Best Samsung phones 2021: finding the right Galaxy for you

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Our guide to the best Samsung phones could be getting a shake-up soon, as it’s likely we’ll see the Samsung Galaxy S21 range land at Samsung Unpacked on January 14 but there are already plenty of excellent Samsung phones to choose from.

In fact, there should be an ideal handset for almost everyone, from flagships like the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra, to more affordable (and unusual) options like the Samsung Galaxy A80, and even cutting-edge foldable phones like the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2.

You’ll find all these and many more in our list, ranked from best to worst. But don’t just buy the top-rated model, as you might find one of the others suits you better. All of these phones come highly recommended, and for each we’ve included an overview and specs list, so you can see at a glance what makes them shine.

So if you’re after a new Samsung phone, read on for a comprehensive guide, and make sure to check back often, as not only is the Galaxy S21 range on the way but we’re also expecting to see the Samsung Galaxy Note 21 and Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 during 2021, among probably other great Samsung phones.

Best Samsung phones 2021 at a glance:

  1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
  2. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra
  3. Samsung Galaxy S20
  4. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
  5. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
  6. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
  7. Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition
  8. Samsung Galaxy S10
  9. Samsung Galaxy Note 20
  10. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
  11. Samsung Galaxy A80
  12. Samsung Galaxy S10e

Best Samsung phones 2020

Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

1. Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is just right

Specifications

Release date: March 2020

Weight: 186g

Dimensions: 161.9 x 73.7 x 7.8mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.7-inch

Resolution: 1440 x 3200

CPU: Snapdragon 865 / Exynos 990

RAM: 8GB/12GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: 4,500mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP + ToF 3D

Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+Powerful yet sleek+Much-improved zoom

Reasons to avoid

-Ever-higher price-Improvements are mostly iterative

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus currently tops our rank of the greatest Samsung phones available, beating even the pricier Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra.

So unsurprisingly this is an absolutely fantastic phone. The design isn’t massively changed from the Galaxy S10 Plus, but most other elements have been upgraded. The screen now has a silky-smooth 120Hz refresh rate, it packs a more powerful chipset, and its cameras have had a big boost.

The most exciting lens is its 64MP telephoto one, facilitating a 3x hybrid optical zoom, but there are also 12MP main and 12MP ultra-wide ones, as well as a depth sensor.

Add in a massive 4,500mAh battery, 5G support, and all the things you expect from a Samsung flagship – like water resistance and an in-screen fingerprint scanner – and the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is clearly one of the very best phones from any company, not just the South Korean giant.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The Ultra done right

Specifications

Release date: August 2020

Weight: 208g

Dimensions: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.9-inch

Resolution: 1440 x 3088

CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus / Exynos 990

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB

Battery: 4,500mAh

Rear camera: 108MP + 12MP + 12MP

Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+5x camera zoom crushes it+New useful S Pen features

Reasons to avoid

-‘Ultra’ expensive-Slower charging

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a beast of a handset with a beast of a price. According to our review it has the best-looking screen of any phone and the best camera of any Android phone – one which is also brilliant fun to use, thanks to its 5x optical zoom, fun filters, and slick camera interface.

That camera includes a 108MP main sensor, a 12MP periscope one, and a 12MP ultra-wide one, while the screen is a massive 6.9-inch 1440 x 3088 AMOLED one with 496 pixels per inch and a refresh rate of up to 120Hz.

But the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra doesn’t stop there, as it also stands out from rivals thanks to its S Pen stylus, letting you doodle on the screen, sync voice recordings with your hand-written notes, and more.

Plus, the phone also has top-end power of course, including 12GB of RAM and either a Snapdragon 865 Plus or Exynos 990 chipset. Which you get depends on where you are in the world, but they’re both exceedingly powerful.

There’s also 5G, loads of storage, a premium design, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and a big battery, so this is a phone that almost has it all – though the charging could be faster and it’s slightly disappointing that you can’t use both a 120Hz refresh rate and a QHD+ resolution at the same time.

