The phone that started it all. The Samsung Galaxy S was first introduced as a single model--the i9000, to be exact--at CTIA 2010 and later shipped to more than 100 wireless providers worldwide. As is usually the case, we had to wait a bit here in the States but after a bit of teasing, Samsung finally launched the smartphone in the U.S. in the summer of 2010 with all four major carriers, as well as several regional providers.
Though the models differed slightly in design, content, and name, they all had the same impressive features--1GHz Hummingbird processor, Super AMOLED touch screen, Android 2.1. It was the smartphone that started it all for Samsung.
Still part of the original Galaxy S family, the Samsung Epic 4G for Sprint is unique in that it offered a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, whereas the others were touch-screen only. The keyboard was and is still one of the best ones we've seen on a smartphone--spacious and easy to use. Sadly, we haven't seen a Galaxy phone with a physical keyboard since then, but it sure would be nice to see one in the near future (hint, hint Samsung).
The Samsung Continuum was an interesting addition. Launching with Verizon in November 2010, the Android smartphone features a secondary ticker display at the bottom that allowed you to see more real-time information at a glance and was also designed to enhance multitasking. It was definitely a good idea in theory and we found some good uses for it, but dual-screen smartphones haven't quite taken off yet (see also: Kyocera Echo).
Samsung expanded its Galaxy family to include tablets with the introduction of the Samsung Galaxy Tab in November 2010. The 7-inch tablet ran Android 2.2 but at that time, Android apps weren't optimized for larger screens, which was a bit of a problem. Still, it featured Adobe Flash 10.1 compatibility, a rear-facing 3-megapixel camera and front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, and expandable memory--features that the iPad did not have--so it was a compelling alternative.
OK, we know this isn't officially part of the Galaxy line, but with the introduction of the Galaxy Nexus, we thought it should be an honorary member. The pure Google experience phone (stock Gingerbread) offered a contour design with a 4-inch Super AMOLED display. Other features include a 5-megapixel camera, 1GHz Hummingbird processor, 16GB of internal memory, and NFC support.
The Nexus S launched with T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint. However, the Sprint version is the only one to take advantage of the NFC chip with support for Google Wallet.
First introduced at Mobile World Congress 2011, the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 built on the Galaxy Tab with a larger 10.1-inch WXGA touch screen, a dual-core processor, 1080p HD video recording, and a more premium feel, among other things. The Honeycomb tablet is available in 16GB and 32GB models and in Wi-Fi-only versions or 4G LTE versions through Verizon Wireless.
Because a 7-inch and a 10.1-inch tablet weren't enough, Samsung added an 8.9-inch Galaxy Tab as well. The Honeycomb tablet's feature set is pretty much the same as the Galaxy Tab 10.1, but with a smaller design and smaller price tag, it gives consumers a more travel-friendly and budget-friendly option.
The long-awaited and much-anticipated successor to the Galaxy S found its way to U.S. shores just this month. Available from AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint, the Galaxy S II improved on the original model by adding a dual-core processor, Super AMOLED Plus touch screen, and better cameras. The Gingerbread smartphone offered impressive speeds, a sleek design, and an improved user experience and earned itself CNET's Editors' Choice Award.
Now, we have the newest kid on the block, the Samsung Galaxy Nexus. It's the first smartphone to run Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, which includes a new font type called Roboto, an enhanced notification tray, more camera tools, facial tracking, and more.
The Galaxy Nexus also ups the ante with a 4.65-inch Super AMOLED HD touch screen and comes equipped with a dual-core 1.2GHz processor, a 5-megapixel camera with 1080p HD video capture, a front-facing 1.3-megapixel camera, and 16GB of internal storage.
The Galaxy Nexus will be available November but pricing and release date were not announced at this time.