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Best Samsung phones 2022

Samsung Galaxy S22 and S21 camera units
(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung isn't just the biggest phone manufacturer in the world. It consistently makes incredible phones with outstanding hardware design and consistently reliable software. By and large, its 2021 phones, from flagships to $100 budget phones, delivered consistently high quality, and are still worth buying today. But Samsung's new 2022 Galaxy phones top the best Samsung phones today, with the Galaxy S22 Plus as our current favorite. From premium foldables to cheap budget models, consider these phones first.

Best overall: Samsung Galaxy S22+

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S22+

A beautiful design that we've come to know and love

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous 120Hz AMOLED panel
+
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with Sub-6 and mmWave
+
Reliable cameras
+
Five years of updates including platform upgrades until Android 16
+
45W fast charging

Reasons to avoid

-
Gets a little warm when gaming
-
No microSD slot
-
No bundled charger

It may not be very compact, but the Galaxy S22+ has a lot to offer, even though it is priced exactly the same as its 2021 predecessor. Samsung took last year's design and finessed it, replacing the curved glass back with a flat one and possibly giving us the best-looking S22 of them all. The 6.6-inch AMOLED screen is larger but still has a 120Hz refresh rate, so you get those velvety smooth interactions for everything from browsing, scrolling through social media, and gaming.

You also get the latest internal hardware in the form of a Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset with Sub-6 and mmWave 5G connectivity as standard. There's no microSD slot or a charger in the box, but the base version comes with 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage. You also get reliable cameras, decent battery life, and all the extras you care about: IP68 water resistance, 15W wireless charging, and reverse wireless charging.

Of course, the best part about the Galaxy S22+ is the software; Samsung will deliver monthly security updates, four guaranteed Android version updates, and five years of patches. That alone makes the S22+ stand out from its rivals, and the fact that it gets more platform updates than Google's own Pixel 6 Pro is just the icing on the cake. But what really makes this the best Samsung phone is that it hits a sweet spot. It costs $200 less than the beefed-up S22 Ultra, but you get the same powerful chip. It also has a much better battery life than the smaller S22, its cheaper counterpart. So if you want the best of Samsung without going broke, the S22+ is the overall best phone of them all.

Best flagship: Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra burgundy colorway

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra

The standard for 2022 flagships

Reasons to buy

+
Sublime QHD+ AMOLED panel
+
Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 with global 5G
+
Comes with built-in S Pen
+
Stellar battery life
+
Outstanding, improved cameras

Reasons to avoid

-
Heavy
-
No microSD slot
-
No bundled charger

If you're looking to upgrade to a flagship with all the bells and whistles, the obvious choice would be the Galaxy S22 Ultra. Samsung reserved its best innovations for the S22 Ultra this year, with the phone featuring a 6.8-inch QHD+ AMOLED screen with a dynamic refresh that scales from 1Hz to 120Hz and samples touch at 240Hz.

It also gets the latest cameras, including an upgraded 108MP primary lens, two zoom lenses that deliver 10x and 3x optical zoom, and a 12MP ultra-wide-angle shooter. In short, the S22 Ultra delivers considerable camera upgrades over the S21 series. Just like the S22+, it also starts at exactly the same price as its predecessor.

This year's interesting addition is a newly-added space for the S Pen, allowing you to store and carry Samsung's stylus inside the phone. The device comes with the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset and delivers outstanding performance gains across the board. The 5,000mAh battery lasts more than a day, and the new design is striking — particularly with the matte finish.

There isn't a charger in the box, and you are missing out on a microSD slot this generation too, but with 128GB of storage for the base version, you don't have to worry about running out of storage. With the S22 Ultra, you're getting a flagship worthy of the name. If you're in the market for a Samsung flagship, you cannot go wrong here.

