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Since Samsung made the first Galaxy S device, one could safely assume they were serious about their smartphones. The phone packed very solid specifications at the time, and even landed on all major carriers in one variety or another, something only the iPhone had managed at the time. Since 2010, Samsung has sold an astounding 24 million units of the original Galaxy S smartphone.

Usher the clock forward three years and the Korean handset's goal in the mobile market is largely the same but more widespread. In one hand, it's clear that they're looking to sell as many smartphones as possible under the Galaxy moniker. It's understandable given how identifiable the brand has become. 

In the past month, Samsung has launched multiple smartphones in varying sizes for a handful of markets, each carrying the Galaxy name brand. It's business as usual. Each have the same unmistakable Samsung home, menu, and back button. Each have a slight variation in specifications, with the most notable change being screen size. Each have the same plastic design cues - the rounded edges, curved back, and similar trim.

And this is where Samsung is beginning to lose me. Now, I understand the Korean tech giant has more to gain from emerging markets and can't focus on high end devices for the entire world. That's what makes the U.S. market unique, and it's also why the Galaxy S III, Galaxy Note II, and future S 4 and Note III are assured success stories. But would it be that hard to make a device that doesn't go half way up the hill and then coast down it? In other words, is there a device Samsung can make that isn't a clear predecessor or carbon copy of another device they're already made? Is it too much to ask for a smartphone to be completely redesigned like the HTC One?

Asking this question has landed me at the brand new, super mid-range Samsung Galaxy Win. With a 4.7 inch 480x800 Super AMOLED display, a 1.2GHz Quad-Core Snapdragon 200 CPU, and Android 4.1.2 Jelly Bean, it's a real kicker for any market other than the States. Samsung is clearly aiming this device for a market that isn't looking for the best smartphone, but rather for an individual looking for a smartphone. Period. It makes sense, but the laziness in design is agonizing. 

So, before you run out and buy it, I am needing to know the difference between this device and any other high end smartphone they make. It's clear the device packs different internals. With that said, it's very similar in shape to the Galaxy S III, one of their flagship devices. In a sense, the dual-SIM capability gives it an upper-hand in new markets. It's clear that they're looking to saturate multiple markets by "recycling" shapes and designs for cost savings. But it's beginning to get old. As far as design is concerned, I'm not expecting the Korean company to reinvent the wheel when the wheel has rolled in over $7.5 billion in profits, and upwards of 400 million total smartphones sold. I'm just looking for an explanation as to how much longer Samsung can rehash the same device until consumers have no reason to upgrade to any future Galaxy Note V, or Galaxy S 6 because they already have an identical device.

Each mid-range Samsung device may differentiate by specifications which makes sense for individuals and their market. Whether Samsung is gunning for buyers by price point, mobile carrier, or screen size, Samsung is on the verge of making every other smartphone maker look lazy by making so very many variations of smartphones. But are they going for total market domination via screen size? Or is it for a more simple reason, like easy manufacturing techniques?

In short, Samsung is clearly riding the wave of the Galaxy brand's success with similar designs and specifications. But how much longer can they rehash the same design? Is Samsung getting lazy with design? 

Images via GSMArena and Phonearena.


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104 Reactions to this post

"Do you think Samsung's smartphones look too similar?"


