The best Samsung phones in 2023: our 8 favorite Galaxy handsets

Samsung is one of the most recognizable names in modern smartphones. It has a well-deserved reputation for offering an expansive lineup of great phones with something for just about everyone. This means if you’re looking for an Android phone, you’ll easily find a Samsung model that’s worth considering based on your needs and budget. In fact, the number of choices can be a bit overwhelming, but the good news is that we’ve explored the entire range and highlighted the best Samsung smartphones you can buy in 2023.

Like its predecessor, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra gets the nod for the best overall Samsung phone, and that’s not just because it’s Samsung’s premium flagship device. Sure, it’s the most expensive phone in the lineup, but you’re getting some incredible bang for your buck with its large and gorgeous display, excellent cameras, and a new processor that offers unprecedented levels of performance. And if you’re looking for something more unique, more pocketable, or more affordable, you’ll find a lot of other great options on our list in every category, with links to detailed reviews for each.

samsung galaxy s23 ultra vs s22 green back 6

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best Samsung phone overall

Pros

  • Incredibly powerful processor
  • Versatile telephoto zoom camera
  • S Pen adds value
  • Water-resistant and durable
  • Long software update commitment
  • Many interesting features to explore
  • Large, bright, detailed screen

Cons

  • Wired charging is complicated, and only 45W
  • Big and heavy

Why you should buy this: You get a substantial and incredibly well-built smartphone with a gorgeous screen, a top-of-the-line camera, and outstanding battery life.

Who it’s for: Anybody looking for the most powerful Android phone on the market.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra:

The Galaxy S23 Ultra may be one of the most expensive phones you can buy, but it packs in enough power and features to make it well worth its price tag. In fact, it delivers incredible value despite its high price, since you’re getting nearly everything you could want in a smartphone in a package that will serve you well for years to come.

The biggest thing that might dissuade you from picking up the Galaxy S23 Ultra is quite literally its biggest thing: at 9mm thick, 78mm wide, and 233 grams in weight, this is easily one of the largest smartphones out there. Still, it’s in the same class as most other “max-sized” phones, so there’s no reason to shy away unless you have especially small hands. The Galaxy S23 Ultra also makes up for that with its rounded edges and simple yet elegant styling.

On the front is a 6.8-inch Dynamic AMOLED display that offers QHD+ resolution with a very crisp density of 550 pixels per inch (ppi). The impressive size and clarity of this screen more than justify the larger phone, and it reaches a peak brightness of 1,750 nits, so you’ll have no problem reading it clearly when outside on a bright sunny day.

As with its predecessor, the cameras on the Galaxy S23 Ultra are what really sets it apart from its smaller siblings, and this year you’re getting a 200-megapixel (MP) main camera with Laser Auto Focus that’s joined by a pair of 10MP telephoto cameras to offer both 3x and 10x optical zoom levels. The combined camera system allows for surprisingly good 30x and 100x digital zooms, offering the kind of advanced photography that simply isn’t available on any other smartphone.

Samsung has also packed in its own take on the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip. Rather than using an off-the-shelf version of this already-powerful processor, Samsung worked with Qualcomm to create a bespoke chip that’s been boosted to new performance heights. To say there’s performance to spare here is an understatement. The chip is also very efficient, delivering up to two days of battery life per charge.

Rounding out the package is Samsung’s S Pen, which is included with the Galaxy S23 Ultra to let you jot down quick notes without even turning on the screen, annotate screenshots, or just scribble down shorthand just about anywhere on your phone. It’s a great productivity tool, and you’ll never have to worry about where to keep it as it tucks away in the bottom of your phone when you’re not using it.

The Galaxy S23 Ultra retains its crown as not only the best Samsung phone to buy, but it is easily one of the best Android phones to get in 2023. It’s extremely versatile with an established design that will appeal to nearly anyone who’s willing to spend the money for top-notch performance in a phone that’s about as future-proof as you can get.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Best Samsung phone overall


Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy S23

Best Samsung phone runner-up

Pros

  • Sleek and compact design
  • Comfortable for one-handed use
  • Very fast performance
  • Reliable cameras take great photos
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Five years of guaranteed updates

Cons

  • Base storage is still 128GB
  • Fast charging up to only 25W
  • Limited zoom quality past 10x

Why you should buy this: It’s a pocket-sized and powerful smartphone perfect for just about everyone.

