Best Samsung phones 2019: finding the right Galaxy for you

by admin March 14, 2019 at 11:34 am

There are a lot of good Samsung phones out there from today and yesteryear, but how do they rank against each other? We’re here to help you find out.

Samsung is the biggest name in Android phones, and for good reason: the company’s flagship Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus and Samsung Galaxy Note 9 are among the best handsets you can buy.

But Samsung doesn’t only make headline-grabbing flagships – it has a wide range of smartphones which may be the perfect fit depending on your needs and budget.

With that in mind, here’s our guide to the best Samsung phones available right now. It covers new and old(er) at a range of price points, along with different screen sizes, specs and features.

There could well be new entries in our best Samsung phones rundown though, with the Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10e currently in for review, while Samsung also launched a number of new mid-range handsets at MWC 2019 as well.

Image credit: TechRadar

1. Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus

This is the best Samsung phone right now

Release date: February 2019 | Weight: 175g | Dimensions: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 3040 | CPU: Snapdragon 855 / Exynos 9820 | RAM: 8/12GB | Storage: 128GB/512GB/1TB (up to 1.5TB with card) | Battery: 4,100mAh | Rear camera: 12MP + 12MP + 16MP | Front camera: 10MP + 8MP

Excellent screen-to-body ratio

In-screen fingerprint sensor

Sizable price hike

Slippery design

As Samsung’s latest and greatest mainstream flagship, is it any wonder that the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus tops this list?

It’s a big upgrade over the previous year’s model, with a new all-screen design, enabled by Samsung ditching bezels in favor of a punch-hole camera. Speaking of the camera, you get three on the back and two on the front, making this a very versatile camera phone.

The fingerprint scanner is in the screen now, which is far more ideal than it being on the back, and there’s a big 4,100mAh battery, which gives the Galaxy S10 Plus a lot of life. So much so you might even consider using the new Wireless PowerShare feature to juice up other devices with it.

The Galaxy S10 Plus also has a massive 6.4-inch screen and all the power you’d expect from a flagship in 2019. It’s Samsung’s best and at the time of writing also tops our list of the best smartphones from any manufacturer.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus review

Best Samsung phones

2. Samsung Galaxy Note 9

Big screen, bigger battery, a top Samsung phone

Release date: August 2018 | Weight: 205g | Dimensions: 162 x 76.4 x 9mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.4-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 128/512GB (up to 1TB with card) | Battery: 4,000mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

 Improved battery life 

 Gorgeous display 

 Very expensive 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 isn’t just one of the best Samsung phones you can buy today, it’s one of the best phones, period. It’s an expensive device, sure, but with more than double the starting storage of the iPhone X at around the same starting price. It actually comes out to be a better deal over Apple’s comparable offering.

Its key selling point this time around is the unique S-Pen, which no longer requires a charge. Not only will you be able to do normal stylus-like things with the new S-Pen, you’ll also be able to use it to take selfies remotely, giving you shots you otherwise would be incapable of getting. 

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is also one of the best camera phones in Samsung’s lineup, with a camera that easily outshines most of the competition. 

That’s on top of the improved cooling and battery life, which will see this jumbo device last you through most of the day without burning a hole through your pocket – even if the price does.

Read the full review: Samsung Galaxy Note 9  

Best Samsung phones

3. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

Still a great Samsung phone

Release date: March 2018 | Weight: 189g | Dimensions: 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Great dual-aperture camera

Impressive screen

Pricey

Not all that different to S8 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus is big, in fact its 6.2-inch screen would make it very big, were it not for the almost complete absence of bezel and the curved edges, which ensure it’s actually quite manageable in the hand. The screen is one of the best around too – it’s sharp and sports great colors.

The Galaxy S9 Plus also stands out through its dual 12MP cameras, one of which is a dual-aperture one, meaning it can switch between f/1.5 for dark scenes and f/2.4 for everything else.

