The best Samsung phones 2023: top Galaxy handsets ranked

Best Samsung phone Samsung Galaxy S22 on a yellow background
(Image credit: TechRadar / Samsung)
Editor's note: January 2023

Our guide to the best Samsung phones will almost certainly be getting some new entries soon, as it's looking likely that the Samsung Galaxy S23 line will be announced in early February. That's set to include the Galaxy S23 itself along with the larger Galaxy S23 Plus and the super-powerful Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra.

Rumor has it that these smartphones could be the toughest mainstream phones yet, and if the teaser video were to be believed, at least one of the models will have the capability to shoot epic night and moon shots. Of course, they are likely to be very expensive as well, but just like in the previous generation, you can get a free storage upgrade if you pre-order, which means you'll get a bit more bang for your buck.

Alex Walker-Todd, Senior Phones Editor

The best Samsung phones are among the most capable and most advanced smartphones on the market. So, even if you don't want to wait for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S23 line, which are likely going to be more expensive than their predecessors, especially in the UK, you're still guaranteed an amazing handset that looks beautiful, takes epic photos, and offers a seamless user interface.

Indeed, much of Samsung's Galaxy line features among the best Android phones, with the S-series also ranking among the best smartphones outright. Whether you're looking for a phone with exceptional battery life or one of the best camera phones, the best Samsung phones should fit your needs without question.

Plus, there are loads of excellent Samsung phones to choose from as well. At the top of the pile is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, which is expensive but has a phenomenal camera, unique productivity skills and great performance. If you want something a little different, there's also the Galaxy Z Flip 4 and Z Fold 4, which have helped make foldable phones more mainstream. 

We've tested thousands of phones over the years – including the best iPhones, best cheap phones, and best gaming phones – so we know what makes a fantastic phone that's worthy your money and which phones you should skip altogether. Read on as we take you through the best Samsung phones, including links to our in-depth reviews, along with a quick overview, and pros and cons for each phone.

The best Samsung phones 2023

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A Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra being held in a hand

(Image credit: Future)
The best Samsung phone

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Weight: 228g
Dimensions: 163.3 x 77.9 x 8.9mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3088
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
RAM: 8GB / 12GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP (wide) + 10MP (telephoto, 3x optical) + 10MP (telephoto, 10x optical) + 12MP (ultrawide, 120-degree)
Front camera: 40MP

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible cameras and zoom
+
Excellent little S Pen

Reasons to avoid

-
No microSD slot
-
Battery life could be better

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best Samsung phone you can buy right now, combining all the best bits of the S Ultra range and the Galaxy Note range into one sumptuous package.

Really though, this is more Note than S, with a Note-like shape, an S Pen stylus, and a slot to house it. This makes it a dream for productivity, allowing you to sketch, edit, and take hand-written notes with ease.

But the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra also has the excellent camera hardware you’d expect from the range, including an improved 10x optical zoom lens which we were incredibly impressed with in our review.

There’s plenty of power too, whether you end up with the Exynos 2200 chipset (in Europe), or the Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 model (in most other places). That coupled with a massive 6.8-inch 120Hz 1440 x 3088 screen makes the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra a joy to use.

And we’ve really only scratched the surface of what this phone offers. A big battery, fast 45W charging, water resistance, and masses of RAM and storage are all here too, among many, many other flagship features.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

(Image credit: Carlos Pedrós)
The best budget Samsung phone

Specifications

Release date: March 2022
Weight: 189g
Dimensions: 159.6 x 74.8 x 8.1mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.5-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Exynos 1280
RAM: 4/6/8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 64MP (wide) + 12MP (ultrawide) + 5MP (macro) + 5MP (depth)
Front camera: 32MP

Reasons to buy

+
Good cameras for price
+
Attractive design

Reasons to avoid

-
Slow charging
-
Slow navigation

The Samsung Galaxy A53 isn't the fastest phone but it offers a lot for the price. Good looking, it's comfy to hold onto with an understated camera bump on the back. 

Its 6.5-inch screen uses an AMOLED panel while offering a full HD+ resolution and 120Hz refresh rate so it's easily one of the best-looking displays in this price range. 

Accompanying that is a 64MP main lens, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, and 5MP depth sensor so the Samsung Galaxy A53 can take some pretty good photos as helepd by some smart software options.

