The best Samsung smartphones available in 2020
Looking for the best Samsung phones? Samsung's product lines, particularly the prestigious Galaxy series, include a wide range of models for different types of users, and there is something for every budget. Picking one yourself can be difficult, but we've fully tested the range to create our list of the best Samsung smartphones.
After long discussions, we ended up on the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus as our choice for the best Samsung smartphone overall, but we have suggestions for the best Samsung smartphone under $ 500 and the best productivity smartphone from Samsung, among others. Our list of the best Samsung phones includes details on the specifics as well as links to detailed test reports for each phone. Check below which phone is best for you.
Best Samsung phones at a glance
Best Samsung smartphone overall: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus (test)
Best productivity Samsung smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus (test)
Best Samsung smartphone under $ 500: Samsung Galaxy A51 (test)
Best Samsung smartphone under $ 300: Samsung Galaxy A50 (test)
Best rugged Samsung smartphone: Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro (More information)
Best Samsung smartphone overall: Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus
Andy Boxall / DigitalTrends.com
Why You Should Buy This: You get a slim, lightweight smartphone with a nice screen, a camera that performs great in most environments, and great battery life.
$ 1000 from Amazon
Who it is for: Anyone looking for the latest smartphone from Samsung - it will be difficult for you to find a better one.
Why we chose the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus: The well-proportioned S20 Plus is neither too big nor too small. With a 6.7-inch AMOLED screen and a slim, lightweight design, it weighs only 6.5 ounces and is 0.3 inches thick. As you'd expect, it costs a little more than its stable mate, the Galaxy S20, but less than the larger Galaxy S20 Ultra. It is available in different colors, including the (rather bleak) Cosmic Gray, Cosmic Black and the striking Cloud Blue.
One of the best things about the S20 Plus is its screen - with a refresh rate of 120 Hz and a resolution of 3,200 x 1,440 pixels, it offers a fantastic dynamic range with strong, vivid colors.
The S20 Plus is a powerful smartphone, although the processor differs depending on the place of purchase. Qualcomm's Snapdragon 865 processor is what you get when you buy in the United States. In the UK and Europe, the S20 is sold with Samsung's Exynos 990 chip with 12 GB RAM and 128 GB storage (available with an upgrade to 512 GB). While there isn't much of a difference between the two, some independent testing advances the Snapdragon 865's Adreno 865 graphics chip, which means that you may have a longer battery life when using the full resolution screen or playing on your phone. The handset itself is light and does not heat up when playing, even if the settings are maximum.
You won't run out of battery either, thanks to the powerful 4,500 mAh battery that takes a fair amount of work for you all day long, including playing and watching videos. On days when you use your phone only moderately, the battery of the S20 Plus doesn't even run out of juice. Did we mention the cameras? The 64-megapixel telephoto camera has a 3x optical zoom, a time-of-flight camera and a 12-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera. A dedicated night mode works well in dark environments, there is 8K video recording, and the single-take mode, in which multiple photos and videos are recorded with all of the phone's cameras, is great for times when you can't make up your mind whether you want to share still images or videos on social media.
The S20 Plus is also 5G capable. So when the new network arrives in your region, you're ready to go.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus review
Second: Samsung Galaxy S20
Samsung Galaxy S20 smartphone
If your budget isn't quite up to the S20 Plus, the Galaxy S20 is a great alternative that's around $ 300 cheaper. With a slightly smaller screen (6.2 inches compared to the 6.7-inch screen of the Plus), the S20 has the same processor as the S20 Plus, although it has a 4,000 mAh battery and the rear-view camera is more of a triple as a quadruple lens. It also weighs a little less at 5.7 ounces. So if you prefer more compact, lighter phones, the S20 is probably the better phone for you.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy S20 review
Best productivity Samsung smartphone: Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus
Andy Boxall / DigitalTrends
Why You Should Buy This: You get a stylish phone with an impressive dynamic 6.8-inch AMOLED screen and useful productivity features like converting handwriting to text.
$ 702 from Amazon
Who it is for: Anyone who takes notes on their phone and wants more than the standard functions.
Why we chose the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus: Although it is larger and wider than the Note 9 and will be a two-handed device for most, the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus is super thin and light and weighs 6.9 ounces. If you have a chance, choose the Aura Glow color with its striking, dazzling chrome surface. The Note 10 Plus has a dynamic 6.8-inch AMOLED screen with a resolution of 3,040 x 1,440 - it is also HDR10 + certified, although the refresh rate is only 60 Hz, which is a little disappointing.
