The best Samsung smartphones: 6 successful models

The most advanced model is the Galaxy S23 Ultra, and the optimal one for most users is the Galaxy S21 FE.

The Samsung smartphone lineup has noticeably thinned out over the past few years: the company has closed several lines and removed some devices from sale. But the brand still produces dozens of smartphones, and navigating this diversity is not easy.

The company’s flagships have an uncompromising set of characteristics. And many models in the mid-price segment boast features that competitors lack, such as water protection and good stabilization of the main camera.

Not all Samsung devices are worthy of attention, but some are definitely worth considering buying. We chose the most interesting models.

How to choose a Samsung smartphone: what you can evaluate before buying

Ruler. Samsung has divided all smartphones into several series – Galaxy A, M, S and Z:

  1. Galaxy A is an entry-level and mid-level device. The spread in terms of performance and cost is very large; here you can find both ultra-budget models and well-balanced mid-level smartphones. 2023 models – Galaxy A54, A34, A24, A14, A04.
  2. Galaxy M stands out for its increased autonomy. In 2023, only one model was released – Galaxy M14.
  3. Galaxy S is the flagship with the best specifications and feature set. The following models are relevant in 2023: S23 Ultra, S23+, S23. The Galaxy S21 FE stands out – it is a cheaper flagship that was released at the beginning of 2022, but has not yet received a sequel.
  4. Galaxy Z is a foldable device. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a flip smartphone that opens up into a small tablet, while the Galaxy Z Flip 5 looks like a classic compact clamshell with a small external screen.

Display size. When choosing a smartphone, it is important to pay attention to the screen size. A larger diagonal makes it easier to read and watch content, but it makes the phone larger and heavier. Here are some rough guidelines:

  • diagonal less than 6.5 inches – relatively compact devices;
  • 6.5-6.7 inches  – smartphones with large screens;
  • over 6.7 inches are very large devices.

RAM. The amount of RAM affects the multitasking of a smartphone: the more RAM, the more applications can run in the background. In 2023, the minimum comfortable size of RAM will be 6 GB, but for smooth operation we recommend choosing models with  8 GB or more.

Built-in memory. It is necessary for storing applications, photos, videos and music. Even if you use streaming services and rarely use the camera, in 2023 we recommend having at least 128 GB of memory.

Some smartphones come with a microSD card slot, allowing you to expand your storage using an inexpensive memory card.

Camera. It is difficult to assess the quality of photographs based on the characteristics of the camera. It definitely does not depend on the number of megapixels – a smartphone with a 200 MP module can shoot much worse than phones with a 12 MP camera.

The quality of images is influenced by many factors – from photo processing algorithms and processor power to lens and lens features. And even two phones with the same specifications can produce different results due to differences in firmware. To evaluate the camera’s capabilities, rely on reviews that include sample photos.

Battery. Battery capacity, measured in  milliamp-hours (mAh), shows how long a smartphone can operate without recharging. The optimal figure in 2023 is 5000 mAh.

The best Samsung smartphones according to our estimates

Based on the above criteria and customer ratings, we have compiled a list of Samsung smartphones that are worth a closer look:

  1. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the best foldable.
  2. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5.
  3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4.
  4. Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is the most advanced.
  5. Samsung Galaxy S23+.
  6. Samsung Galaxy S23 is the best compact.
  7. Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is the best choice.
  8. Samsung Galaxy A54.
  9. Samsung Galaxy A34 is the best under RUB 30,000.
  10. Samsung Galaxy A24 is the best under RUB 20,000.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra is a reference flagship with the maximum number of functions, powerful hardware and cool photo stuffing. It looks premium but discreet, unlike competitors like the Xiaomi 13 Ultra.

The case has right corners and rounded side edges, so it is comfortable to hold in your hands. There is no huge block with cameras at the back, but in front there is a huge, bright and clear screen with very thin frames. This model is well protected from moisture and dust – the phone can be completely immersed in fresh water to a depth of 1.5 m.

The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and up to 12 GB of RAM are enough for any games with maximum graphics quality. For any other applications – even more so. The performance headroom is huge, and Samsung promises to update Android on the S23 Ultra until 2027. So this phone will not be obsolete anytime soon.

