Given the sheer number of devices that it releases every year, finding the best Samsung phones can often prove to be a challenge for most customers. It doesn’t matter if you want a flagship or a budget device. Samsung offers plenty of options for all price ranges.
To make it easier for you to find the one that best suits your needs, our expert reviewers have created this list of the best Samsung smartphones. We’ll explain precisely why a device has made it on to our list and provide you with links to their detailed reviews. This will help you cut through the noise and really find out what is the best Samsung phone.
Our Best Samsung Phone List For October 2021
Our list for October 2021 has a great mix of devices, helped by the launch of Samsung’s new Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 foldable smartphones. We have also included some of the good Samsung phones in the mid-range and affordable categories that are currently available.
Best Samsung Phone – Spec monster: Galaxy S21 Ultra
The Galaxy S21 Ultra has big shoes to fill. It follows the Galaxy S20 Ultra which was Samsung’s everything and the kitchen sink phone. Last year’s flagship was packed to the gills with the best that Samsung had to offer. It’s a similar story for the Galaxy S21 Ultra as it remains the company’s undisputed spec monster.
Samsung’s latest high-end flagship features a 6.8-inch display with a 10Hz to 120Hz adaptive refresh rate. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is capable of hitting the 120Hz refresh rate at the highest WQHD+ resolution. Depending on the market, the Galaxy S21 Ultra will be available with an Exynos 2100 or Snapdragon 888 chipset. It’s paired with up to 16GB of RAM and 512GB of onboard storage. No external expansion is possible as the device doesn’t have a microSD card slot.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra retains its predecessor’s 5,000mAh battery. It does get an updated camera setup which includes two telephoto (zoom) cameras capable of achieving 100x Space Zoom. It also gets a whole host of new software features that take full advantage of the camera setup’s capabilities.
There’s even support for the S Pen. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first non-Note Galaxy device to get the S Pen. However, one doesn’t ship with the device. You’ll need to buy it separately in addition to a case that lets you carry the S Pen because it doesn’t slide inside the smartphone.
Samsung has once again set the benchmark for the rest of the Android manufacturers. This handset will remain the best Galaxy phone to be released this year. No other Samsung handset due in 2021 will have the kind of specs that this does. Looking beyond what’s under the hood, the Galaxy S21 Ultra also has exceptional build quality and a great design.
Reasons to buy: Powerful cameras, great battery life, exceptional display and top-notch performance.
Who should buy: Loyal Samsung fans, mobile gaming enthusiasts, mobile photographers and vloggers.
Best Samsung Phone – Productivity: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
There’s no question about it, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra tops our list as the best Samsung phone for productivity. Samsung has made a number of meaningful improvements to its latest flagship smartphone, particularly the S Pen upgrades. The S Pen latency has been dropped to 9ms in order to provide a more fluid and natural experience with the stylus.
The 6.9-inch Galaxy Note 20 Ultra also comes with the latest in smartphone technology as well as 5G support. It happens to be the first Samsung smartphone to feature a dynamic 120Hz refresh rate display.
This is actually the first time that a Samsung phone has had a variable refresh rate. The Galaxy Note 20’s display switches between 10Hz, 30Hz, 60Hz and 120Hz. It depends on whatever’s being shown on the screen. This is done to save power by not using the maximum refresh rate in circumstances where it’s not necessary. Pretty neat.
Samsung has also significantly improved the camera setup compared to its predecessor. There are several new software features and new camera modes that enable customers to get the most out of this $1,299 flagship. All of this makes the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra stand out as one of the top Samsung phones of 2021.
Reasons to buy: Best display on a smartphone, wireless DeX, gorgeous design, enhanced camera functionality and great battery life.
Who should buy: Customers who want the latest Samsung phones, power users, mobile gamers, vloggers and content creators.
Best Samsung Phone – Compact: Galaxy S20 FE
Samsung is out with a new Fan Edition model this year. The Galaxy S20 FE packs many of the best features of the Galaxy S20 series into a more compact package. It uses the same flagship-level chipsets, a 120Hz refresh rate display and a respectable 4,500mAh battery. Samsung has replaced the glass back with plastic and that’s actually a good thing.
The 6.5-inch flat display is great for those who don’t particularly like curved displays. The two 12-megapixel cameras offers similar results as the Galaxy S20+ and it even comes with an 8-megapixel telephoto camera that provides 3x lossless optical zoom. Samsung has also confirmed that it will receive three years of Android OS upgrades. For all of the amazing tech that it offers, the $699 price tag for the 5G variant of the Galaxy S20 FE makes it one of the best value Samsung phones to buy this year.
