June 10, 2023

$100 at Amazon

The Samsung Galaxy A12.

Galaxy A12

Simply the fundamentals (Replace: Restricted availability)

Samsung has a rising assortment of Galaxy telephones to select from. If in case you have an enormous price range and need a large display with Samsung’s greatest digicam, the $1,200 Galaxy S23 Extremely is your most suitable option. However there’s additionally the budget-friendly Galaxy A12, which prices lower than $200. On prime of that, there are many selections in between.

Samsung simply launched the Galaxy S23 lineup in February, which means you should not have to fret about these fashions feeling outdated anytime quickly. We’ll replace this checklist periodically as we take a look at extra Samsung gadgets. 

Samsung Galaxy telephones in contrast

Mannequin US beginning worth (at launch) Display screen dimension
Galaxy S23 Extremely $1,200 6.8 inches
Galaxy S23 Plus $1,000 6.6 inches
Galaxy S23 $800 6.1 inches
Galaxy S21 FE $700 6.4 inches
Galaxy A53 5G $450 6.5 inches
Galaxy Z Fold 4 $1,800 6.2 inches (cowl); 7.6 inches (principal)
Galaxy Z Flip 4 $1,000 1.9 inches (cowl); 6.7 inches (principal)
Galaxy Z Flip 3 $900 (new lower cost as of 8/22) 1.9 inches (cowl); 6.7 inches (principal)
Galaxy A12 $180 6.5 inches

Learn how to decide the precise Samsung cellphone for you

Like many buying selections, deciding which Samsung cellphone is best for you comes all the way down to what you need in a cellphone and the way a lot you are prepared to spend. If you need the biggest display obtainable on an ordinary Samsung cellphone, take pleasure in notetaking with a stylus and want a digicam with a considerably nearer zoom, the Galaxy S23 Extremely is the precise selection. However you may additionally should be prepared to spend greater than $1,000 until you rating a trade-in deal. 

Those that do not want the stylus, desire extra compact gadgets and nonetheless need a top-notch digicam ought to contemplate the Galaxy S23 or Galaxy S23 Plus. And for those who actually simply need the fundamentals, like a spacious display, 5G and a good digicam, contemplate the Galaxy A53 5G. These in search of the flashiest tech round — who even have deep pockets — ought to contemplate the Galaxy Z Fold 4 or Galaxy Z Flip 4. Samsung usually releases new variations of its foldable telephones in August, so contemplate whether or not you’d quite wait to see what the subsequent mannequin has in retailer.

It is also vital to think about whether or not now’s the precise time to improve. If in case you have a comparatively new cellphone that is two to 3 years previous and nonetheless features correctly, you may in all probability wait. Samsung has additionally dedicated to supporting 4 generations of Android working system updates for gadgets just like the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy A53 5G, which improves their longevity.


Watch this: Galaxy A53 5G Overview: Samsung’s $450 Telephone Feels Extra Costly Than It Is

Discovering the very best Samsung cellphone will finally come all the way down to choice. Selecting amongst so many choices can get difficult, so here is how you can resolve which Samsung cellphone is greatest for you. Try our cellphone shopping for information for extra recommendations on how to decide on the precise machine. Undecided whether or not it is value upgrading to the Galaxy S23? We have now a information for that too

Finest Samsung telephones in 2023

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
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The Galaxy S23 is loads, however in a great way. It is greater than most individuals want in a cellphone, however that does not make it any much less spectacular. Samsung made enhancements to the digicam’s decision (200 megapixels in contrast with 108 megapixels), colour tones and dynamic vary, whereas retaining the identical edgy design and large 6.8-inch display as its predecessor. There’s additionally a brand new Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor that is been optimized particularly for Samsung’s telephones, which brings quicker efficiency in contrast with the Galaxy S22 Extremely. 

Beginning at $1,200, it could be an understatement to name this cellphone costly. However these prepared to pay extra for a large display and a high-quality, versatile digicam will not be upset. Learn our Samsung Galaxy S23 Extremely assessment.

The Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
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The Galaxy S23 Plus is the Goldilocks of smartphones. It isn’t too huge, however it’s not too small both. The S23 Plus’ 6.6-inch display is massive sufficient to fulfill those that desire bigger telephones, however it would not really feel as gargantuan because the 6.8-inch Galaxy S23 Extremely. In contrast with the Galaxy S22 Plus, the S23 Plus has a brand new processor, a much bigger battery and extra storage within the base mannequin, though the digicam is kind of the identical. If you need a cellphone with an enormous display that does not really feel gigantic, a high-quality digicam and a pretty design, the Galaxy S23 Plus is the way in which to go. Learn our Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus assessment.

Samsung's Galaxy S23
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Android followers in search of a petite cellphone do not have a lot to select from. However the 6.1-inch Galaxy S23 gives a compelling possibility for many who need a cellphone that feels compact however nonetheless gives sufficient display area. The Galaxy S23 comes with routine upgrades like a contemporary processor (a model of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 that is been optimized for Samsung’s telephones), a barely new design and a higher-resolution selfie digicam. But it surely’s the Galaxy S23’s bigger battery that makes it value recommending. Learn our full assessment of the Galaxy S23.

