The 6 best Samsung phones of 2022

Samsung continues to battle Huawei and Apple for the crown of best smartphone, and to help sales, we find the company releasing more mid-range phones that are extremely capable while also offering innovative folding devices. Samsung is clearly the leader in foldable technology and its new S22 series shows it is working to be the best across the board.

Samsung’s latest foldable, the Galaxy Z Fold 3, is a stunning feat of engineering that we found to be a significant improvement over its predecessor. The Galaxy S22 series and the compelling A-Series offer more traditional smartphone designs with features that challenge the best available phones.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Best folding phone



Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

(Image: Getty)

Tech specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 
  • Main Display: 7.6-inches, 2208×1768 pixels 
  • Cover Display: 6.2-inches, 832×2268 pixels
  • RAM/Storage: 12GB/256GB 
  • Cameras: Three rear 12MP, 10MP cover screen, 4MP under main display
  • Battery: 4,400mAh 

The 2020 Galaxy Z Fold 2 set the bar for foldable devices that also serve as mini tablets. At first glance, the Z Fold 3 may appear to be just a minor update to the Z Fold 2, but at a starting price $200 less (with holiday discounts dropping the model even further), Samsung provides S Pen support and IPX8 water resistance. These were two features many have asked for and Samsung delivered once again.

In addition to a couple of new features, the cover display resolution and refresh rate were updated so you get a high-resolution display with 120 Hz support constructed of Corning Gorilla Glass Victus. The main display has improved panels and a screen protector that provide an 80% increase in its durability. The three main cameras are basically the same, but the new under display camera is a step forward in mobile technology that’s great for video conferencing, even if it can’t quite compete yet with its more obvious counterparts.

Pros

  • An innovative engineering marvel
  • Armor Aluminum material for a lighter and sleeker phone
  • High IPX8 water resistance
  • S Pen support
  • Improved software optimized for foldables

Cons

  • Still expensive, but $200 less than last year
  • S Pen purchase separately

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G

Best Samsung phone



Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5GSamsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G

(Image: Getty)

Tech specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 
  • Display: 6.8-inches, 3200×1440 pixels 
  • RAM/Storage: 12GB/(128GB-256GB-512GB-1TB) 
  • Cameras: 10MP with 10x optical, 10MP with 3x optical, 108MP, and 12MP ultra wide. 40MP front-facing camera
  • Battery: 5,000mAh 

Samsung’s first flagship phone of 2022 was released as the Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G. While the S21 Ultra from 2021 supported the S Pen, there was no way to store, carry, or charge up the S Pen. With the S22 Ultra, Samsung has fully embraced it as the Note successor with an S Pen silo, flat and square design elements, and all of the latest and greatest specifications in a smartphone.

The Galaxy S22 phones were the first to launch widely with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor inside. While the same resolution cameras are found in this year’s S22 Ultra, Samsung improved the camera’s capabilities, especially in terms of low-light shooting. With two telephoto cameras, Samsung stands out from Apple and Google with fantastic zoom capability.

Pros

  • An amazing quad rear camera system
  • Gorilla Glass Victus Plus
  • Fully integrated S Pen support
  • Fantastic 5G and RF performance
  • High capacity battery

Cons

  • Some duplicate Samsung apps

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

Runner-up



Samsung Galaxy S22 PlusSamsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image: Samsung)

Tech specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1
  • Display: 6.6-inches, 2340×1080 pixels 
  • RAM/Storage: 8GB/128-256GB 
  • Cameras: 10MP with 3x optical, 50MP wide, and 12MP ultra-wide. 10MP front-facing under-display camera 
  • Battery: 4,500mAh 

If you are a Note user then the S22 Ultra is the model to purchase. However, if you like a slightly smaller phone that is also extremely capable, then the S22 Plus should satisfy your needs.

The Galaxy S22 Plus has a 50MP camera instead of the 108MP one found in the S22 Ultra, but it still provides a very capable still and video camera experience. The S22 Plus supports 45W fast charging, ultra wideband, WiFi 6E, and 5G. It is constructed with an Armor Aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass Victus Plus.

Four color options are available for the S22 Plus so you can find one that fits your style. Pricing starts at $999.99.

Pros

  • An amazing display with high refresh rate and under-display camera
  • Highly capable triple rear camera system
  • Android 12 and OneUI 4
  • Competitive pricing

Cons

  • No charger in the box

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Best value



Samsung Galaxy S21 FESamsung Galaxy S21 FE

(Image: Getty)

Tech specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888
  • Display: 6.4-inches, 2400×1080 pixels 
  • RAM/Storage: 6-8GB/128-256GB 
  • Cameras: 8MP telephoto, 12MP wide, and 12MP ultra-wide. 32MP front-facing camera 
  • Battery: 4,500mAh 

While the Galaxy S22 series provide compelling options, they are flagship phones priced in the $800 and higher range. In order to offer customers another alternative, Samsung released the Galaxy S21 FE (Fan Edition) phone. The S21 FE is available in four unique colors to suit your style.

Priced at $699.99, you may think Samsung compromised a lot to offer a powerful 5G phone. However, we see a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with 120Hz dynamic refresh rate, high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, large capacity 4500mAh battery, 6 or 8GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB storage with a microSD card slot, IP68 dust/water resistance, three rear cameras (one with 3X optical and 30x super-resolution zoom), and a high resolution 32MP front camera.

Where are the compromises? Exactly, there really aren’t any and yet the $700 price is where we see phones in the upper mid-range with less capable specs appear. The S21 FE challenges Google’s new Pixel 6 and other phones.

