5 features Samsung should bring back from its own past

At this moment, Samsung has created fifteen different iterations of the Galaxy S smartphone over its history. Since it was first introduced in 2010, the series has seen significant transformations, particularly with the launch of the Ultra model in the year 2020. There have been various hardware and software features that have been removed along the road, despite the fact that technology and the Galaxy lineup have largely improved together. However, despite the fact that the Galaxy S24 series may provide a fantastic collection of mobile devices, it has not been immune to the accusation that it is monotonous owing to the lack of change. As we anticipate the Galaxy S25 and what we hope will be a complete revamp of the brand, I believe that Samsung ought to turn to its history for concepts that could serve as inspiration.

1. Variable camera aperture
Galaxy S9 and S10 models

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It’s not hard to understand why the Galaxy S9 and S10 are considered to be two of the best smartphones that Samsung has ever produced. The fingerprint scanner was repositioned in the Galaxy S9, which was based on the design of the Galaxy S8, which was very well received. Additionally, the S10 was a remarkable device in general, as it was the first to use the hole-punch camera, the first to launch the excellent ultrasonic fingerprint reader, and numerous other innovations.

The primary camera on both of these phones included a variable aperture, which allowed it to switch between f/1.5 in low light and f/2.4 in bright sunshine in the same way. This not only allowed for improved performance when the sun went down, but it also optimized for optimal lighting conditions, which allowed for deeper levels of information to be captured. This function, however, was only available for a period of two years before it was discontinued with the Galaxy Note 10+.

I would want to see this feature return in light of Samsung’s transition to high-resolution cameras, which began with the 108-megapixel S20 Ultra and progressed to 200-megapixel sensors with the S23 and S24 Ultra. The S9 and S10 were only capable of capturing images between f/1.5 and f/2.4, and they were unable to reach numbers in between those two apertures. Imagine for a moment that Samsung were able to broaden that range.

The 200-megapixel sensor of the S24 Ultra has an aperture of 1.7, which strikes a balance between capturing light and capturing details. This technology could be the camera enhancement that we have been waiting for if Samsung were to bring it back with additional stops after it has been discontinued. It is not known whether the shutter lag problem that has plagued Samsung’s Ultra phones is due to the hardware or the software, but it is certain that having an aperture that is even wider and more capable of allowing for a faster shutter speed would be beneficial. Imagine for a moment that the camera on the S25 Ultra could be adjusted to one of three different apertures, such as f/1.4, f/1.7, and f/2.4. Over the course of the past few years, Samsung has also pioneered manual controls with the Expert RAW software. Consider how much more inventive we could be with the depth of field if we had the ability to manually adjust the aperture in that application.

2. slot for an SD card

The Galaxy S, S5, S7, and S20 models

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a place for an expanded SD card on an Android product
The SD card slot has been losing popularity for quite some time, and it is difficult to locate it in devices that are not inexpensive phones or the Sony Xperia, which is primarily focused on the camera. In Samsung’s flagship range, it was the subject of two deaths: first, the company removed it from the Galaxy S6 and then, in response to the outrage, it was added to the S7. That is, on the one hand, not hard to understand why. At this point in time, the most of us have access to a dependable internet connection that comes with a substantial data allocation, allowing us to stream music and films. External storage has also increased in size. The initial Galaxy S was available with either 4GB or 8GB of storage space, whereas the S24 begins with 128GB of storage space, and the S24+ and Ultra both have a minimum of 256GB of storage space. It is only the base storage, with the Ultra offering up to 1 terabyte of storage space.

This does not mean that internal storage is the answer to every problem. Because of this, phones cannot be upgraded, so even though 256 gigabytes might be sufficient for you right now, that could change in the future. In the event that you want to travel and will not have a reliable connection, you will require a substantial amount of storage capacity to accommodate your photographs, music, and movies in order to get you through the duration of your flight. This versatility is made possible by a slot for an SD card.

Moreover, it would be of tremendous assistance in the process of backing up and recovering mobile devices. A backup option for external storage was included in Samsung’s mobile devices in the previous year. It creates a complete backup of your entire phone and stores it on a USB drive or an SD card, which can then be downloaded and restored using Smart Switch. That is correct; it is compatible with short-term memory cards. It is wonderful that Samsung continues to manufacture low-cost phones that include SD slots, but it is unfortunate that those of us who have more costly phones are left out in the cold.