Samsung Galaxy A53 5G
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The Galaxy A53 gives the fundamentals for roughly half the value of the Galaxy S23. It has a a lot bigger display and extra versatile digicam than Apple’s budget-friendly cellphone, the $429 iPhone SE, although Apple delivers snappier efficiency. 

Nonetheless, Samsung followers will admire what they’re getting right here contemplating the reasonably priced worth. The Galaxy A53 5G has an ultrawide lens for taking images with a broader subject of view and likewise helps night-mode pictures. Picture high quality is not pretty much as good as what you’d get on a costlier Samsung cellphone just like the Galaxy S21 FE or Galaxy S22, however it’s definitely clear and colourful sufficient for primary pictures. Different highlights embody a long-lasting battery, 4 assured generations of Android working system updates and a microSD card slot for expandable storage.

Total, the Galaxy A53 5G is an appropriate selection for many who prioritize having a big display and lengthy battery life for lower than $500. Simply remember you might need to take care of some occasional lag, and the digicam is not as superior as these discovered on pricier telephones. Additionally keep in mind that Samsung simply introduced the Galaxy A54, which fits on sale in April. Learn our Samsung Galaxy A53 5G assessment.

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 standing on end
James Martin/CNET

Normally priced at $1,800 (yikes!), the Galaxy Z Fold 4 nonetheless prices considerably greater than your common smartphone. However the newest model of Samsung’s book-style foldable is crammed with small enhancements that add as much as a way more nice total expertise. The hinge is thinner, the machine is barely lighter and the duvet display is a bit wider, making it really feel extra pure to make use of as a cellphone when closed. That is on prime of different routine smartphone upgrades like a greater digicam that is just like the Galaxy S22’s and a brand new processor. Our reviewer Patrick Holland referred to as it his “favourite Android pill.”

If you have already got a Z Fold 3, it isn’t value upgrading. However for those who’re prepared to spend huge (or can discover a good trade-in deal) and are keen on a cellphone that may double as a pill, the Z Fold 4 is the way in which to go.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 assessment.

Galaxy Z Flip 3 unboxing
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If the Galaxy Fold is a pill that folds in half to turn into a cellphone, the Z Flip is a cellphone that folds in half to turn into a smaller cellphone. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 is a technology older than the newly launched Galaxy Z Flip 4. However we suggest it over the Z Flip 4, because it’s cheaper whereas nonetheless providing lots of the similar advantages. The Z Flip 4 has a brand new processor, bigger battery, a brand new principal sensor for taking higher low-light images and a barely tweaked design. Which may sound like loads, however these modifications come collectively to make solely a barely improved expertise over final 12 months’s Flip 3.

With the Z Flip 3, you are still getting a 6.7-inch show that folds in half and might simply slide right into a denims or jacket pocket. The duvet display can be the identical dimension on each telephones, and the Z Flip 3 and 4 every have related cameras and 5G connectivity. At round $1,000, it is now probably the most reasonably priced foldable cellphone Samsung sells. Until yow will discover the Z Flip 4 at a reduction that makes it the identical worth because the Z Flip 3, we suggest going for final 12 months’s cellphone.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 assessment.

The Samsung Galaxy A12.
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The Galaxy A12 is among the most cost-effective telephones Samsung sells and it is the one to think about for these of you who merely need a cellphone for all of life’s necessities. For those who do not take care of extravagant cameras or supercomputer-levels of processing energy, you will not should pay for them with this mannequin. It would not have 5G, however it does have 4 rear cameras, a 6.5-inch show and a capacious 5,000-mAh battery. Given the widely low calls for of the specs, that battery ought to simply final a full day.

The digicam is among the largest components that distinguishes the Galaxy A12 from Samsung’s different cheaper telephones. Throughout CNET’s testing, the Galaxy A12 took noticeably higher images than the cheaper Galaxy A03S and Galaxy A02S, particularly in low gentle. Simply keep in mind you may doubtless have to purchase a microSD card because the A12 solely comes with 32GB of built-in storage. 

Simply keep in mind, there are newer variations of this cellphone, together with 2022’s Galaxy A13 and the just lately launched Galaxy A14, each of which assist 5G and provide different enhancements. We’ll replace this story as soon as we have examined these gadgets. Because the Galaxy A12 is an older machine, it is also getting tough to seek out. Nevertheless, you may nonetheless discover a refurbished model on Amazon or a brand new mannequin from AT&T.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy A12 assessment.

