The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the best smartphone right now

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review
(Image credit: Future)

It's rare that we crown a new winner of our best smartphone list, but we've now updated our rankings and the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra takes the top title of the best phone.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is a premium tier handset with our review particularly highlighting a screen that wowed us, a phenomenal camera experience and a mesmerizing design.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra also supports the S Pen stylus, and we said this handset has the best camera zoom you can find on any smartphone in 2021. Overall, the Galaxy S21 Ultra is the ultimate smartphone package.

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first handset from the company's new 'Ultra' line of handsets that has taken the top spot in our list. Why is that? The Galaxy S20 Ultra wasn't up to scratch, and we preferred the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus as they were cheaper and offered a better experience in most ways.

That's not the case for Samsung's 2021 S-series though. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is still a remarkably expensive smartphone, but it's cheaper than its predecessor and it gets a lot more right including a better design, a smaller footprint so it's easier to hold and a whole host of new features.

Some will be disappointed by the lack of microSD support - so you'll be stuck with whatever internal storage you get when you first buy the handset - and the fact it doesn't come with a charger in the box.

No smartphone is perfect though, so if those issues aren't set to influence your decision in buying a new smartphone be sure to read our full Galaxy S21 Ultra review to find out if it's the perfect phone for you.

Our best smartphone list takes into account the entire market of smartphones that you can buy today from the iPhone 12 Pro through to the OnePlus 8 Pro. We take into account price, features, design, availability, camera, specs and much more when putting together our final rankings.

James Peckham

James is the Editor-in-Chief at Android Police. Previously, he was Senior Phones Editor for TechRadar, and he has covered smartphones and the mobile space for the best part of a decade bringing you news on all the big announcements from top manufacturers making mobile phones and other portable gadgets. James is often testing out and reviewing the latest and greatest mobile phones, smartwatches, tablets, virtual reality headsets, fitness trackers and more. He once fell over.