Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra vs Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra 1
Adam Molina / 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 line-up is actually quite robust with a variety of phones covering prices as low as under $200 or as high as $1,300 or more.

Some of Samsung’s mid-range and entry-level lineups are similar in specs and design that 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.

The best Samsung phones


1. Samsung Galaxy S21 series

Samsung Galaxy S21 vs S21 Plus vs S21 Ultra 1 1
David Imel / Android Authority

It’s a new year, and that means time for new Samsung flagships. The Galaxy S21 family arrived as expected at Samsung’s January Unpacked event, and the three models will likely set the tone for phones throughout 2021. You get everything you’d expect, and, in the case of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, you get even more.

See also: Samsung Galaxy S21 buyer’s guide

There are three core phones in this year’s lineup, just like last year’s Galaxy S20 lineup. The cheapest is the Samsung Galaxy S21, followed by the Galaxy S21 Plus, and finally the S21 Ultra. Aside from the display and battery sizes, there’s actually not a whole lot of difference between the S21 and the S21 Plus.

Only the S21 Ultra stands out from the pack with its impressive camera setup as well as support for Samsung’s S-Pen stylus. However, all three come with the same Snapdragon 888 processing package, so you don’t have to worry about performance. For once, Samsung found a way to make the Galaxy S21 line slightly more affordable, the base S21 now starts at just $799.


Samsung Galaxy S21 specs:

  • Display: 6.2-inch, QHD+
  • SoC: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 64MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,000mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch, QHD+
  • Chipset: SD 888 or Exynos 2100
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 64MP
  • Front cameras: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,800mAh
  • Software: Android 11

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra specs:

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

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Although the Galaxy S family is the most popular line of Samsung devices, the Galaxy Note line always takes things up a notch, especially if you’re a fan of the S Pen.

Both the Galaxy Note 20 and 20 Ultra are great options for demanding users. However, the Ultra model brings a lot more to the table. It has a larger display with a higher resolution, more RAM, a larger battery, and a big 108MP main camera sensor. You can also further expand storage with a microSD card. The display on the Ultra is also the first with Corning’s Gorilla Glass Victus.

Featuring the Snapdragon 865 Plus (or the Exynos 990, depending on market), 12GB of RAM, and a 6.9-inch AMOLED panel with the Infinity-O punch hole, this is a powerful phone. The phone is also IP68 rated and comes with the embedded S Pen stylus.

It is expensive, but that’s not surprising given everything it has to offer. If you’re hoping to save a little bit of money, the regular Galaxy Note 20 is a good option since it offers the same performance. However, there are quite a few compromises that make the Note 20 Ultra the far better choice, if you can splurge.


Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra specs:

  • Display: 6.9-inch, Quad HD+
  • SoC: SD 865 Plus/Exynos 990
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB
  • Cameras: 108, 12, and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

See also: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review


3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

Samsung’s latest foldable phone is the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2. Samsung has gone out of its way to address the problems that plagued its predecessor, and there are also some enticing upgrades. One of the biggest changes is a much bigger 6.2-inch external display, while the display on the inside replaces a large unseemly notch with a waterdrop. There’s also more glass protection, less plastic, and a nice big 7.2-inch display.

On the specs front, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 now features a Snapdragon 865 Plus processor, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage, and 5G support. There are now three 12MP rear cameras, a 10MP front-facing camera on the external display, and the same on the inside of the larger internal display. The handset also comes with a 4,500mAh battery and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner.

The good news is that it no longer has the issues of a first-gen device and works well as a daily driver. The bad news is that the Galaxy Z Fold 2 is also the most expensive Samsung smartphone you can get, with its $2,000 price tag.


Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch and 6.2-inch HD+ AMOLED exterior
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 12GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip unfolded sitting up

The Z Fold 2 isn’t the only foldable Samsung released this year. In fact, first out the gate was the Galaxy Z Flip 5G, which quietly keeps impressing, especially following a specs bump.

The Z Flip line offers a different take on a foldable phone. Instead of a phone that opens into a tablet, this works, as the name suggests, like a flip phone. There’s a main 6.7-inch display, but there’s only a smaller 1.1-inch secondary display when it’s folded.

It’s compact and features a beautiful design with a sturdy hinge. The phone doesn’t compromise on performance either. There’s a Snapdragon 865 Plus, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage. There are also two 12MP rear cameras and a 10MP front-facing camera. The handset also comes with a 3,300mAh battery and a side-mounted fingerprint scanner. Like with most other foldable phones, the Galaxy Z Flip is quite expensive, but many reviewers have stuck with it as a primary device.


Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.7-inch and 1.1-inch
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865 Plus
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 256GB
  • Cameras: 12 and 12MP
  • Front camera: 10MP
  • Battery: 3,300mAh
  • Software: Android 10

5. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE is technically a part of the S20 series, but the Fan Edition is different enough to warrant its own mention. In fact, it might just be the affordable flagship sleeper hit of 2020. The phone takes a kitchen-sink approach with a brilliant 120Hz display, bells, and whistles like an IP68 rating, wireless charging, and a trio of very competent cameras. Yet, it’s the most affordable Samsung flagship you can get.

The phone competes directly against the OnePlus 8T, and for the most part, bests it if you are looking for a more well-rounded package with significantly better cameras and feature set. For the most part, the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE offers more bang for your buck with software features and a competent feature set. It’s definitely one of the best Samsung phones you can get without breaking the bank.


Samsung Galaxy S20 FE specs

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 865
  • RAM: 8GB
  • Storage: 128GB
  • Cameras: 12, 12, and 8MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 10

6. Samsung Galaxy A52 5G

Samsung’s 5G-capable series of smartphones get more affordable with the latest additions to the company’s mid-range A-series. Leading the charge is the Galaxy A52 5G. Its predecessor was one of the best mid-rangers you could get, and the A52 is an excellent follow-up.

Samsung brings high refresh rates to its mid-rangers, with the A52 featuring a Super AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. Another useful upgrade is in the camera setup, headlined by an impressive 64MP shooter. You get dual-SIM capabilities, with the second slot doubling as a microSD card slot, and it’s one of the few phones in 2021 to come with a headphone jack. The 4,500mAh battery also comfortably lasts through an entire day and beyond.

If you’re looking for a comparatively more affordable entry point for 5G, the Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is definitely worth considering. If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, the Galaxy A42 5G fits the bill. You don’t get as much RAM, the high refresh rate, or as impressive a camera setup, but it is $100 cheaper.


Samsung Galaxy A52 5G specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 720G
  • RAM: 6/8GB
  • Storage: 128/256GB
  • Cameras: 64, 12, 5, and 5MP
  • Front camera: 32MP
  • Battery: 4,500mAh
  • Software: Android 11

7. Samsung Galaxy A02s

We jump into entry-level territory with the Samsung Galaxy A02s. This phone isn’t going to win any performance or awards, but it has a few advantages that make it worth considering for anyone on a budget.

The screen is quite large, coming in at 6.5 inches, even if it only has HD+ resolution. There are three cameras at the back that get the job done, and it is good for a phone at this price point. 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 A02s is one of the best you can get for under $150.


Samsung Galaxy A02s specs:

  • Display: 6.5-inch, HD+
  • SoC: Snapdragon 450
  • RAM: 2/3/4GB
  • 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.