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Best Samsung phone: The top Galaxy phones we’ve tested and reviewed

Samsung may be the master of Android phones, but is every Samsung worth buying? Trusted Reviews assesses what's on offer to help you select the best for you

Introduction

Samsung is a dominant force when it comes to Android phones, producing multiple models covering every imaginable price. These are the best Samsung phones you can buy.

If you’ve got your eye on a Samsung phone but aren’t sure where to spend or where to save then this round-up is for you. We’ve reviewed all the best, and worst, Samsung phones running them through our stringent set of lab tests paired with real-world use.

Samsung phones are available at a range of prices and because of that we’re not just focussing on high-end flagships here. We know not everybody wants to spend upwards of a grand for a phone, so we’ve got budget and mid-range options here too.

All the Samsung phones included here have been fully tested by one of our product experts. They also all have good screens, adequate battery life and reliable build quality.

We have a selection of other best lists for those after something less brand-specific. Our best camera phone round-up, for instance, while our best cheap phone and best mid-range phone lists focus solely on more affordable options.

How we test

How do we test Samsung phones?

All the phones included in our Best Samsung phone list have been thoroughly tested and used by one of our product experts. We never review a phone based purely on specs and benchmark scores. We use them as our everyday device for the review period, which is usually at least five days but often a lot more.

Whenever you read a phone review published on Trusted Reviews, you should be confident that the reviewer has put their personal SIM card into the phone, synced across their most-used apps and logged into all their typical accounts. We do this so you’ll feel confident in our review and trust our verdict.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The best high-end Samsung phone
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Pros

  • Stunning display with fantastic detail and brightness
  • Versatile camera system with impressive zoom
  • Good low-light camera performance
  • Fast charging
  • Promise of many years of updates

Cons

  • Battery life should be better
  • Design a step backward
  • You need to buy the fast charger separately

If money is no object, you want the very best specs and don’t mind a large phone, then we think the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best Samsung phone you can buy in 2022. This will likely come as no surprise, considering this is Samsung’s top-end phone for the year.

Based on our testing, as well as having the most developed feature set you’ll find on an Android phone, the S22 Ultra is also very pleasant to use day-to-day. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a great display, powerful internals and the handy benefits of the included S Pen – a feature you won’t find on any other phones included in this list.

The S Pen is a small stylus that slides inside the device and allows you to draw and write on the display. We think it’s a great tool that makes it wonderfully pleasant to scribble notes and edit excel sheets on the go.

Another feature you won’t find on many other phones, and certainly none of the cheaper Samsung phones included within this list, is a fantastic zoom camera. While the S22 Plus can take great shots with the wide and ultrawide cameras, it’s the expanded zoom skills of the Ultra model that really set it apart when we reviewed it.

The capabilities on offer easily beat the competition from Apple and Google. We’re not talking about hitting 100x – these shots still look grainy – but at 10x and below the results are fantastic and a real reason to pick up this phone over a rival.

Away from the camera, the S22 Ultra stands as the best Samsung phone in a number of other ways. It has the best screen in the form of a 1440p OLED with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate for slick scrolling and gaming. There’s also the promise of many years of upgrades, fast charging (if you provide your own charger) and customisable software.

Of course, the large size of this phone will put many off – as will the price. That’s why we have a few more options recommended below.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

The best Samsung phone under £1000/$1000
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Pros

  • Brilliant screen
  • Great camera
  • Attractive design
  • Strong performance

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Expensive

While we love the S22 Ultra, there’s no denying the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is a better pick for those who don’t need stuff like the high-res screen, extended zoom range and S Pen. It remains a big phone, but it’s certainly more pocketable than the Ultra.

There’s the usual array of excellent Samsung features here. In our in-depth review, we praised the bright and accurate display, the reliable software and good performance. Three really important features we always look for in a top-end phone.

We’re also big fans of the versatile camera system, with the three rear sensors letting you zoom in and take ultra wide shots with ease. Pictures shot in all sorts of situations, including tougher lower-light environments, come out reliably well with punchy colours. You’ll notice Samsung’s liberal use of saturation when you’re shooting bright skies or vivid flowers, and these results really pop on the bright 6.6-inch OLED display and lend themselves well to social media sharing.