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The primary S20 “Fan Version” severely impressed us with its stability of efficiency and worth, and the Galaxy S21 FE took that additional in 2022 with a stable triple digicam, a vibrant show and the identical highly effective processor discovered within the Galaxy S21 from 2021. It has a 6.5-inch display, making it a great selection for many who need a cellphone that is bigger than the common Galaxy S22 or S23 at a extra affordable worth. Though it is lacking a few of the Galaxy S22 and S23’s bells and whistles — like improved night time pictures and a more recent processor — this cellphone has a sharper front-facing digicam for selfies and video calls.

The Galaxy S21 FE faces some robust competitors from Google’s Pixel 6A, however for those who’re after a terrific total Samsung cellphone and do not need to pay prime greenback for the flagships, then the S21 FE is effectively value contemplating.

Learn our Samsung Galaxy S21 FE assessment.

Samsung cellphone FAQs

Why purchase a Samsung cellphone as an alternative of different Android telephones?

The suitable cellphone for you relies on quite a lot of components, resembling your price range, your present cellphone and whether or not you personal different cellular equipment from the identical firm (like earbuds or smartwatches). Many individuals desire to stay with telephones from the identical firm as a result of the expertise is extra constant and there is much less of a studying curve when switching to a brand new machine.

The identical holds true for Samsung; the corporate’s One UI software program (its personalized model of Android) could be discovered throughout its cellphone lineup. Samsung’s One UI 5 launched a extra customizable lock display and the flexibility to reply a cellphone name via a textual content message as an alternative of talking.

Consistency apart, there are some advantages to picking a Samsung cellphone over gadgets from different Android cellphone makers. Samsung normally excels on the subject of show high quality and brightness, and it usually gives plenty of selection when it comes to dimension and pricing. Samsung telephones normally provide first rate battery life — particularly the middle-sized to massive telephones — and the cameras are normally among the many greatest, particularly on the Galaxy S23 lineup. Samsung additionally gives 4 years of Android model updates for many of its new smartphones, which is longer assist than even Google gives for its Pixel telephones.

Nevertheless, Google’s Pixel gadgets even have stellar cameras together with particular software program options you may’t get elsewhere. The OnePlus 11 can be cheaper than the Galaxy S23 Plus and Galaxy S23 Extremely at common worth and not using a trade-in and gives quicker charging speeds. It may very well be a better option for many who need to pay rather less however nonetheless need a large 6.7-inch display and triple rear digicam.

Which Samsung cellphone sequence is greatest, Galaxy A or Galaxy S?

Samsung’s Galaxy A and S households serve totally different functions, so which one is best for you will rely in your wants and price range. The Galaxy A lineup is Samsung’s midtier and price range line, and it is your best option for those who’re in search of a cellphone beneath $500 and not using a trade-in deal. These telephones usually provide core options like an enormous display, massive battery and a number of cameras at a less expensive worth. 

However you additionally get what you pay for. Samsung’s most cost-effective telephones have very restricted space for storing, poorer cameras in comparison with the pricier fashions and generally battle with juggling a number of duties. Nevertheless, costlier telephones just like the Galaxy A53 5G present nearly all the pieces most individuals need in a primary cellphone, though you may nonetheless should compromise a bit on digicam high quality and basic efficiency. 

The Galaxy S sequence, then again, is Samsung’s flagship smartphone line. Galaxy S telephones normally embody the very best tech that Samsung has to supply on the time and embody options you’d anticipate on any high-end cellphone, resembling a premium design, 5G assist, screens with excessive refresh charges and a number of high-end cameras. The largest updates that launched with the Galaxy S23 lineup, for instance, included the bump to a 200-megapixel principal digicam on the Extremely and greater batteries for the smaller fashions. Nevertheless, you may should be prepared to pay a whole lot of {dollars} greater than you’d for a Galaxy A sequence cellphone generally. 

How we take a look at Samsung telephones

We take a look at Samsung telephones just like the way in which we take a look at most smartphones: by evaluating core traits like digicam high quality, battery life, software program, efficiency, design and total worth in comparison with competing gadgets. 

To evaluate the digicam high quality, we take images in varied lighting situations to see how the digicam performs in several situations. Then, we examine these outcomes to the identical images taken on competing gadgets or earlier fashions (in lots of instances each.) We additionally take a look at varied capturing modes utilizing totally different lenses, particularly specializing in new or distinctive options (just like the Galaxy S23’s Extremely’s zoom). 

We usually take a look at battery life by assessing how lengthy the battery lasts throughout a typical day, and by seeing how shortly the battery drains after streaming a YouTube video for 3 hours at full brightness. This take a look at is not at all times included in our preliminary assessment as a result of it will possibly take a full day to finish since we normally run it thrice to verify outcomes are constant. Older evaluations previous to 2023 used a unique battery drain take a look at that assessed how lengthy the battery lasts throughout steady native video playback.

Efficiency is measured anecdotally by utilizing the cellphone and thru benchmarking apps. Design is subjective, however we search for issues like construct high quality, how snug the cellphone feels to carry and the way a lot display area it gives for the scale. For software program, we search for distinctive options that is probably not obtainable on different telephones, ease of use and replace longevity. 

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