Looking for the best Samsung phones? Samsung’s lines, particularly the well-regarded Galaxy series, include a wide range of models for different types of users and there’s something to suit all budgets. Picking one out on your own can be hard, but we’ve fully tested the range to create our list of the best Samsung smartphones.
After much debate, we’ve landed on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus as our choice for the best overall Samsung smartphone, but we’ve got suggestions for the best Samsung smartphone under $500 and Samsung’s best productivity smartphone coming up too, amongst others. Our list of the top Samsung phones includes details on what makes them great plus links to detailed reviews for each phone. Check it out below to see which phone is best for you.
Best Samsung phones at a glance
Best overall Samsung smartphone: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
Why you should buy this: You get a slim, lightweight smartphone with a beautiful screen, a camera that gives great results in most environments, and excellent battery life.
Who it’s for: Anybody looking for the latest smartphone from Samsung — you’d be hard-pressed to find better.
Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: Nicely proportioned, the S20 Plus is neither too big nor too small. With a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen and slim lightweight design, it weighs just 6.5 ounces and is 0.3 inches thick. It costs a little more than its stablemate the Galaxy S20, as you might expect, but less than the larger Galaxy S20 Ultra, and comes in a range of colors including the (rather dreary) Cosmic Grey, Cosmic Black, and eye-catching Cloud Blue.
One of the best things about the S20 Plus is its screen — with a 120Hz refresh rate and 3,200 x 1,440-pixel resolution, it provides fantastic dynamic range, with bold, vibrant colors.
The S20 Plus is a powerful smartphone, although the processor varies depending on where you buy it. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 865 processor is what you’ll get if you’re buying in the U.S., while in the U.K. and Europe the S20 is sold with Samsung’s Exynos 990 chip, with 12GB RAM and 128GB storage (with an upgrade to 512GB available). Though there’s not much difference between the two, some independent tests bring the Snapdragon 865’s Adreno 865 graphics chip out ahead, meaning you may experience better battery life when using the screen at full resolution or gaming on your phone. The handset itself is lightweight and doesn’t heat up while playing games, even when settings are maxed.
You won’t run out of battery either thanks to its powerful 4,500mAh battery, which should see you through a full day of fairly heavy use including gaming and watching videos. On days where you use your phone moderately, the S20 Plus’ battery won’t even get close to running out of juice. Did we mention the cameras? The 64-megapixel telephoto camera has a 3x optical zoom, and there’s a time-of-flight camera, as well as a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. A dedicated night mode works well in dark environments, there’s 8K video recording, and Single Take mode — which records several photos and videos using all the phone’s cameras — is great for those times you can’t decide whether to share stills or video on social media.
The S20 Plus is also 5G ready, so when the new network comes to your area, you’ll be good to go.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy S20
If your budget can’t quite stretch to the S20 Plus, the Galaxy S20 is a great alternative that’s around $300 cheaper. With a slightly smaller (6.2-inch vs the Plus’s 6.7-inch) screen, the S20 has the same processor as the S20 Plus, although it has a 4,000mAh battery and the rear camera is a triple rather than a quad lens. It weighs a little less too, coming in at 5.7 ounces, so if you prefer more compact, lightweight phones, the S20 is likely to be the better phone for you.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy S20 review
Best productivity Samsung smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Why you should buy this: You get a stylish phone with a stunning 6.8-inch dynamic AMOLED screen, and useful productivity features like handwriting to text conversion.
Who it’s for: Anybody who takes notes on their phone and wants more than the standard features.
Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: Although it’s taller and wider than the Note 9 and will be a two-handed device for most, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is super thin and light, weighing in at 6.9 ounces. If you get the chance, pick up the Aura Glow color with its eye-catching iridescent chrome finish. The Note 10 Plus boasts a 6.8-inch dynamic AMOLED screen with 3,040 x 1,440 resolution — it’s also HDR10+ certified, although its refresh rate is just 60Hz, which is a little disappointing.
