The Evolution of Samsung Phones – The History of The Galaxy S and Galaxy Note Series

In March of 2020, Samsung released the Galaxy S20, and those who have used it can agree that this phone has a killer camera. Apart from retaining some features of the S10+ model, the S20 model features numerous high-quality upgrades for content creators – from 8k video capability to improved megapixel counts across all lenses.

Samsung Galaxy S20

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is just a confirmation that Samsung is an innovative company that provides exceptionally functional and advanced mobile phones for its users. But has this always been true? Let’s take a walk back through Samsung’s history of making cell phones.

The First Samsung Phone Models – The SGH, The SGH-200, & The SGH-600

evolution of samsung phones
From Wikimedia

The first-ever mobile phone by Samsung was the SGH-100 model, which was released in 1988 solely in Korea. You should, however, not confuse this as the introduction of Samsung as the company’s history goes back to 1938.  The next model, the SGH-200, entered Europe but stopped there. Its successor, the SGH-600, however, put Samsung on the worldwide scene in 1998.

These SGH models were known for their crazy battery life, but they didn’t elevate Samsung to the level it’s at today. So, what did?

Samsung Galaxy – The Ground Breaking Models

evolution of samsung galaxy phones

The smartphone that announced Samsung to the world in 2010 as a quality producer of mobile phones was the Samsung Galaxy. Before showing you how the Galaxy smartphones evolved, it’s necessary to remind you that Samsung has two major Galaxy models; Galaxy Note and the Galaxy S. At the moment, not many people understand the difference between the two models because the names are so similar.

The S series, which is the most famous, includes Galaxy (+ versions exist for specific models):

  • S
  • S2
  • S3
  • S4
  • S5
  • S6
  • S7
  • S8
  • S9
  • S10
  • S20

The Note series includes Galaxy:

  • Note
  • Note 2
  • Note 3
  • Note 4
  • Note Edge
  • Note 5
  • Note 7
  • Note 8
  • Note 9
  • Note 10
  • Note 20

There is talk of the release of the Samsung Note 20 sometime this summer. The main improvements noted over the Note 10 include improved battery life, usability, and workflow.

The main difference between the Galaxy and Note offerings are in the display, storage size, camera quality, and the S pen. Also, the S series tend to be less expensive and more intuitive and, therefore, more popular among most Samsung devotees. All the models are, however, known for the Samsung smart camera, which beats other models in the market place.

The Evolution of the Samsung Galaxy Note Series

The most noteworthy difference between the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note series is the stylus, though the larger size of the device is appealing too. If you’re looking for a smartphone-tablet-hybrid, then the Samsung Galaxy Note series is for you.

Samsung Galaxy Note

evolution of samsung phones

The Samsung Galaxy note entered the market during a time when people preferred small phones to big ones. Samsung fixed this misconception with the birth of the Samsung Galaxy Note. Its large size and performance wooed people into accepting this new phone, and within no time, it was the talk of the town – everyone wanted to own this phone. The Note Phablet also came with a stylus that allowed its users to take notes.

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

Like the innovative company it is, Samsung did not rest with the first Note model but continued to the next model, Galaxy Note 2. It was better, had a larger display with improved battery, RAM, and processor. The S pen was more evolved in this model with a cursor like functionality added to its purpose.

Samsung Galaxy Note 3

Next was Samsung Note 3, and as usual, the phone came with more improvements. This time, Samsung focused on the hardware. The new experience with the smartphone camera started with this model as it came with a 13-megapixel camera, an improvement over the Note 2’s 8-megapixels. The screen size also increased to 5.7 inches. The new infrared blaster allowed its users to send commands to other devices.

Samsung Galaxy Note 4

The introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in 2014 came with a more aesthetically pleasing phone. The new metal frame feature attracted users who were keen on the cell phone’s design. Its screen resolution was also something to write home about, especially at a time when Apple boasted about its iPhone 5C and S models. With a QHD resolution and the fingerprint sensor on the home button, the new design gave Samsung lovers a reason to upgrade. Most of those on the fence between Apple and Android jumped into the Samsung world with this model. It was, until recently, known as the best of the Note Series.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

evolution of samsung phones

When Samsung released Note 4, they also released Note Edge. This one was very similar to Note 4 but featured a curved display screen. However, the attempt at a luxury display screen wasn’t very well received. The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was much more popular. The phone did, though, come with an improved organization for apps but didn’t improve on the camera. Because of the new features, Samsung upped the prices for the Note Edge in comparison to the Note 4. It was not worth the extra cash.

