Best Samsung phones 2021: Which Galaxy model should you buy?

(Image credit: Snapchat)

The most popular Samsung phones cover everything Androids can offer from powerful flagships to amazing budget-friendly devices that have a lot of features. It doesn’t matter if it’s the budget Samsung Galaxy A32 or even the massive (and pricey) Galaxy Z Fold 3, Samsung has an option at any price.

Samsung could be skipping the Galaxy Note model this year and the status of the speculated Galaxy S21 FE remains unknown, but we’ve seen a lot of new candidates to be the best Samsung phone of 2021. Samsung has launched the three latest Galaxy S flagships, Galaxy A mid-range phones, as well as two foldable phones that rank among the top Samsung, which have ever launched. There are certain to be some of the top phones in general within Samsung’s range.

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All it comes down to is finding out the type of phone you’re looking to purchase and the amount you’re willing to spend. Whatever the answer to these questions is, there’s probably an option that meets your requirements in the top Samsung phones.

What are the top Samsung phones?

It’s the Galaxy S21 Ultra is Samsung’s ultimate smartphone currently. It’s Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Plus are both outstanding phones on their own and feature dynamic displays, speedy processors, and less expensive prices when as compared to the S20 models. They’re equally worthy of being included in the debate about the most powerful Samsung phone.

There are less expensive options, however, particularly due to the introduction of the Galaxy A52 5G and Galaxy A32 5G. The Galaxy S20 FE also remains an extremely popular choice for those looking to get premium features at a lower cost, although it is possible that a new model will be arriving before the end of the year. Both are fantastic back-to-school options thanks to Samsung’s three-year upgrade promise to keep them both in good shape.

For the foldable Samsung phones, we’ve had the chance to look at each of the phones, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. The latter is the most impressive of Samsung’s phones, due to its huge screen which has 120Hz of a refresh. However, Samsung’s Galaxy Z Flip 3 is an appealing option because of its lower cost. There’s a possibility to order a custom variant that’s a customized version of Z Flip 3 where you have the option of choosing your own colors and if you’re willing spend a bit more.

The top Samsung phones that you can purchase today

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

The top Samsung phone that you could buy


Screen Size: 6.8 inches

Android Version 11 with One UI 3

Processor: Snapdragon 888 (US)/Exynos 2100 (WW)

Cameras: 108MP main camera, ultrawide 12MP 2, 10MP telephoto with laser autofocus sensors (Rear) 40MP (Front)

RAM/Storage: 12GB, 16GB/128, 256, 512GB

Reasons to buy

+ Dynamic 6.8-inch AMOLED display, dual telephoto lenses, and S Pen support

The reasons to stay clear of

There is no charger in the box. It does not have a MicroSD slot for cards.

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra takes its place on our top Samsung phones because of a number of factors. It starts with the Snapdragon 888 system-on-chip, which is the engine behind this phone. It’s the U.S. version of the phone. It delivers the highest performance we’ve ever seen from an Android phone. We’re also impressed with this phone’s unique feature: this S21 Ultra is the first phone not part of Samsung’s Galaxy Note lineup to support the S Pen, giving your productivity an extra boost.

However, a few features make it stand out from these highlights. Samsung’s Galaxy S21 Ultra features a vibrant display with a dynamic speed of refresh that can vary between 10Hz to 120Hz dependent on the task you’re performing. (Tasks like scrolling will get the speedier refresh rate those that are more static have a speed that is battery-saving.) Two telephoto lenses are available in the rear of the S21 Ultra — one that has a 3x zoom, and the other with the capability of a 10-fold zoom which is solid proof of Samsung’s status as the company that makes phones that handle zoom lenses with the highest quality.

It’s the Galaxy S21 Ultra remains an expensive phone, but it’s priced at 200 less than what the Galaxy S20 Ultra costs when it launches in 2020. If you’re looking for the most advanced features Samsung provides, you should buy the phone right now.