If you buy in the US, you get the Snapdragon 855 processor from Samsung - elsewhere the Exynos 9825 - and 12 GB of RAM. This makes the Note 10 Plus an excellent multitasker with 256 GB internal memory (or the 512 GB model) and a microSD card slot and a 4,300 mAh battery that should accompany you on most days with a lot of change. The phone comes with a 25-watt charger that supports Quick Charge 2.0. It takes a little over an hour to reach full charge. However, it is worth using the 45 watt charger separately if you need a full charge within 30 minutes. 15W wireless charging is supported, as is PowerShare wireless, so you can charge other Qi-certified devices with your phone.
The Note 10 Plus doesn't disappoint on the front of the camera with three cameras: a 12-megapixel main lens, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens and a 16-megapixel ultra-wide-angle lens and a flight time sensor. It's fun to play around with some Live Focus effects, e.g. B. Color Point, with which the background is shown in black and white and the motif in color.
The S Pen offers some new features like Air Actions that let you move the pen like a magic wand to control apps, and fun additions like AR Doodle that let you sketch in 3D with the phone's camera. In terms of productivity, the handwriting to text conversion feature is useful for many users, although this only works with MS Word and text is pasted into a text box. So you have to cut and paste it if you want to create changes.
It's worth noting that the standard Galaxy Note 10 Plus isn't 5G capable and only supports Wi-Fi 6 and LTE, although a Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G model is available. You can now buy the standard version from Amazon for a shade under $ 900.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Plus review
Second place: Samsung Galaxy Note 10
Andy Boxall / DigitalTrends
Our runner-up is the Galaxy Note 10, which saves you around $ 150 less than the Note 10 Plus. Weighing only 5.9 ounces, its smaller size and the 6.3-inch screen with a resolution of 2,280 x 1,080, it is an excellent runner-up. It has three camera lenses, 8 GB RAM and the same processor as the Note 10 Plus. Although it only has a 3,500 mAh battery, it comes with a 25W quick charger and supports 15W wireless charging. The Note 10 is definitely worth considering if you have a smaller alternative to the Note 10 Plus to prefer.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy Note 10 review
Best Samsung smartphone under $ 500: Samsung Galaxy A51
Samsung Galaxy A51 Main
Why you should buy this: It is a fantastic mid-range phone with a slim design, an excellent OLED display and a quad lens camera.
$ 325 from Amazon
Who it is for: everyone on a budget who is looking for the best for their money - or an alternative to the iPhone SE.
Why we chose the Samsung Galaxy A51: The Samsung Galaxy A51 is hard to beat for less than $ 500. The 6.5-inch OLED display and super slim bezel give the phone an elegant look and it's also light. Get the eye-catching blue prism option if you can, and take a microSD card to expand the phone's memory to 512GB - it has 128GB of storage and 4GB of RAM.
The Galaxy A51 is equipped with the Exynos 9611 CPU from Samsung - comparable to the Snapdragon 665 (which is used in the Moto G Power). One area that really makes this processor stand out is gaming. You should be able to run even the most demanding games, but strangely, the phone occasionally stutters with more basic tasks.
If you're a fan of the headphone jack, you'll be happy to see one here, and there's no fingerprint sensor on the back of the A51. Instead, you get an optical in-display scanner, which is generally very responsive unless your hands are wet. The quad lens camera has a 48-megapixel main sensor, a 12-megapixel ultrawide sensor, a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 5-megapixel macro sensor to meet all of your photographic needs - though focusing on low light can be a problem.
Android 10 is immediately ready for use on the A51 and Samsung's One UI is installed. With a 4,000 mAh battery, you should get by with a battery most days. While the base model doesn't support 5G, you can opt for the A51 5G model so you're ready when the network arrives near you.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy A51 review
Second: Samsung Galaxy A70
Samsung Galaxy A70 smartphone in blue
The Samsung Galaxy A70 is currently available for less than $ 350 on Amazon and runs on Android 9.0 Pie. It has a 6.7-inch Super AMOLED screen, a Snapdragon 675 processor, 6 GB of RAM and 128 GB of storage. Add to that a triple lens camera and a 4,500 mAh battery that supports 25W quick charge, and you get an impressive smartphone for under $ 500.
Best Samsung smartphone under $ 300: Samsung Galaxy A50
Why You Should Buy This: If you're on a budget, this is one of the best phones under $ 300 with its 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display, triple-lens camera, and impressive battery life.
