Samsung has a phone that fits just about every budget. Whether you’re willing to splurge over $1000 onOr you just want the basics, there is bound to be something for everyone.
Samsung has already launched several phones this year, so there are plenty of new options to choose from. TheDebuted in January, followed by In February and recently announced , a mid-range model with its spring debut. All these phones have a long life cycle because they are still new.
This means that it is an ideal time to consider a purchase if you are in the market for a new device. Samsung has also committed to supporting four generations of Android and Samsung OS updates on these devices, an improvement from its previous three-year pledge. Samsung typically announces new Galaxy S phones in the first quarter of a calendar year, which means the Galaxy S22 lineup is still new and should feel fresh for a while.
Finding the best Samsung phone will ultimately lead to preference. Choosing from the many options can get complicated, so here’s how to decide which Samsung phone is best for you.
The $1,200 Galaxy S22 Ultra is Samsung’s most expensive phone and not a foldable phone. With its giant 6.8-inch screen and quad-lens camera, it’s perfect for those who want the biggest screen and best camera possible in their new Samsung phone. Unlike last year’s model, the Galaxy S22 Ultra also comes with Samsung’s S Pen at no additional cost, just like Samsung’s older Galaxy Note devices.
At 6.8 inches, the Galaxy S22 Ultra is noticeably larger than the 6.6-inch Galaxy S22 Plus and the 6.1-inch Galaxy S22. The camera is also one of the biggest reasons why you should consider this phone over smaller and cheaper Samsung devices. While all three new Galaxy S22 phones can take better photos in the dark and improve colors and contrast, the S22 Ultra is the only one with two telephoto lenses. As a result, the S22 Ultra has the closest zoom of any Samsung phone — and possibly any phone. It also has a 108MP main sensor similar to the one in last year’s phone, along with a 12MP ultrawide camera and 10MP zoom lenses.
The high price and large size of the Galaxy S22 is probably too much for most people, and the battery life could be better. But for those who love big screens and really want a super zoom camera and S Pen for taking notes, the S22 won’t disappoint.
The Galaxy S22 Plus is the middle child in the Galaxy S22 lineup, but don’t overlook it. Its 6.6-inch screen size is just right for most people, it features a new glass and metal design and the camera has got a big upgrade compared to the S21 generation. Although it’s priced a bit high at $1000, it seems to be the right choice for those who want a big but not gigantic screen paired with one of the best cameras out there.
Many of the updates Samsung makes across the Galaxy S22 lineup are frequent, such as new phone processors and updated designs. But the move from the Galaxy S21’s 12MP camera to the S22’s 50MP camera is perhaps the most obvious improvement. Both the Galaxy S22 Plus and the regular Galaxy S22 have this new camera system, along with other internal camera improvements, resulting in better low-light performance, color, and detail. The Galaxy S22 Plus also lasted the longest in the CNET Battery Test of Samsung Galaxy S22 phones, although battery life was still average and not impressive.
Overall, the Galaxy S22 Plus is the best choice for those who want a premium phone with a top-notch camera and a big, bright screen.
Android users don’t have much choice when it comes to small phones, but Samsung changed that with the Galaxy S22. The standard Galaxy S22 has a 6.1-inch screen, while many competing Android phones have 6.4-inch or larger screens.
The $800 Galaxy S22 offers many of the same benefits as the Galaxy S22 Plus. This includes a 50MP camera with better low-light photography, a new processor, and a revamped design that looks more elegant than the S21. It’s basically a smaller version of the Galaxy S22 Plus, except that the Plus also has a bigger battery, faster charging, and ultra-fast band support.
The Galaxy S22 is the best option for those who want a more compact phone that still has most of the premium features found in bigger and more expensive Samsung phones. Just keep in mind that the Galaxy S22’s smaller size also comes with a shorter battery life than the S22 Plus and S22 Ultra.