Check out our full Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra review.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

It’s still an excellent Samsung phone, with an S Pen included


Screen Size: 6.9 inches

Android Version 10 with One UI 2.5

Processor: Snapdragon 865 Plus (US)/Exynos 990 (WW)

Cameras include 108MP, 12MP, 12-MP laser autofocus sensor (Rear) 10MP (Front)

RAM/Storage: 12 GB/128, 512 GB

Reasons to buy

Display with Dynamic 120Hz refresh rate and S Pen performance+Powerful 50x zoom camera

The reasons to stay clear of

The big camera bump on the back.

It’s been nearly an entire year now from the time that the Galaxy Note 20 arrived, but it’s now been replaced as the most desirable Samsung smartphone by Galaxy S21 Ultra. However, it’s clear that the Galaxy Note 20 remains an excellent choice for those who love phablets with all the advancements Samsung introduced with this version.

The most attractive feature of the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra remains the dynamic refresh rate that adapts to what you’re using it to do. Additionally, there are features for working as well including the S Pen is more responsive than ever before, with the latency lowered to 9ms as opposed to S21 Ultra and Galaxy Z Fold 3 The Note 20 Ultra includes a slot for the S Pen. It is also driven by Snapdragon 865 Plus, which remains a top-quality chip even with the Snapdragon 865 Plus’s launch.

Its large camera bump can take some time to get used to. Those who aren’t happy spending four hundred dollars for a phone will be inclined to reconsider their options. However, this Galaxy Note 20 Ultra delivers one of the most adaptable big-phone experiences of all Samsung phones. Since there is no new Note due in 2021 It’s clear that the Note 20 Ultra remains the most powerful phablet available — and is a more affordable alternative to the more expensive Galaxy Z Fold 3.

Read our complete Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review.

Samsung’s flagship phone with a lower price tag.


Screen Size: 6.2 inches

Android Version 11 with One-UI 3

Processor: Snapdragon 888 (US)/Exynos 2100 (WW)

Cameras Main Camera: 12MP superwide, 12MP ultrawide 64MP Telephoto (Rear) 10MP (Front)

RAM/Storage: 8GB/128, 256GB

Reasons to buy

+Excellent dynamic 120Hz display+Powerful performance+Excellent telephoto lens

There are reasons to avoid

No charger or microSD card slot-Plastic back

The price is reasonable to purchase this Galaxy S21, the least expensive of 2021’s Samsung flagships. With a price of $799, the Galaxy S21’s price starts at $200 less than the price Samsung paid for the Galaxy S20. The price is also comparable with the Apple iPhone 12.

In certain ways, the set of features will reflect the price and features, since Samsung utilizes plastic to make the case of the S21 and does not include the microSD card. Also, you’ll have to contend with the 6.2-inch screen that has a scaled-back resolution. However, that screen also features an adaptive refresh rate that alters the speed of the screen’s refresh depending on the task at the screen. The Galaxy S21 has the same Snapdragon 888 chip that drives the S21 Ultra to the best performance on the Android phone.

Include great cameras that do better than comparable phones that are available from Apple and Google You’ve got an outstanding phone at an affordable cost.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 review.

 Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Another option for big screens from Samsung


Screen Size: 6.7 inches

Android Version 11 with One-UI 3

Processor: Snapdragon 888 (US)/Exynos 2100 (WW)

Cameras include 12MP main superwide, 12MP ultrawide, and 64MP Telephoto (Rear) 10MP (Front)

RAM/Storage: 8 GB/128, 512 GB

Reasons to buy

+Gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED display+Excellent performance+Crazy zoom feature

There are reasons to stay away from

The device is bulky and heavy. There is no MicroSD slot or charger included

There’s nothing that separates the Galaxy S21 Plus from the Galaxy S21, though the S21 Plus has a bigger screen, larger battery, and a sleeker design than the cheaper S21. The question of whether it’s worth the additional $200 is contingent on your personal preference regarding the extra screen space, since it’s the case that S21 Plus lasted about as long as the S21 in our battery test, even with the bigger power pack.

