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Best Samsung phone in 2022: from the Galaxy S22 Ultra to the Z Fold 3

Best Samsung phone
(Image credit: toma areno on Unsplash)

What's the best Samsung phone? Well that depends largely on what you're looking for. If you want a device with high specs that rival the latest iPhone, then you're well catered for with the latest S22 range. Alternative, if you just want a cheap and cheerful handset, Samsung does some great basic models. And there are lots of phones that lie somewhere in between, too.

At the premium end, the best Samsung phone right now is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (opens in new tab), with fantastic cameras and top build quality. If you want something a bit more affordable though, we recommend the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G, which is one of best camera phones (opens in new tab) and offers superb value.

Alternatively, if you're interested in the best fold phones (opens in new tab), you don't have to wait for Samsung to launch the Galaxy Z Fold 4: there's already the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G, and both are well worth checking out. 

In short, whatever you're into, you'll find the best Samsung phones below at the very best prices. And we'll list the pros and cons of each, and share the facts and figures you need to make your decision.

Also see: iPhone 13 Pro vs Samsung S22 Ultra – is Apple or Android best for photography? (opens in new tab)

Best Samsung phone in 2022

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)
The best Samsung phone overall

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Rear cameras: 108MP f/1.8, 10MP f/2.4, 10MP f/4.9, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide
Front camera: 40MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 228g
Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9 mm
Storage: 128GB/256GB/1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Superior rear cameras
+
Sophisticated digital zoom
+
40MP selfie camera
+
Stylus control

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price

Released in February 2022, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is hands-down the best Samsung phone that money can buy today. 

Its four-camera system is top-notch, featuring wide, ultra-wide, telephoto and super-zoom sensors. The first of these boasts a 108MP sensor, with an f/1.8 aperture, Dual Pixel AF, and an 85-degree field of view. The 12MP ultra-wide camera features an f/2.2 aperture and a 120-degree field of view. There's also one 10MP telephoto with an equivalent three times zoom (f/2.4) and another 10MP telephoto with a 10 times zoom (f/4.9). And that's not to mention the selfie camera, with its 40MP resolution, f/2.2 aperture and 8K video capture at 24fps. 

More broadly, this is a large, stylish and powerful smartphone. Its 6.8-inch AMOLED screen is to die for, with smooth motion, vivid colors, impressive brightness, and 500 pixels per inch resolution. 

The improved S Pen stylus is brilliant, and gives you the kind of productivity you previously only got with a Galaxy Note. There's a powerful 5,000mAh battery to keep it going for hours, and the design and look of the phone is simple but, to our eyes, very stylish. 

In short, you're getting the very highest specs of any Samsung phone on the market today, and they all work together brilliantly in practice to offer a top class experience. For more details, read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)

2. Samsung Galaxy S22

The best Samsung phone for value

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Rear cameras: 50 MP, f/1.8 (wide); 10 MP, f/2.4 (telephoto), 12 MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide)
Front camera: 10MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 167g
Dimensions: 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
Storage: 128GB/256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent camera
+
Lovely screen
+
Amazing value

Reasons to avoid

-
Less powerful than S22 Ultra

Released at the same time as the Samsung S22 Ultra, the plain old Samsung S22 is actually quite a different phone. The simple version is that it's cheaper and a little less high-end, but only just. 

So what are the differences? Well, for a start the screen is smaller: 6.1 inches in diameter compared with the Ultra's 6.8. You still get the same 120Hz refresh rate, but "only" 1300 nits of brightness to the Ultra's 1750. The battery's less powerful too, at 3,700mAh to the Ultra's 5,000mAh. The triple lens camera's similar, but with the main sensor offering just 50MP to the Ultra's 108MP. 

We could go on, but you get the idea: it's less powerful than the Ultra, but still an impressive phone overall. And that means, in our view, it offers the best value on our list right now. For more details, see our Samsung Galaxy S22 review, and our guide to Samsung Galaxy S22 vs S22 Plus vs S22 Ultra.

