Aug 11 AT 3:24 PM Dustin Earley 24 Comments

What’s in a name? Samsung seems to know


If there’s one thing I feel very strongly about when it comes to the smartphone biz (all platforms and manufacturers included), it’s names. I cannot stand the crazy silly names some companies come up with for their phones. If you’re going to continue a series of devices, then a simple number after a name should work. Droid, Droid 2, Droid 3, Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, G1, G2, etc. It’s not always that easy though.

With the Droid series, Verizon has everyone screwed up. They need to just leave manufacturers alone and drop the freaking “Droid” already. For devices in the US that are Motorola branded, I suppose it works well enough. I’m just tired of people still talking about my “Droid,” which is actually a Nexus device. Then there’s Samsung’s phones. If it’s not a Galaxy S, I could quite frankly care less. So I suppose they’ve done something right–or wrong–there. The T-Mobile G series? Well that one’s started to get confusing as well. The G1 and G2 were both vanilla Android devices with a QWERTY keyboard–like a pro series device. Then came the G2X. It was vanilla Android, but without a keyboard. It just came out around the same time as the G2. So will the next G device without a keyboard be the G3x? Or G2X2? Or maybe just the G3, if they drop the keyboard? And then there’s the crazy names that have nothing to do with any sort of logical pattern. Absolutely can’t stand it. Which is why, when Samsung’s naming scheme for new devices was explained today, I paid close attention to how it was managed. For the first time in quite awhile, smartphone names make sense.

Samsung has broken down the Galaxy series into letters and numbers. It all starts with the S.

Galaxy S devices are the top-of-the-line flagship Samsung phones. That makes sense. Every new Galaxy S device released will have a number after it. Galaxy S, Galaxy S II, Galaxy S III and so on and so forth. US names are still confusing in this regard. But no matter the name attached to the device, it’s still a Galaxy S or Galaxy S II series device. This number after letter scheme is the basis for the entire Galaxy lineup.

Right below an S device, you’ll find Samsung Galaxy R devices. The R stands for royal and refined. If you remember yesterday, Samsung announced the Galaxy R, which appeared to be a slightly dumbed-down Galaxy S II.

Below R devices, phones will be labeled W for wonder. After that comes M for magical, and finally Y for young-minded. If a device gets a keyboard, it’s a Pro device. LTE means it comes with LTE. And Plus means a bump in specs, but not design. It’s kind of a lot to take in at first, but once you figure it out it’s great. A Galaxy W Pro II? That’s the second Galaxy W, a high-class device, that comes with a keyboard. Hopefully Samsung doesn’t go too crazy with it. Releasing devices like the Samsung Galaxy R III Pro Plus LTE would be ridiculous.

If other companies could adopt a similar scheme for naming, it could save people in my line of work a lot of hassle. And it would make decisions for consumers a lot easier. If you know the price range for each letter, then just stick to looking at phones with that label.

What do you think? Good idea? Or are you terribly confused? Do you prefer RIM’s 9900, 9930, 9485, 9475? Apple’s iPhone, 3G, 3gS, 4? Let us know in the comments below.

Source: Unwired View

Dustin Earley: Tech enthusiast; avid gamer; all around jolly guy.

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  • codesplice

    I don’t know, but a part of me seriously wants a Samsung Galaxy R III Pro Plus LTE

    • Jess Blanchard

      It’s like Diet Caffeine-free Cherry Vanilla Dr Pepper. ALL OF THE NAMES!

    • Googlezilla

      Why dont they just call the premium, high-tier, mid-tier,entry classes
      P,H,M,E ????
      Instead they confuse us with


      Makes sense…

      • Me

        To some people your set of letters is just as random. There’s good reason behind both yours and Samsung’s naming conventions but the thing is most people simply wont notice or dont care

      • silenter

        You could hardly promote the “Samsung Galaxy Mediocre”

  • Angie Strickland

    I worked on a couple of naming projects and it is so so difficult. You think it would be better to just come up with something that sounded good, but you have to “convey what the product does,” and that leaves you with the weirdest choices. So you either have to be really direct, like iPhone, or make up some metaphor to try to make it interesting (we wanted to compare it to a galaxy because there’s a LOT of stuff it can do, or whatever, haha).

    Basically, I don’t know if it’ll ever be simple for consumers to totally follow naming conventions, but sequential numbers do seem to help. As for this chart, I can only see it helping if people save it somewhere handy every time they look to buy a Samsung product, hah. I guess at least it gives Samsung some sort of organization.