Best value flagship: Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

(Image credit: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

Get more features for a little less money

Reasons to buy

+
Incredible 120Hz display
+
Snapdragon 888 chipset
+
Great cameras
+
5G connectivity
+
4,500mAh battery with 25W fast charging

Reasons to avoid

-
No headphone jack
-
Plastic back
-
Costs more than S20 FE

The Galaxy S21 FE fundamentally changes the value equation for Samsung, and it continues to be one of the best Android phones you can buy even a year after its release. The phone offers most of the same features as last year's Galaxy S21, but the fact that it is available unlocked for $700 or even lesser sometimes makes it a standout value.

The Galaxy S21 FE is powered by the same Snapdragon 888 chipset in the Galaxy S21 series, so you also get 5G connectivity. It offers the same excellent AMOLED screen and has a 120Hz refresh rate, making everyday interactions buttery smooth. However, the best part is that it has the same 12MP primary sensor as the regular S21, ensuring you get the same great caliber of photos in any lighting condition.

Samsung hasn't removed any of the extras either. The Galaxy S21 FE has IP68 dust and water resistance, 15W wireless charging, and even 5W reverse wireless charging. The 4,500mAh battery lasts all day without any issues, and there's 25W wired charging as well.

The Galaxy S21 FE comes with One UI 4 out of the box, ensuring you get Android 12 from day one. The only downside with the phone (if you can call it that) is that it has a plastic back instead of glass, but the matte texture masks its plastic build. If you're looking to save some cash, you can pick up the S21 FE instead of the regular Galaxy S21. Some may even choose the S21 FE over the Galaxy S22.

Best for productivity: Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Taking notes with the S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3

Unlock the future

Reasons to buy

+
Fold-out screen is great for productivity
+
Now works with the S Pen
+
Solid internal hardware
+
Much more durable design
+
120Hz screens inside and out
+
IPX8 water resistance

Reasons to avoid

-
No zoom lens
-
Average battery life
-
Costly

The Galaxy Z Fold 3 is evidence that foldables are going mainstream. Samsung didn't change the design too much from the previous Z Fold 2, but there are several refinements that make the latest foldable stand out a lot more.

For starters, the Z Fold 3 has a much more durable design thanks to a new aluminum alloy chassis, and the phone picks up IPX8 water resistance as well, putting it on par with true flagships. Because the Z Fold 3 is launching in lieu of the Note series, Samsung has enabled S Pen integration this time around, and you can use the stylus with the device just as you would a phone in the Note portfolio.

That's possible because of the new plastic layer on the screen; Samsung went with a new material that's thinner, more durable, and mimics the feel of glass, so you'll feel like you're using a regular phone when interacting with the inner screen. That has been a big issue with previous foldables, so for Samsung to fix this issue is a huge deal.

There are considerable upgrades on the hardware front as well. The Z Fold 3 features robust internal hardware in the form of the Snapdragon 888, and you get 120Hz AMOLED panels for the inner and outer screens this time, ensuring smooth visuals in daily use. You also get 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage as standard, and while Samsung has retained the same cameras as last year, the Z Fold 3 delivers much better photos thanks to better software tuning.

As for the software, you'll find One UI 3.1 based on Android 11 out of the box and you can update that to One UI 4/Android 12 right away. The device will get three Android version updates as well as four years of security updates. Since the Android 12 update has already rolled out, that leaves Android 13/One UI 5 and Android 14/One UI 6 upgrades down the line.

At full price, it's $200 less than the Z Fold 2 but still more than twice the price of the S21. Thankfully, it's been significantly discounted in recent months; combined with the right trade-in deal, you may be able to snag one for about the same price as a regular Samsung flagship.

Best foldable: Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 in hand, unfolded

Source: Nick Sutrich / Android Central (Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3

The obvious foldable choice

Reasons to buy

+
Durable design with water resistance
+
Larger cover screen
+
Great cameras
+
Unique foldable design
+
Powerful internals

Reasons to avoid

-
Costly
-
No zoom lens
-
Battery doesn't last as long as regular flagships

The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is one of the most intriguing phones out there. Like the Z Fold 3, the device has a durable chassis that's resistant to water ingress, and there's a new plastic cover for the screen that feels like interacting with a regular glass panel.

