Best Samsung phones in the UK 2023: Which Galaxy is for you?

galaxy s22 family face down
(Image credit: Samsung)

The best Samsung phones are often the best phones already in their respective categories and price brackets. If you're certain you want a Samsung for your next phone, whether it's because you are an existing user or the company's strong advertising campaigns have won you over, these are the handsets you should pick from

All Samsung phones come with One UI, the company's version of Android, a lengthy guaranteed update schedule and great hardware, particularly for displays and cameras. However, beyond that the phones can differ greatly, from the basic but capable Galaxy A series to the high-tech Galaxy Z folding phones.

Be sure to check out our best Android phones page if you fancy perusing a wider selection of brands. However if you're sticking with Samsung, read on for our favorite phones from the South Korean manufacturer.

The best Samsung phones you can buy right now

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best samsung phones Samsung Galaxy S22 UltraEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Future)
The best Samsung phone you can buy today

Specifications

Screen size: 6.8 inches
Android version: 12 with One UI 4.1
Processor: Exynos 2200
Cameras: 108MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 2 10MP telephoto (rear); 40MP (front)
RAM/Storage: 8GB,12GB/128GB,256GB,512GB,1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Built-in S Pen
+
One of the best displays on phones today
+
Versatile quad rear cameras with improved night mode

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Less RAM as standard than S21 Ultra

The Galaxy S22 Ultra isn't just the top of the line S22, it's also the spiritual successor to the defunct Galaxy Note series. The S22 Ultra offers four rear cameras and an amazing display like you'd expect, but now you get a built-in S Pen for doodling and scribbling wherever you go, making this a fantastic phone for productivity, photography or anything else.

Of course Samsung wants a fair bit of cash in return: £1,149 for the basic model. It's also worth noting that the base model only comes with 8GB RAM, rather than 12GB like the Galaxy S21 Ultra had. If you're concerned about performance, go for the 256GB model to get 12GB RAM, but otherwise the standard model has plenty enough power for any user.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra review.

Samsung Galaxy S22 review

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The best Samsung phone for most people

Specifications

Screen size: 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED (2340 x 1080)
Android version: 12, OneUI 4.1
CPU: Exynos 2200
Cameras: 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto; 10MP front
RAM / Storage: 8GB / 128GB, 256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Well-priced but premium
+
Strong display colours
+
Improved zoom and low-light photos

Reasons to avoid

-
Disappointing battery life

The basic Galaxy S22 is the perfect balance of value and performance, even if it can't outdo the S22 Ultra. The S22's compact 6-inch body still houses a great 120Hz display and triple rear cameras, and the same Exynos 2200 chipset as the other S22s to provide true flagship performance.

As the Galaxy S22 is a relatively small phone, you get a small battery, and on our custom TG battery test, the S22 didn't do very well at all. However if you are only a light-to-medium daily user, or have easy access to power outlets during the day, then there's nothing to hold you back from picking up the S22.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 review.

Best Samsung Phones: Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Samsung phone if you prioritise a large screen

Specifications

Screen size: 6.6 inches
Android version: 12 with One UI 4.1
Processor: Exynos 2200
Cameras: 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (rear); 10MP (front)
RAM/Storage: 8GB/128GB, 256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Vivid and large display
+
45W charging
+
Reworked cameras

Reasons to avoid

-
Only different in size to S22
-
Battery life is sub-par

The awkward middle child of the Galaxy S22 family, the Galaxy S22 Plus costs another £180 on top of the S22 and adds a larger and brighter display, a larger battery and 45W fast charging. That may not seem like a lot, given that other S22 Plus features match what you get with the Galaxy S22.

We like the S22 Plus' cameras, particularly the new 50MP main sensor and the improved night mode. We also appreciate how this phone's display is almost as good as the more expensive Galaxy S22 Ultra's. You may find that even though it doesn't have many unique attractions, the S22 Plus is the perfect middle ground if you like a larger handset but don't mind saving money by missing out on some camera tech and the S Pen.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus review.

best samsung phones: Samsung Galaxy A53

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Samsung phone for budget buyers

Specifications

Screen size: 6.5 inches
Android version: 12 with One UI 4.1
Processor: Exynos 1280
Cameras: 64MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 5MP macro, 5MP depth (rear); 32MP (front)
RAM/Storage: 6GB / 128GB

Reasons to buy

+
120Hz display
+
Expandable storage option
+
Long OS support

Reasons to avoid

-
Only main and ultrawide cameras are effective

Samsung's newest mid-priced phone shows that if you like having expandable storage space or a smooth 120Hz refresh rate, you don't need to spend everything you have. The Galaxy A53 lets you in on the Samsung phone experience for a much more reasonable price than what the Galaxy S lineup commands. Given that Samsung's promised a generous four years of full updates, you can take advantage of the Galaxy A53 for longer.

As a cheaper phone though, the cameras are the A53's most lacking feature. You get four lenses on the back, but the macro and depth cameras don't perform that well. Also the chipset isn't too powerful, but that's to be expected for a phone of this price. 

