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The best Samsung phones: High-end, mid-range, and entry-level models

There are plenty of options to choose from.
September 4, 2022
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung is, without a doubt, the biggest name in the Android world, and if you’re considering purchasing a new phone, logic dictates you may be looking to pick up a phone made by the Korean giant. However, while it’s easy to say “get a Note or the latest Galaxy S,” Samsung’s lineup is quite robust, with a variety of phones covering prices as low as under $200 or as high as $1,300 or more.

Also read: The best Android phones to get

Some of Samsung’s mid-range and entry-level lineups are similar in specs and design, so picking a phone can be confusing. That’s where we come in. We break down some of the best Samsung phones from the high-, mid-, and even entry-level options in this list.

Samsung’s flagship Galaxy S22 series will offer the most impressive specs for 2022. However, some people may prefer the cutting-edge design of the Galaxy Z Flip 4 or Z Fold 4, and the midrange Galaxy A series is impressive without the high cost.

The Galaxy A53 is perhaps the best value you can get in a Samsung phone right now. It offers four rear cameras, a large 5,000mAh battery, and a solid 6.5-inch Full HD Plus display for just $449.

It’s tough to find a better value than ordering from Samsung itself. Amazon may offer faster shipping, but the Samsung website usually offers the best trade-in values and additional perks. For example, the Galaxy S22 series offered up to $200 in free Samsung credit with your purchase.

Samsung’s new Galaxy A53 5G is among the best budget phones you can buy. It offers a large, crisp display, 5G speeds, and a powerful quad-camera setup for $449.

While the Galaxy A53 5G probably offers the best value among Samsung’s Galaxy A series, it’s not the only budget phone worth buying. The Galaxy A13 5G offers solid speeds and a refined design at just $249. Even 2021’s Galaxy A32 delivers impressive performance that won’t hurt your wallet.

The pros and cons of Samsung phones

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra camera housing
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

There are plenty of reasons to consider a Samsung device for your next phone. For starters, you can count on regular updates for longer than plenty of the competition. Samsung guarantees up to four years of software support for select premium devices, and even the budget offerings get a solid slate.

You’ll also find that there’s a Samsung device for almost everyone. Samsung can oblige whether you want an everyday option without much fuss or one of the most expensive Android phones around. You can turn heads with a premium foldable like the Galaxy Z Fold 3 or pick up a phone that should put up with the worst working environments in the Galaxy XCover Pro. All you have to do is decide how much you want to spend.

Samsung offers solid updates, a great Android skin, and plenty of accessories — but it all comes at a high price.

After you pick up your phone, another Samsung perk is the sheer number of accessories. You can grab a pair of Galaxy earbuds, a new Galaxy Watch, or stock up on charging accessories. There are power banks, wireless chargers, and more to spend your money on. Of course, if you get a recent Galaxy S-series device, you’ll need to look for accessories with USB PD PPS support. This allows for the fastest charging, but it can also be a con as it’s not on all accessories yet.

Another reason to stick with Samsung is the One UI skin. It’s come miles since the old TouchWiz days, and it’s now one of our favorite Android skins. You can take or leave Bixby, but you should have no problem navigating the rest of the interface.

Unfortunately, the cost is a significant con for Samsung. While the Galaxy S22 series, for example, starts at $799 for the entry-level Galaxy S22. If you want the premium S22 Ultra, you’ll have to shell out $1,199 to bring it home. You can get rival phones for less, regardless of whether you’re looking for a high-end or a mid-range device.

The best Samsung phones:

1. Samsung Galaxy S22 series

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra back glass
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung’s new Galaxy S22 family arrived at the February Unpacked event, bringing three distinct models. While there are plenty of familiar features from last year’s Galaxy S21 family, the new flagships might be more different than ever. 

See also: Samsung Galaxy S22 buyer’s guide

For starters, the Galaxy S22 Ultra feels like a device all on its own. Thanks to the boxier design and built-in S Pen slot, it’s closer to a Galaxy Note 20 successor than any Galaxy S device. You’ll also notice that it skips a Contour Cut camera design in favor of small bubbles for each lens. Although Samsung changed most of the design elements, the Galaxy S22 Ultra still carries the same impressive camera setup from last year and top-notch internals.