Compared to the Galaxy Z Flip, it also received lots of interesting changes to the front. The cover screen is significantly larger than the preceding Flip, making it that much more useful for viewing incoming notifications and calls. The phone itself is nearly identical to last year's Galaxy S21+ in terms of hardware, featuring a 120Hz AMOLED screen — one that folds in half — along with the latest internal hardware and great cameras.

The folding screen makes the Z Flip 3 one of the most compact devices you can find today; the unique design makes it easily pocketable, and you can always fold it out to access the sizeable inner screen. The one issue with the device is its battery; the diminutive battery barely lasts a day with a full charge.

While the Z Flip 3 is worth buying at full price, keep in mind that some carriers will give you one for free or at a major discount if you trade in a cheap or older smartphone when you buy it.

Best for Note fans: Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

(Image credit: Daniel Bader / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

The ultimate phone for proper Note fans

Reasons to buy

+
Best stylus experience
+
Outstanding performance
+
Large AMOLED screen
+
Excellent battery life and fast charging
+
Expandable storage

Reasons to avoid

-
No headphone jack
-
Still expensive
-
Might be too big for some

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the last of the Note series, so if you're interested in a traditional high-end phone with a large screen, this should be your obvious choice. The phone has a massive 6.9-inch Dynamic AMOLED panel, and it is powered by the Snapdragon 865+ chipset. You also get 12GB of RAM as standard, with storage options from 128GB to 512GB.

The Note 20 Ultra is the phone to get if you want one of the largest phones in the market, even today. The large screen is ideally suited for games and consuming videos. The 120Hz AMOLED panel has outstanding colors, delivers HDR10 content in Netflix and other streaming services, and you get stereo sound.

Then there's the stylus. If you're used to a stylus on earlier Note devices, there's plenty to like on the Note 20 Ultra. Samsung made it easier to take notes thanks to lower latency, and there are better handwriting recognition features that make the device an ultimate tool for productivity.

You also get a 108MP camera at the back, a 12MP zoom lens that goes up to 50x hybrid zoom, a 12MP wide-angle lens, and a 10MP camera at the front. There's the ability to shoot 8K video, Wi-Fi 6 and global 5G connectivity, IP68 water resistance, wireless charging, and that bold design looks outstanding.

Look, there's nothing really missing here, and if you're considering a phone for productivity, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is a great choice. The only potential downside is that, as a 2020 phone, you'll get three OS updates and four years of security updates. As the Note 20 Ultra ships with One UI 3.1/Android 11 and One UI 4/Android 12 has already been rolled out, it's left with two more major platform updates.

Best mid-range option: Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G in hand

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G

The best mid-ranger from Samsung yet

Reasons to buy

+
Gorgeous design
+
120Hz AMOLED screen
+
Expandable storage
+
Stellar battery life
+
Four years of updates

Reasons to avoid

-
Comes with bloatware
-
No 4K video at 60fps
-
No headphone jack

The newly-revealed Samsung Galaxy A53 5G comes with some excellent perks, making it the mid-range phone to beat in 2022. The Galaxy A53 5G continues the legacy of the top-tier A series smartphones from Samsung, bringing you great cameras, outstanding battery life, expandable storage, and more.

The phone has a 120Hz AMOLED display — just like the Galaxy S22 — and a gorgeous design on the back with a matte finish that makes it easy to hold and use. An unspecified 5nm octa-core processor powers the phone, and it comes with 5G connectivity. You also get a 64MP camera on the back that takes great photos in just about any lighting scenario, and the phone works with all 5G carriers in the U.S.

Just like the Galaxy A52 5G, the A53 5G also has IP67 dust and water resistance, making it immune to the elements. The phone will also get four guaranteed Android updates along with monthly security updates, and in this regard, it is identical to the flagship S22 series. You will find much bloatware out of the box, but you can uninstall it easily. For what you'll ultimately pay for the Galaxy A53 5G, you will get a brilliant phone.

