Which Samsung phone is the best?

·6-min read
 (Samsung)
(Samsung)

Samsung is one of two big names in the smartphone game. And while Apple focuses on sleek design and usability, Samsung is all about innovation and technology that won’t be experienced on an iPhone perhaps for another couple of generations.

But which Samsung phone is best?

We’ve looked at a range of the Korean manufacturer’s handsets to rate them on processing power, storage capacity, camera capability, display technology, pricing and more to rank what we believe are the five best Samsung phones you can buy right now.

Related: Compare Samsung Phone Deals

1. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G

Screen size: 6.8"

Max camera resolution (Megapixels): 108MP

Max RAM: 16GB

Max storage capacity:512GB

Screen resolution: 3200 x 1440

Screen Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 515

Display refresh rate: 120Hz

CPU speed: 2.9GHz

Battery capacity: 5,000mAh

Camera F-stop range: f1.8 – 4.9

Max camera zoom: 100x

Samsung’s latest and greatest is the premium version of its Galaxy S21 flagship phone, offering beefed up specs at a premium price.

With a massive 16GB of RAM and an octa-core processor topping out at 2.9GHz, this is one of the most powerful handsets on the market. The large AMOLED display might make the phone unwieldy for smaller hands, but means you get space for a large 5,000mAh battery to see you through the day.

If you’re serious about photography, the S21 Ultra 5G offers perhaps the most capable camera array you can get on a phone. Its super high-resolution 108MP lens allows for 100x zoom and thanks to its impressive f-number range, you get fine control over every capture plus a professional bokeh effect on portraits.

Price: £1,329

2. Samsung Galaxy S21

Screen size: 6.2"

Max camera resolution (Megapixels): 64MP

Max RAM: 8GB

Max storage capacity: 256GB

Screen resolution: 2400 x 1080

Screen Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 421

Screen refresh rate:120Hz

CPU speed: 2.9GHz

Battery capacity: 4,000mAh

Camera F-stop range: f1.8 - 2.2

Max camera zoom: 30x

The standard version of the latest Samsung flagship offers something more manageable for smaller hands and budgets. It’s still an expensive phone at £819, but that’s cheaper than the iPhone 12 with equivalent storage capacity. The 6.2” AMOLED display refreshes at a super-smooth 120Hz, just like its Ultra big brother but isn’t quite as high resolution. Its eight-core processor is just as capable as its more expensive counterpart but the base S21 comes with half the RAM.

There’s also half the storage at 256GB, with no slot for a Micro SD card to expand it.

The 4,000mAh should see you through a full day between charges and while less powerful than the Ultra’s, the camera set-up is still impressive – including a 64MP main lens with 30x zoom.

If you prefer a smaller (but still sizeable) handset and you’ve never had complaints about smartphone battery life, you could save a good chunk of money by choosing the Galaxy S21 5G over the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G.

Price: £819

3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2 5G

Screen sizes:6.2”/7.6”

Max camera resolution: 12MP

Max RAM: 12GB

Max storage capacity: 256GB

Screen resolutions: 2208 x 816/ 2208 x 1768

Screen Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 373

Screen refresh rate: 120Hz

CPU speed: 3.09GHz

Battery capacity: 4,500mAh

Camera F-stop range: f1.8-2.4

Max camera zoom: 10x

The z Fold2 gets a spot in our list for its sheer innovation, despite its terrifically large price tag. The folding phone’s display can be either 6.2” or a seamless 7.6” when opened. It improves on Samsung original Z Fold device with narrower bezels and a better hinge where the two displays become one.

It’s not all gimmick, though. The Z Fold2 comes with 12GB of RAM, a top CPU speed of 3.09GHz and display refresh rate of 120Hz, putting it mostly on par with Samsung’s flagships. There are compromises on the camera, with lenses limited to 12MP and 10x zoom, but it’ll still do everything you’d expect a phone that costs more than £1,000 to do.

Price: £1,599

4. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

Screen size: 6.5"

Max camera resolution: 32MP

Max RAM: 8GB

Max storage capacity: 256GB

Screen resolution: 2400 x 1080

Screen Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 407

Screen refresh rate: 120Hz

CPU speed: 2.8GHz

Battery capacity: 4,500mAh

Camera F-stop range: f1.8-2.4

Max camera zoom: 30x

The last-generation S20 handset was so well received that Samsung brought it back in the guise of a Fan Edition (FE) offering some upgrades at an affordable price. The mid-range handset comes with 8GB of RAM and an octa-core processor that reaches 2.8GHz, a 6.5” AMOLED display that refreshes at 120Hz and a decently sized 4,500mAH battery to keep everything going.

The phone comes with 256GB of internal storage but, unlike its successor, has a slot for a Micro SD card that will accept up to an additional Terabyte. On the back you get twin 12MP camera lenses and an 8MP telephoto lens with up to 30x zoom.

On the front there’s a 32MP selfie camera. In all, you get an almost-top-spec handset for £300 less – but with no 5G connectivity.

Price: £499

5. SamsungGalaxy A21s

Screen size: 6.5"

Max camera resolution: 48MP

Max RAM: 3GB

Max storage capacity: 128GB

Screen resolution: 1600 x 700

Screen Pixels Per Inch (PPI): 270

Screen refresh rate: 60Hz

CPU speed: 2GHz

Battery capacity: 5,000mAh

Camera F-stop range: f2-2.4

Max camera zoom: 8x

The ‘best phone’ isn’t always the one with the highest specs, especially if you’re on a budget. If you’re just using your phone for messaging, calls and everyday apps, there’s a lot to be said for the £170 Galaxy A21s. It comes with a 6.5” (LCD) screen, a high-resolution 48MP main camera and a long-lasting 5,000mAh battery.

The sacrifices you’ll make for the lower price are the low resolution display, lower-than average RAM and a relatively sluggish processor that might make running concurrent apps a headache. Still, if you’re not a smartphone addict but you like the Samsung brand, there are enough positives here to justify its affordable asking price.

Price: £170

Frequently asked questions

Which is the best Samsung phone?

It depends on what you need your phone to do, but we think the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best Samsung phone. it’s also among the most expensive. The Galaxy S20 FE is a great alternative for much less.

Which Samsung phone has the best camera(s)?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra with its 108MP main lens and 100x zoom.

Do Samsung phones come with 5G?

Not all of them. The ones that do tend to have the 5G suffix in their names e.g. The Samsung Galaxy S21 5G.

Which Samsung phone has the best battery?

The largest capacity batteries are found in the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G and the Galaxy A21s. Both have a 5,000mAh battery, but the former has much more power-sapping technology than the latter, which may last longer between charges.

Related: Compare Samsung Phone Deals