Who it’s for: Someone who wants a smaller Samsung phone, but doesn’t want to compromise on specs.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy S23:

It’s the smallest of the S23 range, but don’t count it out for that reason. The Samsung Galaxy S23 is sleek, small, and incredibly powerful — making it the perfect runner-up and alternate option to the S23 Ultra above. While technically a downgrade from the Ultra model in a few select areas, the Galaxy S23 is still more than good enough to justify its inclusion here.

The Galaxy S23 has a rather different design from its larger sibling. The 6.1-inch display and slim bezels mean it’s a much smaller device, and much more comfortable to hold as a result. The design is different, too, and includes a flat screen and more rounded corners. Aside from that, everything else involving the display is much the same as the more expensive phone, including the incredible Dynamic AMOLED 2X tech with a 120Hz refresh rate. It’s the same stunning screen on a smaller frame, which is a big win for those who don’t like massive phones.

The internal hardware is also very similar. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 for Galaxy processor is just as amazingly powerful as it is in the S23 Ultra, and the 8GB of RAM is the same amount as on the Ultra’s base model. The base storage of 128GB is a bit disappointing, though unless you’re a major app addict or media hog, you should be okay. The battery is solid, too, and is capable of lasting for two days with conservative use. Recharging is a bit disappointing at just 25W, but it’s still speedy enough.

There’s a 50MP main camera, a 12MP ultra-wide lens, and a 10MP telephoto lens with a 3x optical zoom. It’s not the match of the S23 Ultra’s 200MP-headed camera, but it’s still a great shooter that takes solid shots across a wide range of lighting situations. It’s a camera you’ll be proud to use, and Samsung’s post-processing makes the colors pop, even if it is unnatural.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 is the cheapest of Samsung’s new flagship range and starts from $799. While you’ll lose some elements of what makes the S23 Ultra unique, including the S Pen, those compromises don’t massively impact the phone. That means it’s still an amazing piece of tech, and a great choice if you want a small, but powerful, Samsung flagship.

Samsung Galaxy S23

Samsung Galaxy S23

Best Samsung phone runner-up

samsung galaxy s24 release date price specs news s23 plus pink back

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Best large Samsung phone

Pros

  • Comfortable, practical design
  • Beautiful AMOLED display
  • Outstanding performance
  • Storage starts at 256GB
  • Two-day battery life
  • 45W wired charging

Cons

  • Bland camera design
  • Only 3x optical zoom
  • Awkward price

Why you should buy this: The S23 Plus is a big phone with a lot of what makes the Ultra amazing, but at a cheaper price.

Who it’s for: Someone who doesn’t want the Ultra, but still wants a big, powerful Samsung flagship.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus:

The S23 Ultra is a big and powerful flagship, but it’s not for everyone. If you don’t want or need everything the Ultra offers, then the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is an excellent alternative. This big-screened smartphone looks great, is just as powerful as its larger sibling, has an excellent camera, and lots more. If you’re looking for a large Samsung phone, the Galaxy S23 Plus is a great choice for you.

The main reason you’re likely to want a large phone is for a large screen, and the S23 Plus certainly delivers on that front. The 6.6-inch display has Samsung’s Dynamic AMOLED 2X tech, so it has a 120Hz refresh rate for unbelievable smoothness, and a crisp 393 pixels-per-inch 1080p resolution, all protected by Gorilla Glass Victus 2. It’s stunning, with rich colors, deep blacks, and a high refresh rate that makes using it feel like a dream.

That sort of performance wouldn’t be possible without powerful specs, and the S23 Plus’s specs are powerful indeed. It has the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, and it’s just as powerful and capable as in other recent smartphones. The storage starts at 256GB as well, so the powerful processor and large amounts of storage mean this is a phone you can use for years before needing upgrading. That’s reflected in Samsung’s generous update schedule too, with the S23 Plus being guaranteed four years of major Android updates, and five years of security updates. That means you could still be getting Android updates up until Android 17 — and it’s hard to argue against that sort of value.