Samsung Galaxy Note 5

After the Note 4 and the Note Edge fiasco, one would think that Samsung might relax with over-saturation. So, with the release of Note 5, everyone was waiting to see what Samsung would release. During the fall of 2015, release Note 5, and like all other new models, it came with some innovative changes. Samsung made aesthetic changes with a new lustrous predominately metal and glass construction. These surface changes were enough to get old as well as new customers on board. The fingerprint sensor was also improved – including more advanced technology and a more responsive user face. When it comes to the Note, you can’t overlook the S pen. With the Note 5, the S pen introduced the auto-eject mechanism. Once users ejected the S pen, they could write on a note immediately without needed to open any apps.

Samsung Galaxy Note 7

As people were enthusiastically waiting for Samsung Note 6, Samsung surprised them by releasing the Galaxy Note 7, skipping the Galaxy Note 6 people expected. Their reasoning was to keep the Note Series in line with the S series.

Like all other models, Note 7, came with reimagined functionality. The phone had a 5.7-inch curved screen and improved display. It had also added some features to the S pen, including the iris scanner. This feature allowed users to unlock the phone from the S pen.

It is certainly worth noting that unlike all the other models, the Galaxy Note 7 got recalled as soon as it hit the market. Some users even complained that the Note 7 was overheating and bursting into flames. Although the company recalled the model and tried to amend the problem, the same problem was reported among its users. This issues led to a complete recall and stoppage of production by the company. However, some software updates were issued to those who wished to keep their phones to avoid the same problem from recurring.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Samsung Galaxy S10 Camera review
Photo by Deny Abdurahman on Unsplash

The product problem that arose with Note 7 did not stop Samsung from producing another Note model. The company had learned from its previous mistakes, and in 2017, Samsung released the Galaxy Note 8. Unlike the earlier versions, this one had the biggest screen. Its resolution display was also more advanced. The new version also had improved storage as it moved from the previous 4GB RAM to 6GB RAM.

For those who appreciate the phone because of the Samsung smart camera, Note 8 camera was more advanced than the previous models and even better than other company’s phones of the same caliber.

The phone included another Samsung Galaxy camera at the rear, with the main one having 12-megapixels and a wide-angle lens. The second camera came with the same megapixels, but a lens that allowed more zooming for better pictures. The camera in this phone was excellent, to say the least, as it allowed users to produce colorful shots with many modes from which to choose. The camera also overcame the motion blur problem because of the OIS or the optical image stabilization technology.  This second picture also allowed users to capture even more quality pictures as it made it possible to take distant pictures with its increased focal length ability.

The phone also came with a Live Focus tool on its camera that allowed zooming of images while still defocusing the background to create elegant portrait pictures. It was still possible to adjust the blur post-shot as it eliminated the defectiveness created by the blurring. These and other features made the Note 8 model more popular than others in the same category, and it is still a choice of many to this date.

Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Late last year, Galaxy Note 9 followed the Note 8 model, and it immediately received the phone of the year award from its users. Unlike the previous version, this one has a 6.4 inches super AMOLED display with a front design that is very similar to the previous model. The model also comes with multiple RAM offerings – 6GB or 8GB. The microSD card in this one can support 512GB data. It is also dust and water-resistant and also comes with high performing stereos.

Its battery is also of high quality as it is 4000mAh, which is different from the 3300mAh in the previous version.

The S-Pen in this model is more developed than that of the Note 8 model as it has come with Bluetooth capabilities. It is also possible to perform some tasks with the S-Pen by tapping the button. The S-Pen also comes with a better, which charges when it is in the silo.

For the Samsung smart camera lovers, the Note 9 model’s camera is very similar to the previous model as it has come with a dual-camera system that has a dual aperture and one lens.

At the moment, I can gladly vote Note 9 as the phone with the best camera set up as it makes it easy to take daily shots, whether for personal or professional use. Just the other day, Samsung released an update for this model, which allowed the night mode, among other fixes. Features like this obviously enhanced the phone’s capability, and it’s is also a relief to those who have been eagerly awaiting this update.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 for mobile phone photography
Android PIT

The newest Samsung Galaxy Note on the market, the 10 features a new and improved workflow – from storage to battery life and everything in between. It’s like Samsung designed this smartphone with mobile content creators in mind. Even the S-Pen got reimagined, it now features remote controls ideal for shooting and editing video and still photos.

