These are the best Samsung Galaxy smartphones to buy right now

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Choosing a Samsung smartphone can be a nuanced decision given the extensive range the Korean company offers in the telephony market. Navigating through the options to pinpoint the best Galaxy smartphone might be a challenge. Our breakdown of the range aims to simplify this choice.

Samsung smartphones have consistently set benchmarks in the telephony market for several years. The appeal of Samsung Galaxy products to consumers goes beyond a solid technical foundation; it also stems from the user-friendly One UI, an in-house interface tailored for Android. A notable strength lies in Samsung’s commitment to providing enduring smartphones through frequent software updates, distinguishing it from many competitors. As Black Friday 2023 approaches, Samsung phones will be prominently featured, and staying tuned to us during this period is advisable to seize potential deals.

Moreover, Samsung stands out as one of the most innovative brands, particularly in the realm of foldable smartphones. For a broader array of choices, you can explore the best smartphones in 2023. If budget constraints are a consideration, peruse our comparison of the best refurbished Samsung smartphones to not only benefit your savings but also contribute to environmental sustainability. Additionally, if you’re in the market for supplementary accessories, our selection of the best Samsung smartwatches is readily available.

Top Samsung Galaxy smartphones

Galaxy S23 Ultra

Galaxy S23 Ultra

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra stands out as the premier Samsung Galaxy smartphone, reclaiming the spotlight as one of the finest high-end devices available. Despite its relatively elevated initial cost, it boasts an exceptionally accomplished technical profile, earning it the title of the best Samsung smartphone of 2023 and the top choice of our editorial team, securing the accolade of the best smartphone of the year.

At its core, the S23 Ultra showcases a sophisticated premium design, drawing from the foundations laid by the S22 Ultra, featuring a substantial form factor and premium materials. This design complements the remarkable 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED touchscreen, offering an adaptive refresh rate of up to 120Hz and QHD definition. Our measurements reveal an impressive maximum brightness of 1609 cd/m2 and a Delta E of 4.58, attesting to the top-tier performance of the screen.

The phone’s standout feature is the inclusion of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, an internal chip that delivers outstanding performance across various software applications and demanding mobile games. The 5000 mAh battery contributes significantly to enhanced battery life, providing two full days of usage. According to our ViSer protocol, the high-end smartphone depleted to 10% battery over 15 hours and 14 minutes. Notably, the only drawback is that the optional 45W charger, priced at an additional $50, takes an hour to charge the S23 Ultra, making it not the fastest in the realm of fast charging.

Turning to the photography aspect, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra features a 200-megapixel main sensor. Irrespective of the mode employed, the captured photos exhibit exceptional quality. While the night mode may be slightly subdued, the overall photographic performance remains at a very high level. Consequently, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra emerges as the paramount choice for smartphone photography.

The sole drawback of the phone lies in its price, commencing at $1419. Nevertheless, it undeniably stands as the preeminent Samsung smartphone in the market.

Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus emerges as a noteworthy member of the Galaxy S23 series, successfully striking a balance between performance and price. Retaining its premium design, the S23 Plus, though slightly larger, offers a comfortable feel for everyday use.

The device features a striking 6.6-inch AMOLED panel with impressive performance, delivering a beautiful Full HD+ definition. In our testing, we measured the panel’s capabilities, revealing a maximum brightness of 1505 cd/m2 and an average Delta E of 2.89, positioning it among the best available options.

A key enhancement in this generation of Samsung smartphones is the inclusion of the new Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. Accompanied by 8GB of RAM, it ensures smooth multitasking capabilities. However, prolonged usage may lead to a temperature rise, reaching up to 50 degrees. The OneUI software provides a range of customizations, enhancing the overall user experience.

On the autonomy front, the S23 Plus represents a significant improvement over its predecessor. Capable of enduring a day and a half of use without issues, the smartphone supports 45W charging, capable of rejuvenating the battery within an hour. While the photography aspect is commendable, it doesn’t revolutionize the field.

Galaxy S23

Introducing the new compact addition to the S23 lineup, the Samsung Galaxy S23 stands out as the most budget-friendly option. Our hands-on experience with the Galaxy S23 unveils its numerous qualities, beginning with its reduced yet highly successful design, offering a pleasant and compact form factor for everyday use.

