiful OLED screens, and there was quite a bit to like right here.

The great

  • Versatile digital camera setups on all fashions
  • Class-main OLED screens
  • The Galaxy S10e with its nice specs and value
  • Final Galaxy flagships with headphone jacks
  • IP68 score and wi-fi charging

The dangerous

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

2. Samsung Galaxy S5

Was 2014 the best ever 12 months for smartphones? Whether it is, then some credit score has to go to the Galaxy S5, which noticed Samsung bringing its A recreation. The Galaxy S5 was the primary mainline Galaxy flagship with water resistance, but it surely 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 Notice 3). Moreover, the cellphone’s actual-time HDR functionality was an awesome addition at a time when HDR pictures on most telephones was nonetheless a gradual, blurry mess. The one huge disappointment was the swipe-primarily based fingerprint scanner, which paled compared to the iPhone 5S’s contact-primarily based scanner. A beloved cellphone that simply misses out on the highest spot by a hair.

The great

  • Water resistance
  • Detachable battery and microSD help
  • Nice picture high quality with actual-time HDR

The dangerous

  • Swipe-primarily based fingerprint scanner wasn’t as intuitive as contact-primarily based scanners
  • MicroUSB port requires a plastic flap to seal towards water injury

1. Samsung Galaxy S7

The best Galaxy S series of all-time addressed the entire Galaxy S6 series’ obtrusive points, and boy did it repair quite a bit. Larger batteries? Examine. Water resistance? Yep. MicroSD growth? Certainly. In any other case, the Galaxy S7 series additionally delivered a equally succesful 12MP primary digital camera, 240fps gradual-mo (matching the iPhone), and speedy internals. A high vendor 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 great

  • Water-resistant design
  • Wi-fi charging
  • MicroSD growth
  • Nice picture/video high quality

The dangerous

  • 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? Tell us down beneath.

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