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Kristin Farrell
Kristin Farrell ( my comment above was directed to @Eric Jacinto
Kristin Farrell
Kristin Farrell "Everything from BlackBerry looks the same"? You have got to be kidding me. In a world of Samsung and Apple? You, my friend, are nuts.
Bo Abe Vorachack
Bo Abe Vorachack Tell apple that their iphone n ipod are the same since the beginnin of time.
Jim Coleman
Jim Coleman Yes. All that plastic. Htc has the best build quality.
Joel Nehemiah Benjamin Sewell
Joel Nehemiah Benjamin Sewell Unfortunately Samsung needs to maintain its brand identity, which the shape of the phone promotes. To us techies il the similar shape may feel like a lack of innovation, but to Samsung it is an important marketing decision. A necessary evil, if you will.
Brian Dominguez
Brian Dominguez I've had this phone for 4 months now, if I could switch I'd get an IPhone but my parents both of iPhones want me to get something that's cheaper and different from their phones:p I'd get me an IPhone 5 any day
Justin Charles Reback
Justin Charles Reback It sounds like you already liked iOS and the iPhone. Why did you bother getting an Android phone then, how long have you had it, and why are you still using it? Just asking.
Brandon Edward Glenn
Brandon Edward Glenn great article title. the back has looked the same since the gs1
Daniel McCarthy
Daniel McCarthy Thing is, the hardware is changing. The screens are getting bigger. The internals are getting faster. They're adding more sensors. More hardware-based features. People were bitching about Apple because there was no form factor change until the 4th and 5th generation when they finally made it square and glass (and later aluminum). It's totally different, and before I am accused of being a Samsung fanboy, I use Nexus devices only.
Randy Walker Sr.
Randy Walker Sr. I think they should. They are manufactured by the same company. Look at Apple it hasn't changed at all. HTC devices dont look that much different deom one to another either. I do not think they are made cheap. If we hate the Note 2 built similar to iphone people would complain the phone is ro heavy. If you dont like Samsung dont buy one.
Paul Keefe
Paul Keefe Yeahh
Myron Black
Myron Black android sucks
Guy R Bastien
Guy R Bastien Do you think Apple's Smartphones look too Similar?
Kadeem Tyrell Robley
Kadeem Tyrell Robley Yeah do but it works and people love it so why change it? Just like apple all their phones look the same and people still buy them!
Jabran Shakil
Jabran Shakil If it aint broke, dont fix it.
Joseph Garofola
Joseph Garofola Yea they are very similar in design. With different screen sizes.
Chris Rodriguez
Chris Rodriguez Yes.
Frank Porter
Frank Porter Exactly
Lashun Manning
Lashun Manning Yes they do
Murtaza Rzv
Murtaza Rzv its samsung theme... Looks beautiful
Teron Facey
Teron Facey This question is like saying do the iPhones looks the same.
Jose Calderon
Jose Calderon Samsung phones look a little too similar to each other for sure.
Jaime Espinoza
Jaime Espinoza Did you guys at phonedog thought "You know what we have nothing to do, let's stir up the Social Media today. But how? let's bash on Samsung today and complaint that they don't have an oval shape phone".
Zack Taylor
Zack Taylor same with the iphone bro
Brandon Johnson
Brandon Johnson Every phone manufacturer has gotten here at some point in time, HTC and Blackberry wgere there a few years ago, Samsung and Apple are there now, Motorola may be next.
Bandar Fakeeha
Bandar Fakeeha No doubt!
Frank Porter
Frank Porter Well, I felt it needed saying. I'm tired of the bitching and moaning about phones all looking the same and wanting something "new and different" Let's face it. All phones in general are going to be rectangle shaped. Why'? Cause it's the most practical and makes the most sense. Beyond that, you have varying degrees of build quality. HTC tends to use more premium materials while Samsung not so much. I could see a valid complaint beind made about that but only to an extent as pretty much everyone buys cases for their phones anyway. So if you're gonna go and do that, then how important is it really to have an all aluminum body or high grade plastic? And while I'm at it, how about people quit whining about how IOS needing a facelift so badly. It is what it is. It has it's own look and feel and was intended to be simple and easy for anyone to use. From the suggestions I read on here from people, sounds like they want it to look more and more like Android. Well if that's what you want, buy and Android then. Unless of course you want to read about more law suits cause of manufacturers stealing from one another. That is all
Eric Hook
Eric Hook Well now, ask yourself if HTC is considers a booming success and then answer your own question.
Mark Fisher Jr.
Mark Fisher Jr. Yup
Eric Hook
Eric Hook Terrible questions. Who thinks of these
Justin Charles Reback
Justin Charles Reback It's obvious now that Samsung is going with a strength in numbers approach. Notice how not every single device that you see announced online on the tech sites and blogs, does not get get released in North America, or does not get released with every single other Samsung Galaxy designed phone in the same region. They obviously have a reason for this. People probably know the Galaxy design the world over. They know the name. Some of them are entry to mid-range handsets. Each is targeted at specific markets. This is something that Apple doesn't do currently, and this is why Samsung is the top phone manufacturer in the world.