Samsung even boasts that the Note’s new and improved camera setup is like a “Pro Studio in your Pocket.” But, how much did it improve over Note 9’s camera? Well, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 was released just after the smartphone photography’ pop.’ By this, we mean, there have been huge jumps in the performance of mobile phone cameras over the last two years. Note 10’s camera features all the things that the best cell phones of this period had, plus a little more.

Do note that reviewers tend to complain about the fact that the Note 10 has less built-in features and customizable options than previous Note versions (i.e., heart rate and oxygen monitors, changeable alarm and alert sounds, etc.). We feel that the reduction in features and customization doesn’t affect the phone’s ability to produce high-quality content.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 for smartphone photography
Phone Arena

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is set to release sometime this summer, and the buzz is already beginning to build. Coming off the Note 10, it’s easy to see why.

And initial rumors about the Note 20 don’t disappoint. While Samsung has yet to weigh in on these reports, members of the industry speculate that the new offering will feature unreal battery life, an improved phone camera setup, and a completely redesigned display. Yes, say goodbye to the Selfie-Cam and hello to 100% screen coverage.

As far as the features of the camera go, we already know the Galaxy S20 features up to 100x hybrid zoom, improved Night Mode, multiple pro modes, and 8k video capability. So, what can we expect from the Samsung Galaxy Note 20?

Well, the Note offerings tend to improve slightly on the Galaxy S options, so expect big things. As more information on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 becomes available, we will update this section.

The Evolution of the Samsung Galaxy S Phones

Just like the Galaxy Notes, the S phones have been very successful since the first model was released back in 2010. However, the Galaxy S phones to be more popular and competes directly with the iPhones.

Samsung Galaxy S

evolution of samsung phones

The first phone in the S series, and was released back in 2010. The phone was an instant hit, and this prompted Samsung to continue to the next model. Some of the main features that distinguished it from other phones were its 4-inch display-a large display during a time when people were still conservative when it came to the size of the screen. The model used the Android 2.1 Éclair and later used Android 2.3 Gingerbread. Its RAM was at 512 with a 16GB and 8GB storage. Its camera was a VGA camera located at the back, which was quite functional during this time when the current developments could not have been predicted. The phone also had a removable battery with 1,500mAh capacity, which was also a big deal back then.

Samsung Galaxy S2

The SII model was released the next year after the first model was released. Like all Samsung models, this was an improvement from the previous with an increased battery capacity of 1,650 mAh. Its camera was competitive during the time of its release as it had an 8-megapixel sensor. The AMOLED panel had also increased to 4.3 inches from the previous 4-inch model. Like the previous model, this one became even more successful due to its high quality and performance.

Samsung Galaxy S3

As it was now common with Samsung, the company continued with its innovative spirit and did not rest with S2. In 2012, Samsung released Galaxy S3, and it was better than S2. The display was more improved to a Super AMOLED display of 4.8inches. Its RAM was 1GB from the previous 512RAM. The camera was still at 8-megapixel and was located at the back like in the other models. Also, it had a plastic casing like the other previous two, but its removable battery had an increased capacity of 2,100 mAh.

Again, this model became an instant hit, and it became clear that Samsung was here to stay.

Samsung Galaxy S4

2013 came, and Samsung released Galaxy S4. It was similar to S3, but with a 5-Inch AMOLED display. The camera improved to 13-megapixels while the battery enhanced to a new capacity of 2,600 mAh.

Samsung Galaxy S5

evolution of samsung phones

In 2014, the company released the S5, another one of the S series. Though the phone had some slight design changes, the company still went with its plastic casing like it was the case with the previous models. The Super AMOLED display was now at 5.1 inches while its RAM was at 2GB with a 16 or 32GB storage. The battery also had an improved capacity of 2,800mAh and was still removable like all the previous models. Another new feature in this phone was that it was both dust and water-resistant, unlike the previous ones.

S5 also came with a groundbreaking technology as it came with a fingerprint scanner. Like others, it sold a lot though not as much as Samsung had hoped for.

Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge

If you can remember, both S6 and S6 Edge got announced at the same time. During this time, phone lovers were now used to eagerly waiting for Samsung’s phones as each successful unit came with some revolutionary technologies. When the two were released, the S6 Edge came with a curved display while the S6 one had a typical display. Both of the screens were of a 5.1 inch.

Unlike the previous phones, the construction consisted of glass and metal instead of plastic. Both phones also came with an increased RAM of 3GB from the previous 2GB. The fingerprint scanner was also more functional with the new releases.

Later, Samsung released a better version of the S6 Edge with a 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display. The S6 Edge+ screen was still curved like the S6 Edge one, but its RAM had increased to 4GB, and the battery capacity increased to 3,000mAh.

