Samsung is one of the biggest and renowned phone making companies and has brought a great change to our lives by creating smartphones that are trendy, wieldy and feature-rich. Samsung has launched best premium mobiles like the Galaxy S8 as well as plenty of great affordable phones that are available at half the price of Samsung S8 and S8 Plus, still offering some excellent features.
In the flooding market of great smartphones, sometimes you find yourself torn apart between different aspects of a phone. The best mobile phones will take place of your camera, allow a full working day of calls and web browsing without the need for a recharge. The screen will mean pictures and videos look great and text is clear. The apps will run smoothly.
Samsung Galaxy J1 – Best Samsung phone:
Samsung might be most well-known for the flagship Galaxy S line, but if you don’t want to spend hundreds of pounds to get a smartphone, there is option of this best Samsung phone J1 for you. The Samsung Galaxy J1 is around £80 SIM-free and is about as cheap as a smartphone gets.
The Samsung Galaxy J1 doesn’t have a premium design but it does have a pretty nice look for the money. It a compact one measuring 129×68.2×8.9mm and is also light weighing 122g. It means you can easily tuck into the smallest of bags and pockets and you can also use it hours on end with getting wrist ache.
The Samsung Galaxy J1 has a plastic build with Samsung style with a physical home button and slightly curved edges making it comfortable to hold. Other than screen, the phone doesn’t feature metal or glass, but it looks like a phone double its cost and that is pretty impressive.
The Samsung Galaxy J1 features a 4.3 inch 480×800 display with 217 pixels per inch. This is a fairly small size but it contributes in making it a distinctly compact phone. Though it is not the best canvas for watching movies, but it makes it all the more portable.
And also its fairly low resolution and small size is not such an issue as with pixel density is almost on par with slightly more expensive Moto E (2nd gen). Pit it against a higher resolution phone, you will find the relative lack of clarity, but on its own it is not bad at all, especially for its money.
Inside the Samsung Galaxy J1, there is a 1.2GHz dual-core processor humming away, and it is paired with 512MB of RAM. These are not so high end specs. The processor is a match for Moto E which is one of its main competitors likely, but it has half the RAM of that phone.
The J1 has still got enough power to run Android comfortably and you can smoothly use it for media, calls, apps and web browsing, which means while it is not up to demanding games, it has covered the smartphone’s basics, which you can really hope for at this price. But a little disappointment is that it uses Android 4.4.4 KitKat, instead of Android lollipop.
For the money, the J1 has got a really good camera with a 5 MP snapper on the back and a 2 MP on the front. The video is capped at 720p and 30fps. The phone comes with a flash so you can shoot in darker environments.
The phone comes with 1850 mAh battery which provides up to 10 hours of talk time or 40 hours playback music and you can also enable Ultra Power Saving mode to eke out more life if you run low. It holds 4GB of built-in storage and a microSD card slot supporting up to 128GB. The connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.0, 3G, Wi-Fi and HSPA+.
- Solid design
- Low cost
- Decent battery life
- Only 4GB built-in storage
- Lacking power
- Older android version
The Samsung Galaxy J1 is the best Samsung phone at this price. It is super affordable and compact and does the basics well.
Samsung Galaxy J3 – Best Samsung Phone
The Samsung Galaxy J3 looks similar to the J5 but it is a touch more compact. It features 5 inch screen with a 1,280×720 resolution. The phone uses an AMOLED panel which is a real rarity in this price bracket. The AMOLED brings with it a sharp 720p resolution and a color and vibrancy-packed image that most budget handsets can’t get near. It provides perfect inky black level to ensure images look incredibly punchy solid.
Another amazing feature Samsung added in this phone is the Outdoor mode. Next to brightness, you will find here a tickbox for ‘Outdoors’ instead of an ‘auto mode’ tickbox. Enable this and the brightness will be pumped up for up to 15 minutes making it easier to use in bright sunshine.
The Samsung Galaxy J3’s design is finished in bland, matte plastic all over but it also feels solid. Its case doesn’t bend or creak unduly and the buttons depress with a good, solid click. The Samsung Galaxy J3 is a robust-feeling smartphone despite its budget appearance.
The Samsung Galaxy J3 features an 8 megapixel rear camera and a 5 megapixel front-facing camera, and it looks pretty standard. It doesn’t feature any fancy autofocus mechanism or optical image stabilization, but the quality is decent for a phone at this price.
It is a decent performer, both indoors and outdoors. The J3 lacks the feature that Samsung Galaxy J5 comes with, which is the propensity to overexpose highlights when faced with scenes that contain lots of light and shadow detail. But in J3, enabling HDR somewhat fixes this problem but also slows the processing of images down by a few seconds. And here comes the fact that the images also get noisy and fuzzy in good light. Generally, it is rather slow to focus and the video capture only goes as far as 720p.
The Samsung Galaxy J3 runs Android 5.1.1 and TouchWiz. It is simple and prettier than it used to be. Dig a little deeper and you will also find plenty of satisfying things. You can add folders to apps menu, change its arrangement and also use themes to reskin the phone. And there are also plenty of freebies.