The device boasts a striking 6.1-inch AMOLED panel with Full HD+ capability and an adaptive refresh rate of 120Hz. Our measurements showcase a peak brightness of 1482 cd/m2 and a color temperature of 6717 K, contributing to one of the best display experiences available today.

A notable advancement in this Samsung smartphone is the integration of the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip, coupled with 8 GB of RAM. This marks a significant leap in power compared to the Galaxy S22. Most importantly, the Samsung Galaxy S23 makes substantial improvements in battery life compared to its predecessor, now capable of enduring a day and a half of use.

With One UI 5, the smartphone offers a plethora of customizations, catering to various user preferences. Everyday usage seamlessly meets all your needs. A brief mention of the camera system, while not as flamboyant as the Ultra version, rounds out the features of this device. The starting price for the basic version is set at $959.

Galaxy FE

The Galaxy FE models, denoting Fan Edition, carve out a distinctive niche within the Galaxy S lineup. The primary objective is to provide more economical alternatives to the brand’s premium smartphones. Following the success of the S20 FE, Samsung introduced the S21 FE at the close of 2021.

The S21 FE embraces compromise, notably with a plastic chassis as a cost-saving measure. Despite this, the 6.4-inch screen remains excellent. Another significant change is the adoption of the Snapdragon 888, offering a slight performance boost compared to the Exynos 2100 found in the original S21. While it excels in power, the battery life is average, and the charging speed falls short of being very fast. Fortunately, the camera setup is a redeeming quality, with all three sensors proving to be gifted and versatile.

Initially positioned as relatively expensive, the S21 FE has now seen a price adjustment, settling at $500. It’s worth considering and comparing, given that Samsung also presents the compelling A54 at a price point of $400.

After a one-year hiatus (no S22 FE), Samsung introduced the S23 FE in 2023. However, this edition encounters some familiar challenges. The handling is less satisfactory compared to the S23, attributed to excessively angular edges and an overly imposing form factor. Additionally, there’s a performance disappointment, as Samsung opted for the criticized Exynos 2200, previously used in the S22 model. Despite this setback, the S23 FE compensates with commendable photo performance and a splendid display.

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Priced at $700, it falls into a somewhat awkward position, especially considering the availability of the original S23 at a reduced price of $800. This pricing dynamic may pose a challenge for the S23 FE to distinguish itself significantly from its more premium counterpart.

Galaxy A54

Samsung Galaxy A54 5G

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The Samsung Galaxy A54 stands out as an exceptional value-for-money option in Samsung’s lineup, particularly in the competitive mid-range segment where Xiaomi holds a strong position. The Galaxy A series emphasizes delivering quality smartphones at affordable prices, providing a compelling choice for those seeking a balanced package without breaking the bank.

In its pursuit of excellence in the mid-range, Samsung places a significant bet on the Galaxy A54, presenting a top-tier user experience within the sub $500 category, making it one of the best smartphones in its price range across all brands.

Staying true to its core strengths, Samsung incorporates a stellar display in the Galaxy A54ā€”a splendid 6.4-inch OLED panel boasting a 120 Hz refresh rate. The display impresses with its brightness, perfect contrast, and well-balanced color reproduction. The device’s design, reminiscent of the S23, features a glossy glass back, IP68 certification, and Gorilla Glass 5 protection, contributing to a pleasing overall aesthetic and durability.

The camera setup on the Galaxy A54 is commendable, featuring a triple rear lens configuration that excels in capturing good shots, particularly with the main sensor. The portrait mode is skillfully executed, enhancing the overall photography experience.

In terms of performance, the Galaxy A54 relies on the Exynos chipset, delivering results that may not reach stratospheric heights but avoid slowdowns, especially with the well-optimized One UI 5. Samsung’s commitment to providing 5 years of updates is a notable positive.

Battery life is a strong suit, offering up to two days of use with reasonable screen time. However, consistent with Samsung’s approach, fast charging is capped at 25 W, without a charger included in the purchase.

In summary, the Samsung Galaxy A54 is a well-rounded smartphone and earns our recommendation as an excellent choice for those seeking a device priced under $500, excelling in various aspects of performance and features.

