The top Galaxy handsets reviewed


Introduction

If you’re looking for a new phone, chances are you’re considering at least one Samsung handset, and for good reason.

Since we reviewed the Galaxy S2 many years ago Samsung handsets have consistently impressed the team of reviewers over at Trusted Towers.

Each year the new flagship has earned our accolades proving to be one of the best Android phones available when we get it in for testing. This was most recently demonstrated by the Galaxy S22 Ultra which remains one of 2022’s best phones to this day.

But, it’s not just about flagships. If you’re on a budget Samsung actually offers a number of brilliant value mid-range and affordable phones, many of which borrow elements of its S-series flagships.

If you’re after something a little different Samsung also offers foldables. These are a new class of smartphone featuring nifty foldable screen designs. The most recent additions are the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4, which launched in August. However, since we’re yet to get them in for testing they’re not currently in this list.

If any of that sounds like it could be a good fit for you, keep reading as in this guide we’ll detail the best Samsung phones we’ve reviewed. Every phone on this list has been used by a reviewer as their main handset for at least a week, during which time they run them through a series of real world and lab tests. So you can trust our buying advice.

How we test

How do we test Samsung phones?

All the phones included in our Best Samsung phone list have been thoroughly tested and used by one of our product experts. We never review a phone based purely on specs and benchmark scores. We use them as our everyday device for the review period, which is usually at least five days but often a lot more.

Whenever you read a phone review published on Trusted Reviews, you should be confident that the reviewer has put their personal SIM card into the phone, synced across their most-used apps and logged into all their typical accounts. We do this so you’ll feel confident in our review and trust our verdict.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The best high-end Samsung phone

Pros

  • Stunning display with fantastic detail and brightness
  • Versatile camera system with impressive zoom
  • Good low-light camera performance
  • Fast charging
  • Promise of many years of updates

Cons

  • Battery life should be better
  • Design a step backward
  • You need to buy the fast charger separately

If money is no object, you want the very best specs and don’t mind a large phone, then we think the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra is the best Samsung phone you can buy in 2022. This will likely come as no surprise, considering this is Samsung’s top-end phone for the year.

Based on our testing, as well as having the most developed feature set you’ll find on an Android phone, the S22 Ultra is also very pleasant to use day-to-day. The Galaxy S22 Ultra has a great display, powerful internals and the handy benefits of the included S Pen – a feature you won’t find on any other phones included in this list.

The S Pen is a small stylus that slides inside the device and allows you to draw and write on the display. We think it’s a great tool that makes it wonderfully pleasant to scribble notes and edit excel sheets on the go.

Another feature you won’t find on many other phones, and certainly none of the cheaper Samsung phones included within this list, is a fantastic zoom camera. While the S22 Plus can take great shots with the wide and ultrawide cameras, it’s the expanded zoom skills of the Ultra model that really set it apart when we reviewed it.

The capabilities on offer easily beat the competition from Apple and Google. We’re not talking about hitting 100x – these shots still look grainy – but at 10x and below the results are fantastic and a real reason to pick up this phone over a rival.

Away from the camera, the S22 Ultra stands as the best Samsung phone in a number of other ways. It has the best screen in the form of a 1440p OLED with a smooth 120Hz refresh rate for slick scrolling and gaming. There’s also the promise of many years of upgrades, fast charging (if you provide your own charger) and customisable software.

Of course, the large size of this phone will put many off – as will the price. That’s why we have a few more options recommended below.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

The best Samsung phone under £1000/$1000

Pros

  • Brilliant screen
  • Great camera
  • Attractive design
  • Strong performance

Cons

  • Battery life could be better
  • Expensive

While we love the S22 Ultra, there’s no denying the Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is a better pick for those who don’t need stuff like the high-res screen, extended zoom range and S Pen. It remains a big phone, but it’s certainly more pocketable than the Ultra.

There’s the usual array of excellent Samsung features here. In our in-depth review, we praised the bright and accurate display, the reliable software and good performance. Three really important features we always look for in a top-end phone.

We’re also big fans of the versatile camera system, with the three rear sensors letting you zoom in and take ultra wide shots with ease. Pictures shot in all sorts of situations, including tougher lower-light environments, come out reliably well with punchy colours. You’ll notice Samsung’s liberal use of saturation when you’re shooting bright skies or vivid flowers, and these results really pop on the bright 6.6-inch OLED display and lend themselves well to social media sharing.

As this is a Samsung flagship, you’ll be pleased to see there are plenty of ‘nice to have features’ that you often tend to only get with higher-end devices. There’s an IP68 rated body, Gorilla Glass Victus+ for added protection on the front and back, fast wired (and wireless) charging and the promise of four years of system updates.

One of our few notable criticisms of the device, and really this can be said for all the Samsung phones listed here, is that battery life is merely average. It’s far from bad – our reviewer managed to get through a busy work day and evening with 5% left – but it doesn’t push boundaries.