The J3 features a Spreadtrum quad-core 1.2GHz processor that uses cores of the aged Cortex-A7 32-bit architechture, alongside 1.5GB RAM. There is also a microSD slot beneath the backplate rear panel, which means you can expand the phones 8GB of internal storage. It is not a fast chipset and SoC doesn’t appear to be as reliable as other common Qualcomm alternative.
The Samsung Galaxy J3 features a battery that sound about right for the spec. it comes with a 2,600mAh battery which you can replace easily, which is not the case with many phones.
- Color-rich screen
- Not very powerful
With slim design and a bright screen, the Samsung Galaxy J3 makes a good impression and is one of the best Samsung phones.
Samsung Galaxy Note 5 – Best Samsung phone:
Samsung has applied the design language used with the Galaxy S6 to the Note 5. The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 shines with an aluminum frame and Gorilla Glass 4 covering the front and the back. The most striking thing about the design is its rounded rear edges. The bezels surrounding the display are very narrow, especially next to those curved edges and they look amazing. In terms of design quality, Samsung has taken a real leap forward.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is certainly beautiful. The materials used and the design make it feels like a more premium device as compared to its predecessors in the series. But sadly it has a few typical Note features such as the battery is non-replaceable and there is no microSD card slot.
Its display is more comparable with the display of Galaxy S6, both with the resolution of 2,560×1,440 pixels. But the Galaxy Note 5 features a bigger display 5.7 inches compared with 5.1 inches, and that’s why the pixel density is lower, 518 pixels per inch.
The special feature of the Note series is the S Pen. The exciting feature of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5’s S Pen is its ejecting mechanism. This means that by pressing the thruster on the end, its stylus pops out from its housing and you can easily pull it out.
The pen can be used in two modes. While the phone is in standby mode, pulling it out starts the minimalistic launcher, whereas removing the stylus when the phone is unlocked launches Air Command. This displays a list of S Pen-specific apps for you to access quickly. To use the stylus for typing, you have to change the keyboard to pen input, and you can find this to the left of the spacebar on the Samsung keyboard.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 runs on the powerful Exynos 7420 processor, which has eight cores with a clock speed of more than 2.1 GHz. It features 4GB of RAM, and as with the Galaxy S6 Edge+, you get to choose between 32GB and 64GB versions.
In memory and processor speed performance, the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 sits somewhere between the Sony Xperia Z5 Compact and the S6 Edge+. A 4 GB of memory should get you a decent multi-tasking performance, but unfortunately, the Note 5 seems to be a little letdown.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 features a mono speaker at the bottom-right. It requires you to play with the equalizer settings to get a fine sound. Its audio is good but not overwhelming. The Note 5 lacks one of the key features of Note 4, which was its fantastic voice recorder. The voice recorder of the Note 5 is totally average.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 comes with a fantastic camera which can satisfy professionals, even when in the subway, in an elevator or under office lighting. It has the fantastic ability to change exposure and focus. There is also an ‘AF/AE lock’ feature that allows you lock the camera’s focus when photographing or filming subjects that are standing or sitting.
- Great display brightness
- Integrated stylus pen
- Extremely fast, quality camera
- Poor sound quality
- Lousy multi-tasking
The Samsung Galaxy Note 5 is a great device, both physically and visually and is one of the best Samsung phones.
Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge – Best Samsung Phone:
Samsung designed the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge as a showpiece. This is a phone that will grab your attention. Its audacious curved screen is complemented by bashed shiny metallic colors. The way S6 catches and reflects light makes you turn it over just to admire it. Its front is all glass and its metal sides frame it in sweeping curves. Its back is also of glass.
The phone doesn’t appear to have any screen borders on the right or left, and this gives the whole unit an elongated look even though the proportions are pretty much similar to the Galaxy S6. Below the screen is the physical home button that has an integrated fingerprint sensor which works with only a tap, and you don’t need to swipe across it. There are capacitive Recents and Back buttons to the sides to the home button, and light up when touched.
The back of the phone is as slippery as that of the S6, but it is even more difficult to grip this phone because of its narrow, somewhat sharp sides. This makes you feel a bit worried in case it slips and drops.
The volume and power buttons are in the same places on both sides of the phone. The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge has moved its Nano-SIM card tray to the top, to one side of the infrared emitter. The camera bulge is just as pronounced on both phones, but that looks more odd with the slick design here. The phone has a sealed in battery and there is no microSD card slot for storage expansion.
Samsung twins, the S6 and S6 Edge, have similar specifications except for the battery capacity. The battery capacity of the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is higher at 2,600mAh compared to 2,550mAh in the Samsung Galaxy S6. Both phones are available with 32GB, 64GB or 128GB internal storage, with no scope for expansion.
The in-house Exynos 7420 SoC has four 1.5GHz ARM Cortex-A53 processor cores as well as four 2.1GHz ARM Cortex A-57 cores paired with integrated Mali-T760MP8 graphics. It features 3GB of RAM, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and Wi-Fi b/g/n/ac.