Samsung Galaxy S7

The Galaxy 7 was extremely popular and for a good reason. It featured a stunning display – now a 5.1-inch QHD Super AMOLED for the S7 and 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display for the Edge. In addition, Samsung upped the storage to 4GB RAM and added a 12-megapixel back camera. Included in these two models was the fingerprint scanner, which drastically improved upon previous models.

Samsung Galaxy S8

In 2017, S8 and S8+ were released with an identical display but a different size. The phones had a curved QHD+ Super AMOLED display, but one had a 5.8-inch display while the other one had a 6.2-inch display.

With this model, the fingerprint scanner got moved to the back, but users complained that it was hard to reach them.

The camera in the S8 made slight improvements on the S7 one. Instead of the dual-sensor system and the variable aperture and wide-angle lens, Samsung included a single 12-megapixel sensor behind the f/1.7 lens.

Samsung Galaxy S9

Early last year, the S9 was released and came into twos, the S9 and the S9+. Like some of the previous models, they were made of glass and metal and had a Curved QHD Super AMOLED display like the previous model. The screens were also at 5.8 and 6.2 inches, with the battery capacities being at 3,000 and 3,500mAh. This time, Samsung included the fingerprint scanner at a better position on the rear part, probably due to the failure of the previous models. The new models were also dust and water-resistant like some of the past ones.

Most people are in love with this model because of its 12-megapixel Samsung smart camera, which is both unique and has a new feel for Samsung smartphone camera lovers. The S9 doesn’t have a fixed aperture lens but instead comes with an ability to shift from f/2.4 to f/2.4 and f/1.5. This ability allows for success in both day and night photography. During the day, the camera shoots at f/2.4 but changes to f/1.5 when there less light.

Samsung Galaxy S10

evolution of samsung phones

Early this year, the S10 series was released, and the new series came just in time for the company’s 10th anniversary of the S series. Four devices got introduced during this year’s launch – S10, S10e, S10+, and S10 5G. They all look similar, but of course, with some variations.

Among these, S10e is the smallest, and its display is at 5.8inch and flat with a full HD+ Dynamic AMOLED display. The fingerprint scanner is at the side and has two cameras on its back. S10 and S10+ displays are 6.1 and 6.inches one with a curved QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED display. Unlike S10e, these have three cameras located on the back. As for the S10 5G, it is very similar to the S10+, but with four cameras and a 6.7-inch display. The phone also has a 5G connectivity ability, which is different from other S models. Another distinguishing feature of the S10+ is that its backplate is ceramic, which is different from the metal and glass plates on the previous models.

Like I have emphasized in all the other models, the new Samsung S series model is Samsung’s best camera phone for those who love phone cameras. The S10 has a 12-megapixel camera and a megapixel unit that allows zooming for better quality pictures. The phone has also retained the capabilities of the previous model where you can shift from f/2.4 to f/2.4 and f/1.5 for both day and night photography

If you like the functional capability of Samsung phones, you will fall in love with the different settings and modes in this series. The autofocus abilities are super functional because of the ultra-wide and the telephoto cameras that has a white balance. Another new improvement is the 16-megapixel ultra-wide camera that has a higher focal length than the previous model.

Samsung Galaxy S20

Samsung Galaxy S20 for smartphone photography
Phone Arena

The newest release from Samsung, the Galaxy S20 pulls out all the stops. After all, the accession of other high-quality cell phone producers like Xiaomi, Huawei, and Google forced Samsung’s hand.

Regardless of the situation, Samsung found themselves in market share wise however, they came up with a serious winner in the S20. It is, after all, the first smartphone capable of shooting 8k video. In addition to that, though, the March release features five total phone camera lenses to give you a multitude of options when shooting. The Galaxy S20 is so good, you almost don’t need any smartphone camera accessories.

With Samsung’s new Single Take AI, you’ll be able to tap a button and get 10 seconds of both still photo and video format. It’s their adaptation of Burst Mode that they call ‘Beast Mode’, and there’s no choice but to agree. The Single Take AI is such a game-changer that it makes our guide to action photography on your smartphone obsolete.

If you’re looking for telephoto lens capability, then the Galaxy S20 has you covered too. Between its 10x optical zoom and its AI aided Super-Resolution Zoom, Samsung’s newest phone can do 100x zoom! Add in the 100+MP camera, and the Samsung Galaxy S20 almost competes with the Huawei P40 Pro.

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