Other highlights include impressive stereo speakers and a big 3,500mAh battery. There’s flagship power too of course, and all the bells and whistles that tend to go with that, like a stylish metal and glass build, water resistance, wireless charging and various biometric security options, including a fingerprint scanner, an iris scanner and a face scanner.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus review

Best Samsung phones

4. Samsung Galaxy S9

A solid flagship at a now lower price

Release date: March 2018 | Weight: 163g | Dimensions: 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 845 / Exynos 9810 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Excellent screen

Very powerful

Very similar to S8

Only has a single lens camera

The Samsung Galaxy S9 is a smaller, cheaper (but still expensive) alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus. 

The 5.8-inch screen makes it potentially preferable if you have smaller hands or pockets, and as with the S9 Plus it’s more compact than you might expect, thanks to its slim bezels and curvy screen.

The Samsung Galaxy S9 has many of the same high points as the S9 Plus, including a sharp, vibrant display, a high-end build, plenty of power and various biometric security options.

It’s only got a single-lens camera, but it’s still a very good one, and the battery is smaller, so this is definitely the weaker phone overall, but it’s still one of the more impressive handsets you can buy in 2018.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S9 review

Best Samsung phones

5. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

A beastly phone for stylus fans

Release date: September 2017 | Weight: 195g | Dimensions: 162.5 x 74.8 x 8.6mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2630 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 | RAM: 6GB | Storage: 64GB/128GB/256GB | Battery: 3,300mAh | Rear camera: Dual 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Impressive camera

Great screen

Weak speaker

Expensive

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is an older model of Samsung’s other flagship, designed for those who want a truly massive 6.3-inch screen and a stylus (known as the S-Pen) to help make the most of it.

Other than that, it has much in common with the Galaxy S range, with a similar (and similarly stylish) glass back and metal frame, a QHD curved screen and a dual-lens rear camera.

There’s lots of power too, though it’s using a 2017 chipset rather than a 2019 one, so it’s not quite a match for the S9 or S10 range. But then it’s also now a little cheaper than the S10 Plus and still has water resistance, wireless charging and loads of storage.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Note 8 review

Best Samsung phones

6. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

A great big-screen option

Release date: April 2017 | Weight: 173g | Dimensions: 159.5 x 73.4 x 8.1mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 6.2-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3,500mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Huge screen

Big battery

Only has a single lens camera

Flawed biometrics

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus is a big-screen alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S8, but it’s not just the 6.2-inch display that’s bigger, the 3,500mAh battery is too.

Otherwise this is a very similar phone, with many of the same pros and cons. You get a sharp display with great contrast and colors, a powerful – if now slightly dated – chipset, a 12MP single lens camera that excels in most lighting, and more biometric options than you’ll know what to do with.

It’s also cheaper than the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus or Galaxy Note 8, making the Galaxy S8 Plus a slightly more affordable big-screen option – though it lacks the dual-lens cameras of those phones.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus review

Best Samsung phones

7. Samsung Galaxy S8

Release date: April 2017 | Weight: 155g | Dimensions: 148.9 x 68.1 x 8mm | OS: Android 9 | Screen size: 5.8-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2960 | CPU: Snapdragon 835 / Exynos 8895 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 64GB | Battery: 3000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 8MP

Image credit: TechRadar

8. Samsung Galaxy A9 (2018)

The first quad-rear-camera phone

Release date: October 2018 | Weight: 183g | Dimensions: 162.5 x 77 x 7.8mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 6.3-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2220 | CPU: Snapdragon 660 | RAM: 6/8GB | Storage: 64/128GB | Battery: 3800mAh | Rear camera: 24MP + 8MP + 10MP + 5MP | Front camera: 24MP

FOUR rear cameras!

Sharp 6.3-inch AMOLED screen

Might be outvalued by scrappier midrange phones

The Samsung Galaxy A9’s big draw is its four rear cameras: a 24MP main shooter, an 8MP 120-degree wide-angle lens, a 5MP depth-sensing camera and a 10MP telephoto lens supposedly capable of 2x optical magnification. (There’s also a 24MP front-facing camera, too.) Not bad for a midrange phone!