The battery is strong and lasts a day and a half with regular use. Charging supports up to 45W charging, which is fast enough to recharge fully in about an hour, and it has reverse wireless charging for accessories, as well as normal wireless charging too. The camera doesn’t have the 200MP sensor from the Ultra, but it’s still impressive, with a 50MP main lens, a 12MP wide-angle lens, 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP selfie lens around the front. It’s a great camera, with all-around great performance, with nary a bad image taken. Edge detection is excellent, and so are night-mode photos. The biggest difference between this and the S23 Ultra’s incredible camera is the zoom, and if that’s important to you, you may want to think about paying the extra for the Ultra model. But even with that in mind, this is an excellent camera you won’t regret using.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus starts from $999, and it fully justifies that price tag. If you’re looking for a Samsung flagship with a big, beautiful screen, at a lower price than the ultra-premium S23 Ultra, then the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus is an excellent choice.

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus

Best large Samsung phone

samsung galaxy z fold 5 review opening top

Andy Boxall / Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Best foldable Samsung phone

Pros

  • Thinner and lighter than ever
  • Silent, high-quality hinge
  • Strong multitasking tools
  • Fun, social media-friendly camera
  • Inner screen is perfect for games and video
  • IPX8 and durable chassis

Cons

  • Battery life hasn’t dramatically improved
  • Slow charging

Why you should buy this: The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is a productivity buff’s dream, with its dual display, up to 1TB of storage, and robust, yet light Armor Aluminum frame.

Who it’s for: Anybody who wants a productivity punch and top-notch specs bundled into a foldable format.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5:

The Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the best Samsung phone for productivity, with a foldable form factor and dual screens. It comes in Phantom Black, Cream, Icy Blue, or the Samsung-exclusive Gray or Blue colors. The front display measures 6.2 inches, while the main display measures 7.6 inches. Both screens offer a 120Hz variable refresh rate depending on the task at hand. The phone also features a side-mounted fingerprint scanner and an Armor Aluminum frame with Gorilla Glass Victus 2 on the cover screen and back.

With the Z Fold 5, you get the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip in both the U.S. and the U.K. It has 12GB RAM and up to 1TB of onboard storage, but no microSD card slot. The 4,400mAh battery is similar to the Z Fold 4, but Samsung promises a little bit more juice this time around. It should last most days with plenty of charge. There’s up to 25W wired charging and 15W wireless charging, but no charger in the box.

The Z Fold 5 features a 50MP main camera, a 12MP wide-angle lens, and a 10MP telephoto lens with 3x optical zoom, as well as a 4MP Under Display Camera. It’s not a camera system that’ll dethrone the Galaxy S23 Ultra’s, but it’s still very, very good.

The Galaxy Z Fold 5’s standout feature is its productivity capability. It supports the S Pen, but lacks a storage slot, though a case with built-in storage can be purchased. The device runs Android 13 with Samsung’s One UI 5.1.1, which includes an improved Taskbar that now displays up to four recent apps instead of two. The Taskbar is particularly useful for multitasking on the Z Fold 5, allowing users to drag apps onto the main screen.

You can use up to three apps on the unfolded screen and add a fourth app as a floating window. You can also easily alter the shape and size of each app window and activate multitasking. The Galaxy Z Fold 5 also supports Samsung’s DeX mode, which turns your smartphone into a desktop computer and provides access to Microsoft’s Xbox Games Pass. The phone also comes with 5G connectivity and will receive four Android OS updates and five years of security updates, ensuring longevity.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5

Best foldable Samsung phone

samsung galaxy z flip 5 review 14

Joe Maring / Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Best flip phone Samsung phone

Pros

  • No more gap when folded shut
  • Extremely well-built
  • Hinge feels outstanding
  • Much more useful cover screen
  • Fantastic performance
  • Good and dependable cameras
  • 5 years of updates

Cons

  • The crease is still there
  • Mediocre battery life
  • Cover screen requires lots of tweaking

Why you should buy this: If you’re in the market for a $1,000 folding phone right now, the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 is the one you should buy.

Who it’s for: Those who simply must have the latest and most popular foldable.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5:

There are several reasons why tech enthusiasts are buzzing about Samsung’s latest folding phone, the Galaxy Z Flip 5. For starters, it boasts an improved camera, a sturdier hinge construction, a newer and faster processor, and extended software support. On top of that, it features an overall sleek and elegant build that’s sure to turn heads.

