Samsung smartphones. Photo: Andri Koolme/Flickr.
Samsung is renowned for its Android smartphones that are among the very best phones made anywhere in the world. From the Samsung Galaxy S21 and Galaxy S21 Ultra (arguably one of the best phones, period) to the foldable Galaxy Z Fold 2, Samsung’s smartphones are packed with cutting edge technology, fast processors, and stunning builds, with its flagship models understandably costing top dollar.
But the South Korean Android smartphone maker also has plenty of impressive midrange and budget smartphones to choose from. The only problem is that Samsung releases so many models you might be overwhelmed by the sheer number of options available at every price point, and wonder if some of them are redundant.
You will discover that you can get extremely similar specs under a different shell wearing the same Samsung brand. To help you trim down the options a bit, we highlight five of the best Samsung smartphone models that we think were genuinely worth spending money on in 2021.
Let’s get right to it!
#5. Samsung Galaxy A52 5G
The Samsung Galaxy A52 5G is one of the best low-cost smartphones with 5G. It performs well enough due to Samsung's well-optimized version of Android.
The display is anything but great, but it is good enough for streaming and productivity apps.
If there is one major aspect to complain about is the cameras. There is no optical stabilization and the photos are not great by today’s standards.
#4. Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
Folding phones are coming back. The Z Fold was among Samsung’s first, but it is not as appealing as the Galaxy Z Flip.
The Samsung Z Flip is much cheaper than the Z Fold, but the Z Flip’s hardware and cameras are excellent, and it became extremely small and portable when folded.
The only complaint about it is the small battery capacity which should not be much of a surprise due to its form factor.
#3. Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
The Galaxy S20 FE is an upgrade of the A52, with slightly better hardware and better cameras. It is a bit more expensive than the A52, but you get more when you pay more.
If you want a device that offers excellent value for money and you are not keen to buy the current Samsung flagship phones, then you should consider the Galaxy S20 FE.
#2. Samsung Galaxy Note 20
If you want a flagship with a large display and a stylus that matters, the Note 20 (Released August 2020) seems like the most reasonable choice. It is not always necessary to upgrade to the Note 20 Ultra if you are on a budget as you pay more when you might not really need all the other bells and whistles besides a stylus that the Ultra offers.
The Note 20 offers everything you would expect from a flagship device from Samsung, which means excellent performance, an amazing display, superb cameras, and a productivity-oriented Android wearing the One UI 2.5 skin.
#1. Samsung Galaxy S21
Released January 29, 2021, the Galaxy S21 is arguable the best flagship smartphone available right now. The only reason one would get the S21 Ultra is the upgraded cameras.
That does not mean that the S21 does not have great cameras. It performs great even in low light conditions. The device uses the same Snapdragon 888/Exynos 2100 CPU just like the Ultra. At the same time, it is a much better price.
We’d venture to say that out of all the available Samsung phones in Singapore, Brazil, Great Britain, the US, or wherever else in the world you can get a Samsung smartphone, the Galaxy S21 offers the best value for a flagship device in our view.
But, in the end, it all comes down to your budget and how much you’re willing to spend on a phone. What is true, though, is that the above-mentioned models offer the best value for money in their price range.