Lisa Eadicicco / CNET
The first S20 FE seriously impressed us with its balance between performance and price, and the new Galaxy S21 FE takes this even further with a solid triple camera, vibrant display, and the same powerful processor found in the flagship S21 phone. It has a 6.5-inch screen, making it an ideal choice for those who want a phone larger than the regular Galaxy S22 without the high Galaxy S22 Plus price tag. Although it misses some of the Galaxy S22’s bells and whistles — like improved nighttime photography and a newer processor — this phone has a sharper front camera for taking selfies and video calls.
The Galaxy S21 FE faces some stiff competition from Google’s Pixel 6, but if you’re looking for an overall great Samsung phone and don’t want to pay the highest price for a flagship, the S21 FE is worth considering.
Lisa Eadicicco / CNET
New for 2022, the Galaxy A53 gives you a ton of Samsung features and power at a fraction of the S-series price. It features a much larger screen and more diverse camera array than the iPhone SE, although Apple’s budget model offers smoother performance.
However, Samsung fans will appreciate what they get here considering the reasonable price. Galaxy A53 5G has an ultra-wide lens for taking pictures with a wider field of view, and it also supports night mode photography. Image quality isn’t as good as what you get on a more expensive Samsung phone like the Galaxy S21 FE or Galaxy S22, but it’s certainly clear and colorful enough for basic shots. Other features include a long-lasting battery, guaranteed four generations of Android OS updates, and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.
Overall, the Galaxy A53 5G is a decent option for those who prefer a big screen and long battery life for less than $500. Just keep in mind that you may have to deal with some occasional lag, and the camera isn’t as advanced as those on higher priced phones. Read our Samsung Galaxy A53 5G review.
Angela Lang / CNET
Samsung’s original foldable phone was a new idea but the latest generation – the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 – refines it further. It’s still essentially a tablet that folds in half into a phone, but this smartphone has an improved hinge, better all-round specs, 5G connectivity and a larger screen on the outside that actually makes it usable as a phone. Samsung Galaxy foldable phones may not suit everyone’s taste and they certainly come at a higher price, but if you are looking for a futuristic foldable phone, the Z Fold 3 is the best to buy.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 review.
Patrick Holland / CNET
If the Galaxy Fold is a tablet that folds in half to become a phone, then the Z Flip is a phone that folds in half to become a smaller phone. When opened, this Samsung Galaxy smartphone has a large 6.7-inch screen, but you can fold it in half and it becomes a small square that’s easy to slip into jeans or a jacket pocket. We love its sleek design, along with decent overall specs and 5G connectivity which is the most affordable foldable option among Samsung Galaxy phones.
Read our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip review.
The A42 5G Android phone sits just below the A52, offers less RAM, misses the macro camera and has a lower resolution front camera. However, it still has 5G connectivity, along with a marginally larger battery and screen, which could make it a great, affordable Samsung phone option for those of you who watch a lot of videos on the go.
If 5G speeds are your top priority in an Android phone but you don’t want to spend a lot of money, then the Samsung Galaxy A32 5G is where you should look. Its low price makes it one of the cheapest 5G-enabled Samsung Galaxy phones you can buy right now, and you still get a large 6.5-inch screen and multiple settings for the rear camera. It’s not a challenge to the overall performance of the S21 line, but it’s a powerful multifunctional device for the money.
The Galaxy A12 is one of the cheapest phones sold by Samsung and is the one to consider for those of you who simply want a phone for all of life’s necessities. If you don’t care about expensive cameras or supercomputer levels of processing power, you don’t have to pay for it with this model. It doesn’t have 5G, but it does have four rear cameras, a 6.5-inch screen, and a large 5,000mAh battery. Given the generally low requirements for specifications, this battery should easily last a full day.
One of the biggest factors that sets the Galaxy A12 apart from other less expensive Samsung phones is the camera. During CNET testing, the Galaxy A12 took noticeably better photos than the cheaper Galaxy A03S and Galaxy A02S, especially in low light. Just remember that you will likely have to buy a microSD card as the A12 only comes with 32GB of storage.
Samsung recently launched the Galaxy A13, which has 5G, more storage and a sharper 50MP camera, which might be worthwhile when looking for Samsung Galaxy phones.
Read our Samsung Galaxy A12 review.