A photo of the Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli / Digital Camera World)
The best mid-range Samsung phone

Specifications

Release date: March 2022
Rear cameras: 64 MP, f/1.8 (wide); 12MP, f/2.2 (ultrawide); 5MP, f/2.4 (macro); 5MP, f/2.4 (depth)
Front camera: 32MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 189g
Dimensions: 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm
Storage: 128/256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Lovely screen
+
Large battery
+
Reasonable price

Reasons to avoid

-
Can be a little sluggish

If you're looking for a mid-range device, the Galaxy A53 5G, launched this March, is your best bet. It's considerably cheaper than the S22, and the latter is a better phone in most respects (faster processor, better camera, stronger waterproofing, and support for wireless charging). But the differences aren't that great overall. Plus, you may actually prefer the A53 5G's larger screen (6.5 inches to the S22's 6.1) and larger battery (5000 mAH vs the S22's 3700 mAh). 

In short, we think the A53 5G offers excellent value. After all, you're getting a 64MP camera with OIS, a lovely Full HD+ AMOLED screen with 800 nits of brightness, and a premium super-thin design, all for not that much money at all. For more details, read our Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review.

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
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Last year's flagship phone is still worth a look

Specifications

Release date: January 2021
Rear cameras: 108MP f/1.8, 10MP f/2.4, 10MP f/4.9, 12MP f/2.2 ultrawide
Front camera: 40MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 227 g
Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
Storage: 128/256/512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic cameras
+
Beautiful display
+
8K video

Reasons to avoid

-
S22 Ultra has better specs overall

Until recently, the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was the flagship model, and it remains a stunningly sophisticated device with a lot to offer. This camera phone features four rear cameras, including a 108MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera and two 10MP telephoto cameras – one with an f/2.4 aperture and 3x optical zoom and one with an f/4.9 aperture and a huge 10x optical zoom. 

You also get a fantastic 6.8in screen. The Dynamic AMOLED 2X display features a 120Hz refresh rate for smooth scrolling and gaming experiences, HDR10+ support, 1500-nit peak brightness and a 1440 x 3200 resolution. For more details, see our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
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With a high-end chip, this is one of the best Samsung phones

Specifications

Release date: August 2020
Rear cameras: 108MP, 12MP, 12MP
Front camera: 10MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 208 g
Dimensions: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1 mm
Storage: 128/256/512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Comes with the S Pen
+
Excellent camera for stills and video

Reasons to avoid

-
Pretty expensive
-
Inconsistent battery results

If you're looking for one of the best camera phones for telephoto capabilities, then the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra might be right up your alley. Featuring a triple rear camera, the Note 20 Ultra has a 108MP f/1.8 main camera, a 12MP f/2.2 ultra-wide camera and – the pièce de résistance – a 12MP f/3 camera with 5x optical zoom and 50x digital zoom. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra comes in three colors, including Mystic Bronze, Mystic White or Mystic Black. While the Note 20 Ultra is a little pricey, we've definitely seen the handset begin to fall since it first appeared on the market back in April 2020. For more details, see our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Andrew Williams/Digital Camera World)
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Impressive specs, though a few foibles

Specifications

Release date: March 2020
Rear cameras: 108MP (primary f/1.8, 26mm, OIS), 12MP (ultra wide angle f/2.2, 13mm), 48MP (telephoto f/3.5, 103mm), ToF depth-sensing camera
Front camera: 40MP (f/2.2, 26mm)
OIS: Yes
Weight: 222 g
Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm
Storage: 128 / 256 / 512 GB

Reasons to buy

+
108MP primary camera
+
Up to 100x zoom
+
8K video
+
5G future-proofing

Reasons to avoid

-
100x zoom of limited use
-
8K video comes with caveats
-
Battery life is an issue

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G might not be the latest in its lineup, but it's still one of the best Samsung phones. Its 108MP camera proves to be more than a numbers play. And while the 100x zoom may not deliver at the extreme end, it's more than capable of giving you great-looking telephoto images. 