It’s a good move by the company to offer the Galaxy S20 FE. This enables it to compete against rivals that offer premium, near-flagship like devices for far less than what a traditional flagship would cost. The Galaxy S20 FE allows Samsung to go after those customers as well. That’s what makes it worthy of a place among the top rated Samsung phones of the year.
Reasons to buy: Great design, well-built, great performance, flat AMOLED display and three years of OS upgrades.
Who should buy: Customers who want a flagship-level phone for less, those who don’t want to be worried about breaking the glass back.
Best Samsung Phone – Foldable: Galaxy Z Fold 3
The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the latest and greatest foldable smartphone from Samsung. While it appears to be similar to its predecessor, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, there’s a lot in this new device to be excited about.
Both the 6.2-inch cover and 7.6-inch Infinity Flex display have a 120Hz refresh rate. They’re also 29% brighter than the previous model. The foldable display is now 80% stronger than before. This is Samsung’s first foldable smartphone to support the S Pen on its internal display.
The hinge has added durability and Flex Mode which allows the hinge to free stand at different angles so that the phone can effectively become its own tripod. You can even wirelessly charge it like that!
Samsung has used its toughest aluminium yet for the device’s body. This is also the world’s first foldable smartphone that’s water-resistant. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 has an IPX8 rating for water resistance.
The Snapdragon 888 powers this flagship Samsung phone with 12GB of RAM as standard. It’s available with 256GB and 512GB of non-expandable storage options. This is Samsung’s most feature-packed and powerful foldable smartphone yet. Granted, the cameras could have been better, but the Galaxy Z Fold 3 more than makes up for that in other departments.
It goes without saying that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 deserves a place on this list. It’s truly shaping up to be one of the best Samsung phones ever made.
Reasons to buy: Water resistance, S Pen support, great performance and useful features.
Who should buy: Power users, loyal Samsung fans, hype beasts and influencers.
Best Samsung Phone – Mid-range: Galaxy A52
Samsung has revolutionized its mid-range offerings with the Galaxy A52. The successor to the very successful Galaxy A51 brings several notable improvements. The Galaxy A52 undoubtedly stands out as one of the best Samsung mid-range smartphones in 2021. It features a brand new design while the 6.5-inch Super AMOLED display has a 90Hz refresh rate. The 5G variant of the Galaxy A52 features a 120Hz refresh rate.
The Galaxy A52 has plenty of power under the hood courtesy of its Snapdragon 720G chipset. It comes with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. The camera setup has been improved significantly. It features a 64-megapixel main sensor with OIS in addition to a 12-megapixel ultra-wide, 5-megapixel macro and 5-megapixel depth sensor.
Powering it all is a 4,500mAh battery that supports 25W fast charging. Samsung ships a 15W fast charger with the device. It also retains the 3.5mm headphone jack.
Reasons to buy: Modern design, improved camera, 90Hz refresh rate display, good performance, 3.5mm headphone jack.
Who should buy: Millennials, photography enthusiasts and customers upgrading from an entry-level smartphone..
Best Samsung Phone – Budget: Galaxy A32
The Galaxy A32 is a solid budget smartphone from Samsung. It features a 6.40inch Super AMOLED display with a MediaTek Helio G80 chipset with up to 8GB of RAM and 128GB storage. The chipset is a bit slow for heavy tasks but that’s to be expected from a device in this price range.
It’s a great budget smartphone nonetheless. The AMOLED display is great and the camera setup is actually decent. The 5,000mAh battery is also a big plus point.
Reasons to buy: AMOLED display, refreshed design, 5,000mAh battery, good camera performance.
Who should buy: Budget smartphone buyers and those who need great battery life.
Why These Are The Best Samsung Phones This Month
Samsung’s strategy has long been to offer something for everyone. We now have one of Samsung’s most diverse smartphone lineups. You have an absolute spec king in the Galaxy S21 Ultra to the extent of being over the top. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is certainly one of the best Note devices yet from Samsung as it builds on the feedback from Note loyalists and provides them with improvements they have long been asking for.
The Galaxy Z Flip is in a league of its own when it comes to foldable smartphones. There’s really no true successor for it on the market yet. It’s also a refreshingly unique device, perfect for those who are fed up with the monotony of smartphone design. The Galaxy S20 FE may have been out for almost a year now but it’s still a great value for the kind of specs it offers.
Samsung has capitalized on the Galaxy A50’s popularity for the Galaxy A51 and made it a worthy successor. Now, the Galaxy A52 is one of the best mid-range smartphones on the market. The Galaxy A52 does everything that you’d expect a device of its caliber to do without breaking a sweat. Lastly, customers won’t have much to complain about with the Galaxy A32. It’s incredibly clear in its purpose and because of that, it’s worthy of being on this list.