It’s a great phone if you choose Galaxy S21 Plus. Galaxy S21 Plus, particularly in regards to the 6.7-inch OLED screen. It’s because, as with other models of the S21 family its Plus screen comes with dynamic refresh rates which adjusts according to what you’re using it to accomplish. (It is in line with the S21’s 48-120 Hz frequency range.) Cameras are great and include those with the Galaxy S21 Plus’ telephoto lens, which has an optical zoom of 3x and a 30x zoom digital zoom.

The fans of large phones will not think about how big it is. Galaxy S21 Plus can be. They’ll simply be glad to own a well-designed phone that offers the screen space they want.

Check out our complete Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus review.

Galaxy Z Flip 3 vs. Galaxy S21 Plus: Which Samsung phone should you buy?

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Samsung’s top phone that folds


Screen size: 7.6 inches (inner), 6.2 inches (outer)

Version 11 for Android With One UI 3.1

Processor: Snapdragon 888

Cameras include Wide 12MP, ultrade 12MP 12MP Telephoto (rear) 10MP (front) 4MP (under-display)

RAM/Storage: 12GB/256GB, 512GB

Reasons to buy

Dual 120Hz displays, Durable design, and water resistance rating, and more applications supported to multitask

There are reasons to avoid

S Pen isn’t included. Still expensive

Samsung’s best foldable phone is its Galaxy Z Fold 3, especially since the latest version features a 120Hz screen both on the inside and outside. The upgraded Galaxy Z Fold 3 is more durable than ever before, because of the IPX8 Water Resistance rating. the body of Armor Aluminum is more durable than ever before, and the device’s Gorilla Glass Victus display should lessen the chance of scratching and other damages.

One of the greatest things Samsung did was convince developers to improve their apps to work on the Samsung Z Fold3’s foldable screen. Popular apps such as Spotify and TikTok take advantage of Z Fold 3’s unique shape and design. Samsung has added S Pen support, too however, while the main display is certainly ample space to sketch and take notes, it’s disappointing that the stylus is an extra accessory (meaning you’ll need to pay additional to purchase the S Pen and a case to hold the pen).

The battery life of the Galaxy Z Fold 3 could be improved, and even though the price at launch is less than the price it had for Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2, $1,799 is still quite a bit to spend for a phone. However, if you’re looking for an excellent phone that will give the user plenty of screen space to use The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is the most advanced Samsung phone that’s yet to feature an adjustable display that folds.

Check out our complete Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review.

The best value for money on a Samsung phone


Screen Size: 6.5 inches

Android Version 10 with One UI 2.5

Processor: Snapdragon 865

Cameras: 12MP, 12MP and 8MP (Rear); 32MP (Front)

RAM/Storage: 6 GB/128 GB

Reasons to buy

+Affordable price+Big 120Hz display+Solid performance

There are reasons to avoid

Battery life could be improved- Doesn’t ship with fast chargers

Perhaps you were impressed with the variety of Galaxy S20 models that debuted in 2020 but were dissuaded by the price tag of at least $999. This Samsung Galaxy S20 FE can reduce that price shock with some of the top features of the S20 however, it costs just $300 less. It’s a good choice compared to several phones, including Apple’s most recent models, as we saw on the Samsung Galaxy S20 FE vs. iPhone 12 face-off.

The phone, which retails at $699, runs an extremely robust Snapdragon 865 system-on-chip with 5G connectivity. This phone’s 6.5-inch OLED display features an extremely fast 120Hz refresh rate that ensures more fluid scrolling. Although its 8MP telephoto lens may not be as impressive as the 64MP lens on the S20 however, we’re impressed with its Space Zoom feature.

There are some compromises to make in this model, but it’s not as bad. Galaxy S20 FE — it has plastic cases and the charger doesn’t have the same speed however it’s an excellent phone for those who require high-end features for a moderate cost. With a price tag of $100 less than its predecessor, the Galaxy S21, it’s still worth it, provided you don’t need it with the Snapdragon 888. The rumored successor, called the Galaxy S21 FE, doesn’t seem to be expected to be released this year, which is why it’s the Galaxy S20 FE remains the most effective way to get the best features at a lower price.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 FE review.

5G at a low cost from Samsung


Screen Size: 6.5 inches

Android Version 11 with One-UI 3

Processor: Snapdragon 750G

Cameras: 64MP, 12MP, 5MP and 5MP (Rear); 32MP (Front)

RAM/Storage: 6 GB/128 GB

Reasons to buy

+120Hz display+Versatile main camera

The reasons to stay clear of

Inconsistent performance with other cameras. Display scratches easily

Samsung’s mid-range smartphone lineup is currently being led with the Galaxy A52 5G. (That’s the situation for the U.S., at least in the U.S., where it’s likely that Galaxy A72 5G won’t be selling.) Although it’s priced lower than those of the Galaxy S series, you’ll see a number of important features that make these phones. Samsung offers a 6.5-inch display that has a 120Hz refresh rate, but there’s no dynamic adjuster on Samsung’s Galaxy A52 5G screen.

The main lens of 64MP produces some stunning images regardless of the fact that the other cameras that are on the handset (a 12MP lens, as well as dedicated depth and macro sensors) aren’t able to keep up with the quality of images produced by the top cameras within this price range. The A52 will be a delight to you with its 5G Snapdragon 750G chipset, its long battery life, and the fact that a phone charger comes included with the phone.

If you’re looking to buy a Samsung phone that costs less than $500 the Samsung Galaxy A52 is a good choice, but it’s not as good as the Galaxy A42 and A32 going further down in price. (See how they compare on our Galaxy A52 against. Galaxy A42 against. Samsung Galaxy A32 comparison.)

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A52 5G review.

Samsung offers a budget 5G plan. Samsung


Screen size: 6.5 inches

Version for Android: 11 With One UI 3.1

Processor: Density 720

Cameras include 48MP main superwide, 8MP ultrawide. 5MP macro 2MP depth (Rear) 13MP (Front)

RAM/Storage: 4GB/64GB

Reasons to buy

Price is very low, and Four years of security updates + Excellent battery life and 90Hz refresh rate

The reasons to stay clear of

-Subpar HD+ display

Samsung isn’t content with its achievements with the low-cost 5-G smartphones on the market. This is Samsung’s Galaxy A32 5G, a phone that is priced at less than $300 and has 5G capabilities. It has many features that people are fond of in Galaxy phones but has certain corners removed to lower the cost. The main issue is the mediocre display. The size, combined with the poor resolution doesn’t appear great in person.

If you’re on a tight budget and are looking for a phone that has good cameras, the Samsung A32 5G is something to consider. With its huge 6.5-inch screen it’s clear that the A32 isn’t a tiny phone. However, it has a 5,000-mAh battery that will last for a long time, almost 12 hours during our tests with the adaptive refresh rate. Also, you can expect that the Galaxy A32 to go for longer than the other options for budget as Samsung offers the promise of three years’ worth of Android updates, and 4 years’ worth of security updates.

Read our complete Galaxy A32 review.

 Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Making smartphones foldable more easily


Screen size: 6.7 inches (inner), 1.9 inches (outer)

Version for Android 11 with One-UI 3.1

Processor: Snapdragon 888

Cameras include 12MP wide and ultrawide, 12MP (rear) 10MP (front)

RAM/Storage: 8GB/128GB, 256GB

Reasons to buy

More affordable, better durability, and a bigger cover display

The reasons to stay clear of

No telephoto lens, short battery life.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is the first “affordable” foldable phone. With a price starting at $999, it comes with top-of-the-line specifications and the capability to fold horizontally. This makes it a portable gadget that can pack a powerful punch.

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 has significant flaws, like its battery life is short. We tested it and it only lasted 6 hours, even when the display was locked to 60Hz. Also, the Flip 3 lacks a telephoto lens, in contrast to other phones within this price. However, it is a unique phone. Galaxy Z Flip 3 is an original device.

The phone will be more unique if you opt for a Galaxy Z Flip 3 Bespoke Edition. The $1,099 model allows you to choose the color of the frame and the back and front panels There are 49 different color combinations available. Samsung claims this is an opportunity to add your personal touch to a device with a distinctive design.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 review.

