Samsung Galaxy Family Tree Explained: Something for Everyone (Part 1, Smartphones)

Some say it’s marketing. Others innovation. There are also those that feel like they were simply in the right place at the right time and don’t deserve all the praise. As for me, I really have no doubt. Samsung’s success story in the mobile arena has everything to do with choice, diversity and freedom.

But why Samsung?

Okay, maybe not everything, as it sure helps to see LeBron James and Lionel Messi endorsing them. As it does to see their phones on more billboards than LG, HTC and Sony products combined. But you know what they say, you have to spend money to make money and that’s where Samsung has always shined.

But let’s back up a little and explore the diversity point further. After all, it’s not like LG or Sony don’t have equally as rich product portfolios, is it? True, only they realized they had to offer users choice a little too late.

There was also Nokia, which basically “invented” the strategy of putting hundreds of eggs in dozens of baskets, but the Finns dropped the ball on other aspects of the game and now they’re barely struggling to survive.

Meanwhile, with the risk of confusing customers, blurring the lines between high-end and mid-range technology or even rolling out about half a dozen duds every year, Samsung is pumping up handheld after handheld after handheld in a relentless effort to cover every possible niche, meet every need and satisfy each and every tech-savvy boy or gal.

Without further adieu, I thus invite you to go a little deeper in Samsung’s smartphone family tree and round up most of their mobile devices in one of three branches: high-end, mid-range and low-end.

Samsung family tree, branch #1: the high-enders

First of all, let me just say it’s darn complicated to contain Samsung’s complex and slightly hectic product portfolio in three straightforward lines. Also, it’s going to be hard to mention them all, so I’ll try to focus mostly on the freshest of devices.

That said, there are only two full-fledged Samsung spearheads out and about these days, the 5.7-inch Galaxy Note 3 and 5-inch Galaxy S4. Three, if we add the 5.7-inch Galaxy Round in the equation, the world’s first curved display handheld that’s sadly headed just for Korea.

But since the S4 is getting old, it’s started producing offsprings. Like the GS4 Active, S4 zoom, S4 LTE-Advanced (or S4 LTE+) and S4 Active with Snapdragon 800, the last of which is not yet official. Plus, rumor has it a Note 3 Active is looming on the horizon too. Is your head hurting already? Prepare for it all to get worse before it gets better.

Branch #2: the mid-rangers

Believe it or not, Samsung would be nothing without its mid and low-end devices. They’d still make money, no doubt about it, but they definitely wouldn’t have it so easy to dominate the market. And that’s primarily because there are so many options here.

Starting with the Galaxy S4 mini, which you could say is the mid-range pack leader. Then there’s the Galaxy S3 and Note 2. Both are for all intents and purposes far more technically impressive than the S4 mini, bigger, badder and stronger, yet they’re not as hot.

Why? Because they’re part of older sub-branches of the big Galaxy family, unlike the newest Mini. And the 4.3-incher has a stellar ace up its sleeve: the S4 design language. Plus, affordability.

And while we’re on the subject of affordability, let’s quickly mention, oh, half a dozen of other Samsung mid-end names: Galaxy Express 2, Ace 3, Core, Mega 5.8 and 6.3 (albeit some may argue the two are closer to the high-end niche). What do these have in common? The S4 design language once again.

Which brings me to another sub-branch of the mid-range line, Galaxy S3’s “cousins”. You know, its watered down lookalikes. And there you have the Galaxy Win, the Trend 2, Express, Grand, Premier, Pop and S3 mini. All with excellent bang for buck factors and each and every one of them targeted at the specific needs of a certain part of the market. Not to mention the first-gen Note and S2 are fantastic OG sons of guns too. And then there’s the S2 Plus. How could you not feel special with so many choices?

Branch#3: the low-enders

Before you even start, I know, I’ve neglected so many mid-range names and no, I don’t intend to abusively peg them as entry-level devices. It’s just they’re far too many, so instead of boring you to death, I’ve aimed my attention merely at the members of the Galaxy family that are the newest and worth your money the most.

So if your budgets are very limited, here are your best entry-level choices. First off, there’s the Galaxy Young/Fame duo. True, they’re direct descendants of the GS3 rather than the S4, but they’re clearly better than, say, the Galaxy Y Plus or Galaxy Star.

Then, you have the Galaxy Star Pro and Prevail. These two are technically low to mid-enders and they’re not so dirt-cheap, but all things considered they’re not so expensive or great to be deserving of higher places on the totem pole. Other than these fellas, the only other entry-level options are over a year old and so doomed to not get any software updates beyond what they already run. So not worth any kind of mention here.

Right, so that’s about it for today and, in hope you’ve found this post the least bit informative and not overly expeditious, meet us again soon for a short recap and breakdown of Samsung’s Galaxy tablet family tree. 

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