Today, ten years ago, Samsung first brought us its vision of the Galaxy, releasing a humble phone running one of the earliest versions of Google’s Android operating system. It wasn’t a Galaxy S (that was to come later), just a plain old Galaxy, but it was the beginning of something big.
Big, not just for Samsung, but for the Android ecosystem as a whole, which the Galaxy S line would ultimately drive to the number one smartphone operating system place.
The diminutive Samsung Galaxy GT-I7500 wasn’t much of a phone by today’s standards. However, by 2009 standards, it was pretty well up there. It featured a 3.2-inch AMOLED display, 528 MHz single-core CPU, 128MB of RAM, 8GB of storage (expandable via MicroSD card), a 5MP camera, 3G support and even a headphone jack.
It launched with Android 1.5 Cupcake, and only in some regions did it receive the (then) huge update to Android 1.6 Donut. Unfortunately this was an early sign of a trend in Android – phones receiving few (if any) software updates. Granted, Android updated a little less frequently back then, and there weren’t any security updates as there are now. But still, it used to be that you buy an Android phone, and it came with what it came with – expectations had to be low.
It would be a year or so before Samsung unleashed the original Galaxy S on the world (in March 2010) and while it is that phone which really started the trend of Samsung’s dominance in Android, it’s easy to forget the humble beginnings the year prior.
In 2011, the Galaxy S line was joined by the original Galaxy Note, which has itself become a popular line of pro-leaning smartphones. Fast forward to 2019, and Samsung’s Galaxy S and Galaxy Note lines are among the Android world’s most popular handsets.
2009 doesn’t feel like that long ago.