Samsung is without a doubt the biggest name in the Android world, and if you are considering purchasing a new phone, logic dictates you may be looking to pick up a phone made by the Korean giant. However, while it might be easy to just say “get a Note or the latest Galaxy S,” Samsung’s line-up is actually quite robust with a variety of phones covering prices as low as $85 or as high as $1000.
Some of Samsung’s mid-range and entry lineups are so similar in specs and design that picking a phone can be a bit confusing. That’s where we come in. In this list, we break down some of the best Samsung phones for the high, mid, and even entry-level options.
Best high-end Samsung phone: Galaxy Note 9
Not only is the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 the best Samsung phone currently available, it’s also one the best smartphones you can get. Its top-of-the-line specs, great build quality, and extra features make it stand out from the crowd.
The Note 9's S Pen has a new trick up its sleeve.
The phablet sports a large 6.4-inch QHD+ display with curved sides and an aspect ratio of 18.5:9. It’s powered by the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset — depending on the region — with up to 8GB of RAM, and comes with as much as 512GB of expandable storage. Like all Note devices, it features the S Pen, which now supports Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE), allowing you to launch the camera and take a selfie via the button on the stylus, among other things.
Other specs and features include a massive 4,000mAh battery, two 12MP cameras at the back, and an iris scanner. The phone is also waterproof thanks to its IP68 rating. The only drawback of the Galaxy Note 9 is that it’s expensive. The entry-level version goes for $1,000, while the beefed-up variant with 8GB of RAM and 512GB of storage retails for $1,250.
- 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,960 x 1,440 resolution, 516ppi
- Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset — depending on the region
- 6/8GB of RAM
- 128/512GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 512GB
- Dual 12MP rear cameras, 8MP front camera
- Non-removable 4,000mAh battery
- Android 8.1 Oreo
- 161.9 x 76.4 x 8.8mm, 201g
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review: In praise of incrementalism
- The 5 features that make the Galaxy Note 9 great
- Galaxy Note 9 vs Galaxy S9 Plus: Which Galaxy do you belong to?
- 7 things you can do with the Galaxy Note 9’s Bluetooth S Pen
Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus
The Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are both powered by the Snapdragon 845 or Exynos 9810 chipset (depending on the region), sport an IP68 rating, and have a headphone jack. They also feature an iris scanner, AR Emojis, and pack an 8MP selfie snapper.
However, there are a few differences between the two models. The Galaxy S9 has a 5.8-inch display compared to the 6.2-inch panel of the Plus model. The other three differences are the camera, battery, and RAM. The Plus model has a dual-camera setup on the back, 6GB of RAM, and a 3,500mAh battery, while the S9 has a single primary shooter, 4GB of RAM, and a 3,000mAh battery. Both smartphones are currently on sale: the Galaxy S9 starts at $620 and the S9 Plus goes for $740.
Samsung Galaxy Note 8
If you want a Samsung phone with the S Pen but don’t want to spend a grand to get the Galaxy Note 9, last year’s Note 8 could be the phone for you. Compared to its predecessor, the device has a slightly smaller display at 6.3 inches and packs a smaller 3,300mAh battery. The S Pen also doesn’t support Bluetooth Low Energy and the camera is missing the dual aperture feature. However, the Note 8 still offers more than enough power for demanding users, a vibrant curved display, and various bells and whistles, including an iris scanner. More importantly, its 64GB version goes for $720 these days.
Best mid-range Samsung phone: Galaxy A7 (2018)
Samsung quietly took the wraps off the mid-range Galaxy A7 (2018) in September. Its triple-camera setup is something we’ve only seen on a few high-end phones so far, like the Huawei P20 Pro. The setup sports an 8MP 120-degree ultra wide angle lens, a 24MP main lens, and a 5MP depth lens.
The Galaxy A7 (2018) is Samsung's first phone with a triple camera setup.
The camera also comes with Scene Optimizer, a feature that debuted on the Galaxy Note 9. This tech can automatically recognize what the camera is looking at and adjust the settings to create a better image. The feature isn’t exclusive to Samsung devices though — we’ve seen it on loads of other phones.
The Galaxy A7 comes with a 6.0-inch Full HD+ display, up to 6GB of RAM, and 3,300mAh battery. The phone also has a headphone jack and features a 24MP selfie snapper with support for AR Emoji. Pricing hasn’t been announced yet, but we expect the phone to retail between $400 and $500. It will hit shelves in select European and Asian markets this fall before making its way to other markets across the globe.