If you’re buying in the U.S., you’ll get Samsung’s Snapdragon 855 processor — elsewhere it’s the Exynos 9825 — and 12GB RAM, making the Note 10 Plus an excellent multitasker, with 256GB internal storage (or pick up the 512GB model) and a microSD card slot, as well as a 4,300mAh battery that should see you through most days with plenty of change. The phone comes bundled with a 25-watt charger that supports Quick Charge 2.0 — it takes just over an hour to reach full charge but it’s worth springing for the 45-watt charger separately if you need a full charge in 30 minutes. 15W wireless charging is also supported, as is Wireless PowerShare, so you can use the phone to charge other Qi-certified devices.
The Note 10 Plus doesn’t disappoint on the camera front either, with three cameras: A 12-megapixel main lens, 12-megapixel telephoto lens, and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens, plus a time-of-flight sensor. Some of the Live Focus effects are fun to play around with, like Color Point, which makes the background black and white and the subject in color.
The S Pen boasts some new features like Air Actions, where you can wave the stylus like a wand to control apps, and fun additions like AR Doodle, letting you sketch in 3D using the phone’s camera. On the productivity front, the handwriting to text conversion feature will come in handy for many users, although this only works with MS Word and text is placed in a text box, so you’ll need to cut and paste it if you want to make changes.
It’s worth noting the standard Galaxy Note 10 Plus isn’t 5G-ready and only supports Wi-Fi 6 and LTE, although there is a Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G model available. You can pick up the standard version right now on Amazon for a shade under $900.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Our runner up is the Galaxy Note 10, which will set you back around $150 less than the Note 10 Plus. Weighing just 5.9 ounces, its smaller size and 6.3-inch screen with 2,280 x 1,080 resolution make it an excellent runner up, and it boasts three camera lenses, 8GB of RAM, and the same processor as the Note 10 Plus. Although it does only have a 3,500mAh battery, it comes bundled with a 25W fast charger and supports 15W wireless charging. The Note 10 is definitely worth considering if you prefer a smaller alternative to the Note 10 Plus.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review
Best Samsung smartphone under $500: Samsung Galaxy A51
Why you should buy this: It’s a fantastic mid-range phone with a sleek design, excellent OLED display, and quad lens camera.
Who it’s for: Anybody on a budget looking for the best bang for their buck — or an alternative to the iPhone SE.
Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy A51: For under $500, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is hard to beat. Its 6.5-inch OLED display and super-slim bezel give the phone a sleek appearance and it’s light too. Get your hands on the eye-catching Prism blue option if you can and pick up a MicroSD card to expand the phone’s storage up to 512GB — it comes with 128GB storage and 4GB of RAM.
The Galaxy A51 comes with Samsung’s Exynos 9611 CPU — comparable to the Snapdragon 665 (used in the Moto G Power) and one area this processor really excels is gaming. You should be able to run even the most demanding games, but strangely may find the phone stutters occasionally with more basic tasks.
If you’re a fan of the headphone jack you’ll be pleased to see one here, and there’s no rear-mounted fingerprint sensor on the A51. Instead, you get an in-display optical scanner that’s generally pretty responsive, except if your hands are wet. The quad lens camera includes a 48-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro sensor to cover all your photography needs — although focusing in low light can be an issue.
The A51 runs Android 10 out of the box and has Samsung’s One UI installed, and with a 4,000mAh battery, you should get through most days with battery to spare. While the basic model doesn’t support 5G, you can spring for the A51 5G model so you’re ready for when the network arrives in your area.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy A51 review
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy A70
Currently available for under $350 on Amazon, the Samsung Galaxy A70 runs Android 9.0 pie and boasts a 6.7-inch super AMOLED screen, Snapdragon 675 processor, 6GB RAM, and 128GB storage. Add to that a triple-lens camera and a 4,500mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging and you’ve got yourself an impressive smartphone for under $500.
Best Samsung smartphone under $300: Samsung Galaxy A50
Why you should buy this: If you’re on a budget, this is one of the best under-$300 phones around, with its 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, triple-lens camera, and impressive battery life.
Who it’s for: Buyers on a budget looking for a stylish, slim phone that packs an impressive processor and all-day battery life.
Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy A50: For under $300 the Galaxy A50 has the best display you’ll find for this price with its impressive 6.4-inch super AMOLED screen with 2,340 x 1,080 resolution. The A50 has Samsung’s Exynos 9610 processor, 4GB RAM, and 64GB (or 128GB) internal storage — expandable up to 512GB with a Micro SD card. This is a solid mid-range processor that’s comparable to the Snapdragon 670 (also used in the Google Pixel 3a) and although it offers excellent performance, things can get a little heated when playing the latest games with maxed visuals.
The A50 has a headphone jack and a triple-lens camera with a 25-megapixel wide sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor, and a 5-megapixel depth sensor, as well as a 25-megapixel front-facing camera for selfies. The 4,000mAh battery provides enough juice to get you through a busy day, although charging is a bit slower than some of Samsung’s flagship phones, with a 15W charger, and wireless charging isn’t supported. In-screen fingerprint recognition proves a reliable feature that’s a definite boost for such an inexpensive device, although expect a slight delay when using it compared to traditional capacitive sensors.
You can pick up the Samsung Galaxy A50 for just under $300 on Amazon right now (prices may vary on other networks).
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy A50 review
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy A20
With its 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen (1,560 x 720-pixel resolution), Exynos 7904 processor with 3GB RAM, 4,000mAh battery (with 15W fast charging), and dual-lens camera, the Galaxy A20’s specs are impressive. It may only have 32GB of onboard storage, but that can be expanded up to 512GB with a Micro SD card. You can pick up the Samsung Galaxy A20 for around $250 from T-Mobile right now.
Best rugged Samsung smartphone: Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
Why you should buy this: It’s a rugged, military-grade phone with IP68 rating against sand, water, dust, and dirt that can withstand falls up to 5 feet — and it boasts a replaceable 4,050mAh battery.
Who it’s for: Those who want a rugged phone that can withstand anything.
Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro: Although it’s designed for industrial use, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is a great choice for anybody who’s tough on their phone. It can withstand falls up to 5 feet, has an IP68 rating making it resistant to dirt, dust, water, and sand, and is MIL-STD-810 certified, meaning it won’t pack up at high altitudes or in hot conditions. There’s more to this phone than its rugged features though — it boasts a 6.3-inch 1080p edge-to-edge display with Gorilla Glass 5 and a 2GHz octa-core Samsung Exynos 9611 Octa-Core processor with 4GB RAM and 64GB of internal storage (that can be upgraded to 512GB with a Micro SD). The screen boasts Enhanced Touch capabilities, so you can use it with wet hands or gloves and the phone runs Android 10 and Samsung One UI 2.0.
Its best feature is its replaceable 4,050mAh battery that supports 15W fast charging and can be swapped out, not to mention the pogo pin connectors for docked charging or connecting accessories like scanners and card readers — the XCover Pro is EMV Level 1 certified, so you can use it as a point-of-sale terminal.
There are two cameras on the back — a main 25-megapixel camera and a secondary 8-megapixel ultra-wide one — plus a 13-megapixel front-facing camera and a headphone jack so you don’t need to worry about losing your wireless earbuds at work. You can pick up the XCover Pro for under $500 on Amazon right now.
Read more about the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
Runner-up: Samsung Galaxy S10e
You might be wondering why we’ve included a phone that isn’t particularly rugged as our runner-up. You can pick up a Rebel Armor military-grade case for the S10e for under $20 on Amazon, with a 10ft impact rating, solid core frame, and edge-to-edge rubber protection to absorb impact. We’ve chosen the phone itself as it boasts a smaller screen than many of the Samsung smartphones on our list — 5.8-inches — with dynamic AMOLED display, Full HD+ resolution, and HDR10+ certification. The S10e is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, with 6GB RAM and 128GB internal storage plus a MicroSD card slot, and runs Android 9.0 Pie and Samsung’s One UI interface. The only downside? The 3,100mAh battery supports Quick Charge 2.0 and Fast Wireless Charging 2.0, and should see you through most workdays. But if you’re planning a late one, pack your portable battery pack. Right now you can pick up the S10e on Verizon for under $600.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy S10e review
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