All three of Samsung’s latest flagships offer the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset onboard in the US and select markets. Other markets will get the Exynos 2200 to keep the lights on, and 45W charging is back on the menu. Well, it’s available for the Galaxy S22 Plus and S22 Ultra — the base Galaxy S22 tops out at 25W. Samsung also made the curious decision to shrink its batteries this year. The Galaxy S22 offers a 3,700mAh cell, down from 4,000mAh, and the Galaxy S22 Plus dropped from 4,800mAh to 4,500mAh.

Samsung Galaxy S22 specs:

  • Display: 6.1-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: SD 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 10, 12, and 50MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.6-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: SD 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 10, 12, and 50MP
  • Front cameras: 40MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 12

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: SD 8 Gen 1 or Exynos 2200
  • RAM: 8 or 12GB
  • Storage: 128, 256, 512GB, 1TB
  • Cameras: 12, 10, 10, and 108MP
  • Front cameras: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

2. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra splash
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra might be its top flagship these days, but the Note-like design isn’t for everyone. If you’d rather have a more traditional device, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is still an excellent option. It might swap back to last year’s Snapdragon 888 (or Exynos 2100) processor, but you get a few other perks under the hood to make up for the age.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S21 buyer’s guide

For starters, the Galaxy S21 Ultra offers either 12 or 16GB of RAM instead of the 8GB base option on the S22 Ultra. You also get an identical camera system, topped off by the powerful 108MP lens on the back. Samsung offers a slightly different set of Phantom finishes to choose from, but you still get a durable Gorilla Glass Victus and Armour Aluminum design.

While the Galaxy S21 Ultra matches the S22 Ultra’s 5,000mAh battery, it doesn’t charge quite as quickly. The older handset tops out at 25W wired speeds instead of 45W. It also launched with Android 11, which means you’ll see slightly shorter software support.

Also bear in mind that as last year’s flagship, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is most commonly available either used or refurbished these days.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.8-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 12 or 16GB
  • Storage: 128,256,512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 10, 10, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 40MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

samsung galaxy z fold 4 home screen closed
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung’s latest foldable phone is the Galaxy Z Fold 4. The phone shows just how far Samsung has come with its experimental foldable in only a couple of years. It’s not necessarily a reinvention of the folding phone, so much as a well-thought-out refinement of an excellent 2021 design. It’s as stylish as ever, with a slightly smaller form factor, and it remains the best book-style foldable for most people — at least if you can afford it.

With the Z Fold 4, Samsung has refined its under-display selfie camera tucked away below the 7.6-inch internal display. It’s still not stellar, but it’s good to see Samsung stick with the technology in hopes of perfecting it. For your true selfie needs, the 10MP shooter with the external display is more than up to the task.

See also: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 buyer’s guide

Going beyond the Galaxy S22 flagships, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 is powered by a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 processor, backed by 12GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and a 4,400mAh dual battery. Both the internal and external displays come with a 120Hz refresh rate. The Galaxy S22 Ultra may have replaced the Note in every sense but the name, though you can also use an S Pen with the Galaxy Z Flip 4 to make the massive display a little more manageable.

Perhaps the most important upgrade this year comes in the camera setup. Samsung ported over the same set of lenses from the vanilla Galaxy S22 and S22 Plus, which means a 50MP wide sensor. You’ll get a 10MP telephoto and a 12MP ultrawide for good measure, which adds more flexibility than the Galaxy Z Fold 3 offered.

At $1,800, the Z Fold 4 is right on track with the previous generation. That’s a lot of money for a phone, but the Fold line is steadily taking steps towards becoming a mainstream option. 

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 specs:

  • Display: 7.6-inch QXGA+ and 6.2-inch HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256, 512GB, or 1TB
  • Cameras: 50, 10, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP and 4MP UDC
  • Battery: 4,400mAh
  • Software: Android 12L

4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

samsung galaxy z flip 4 foled profile
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung’s other foldable is the one that is far more within reach of everyday consumers. The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 continues the clamshell model of the Flip line, but it’s once again more refined than the previous version.

The build quality is excellent, the exterior finish looks fantastic, and you get a much better 6.7-inch internal display. The external display gets a necessary boost as well. It’s larger, more vivid, and makes managing your notifications much easier. Performance isn’t an issue either, with the Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 and 8GB of RAM keeping everything running smoothly. Samsung also finally brought more storage options to its clamshell, with up to 512GB onboard.

See also: The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 buyer’s guide

Unfortunately, the Galaxy Z Flip 4 hasn’t received quite the same camera love as its Fold partner. There are two 12MP rear cameras and a 10MP front-facing shooter. The lenses are still fine for most uses, but zoom will struggle due to the absence of a telephoto option. The 3,700mAh battery is finally a bit bigger, and it charges faster at 25W instead of 15W.