As this is a Samsung flagship, you’ll be pleased to see there are plenty of ‘nice to have features’ that you often tend to only get with higher-end devices. There’s an IP68 rated body, Gorilla Glass Victus+ for added protection on the front and back, fast wired (and wireless) charging and the promise of four years of system updates.

One of our few notable criticisms of the device, and really this can be said for all the Samsung phones listed here, is that battery life is merely average. It’s far from bad – our reviewer managed to get through a busy work day and evening with 5% left – but it doesn’t push boundaries.

Reviewer: Peter Phelps

Full review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The best mid-range Samsung phone
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Pros

  • A very complete package
  • Bright, colourful screen
  • An IP rating and Qi charging

Cons

  • Overpriced compared to the competition
  • Camera not as good as Pixel 6
  • Average battery life and charging speeds

Sitting below the S22 series, the cheaper Galaxy S21 FE is a very good, mid-range Samsung phone that focuses on getting all the basics right. Based on our time with it the FE manages to offer great value for money as a result. It has a bright, colourful display along with strong performance and handy extras like wireless charging and an IP rating for added protection.

While the S21 moniker might give the impression this is an older device, its release actually came closer to the S22 than the S21 thanks to numerous delays.

In many ways, the feature set is better than the original S21 series even though it comes with a lower price. The Snapdragon 888 chipset totes 5G and performed well in our rigorous lab tests, alongside real, everyday use. The three cameras on the back can’t match up to the similarly priced Pixel 6, but they still churn out decent shots from three distinct focal lengths based on our tests.

If you don’t want to spend more on the S22 series, then the S21 FE ticks most of the boxes and will be a good phone for a number of years.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The best affordable Samsung phone
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Pros

  • Great screen for video
  • Decent battery life
  • Good camera system
  • Fairly attractive design

Cons

  • No adaptive refresh rate
  • No wireless charging
  • No charger included in the box
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

Samsung’s A series might not be as flashy as the other phones we’ve listed, but if you’re on a tighter budget then the Galaxy A53 5G represents impressive value. This still feels like a Samsung phone, with a bright OLED screen, Samsung’s own unique take on Android and a reliable camera system that produces good quality shots.

But paying less does limit the feature set somewhat. There’s no wireless charging, no adaptive refresh rate like the S22 Plus has and a build that’s constructed mostly from plastic.

One of the best features here, especially when you consider the price, is the 6.5-inch screen. The OLED tech produces deep blacks and vibrant colours, while the 120Hz refresh rate gives a smooth touch to scrolling and gaming. You’ll struggle to find a screen as good as this for this price.

This is one of the better Samsung phones when it comes to battery life, though considering the simplified feature set and the large 5000mAh cell that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Compared to the S22 Plus, we got more juice from a single charge.

The camera system is a predictable step down from the S21 FE, throwing out slightly more saturated images that aren’t detailed. There’s also a fairly useless macro camera added, which our reviewer found wanting. But, even with these compromises, it’s still the best affordable option on this list.

Reviewer: Peter Phelps

Full review: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

We also considered…

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FAQs

Do all the Samsung phones come with a charger?

None of the phones here come with a charger in the box, however, they all support USB-C charger and do come with a cable so you just to provide a plug.

Are all these phones 5G capable?

All of the phones listed have some form of 5G support. You’ll want the S22 Ultra or S22 Plus if you’re in an area that supports mmWave 5G.

Trusted Reviews test data

If you want the best of the best, the S22 Ultra is the choice. It has the most accurate display that can get very brightness and impresses in various tests.

1 hour music streaming (online)
Time from 0-100% charge
1 hour music streaming (offline)
30 minute gaming (light)
30 minute gaming (intensive)
1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)
Max brightness
Time from 0-50% charge
Geekbench 5 multi core
Geekbench 5 single core
sRGB
Adobe RGB
DCI-P3
3D Mark – Wild Life
3D Mark – Sling Shot Extreme
3D Mark – Wild Life Stress Test

Comparison specs

UK RRP
USA RRP
EU RRP
AUD RRP
Manufacturer
Screen Size
Storage Capacity
Rear Camera
Front Camera
Video Recording
IP rating
Battery
Wirless charging
Fast Charging
Size (Dimensions)
Weight
Operating System
Release Date
First Reviewed Date
Resolution
HDR
Refresh Rate
Ports
Chipset
RAM
Colours

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2004, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

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Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

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Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.