With identical components and capabilities, the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge performs just as well as the Galaxy S6. There are subtle variations though, which are within the range of normal variations from run to run. The built-in speaker is distinct and clear, but the sound it produces is not very rich. The camera quality is excellent. With almost no perceptible noise, close-ups are richly detailed and photos taken in low light are also incredibly good.
- Premium, eye catching design
- Stunning camera
- Fast, slick and powerful performance
- Disappointing battery life
- No microSD or waterproofing
- Edge screen offers very little
The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge is one of the best Samsung phones. It features fantastic look with plenty of power and an impressive camera.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge – Best Samsung Phone:
The most immediate difference between the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge and its predecessor you will notice is the phone’s size. The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge comes with a 5.5 inch display which makes it noticeably larger than the “standard“ Galaxy S7. The more screen is good for all your gaming and media consumption needs. When it comes to one-handed usability, the phone takes a small hit, but because of the way it curves down, it doesn’t make a big difference.
Though Samsung managed to sneak in a few tweaks in the design, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge looks very similar to its predecessor. When compared to the S6 Edge, the camera bump has been noticeably reduced. It still bulges outs a little but is a lot less inconvenient than the camera bump on its predecessor.
The S7 Edge is marginally thicker than S6 Edge and S6 Edge Plus. The added thickness actually helps in grip, and this thicker profile, as an added bonus, means Samsung crammed in a larger battery. It is probably the most helpful design change found on the Galaxy S7 Edge. Between the slightly thicker design, curved back and the larger screen size, Samsung managed to create an extremely comfortable phone.
On the front, there is a home button flanked by the back button and a recent apps key. The front-facing camera and all the typical sensors are found here as well. The right side of the phone has power button and volume keys are located on the left. There is nothing up top except the SIM/SD Card slot. On the bottom, there is a headphone jack to the left, the single speaker to the right and the microUSB slot in the middle. The phone also features a fingerprint sensor.
In terms of display, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge continues the legacy. While the super AMOLED display of the S7 Edge is very similar to the screen of S6 Edge, this time Samsung bumped up the size going from 5.1 inches to 5.5 inches. Though this results in lower pixel density of 534ppi vs. 577ppi on the S6 Edge, but the real world difference is negligible. The larger size also means a better experience for playing games, watching movies and pretty much anything else you might want to do.
The phone’s AMOLED is great with everything amazing including saturated and vibrant colors, inky dark blacks, great viewing angles and brightness that is more than enough while using the phone outdoors.
In most markets, the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is powered by Exynos 8 Octa (8890), consisting of quad-core 2.6GHz Mongoose+quad-core 1.6GHz Cortex-A53 and is backed by a Mali-T880 MP12 GPU and a 4GB of RAM. However, in the United States and China, the phone is shipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 530 GPU which consists of a dual-core 2.15GHz Kryo and dual-core 1.6GHz Kryo, with Adreno 530 GPU and 4GB of RAM.
The S7 Edge offers an IP68 rating which means it should be able to survive full submersion in water up to 3 feet deep for up to 30 minutes. The phone’s waterproofing utilizes a gasket inside of the phone and a part of this gasket comes out with the microSD/SIM card holder. Therefore, if the SIM tray is not firmly inserted, you could be in for a nasty surprise if somehow this thing meets the water.
It comes with 12MP camera with an f/1.7 aperture lens and other camera features include phase detection autofocus, optical image stabilization, dual pixel technology and LED flash. It has noticeably faster autofocus over competing flagship smartphones. There are also plenty of modes for video recording. You will find a 5MP camera on the front and it’s like all typical front-facing cameras.
- Larger curved screen
- Larger battery
- Extra navigation tools
- Minor lag in TouchWiz
The gorgeous Samsung Galaxy S7 edge makes the best Samsung Android phone.
Choosing the best Samsung phones
We have rounded up different ranges to help you choose between best Samsung mobile phones:
Samsung Galaxy S range – the Samsung is best known for its S series of high-end smartphones. With sleek design, high quality large screens and lighting fast processors, the S range is designed to compete with iPhones. The Samsung S7 and the Samsung S7 Edge are great and cost around £544 and £583 respectively. If you don’t want to own a new phone, you can find cheaper deals on old models.
Samsung Galaxy A range – A range is one of Samsung’s mid-market ranges. The included phones are very similar with elegant metallic casings and good camera specs. These are differentiated by screen size, though. The Galaxy A3 and A5 cost £250 and £350.
Samsung Galaxy J range – these phones are also mid-market but are a bit cheaper than A-range phones. One reason of A-range being more expensive than J range is the more advanced cameras that A-range mobiles feature. The best affordable Samsung phones of J range such as J3 and J1 cost $160 and $87.88 respectively.
Samsung Galaxy Note range – you may remember the news regarding the production halt and recall of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 due to battery cells catching fire. But apart from that, this range does include models such as Samsung Galaxy Note 5 at $498 can be considered as one of the best Samsung phones.