This, however, is a phone with foibles – namely the inconsistent image processing and battery life – but these will surely be fixed with firmware. The 8K is more limited you might hope, the 120Hz mode is best avoided for most, and the cost is restrictively high for many. However, the hardware is a league above that of the Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus. And judged on its picture performance, when everything clicks, it is one of the best Android camera phones ever. For more details, see our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
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A great balance of specs and affordability

Specifications

Release date: October 2020
Rear cameras: 12MP (Wide Angle Lens, f/1.5, OIS), 12MP (Ultra Wide Angle Lens, f/2.2), 12MP (Telephoto, f/2.4, OIS), 8MP
Front camera: 32MP
OIS: Yes
Weight: 190 g
Dimensions: 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4mm
Storage: 128/256 GB

Reasons to buy

+
Great camera
+
Good processor

Reasons to avoid

-
Still not the cheapest

If you love the high-end capabilities of the Samsung Galaxy S20 family, but you can't quite justify the price, then the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is a cheaper version. Retaining many of the features that made the S20 so popular, the FE features a 6.5" 1080 x 2400 Super AMOLED display with a buttery smooth 120Hz refresh rate. 

Meanwhile, the camera setup is equally impressive, boasting a 12MP main camera, a 12MP ultra wide camera and an 8PM telephoto camera. Inside the handset, you'll find either the Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 chipsets (the Snapdragon handsets will feature 5G). If you're looking for one of the best Samsung phones at a great price, you'll struggle to do better than the S20 FE. For more details, see our full Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review (opens in new tab).

(Image credit: Basil Konfli/Digital Camera World)
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8. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 5G

The best fold phone from Samsung

Specifications

Release date: August 2021
Screen size: 7.6 inches
Rear cameras: 12MP, f/1.8 (wide); 12MP, f/2.4 (telephoto); 12MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide)
Front (selfie) camera: 4 MP, f/1.8
OIS: Yes
Weight: 271g
Dimensions: 158.2 x 128.1 x 6.4mm (folded); 158.2 x 67.1 x 14.4-16mm (open)
Storage: 256GB/512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Wow factor
+
Fantastic screen
+
Run up to 3 apps side-by-side

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive

On paper, the 7.6-inch screen-size might not sound much bigger than a 6.7-inch phablet (opens in new tab), but it feels like a whole new product category (it is). By folding, rather than flipping, this is smaller than some, but encloses a screen 1.4 times bigger than the giant Galaxy Note 10 Plus (opens in new tab)

The crease down the centre of the screen can be used to side-by-side some apps, making this live up to ‘small tablet’ more than any other phone. Full-screening an app makes for amazing photo editing and you’d be churlish to notice the slight bend. A smaller outer screen means you don’t even need to open the device for most uses: checking messages and framing photos are easily achieved while the phone is still closed. And with this latest model (unlike its predecessor, the Fold 2), you get pen input and water resistance too.

For more details, see our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review.

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
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9. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

A fully-featured phone that folds to a square

Specifications

Release date: Feb 2020
Screen size: 6.7-inch and 1080 x 2636 pixels (main) + 1.1-inch 112 x 300 pixel (outer)
Rear cameras: 12MP 27mm f/1.8 + 12MP 12mm f/2.2
Front camera: 10MP f/ 2.4
OIS: Yes
Battery life: 14 hrs (screen on)
Weight: 183 g
Dimensions: 87.4 x 73.7 x 18.3 mm (closed) 167.9 x 73.6 x 7.2mm (open)
Storage: 256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Pocket-friendly size
+
Wow-factor finish
+
2nd generation hinge

Reasons to avoid

-
Very expensive
-
Screen fold visible
-
Average battery life

While it’s certainly a nostalgic form factor, the Galaxy Flip – now with added 5G – hasn’t been on the line up long and benefits from all the lessons Samsung learned after their first Fold. 

The flip does pose problems for a lot of phone features, such as notifications, so hidden under the shell is a tiny 1.1-inch Super AMOLED display, just opposite the main cameras, which can muster a couple of lines of text. It also allows square selfies to be caught with the main cameras without opening the camera. 

It is a bit of a shame there is no telephoto camera, as the same money would get you more optical oomph with a Samsung Galaxy 21 Ultra (opens in new tab) but ultimately it’s the design, not the megapixels, which will impress your entourage, as will the ‘mystic’ bronze or gray casings that also pack a decent 3,300mAh battery – enough that 5G will speed you up, not slow you down. 

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