Galaxy S10 could be all that, but the original Samsung Galaxy S was a confusing mess



Samaung Captivate

One of the original Galaxy S phones from 2010 (the Galaxy Captivate).

Josh Miller / CNET

As we wait for the release of the Galaxy S10 on Wednesday, the name of the Galaxy S represents the top of the Android world. It's a reputation that Samsung is proud to own for its flagship phone, and rightly so. But in 2010, you might not even know you were buying a Galaxy S at all. When it went on sale, the Galaxy S was just another Android phone that competed for attention in a busy environment.

It's a different world since Samsung launched the first Galaxy S phone nine years ago. Flip phones are almost gone from Earth, "smartphones" are just phones, and making a call is a question after the fact, if you really make calls.

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Importantly, the first Galaxy S was not a simple phone. Although he landed at all four major American carriers at about the same time, he was divided into four personalities, one for each carrier. These names sounded straight out of a motivational seminar (the Captivate! Fascinate!) And the features varied slightly from model to model.

Sprint's phone went up to add (breath!) A physical keyboard, while the other three were chocolate bar models. It was something the carriers were doing at the time – standing out from the competition by marketing a single device that only you had – but the result was a disconcerting experience for customers. (Overseas customers had the easier task – it was simply Galaxy S).

At the grassroots level, US phones shared a number of elements: each had a 5-megapixel main camera, a 4-inch Super AMOLED display, a Samsung 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, and a battery. 1500 mAh lithium ion, but more deeply, customers had to make a decision. Flash from the device or not? Do I want a mobile hotspot? How much memory do I need? As I said, it was the brothel. Here is how it broke down.

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CNET

Samsung Vibrant – T-Mobile

First version of the Galaxy S put on sale in the United States, the T-Mobile version had pretty much the same specifications as the global edition. Even though she had the most elegant design of the four, the plastic skin looked cheap and far too smooth. With Android Eclair and Samsung's TouchWiz (do you remember?), It also comes with Amazon Kindle for Android, MobiTV, Slacker Radio, a month of free Wi-Fi in-flight Gogo and Samsung's Media Hub. You have even received a full copy of Avatar. I see you.

Other features:

  • 16 GB of internal memory
  • microSD card slot
  • No flash or front camera
  • 3G data
  • Initial price: $ 199 with a two-year contract

Read our original review on Samsung Vibrant

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CNET

Samsung Captivate – AT & T

Released in July, just days after the Vibrant, the Captivate was unquestionably the best AT & T Android phone to date. On the outside, it is stronger than the Vibrant, although it is more angular. Like other Galaxy S phones, it debuted with Samsung's Android Eclair and TouchWiz, but AT & T has kept the carrier bloatware to a minimum. Hardcore Android fans would not have liked AT & T to prevent them from downloading apps that are not in Android Play (then called Android Market).

Other features:

  • 16 GB of internal memory
  • Entered with a 2GB microSD card
  • No flash or front camera
  • 3G data
  • $ 199.99 with a two-year contract

Read our original review on Samsung Captivate

samsung-epic-4g

CNET

Samsung Epic 4G – Sprint

When it arrived in August, the Epic 4G had two advantages: 4G data (surprise!) And a sliding physical keyboard. All in all, Sprint's WiMax network was not a true 4G technology, but the speed of data transmission was fast at the moment. The real keyboard was not unique in 2010 – it would take a few years before the touch screen really reigns – but Sprint's (and Samsung's) decision to make its own way in the design has blurred Galaxy S cards. Naturally, it was also the biggest of the four. It also had Android Eclair and Samsung's TouchWiz, as well as a number of apps intended solely for Sprint.

Other features:

  • Mobile point of access
  • 1 GB of internal memory
  • Enrolled with a 16GB microSD card
  • Flash and VGA front camera
  • 4G data (-ish)
  • $ 249.99 with a two-year contract and a $ 100 mail-in rebate

Read our original review of Samsung Epic 4G

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Sarah Tew / CNET

Samsung fascinates – Verizon

The latest of the original Galaxy S phones to hit the stores, the Fascinate was Verizon's first Samsung Android phone. It also ran on Android Eclair and included (among others) Bing Search and Microsoft's Bing Maps. As it was also the era of operator-driven content and services, it also came in stock with V Cast Music and Video and VZ Navigator. Add Samsung 's TouchWiz and you almost wonder if it' s really an Android phone.

Other features:

  • Mobile point of access
  • 2 GB of internal memory
  • Enrolled with a 16GB microSD card
  • Flash but no front camera
  • 3G data
  • Initial price: $ 199 with a two-year contract and a $ 100 mail-in rebate

Read our original review on Samsung Fascinate

galaxy-s-press-conference-2010-copy

Former Samsung CEO, J.K. Shin unveils the original versions of the Galaxy S at an event in New York in June 2010.

Sarah Tew / CNET

The Galaxy S2 at Galaxy S10

The following year, Samsung and the operators do not make things easier with the Galaxy S2. No one has added keyboard this time, but the screen size, processor speed and even the names vary from one model to another. AT & T kept the Galaxy S2 label, but Sprint had the Epic 4G Touch and T-Mobile, the Galaxy S 4G. Finally in 2012 with the Galaxy S3, this terrible trend has stopped. From then on, the phone (and its name) was the same across the operator board.

The Galaxy S10 could end up in several models, like many versions of the Galaxy, but one of the newest phones for each operator is fortunately far behind us. On Wednesday we will know for sure.

Published February 17 at 4am.
Update: 14h23 PT


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