3. Button for Bixby
From Galaxy S8 to S10;

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Samsung phone with a glance at the button for the Bixby feature
Please remove the pitchforks off the table; I am aware of this. Due to the fact that it was unable to perform any other function save calling upon the renowned voice assistant known as Bixby, the Bixby button was not universally favorably accepted. Nevertheless, this altered at the end of its life in the Galaxy S10; Samsung offered two capable options for the button: a single push and a double press. Both of these options were available to the user. You were required to allocate Bixby to one of them, but you were free to give the other one to whatever you wanted. In later years, third-party applications came into existence that could completely remap both inputs.

A fast forward to the year 2024 reveals that things have changed. The first thing I want to say is that I have quit using Google Assistant because Bixby is so much better than it was in the past. When it comes to offline on-device controls, it absolutely outperforms Assistant, and it also catches up to Assistant in other areas. Aside from that, Samsung allows you to remap the present Bixby shortcut on the power button to Google Assistant or any other function or app, provided that you enable Good Lock. This is the case whenever you use the power button. It would be wonderful if the device had an additional button located on the opposite side of the device. I would really adore it if, for instance, a quick press would take a picture and a lengthy press would focus it. Given that Apple’s action button was included in the iPhone 15 Pro the previous year, it would not come as a surprise to me if this particular button were to make a comeback.

4. Smart rotation
Galaxy S2 to unknown

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It is not quite apparent what happened in the past with this functionality. Despite the fact that it was made available as far back as the Galaxy S2, it was debuted with the Galaxy S3 or S4 thanks to a software upgrade. There is a Galaxy S smartphone that I am unable to identify as the most recent to include it. Following the release of the S4, I made the conversion to Google phones; but, by the time I received my Galaxy S10+, the option had been discontinued. At the time, it did not receive a great deal of attention; hence, records of the time when it vanished are, at best, sporadic.

It was a very smart rotation. In the event that you had the auto rotate feature activated, the camera would be activated and the orientation of your eyes would be checked each time the phone was moved into the landscape mode. In the event that it detected that your eyes were now positioned in a sideways position in relation to the phone, it would rotate the screen. If, on the other hand, it observed that your eyes were still facing upward, it presumed that you were lying down with the device and maintained the portrait orientation of the image.

5. The iris scanner
Samsung Galaxy S8 to S9 Note 7

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Additionally, the Galaxy S8 and S9 both had an iris scanner in addition to their fingerprint readers. When you attempt to unlock the phone, it works using a selfie camera that requires you to align your eyes with the camera in order for the device to open. In spite of the fact that it was not the most sophisticated method of unlocking a smartphone, after a period of time, the majority of people were able to line up their eyes based on muscle memory and immediately access their phones.

Lighting problems were also experienced by the iris scanner. As the night progresses, our pupils expand, which may cause the scanner to produce inaccurate results, particularly when it is completely dark. There has been a significant advancement in technology since the S8 and S9 were introduced, and infrared iris scanners are now able to function even when there is complete darkness. Despite the fact that I favor fingerprint scanners over facial recognition technology, there are some who have a different opinion and would be happy to see the reintroduction of an iris scanner. It would also make it possible for the clever rotation that was discussed earlier to function in the dark.

If I had to speculate, I would say that there are two things that hinder Samsung from giving this another shot. Expense, as well as the reason it was eliminated in the first place, which was space. With the Galaxy S10, the bezel that was present on the S9 was removed, and the cameras were relocated to hole punches and other sensors that were located beneath the screen. There is a strong possibility that it will come back, unless Samsung is able to position the iris scanner beneath the display. Despite the fact that Samsung takes great pleasure in its uninterrupted displays, there is no way that the company would ever compromise on it, even for something as complicated as a dynamic island.

Specialization is required for the Galaxy S25.

In this photograph, a purple S24 Ultra can be seen leaning against a shrub.
It’s my Galaxy S24 Ultra that I adore. The smartphone is a reliable and sturdy device that I take pleasure in using. However, when it first came out, I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about it. My prior phones required me to either rush and jump down the stairs when they were delivered or to take an early lunch in order to set them up. I did neither of those things. Instead of taking it from the person who was delivering it, I plugged it in to charge it and then left it on the table so that I could return to it whenever I had some spare time. The marketing that Samsung does even makes this point clear. It used to be that their tagline was “the next big thing was already here,” but they haven’t used that phrase in years, most likely because it doesn’t sound like it’s real. We can only hope that the Galaxy S25 will accomplish something that will delight all of us when it is released the following year.

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