Samsung continues to fight Apple and Huawei to be the best smartphone. Samsung is also releasing more midrange phones that are very capable, as well as innovative folding phones, to increase its sales.
Samsung’s latest foldable device, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, was a remarkable feat of engineering. I used it as my daily driver for about a month. We saw the Galaxy S21 series’ release and the announcement of A-series phones, which some may find more attractive than any other phone on the market.
First to market widely with Snapdragon 808 processor
You must read: Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G review
The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G was Samsung’s first flagship smartphone in 2021. Samsung dropped the price of this phone’s entry-level model by $200, which is sure to increase sales.
The Galaxy S21 phones are among the first to be widely launched with the Qualcomm Snapdragon888 processor inside. 5G support is available for Sub6 and mmWave. This means that buyers can access all three S21 models of 5G with Samsung. There are improvements in display, software, cameras and software. The S21 Ultra 5G supports both the S Pen, and almost everything else in the Note series.
$500 at Samsung
Flat display that looks incredible
You must read: Galaxy S21 5G review
The S21 Ultra 5G model is recommended if you need support for the S Pen. If you are looking for a smaller but equally capable phone, the S21 Ultra 5G might be the right choice.
There are only a few differences between the S21 Ultra 5G high-end and the S21 5G. These include the display size, resolution, camera specifications and RAM/storage options. S Pen functionality and battery capacity. You get a lot of phone for 400 less.
Many people don’t like the look of curved glass displays. The S21 5G, however, offers a flat display which looks incredible. You can also choose from a variety of beautiful colors.
$799 at Samsung
Small tablet and smartphone very capable
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While I fell in love with the Galaxy Fold last year, I didn’t include it in my 10 best smartphones list because it seemed like an extravagant purchase. The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 foldable phone is the third iteration and it has seen significant improvements. It deserves to be on this list, but not just because it’s there, but because it deserves to be at the top.
I had spent several weeks testing the device and then ordered my own. It was a beautiful black phone with a metallic-red hinge. I had patience. Although the Z Fold 2 costs $2,000, if you use it as often as I do to get work done each day, it is well worth the cost.
The Z Fold 2 is a powerful smartphone and tablet that can also be used as a small tablet. It offers incredibly strong and fast 5G connectivity in both the tablet and smartphone modes. While the 6.2-inch exterior display provides a standard smartphone experience, the 7.6-inch main screen is spectacular with a 120Hz refresh rate.
With triple rear cameras and two additional 10MP camera, you get the fastest RAM/internal storage speeds. Even with the large screen, the 4500mAh battery will last you for a whole day.
$1,800 at Samsung
Best Buy – $1,800
Google’s Pixel 5 and Other Phones Fail to Surpass the Competition
Although the Galaxy S20 series launched in early 2020 offers many options, these flagship phones are priced at $1,000 and higher. In order to offer customers another alternative, Samsung released the Galaxy S20 FE (Fan Edition) 5G phones. You can choose from five beautiful colors for the S20 FE.
Samsung may have compromised a lot in order to sell a 5G phone for $699.99. We see a 6.5-inch Infinity-O screen with 120Hz dynamic refresh rate and high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon865 processor. It also has a large capacity 4500mAh battery, large RAM and 128GB storage. The phone is IP68 dust/water resistant. There are three rear cameras, one with 3X optical zoom and the other with 30x super-resolution zoom, and a 32MP front camera.
Are there compromises? Yes, they aren’t. But the $700 price is where phones in the upper middle-range with lower specs will appear. The S20FE is a challenge to Google’s Pixel 5 and other smartphones.
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All that we saw on S20 series, but with some improvements
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The Note 20 devices offer everything that we loved about the S20 series but with some additional camera features. The S Pen is still a key feature of the Note series. With the Note 20, there are more Air Actions which are quite useful and reliable.
The two Note 20 series Samsung smartphones are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus. It features unique AMOLED 6.7 inch and 6.9 inch 120Hz refresh rate displays that adjust for content, 8GB and 128GB RAM with a 512GB option for Ultra, three rear cameras, an IP68 rating, Wi Fi 6, and Bluetooth 5. The battery capacity is between 4,300mAh to 4,500mAh.
Best Buy: $1,000
Very large phone
You must read: Galaxy S20 Ultra 5G review
Samsung launched the Galaxy S20 series in early this year. I spent some time with the S20 Ultra 5G. This year’s S20 line is all about universal 5G and better camera experiences. The S20 Ultra’s camera had issues with auto-focus at launch. These problems have since been corrected by updates. The camera is more advanced than other Samsung phones and the large main sensor doesn’t support macro mode, unlike Samsung phones of the past.
The Samsung S20 Ultra 5G has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865. It features a 6.9-inch AMOLED 120Hz refreshrate display with 12GB RAM (with 16GB option), 128GB or 512GB storage options with microSD. Three rear cameras have very high hybrid zoom levels, an IP68 rating, WiFi 6 and Bluetooth 5. The battery has a capacity of 5,000mAh, which will allow you to last for a whole day.
5G support is included in the S20 Ultra 5G. It works on all US band frequencies. The phone is expensive, but it’s future-proofed for 5G, so it’s worth the investment for businesses. This phone is quite large but you can still do serious work on its 6.9-inch display.
$950 at Samsung
$1,000 at eBay
Our 10 top-rated phones for the majority of the past year were atop our list
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For much of 2018, the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 topped our list of 10 best smartphones. Although the headphone jack has been removed, the Galaxy Note 9’s 2019 version is much better.
The Galaxy Note 10 Plus enterprise smartphone is a great choice. It features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor and massive amounts RAM. There’s also fast internal storage, microSD expansion, a rear quad-camera system that can be used, and many other useful features. The Note 10 series does not offer 5G, but T-Mobile offers a 5G variant. Here, the focus is on the S Pen experience. 5G is certain to launch across all series this year.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus includes a Link to Windows button within the quick controls, as well as support for the latest DeX version. Extending it to an external monitor with Samsung DeX is quick and easy, while also providing a full functioning desktop experience. The additional capability to charge up other devices and gear, such as the Galaxy Buds, via wireless technology on the back of the Note 10 Plus is convenient for road warriors.
The Note 10 Plus begins at $950. This price will likely drop when the Note 20 comes out. You also have generous trade-in options.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip and Z Flip5G
It’s more of a fashion statement that a business phone
Although the Samsung Galaxy Fold was a favorite device, I couldn’t afford it. Samsung released the Galaxy Z Flip this year, with its folding mechanism set up for portrait mode.
The limited availability of the item sold it for $1,400. However, the people who bought one seemed to love its design and construction.
The AMOLED screen measures 6.7 inches and can be folded in half to make it smaller. It has a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ processor and 8GB of RAM. There is also 256GB of internal storage. The battery lasts for just 3,300mAh. The phone’s battery life is an issue, especially considering its price.
Dual rear cameras are available on the Z Flip, as well as a side fingerprint sensor. Although it is a functional phone, the Z Flip is more fashion-oriented than a business phone.
These phones don’t have 5G
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All three phones, Galaxy A52/5G, Galaxy A72 and Galaxy A52 5G are the successors of last year’s A models. The new features and capabilities add to the phones’ mid-tier pricing. The phones have a high resolution Infinity-O display with multiple cameras and high refresh rate options. They also feature microSD expansion card slots and IP67 dust/water resistance.
Although 5G is not available on these phones, the price seems to be hundreds lower than the S21 Series.
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