The best Samsung Galaxy phone 2023on January 11, 2023 at 12:57 Tech Advisor

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Samsung has led the global Android phone market for years, giving Apple its greatest competition while holding off an increasing threat from Android rivals that range from Chinese tech giants to Google itself.

While Apple only launches a handful of phones a year, Samsung is more prolific. That gives prospective buyers plenty of options to pick between, which is both good and bad – there’s probably a Samsung phone out there to suit just about anyone, but it can be tricky to figure out which one is right for you.

Do you want the flagship-class (but expensive) experience offered by the Galaxy S range or Z-series foldables? If you’re on a tighter budget, one of the more affordable FE models may appeal more, or any of the handsets from the expansive Galaxy A range, or the even cheaper Galaxy M line.

We review as many Samsung Galaxy phones as we can every year, and right here you’ll find our pick of the bunch. We’ve not just included the expensive models – though they’re here too – but have also picked out our favourite cheaper Samsung handsets, so there should be something to suit any budget.

If you’re considering a new Samsung phone, remember that the Galaxy S23 line will be revealed on 1 February – so there are new phones on the horizon, and potentially discounts ahead for last year’s S22 models.

Best Samsung Galaxy phones 2023

1. Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra – Best overall

Pros

Excellent camera

Phenomenal display

Integrated stylus

Cons

Bulky

Expensive

Sluggish charging

RRP:



From £1,149

While the S21 Ultra dabbled with Note-like features, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is unquestionably a full-blown successor to 2020’s 
Note 20 Ultra in everything but name.

The design is distinctly different from the other entries in the Galaxy S22 range (which is to say very ‘Note-like’) and features an integrated S Pen stylus that expands functionality beyond most rivals, especially in terms of productivity.

Despite familiar-looking camera hardware, the upgrades made by Samsung render it one of the best systems in any phone right now; with a 108Mp main shooter backed up by an ultrawide and two telephoto lenses at different zoom levels – with the zoom performance particularly improved on previous models.

The expansive 6.8in LTPO AMOLED display delivers both high WQHD+ resolution and an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz, while long-term software support that surpasses even Google’s Pixels rounds out an impressive list of pros.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 – Best foldable

Pros

Elegant folding design

Water-resistant

Affordable (for a foldable)

Cons

No telephoto camera

Still needs to be tougher

Samsung took its already-envelope-pushing Galaxy Z Flip 3 foldable, and made a few key changes to result in an even better Flip 4.

Improvements to both battery life and camera quality have fixed the most notable flaws of the previous generation, meaning there are now few compromises to the design.

The main one is that you’ll have to live without a telephoto camera – included on all of Samsung’s other flagships – and accept the risk that it may not be as durable as a traditional slab-shaped phone.

Still, the combo of a beautiful, compact design with top-notch specs, water-resistance, and now enough battery to last the day comfortably makes this a difficult phone to turn down.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

3. Samsung Galaxy S22 – Best compact flagship

Pros

Premium design and build

Excellent AMOLED display  

Solid flagship camera performance

Cons

Sub-par battery life

Only 25W charging

Expensive

The Galaxy S22 5G is a dream handset for small phone enthusiasts.

Highlights include a premium compact design, excellent camera performance, 120Hz display, IP68 rating, and Samsung’s One UI skin.

Battery life aside, there are barely any major downsides to the S22. If you are a heavy user, get prepared to charge the phone more than once a day or carry a portable power bank.

It is not worth upgrading from last year’s S21 though, as the improvements are marginal. If you need better battery life and a larger screen and can stretch your budget, the S22+ (below) is worth considering.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy S22

4. Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G – Best mid-ranger

Pros

Nice display

Strong performance

Capable cameras

Cons

Underwhelming finish

Middling battery life

Slow charging

A subtle upgrade on the A52 5G from earlier in 2021 that addresses one specific shortfall of Samsung’s best mid-ranger: performance.