Speaking of expensive, the Z Flip 4 stays at $999. It’s right in line with other premium flagships, and it’s bound to turn more heads given the unique form factor.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch and 1.9-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128, 256, or 512GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,700mAh
  • Software: Android 12

5. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE left front profile
Eric Zeman / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is technically a part of the S21 series, but it launched in a window all its own. In fact, it barely beat the Galaxy S22 series to market. It remains one of the best Samsung phones you can get thanks to the unique approach of offering flagship specs in a mid-range package. You’ll find a solid 6.4-inch display with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate and a Full HD+ resolution.

Under the hood, Samsung tapped the flagship-level Snapdragon 888 to keep things moving, and you can opt for up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The Galaxy S21 FE’s rear camera array consists of 12MP wide, 8MP telephoto, and 12MP ultrawide options, and it might be the phone’s weak spot. However, the 32MP selfie camera picks up much of the slack.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review

One of the most significant differences between the Galaxy S21 series and its S21 FE sibling is the construction. The mid-range device sports a plastic back and aluminum frame, stepping down slightly from the “glasstic” finish and Phantom color options. On the bright side, the Galaxy S21 FE offers a sizeable 4,500mAh battery with 25W wired charging.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE specs

  • Display: 6.4-inch, FHD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 888
  • RAM: 6 or 8GB
  • Storage: 128 or 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 12

6. Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

samsung galaxy a53 back panel
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung’s affordable 5G smartphones pack more punch than ever, especially with the launch of the Galaxy A53. It may not look too different from its predecessor, the A52 5G, but there’s not much more you could ask for in a $450 phone.

Samsung kept high refresh rates on its mid-ranger, with the A53 rocking a Super AMOLED screen and a 120Hz refresh rate. Another helpful upgrade is the camera setup, headlined by an impressive 64MP shooter. You get dual-SIM capabilities, with the second slot doubling as a microSD card slot, but the headphone jack is no more. The 5,000mAh battery also comfortably lasts through an entire day and beyond. Once you drain the battery, you can tap into 25W fast charging to get back on the go.

If you’re hoping to save some money, both the A52 and A52s are still available. They offer similar designs, though the latter packs boosted internals for a little more punch. No matter which one you choose, it’s easily one of the best mid-range Samsung phones around.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Exynos 1280
  • RAM: 4/6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 5, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 12

7. Samsung Galaxy A13

samsung galaxy a13 back panel
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

The Samsung Galaxy A13 is one of the best ways to get 5G for under $300. It’s a bit more expensive than the previous Galaxy A12 but offers a few advantages to make up for it. The new 50MP primary camera is sharp and delivers good results in most lighting, and Samsung’s update promise is tough to beat. You’ll also get Mediatek’s Dimensity 700 processor to keep you connected at top speeds.

Unfortunately, Samsung made a few other changes to the Galaxy A13 that hold it back. The ultrawide camera is gone, but the macro camera stuck around for another year. Samsung’s 5,000mAh battery also charges at just 15W, so you can expect to stay at an outlet for a while. The Galaxy A13 offers 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage at its base configuration, which is enough for most tasks.

Samsung Galaxy A13 specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: Mediatek Dimensity 700
  • RAM: 4GB
  • Storage: 64GB
  • Cameras: 50, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

8. Samsung Galaxy A03s

galaxy a03s rear angle
Ryan Haines / Android Authority

Samsung seems to be embracing some significant changes this year. While the Galaxy A03s doesn’t entirely revolutionize the entry-level market, it brings some good updates for under $200. It finally offers a fingerprint reader instead of relying on software-based security for the A02s.

The screen is still quite large, coming in at 6.5 inches, even with HD+ resolution. Three cameras at the back get the job done, even if the 13MP primary shooter is the only one worth using in most situations. Other specs and features include 32 or 64GB of expandable storage, a 5,000mAh battery, and Android 11 with Samsung’s One UI on top. All these things considered, the Galaxy A03s is one of the best Samsung phones you can get for under $200.

Samsung Galaxy A03s specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: Mediatek Helio P35
  • RAM: 3/4GB
  • Storage: 32/64GB
  • Cameras: 13, 2, and 2MP
  • Front camera: 5MP
  • Battery: 5,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

These are our picks for the best Samsung phones you can get, although there are many other options out there as well. We’ll be sure to update this post once new models hit the market.