A little sluggish at times, we'll still forgive the Samsung Galaxy A53 if you're keen for a great camera and screen without spending a fortune.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A53 review

A Samsung Galaxy S22 held in someone's hand, against a background of foliage

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
The best small Android flagship

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Weight: 167g
Dimensions: 146 x 70.6 x 7.6mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.1-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 3,700mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 10MP (telephoto, 3x optical) + 12MP (ultrawide, 120-degree)
Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+
Small and solidly built
+
Attractive design

Reasons to avoid

-
Not a major update
-
Camera system pales in comparison to its Ultra cousin

The Samsung Galaxy S22 is the baby of the Galaxy S22 range, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t consider it. In fact, as the cheapest of Samsung’s flagship trio it’s a very tempting handset, and easily one of the best Samsung phones.

In our review we praised its performance and its stylish yet solidly built construction. It’s small by flagship phone standards too, with a 6.1-inch screen and compact overall dimensions, making this a great choice for fans of small handsets. That screen is no slouch though, with a 120Hz refresh rate and a crisp 1080 x 2340 resolution.

The cameras – while no match for those on the Galaxy S22 Ultra – are also fairly good, and include a new 50MP main sensor, along with capable ultra-wide and telephoto ones.

And as noted the phone performs well, as it packs a top-end chipset (albeit one which varies depending on your region) and 8GB of RAM. If you need the biggest or best phone around then this isn’t for you, but if you want a capable, compact flagship on a budget then the Samsung Galaxy S22 is well worth considering.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 review

The Samsung Galaxy A13 on some pebbles

(Image credit: Future)
The best budget Samsung phone

Specifications

Release date: March 2022
Weight: 195g
Dimensions: 165.1 x 76.4 x 8.8mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.6-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Exynos 850
RAM: 3GB (US)/4GB (UK/AU)
Storage: 32GB (US)/64GB (UK)/128GB (AU)
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 5MP (ultrawide - UK/AU-only) + 2MP (macro) + 2MP (depth)
Front camera: 8MP

Reasons to buy

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

Reasons to avoid

-
‘Ultra’ expensive
-
Slower charging

While Chinese rivals offer more bang for your buck, for those after an affordable phone with Samsung's specific take on Android, look no further than the Galaxy A13.

It boasts the same stylish design as the rest of the current A series and as a user experience, One UI is packed with options for customisation, as well as a few unique features you can't find on competing budget devices.

There's a notable difference to the A13, depending on where you pick one up. Across the board, the 50MP main camera impresses for the price, but in the US you lose out on the 5MP secondary ultrawide snapper found on the UK and Australian models, in exchange for 5G connectivity (up from 4G).

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A13 review

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

(Image credit: Aakash Jhaveri)
The best 2021 Samsung phone

Specifications

Release date: January 2021
Weight: 227g
Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9 mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.8-inch
Resolution: 1440 x 3200
CPU: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
RAM: 12GB / 16GB
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB
Battery: 5,000mAh
Rear camera: 108MP (wide) + 10MP (telephoto, 3x optical) + 10MP (telephoto, 10x optical) + 12MP (ultrawide)
Front camera: 40MP

Reasons to buy

+
Excellent camera zoom
+
Mesmerizing design

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive at any level
-
No microSD card slot

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra was Samsung’s top, premium flagship for 2021, and what a phone it is. For the first time Samsung offered S Pen support on an S-range handset here, meaning that you can optionally get the Galaxy Note range’s best feature.

But even without that, this is a stunning handset, with a brilliant quad-lens camera capable of 10x optical zoom. In fact, in our review we called it the best camera zoom on any readily available Android phone - though the S22 Ultra has since beat it.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra also looks great, with a smooth Gorilla Glass back that has a matte finish that looks better than the reflective Galaxy S20 range, while around the front there’s a curved edge-to-edge 6.8-inch screen.

And speaking of that screen, for the first time on a Samsung phone you get both a QHD+ resolution and a 120Hz refresh rate at the same time. And being a high-end Samsung screen this is one of the best around.