Itsok Imawelder
Itsok Imawelder i understand that sam, is making the phones more drop resistant and more eco friendly and probably cheaper to build. but when i buy a phone thats 500$ at least throw some alloy
Itsok Imawelder
Itsok Imawelder look to similar and too cheap! i have a skyroclet that looks like a gs2. my friend has a note that looks like a note 2 that looks like a gs3. that look too cheap to be a high end device
Adam Kaufman
Adam Kaufman said no one ever...
Andrew Lee
Andrew Lee And what, the iphone design is so different from model to model?
Kristopher Davis
Kristopher Davis Lots of butthurt Samsung fanboys....lol. #HTCone
George Majao
George Majao Phones are so cheap looking and soooo ugly
Mark Belkowski
Mark Belkowski the s4 looks like a smaller note 2 and im fine with that. ill be ordering on the 16th.
Martin Smeaton
Martin Smeaton Why so much hostility people? Yikes.
Watashiwa Brandon
Watashiwa Brandon Yes...
Liam Lovatic Hu?nh
Liam Lovatic Hu?nh Right? I can only identify them through sreen size or sthing like that, also sony xperias
Jacob Grumbles
Jacob Grumbles Qi ren Samsung also supplies DRAM and NAND and lg makes the retina displays and the point is that apple couldn't make a damn phone if it wasn't for other companies . I bet neither lg or Samsung use apple parts in there products.
Marti Ruiz
Marti Ruiz But you are barista
Luis Hernandez
Luis Hernandez u never seen the iphone designs I guess..
Samantha Brown
Samantha Brown I love my samsung galaxy s3. I couldn't care if they look the same as long as its fast.
Kelly Tanaka
Kelly Tanaka Yes
Bill Gillespie
Bill Gillespie Samsung phones look like soap
Steve Bachman
Steve Bachman The strikingly similar appearance of the S4 to my current S3 truly has me rethinking my next device. Non removable battery and all, it may be the HTC One!
Qi Ren
Qi Ren Finally someone that realized. Me too. I find it funny how Samsung fans always go about how the iSheeps are being fanatical about Apple and but follows Samsung in an entirely identical way.
Mick Jetten
Mick Jetten Hey Don Emesto " Your Mom Probably Has A Bigger Dick Than You"! Do some research before you comment & make yourself look like a complete ass! Jus Sayin Samsung makes apple's processor' s thats what makes its IOS so smooth! DumbAss!
Jerry Goldbaum
Jerry Goldbaum They look like cheap plastic crap. Oh wait....
James Thomas
James Thomas Wow so iphone has not looked the same since it came out? One thing people need to remember is samsung provide the parts to apple so don't start on this whole samsung copying apple. This is why I stick with blackberry.
Alex De La Cruz
Alex De La Cruz I prefer it a million times over the glass-glass bs apple pulls.
Rashaud Cook
Rashaud Cook Ok y'all stop and think for a sec, what other shape do you want your cell phone to be???? U can't really do a 100% change without using someone else's idea!!!
Huey Liggins
Huey Liggins Don't really care. I just hated the similarly between the iphone and galaxy s phones. Now that that's gone I don't care. Why? It does so much with little frustration compared to other phones and ill probably put a case on any phone I get. That's why htc one doesn't catch my eye. The hardware is awesome though
Devin Martinez
Devin Martinez Don Ernesto samsung has been making phones for years..way before apple. Shanne ive never seen a stupider comment u say the 3g models are slightly different then the 4 models? Are u fucking blind? Because something is the same size doesn't mean it loojs looks the same. Anyway I'm using a note 2 as we speak & I can easily say the design is terrible. The sleep button is in a pkace where I touch it for almost every function I try to do on the phone so is the volume rockers & they're very sensitive the shape is uncomfortable & it just feels & is cheap
Saurabh Bisht
Saurabh Bisht n i'm intrested in New Software innovations that samsung has bought up in their earlier phones.. so i dont care about their built quality bcoz m a fan of samsung's innovations..
Brian Dominguez
Brian Dominguez Galaxy Note 1- Bigger GS2 Galaxy Note 2 - Bigger Gs3 Galaxy S 4- bigger GS3 with some tweaks. They strive to compete when they lack originality.-. The phones are okay but the design and software can do better. I mean I love Apple, the IOS is so fast, but on my GS2? It gets slow.__. Crashes and its brand new
Mathew Poynter
Mathew Poynter Yes, Samsung has got to stop using the Galaxy S3 design language as all of the phones released since the S3 have the same design. When the S3 came out I liked the design because it was unique but now all of their phones have the same design.
Shanne Liszewski
Shanne Liszewski They are at least doing more than Apple, 3 and 3gs look the same, a slight redesign moving to the 4 and 4s but same size. then 5 is just a taller 4, but all looks the same, yet people rush out to buy each one, most people can not tell the difference between them, as 20 random people walking with I phones and ask them what version, I bet at least 65% start with "umm I think I have the " or no this is an ipod touch, ask 20 people walking around with Samsung and they will tell you s , s2, s3.
Jacob Grumbles
Jacob Grumbles Don Ernesto im pretty sure if it wasn't for Samsung making 50% of the iphones parts apple wouldn't be making phones