The biggest stumbling block though is simply the price, but if you have the money and want everything that the Note 20 Ultra is offering, then it’s a fantastic choice.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review

Today’s best Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra deals

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Samsung Galaxy S20

(Image credit: Future)

3. Samsung Galaxy S20

The most one-hand-friendly version of Samsung’s flagship

Specifications

Release date: March 2020

Weight: 163g

Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.2-inch

Resolution: 1440 x 3200

CPU: Snapdragon 865 / Exynos 990

RAM: 8GB/12GB

Storage: 128GB

Battery: 4,000mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP

Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+Good camera upgrade+Samsung’s best display yet

Reasons to avoid

-Quite expensive-Lowest spec in the range

While slightly less exciting than the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus and S20 Ultra, the standard Galaxy S20 has a lower price going for it, as well as a more pocket-friendly size.

Though at 6.2 inches this is still far from a small phone, and with a QHD+ resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and one of the best quality AMOLED screens yet put on a phone, the display is worth shouting about.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 also has an impressive camera setup, headlined by a 64MP telephoto sensor, which is joined by a 12MP main and 12MP ultra-wide one – so it misses out only on the S20 Plus’s depth sensor.

The Samsung Galaxy S20 is also available in a 5G flavor, has a large 4,000mAh battery, and top-end power, thanks to either a Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 chipset (depending on where in the world you buy it).

Read our Samsung Galaxy S20 review

Today’s best Samsung Galaxy S20 deals

Galaxy S20 5G 128GB (Unlocked)

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Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

(Image credit: Future)

4. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

The ultimate flagship – at an ultimate price

Specifications

Release date: March 2020

Weight: 166g

Dimensions: 166.9 x 76 x 8.8mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.9-inch

Resolution: 3200 x 1440

CPU: Snapdragon 865

RAM: 12/16GB

Storage: 128/512GB

Battery: 5,000mAh

Rear camera: 108MP + 48MP + 12MP + ToF 3D

Front camera: 40MP

Reasons to buy

+Best specs of 2020, period+5x optical, 100x digital ‘Space Zoom’+Enormous 6.9-inch display

Reasons to avoid

-Very expensive-Extras not worth price bump-Space Zoom dubious worth

If money were no object then the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra would rank higher on this list, as in many ways it’s arguably the best Samsung phone you can buy.

It has a massive 6.9-inch 1440 x 3200 screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, plus a quad-lens camera, headlined by a 108MP main sensor, and also featuring a 48MP periscope zoom one capable of up to 100x digital zoom.

It also of course has the same top-end chipset as the rest of the Galaxy S20 range, coupled with up to 16GB of RAM – which is more than the other two models.

So you get a bigger screen, more power, an arguably higher spec (though inconsistent) camera, and a massive 5,000mAh battery, but the price – and size – will prove impractical for many.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review

Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G 128GB

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Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

5. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

A still-great Samsung flagship

Specifications

Release date: February 2019

Weight: 175g

Dimensions: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm

OS: Android 9

Screen size: 6.4-inch

Resolution: 1440 x 3040

CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820

RAM: 8/12GB

Storage: 128GB/512GB/1TB

Battery: 4,100mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP

Front camera: 10MP + 8MP

Reasons to buy

+Excellent screen-to-body ratio+In-screen fingerprint sensor

Reasons to avoid

-Sizable price hike-Slippery design

The Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus spent a long time at the top of this list, and with good reason.

It’s a big upgrade over the previous year’s model, with a newer all-screen design, enabled by Samsung ditching bezels in favor of a punch-hole camera. Speaking of the camera, you get three on the back and two on the front, making this a very versatile camera phone.

The fingerprint scanner is in the screen, which is far more ideal than it being on the back as was the case with the S9 range, and there’s a big 4,100mAh battery, which gives the Galaxy S10 Plus a lot of life. So much so you might even consider using its Wireless PowerShare feature to juice up other devices with it.

The Galaxy S10 Plus also has a big 6.4-inch screen and all the power you’d expect from a 2019 flagship.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review

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Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

(Image credit: Future)

6. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus

This is a top Samsung phablet

Specifications

Release date: August 2019

Weight: 196g

Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9mm

OS: Android 9

Screen size: 6.8-inch

Resolution: 1440 x 3040

CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9825

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 256GB/512GB

Battery: 4,300mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP + ToF 3D

Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+Handy S Pen stylus+The best screen on a smartphone

Reasons to avoid

-Supremely expensive-Camera isn’t ‘the best’

The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus might have been superseded by the Note 20 Ultra, but it’s still one of the best stylus-toting phones available. It comes with a massive screen, powerful processor, and four rear cameras.