Galaxy A34

Galaxy A34 5G

Samsung impresses with the Galaxy A34, a well-crafted phone priced at under $400. Succeeding the A33, the Galaxy A34 stands out as a balanced smartphone, benefitting from Samsung’s expertise in delivering a high-quality Amoled panel.

The device’s design bears a clear resemblance to the S23, with the exception of a plastic chassis. However, the discreet placement of the photo modules is a positive aspect. The standout feature remains its 6.6-inch screen, boasting a 120Hz refresh rate, excellent maximum brightness, and precise color reproductionā€”qualities akin to top-tier devices.

Powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 1080 SoC, the A34 adeptly handles a variety of tasks. Users can enjoy the advanced One UI 5.1 interface, based on Android 13, enhancing the overall user experience.

While the A34 doesn’t perform miracles in the photography department, its main lens delivers good shots, and the front sensor performs well. The device’s battery life is satisfactory, providing about a day and a half of use, or potentially more with careful management.

In summary, the Galaxy A34 secures its place in the mid-range category with an outstanding interface, a promise of four years of Android updates, and a visually stunning screen. It stands as a compelling option for those seeking a well-rounded device within a reasonable budget.

Galaxy Z Flip 5

Galaxy Z Flip 5G

Each year, Samsung’s summer conferences shine a spotlight on the latest additions to the Galaxy Z series. Showcasing the innovation in folding smartphones with two distinctive formatsā€”fold and flipā€”targeting different audiences. In 2023, Samsung unveiled the new Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5, continuing its commitment to staying at the forefront of technological advancement.

Despite the ongoing availability of the Z Flip 4, Samsung introduced the Z Flip 5 on August 11, featuring notable improvements. The two most significant enhancements include a substantially larger external display and the introduction of a waterdrop hinge. The Z Flip 5 leverages its stylish aesthetics, exuding charm and flair. Compact and charming, it is offered in a range of attractive pastel colors.

The external AMOLED display transforms into an almost square shape, expanding to 3.4 inches. While not intended for launching all applications, it proves handy for viewing widgets, responding quickly to messages, or capturing photos. It’s important to note that exclusive use of the phone on this screen is not feasible.

The folding mechanism now incorporates the formidable Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, delivering exceptional performance, particularly in gaming. Despite its energy efficiency, the chipset doesn’t translate into an exceptionally long battery life. Offering a day’s worth of usage but not much beyond. As is customary with Samsung, users have to contend with 25W charging, utilizing the official charger.

In the photography realm, the Korean brand excels in presenting well-saturated photos that are visually pleasing and ideal for sharing on social networks. However, the camera system lacks versatility. Nonetheless, the folding design offers the convenience of capturing selfies using the main sensor, which is a notable advantage. While the device boasts a convincing ultra-wide-angle sensor, the absence of a telephoto lens remains a drawback. Despite this limitation, it still stands out as a commendable camera smartphone.

Galaxy Z Fold 5

Galaxy Z Fold 5

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 follows the same principle as its predecessor. Presenting a small tablet that unfolds into a larger screen. While it boasts considerable success, one notable drawback of this model remains its steep price. Requiring an investment of over $1,800 to acquire the premier folding smartphone in the fold format.

The Fold 5 inherits many features from the Fold 4 but introduces notable upgrades. The teardrop hinge has seen improvements, and the device now incorporates the most powerful System on Chip (SoC), the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2, optimized specifically for Samsung. This ultra-high-end smartphone is exceptionally powerful, ensuring a reliable and robust performance. A noteworthy addition is the inclusion of the S Pen Fold Edition, accompanied by a dedicated case.

Both the internal and external displays impress with excellent quality and impressive brightness levels. The foldable internal display spans 7.6 inches with a resolution of 2,176 x 1,812 pixels. While the hinge has been enhanced, the fold is still perceptible. The One UI interface excels in usability, and the Flex mode remains as practical as ever.

In the camera department, the company maintains the same configuration as the previous year. Featuring a 50MP wide-angle lens, a 10MP telephoto lens, and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle lens. The outcome is well-balanced and captures quality shots.

The battery life, sustaining a full day of use, is commendable without reaching extraordinary levels.

Undoubtedly an exceptional phone, the Galaxy Z Fold 5’s starting price of $1,899 poses a significant barrier to an unreserved recommendation. However, for those unconstrained by budget constraints and seeking top-tier innovation, it remains a compelling option.

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