Best on a budget: Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

(Image credit: Ara Wagoner / Android Central)

Samsung Galaxy A42 5G

Lowering the barrier for 5G

Reasons to buy

+
5G on a budget
+
Amazing battery life
+
Striking design
+
Powerful hardware
+
Three years of updates

Reasons to avoid

-
720p display

If you're looking for a more budget-focused option, the Galaxy A42 5G may just be the ideal phone for you. The phone is powered by the same Snapdragon 750G platform as the A52 5G, and that means you get incredible hardware that's designed to last for a few years with ease. You also get Sub-6 5G connectivity, and if you're looking to make the switch to 5G, the Galaxy A42 5G lets you do so on a budget.

The phone has an alluring design on the back, and it comes with a 48MP camera that takes great photos — as well as a 20MP selfie camera that's decent in its own right. You also get an AMOLED screen, and while the 720p resolution isn't ideal, it still has some pretty vibrant colors.

But the standout feature of the Galaxy A42 5G is the battery life. With a 5,000mAh battery under the hood, you'll easily get two-day battery life out of the phone. Samsung will deliver three Android updates to it, making the phone an excellent overall choice if you're looking for a 5G-enabled device on a budget.

Best entry-level pick: Samsung Galaxy A12

Samsung Galaxy A12

(Image credit: Samsung)

Samsung Galaxy A12

A reliable budget pick

Reasons to buy

+
Two-day battery life
+
Modern design aesthetic
+
48MP camera
+
3.5mm jack
+
Stellar value

Reasons to avoid

-
Older chipset
-
Screen limited to 720p

Want a Samsung phone for less than $200? Then you should take a look at the Galaxy A12. The phone has a massive 5,000mAh battery that easily lasts over two days on a full charge, and you get a 48MP camera on the back, decent hardware that's reliable in daily use, and a modern design that belies the A12's budget roots.

The phone has a 6.5-inch 720p display, and while it isn't as vibrant as the AMOLED panels that Samsung uses on the rest of its portfolio, it gets bright and doesn't have too many issues. The software will also be familiar if you've used a Samsung phone in the past, and overall the Galaxy A12 has the basics covered if you're in the market for an entry-level phone.


The Galaxy S22+ is the best Samsung phone in 2022

Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus

(Image credit: Michael Hicks / Android Central)

The Galaxy S22+ is Samsung's best phone in 2022 and the default choice for people who want to upgrade to a flagship, narrowly beating the S22 due to the battery. The 120Hz AMOLED display is sublime, the internal hardware is the fastest of any phone today, and you get Sub-6 and mmWave 5G connectivity as standard. The camera at the back takes amazing photos. You get wireless charging and IP68 water resistance, and good battery life. There isn't anything missing here, and it offers just the right features at just the right price point.

Then there's the Galaxy S21 FE. Again, the phone destroys its rivals when it comes to value, and it is great to see Samsung offer such an attractive option for considerably less than its regular flagships. The 12MP camera takes gorgeous photos. The 120Hz AMOLED screen is fantastic to use. It has wireless charging, IP68 water resistance, and a large 4,500mAh battery. If you want a value flagship right now, this is the phone to get.

But if you are interested in a true flagship with all the latest tech, you will want to look at what the Galaxy S22 Ultra offers. The phone is the only one in the Galaxy S22 series to feature a QHD+ AMOLED screen and it comes with a built-in S Pen. It has the latest Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 silicon along with massive camera upgrades and all the extras you'll need. Keep in mind that you'll be paying your way to greatness for this ultra-premium phone, as it has an ultra-high price tag to go with it.

On the lower end, Samsung offers the Galaxy A53 5G with hints of the flagship Galaxy S models trickled down to a mid-range price that can be incredibly appealing if you can't push your budget as high as the S21 FE. The Galaxy A53 5G has a 120Hz AMOLED screen, 5G connectivity, and powerful hardware designed to last several years.

Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor covering Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone manufacturers, and writes about the semiconductor industry, storage servers, and audio products. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.