The highlight of this device is the aforementioned S Pen, a stylus that helps you do loads with your device. It isn’t just used for drawing and taking notes; a range of gesture controls help you get the most out of your handset.

Yes, the phone is expensive (prohibitively so, to some), but every penny you pay goes straight into one of the top Samsung phones about, and one of the best handsets full stop.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review

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Galaxy Note10+ 256GB (Verizon)

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(Image credit: Future)

7. Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition

Basically the Samsung Galaxy S20 Lite

Specifications

Release date: October 2020

Weight: 190g

Dimensions: 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.5-inch

Resolution: 1080 x 2400

CPU: Snapdragon 865 / Exynos 990

RAM: 6GB/8GB

Storage: 128GB/256GB

Battery: 4,500mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 8MP

Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+Can take great pictures+Powerful processor

Reasons to avoid

-Not very ‘lite’ in price-Cheap-feeling design

The Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition is basically a Samsung Galaxy S20 Lite, but it retains many of the Galaxy S20’s best bits.

The highlights are its screen, camera, and chipset. For the first of those you get a 6.5-inch 1080 x 2400 Super AMOLED screen with a silky smooth 120Hz refresh rate.

The camera meanwhile is a triple-lens one, consisting of a 12MP main snapper, a 12MP ultra-wide one, and an 8MP telephoto one, ensuring all the main photography bases are covered. In our review we also found that these lenses performed well.

Finally, the chipset is either the Snapdragon 865 or Exynos 990 – the former is what you get with the 5G version of the phone, while the latter comes with the 4G model, but both are high-end. The build could be a better and the price is perhaps a bit steep, but otherwise the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition really is a fan pleaser.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition review

Today’s best Samsung Galaxy S20 FE deals

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE G780F…

Samsung Galaxy S10

8. Samsung Galaxy S10

Similar to the S10 Plus, but smaller

Specifications

Release date: February 2019

Weight: 157g

Dimensions: 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm

OS: Android 9

Screen size: 6.1-inch

Resolution: 1440 x 3040

CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 128GB/512GB

Battery: 3,400mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP

Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+In-screen fingerprint sensor+Wireless PowerShare feature

Reasons to avoid

-Another price hike-Not the best camera

Samsung’s Galaxy S10 is largely similar to its plus-sized sibling, just a slight downgrade and slightly more compact.

You miss a few features by opting for the S10 over the Plus, but if you’re looking to save a little money it’s still going to offer the core highlights, such as that Infinity-O screen, the slick design and high-end internals.

The fingerprint scanner is also in the screen on the Galaxy S10, plus it looks gorgeous with an incredible 550 pixels per inch on this model. You’ve got a variety of color options, plus there’s the choice of either 128GB or 512GB depending on how much space you’ll need.

The battery life on the standard S10 isn’t as great as it is on the Plus, but it’s not something to turn your nose up at as it can still easily survive a full day of use.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 review

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Samsung Galaxy Note 20

(Image credit: TechRadar)

9. Samsung Galaxy Note 20

The world’s priciest plastic phone?

Specifications

Release date: August 2020

Weight: 192g

Dimensions: 161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3mm

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 6.7-inch

Resolution: 1080 x 2400

CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus / Exynos 990

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 256GB

Battery: 4,300mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 64MP + 12MP

Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+Versatile three-camera array+S-Pen is brilliant, as ever

Reasons to avoid

-Expensive for a phone with a plastic back-Only has a 60Hz display

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 is less exciting than the Note 20 Ultra. In fact, given its plastic back and FHD+ screen, it’s rather less premium than you might expect from a handset in the Note range, but it’s still well worth considering if you want a relatively affordable phone with an S Pen.

And this phone has more than just the S Pen going for it. The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 also has high-end power, thanks to its Snapdragon 865 Plus or Exynos 990 chipset (depending on region) and 8GB of RAM. Plus its triple-lens camera (with a 12MP main, 64MP telephoto, and 12MP ultra-wide sensor) allows for versatile photography.