There’s also oodles of power of course, and while obviously very expensive, this actually has a cheaper starting price than the Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra did at launch.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4

(Image credit: Future / Lance Ulanoff)
The best Samsung foldable

Specifications

Release date: August 2022
Weight: 271g
Dimensions: 155.1 x 67.1 x 14.2-15.8mm / 155.1 x 130.1 x 6.3mm
OS: Android 12L
Screen size: 6.2-inch / 7.6-inch
Resolution: 904 x 2316 / 1812 x 2176
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
RAM: 12GB
Storage: 256GB / 512GB / 1TB
Battery: 4,400mAh
Rear camera: 50MP + 12MP + 10MP
Front camera: 10MP / 4MP

Reasons to buy

+
Impressive main and cover screens
+
Optimized for multi-tasking

Reasons to avoid

-
Cameras aren’t Samsung’s very best
-
Crease is still noticeable

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is the top Samsung foldable you can buy, but with its enormously high price it’s certainly not for everyone.

It has a large 7.6-inch foldable screen along with a more conventional 6.2-inch secondary display – both of which are of the high quality you’d expect from an expensive Samsung phone.

It also has even more power than the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra, thanks to a Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1 chipset, and there are upgraded cameras over its predecessor, headlined by a 50MP primary sensor.

In our review we were also impressed by the software, which is better optimized for multitasking this year, and feels generally more suited to a foldable phone.

This isn’t a mammoth upgrade over the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3, but it’s a nice refinement of an already-excellent foldable phone.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review

Z Flip from Samsung Unpacked 2022

(Image credit: Future)
The Z Flip 4 is the top Samsung clamshell foldable

Specifications

Release date: August 2022
Weight: 187g
Dimensions: 165.2 x 71.9 x 6.9mm / 84.9 x 71.9 x 15.9-17.1mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 1.9-inch / 6.7-inch
Resolution: 260 x 512 / 1080 x 2640
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB
Battery: 3,700mAh
Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP
Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+
Larger battery & faster charging
+
Excellent performance

Reasons to avoid

-
Occasional camera inconsistencies
-
Minor year-on-year upgrades

Samsung virtually perfected the clamshell foldable with the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3, so it’s not surprising to find that the Galaxy Z Flip 4 is only a minor upgrade.

You get a bigger battery here plus faster charging and a more powerful chipset, but almost everything else is as it was on the previous model.

That’s okay though, because the Z Flip 3 was an excellent phone, and the Z Flip 4 is even better. In our review we were particularly impressed with its performance and how compact it is, while the larger battery helps fix one of the biggest issues with the Flip 3.

We’re hoping for bigger changes on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5, but for now this is the best clamshell foldable you can buy, and one of the best Samsung phones.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review

A Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus held in someone's hand

(Image credit: Future / Lane Ulanoff)
Samsung's excellent middle child

Specifications

Release date: February 2022
Weight: 195g
Dimensions: 157.4 x 75.8 x 7.6mm
OS: Android 12
Screen size: 6.6-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2340
CPU: Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 / Exynos 2200
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 4,500mAh
Rear camera: 50MP (wide) + 10MP (telephoto, 3x optical) + 12MP (ultrawide, 120-degree)
Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+
Lots of processing power
+
Useful Portrait camera modes

Reasons to avoid

-
Not particularly comfortable to hold
-
Software feels slow

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus was Samsung’s middle flagship for 2022, but it has a lot more in common with the standard Galaxy S22 than the Note-like Galaxy S22 Ultra. So if you want the most premium conventional Galaxy S model for 2022 then this is the one to get.

It has a big 6.6-inch 1080 x 2340 screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, loads of power from its top-end chipset and 8GB of RAM, and a capable camera, including a 50MP main sensor, a 10MP telephoto one (offering 3x optical zoom), and a 12MP ultra-wide. In our review we found that it excelled at portrait shots in particular.

The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus also comes in a wide range of colors, so you have some choice in how the phone looks, and it supports respectable 45W charging.

All that said, it’s an expensive handset, and might be a hard sell when sandwiched between the more affordable and compact Samsung Galaxy S22, and the truly top-tier Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review

A Samsung Galaxy S21 on a table

(Image credit: TechRadar)
A strong flagship Samsung phone for buyers on a budget

Specifications

Release date: January 2021
Weight: 169
Dimensions: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9 mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.2-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 4,000mAh
Rear camera: 12MP (wide) + 64MP (telephoto, 1.1x optical / 3x hybrid) + 12MP (ultrawide, 120-degree)
Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+
Fantastic, versatile camera
+
Cheaper than the Galaxy S20

Reasons to avoid

-
No microSD support
-
Screen isn’t the best

The Samsung Galaxy S21 is the most basic and affordable of the Galaxy S21 range, but it has a lot going for it beyond its relatively low price, making it one of the best Samsung phones, especially thanks to Samsung's extended software support.