A useful bonus is the S Pen stylus, the compartment for which is built right into the body. They can be used to take handwritten notes, sign documents, or draw. It also has additional functions: you can use the stylus to remotely control the camera or use it as a clicker to scroll through presentation slides.

Another convenient feature is the proprietary DeX mode. You can connect your smartphone to the monitor and use a special version of Android, similar to Windows. In it you can work with installed applications or in a browser, but like on a desktop PC – with windows and tabs.

The cameras here are some of the best on the market. The main 200 megapixel module  with optical stabilization takes great pictures in any lighting. The three other modules are almost as good in quality and are designed for all occasions: three- and ten-fold optical zoom for shooting distant objects, an ultra-wide-angle lens for architecture and landscapes. All modules can be photographed well in any conditions – even in the dark or in a dimly lit room.

Battery capacity – 5000 mAh. The average battery life in everyday scenarios is a day and a half . But fast charging is one of the slowest among flagships on the market, only 45 W. Full charging time is 70-80 minutes , and there is no adapter included.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

With the Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip, Samsung pioneered foldable smartphones with flexible screens. Z Fold 5 is the most current and sophisticated phone not only in the Samsung line, but among all flexible devices.

Compared to previous generations of the Z Fold, the new model does not offer significant changes. The fifth Fold has become a little lighter and thinner, and the gap between the two halves when folded has practically disappeared. The phone has become a little more convenient to use when closed.

The format of the phone has not changed fundamentally for three years – when folded, it is a thick and very narrow smartphone with an elongated screen. It is not very convenient to fully interact with the device when closed. Even answering messages is not always comfortable: the buttons on the narrow keyboard are too small.

Watch videos, scroll through social networks and play games better when opened on the bright 7.6-inch screen. If desired, the image can be divided into three parts if you want to simultaneously communicate, scroll through the news and listen to some video essay on YouTube. It also supports a proprietary stylus for drawing and taking notes, but it will have to be purchased separately along with a special case.

The case is protected according to the IPX8 standard: it can withstand immersion in fresh water to a depth of 1.5 m for half an hour. But there is no protection against dust, so it’s better not to drop the device in the sand on the beach: it can get stuck in the hinge and ruin the phone.

The filling is top-notch – 12 GB of RAM, up to 1 TB of storage, a powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor. The processor is especially good – in this generation, the Galaxy Fold finally does not overheat when running games and works much more stable than previous models.

The Fold doesn’t lay claim to cameraphone laurels—the Galaxy S23 line has better cameras. Although it doesn’t shoot badly, and among folding devices there are almost no better options.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 will have to be charged every night, its battery is small. If you often open a large display, then by the evening you may need a power bank.

Alternative. The Galaxy Z Flip 5 is a flexible smartphone reminiscent of old flip phones. When unfolded, it is an ordinary phone with a slightly elongated screen, and if you fold it, you get a small powder compact.

The fifth Flip has noticeably enlarged the external screen. Now you can not only watch the time and see who is calling, but also launch applications. For example, you can answer a message with one hand, turn on a conversational video on YouTube, and check the map.

The characteristics are almost the same as in the Z Fold 5: Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 can handle any task – communication, video shooting or gaming. But the battery is only 3700 mAh – the phone lasts until the end of the day, but no more.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

This is a simplified flagship for those who want all the modern features, but are not ready to overpay for some premium features. Galaxy S21 FE was released almost two years ago, but it still remains relevant and is sold in Russia. In terms of features and price, this is one of the best smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE is made of plastic, but is protected from dust, splashes and immersion in water according to the IP68 standard. In addition, the phone received wireless and reverse charging. You can charge wireless headphones, smartwatches and other smartphones from the back of the phone. There is a proprietary Samsung DeX mode: if you connect the device to a monitor or TV, they will display a desktop similar to Windows.

The screen is excellent: the brightness reaches 1200 nits – more than many modern smartphones for  the same price. The increased refresh rate of 120 Hz will not surprise anyone now, but scrolling through sites and menus on the device is displayed very smoothly. However, the display is not too large – 6.4 inches.

The Galaxy S21 FE is sold in Russia with two different processors: Samsung Exynos 2100 and Qualcomm Snapdragon 888. Both are top-end chips from two years ago, which still allow you to run games with the best graphics and do not slow down in heavy applications. We recommend the Snapdragon version, as reviews say it takes better photos, but overall there is parity between the two. RAM – 6 or 8 GB, built-in memory can be 128 or 256 GB.