The Snapdragon 778G renders the A52s far more competitive in the heated mid-range space, outpacing favourites like the OnePlus Nord 2 in our CPU benchmarks. Perhaps surprisingly, it even leaves the A52s faster than its otherwise similar successor, the Galaxy A53, so we’d still recommend this model over the more recent one.

Battery life is good (even if charging is still relatively slow), there’s a rich array of cameras to leverage and a great user experience comes backed up by excellent long-term software support from Samsung.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G

5. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 – Best for productivity

Pros

Great for multitasking

Powerful rear cameras

All-day battery life

S Pen support

Cons

Array

App support is hit-and-miss

There are a host of refinements that the Galaxy Z Fold 4 lords over its predecessor, with a cleaner, hardier design with a wider aspect ratio.

An upgrade to the Snadpragon 8+ Gen 1 guarantees top performance, while the rear cameras are lifted wholesale from the S22 series to deliver excellent photography too. New software features including a task bar improve multi-tasking further too, helping the Fold 4 realise the full potential of the form factor.

Not every app supports that form factor well though, so some software is still a little awkward on the big screen. You’ll also have to put up with a rubbish under-display selfie camera on the inside of the phone.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

6. Samsung Galaxy S22+

Pros

Beautiful 120Hz display

Premium build quality

Great long-term support

Cons

Cameras need tweaking

Slow charging

Underwhelming battery life

In a lot of cases, Samsung sets the bar for what each class of devices needs to aspire to and while the S22+ isn’t the top dog in the company’s line-up, it still looks, feels and handles like a flagship phone.

Great performance, especially in terms of graphical ability, may temporarily be hamstrung by a lack of optimisation but the S22+ feels like a well future-proofed device nonetheless, not least because of the excellent long-term update support that Samsung is offering with it.

You also get a stunning display, superb build quality that’s both elegant yet hardy and some promising cameras. Battery life and fast charging are the biggest speed bumps to making this an instant recommendation, however.

7. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Pros

Clean design

Good cameras

Great long-term support

Cons

No water resistance

Pricey

No 5G

RRP:



£699 (6+128GB) | £749 (8+256GB)

A great phone that arrived late to the party, the Galaxy S21 FE carries the torch from its predecessor but made it to market far later than expected (thought to have been caused by the global chip shortage).

The result is great hardware that looks far less competitive than it would have had the S21 FE gone on sale only a few months earlier, as originally intended.

Nonetheless, if you can find it at a discount, it sports a sleek, understated design, great cameras and top-notch long-term software support from Samsung.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

8. Samsung Galaxy S21

Pros

Nice 120Hz display

Compact design

Strong performance

Cons

Some downgrades over S20

Plastic build

RRP:



£769

Best Prices Today:



£769 at Samsung

If you don’t want to pay full price for the Galaxy S22, you shouldn’t discount the baby of last year’s Galaxy S series: the Galaxy S21.

It doesn’t push the envelope in any one area does address its predecessor’s bland design with some fresher aesthetic and colour choices – something that Samsung’s continued with the design approach taken by the S22.

Add to that still-great performance from the Snapdragon 888/Exynos 2100 and improved long-term software support and the S21 still has a lot to offer, especially now that it’s dropped in price.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy S21

9. Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Pros

Rich camera experience

Great performance

Stunning screen

Good battery life

Cons

Big and heavy

Expensive

RRP:



1149

After 2020’s disappointing Galaxy S20 Ultra, Samsung finally earned the ‘Ultra’ name with a follow-up that delivered almost everything you could want from an Android flagship; admittedly at a price that only a few could afford (but has since started to drop), and in a form factor that will simply be too big for some.

In terms of versatility, the camera stands unrivalled, with a 108Mp main shooter, backed up by an ultrawide and two telephoto lenses at different optical zoom levels (3x and 10x) – a trait that Samsung’ decided to carry across almost verbatim on its 2022 successor.