$ 260 from Amazon
Who it is for: small budget buyers looking for a stylish, slim phone that offers an impressive processor and all-day battery life.
Why we chose the Samsung Galaxy A50: For less than $ 300, the Galaxy A50 with its impressive 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen with a resolution of 2,340 x 1,080 offers the best display you can get find that price. The A50 has Samsung's Exynos 9610 processor, 4 GB of RAM and 64 GB (or 128 GB) of internal storage, which can be expanded with a micro SD card up to 512 GB. This is a solid mid-range processor that is comparable to the Snapdragon 670 (also used in Google Pixel 3a). Although it does a great job, it can get a little hot when playing the latest games with maximum graphics.
The A50 has a headphone jack and a three-lens camera with a 25-megapixel sensor, an 8-megapixel ultra-wide sensor and a 5-megapixel depth sensor, and a 25-megapixel front camera for selfies. The 4,000mAh battery provides enough juice to survive a busy day, although charging with a 15W charger is a bit slower than some Samsung flagship phones, and wireless charging is not supported. On-screen fingerprint recognition is a reliable feature that provides a significant boost for such an inexpensive device, although a slight delay is expected when used compared to conventional capacitive sensors.
You can now buy the Samsung Galaxy A50 for just under $ 300 on Amazon (prices may vary on other networks).
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy A50 review
Second: Samsung Galaxy A20
Samsung A20 smartphone in black
With its 6.4-inch Super AMOLED screen (1,560 x 720 pixel resolution), the Exynos 7904 processor with 3 GB RAM, a 4,000 mAh battery (with 15 W quick charge) and a dual lens camera the technical specifications of the Galaxy A20 are impressive. It may only have 32 GB of onboard storage, but it can be expanded up to 512 GB with a micro SD card. You can now pick up the Samsung Galaxy A20 from T-Mobile for around $ 250.
Best robust Samsung smartphone: Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro in black
Why You Should Buy This: It's a rugged, military-grade phone with IP68 protection against sand, water, dust, and dirt that can withstand drops of up to 5 feet - and it has a replaceable 4,050 mAh battery.
$ 500 from Amazon
Who it is for: Those who are looking for a robust phone that can withstand everything.
Why we chose the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro: Although it was designed for industrial use, the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro is a good choice for those who have a hard time. It withstands falls of up to 5 feet, has protection class IP68 and is therefore dirt, dust, water and sand resistant. It is MIL-STD-810 certified, which means that it cannot be packaged at high altitudes or in hot conditions. However, this phone offers more than just robust features: it has a 6.3-inch 1080p edge-to-edge display with Gorilla Glass 5 and a 2 GHz octa-core octa-core processor Samsung Exynos 9611 with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal memory (this can be upgraded to 512 GB with a Micro SD). The screen has advanced touch features so you can use it with wet hands or gloves and run Android 10 and Samsung One UI 2.0 on the phone.
The best feature is the replaceable 4,050 mAh battery, which supports and exchanges 15 W of fast charging, not to mention the pogo pin connectors for docking or connecting accessories such as scanners and card readers. The XCover Pro is EMV Level 1 certified and can use it as a POS terminal.
There are two cameras on the back - a 25-megapixel main camera and a secondary 8-megapixel ultra-wide camera - as well as a 13-megapixel front camera and a headphone jack so you don't have to worry about losing your WiFi Earphones at work. You can now buy the XCover Pro from Amazon for under $ 500.
Read more about the Samsung Galaxy XCover Pro
Second place: Samsung Galaxy S10e
Julian Chokkattu / Digital Trends
You may be wondering why we installed a phone that is not particularly robust as a runner-up. You can buy a Rebel Armor military case for the S10e for under $ 20 on Amazon with 10 feet of impact resistance, a solid core frame, and edge-to-edge rubber protection to absorb shocks. We picked the phone ourselves because it has a smaller screen than many of the Samsung smartphones on our list - 5.8 inches - with a dynamic AMOLED display, Full HD + resolution, and HDR10 + certification. The S10e is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor with 6 GB RAM and 128 GB internal memory and a MicroSD card slot and runs with Android 9.0 Pie and the One UI interface from Samsung. The only disadvantage? The 3,100 mAh battery supports Quick Charge 2.0 and Fast Wireless Charging 2.0 and should accompany you on most working days. However, if you are planning a late one, pack your portable battery. You can currently buy the S10e from Verizon for under $ 600.
Read more in our full Samsung Galaxy S10e review
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