The best Samsung phones of 2019: finding the right Galaxy for you

Best Samsung phones
Image Credit: TechRadar

Samsung is a prolific smartphone maker, with many different ranges that are updated constantly, from the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note premium ranges to the Galaxy A and Galaxy M affordable devices.

Because of that, if you're on the market for a new Samsung phone, it can be hard to get your head around all the options – is it better to go for something affordable like the Galaxy A50 or an older flagship like the Samsung Galaxy Note 9, or splash out on the biggest and best phones like the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus?

On top of that with new phones constantly being released, like the recent Samsung Galaxy Note 10, and the constantly-delayed Samsung Galaxy Fold, the playing field is constantly being changed.

And then there's Samsung's 5G offering, including the Samsung Galaxy S10 5G, which promises to change the field once again when 5G networks become popular.

With all those devices in mind, this is our guide to the best Samsung phones you can buy right now. It covers new and old phones at different price points, aimed at all different customers, so you know there's something for you on this list.

Best Samsung phones

Image credit: TechRadar

1. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

This is the best Samsung phone right now

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

Excellent screen-to-body ratio
In-screen fingerprint sensor
Sizable price hike
Slippery design

As Samsung’s latest and greatest mainstream flagship, is it any wonder that the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus tops this list?

It’s a big upgrade over the previous year’s model, with a new 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 now, which is far more ideal than it being on the back, 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 the new Wireless PowerShare feature to juice up other devices with it.

The Galaxy S10 Plus also has a massive 6.4-inch screen and all the power you’d expect from a flagship in 2019. It’s Samsung’s best and at the time of writing also tops our list of the best smartphones from any manufacturer.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review

Best Samsung phones

Image Credit: TechRadar

2. Samsung Galaxy S10

Similar to the Plus, but smaller

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

In-screen fingerprint sensor
Wireless PowerShare feature
Another price hike
Not the best camera

Samsung's Galaxy S10 is a fitting second place in our list of the best phones from Samsung as it's largely similar to its top-end sibling.

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 top-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

Best Samsung phones

Image credit: TechRadar

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Big screen, bigger battery, a top Samsung phone

Release date: August 2018 | Weight: 205g | Dimensions: 162 x 76.4 x 9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/512GB (up to 1TB with card) | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

 Improved battery life 
 Gorgeous display 
 Very expensive 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 isn’t just one of the best Samsung phones you can buy today, it’s one of the best phones, period. It’s an expensive device, sure, but with more than double the starting storage of the iPhone X at around the same starting price. It actually comes out to be a better deal over Apple’s comparable offering.

Its key selling point this time around is the unique S-Pen, which no longer requires a charge. Not only will you be able to do normal stylus-like things with the new S-Pen, you’ll also be able to use it to take selfies remotely, giving you shots you otherwise would be incapable of getting. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is also one of the best camera phones in Samsung’s lineup, with a camera that easily outshines most of the competition. 

That’s on top of the improved cooling and battery life, which will see this jumbo device last you through most of the day without burning a hole through your pocket – even if the price does.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review  

Best Samsung phones

Image Credit: TechRadar

(Image credit: TechRadar)

4. Samsung Galaxy S10e

A more affordable S10

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

Superb camera for price
Easy to use in one hand
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 best Samsung phones for you.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy S10e review

Best Samsung phones

Image credit: TechRadar

5. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Still a great Samsung phone

Release date: March 2018 | Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great dual-aperture camera
Impressive screen
Pricey
Not all that different to S8 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is big, in fact its 6.2-inch screen would make it very big, were it not for the almost complete absence of bezel and the curved edges, which ensure it’s actually quite manageable in the hand. The screen is one of the best around too – it’s sharp and sports great colors.

The Galaxy S9 Plus also stands out through its dual 12MP cameras, one of which is a dual-aperture one, meaning it can switch between f/1.5 for dark scenes and f/2.4 for everything else.

Other highlights include impressive stereo speakers and a big 3,500mAh battery. There’s flagship power too of course, and all the bells and whistles that tend to go with that, like a stylish metal and glass build, water resistance, wireless charging and various biometric security options, including a fingerprint scanner, an iris scanner and a face scanner.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus review

(Image credit: Future)

6. Samsung Galaxy A80

Samsung's best affordable smartphone so far

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

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

Best Samsung phones

Image credit: TechRadar

7. Samsung Galaxy S9

A solid flagship at a now lower price

Release date: March 2018 | Weight: 163g | Dimensions: 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Excellent screen
Very powerful
Very similar to S8
Only has a single lens camera

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a smaller, cheaper (but still expensive) alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. 

The 5.8-inch screen makes it potentially preferable if you have smaller hands or pockets, and as with the S9 Plus it’s more compact than you might expect, thanks to its slim bezels and curvy screen.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has many of the same high points as the S9 Plus, including a sharp, vibrant display, a high-end build, plenty of power and various biometric security options.

It’s only got a single-lens camera, but it’s still a very good one, and the battery is smaller, so this is definitely the weaker phone in the S9 range.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S9 review

Best Samsung phones

Image credit: TechRadar

8. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

A beastly phone for stylus fans

Release date: September 2017 | Weight: 195g | Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2630 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | Battery: 3,300mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Impressive camera
Great screen
Weak speaker
Expensive

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is an older model of Samsung’s other flagship, designed for those who want a truly massive 6.3-inch screen and a stylus (known as the S-Pen) to help make the most of it.

Other than that, it has much in common with the Galaxy S range, with a similar (and similarly stylish) glass back and metal frame, a QHD curved screen and a dual-lens rear camera.

There’s lots of power too, though it’s using a 2017 chipset rather than a 2019 one, so it’s not quite a match for the S9 or S10 range. But then it’s also now a little cheaper than the S10 Plus and still has water resistance, wireless charging and loads of storage.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review

Best Samsung phones

Image Credit: TechRadar

9. Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018)

The 'A' stands for affordable

Release date: October 2018 | Weight: 168g | Dimensions: 159.8 x 76.8 x 7.5mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2220 | CPU: Exynos 7885 | RAM: 4/6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,300mAh | Rear camera: 24MP + 8MP + 5MP | Front camera: 8MP

Versatile camera
Lots of storage
Not USB-C
Body feels hollow

We're quite low in our list of the best Samsung phones, but this is the best mid-range phone from the company that has been released specifically for that budget range.

The Galaxy A7 (2018) is far more affordable than a lot of the other devices you'll find on this list but it comes with some impressive spec considering that.

For example, there's a triple camera array on the back that includes a 24MP, 8MP and 5MP shooter. On the front, there's a 24MP shooter for taking your selfies too.

It's not a top-end phone, but if you're looking for a Samsung device that doesn't break the bank it's well worth considering the Galaxy A7.

Read the full Samsung Galaxy A7 (2018) review

Best Samsung phones

Image credit: TechRadar

10. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

A great big-screen option

Release date: April 2017 | Weight: 173g | Dimensions: 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Huge screen
Big battery
Only has a single lens camera
Flawed biometrics

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is a big-screen alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S8, but it’s not just the 6.2-inch display that’s bigger, the 3,500mAh battery is too.

Otherwise this is a very similar phone, with many of the same pros and cons. You get a sharp display with great contrast and colors, a powerful – if now slightly dated – chipset, a 12MP single lens camera that excels in most lighting, and more biometric options than you’ll know what to do with.

It’s also cheaper than the S10 Plus, S9 Plus or Galaxy Note phones, making the Galaxy S8 Plus a slightly more affordable big-screen option – though it lacks the dual-lens cameras of those phones.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus review