Samsung makes some of the best smartphones in the world, but knowing which one to go for isn’t the easiest of tasks.
Do you want the flagship-class experience offered up by the likes of the Galaxy S, or perhaps the stylus-supported Note line? Maybe Samsung’s diverse (and cheaper) Galaxy A-series has what you’re looking for?
The company has worked hard to have its phones stand out from the crowd too, with a tailored user experience called One UI and added-value apps and services like the Samsung Galaxy Apps Store and Themes Store. There are also unique camera modes, plus features like AR Emoji, Game Launcher, the company’s Bixby assistant and a bunch of other experiences that you won’t be able to find elsewhere.
Note that the S20 line is the latest flagship range – consisting of the standard Galaxy S20, the S20+ and the mighty S20 Ultra. The Galaxy S10e, Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10+ and Galaxy S10 5G will remain good options at their lower prices, while they’ve also been joined more recently by the Galaxy S10 Lite – actually released almost a year after the other S10 models, and more like an S20 in terms of its design.
If you want a true powerhouse, then consider the latest Galaxy Note 10 devices. For the first time in the product line’s history, Samsung is offering two different sizes of Note, with the Note 10 and the Note 10+, while the Note 10 5G is much the same as the Plus model, with the added benefit of superfast 5G connectivity. As with the S10 Lite, there’s also now a more affordable Note 10 Lite to consider too.
With the trends of price, performance and software support as they are in the current phonescape, you might prefer to pick up an older Galaxy flagship from a previous generation – especially as some entries are still great performers, despite their age.
Samsung now has two foldable phones in the Galaxy Fold and Galaxy Z Flip if you want to push the boat out. We don’t recommend getting the Fold but the Flip looks like the best folding phone so far and might get a place here once we’ve reviewed it.
If all of these are too rich for your blood, then Samsung’s A-Series spans the super-affordable to flagship-like across a number of devices; with the Galaxy A10 at one end and the Galaxy A90 5G at the other, though things are a bit murkier now that the most expensive A-phones are crossing over with the S10 and Note 10 Lite in terms of pricing.
You can also browse our overall list of the best phones to see how rivals like the iPhone 11 and OnePlus 7T compare to the best Samsung phones out there.
Best Samsung Galaxy Phones 2020
1. Samsung Galaxy S20
The Galaxy S20 is the best phone in Samsung’s S20 series, and simply the best phone the company makes right now. It’s compact, powerful, and packs a versatile camera system that may not match the top-tier S20 Ultra on zoom or detail, but it meets – and sometimes beats – it across the rest of the board, which means it’s more than a match for just about any other phone out there too.
The wider 5G ecosystem isn’t quite there yet, but will be within the lifetime of this phone, making it almost worth the upgrade. And while battery life remains a slight concern, that’s really the only major fault here. The Android ecosystem offers more for less elsewhere, but usually without Samsung’s level of prestige or polish, and in this case we think that’s worth paying for.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 review
2. Samsung Galaxy S20+
There’s no denying that the Samsung Galaxy S20+ is both an exceptional flagship and one of the most well-rounded phones on the market right now, but ironically it stands in the shadow of its smaller sibling, the standard Galaxy S20.
If you prefer the larger 6.7in display that the S20+ offers up, you’ll also enjoy its WQHD+ resolution, HDR10+ visuals and most exciting of all, the new 120Hz refresh rate. Performance is also top-notch meaning it’s great for enjoying media and gaming, there’s 5G onboard and 25W fast charging means you can refill the phone’s 4500mAh battery in little over an hour.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20+ review
3. Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite
Due to it’s unusual release timing, the Galaxy S10 Lite doesn’t really feel like an S10. It has arrived around a year after the other S10 phones and therefore very close to the S20 range.
It also looks like an S20 so we’re a bit confused. Naming aside, this is an excellent phone for the money with an excellent screen, decent cameras and more powerful internals than you might expect. There’s also features like an in-screen fingerprint scanner, solid battery life and speedy charging
What you miss out on is things like wireless charging and waterproofing – oh and there’s no headphone jack. Unless you can find the S10 or S10+ at a similar price, this probably the model to get if you can’t afford an S20.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite review
4. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
The Galaxy S10 Plus is the best Galaxy phone ever with outstanding cameras, build, display and performance. The Exynos version is let down by its merely acceptable battery life.
It’s also very expensive from £899 / $999 and then some, but it’s a wonderful experience with OneUI’s thoughtful additions, slick day to day use and more features than you can throw a stick at.
If you want to spend £100 / $100 less there’s the regular Galaxy S10 which has most of the same features including the triple rear cameras and outstanding screen. You could even go for the S10e, but it’s a different phone with a smaller screen, less battery and fewer cameras.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review
5. Samsung Galaxy S10
The regular Galaxy S10 has the same triple rear cameras as the S10 Plus and is a great option if you don’t want an even larger phone. Performance is outstanding, the design is premium as can be and the software is so much better than ever.
Starting at £799 / $899 it is more expensive than ever, but with so many features and the best display on a smartphone you get what you pay for.
Battery life on the Exynos model is merely acceptable though so if this is your main concern you might want to get the Plus, or something else.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 review
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 10+
It’s pretty clear the Galaxy Note 10+ is the phone that will satisfy fans of the series, by offering all the things that Note users love.
A big screen, a gorgeous design, and almost all the high-end specs you can throw at a phone. We particularly love the display and new cameras which just about distract from the missing headphone jack.
It is expensive though, so unless you really will make use of the real estate and S Pen, an S10 model might be a better choice – or even the smaller Note 10.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ review
7. Samsung Galaxy Note 10
With so many phones being almost identical to the last model, we’re impressed with what Samsung has done with the Galaxy Note 10.
The 10+ model still provides the classic Note experience, but this regular one will finally appeal to those that want the S Pen on a much more manageable phone. This is largely due to tiny bezels and the punch-hole camera.
We love it.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review
8. Samsung Galaxy A90 5G
The A90 5G feels like a flagship in most of the ways that matter – slick design, fast specs, and a whopping big 6.1in AMOLED display – and the omissions mostly make sense too – wireless charging, waterproofing, and curved edges are the sort of nice-to-haves that most can live without.
The only major letdown is the camera, which is less versatile than it may at first seem with its triple lens array (48Mp main, ultrawide, and a depth sensor), and particularly struggles in even moderately challenging lighting conditions. It’s fine in good light, and has a few extra modes like super slow-mo, but this is nowhere near a flagship camera, and can’t even match many other cheaper phones from rival companies.
If your priority is getting a 5G phone and you don’t mind a slightly limited camera, the A90 is a solid and affordable-ish option. But if you can live with 4G for another couple of years, you can find better phones for less from other manufacturers.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy A90 5G review
9. Samsung Galaxy Note 9
If you want an Android phone with every feature under the sun, the Galaxy Note 9 is it. With premium design, amazing battery life and the unique S-Pen, it’s pretty much the most you can spend on a phone right now.
That said, its features aren’t for everyone and it will be too big and expensive for many. The regular S9 has similar design and most of the features and costs less (and will fit in most pockets to boot).
But the Note 9 has the best display on a smartphone on its release and the 4000mAh battery has incredible stamina. It even has liquid cooling and can run the most demanding mobile games.
It’s still a decent option despite the Galaxy Note 10 models, if you can’t afford them or perhaps can’t live without a headphone jack.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 9 review
10. Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra
The S20 Ultra is not a phone that most people should buy. It’s too expensive for most people to afford, too big for most people to want, and too ugly for the remaining few to ever want to show off.
Still, it’s a phone packed with technical achievements, not least in the camera, which with a 108Mp main sensor and up to 100x ‘Space Zoom’ telephoto is capable of outclassing every competing flagship, even if it’s maddeningly inconsistent.
The 120Hz refresh rate is the crowning jewel to what might be the best display on a phone right now, but the hit to battery life makes it bittersweet – a problem exacerbated by Samsung’s continued insistence on shipping its inferior Exynos 990 chipsets in handsets outside the US (which gets a better Snapdragon 865 variant), leaving them with reduced battery life and hamstrung performance.
If the camera is the only thing you consider when buying a phone the S20 Ultra makes a compelling case for itself, but for everyone else it just goes a few compromises too far.
Read our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra review
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