To help us provide you with free impartial advice, we may earn a commission if you buy through links on our site. Learn more

Best Samsung phone 2024: The ultimate Galaxy smartphone, as tested by us

We put Samsung’s recent smartphone output to the test to find the perfect phone for you

Picking out the best Samsung phone is no simple task. The South Korean tech giant has been the biggest handset manufacturer in the world over the past decade or so, largely because it turns out so many of the best smartphones in the business.

Unlike its chief rival Apple, Samsung has flooded the market with a series of Galaxy phone models that span a healthy price range, from the dirt-cheap Galaxy A15 to the extra-large Galaxy S24 Ultra. Here at Expert Reviews, we’ve put more than 70 of Samsung’s phones to the test over the years and they’ve rarely let us down.

Which Samsung phone you choose will depend on a range of factors. Budget is likely the primary component when making this decision, but you’ll also want to weigh up other important factors such as screen size, display quality, battery life and camera characteristics. We run through the top Samsung phone picks below, preceded by a brief explanation of how we test each phone that comes through our doors.

Best Samsung phone: At a glance

Best Samsung flagshipSamsung Galaxy S24 Ultra (~£1,249)Check price at Amazon
Best-value Samsung phoneSamsung Galaxy A55 5G (~£439)Check price at Amazon
Best folding Samsung phoneSamsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 (~£1,339)Check price at Amazon
Best cheap Samsung phoneSamsung Galaxy A35 5G (~£338)Check price at Amazon

How we test Samsung phones

As with all smartphones, we start testing Samsung handsets by downloading the Geekbench and GFXBench apps from the Google Play Store. Testing the CPU and GPU, respectively, these apps produce a set of scores that we use to compare the phone to other Samsung models and similarly priced competitors. For the display, we use a colorimeter and DisplayCal software to measure how accurately colours are reproduced, as well as results for the contrast ratio and maximum brightness.

Running GFXBench GPU benchmark tests on a Samsung Galaxy smartphone

That same DisplayCal software is then used to set the brightness to 170cd/m2, in order to maintain consistency across devices for our battery test. We then engage flight mode and run our standard looping video, noting the timestamp at which the phone died. Finally, we look to the cameras, taking a wide range of shots with all the lenses, including interiors, landscapes, low-light and portraits. We’ll also shoot some rapid panning video to judge the efficacy of the stabilisation.

READ NEXT: Best smartphone

Buying a shiny new Samsung phone outright? This is the PERFECT SIM deal to make the most of it

If you decide to pick up a Samsung phone, you can’t do better than combining it with a superb SIM from Smarty, which you voted as the best mobile network in the country. You can currently pick up 100GB of 5G data for a mere £12/mth on a rolling, 30-day plan – but the company is also serving up more or less data for ultra-competitive rates. There’s something for every type of phone user.

The best Samsung smartphones to buy in 2024

1. Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra: Best Samsung flagship

Price when reviewed: From £1,249 l Check price at Amazon

Best Samsung phone. Hand holding the Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra with the screen turned on

  • Great for… superb cameras and outstanding battery life
  • Not so great for… extremely big and expensive

With the Galaxy S24 Ultra, Samsung kicked off the new year with a bang. Not a huge amount has changed externally from last year’s Galaxy S23 Ultra – aside from a new Titanium body – but the biggest new addition is the move to Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset, which not only seriously improved performance, but we found that battery life is significantly longer as well.

If you’re in the market for a new flagship smartphone, we simply can’t think of anything better. Samsung’s latest all-singing and all-dancing smartphone has seen a major upgrade in the photography department, with a handful of new AI camera tricks. What impressed us the most, in fact, was the S24 Ultra’s zoom capabilities. With a pair of 3x and 5x telephoto lenses (as well as a primary 200MP sensor), the S24 Ultra’s pictures looked absolutely sublime in our tests, capturing every detail with tonally perfect colours, no matter the lighting conditions.

The sublime 6.8in 120Hz screen also returns (perfect for doodling with the bundled S Pen). Sure, there are far cheaper handsets you can get your hands on in 2024, but if you’re after the very best that Android (not just Samsung) has to offer, then we think this is definitely it.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3; Screen: 6.8in, 3,120 x 1,440; Camera: 200MP, 50MP (5x zoom), 10MP (3x zoom), 12MP (ultrawide); Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB; Operating system: Android 14

samsung galaxy s24 face up with home screen on a green surface

Also consider: Samsung Galaxy S24

Want to spend less on the latest Samsung flagship? The good news is that the regular Galaxy S24 is still a terrific option in our opinion, provided you don’t mind a few cutbacks. For a huge £450 less than the Ultra, the Galaxy S24 is a smashing alternative for the cost-conscious buyer. It doesn’t get the same Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chipset as its bigger sibling but performance is still speedy and its 50MP main camera impressed in our testing as well. It also has the added benefit of being a lot smaller than the Ultra (6.2in vs 6.8in), so if large-screened handsets aren’t really your thing, the entry-level S24 should be your next phone purchase.

Check price at Amazon

2. Samsung Galaxy A55 5G: Best-value Samsung phone

Price when reviewed: £439 | Check price at Amazon

Best Samsung phone. The Samsung Galaxy A55 5G with screen turned on lying on a brick mosaic background

  • Great for… impressive performance and solid battery life
  • Not so great for… stagnant cameras and chunky design

If the flagships are outside your price range, you can find much better value for money in Samsung’s mid-range offering, and our pick of them is the Galaxy A55 5G. The new Exynos 1480 chipset performed well in our testing, keeping up with the best performers in this price range, and we were quite pleased with the battery life, too – though it didn’t quite match the A54 5G for stamina.