Kevin Bowles
Kevin Bowles Thank you Frank! The sad fact is, most people consider their phone a fashion accessory and dont even use any of the features.
Bright Ivan
Bright Ivan well, i think they appoint one designer who designed the S3, later uses Paint or Photoshop to resize it, becomes another phone already.
Jose Be Julme
Jose Be Julme No.
Don Ernesto
Don Ernesto Come on, you know that if it wasn't for Apple, Samsung would not be making phones, if you don't agree on this, then YOU ARE A FUCKING "DOUCHE BAG" and should go home and Suck on YOUR MOTHERS DICK!!!!!!!!
Devin Vosburgh
Devin Vosburgh While I was shocked that the gs4 was the same design as all the other devices they have come out with...I will sayd my gs3 felt awesome in my hand. I guess if it works why change it... Worked for apple for 5 years...lol
Camar Green
Camar Green I want my NOTE 3 ...Fk an iPhone
Jason Vanderhyde
Jason Vanderhyde At first site the S4 looks very similar but when you hold it, feels so different. I was gonna pass but I have to say I love all those features.
Janelle Jae Hunter
Janelle Jae Hunter yes, all of them, not just sam
Eric Jacinto
Eric Jacinto Are you kidding me... all you people do is complain about stuff. Everything from apple looks the same. Everything from Blackberry looks the same. Everything from LG looks the same. now why do you think that is? do you not have anything better to write about.
Raul Weisser
Raul Weisser Yes
Javier Delgado
Javier Delgado With this I just confirmed that Samsung fans are more alike to. Isheep or just they are too hypocrites.,..they used to say like any other android phone user...that iPhone was the same every year!! Now they're whining that...if the design works why bother changing it....
Nick Guerrero G
Nick Guerrero G Gs3, note1,2 gs4, but I still love Samsung phones.
Anthony Hetrick
Anthony Hetrick no more than the iphone has worn out its welcome all together
Brain Roopull
Brain Roopull I couldn't care less about how a phone looks. It's going to be wrapped in a cover anyway. I'm more interested in logical button/port placement and how well the things works.
Alexander Bodeanu
Alexander Bodeanu Both design and name, getting tired of this Galaxy crap.
Frank Porter
Frank Porter This debate over smartphone design is what has worn out it's welcome at least for me. How many ways can there be to desin a phone? Get over it. What the hell do you want? A triangle shaped phone? I mean really.
Joseph Alan Richardson
Joseph Alan Richardson Yes or more so the constant use of plastic. I think Samsung need to start using metal in there design instead of plastic.
Isaac Esac J
Isaac Esac J optimus lte to the optimus g is like bmw and mercedes
Jarrod Ferrell
Jarrod Ferrell I think they are more worried about user experience
Milton Gfl Williams
Milton Gfl Williams I don't kno many other ways to create a smartphone phone with a full touchscreen, like seriousy what do you people want to see a round or triangle touchscreen phone?? Personally I don't have a problem with the design, and I'm sure apple use the same design for the past 3 years and all of Motorola high end smartphone look the same for a fiew year's so ya!!
Jennifer Urieta
Jennifer Urieta no
Devin Martinez
Devin Martinez Yeah but when iPhone keeps the same design they suck & who ever buys it are sheep right? Fucking samsuck fans are worse then white girls with nba players
Ken Reil
Ken Reil Nice try at producing a story Phonedog. The news slow for you right now? LOL
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis They need 2 do something else besides cheap plastic.
Wasis Waskito
Wasis Waskito Yes, other flagship too, yes. We are in the "similiar era" can.
Jose Angel Santiago
Jose Angel Santiago Yes they seem to be watching what apple does very closely.
Ernest Marvin Esteban
Ernest Marvin Esteban Brand recognition. I don't see anything wrong with ir
Jasé Phillip
Jasé Phillip u think
Rushil Vig
Rushil Vig why wud they change it when people still love it? that isnt laziness
Nick Sanford
Nick Sanford yes, however if they werent so damn ugly it wouldnt be a big deal
Matt Penner
Matt Penner Of course! Man, i miss the Galaxy S2 design. The corners and the feel were just so much better than the S3.
Saurabh Bisht
Saurabh Bisht have u ever seen HTC phones,Iphones and LG phones??? they all look so similar too.. so y this question is arising about samsung?
Michal Polak
Michal Polak Only just like any other manufacturer's phones do.
Jose Morales
Jose Morales Yeah they do, but before they started looking the same, Apple's Innovation consisted in resizing the iPod touch to different sizes and calling it different names.
Hendrick Equis M
Hendrick Equis M waaay tooo long ago
Abram Wenevermet Dennis
Abram Wenevermet Dennis Yes
Lanh Nguyen
Lanh Nguyen So what
CeeGii Borels
CeeGii Borels not really, the design works so why change it but i would like YOUM on the next Note look at how many time Motorola changed designs and where are they now?
David Bauer
David Bauer yes they do. I have the S3 and was thinking about getting the S4 but when I saw it looked just like it, I probably will get something else.
Andrew Nikko Ramirez
Andrew Nikko Ramirez You only noticed this NOW??? Seriously?
Hazher S Yahya
Hazher S Yahya yes they got out of innovations
Jacob Grumbles
Jacob Grumbles Yes I do
Enes Nadir Çomoglu
Enes Nadir Çomoglu Oh, you've no idea




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