    I swear, I love it here. You guys come up with the most random yet interesting things to talk about.! As for me and names, I like to keep it Simple. the original name with a number next to it, is just fine for me. It keeps everything in order and helps to keep the series in order. Not everyone is knowledgeable with every device and what it offers. For the common person walking into a store and saying I have a droid and hve been happy with it so far. Is there a second edition, a droid 2? so i can upgrade…………

  • Jess Blanchard

    If it was me, tho. I would have just gone alphabetic. S (since it’s already out there) is the top tier. R for high-end, Q for mid-range and P for entry. It could also double for Superman, Rich, Quirky and Poor. BAM! MARKETING GENIUS.

  • keridel

    i like HTC’s naming concept.

    just come up with random buzz words.

    cant wait for the htc: MEGANORMOUS!!

    • codesplice

      Yep, want that one too.

    • iamXiV92a

      HTC seems to have it right. Diamond. Touch. Touch Pro II. Rezound. Ville.

      Ha ha – Meganormous!

  • Dr. Samsung, CEO of betrayal & customer genocide

    Cant wait for their new



  • Esteban

    Yeah, naming schemes are pretty ridiculous. We could do a lot better, like the car industry: A model and a year. And then a letter for the “plus” model.
    “Galaxy 2011b T” Would be the second (b) version of the 2011 Galaxy, and the “T” would stand for “Top of the line”, something like that.
    Or a name based on the specs, like BMW’s cars… 325i, 525i, and so on.

    I think the move by the Ridley Scott estate (or something) was veeery stupid. They could ride on the Google wave and when the Nexus reached number 6, release a Blade Runner special and everybody would get richer. Instead they chose to fill a lawsuit (?)… So american.

  • AME

    I gave up on figuring it out a long time ago. It is nice Samsung is trying to make an effort to explain what the hell they’re talking about.

    I hope there is some sort of magical code that we just haven’t broken yet behind the HTC phones. It’ll be the next Dan Brown novel: “Angels, Demons, and HTC.” He’ll be tasked to figure out how they came up with ChaCha.

  • Paydrow

    “Galaxy R III Pro Plus LTE”

    This actually made me lol.

    I agree some names are confusing, but more confusing is the pricing when more often than not you see mid range devices costing the same as the high end with a contract. Also theres a local company who just calls the phone by the device number (i.e. I9000). Those are two things there that hurt android a lot and make me a sad panda.

  • The Brain

    Why don’t older phones get sold at a discount off contract? I’d love to buy an original Galaxy S for say $200. But they still charge $450 when you can buy a Sensation for nearly the same price. Oh, and I couldnt care less about naming schemes. I’d be satisfied if they just called them the Samsung Cell Phone 1, Samsung Cell Phone 2, etc.

  • Ryan Rampersad

    The Galaxy S should’ve just been the Galaxy, and any lower end model would have been something on a smaller scale, e.g. star, comet, planet, etc. There is no reason to have letters, when a new one comes out, it should just be better than anything that came before it.

    Samsung wants to release a lot of different handsets so they’ll need a naming scheme that scales with them.

  • Daniel

    Now that they mentioned the “Plus” name, they’ve pretty much confirmed the Galaxy S II Plus, I guess…

  • String

    So, was I the only one geeky enough to immediately think Star Trek when I looked at that chart and saw “Galaxy Class”?

  • The Brain

    I’ve got it! Like a Esteban said, use a scheme like BMW’s where the model name/number tells you something about the specs. The Galaxy SII could also be called the Samsung 4.3SAMOLEDPDCE1.2WVGA8.99MM1/16GB4G. Or do you thing Galaxy SII has a better ring to it?

    • Keithrva

      Two of the galaxy s2 names in the states will be the “Attain” and “Within”. Terrible, just terrible. Imagine saying to your friends “hey, check out my new badass ATTAIN”. Not quite as cool as say, Thunderbolt or Photon or Evo. Samsung could have even reused some of their own names, like Epic and Gravity.

      • HoLfElDeR

        ahhaha nice one with the ,attain,, also i agree on the reusing names or just go with some difrent thera are alot cool name they can add

  • Diaeko

    i think apples way to count is a bit better then the rest
    but they just released 5 devices in 4-5 years
    so htc samsung and the rest cant do it like this :S

  • devoncatt

    Only one confusion How does the Galaxy Note fit into this classification it fits none of the above letters or is it in a class by itself? Or is it the unnamed class ?