How Samsung's Galaxy S phones went from spectacular to solid
Plus: PlayStation sales, Meta earnings, and more
Welcome back to Multicore. It's Thursday, February 2nd, and today's main order of business is the mobile division of Samsung Electronics.
The Galaxy S23 lineup was announced overnight. It looks solid but unsurprising, partly because it leaked everywhere and mostly because it's a new Galaxy S. If you live in the US and want a high-end Android phone that doesn't fold in half, the S23 Ultra is probably your best bet for 2023. But we're about the beauty and wonder of cutting-edge technology here at Multicore, and for better or worse, that is ground that Samsung's flagships have largely ceded.
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Samsung used to have a reputation for throwing new features at the wall without much consideration for whether they'd stick. The Galaxy S lineup wasn't always to everyone's taste, but there was a period in time when it would be the most technically advanced phone you could buy upon release.
Ten years ago, for example, Samsung launched the Galaxy S4. It had overwrought custom software and a plasticky design, but it was also the first phone in the world with a 5-inch 1080p OLED screen — made by Samsung Display and tuned to eye-searing levels of saturation, of course — as well as the best Android camera and dubious functionality like eye tracking and gesture control. Competitors like the iPhone 5S and the HTC One were nicer, sure, but they didn't give the same sense of having come hot off the supply chain.
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