The expansive 6.8in display delivers both high WQHD+ resolution and an adaptive refresh rate up to 120Hz – making it great for gaming, while Samsung’s long-term software support means this Ultra has the potential to outlast equivalent Pixels.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

10. Samsung Galaxy A73

Pros

Nice 120Hz display

IP67 rating

Attractive design

Cons

Middling performance

Slow charging

RRP:



Unavailable in the UK

The Galaxy A73 is an attractive mid-range phone with a great design, decent camera, and excellent display.

It’s held back by the fact that its Snapdragon 778G chip is outclassed by rivals at the same price, and the 25W charging is pretty sluggish. Still, few other phones at this price offer IP67 water-resistance or a commitment to four years of Android updates.

Just bear in mind that the A73 isn’t available worldwide, so readers in the US or Europe may find it harder to buy.

Read our full
Review Samsung Galaxy A73 5G

Samsung Galaxy phone buying advice

1.

Is every Samsung phone a ‘Galaxy’ phone?

Yes. The ‘Galaxy’ brand is now found across every single Samsung smartphone, so don’t worry too much about it. The company also uses the brand for its headphones, tablets, smartwatches, and laptops – pretty much all of its tech outside of its appliances and TVs.

2.

What do the S, Z, A, and M letters mean?

Samsung uses letters to distinguish its various product lines.

‘S’ is used to mark its flagship phones – the S22 line is the latest, with the S23 phones launching in February. These are among Samsung’s most expensive and powerful smartphones, marked by powerful specs and capable cameras.

The ‘Z’ branding is reserved for the company’s foldables, which are further split into the ‘Fold’ (larger book-style foldables) and Flip (smaller ‘clamshell’ foldables).

Then the ‘A’ and ‘M’ lines are Samsung’s cheaper phones. The A-series sprawls from mid-range phones right down to cheaper models that cost as little as $100/£100, while the M-series overlaps with the lower end of the A-range and goes even cheaper – though Galaxy M phones often don’t launch in the US and Europe.

3.

Why should I buy a Samsung phone?

There are a few reasons to opt for Samsung over other Android brands. The main one right now is the company’s commitment to software support, which makes it the best phone brand for Android updates. Samsung flagships are guaranteed five years of security updates and four years of Android feature updates, and even its cheaper phones get years of support. That’s even better than Google.

Beyond that, Samsung phones are known for slick designs and impressive cameras. They also all run One UI, the company’s customised Android skin, which is among our favourites – making Samsung phones easier to use than a lot of Android alternatives.

4.

What are the best Samsung phone alternatives?

Obviously Samsung’s biggest rival worldwide is Apple, but you probably already know if you want an iPhone or not.

Within the Android space, the other options depend on where you live. If you’re in the US or Canada then the main alternatives are Google Pixel, OnePlus, and Motorola phones. Google and OnePlus offer stiffer competition at the flagship end, but Motorola has a range of handsets to match Samsung’s at every price point.

Outside of the US you may have more options. Xiaomi, Oppo, and Vivo are just a few of the Chinese phone companies that ship handsets across Europe and Asia, though not in the US. They tend to have a little less polish than Samsung’s offerings, but often deliver better specs for the price.

5.

Why aren’t there more cheap Samsung phones in this list?

While Samsung’s phone range covers every price, from the cheapest phones to premium folding flagships, our ranking is dominated by more expensive options.

There are two reasons for this. One is that we can only review the phones we have to test, and Samsung doesn’t tend to send us samples of its cheaper phones, making it harder for us to review them.

The other is that, to be honest, we don’t think Samsung’s cheaper phones are usually all that great. While its flagships and foldables are excellent, we often find that Galaxy A and M phones are under-powered and over-priced, meaning we usually point budget phone buyers towards other brands.

Related stories for further reading

Best smartphones
Best Android phones
Best mid-range phones
Best budget phones
Best new phones coming soon

Budget smartphones, Mid-range smartphones, Smartphones

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