Galaxy S21 is Samsung's best Prime Day phone deal — is it the phone you should get?

Galaxy S21 Prime Day Deal
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

If you're in the market for the best Samsung phones at the best prices, there's no doubt as to which Prime Day deal should draw your attention during the final hours of Amazon's two-day sales event. The Samsung Galaxy S21, normally a $799 phone, has dropped to $599 at Amazon.

Jump on that deal, and you're getting one of the best Android phones available for $200 off its normal price. For that money, you get a phone with an 6.2-inch display that adjusts its refresh rate automatically. You'll also have a top camera phone, particularly when it comes to zoom shots, as the 64MP telephoto lens supports a 3x optical and 30x digital zoom. Both features impressed us in our Samsung Galaxy S21 review.

Samsung Galaxy S21: was $799 now $599 @ Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S21: was $799 now $599 @ Amazon
The Galaxy S21 is Samsung's latest flagship phone, offering a powerful Android experience in a smaller frame. The triple cameras take excellent photos and videos, and the beautiful 120Hz display is perfect for media consumption.

Getting a phone like that for 25% off is quite a bargain. But what if the Galaxy S21 isn't quite the phone for you?

No matter — a quick check of the best Prime Day phone deals list shows that a lot of phones have been discounted through the end of Prime Day. And more than a few of them happen to be from Samsung, if you're looking to stay with the premier maker of Android devices.

As good a deal as the $599 Galaxy S21 is, here are some other Prime Day options if you want a phone that meets different criteria.

I want a phone with a bigger screen and more features

If a 6.2-inch display cramps your style, or you want a phone with even more telephoto skills, don't look beyond the Galaxy S21 family. The Galaxy S21 Ultra delivers a dynamically adjusting 6.8-inch screen and a pair of telephoto lenses. It's also powered by the same high-performing Snapdragon 888 chipset found in the Galaxy S21. And through the end of Prime Day, you can snag a Galaxy S21 Ultra for $899 — $300 off its normal price.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: was $1,199 now $899 @ Amazon

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra: was $1,199 now $899 @ Amazon
Samsung's top-tier Galaxy S21 Ultra is on sale, dropping below the $1,000 threshold. This makes it the best phone deal for Prime Day. You get one of the best displays available, five cameras and the powerful Snapdragon 888 processor.

I want a phone with an S Pen

Again, you can turn to the Galaxy S21 Ultra, which is the first phone outside of Samsung's Galaxy Note lineup to support the S Pen stylus. But $899 is still a lot to pay, even when that's a discount from a four-figure price.

Instead, why not go to last year's Galaxy Note 20? You get the big 6.7-inch display (though without a dynamic refresh rate), and the Note 20 comes with an S Pen. (The stylus is an extra purchase for the S21 Ultra.) On Prime Day, Amazon has been offering the Galaxy S20 Ultra for $749 — a $250 discount — but that deal appears to be out of stock at this late hour.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20: was $999 now $749 @ Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Note 20: was $999 now $749 @ Amazon
The smaller of the 2020 Note series, the Galaxy Note 20 is still a powerful device that includes the fan-favorite S Pen. The 6.7-inch AMOLED display is beautiful and the Note 20 is still a very powerful Android phone. It also has excellent battery life thanks to the 4,300 mAh battery.

I want a cheaper phone

Even with its discount, the Galaxy S21 still costs a lot more than some people are willing or able to pay for a smartphone. In that case, try one of Samsung's midrange phones. The Galaxy A42 doesn't have quite the processing oomph of one of Samsung's flagships, but this midrange phone does feature a 5,000 mAh battery and 5G connectivity, including support Verizon's fast Ultra Wideband-based network. It's available for $299, a $100 discount from its regular $399 price.

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G: was $399 now $299 @ Amazon

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G: was $399 now $299 @ Amazon
One of Samsung's 2021 budget-friendly Galaxy A phones, the Galaxy A42 5G packs in really solid hardware for a great price. 5G comes standard — including compatibility with Verizon's fast Ultra Wideband network. You also get a big 5,000 mAh battery and expandable storage. You'll also get four cameras and 6.6-inch AMOLED display.

You could also turn to the Galaxy S20 FE, which came out last year and delivered a lot of features found in the S20 flagships, but for a much cheaper price. That price is even lower with a $120 Prime Day cut that brings the cost of the S20 FE to $479. The only reason we'd caution against that deal is because a successor — the Galaxy S21 FE — is reportedly in the works, and that new phone could feature improved specs based on the S21 family. Then again, a recent report says the release of the S21 FE could be pushed back, making a discounted Galaxy S20 FE a better buy for now.

Shop more sales at Amazon

Philip Michaels

Philip Michaels is a Managing Editor at Tom's Guide. He's been covering personal technology since 1999 and was in the building when Steve Jobs showed off the iPhone for the first time. He's been evaluating smartphones since that first iPhone debuted in 2007, and he's been following phone carriers and smartphone plans since 2015. He has strong opinions about Apple, the Oakland Athletics, old movies and proper butchery techniques. Follow him at @PhilipMichaels.