Pros

  • Outstanding cellular reception
  • Reasonable price
  • 120 Hz high-refresh rate display
  • Capable cameras

Cons

  • Pixel 6 is a compelling challenger
  • Plastic back panel

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G

More of a fashion statement than a business phone



Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5GSamsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G

(Image: Getty)

Tech specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 
  • Main Display: 6.7-inches, 1080×2640 pixels 
  • Cover Display: 1.9-inches, 260×512 pixels 
  • RAM/Storage: 8GB/128GB 
  • Cameras: Two rear 12MP, 10MP selfie 
  • Battery: 3,300mAh 

Like the Z Fold 3, the Z Flip 3 is the third generation Flip device from Samsung. One significant improvement is the increased size of the cover screen display from 1.1 to 1.9 inches. The other major change is the IPX8 water resistance that gives you peace of mind when you are flipping open and closed out in the weather.

The $200 price drop on the Z Flip 3 means you can now join the foldable sector for $1000, which is competitive to other flagship smartphones and gives the Z Flip 3 the potential to seriously challenge other manufacturers while expanding the adoption of foldable devices.

Battery life was a concern with the last generation model so we’ll have to see how the processor, Android 11, and Samsung software enhancements impact the battery life on the Z Flip 3.

Pros

  • High-quality materials, fit, and finish
  • IPX8 water resistance
  • High refresh rate main display
  • Affordable price for a foldable
  • Folds into a pocketable form factor

Cons

  • No telephoto camera

Samsung Galaxy A series

5G at mid-market prices



Samsung Galaxy A seriesSamsung Galaxy A series

(Image: Samsung)

Tech specs

  • Processor: Qualcomm and MediaTek mid-level 
  • Main Display: 6.5-inches or 6.6-inches 
  • RAM: 4GB or 6GB 
  • Storage: 64GB or 128GB 
  • Cameras: Three or four rear cameras and 13MP or 32MP selfie camera 
  • Battery: 4,500mAh or 5,000mAh 

Samsung offers three options in the A-Series lineup with the A52 5G, A42 5G, and A32 5G. As noted by the name, this year’s A-Series phones all support 5G networks and are solid options for first time smartphone owners or those looking for an affordable phone.

One distinguishing element of the A-Series is the high capacity battery that is sure to get you through a day or two. We also find water resistance, high refresh rate displays, and other core Samsung features in these affordable phones.

Pros

  • High capacity battery
  • Capable cameras
  • microSD for expandable storage
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Limited RAM

What is the best Samsung phone?

We found the best Samsung phone is the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G. It is superior in camera capabilities, processor speed, and battery life, and it rivals its greatest competitors like Apple and Huawei.

Phone Price Display Cameras Battery
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 Price: $1499 7.6-inches Three rear 12MP, 10MP cover screen, 4MP under main display 4,400mAh
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G Price: $1599 6.8-inches, 3200×1440 pixels 10MP with 10x optical, 10MP with 3x optical, 108MP, and 12MP ultra wide. 40MP front-facing camera 5,000mAh
amsung Galaxy S22 Plus Price: $799 6.6-inches, 2340×1080 pixels 10MP with 3x optical, 50MP wide, and 12MP ultra-wide. 10MP front-facing under-display camera 4,500mAh
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE Price: $699 6.4-inches, 2400×1080 pixels 8MP telephoto, 12MP wide, and 12MP ultra-wide. 32MP front-facing camera 4,500mAh
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G Price: $999 6.7-inches, 1080×2640 pixels Two rear 12MP, 10MP selfie 3,300mAh
Samsung Galaxy A series Price: $599 6.5-inches or 6.6-inches Three or four rear cameras and 13MP or 32MP selfie camera 4,500mAh or 5,000mAh

Which Samsung phone is right for you?

It was much easier to choose a Samsung phone option in the past when just the S and Note series were available, along with some low-range basic phones. Samsung has significantly expanded its offerings with the A Series, Fold, and Flip options so now the first thing to consider is your desired form factor.

First, decide if you want a standard “glass rectangle” smartphone or if you want a foliding device. For maximum screen real estate, get a Z Fold 3. Or, for taking up the minimum space in your pocket and providing that extra bit of style, get a Z Flip 3 5G.

If you choose a standard form factor, then price is the next factor to consider. With Samsung’s new strategy you have phones priced from under $250 to over $1,200. So, your budget should quickly help you figure out which price point is right for your. From there, consider whether or not you need stylus support, or if you’d prefer some of the best camera arrays around. 

Choose this… If you want…
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 A flashy foldable and one of th best Samsung devices available.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra 5G The top-of-the-line flagship Samsung phone with all the bells and whistles in a traditional form factor.
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus Runner up to the S22 Ultra 5G.
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE The best Samsung phone for your buck, but without breaking the bank.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G An unusual phone that will make people go, “what’s that?”
Samsung Galaxy A series An entry-level affordable Samsung phone.

How did we choose these Samsung phones?

We try to spend time with every phone in our best list and if we don’t get that opportunity then we look to trusted reviewers in the mobile space. We only include phones that are still readily available since Samsung tends to clear the queue when new models are launched.

While we personally spend most of our time with higher-end models that help us get our work done most efficiently, there are mid-range phones worth consideration so we include them as well.

Which Samsung phone is best value for money?

The Samsung Galaxy S21 FE. Priced at $699.99, it features a 6.4-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with 120Hz dynamic refresh rate, high-end Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 processor, large capacity 4500mAh battery, 6GB or 8GB of RAM, 128 or 256GB storage with a microSD card slot, IP68 dust/water resistance, three rear cameras (one with 3X optical and 30x super-resolution zoom), and a high resolution 32MP front camera.

Are there alternative phones to consider?

Be sure to check out ZDNet’s comparisons of the best phones and Android phones available. We’ve also listed the top (non-Samsung) picks from both those guides below for your convenience. 

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