Despite its lesser specs this is still far from an affordable handset, but if you can’t stretch to the Note 20 Ultra and you want something newer than the Note 10, then it remains a good choice.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 20 review

Today’s best Samsung Galaxy Note 20 deals

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 N980F…

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review

(Image credit: Future)

10. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

The most futuristic phone of 2020

Specifications

Release date: August 2020

Weight: 282g

Dimensions: 159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9mm (unfolded)

OS: Android 10

Screen size: 7.6 and 6.23-inch

Resolution: 1768 x 2208 and 816 x 2260

CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus

RAM: 12GB

Storage: 256GB/512GB

Battery: 4,500mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP

Front camera: 10MP + 10MP

Reasons to buy

+Much bigger front Cover Display+Refined second-gen hinge

Reasons to avoid

-As expensive as phones come-Lacks Samsung’s best cameras

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is the company’s best foldable yet at the time of writing, improving on the original Galaxy Fold in a number of ways, and offering a more premium experience than the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip.

This really is a tablet and a phone all in one, and it looks and feels suitably futuristic, while also packing a much bigger (and therefore more useful) Cover Display than its predecessor. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 is power packed as well, and has the same 120Hz refresh rate as other premium Samsung phones.

However, it lacks Samsung’s best cameras and makes most smartphones look cheap, which is why we can’t rank it higher. But if Samsung can fix those issues for the Galaxy Z Fold 3 then it might have a masterpiece on its hands.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 review

Today’s best Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 deals

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Samsung Galaxy A80

(Image credit: Future)

11. Samsung Galaxy A80

Samsung’s best affordable smartphone so far

Specifications

Release date: May 2019

Weight: 220g

Dimensions: 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3mm

OS: Android 9

Screen size: 6.7-inch

Resolution: 1080 x 2400

CPU: Snapdragon 730

RAM: 8GB

Storage: 128GB

Battery: 3,700mAh

Rear camera: 48MP, 8MP, ToF 3D camera

Front camera: Same as rear

Reasons to buy

+Novel pop-up spinning camera+High quality screen+Fast charging is speedy

Reasons to avoid

-Slow to use-Camera is OK, not great-Unreliable data connection

Samsung’s premium Note and S-series aren’t its only good phones, as it has the Galaxy A devices that provide toned-down specs at lower prices. However A phones are also Samsung’s testing grounds for more novel ideas, and that’s exactly what the Samsung Galaxy A80 is, with its cameras.

When you want to take a selfie on the Samsung Galaxy A80, which has no front-facing camera (in order to make way for a full screen with no complications), a panel housing the device’s rear cameras pops up and spins around, which is a quirky and fun gimmick.

There’s more to the phone than its cameras though, with a 6.7-inch AMOLED display and impressive charging speed, making it a decent option for people who don’t need one of Samsung’s premium devices.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A80 review

Today’s best Samsung Galaxy A80 deals

Unlocked Samsung Galaxy A80…

Samsung Galaxy S10e

(Image credit: TechRadar)

12. Samsung Galaxy S10e

A more affordable S10

Specifications

Release date: March 2019

Weight: 150g

Dimensions: 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9mm

OS: Android 9

Screen size: 5.8-inch

Resolution: 1080 x 2280

CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820

RAM: 6/8GB

Storage: 128/256GB

Battery: 3,100mAh

Rear camera: 12MP + 16MP

Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+Superb camera for price+Easy to use in one hand

Reasons to avoid

-No in-screen scanner-Thicker than the S10

Fancy an S10 but don’t want to spend lots of money? Samsung has you covered with its more affordable Galaxy S10e, which is a new addition to the company’s range of flagship phones for 2019.

The S10e loses a lot of the top-end features you’ll find on the two S10 products above in this list such as the in-screen scanner or high-res display, but it has a slick design for its lower price.

There’s a dual rear camera that can take some impressive shots considering the price of this handset, plus you’ll be sporting a top-end chipset inside alongside either 6GB or 8GB of RAM.

Overall, the Galaxy S10e isn’t anywhere near as impressive as the other two parts of the S10 range but if you’re not looking to spend lots of money, this is one of the top Samsung phones for you.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy S10e review

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Brian Jones

Author and owner of WantedDroid.com - scouring the internet for all the news related to Android. Contact me here: https://wanteddroid.com/contact/

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