The smartphone takes excellent pictures. Here is a classic set of three cameras: a 12-megapixel main one, an ultra-wide-angle one and a 3x optical zoom. There is optical stabilization, which helps to take a clear picture even in poor lighting, when you need to hold the smartphone motionless for a couple of seconds.

In active mode – watching videos, using a browser and communicating on social networks – the Galaxy S21 FE runs out of charge by the end of the day. The fast charging standard is outdated – only 25 W.

Samsung Galaxy S23

Galaxy S23 is one of the rare compact flagships. It has a small 6.1-inch screen and modest dimensions. The smartphone is easy to use with one hand. It’s larger than the iPhone 13 mini, but still fits into any pocket and doesn’t weigh down your palm during long phone calls.

The characteristics are similar to the Galaxy S23 Ultra. The model has the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor , but less memory: 8 GB of RAM and up to  256 GB of internal storage. You don’t have to worry about application performance. But when playing games, the phone can get very hot and reduce performance – a consequence of the compact body.

There is no stylus support, but the rest of the flagship features are in place: DeX mode, water protection, wireless charging and four years of updates to new versions of Android.

Samsung Galaxy A34

The Galaxy A34 competes with countless devices from China in the mid-range segment, and it does a good job of it. The smartphone is protected from water and dust according to the IP67 standard – it can survive a fall into water up to a depth of a meter. Finding a waterproof phone among other manufacturers in the mid-range segment is unlikely .

In terms of shooting quality, the Galaxy A34 is also more interesting than many of its competitors. The main 48 MP module  has optical stabilization, which allows you to take clearer pictures in low light and shoot better videos. The quality of the photos is decent – this is largely due to proprietary algorithms that carefully improve the shots taken. There is a good ultra-wide-angle lens, but there is no optical zoom – it is only available in the S-series model .

The average and not very new MediaTek Dimensity 1080 processor is responsible for the performance of the smartphone. RAM is up to 8 GB, internal memory is up to 256 GB. Unlike the flagships of the S-series , the A34 has a slot for a memory card – you can increase the storage by sacrificing a second SIM card. The phone is not as fast or stable as the S23, but there is no noticeable stuttering in everyday use scenarios. With demanding games, not everything is smooth: you will have to set the graphics settings to medium – and even so, after a while the phone will start to overheat.

The display is large – 6.6 inches. Frequency – 120 Hz, maximum brightness reaches 1000 nits. These are excellent indicators for the middle segment; the phone is comfortable to use in bright sunshine. The drop-shaped cutout for the front camera looks outdated, but does not cause any real inconvenience.

Autonomy is the strong point of the model. The processor is not very powerful, so the 5000 mAh battery lasts for a day and a half of work. Fast charging at  25 W charges the smartphone in an hour and a half.

Samsung Galaxy A24

Samsung Galaxy A24 is a successful budget smartphone. It has a fast MediaTek Helio G99 processor – the same as most competitors in this segment.

RAM can be 4, 6 or 8 GB, and built-in memory can be 128 GB. We recommend the 6 or 8 GB version, as 4 GB may not be enough even for an inexpensive device. The phone does not slow down in applications, and most modern games run perfectly at low graphics settings.

The phone stands out with a 50 megapixel camera – it is the best among smartphones under 20,000 rubles. The pictures are bright and saturated, with good detail and a minimum amount of blurred frames. The module even has optical stabilization for better night shots. Bonus – ultra-wide-angle module for shooting panoramas.

Like the Galaxy A34, the smartphone has an AMOLED display with a drop-shaped cutout for the front camera – it doesn’t look very modern. The refresh rate is lower than other models, only 90 Hz. But text scrolling still looks smooth, and there is not much difference visible to the eye.

The case is not very practical – it is made of glossy plastic, which quickly becomes covered with fingerprints and scratches. It’s better to buy a case right away. By the way, there are no additional accessories included in the kit—even the charger will have to be purchased separately. Even top-end Samsung flagships for 150,000 rubles require an additional power adapter, but in the entry-level segment this looks especially strange.

Battery capacity is standard 5000 mAh. You can count on a day and a half of work. Fast charging power is 25 W. You will have to charge the phone for about an hour and a half.