Of course, the A9 is perched at the top of the company’s midrange offerings and just below its flagship S line, so it’s pushing the label “midrange.” Its specs, however, aren’t entirely cutting edge with its Exynos 7885 chip, though its 6GB of RAM, 128GB of storage and 3,800mAh battery are respectable.

Whether the rest of the phone lives up to its camera cluster will be a far more serious question to answer when more phones replicate its four-lens trick, but for now, the A9 hold bragging rights – and serious photo clout at the midrange level.

Read our hands-on: Samsung Galaxy A9 review

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Best Samsung phones

9. Samsung Galaxy A8 (2018)

Flagship features at a lower price point

Release date: January 2018 | Weight: 172g | Dimensions: 149.2 x 70.6 x 8.4mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.6-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 2220 | CPU: Exynos 7885 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32/64GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 16MP + 8MP

Super-vivid OLED screen

Quality, water-resistant build

Low light photos could be better

No 4K video recording

The Samsung Galaxy A8 finds the sweet spot between Samsung’s flagship S range, and the slightly more basic J and lower-numbered A devices with a mix of high-end features and more affordable compromises.

One feature that is unique to the Galaxy A8 compared to most other Samsung phones in this list is its dual front-facing selfie cameras. 

There’s a 16MP primary sensor, which sits alongside an 8MP snapper and allows you to access the Live Focus feature, which blurs the background of portrait shots to create a bokeh effect.

The Galaxy A8 delivers many of the core features offered by the flagships. You can get more for your money elsewhere, but if you’re set on Samsung there’s little to complain about here.

Read our full review: Samsung Galaxy A8

Best Samsung phones

10. Samsung Galaxy S7

This once flagship is still a strong mid-ranger

Release date: March 2016 | Weight: 152g | Dimensions: 142.4 x 69.6 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.1-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 / Exynos 8890 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Image credit: TechRadar

11. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

The best smartphone of 2016 is still a great buy

Release date: March 2016 | Weight: 157g | Dimensions: 150.9 x 72.6 x 7.7mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.5-inch | Resolution: 1440 x 2560 | CPU: Snapdragon 820 / Exynos 8890 | RAM: 4GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3,600mAh | Rear camera: 12MP | Front camera: 5MP

Sharp, curvy screen

Big battery

Slight plastic feel

Only 32GB of storage

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is a bigger, curvier alternative to the Samsung Galaxy S7. The larger 5.5-inch screen is the same resolution (and therefore slightly less sharp) but still super crisp and vibrant, while the curves ensure the design is more modern.

The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge also has a big 3,600mAh battery, making it one of the longer lasting Samsung phones you’ll find, and it has the same great camera as the standard Galaxy S7.

Its chipset is getting on a bit, but still stands up to similarly priced phones, and there’s only 32GB of built-in storage, but you do also get a microSD card slot, so even the bad that points aren’t that bad.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge review

Image credit: TechRadar

12. Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017)

Release date: January 2017 | Weight: 157g | Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9mm | OS: Android 8 | Screen size: 5.2-inch | Resolution: 1080 x 1920 | CPU: Exynos 7880 | RAM: 3GB | Storage: 32GB | Battery: 3,000mAh | Rear camera: 16MP | Front camera: 16MP

Good battery life

Potent OLED screen

No camera OIS

Mediocre chipset

The Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) was launched as a mid-range alternative to the Galaxy S range, and it holds up well, thanks largely to its 1080p AMOLED screen capable of punchy colors.

The Galaxy A5 is also packing mid-range power and a quality metal and glass build that’s quite similar to that of the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Battery life is far better than you might expect too, with the phone comfortably lasting well over a day, but the 16MP camera is a bit of a step down in quality from the S7 range.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A5 (2017) review

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