The cameras may not have changed much since the previous generation, but our test images still came out well, with the night camera in particular impressing us. The design is a little on the chunky side for this price, and the phone is notably heavy, but these issues aren’t enough to take away from all the positives. Throw in a big, bright display and a promised four years of software support, and the Samsung Galaxy A55 5G is terrific value.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A55 5G review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Samsung Exynos 1480; Screen: 6.6in, 2,340 x 1,080; Camera: 50MP, 12MP (wide), 5MP (macro); Storage: 128GB, 256GB; Operating system: Android 14

3. Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5: Best foldable

Price when reviewed: £1,339 | Check price at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 held in the hand, unfolded in front of green foliage

  • Great for… lovely folding design and useful software features
  • Not so great for… the most expensive phone Samsung makes

Samsung’s high-end foldable is the best we’ve ever seen. The kinks have been ironed out, and the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is the ultimate culmination of previous improvements, with an IPX8 water resistance rating, hard-wearing design, overall performance and stamina increases and huge changes to the software.

The most expensive smartphone you can buy at the moment, the Galaxy Z Fold 5 is well worth the cost if you’re lucky enough to afford it, especially since it uses the most powerful Android chipset yet, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 which, in our tests, provided one of the biggest gen-on-gen gaming performance improvements in a number of years. If you’re after a phone that inspires “ooh’s” and “aah’s” from friends, and you’ve also got a lot of cash burning a hole in your pocket, then this is the handset to get.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 5 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2; Screen: 7.6in, 2,1768 x 1,812 (inner), 6.2in, 2,316 x 904 (cover); Camera: 50MP, 10MP (3x zoom), 12MP (wide); Storage: 256GB, 512GB, 1TB; Operating system: Android 13

4. Samsung Galaxy A35 5G: Best cheap Samsung phone

Price when reviewed: £338 | Check price at Amazon

Best Samsung phone. Hand holding the Samsung Galaxy A35 5G against brick mosaic background

  • Great for… superb main camera and decent battery life
  • Not so great for… mediocre performance and chunky design

Overall, we preferred the Galaxy A55 5G above as the ultimate mid-range Samsung phone, but if your budget doesn’t stretch quite that far, the A35 5G is a terrific silver medalist. We were particularly impressed by the quality of the main camera, which produced detailed and colourful images in good lighting conditions. It didn’t fare as well after dark, but few in this price range do, so that’s not a dealbreaker.

Battery life was well above average for a phone this cheap, lasting for 24hrs 27mins in our looping video test. We weren’t as impressed by the performance, with the older Exynos 1380 CPU only delivering middling results in our benchmarks. The design is also on the chunky side and the secondary cameras didn’t impress us as much as the main. Even still, if your budget doesn’t stretch to the A55 5G, we think you’ll still find a lot to like about the A35 5G.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy A35 5G review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Samsung Exynos 1380; Screen: 6.6in, 2,340 x 1,080; Camera: 50MP, 8MP (wide), 5MP (macro); Storage: 128GB, 256GB; Operating system: Android 14

5. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5: Best-value foldable

Price when reviewed: £754 | Check price at Amazon

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 in the hand, half folded

  • Great for… refined design and improved performance
  • Not so great for… still quite expensive, and cameras merely OK

Alongside the Fold (featured above), the Z Flip 5 is another tremendous folding flagship. Featuring the same high-level features, such as IPX8-rated waterproofing, a surprisingly sturdy gapless design and a 120Hz refresh screen, the Flip 5 is much better value, since it costs a heck of a lot less. And with Flip-friendly changes such as an increase to the size of the cover display, upgraded performance and a handful of UI improvements, the Flip 5 is pretty much as good as it gets all for a fraction of the price.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5 review for more details 

Key specs – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2; Screen: 6.7in, 2,640 x 1,080 (cover: 3.4in, 748 x 720); Camera: 12MP and 12MP (wide); Storage: 256GB, 512GB; Operating system: Android 13

6. Samsung Galaxy S23 (Renewed): A refurbished bargain

Price when reviewed: £405 | Check price at BackMarket

Best Samsung phone. Hand holding the Samsung Galaxy S23 with a table in the background

  • Great for… specs still competitive and now very cheap
  • Not so great for… limited future software support

Take it from us – Samsung flagships needn’t cost the earth. If you’re in the market for a new top-end handset but the rising flagship prices are putting you off, then last year’s Galaxy S23 is still a great pick. It remains one of the fastest smartphones we’ve tested, the display is top-notch and the triple cameras hold their own against more recent releases.

The downside of getting last year’s model is that you get fewer software updates. The S23 was promised four years of OS upgrades and five years of security patches when it first launched, but one of those years has already passed. Still, if you’re happy to take that trade-off for a dramatic reduction in price, and you don’t mind picking up a refurbished model, we highly recommend considering the Galaxy S23 before picking up a new flagship.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S23 review for more details

Key specs – Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2; Screen: 6.1in, 2,340 x 1,080; Camera: 50MP, 10MP (telephoto), 12MP (wide); Storage: 128GB, 256GB; Operating system: Android 13

Check price at BackMarket


↑ Return to top

Read more

Best Buys