- 6.0-inch Super AMOLED display with 2,220 x 1,080 resolution, 411ppi
- Unspecified octa-core 2.2GHz processor (likely the Exynos 7885)
- 4/6GB of RAM
- 64/128GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 512GB
- 24, 8, and 5MP rear cameras, 24MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,300mAh battery
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 159.8 x 76.8 x 7.5mm, 168g
Samsung Galaxy A8 and A8 Plus
The Galaxy A8 Plus is very similar to the Galaxy A7 (2018) in term of specs. It also sports a 6.0-inch Full HD+ display and packs in the Exynos 7885 chipset with up to 6GB of RAM. It’s only got a single camera on the back, but packs a larger 3,500mAh battery. The Galaxy A8, on the other hand, comes with a smaller 5.6-inch display, 4GB of RAM, and a 3,000mAh battery. It has the same camera and chipset as its bigger brother. Overall, the devices offer solid specs and a great design, making them one of the best Samsung phones you can get in the mid-range segment. They weren’t officially released in the U.S., but you can still get the international models on Amazon for around $330 and $385.
Samsung Galaxy A6 and A6 Plus
The Galaxy A6 Plus offers more than the A6, featuring a 6.0-inch Full HD+ display, the Snapdragon 450 chipset, and up to 4GB of RAM. It also comes with a dual-camera setup on the back and packs a 3,500mAh battery. The Galaxy A6 sports a smaller 5.6-inch Full HD+ display, is powered by the Exynos 7870 processor, and also comes with up to 4GB of RAM. It only has a single shooter on the back and a smaller 3,000mAh battery.
The Plus model wasn’t officially released in the U.S., though you can get the international model on Amazon for $280 — without a warranty. The Galaxy A6 made it to the U.S. and is available via Sprint, AT&T, and Boost Mobile. Surprisingly, the phone costs more than the Plus model, coming in at around $350.
Best cheap Samsung phone: Galaxy J7
If you’re on the hunt for a cheap Samsung phone, the Galaxy J7 just might be up your alley. The phone doesn’t impress in the specs department, but it still has enough power under the hood for the average user.
Its display measures 5.5 inches and offers HD resolution. The device has 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, which you can expand with the help of a microSD card. There’s a basic 13MP camera on board along with a 13MP selfie snapper. Other specs and features include a 3,300mAh battery, Android 8.0 Oreo, and a headphone jack.
The Galaxy J7 doesn’t shine in the design department. It’s not ugly, but it definitely can’t compare to more expensive models with their glass backs and thin bezels. You can get the unlocked version of the handset from B&H for $250, making it one of the best Samsung phones in the budget category.
- 5.5-inch TFT LCD display with 1,280 x 720 resolution, 267ppi
- Unspecified 1.6 GHz octa-core processor
- 2GB of RAM
- 32GB of onboard storage, expandable up to 400GB
- 13MP rear camera, 13MP front camera
- Non-removable 3,300mAh battery
- Android 8.0 Oreo
- 152 x 76 x 8mm, 181g
Samsung Galaxy J3 (2018)
If you think the Galaxy J7’s $250 price tag is too high, the Galaxy J3 (2018) might be a better option for you. The unlocked version of the phone is listed at $170 on Samsung’s website. It comes with a 5.0-inch display, Exynos 7570 chipset, and 2GB of RAM. The Galaxy J3 also features 16GB of expandable storage, an 8MP primary camera, and a 2,600mAh battery.
It looks similar to the Galaxy J7 (2018), but has a smaller footprint. Without a doubt, this is one of the best Samsung phones you can get on a budget.
Samsung Galaxy J2 Core
The Galaxy J2 Core is Samsung’s first Android Go device. The phone’s specs won’t blow your socks off, but that’s not the goal. It sports a 4.7-inch display with a resolution of 960 x 540, the Exynos 3475 chipset, and 1GB of RAM. There’s also 8GB of expandable storage on board and a headphone jack. The battery has a 2,000mAh capacity and the primary camera comes in at 5MP.
The Galaxy J2 Core is the cheapest phone on this list. Unfortunately, it wasn’t released in the U.S. It’s already on sale in emerging markets like India, where it goes for 6,190 rupees (~$85).
Samsung Galaxy A4 Plus and A6 Plus
The last devices on our list of the best Samsung phones are the Galaxy A4 Plus and A6 Plus, which are similar in many ways. Both sport a 6.0-inch HD+ display powered by the Snapdragon 425 chipset and a 3,300mAh battery. They also run Android 8.1 Oreo. However, the Plus model offers more in the specs department, featuring a dual-camera setup on the back, up to 4GB of RAM, and a side-mounted fingerprint reader.
The A4 Plus only has a single shooter on the back, offers up to 3GB of RAM. It doesn’t have a fingerprint reader, but it supports facial recognition, though this feature isn’t super safe. The Galaxy A4 Plus and A6 Plus were announced in September and will soon be available in India for 10,900 (~$150) and 15,990 rupees (~$215) respectively. No word for now whether they will make it to Western markets.
That’s all, folks. Do you agree with our best Samsung phones picks? Was there a major handset we didn’t mention you feel should have made the best Samsung phones list? Let us know your thoughts down in the comments!
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