Samsung is the biggest smartphone maker in the world. That’s a massive achievement when you consider the strength of the competition from Apple and Huawei but which is the best Samsung phone around?
Samsung’s phones aren’t just extremely popular. They’re also among the most technologically advanced, not to mention the most downright stylish handsets you can buy.
UPDATE: Samsung is ‘exploring’ the possibility of a second foldable phone. Admittedly, the first venture - the Galaxy Fold - wasn’t exactly plain sailing (spoiler alert: it broke) but this new design looks promising. It’s not a book-style phone, instead it phones vertically down with fold straight across the middle of the phone. It doesn’t look dissimilar to a 90s flip phone, and it means that the phone could essentially become its own stand when folded at 90 degrees. Sounds cool - but it’s still just an idea at the moment, so don’t get too excited just yet.
Shortlist was among the first in the world to get their hands on the new Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10+ range. Here's our hands on: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review where we reveal why it may just be the best Samsung phone around right now. As you'd expect, we've now also added these handsets to our list of the best Samsung phones below.
The South Korean manufacturer has led the way in a number of key areas, from adopting fancy OLED screen technology to the practice of releasing a new flagship phone every six months. Indeed, the sheer number of Samsung phones out there on the market is a good reason to assemble a list.
This is no retrospective. All of these phones are widely available to buy brand new in shops and on the internet right now - a fine tribute to Samsung’s ubiquity as well as its quality control.
- Looking to update your tech? Check out our best wireless headphones list and best cheap phones because quality doesn't have to cost a fortune
Best Samsung phones
1. Samsung Galaxy S10
Samsung’s current flagship phone represents a sizeable forward step from the previous models. The distinctive dual-curved display is still there, but it now takes up even more of the front of the phone thanks to a new hole-punch design that embeds the selfie cam within the screen.
Elsewhere an ultrasonic in-display fingerprint sensor and a versatile triple-camera add to the sense that this is Samsung’s most ambitious phone in years.
2. Samsung Galaxy A50
The Galaxy A50 is the Samsung phone you turn to if you want the company’s slinky bezelless design without paying top dollar. You get a dominant 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display at a third of the cost of a Galaxy S10 Plus.There’s a performance trade-off, while the fingerprint sensor is mounted on the back and the phone itself is made of plastic. Conversely, a triple-lens camera smacks of a much more premium phone.
3. Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
If you are thinking the 6.3 inches of the Galaxy Note 10 just doesn’t do it for you, well you are in luck. The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ trounces this screen size, by adding a huge 0.5 inches to it. The screen here is a sizeable 6.8 inches. There’s more pixels crammed on it per inch, too, making it a gorgeous thing to look at.
This big screen has also been given HDR 10+ capabilities, so in terms of watching movies on these things, if the movie supports this codec, it’s going to look pretty spectacular.
The S Pen stylus has also had a decent upgrade and now works much better than its predecessor and comes with Word – making it much more handy for last minute work on-the-move.
There's a 4,300mAh battery inside the Note 10. What's more Samsung's new charger will allow you to charge your phone so it will have a day’s worth of power in just 30 minutes (with the optional 45W charger).
We also think it's a great option for vloggers, with a bunch of video editing smarts on-board, as well as hree cameras on the back that offer an ultra wide (16MP), wide angle and telephoto lenses (12MP). There’s also a depth sensor on board, so you can do things like live bokeh on the images you take.
4. Samsung Galaxy A9
If you’re impressed by the fact that the Galaxy S10 comes with three rear cameras, you might be surprised to learn that the Galaxy A9 got there first. In fact, it went one better with the world’s first quad-camera offering.
All that, and that Galaxy A9 is about half the price of a Galaxy S10 Plus. Sure, you get a humbler spec list for your money, but this remains a very tidy package with an eye-catching camera.
5. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus
If the Galaxy S9 continues to be relevant today, its big brother is even more so. Compared to the S9, the Galaxy S9 Plus packs a larger 6.2-inch display and a more capacious 3,500mAh battery.
But what makes the Galaxy S9 Plus's future-proofing better than the S9's is its 50% extra RAM, which allows much more room for manoeuvre. It also packs an extra camera for 2X optical zoom.
6. Samsung Galaxy Note 9
Samsung’s latest flagship phablet was one of the most feature-complete phones of 2018, and it continues to be a viable choice in the first half of 2019.
The S10 Plus might have matched its 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display and topped it for raw performance. But only the Galaxy Note 9 packs the S Pen stylus. The Galaxy Note 9 is a true productivity powerhouse, yet it’s currently much cheaper than its large-screened brother.
7. Samsung Galaxy Note 10
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 is actually smaller than its predecessor the Galaxy Note 9 - its screen measure 6.3 inches, while the Note 9 boasts a 6.4 inches.
It makes better use of the screen size, though, as it does away with the notch on the top, instead having something called an edge-to-edge Infinity-O display. This adds a decent 10% more screen than when compared to the Note 9. Oh and the ‘O’ in Infinity-O is essentially the front-facing camera and it’s now situated in the middle of the device. It’s a 10MP camera, so plenty of pixels there to make sure your selfie is as good as it can be.
There's lots more to love about this phone than its screen though. The S Pen stylus now works much better than its predecessor and comes with Word – making it much more handy for last minute work on-the-move.
There's a 3,500mAh battery inside the Note 10. What's more Samsung's new charger will allow you to charge your phone so it will have a day’s worth of power in just 30 minutes (with the optional 45W charger).
We said in our hands-on review of the Note 10, we think this is a good handset for vloggers, with a bunch of video editing smarts on-board, as well as three cameras on the back that offer an ultra wide (16MP), wide angle and telephoto lenses (12MP). There’s also a depth sensor on board, so you can do things like live bokeh on the images you take.
8. Samsung Galaxy S10e
The third member of the Galaxy S10 family might be the smallest of the lot, but don’t you dare call it the runt of the litter. It’s far too accomplished a phone for that.
Featuring the same speedy processor and largely the same camera set-up as the other models, the Galaxy S10e is every inch the heavy hitter. Many actually prefer its smaller, flatter display and useful side-mounted fingerprint sensor, not to mention its lower price.
9. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus
If the Samsung Galaxy S10 is a big achievement, then the Galaxy S10 Plus is quite literally an even bigger one. The S10 Plus takes everything that we love about the Galaxy S10 and expands it with a 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display.
The S10’s ability to wirelessly charge other devices makes a lot more sense on the Plus with its chunky 4100mAh battery, while a second front camera adds extra depth and detail to your selfies.
10. Samsung Galaxy S9
The arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S10 means one thing for savvy smartphone fans - knock-down prices for its brilliant predecessor. And believe us when we say the Galaxy S9 still comes up with the goods.
Samsung’s distinctive dual-curved design means it’s better-looking than 99% of the other phones on the market, while there’s ample headroom when it comes to performance and storage. Samsung continues to support the S9 with software and security updates too.