When you flip the phone open, you’ll see a 6.7-inch AMOLED 2X display with a 2640 x 1080 resolution and variable refresh rate of 1Hz to 120Hz. The cover screen is a 3.4-inch Super AMOLED that’s much more useful than previous models — it even allows you to run full Android apps.

The Z Flip 5 is powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor and comes with up to 512GB internal storage and 8GB of RAM. It is incredibly fast, breezing through every task with ease. The processor, combined with the variable refresh rate, ensures that everything is super smooth.

Just like the Galaxy Z Flip 4, the Galaxy Z Flip 5 has a 3,700 mAh battery to keep it going throughout the day. Also just like on the Flip 4, that translates to pretty mediocre battery life.

The camera system on this year’s Z Flip features a 12MP main camera with f/1.8 aperture and optical image stabilization, a 12MP ultrawide camera with a 123-degree field of view, and a 10MP selfie camera on the main display. It’s nearly identical to last year’s model.

To Samsung’s credit, the Z Flip 5 does feature upgrades to its cameras. The Snapdragon 8 Gen 2’s improved image signal processor provides better color reproduction, while the main and ultrawide cameras have a new “clear lens coating” to prevent lens flares. The selfie camera now has an f/2.2 aperture, compared to the previous f/2.4 on the Z Flip 4.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5

Best flip phone Samsung phone

samsung galaxy a54 review back lime

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Samsung Galaxy A54

Best value Samsung phone

Pros

  • Eye-catching colors
  • It looks like the Galaxy S23
  • Colorful screen
  • Speakers sound good
  • Long software commitment

Cons

  • Battery doesn’t last two days
  • No wireless charging
  • Camera lacks realism

Why you should buy this: It costs significantly less than the Galaxy S23 while still delivering a lovely display, decent cameras, and good performance.

Who it’s for: Anybody who wants a dependable smartphone for under $500.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy A54:

Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series is outstanding, as are its folding phones. But the truth is that a lot of people can’t afford those expensive handsets — and that’s why the Galaxy A54 is so important. You get many of the same features found on Samsung’s more expensive phones at a fraction of the price.

For starters, the Galaxy A54 looks a lot like the more expensive Galaxy S23 it’s imitating. The frame is plastic instead of aluminum, but the A54 is comfortable to hold and looks incredible thanks to its Awesome Violet and Awesome Lime colors. You also get an IP67 rating to safeguard it from dust and water.

The front of the phone is taken up by a 6.4-inch AMOLED display that delivers crisp text and strong, vibrant colors. Even more impressive is the 120Hz refresh rate, which allows everything to feel fast and smooth. This is also helped by the reliable Exynos 1380 processor and up to 8GB of RAM. The Galaxy A54 isn’t the fastest phone you’ll ever use, but it’s more than capable for anything you’d want to throw at it.

What about the cameras? The 50MP main camera isn’t the best we’ve ever seen, but for quick and casual photography, it gets the job done. It also tends to produce very bright and overly saturated photos, more so than its S23 cousins. Does that mean pictures look lifelike and 1:1 accurate to the real world? Not exactly. But if you prefer your photos to have a real punch to them, the Galaxy A54 certainly delivers.

If you have more money to burn, a phone like the Galaxy S23 or Galaxy S23 Plus is going to deliver a better experience in every department. However, if $450 is the most you can spend, you’ll find very little to be disappointed about with the Galaxy A54.

Samsung Galaxy A54

Samsung Galaxy A54

Best value Samsung phone

samsung galaxy a14 5g review back exterior in bush

Christine Romero-Chan / Digital Trends

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Best cheap Samsung phone

Pros

  • Only $200
  • Large display with a 90Hz refresh rate
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 50MP rear camera, 13MP selfie camera
  • Respectable performance
  • Unique, textured back

Cons

  • Secondary cameras aren’t impressive
  • No water or dust resistance
  • Fast charging up to 15W only

Why you should buy this: It has no business being this good when it costs just $200.

Who it’s for: Anyone looking for a Samsung phone that doesn’t break the bank but still performs very well.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G:

The $200 phone market is usually where you’ll find phones full of compromises. A low price often means harsh cost-cutting, and as a result, you’re unlikely to find something that can be described as “good”. That’s not the case with the Samsung Galaxy A14 5G, which is a true diamond in the rough.