Samsung Galaxy A71 5G

The phone from last year is sturdy


Screen Size: 6.7 inches

Android Version 10 with One-UI 2

Processor: Snapdragon 765

Cameras include: 64MP, 12MP 5MP depth, five-megapixel macro (Rear) 32MP (Front)

RAM/Storage: 8 GB/128 GB

Reasons to buy

Good battery life, solid performance, and the price has fallen

The reasons to stay clear of

Cameras with a mid-level of performance-Last year’s hardware

It’s possible that you’ve lost track of the Samsung Galaxy A71 5G, particularly since Samsung has introduced its Galaxy A72 which is a newer version of the hardware, even though it’s not equipped with 5G. However, the A72 will not be coming towards in the U.S. — it’s too similar to the Galaxy S20 FE, Samsung’s chosen. It means that the A71 5G remains an option in the U.S particularly since the price is down from its initial $599 and is readily available through retailers and both carriers.

The Galaxy A71’s price at launch was already quite low for a smartphone with 5G capabilities that’s why anything under $599 is the even better deal. This is especially true considering how the Galaxy A71 has an excellent battery life, decent performance, and the most important thing -connectivity with all kinds of networks. Also, you’ll appreciate the large, 6.7-inch OLED screen, which confirms that you can choose a large screen in addition to the expensive Galaxy Note series.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A71 5G review.

What is the best Samsung phone? Samsung phones

Deciding the best Samsung phone to purchase is mostly based on budgetary considerations. You’re unlikely to pay for the Galaxy S21 Ultra, for instance, if you’re ready to pay at least $1,199 regardless of whether you choose to spread the cost over time. However, other aspects must be considered also.

Consider the way you use your smartphone. If it’s mostly a productivity device, you’ll want to concentrate on Galaxy Note. Galaxy Note lineup, specifically due to the robust S Pen that comes with Samsung’s huge-screen smartphone. If you use your phone to take photos then you’ll want to consider the Galaxy S series is usually the first choice for Samsung’s latest camera features.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly phone, look at the Galaxy A52 for $499 5G, or the less expensive Galaxy A32, There are also special deals on Samsung phones by purchasing directly from the manufacturer and then trading in your existing phone. Take a look at the best Samsung phone deals to get the most recent discounts.

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 are now being shipped, our focus can shift to future Samsung launches. Samsung has no plans to announce the Galaxy Note 21 this year as supply chain problems could have delayed this Galaxy S21 FE release into the beginning of 2019 if it is available at all by the time it’s released. Whatever the outcome of the phone, we’re likely to witness it in the form of the Galaxy S22 to debut in the first quarter of 2022. It will feature improved cameras to compete with iPhone 13. iPhone 13.

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What do we test on Samsung phones?

To determine the top Samsung phones We test Samsung’s phones the same way that we test each smartphone we test. We use benchmarks on every phone using synthetic benchmarks, such as Geekbench 5 and 3DMark to evaluate the performance of graphics. This allows us to compare Samsung devices to other phones such as Apple’s iPhone. Additionally, we conduct real-world tests that include an examination of video transcoding by using Adobe Premiere Rush.

We in our laboratory test its brightness on the display on the phone (in Nits) in addition to the color of each display (using the standard sRGB as well as the DCI P3 color gamut). In these instances high numbers are superior. Also, we measure the accuracy of the color of every panel by calculating a rating called Delta-E, where smaller numbers are more accurate and a score of 0 is perfect.

To figure out the amount of time the Samsung phone’s battery life lasts We have the phones constantly surfing the internet via LTE and set their screen at 150 units of brightness. The typical smartphone lasts about 10 hours. The longest phone battery life of at least 11 hours during our tests.

Our camera tests involve shooting photos on each Samsung phone that we test and comparing them with similar photos taken by similar models. We shoot landscapes as well as food, portraits, and many more. We let you make your own contrasts within our review.

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Jordan is the Editor for Phones of Tom’s Guide, covering all aspects of phones. He is a sucker for sitting at home reading books, games, or even his most recent private writing assignment. It’s difficult to pinpoint what Jordan is committed to because his focus on any given subject or event isn’t for very long. Jordan often lurks on social media sites, but it’s best to connect with him via Twitter.


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