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Definition: Galaxy S

A family of Android smartphones from Samsung. Introduced in 2010, Galaxy S was the European Smartphone of the Year and soon became the most popular Android on the market. Small today, but in 2012, the 4.8" screen on the Galaxy S III accelerated the trend for larger displays (see phablet). For a comparison of all versions, see Galaxy S models.

Samsung's Flagship Phones
When the Galaxy Note with the built-in writing pen was discontinued in 2021, the Galaxy S became Samsung's flagship line. In 2022, the Galaxy S22 Ultra featured the S Pen (see Galaxy Note).

Active Ruggedized Models
Starting with the S4, "Active" models are ruggedized Galaxy S phones. However, all Galaxy S models, starting with S7, are certified IP68 (see IP code). See Galaxy AI, Google Nexus, Galaxy A, Galaxy C, Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Flip.

 (see Galaxy S models for earlier specs)

                                Max Storage
        Screen Weight  Screen      (GB)
 Model    Size  (oz.)    Res.    Int. Ext**

 S23 Ultra 6.8"  8.3  3088x1440 1024  ---
 S23+      6.6"  6.9  2340x1080  512  ---
 S23       6.1"  6.0  2340x1080  256  ---
 S23 FE    6.4"  7.4  2340x1080  256  ----

 S22 Ultra 6.8"  8.0  3088x1440 1024  ---
 S22+      6.6"  6.9  2340x1080  256  ---
 S22       6.1"  6.0  2340x1080  256  ---

 S21 Ultra 6.8"  8.0  3200x1440  512  ---
 S21+      6.7"  7.1  2400x1080  256  ---
 S21       6.2"  6.0  2400x1080  256  ---
 S11 FE    6.4   6.2  2340x1080  256  ----

 S20 Ultra 6.9"  7.8  3200x1440  512  1TB
 S20       6.2"  5.8  3200x1440  128  ---
 S20+      6.7"  6.6  3200x1440  512  1TB
 S20 FE    6.5"  6.7  2400x1080  128  1TB

 FE = Fan Edition

Galaxy S24 (January 2024)
The S24 Ultra has a titanium case with flatter sides and a 200 megapixel camera. Screen brightness is greater and a yellow case is available. AI-based photo editing can make unwanted objects disappear. "Nightography" captures photos in low light.

Galaxy S23 (February 2023)
Minor improvements over S22. A fraction of an ounce heavier than the S22, the S23 screen is a bit brighter, and the battery lasts a little larger. 8K video at 30 fps is supported rather than 8K at 24 fps. Plus and Ultra models support 45 watt fast charging instead of 25 watts.

Galaxy S22 (February 2022)
Upgraded glass and metal frames look more polished. Screen sizes remain the same, although a fraction smaller on S22 and S22+. Ultra and S22+ support 45-watt fast charging. By including the S Pen, the S22 Ultra becomes Samsung's flagship phone and supersedes the Galaxy Note. For storing massive amounts of media, the Ultra supports 1TB of storage. Like most phone upgrades, the new models have faster CPUs than the previous line. See Galaxy Note.

Galaxy S21 (January 2021)
Prices are less than S20 models due to plastic backs, eliminating the rounded edge on the screens and reducing RAM from 12GB to 8GB. The S21 Ultra has a 5000 mAh battery and is the first Galaxy S to support Samsung's S Pen; however, it does not include the pen or a slot to hold it. The Ultra has four camera lenses and the same 108MP wide angle camera as the Note 20.

Galaxy S20 FE, S20 FE 5G (October 2020)
The FE (Fan Edition) models are the entry level for the S20 line. Back is plastic instead of glass but is $300 less than non-FE model. Optical fingerprint reader instead of ultrasonic sensor. Also supports 120Hz video.

Galaxy S20 (February 2020)
All models have low-band and mid-band 5G; Ultra has high-band (see 5G frequency bands). No more 3.5mm headphones jack, larger batteries, 120 Hz display and 8K video. 30x zoom on S20/S20+, 100x on Ultra.

Galaxy S10 - (April 2019)
S10 5G has massive 6.7" screen, 5G cellular and six cameras, including rear infrared camera to enhance depth for augmented reality (AR).

Galaxy S9 - (April 2018)
Similar to S8; however, S9 has a new camera with increased brightness and a more efficient processor for better battery life. Fingerprint sensor is easier to reach.

Galaxy S8 - (April 2017)
Physical home button dropped, and fingerprint reader moved to back. Curved screens and rotating toolbars like S7 Edge. S8+ taller than S7 Edge. Type C USB replaces Micro USB, and Samsung's Bixby added (see USB Type C and Bixby).

Screen Selection
Starting with the S8, the screen can be switched to three resolutions. Lower resolutions save battery.

Galaxy S7 (April 2016)
Dust and water-resistant. Slightly thicker and heavier. External SD card brought back, and non-removable battery bumped from 2,550 to 3,000 mAh (3,600 in Edge model). New camera sensor and faster auto-focus. See Galaxy S7 Edge.

Always Available Time
The S7 introduced always-on time, date and battery level, which consumes very little power.

Galaxy S6 (April 2015)
Slightly thinner, more refined case. Qi wireless charging added. No more replaceable battery or SD card. Fast battery charging and a minimum 32GB of storage. S6 Edge has curved screens (see Galaxy S6 Edge).

Galaxy S5 (April 2014)
Built-in heart rate sensor and fingerprint reader. 16MP photos with advanced modes; depth of field can be changed later. Waterproof for a short period in one meter of water, and S5 can be a baby monitor sending signals to Samsung smartwatch (see Samsung Gear).

Galaxy S4 (April 2013)
Slightly thinner. 13MP rear camera, automatic album creation and simultaneous front/back recording. Higher-capacity battery, infrared (IR) blaster for home theater. Support for hand motion scrolling and zooming. Eye tracking pauses video if user stops watching.