You’ll struggle to define the A14 as a stunner, but it’s not a bad-looking smartphone. The body is made from plastic, but it has a unique texture that feels good and adds grip, something glass-bodied phones can struggle with. The display is worth pausing over, though. It’s a 6.6-inch LCD with a 1080p resolution, which isn’t bad by itself — but the inclusion of a 120Hz refresh rate definitely pushes this phone into a higher grade. There isn’t any water resistance, but hey, you can’t have everything, especially at this price.

It’s modestly powered by a MediaTek Dimensity 700 processor, the same chip from the A13. We found it stuttered a little during use, which reduced the smoothness of the 120Hz refresh rate, and it was sometimes sluggish to open apps, so make sure to clear out those running apps once in a while to keep it speedy. Storage starts from 64GB, which is relatively low these days, but there’s the option to use a microSD card to expand that by 1TB. It comes with Android 13, and Samsung has committed to two major Android updates and four years of security updates — a strong promise for a budget smartphone.

The main camera is impressive for a $200 smartphone. The main lens has a 50MP sensor, and it consistently took good, crisp images that are more than good enough for social media. Surprisingly for a cheap phone, it even takes clear night mode shots too. The second lens, a 2MP depth sensor, is there to assist the main camera in portrait shots, so it’s really technically a dual-lens system. Unfortunately, the third lens, a 2MP macro lens, continues the strong tradition of macro lenses being a bit rubbish, and it’s not one to rely on at all. Stick with the 50MP main lens instead, you’ll probably be pleasantly surprised by how good your shots are for a $200 smartphone.

The A14 has a 5,000mAh battery, and it’s capable of going for two days on a single charge. That’s helpful, as the charging rate is limited to 15W, so you’ll be wanting to leave it for a little while when charging. There’s no wireless charging, which makes sense on a phone this cheap.

The Samsung Galaxy A14 5G is available now, with prices starting from $200. As always, keep an eye on the sales, and you could snag this excellent phone for even cheaper. It’s available on all major U.S. carriers, though the U.S. only gets the rather boring plain black color.

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Samsung Galaxy A14 5G

Best cheap Samsung phone

Promo image for the Samsung Galaxy XCover 6 Pro.

Samsung

Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro

Best rugged Samsung phone

Pros

  • Rugged phone withstands drops up to 5 feet
  • IP68 rating
  • Replaceable battery
  • MIL-STD-810 certified
  • Expandable storage

Cons

  • Rugged style might not be for everyone
  • No satellite connectivity

Why you should buy this: It’s a rugged, military-grade phone with an IP68 rating against sand, water, dust, and dirt that can withstand falls up to 5 feet — and it boasts a replaceable 4,050mAh battery.

Who it’s for: Those who want a rugged phone for outdoor adventures or work in the field.

Why we picked the Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro:

Although it’s designed for industrial use, the Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro is a great choice for anybody who’s tough on their phone. It can withstand falls up to five feet, has an IP68 rating, making it resistant to dirt, dust, water, and sand, and is MIL-STD-810 certified, meaning it won’t pack up at high altitudes or in hot conditions. There’s more to this phone than its rugged features, though — it boasts a 6.6-inch 1080p edge-to-edge display with Gorilla Glass Victus+ and a Snapdragon 778G octa-core processor with 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage (that can be upgraded with a microSD card). The screen boasts Enhanced Touch capabilities so that you can use it with wet hands or gloves, and the phone runs Android 12. There’s also both 5G and Wi-Fi 6E support, although Samsung hasn’t thrown in any emergency satellite connectivity features yet.

Its best feature is its replaceable 4,050mAh battery that supports 15W fast charging and can be swapped out, not to mention the pogo pin connectors for docked charging or connecting accessories like scanners and card readers — the XCover Pro is EMV Level 1 certified, so you can also use it as a point-of-sale terminal.

There are two cameras on the back — a main 50MP camera and a secondary 8MP ultrawide one — plus a 13MP front-facing camera and a headphone jack, so you don’t need to worry about losing your wireless earbuds at work. You can pick up the XCover6 Pro for $600 on Amazon right now.

Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro 5G

Samsung Galaxy XCover6 Pro

Best rugged Samsung phone

Editors’ Recommendations






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