The triple-lens camera is highly versatile, including the three core lenses that we’d expect from a premium smartphone – namely a main one, a telephoto, and an ultra-wide. They all perform well too.

There’s also high-end power, solid battery life, and an AMOLED screen with a 120Hz refresh rate. At 6.2 inches it’s also a lot more compact than the rest of the S21 range, so it’s ideal if you don’t want a massive phone.

And beyond being the most affordable of the range, the Samsung Galaxy S21 is actually a step down in price from its predecessor, so it’s a bit of a bargain – though to achieve that the screen resolution has been dropped to Full HD+, and the back of the phone is ‘Glasstic’ rather than actual glass.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 review

A Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus in someone's hand

(Image credit: Future)
A strong mid-price flagship

Specifications

Release date: January 2021
Weight: 200g
Dimensions: 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm
OS: Android 11
Screen size: 6.7-inch
Resolution: 1080 x 2400
CPU: Snapdragon 888 / Exynos 2100
RAM: 8GB
Storage: 128GB / 256GB
Battery: 4,800mAh
Rear camera: 12MP (wide) + 64MP (telephoto, 1.1x optical / 3x hybrid) + 12MP (ultrawide, 120-degree)
Front camera: 10MP

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous new design
+
Great performance

Reasons to avoid

-
No microSD support
-
Expensive (but justified)

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus is perhaps the least interesting of the three Samsung Galaxy S21 models – lacking the sheer excess of the Galaxy S21 Ultra, while costing a chunk more than the Samsung Galaxy S21, but this is still one of the great Samsung phones out there.

It offers a much larger screen than its cheaper sibling, at 6.7 inches, and it packs a glass back, where the standard Galaxy S21 makes do with plastic. It also has a larger 4,800mAh battery – though with the larger display that extra battery power is necessary.

Elsewhere it’s a very similar phone, but that’s no bad thing, as it has a high-end chipset, plenty of RAM, a capable triple-lens camera, an in-screen fingerprint scanner, and a stylish design.

It’s certainly expensive, particularly considering the display is only 1080 x 2400, and the lack of a microSD card slot means you might want to shell out for a 256GB model, but these are minor complaints about what’s otherwise still an excellent phone.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus review

How to choose the best Samsung phone for you

Different things are important to different people, but price, screen size and battery life are three key considerations for many buyers. 

A big screen has obvious benefits - making the phone generally better for watching videos and playing games on, and even for using other apps, but this also makes the phone larger and generally heavier, as well as making it harder to use with one hand.

There are other important aspects to a screen too, such as their refresh rate and resolution, with higher numbers being universally better here.

Beyond that, consider what else matters to you in a phone - be it the power, the camera or anything else - and focus on getting something that's good for that.

The entry for each of the best Samsung phones above details the key points, but if you're still unsure then head through to our full reviews for more in-depth information.

What is the best Samsung phone in 2023?

The best Samsung phone at the time of writing is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra. However, this won't be the best choice for everyone, so consider what you need from a phone and how much you want to spend.

Do I need a high-end handset?

Samsung makes phones at all different price levels, and if you're a lighter user - for example mostly just using the web browser, social media and a few basic apps - then you don't need to spend a lot. High-end handsets are for those who want it all, including a great camera and the power to run demanding games.

How we test

We only include phones that we've fully reviewed in this guide, so every entry has been extensively tested. As such, we can be confident of how each model compares to other Samsung phones, and to the wider smartphone landscape.

As well as the review score, we consider the specs of a phone, how well it all comes together in practice, how much it costs, how good value it is, and how it compares to the competition.

To come to these conclusions we'll make use of every key feature of a phone, see how it performs under different circumstances, and see how the battery holds up under different use cases. We'll also run benchmarks.

With all that information combined, we're then able to see exactly how each Samsung phone stacks up.

Alex Walker-Todd
Senior Phones Editor

Alex joined as TechRadar's Senior Phones Editor in June 2022, but brings over a decade's worth of experience to the role, with an expertise in smartphones, tablets and wearables. He's covered keynotes hosted by the biggest brands and attended the launches for some of the most influential mobile products of the last few years. His experience was amassed at some of the most reputable consumer technology publications out there, including GSMArena, TechAdvisor and Trusted Reviews. Alex is currently holding out hope for the Pixel Watch's success and is excited for the advancements coming to the world of foldable phones in the near future.

With contributions from