The Galaxy A53 would make a reliable companion for users who don't want the absolute ultimate tech on their phone, but are still after some premium features.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A53 review.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 open on its home screenEditor's Choice

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Samsung phone that's foldable

Specifications

Screen size: 7.6 inches (inner), 6.2 inches (outer)
Android version: 12 with One UI 4.1
Processor: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Cameras: 50MP wide, 12MP ultrawide, 10MP telephoto (rear); 10MP (front); 4MP (under-display)
RAM/Storage: 8GB, 12GB/256GB, 512GB, 1TB

Reasons to buy

+
Taskbar for easier multitasking
+
Wider and brighter displays
+
Boosted cameras

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive
-
Heavy and bulky
-
Under display camera is poor quality

Samsung's top foldable right now, the Galaxy Z Fold 4 combines a tablet and smartphone in one like its previous versions, and is now even better at multitasking thanks to a tablet-like taskbar for easy app switching and splitting. It's even better when you have a stylus to play with too, but that just makes an already expensive phone even more expensive.

Also causing problems is that the phone's still unwieldy to use thanks to its weight and thickness when folded, although we're glad both the inner and outer displays are easier to use thanks to a wider profile. Also Samsung really needs to improve its under-display camera on the inner display, which produces very poor photos, especially since its rear cameras are now just as good as those on the Galaxy S22 range.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 review.

best samsung phones: Samsung galaxy s21 fe

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Samsung phone if you want a flagship for less

Specifications

Screen Size: 6.4 inches
Android Version: 12 with One UI 4
Processor: Exynos 2100
Cameras: 12MP main, 12MP ultrawide, 8MP telephoto (Rear); 32MP (Front)
RAM/Storage: 6GB, 8GB/128GB, 256GB

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap for a flagship-grade phone
+
Night Mode has been upgraded
+
Runs Android 12 as standard

Reasons to avoid

-
Static 120Hz refresh rate isn't adaptive
-
Many components are a year old or more

The Galaxy S21 FE shows that patience pays off. This model is based on the 2021 Galaxy S21 series, and as a result isn't as up to date with its chipset or cameras. On the other hand, it's still a flagship-grade experience, with its expansive 6.4-inch 120Hz display and triple rear cameras, but one that starts at £699 instead of £799 like the Galaxy S22.

That extra £100 gets you a lot though, so weigh up carefully whether you're better off skipping the S21 FE. If this is the extent of your budget though, it's still a phone that delivers just what you need.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S21 FE review.

galaxy z flip 4 in pink

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)
The best Samsung phone for pocketability

Specifications

Screen size: 6.7 inches (inner), 1.9 inches (outer)
Android version: 11 with One UI 3.1
Processor: Snapdragon 8 Plus Gen 1
Cameras: 12MP wide, 12MP ultrawide (rear); 10MP (front)
RAM/Storage: 8GB/128GB, 256GB, 512GB

Reasons to buy

+
Cheap for a foldable
+
Excellent performance
+
Improved battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Still only two rear cameras
-
Prominent display crease

If you miss flip phones or just those that you can fit in a pocket easily, Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip 4 is what you may be looking for.

The design comes with a sacrifice or two, specifically a very obvious crease along the screen, below-average battery life (although much improved since last year) and no telephoto camera on the back despite the price. But it's still cheap for a foldable phone, and is ideal if more regular phones like the Galaxy S22 just don't appeal to you. 

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 review.

How to choose the best Samsung phones

The first thing to consider when looking at the best Samsung phones is how much you can afford to spend. Samsung gives you lots of options, but you will need to figure out whether you can consider the Ultra models and foldables or should restrict yourself to the cheaper FE or Galaxy A options instead.

Next, think about the sizes of these phones. The smallest of the phones on this list is either the Galaxy S22 or the Galaxy Z Flip 3, depending on how much you value a slim profile. Conversely, the largest models are the Galaxy S22 Ultra and the Galaxy Z Fold 3, with the latter providing a tablet-sized inner display when unfolded. Take into account where you want to store your phone, how easily you can handle it and how much it will eight when picking between the devices on your shortlist.

The last thing to think about is how much storage you will need for your apps, photos and such. Samsung is quite generous with base storage, as all the phones above come with 128GB of ROM by default. But if you need more on-device storage, you might need to opt for a Galaxy S22, which can go up to 1TB of storage depending on the model.

How we test Samsung phones

To find the best Samsung phones, we test the company's handsets the same way we test every smartphone we review. We run benchmarks on each phone, including synthetic benchmarks like Geekbench 5 and 3DMark Wild Life to measure graphics performance. That allows us to compare Samsung device to other phones, including Apple's iPhone. In addition, we use real-world testing that includes a video transcoding test using Adobe Premiere Rush. 

In our lab, we measure the brightness of the phone's display (in nits), as well as how colorful each screen is (using the sRGB and DCI-P3 color gamut). In these cases, higher numbers are better. We also measure color accuracy of each panel with a Delta-E rating, where lower numbers are better and score of 0 is perfect.

To determine how long a Samsung phone's battery lasts, we have the phones continuously surf the web over LTE with their screens set to 150 nits of brightness. The average smartphone lasts for 10 hours, with the best phone battery life reaching 11 hours or more in our testing.

Our camera testing involves taking photos with each Samsung phone we review and comparing them to similar shots from comparable models.We take shots of landscapes, food, portraits and more, and also allow you to be the judge with side-by-side comparisons in our reviews. 

Richard Priday
Senior Writer

Richard is a Tom's Guide senior writer based in London, covering news, reviews and how-tos for phones, tablets, gaming, and whatever else people need advice on. Following on from his MA in Magazine Journalism at the University of Sheffield, he's also written for WIRED U.K., The Register and Creative Bloq. When not at work, he's likely thinking about how to brew the perfect cup of specialty coffee.