What's the best Samsung phone? That depends on what you're looking for. If you want a device with high specs to rival the latest iPhone, then the latest S23 range won't disappoint. Alternatively, if you just want a cheap and functional handset, Samsung does some great basic models. In this guide, we'll compare all of the best Samsung phones to help you find the right one for you.
At the premium end, the best Samsung phone right now is the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra, with fantastic cameras and top build quality. The Samsung Galaxy A54 5G is more affordable, while the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is one of the best fold phones.
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.
Best Samsung phone in 2023
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The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is Samsung's ultimate flagship for 2023. The device boasts a stunning 6.8-inch AMOLED display with a resolution of 1440 x 3088, which provides vibrant and accurate colors and deep blacks. It also ships with Android 13, Samsung's OneUI 5.1, and is 5G compatible, allowing for fast download and streaming speeds.
Aside from its beautiful, large display, one of the standout features of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is its camera system. The device comes equipped with a quad camera setup, which includes a 200MP main sensor, a 12MP ultra-wide sensor, a 10MP periscope telephoto sensor, and another 10MP sensor with 3x optical zoom. This camera setup is capable of capturing sharp and detailed photos in a variety of lighting conditions and can shoot in 8K video. The front-facing camera is high resolution at 40MP and is great for selfies and vlogging-style content.
Another notable feature of the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is its long-lasting battery. The device comes equipped with a 5000mAh battery, which provides more than enough power to last through a full day of heavy use. It’s an ideal device for people who want to enjoy entertainment on a superb display, as well as capture a lot of pictures and videos.
If you're looking for a mid-range device, the Galaxy A54 5G 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 A54 5G's larger screen and larger battery.
In short, we think the A54 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 A54 5G review.
Launched this August, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is an absolute delight. Light, slim and more durable than its predecessor, it's fantastically portable when folded up. Unfold it, and you get a beautiful AMOLED display: 7.6 inches in diameter with a high resolution of 1812 x 2176 pixels. This sophisticated screen also supports HDR and has a high refresh rate of 120Hz for super-smooth video and gaming.
But what about the cameras? They're virtually identical to those on the Samsung Galaxy S22 (so very good indeed), and our reviewer found the Z Fold 4's images looked clean and sharp. What's unique to this phone, meanwhile, is Flex Mode, which means that when it's half-folded, the top half of the screen acts as a viewfinder, while the bottom half serves up your shooting controls.
This is also a fabulous phone in general, with a powerful processor, support for the S Pen (though you have to buy one separately), and refined styling. On the downside, it's very expensive. But if you really want a foldable phone, this is the best on the market; and it's great at photography too.
For more details, see our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review.
Some like to fold, others like to flip. It's a personal choice, but if you come down on the side of the latter, then here's our top recommendation. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 is beautifully compact and light when closed, making it perfectly portable: you'll barely notice it in your pocket. Then when you open it, you get a lovely 6.7-inch AMOLED display, with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, support for HDR10+ credentials and 1200 nits peak brightness.
The cameras (12MP on the rear, 10MP on the rear) aren't as good as those on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 (above), but they have been improved from the Galaxy Z Flip 3, thanks to a larger sensor, a wide 24mm focal length, Dual Pixel PDAF and OIS.
There's a new improved auto night mode, and you can shoot videos at up to 4K, at 260fps. As on the Flip 4, you can use Flex Mode, so when the Flip 4 is half-folded, the top half of the screen acts as a viewfinder, while the bottom half serves up your shooting controls. And battery life is great, too. For more details, see our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review.
Released in 2022, the Galaxy S22 Ultra isn't the newest Samsung phone, but it's still one of the best. 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.
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.
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.
The previous version of Samsung's foldable phone doesn't have as good a camera or as powerful a processor. But now its price is coming down, it's a more affordable option for those put off by the eye-watering cost of the Z Fold 4.
On paper, the 7.6-inch screen-size might not sound much bigger than a 6.7-inch phablet, 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.
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 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.
How we test Android phones
As a photography website, we pay special attention to the photo and video quality of Android phones. Camera phones are all-around digital assistants too, of course, so we will also check general handling, usability, and practicality – such as battery life.
For Android camera phones we rate resolution, noise and color rendition in the context of what rival Android phones can do, and where there are any special features, such as ‘night modes’ or ‘portrait modes’, we check that these perform as the makers describe.