Reviewer: Peter Phelps

Full review: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

The best mid-range Samsung phone

Pros

  • A very complete package
  • Bright, colourful screen
  • An IP rating and Qi charging

Cons

  • Overpriced compared to the competition
  • Camera not as good as Pixel 6
  • Average battery life and charging speeds

Sitting below the S22 series, the cheaper Galaxy S21 FE is a very good, mid-range Samsung phone that focuses on getting all the basics right. Based on our time with it the FE manages to offer great value for money as a result. It has a bright, colourful display along with strong performance and handy extras like wireless charging and an IP rating for added protection.

While the S21 moniker might give the impression this is an older device, its release actually came closer to the S22 than the S21 thanks to numerous delays.

In many ways, the feature set is better than the original S21 series even though it comes with a lower price. The Snapdragon 888 chipset totes 5G and performed well in our rigorous lab tests, alongside real, everyday use. The three cameras on the back can’t match up to the similarly priced Pixel 6, but they still churn out decent shots from three distinct focal lengths based on our tests.

If you don’t want to spend more on the S22 series, then the S21 FE ticks most of the boxes and will be a good phone for a number of years.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The best affordable Samsung phone

Pros

  • Great screen for video
  • Decent battery life
  • Good camera system
  • Fairly attractive design

Cons

  • No adaptive refresh rate
  • No wireless charging
  • No charger included in the box
  • No 3.5mm headphone jack

Samsung’s A series might not be as flashy as the other phones we’ve listed, but if you’re on a tighter budget then the Galaxy A53 5G represents impressive value. This still feels like a Samsung phone, with a bright OLED screen, Samsung’s own unique take on Android and a reliable camera system that produces good quality shots.

But paying less does limit the feature set somewhat. There’s no wireless charging, no adaptive refresh rate like the S22 Plus has and a build that’s constructed mostly from plastic.

One of the best features here, especially when you consider the price, is the 6.5-inch screen. The OLED tech produces deep blacks and vibrant colours, while the 120Hz refresh rate gives a smooth touch to scrolling and gaming. You’ll struggle to find a screen as good as this for this price.

This is one of the better Samsung phones when it comes to battery life, though considering the simplified feature set and the large 5000mAh cell that doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Compared to the S22 Plus, we got more juice from a single charge.

The camera system is a predictable step down from the S21 FE, throwing out slightly more saturated images that aren’t detailed. There’s also a fairly useless macro camera added, which our reviewer found wanting. But, even with these compromises, it’s still the best affordable option on this list.

Reviewer: Peter Phelps

Full review: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

The best Samsung foldable phone

Pros

  • Folds up into a neat package
  • Smooth 120Hz inner display
  • Water resistant
  • Much cheaper (but still not cheap)

Cons

  • The outer display is better but still fairly limited
  • Mid-range cameras
  • Average battery life

Samsung makes the best foldable phones around and though the Flip 4 has been unveiled, as we haven’t had a chance to properly review it yet, in our minds the Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the best one you can buy right now. It mimics a clamshell flip phone of yesteryear, turning a larger display into a smaller phone that’s very pocketable.

The Z Flip 3 isn’t as rich in features as the pricier Z Fold 3 but we feel the unique prospect of the Flip makes it easier to recommend. It has two reliable cameras on the lid, a faster Snapdragon chipset keeping everything running and a smooth 120Hz display.

But you can find all those features on other phones that cost a lot less than this – what you buy the Z Flip 3 for is the foldable nature and the almost nostalgic hit. This feels both modern and retro at the same time and it has a lot of charm. Touches like the bright, sharp and very useful outer display for quickly glancing at messages really change how you interact with the phone.

One of the reasons to avoid buying the Z Flip 3 right now is that the Z Flip 4 could be with us very soon and that will mean not only a newer option to pick, but also the likelihood of price cuts to the Flip 3.

Reviewer: Max Parker

Full review: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review

FAQs

Do all the Samsung phones come with a charger?

None of the phones here come with a charger in the box, however, they all support USB-C charger and do come with a cable so you just to provide a plug.

Are all these phones 5G capable?

All of the phones listed have some form of 5G support. You’ll want the S22 Ultra or S22 Plus if you’re in an area that supports mmWave 5G.

Trusted Reviews test data

If you want the best of the best, the S22 Ultra is the choice. It has the most accurate display that can get very brightness and impresses in various tests.

1 hour music streaming (online)

Time from 0-100% charge

1 hour music streaming (offline)

30 minute gaming (light)

30 minute gaming (intensive)

1 hour video playback (Netflix, HDR)

Max brightness

Time from 0-50% charge

Geekbench 5 multi core

Geekbench 5 single core

sRGB

Adobe RGB

DCI-P3

3D Mark – Wild Life

3D Mark – Sling Shot Extreme

3D Mark – Wild Life Stress Test

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Storage Capacity

Rear Camera

Front Camera

Video Recording

IP rating

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Wirless charging

Fast Charging

Size (Dimensions)

Weight

ASIN

Operating System

Release Date

First Reviewed Date

Resolution

HDR

Refresh Rate

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Chipset

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