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The Best Samsung Smartphones to Buy in 2024

It will be a while before we get to know the successors to the Galaxy A34 and Galaxy A54. But the Galaxy S24 series is brand new and is of course be covered here. You can find the models in the section dedicated to the Galaxy S-Class.

Don’t be surprised that none of the new models appear in the first table of the best Samsung smartphones. Like last year, we’re holding off on this step until we’ve had a chance to take a closer look at the S24 devices.

The best Samsung Galaxy phones compared

As of February 2024, you will be able to find Samsung smartphones from five different product families on the market. Each of these normally occupies its very own price niche. We have divided this article into the various product families accordingly, revealing our favorites for each product family to you and, of course, presenting the alternatives. The shortcuts in the table of contents will take you directly to the respective Galaxy series.

Table of Contents:

Editor’s choice: Galaxy S24 Ultra

Samsung Galaxy S24 Ultra with the S Pen protruding from the bottom part
The Galaxy S24 Ultra once again welcomes the Galaxy Note orphans. / © nextpit

Samsung’s 2024 update to its flagship model, the Galaxy Ultra, at first glance (and second, and third) looks exactly like its predecessor.  In true “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” fashion, the S24 Ultra brings small design changes, with some refinements in display, camera, and of course, performance. Firstly, the display is flat, as can be seen in the picture above, which solves problems when using the S Pen around the edges. 

Not only the S24 Ultra pack the latest and fastest Android chip for 2024, the Snapdragon 8 Gen 3, Samsung is heavily touting its own “Galaxy AI” sauce to improve the overall experience with the phone, with some useful features and other not so much. Performance clearly outmatches 2023’s phones, even if frame delivery consistency is not the best.

Finally, the camera is “always good no matter the conditions” according to my colleague Antoine Engels, who also found that the change from 10x optical zoom to 5x made sense for most usage scenarios. Even if going beyond that magnification leads to some color inconsistencies, and worse image quality when compared to the S23 Ultra.

Read the Galaxy S24 Ultra review

Best foldable: Galaxy Z Fold 5

Good things are not cheap, and cheap stuff are not good. So the same goes with the Galaxy Fold 5.
The Galaxy Z Fold 5 looks very much like its two predecessors but packs all the tech that Samsung has to offer. / © nextpit

This pick is not really targeted towards existing Galaxy Fold owners, as—similar to the S24 Ultra—the Galaxy Z Fold 5 doesn’t exactly change much in comparison to the third and fourth generations. Still, the Fold 5 is the refinement of what is arguably the most reliable and durable foldable phone on the market, but it charges a steep price for the privilege.

You will find all the best features available in the market in 2023, a bright and fast display, top-notch performance (until the 2024 models begin to launch, that is), excellent cameras, great battery life, and the best update support among foldable…

But there are still some trade-offs to be found besides the high price: The Fold 5 gets hot in more demanding tasks (e.g. gaming or navigation), charging is not particularly fast despite the marketing branding, and while there is support for the S Pen, the stylus requires a special case to be stored with the phone. That may be the price to pay to have the tech tour de force in your hands…

Read the Galaxy Z Fold 5 review

Best mid-range alternative: Galaxy A54

Samsung Galaxy A54 display highlight
The Galaxy A54 can only be distinguished from the S line because of its thicker borders around the display. / © nextpit

If your requirements or budget are not as high as what our top picks offer, the Galaxy A54 is probably the best balance between price and features in the Samsung line-up. Surely, it won’t run games with all the latest bells and whistles but will run them nonetheless. Photos won’t be as sharp, and the lack of a telephoto camera means you will have to zoom with your feet.

If you don’t need the best camera in the category, nor a speed record breaker, you will find a reliable and capable phone in the Galaxy A54: A clean software installation, great display, good battery life (with “not so fast” charging), and once again, the best software support in the price range, making it suitable to gift to a relative, have it as a backup phone, or even resell it down the line.

 Read nextpit’s review of the Galaxy A54

Samsung Galaxy Z: Foldables from $999 to $2,259

August 2021 marked a paradigm shift for Samsung’s smartphones. Instead of a new Note generation, the South Koreans introduced two foldables from the Galaxy Z series: the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Galaxy Z Flip 3. With the Galaxy Z Fold 4 as well as the Galaxy Z Flip 4, Samsung followed up with optimized versions in 2023. Samsung now continues this path with the Galaxy Z Flip 5 and Z Fold 5 and updates both models in a rather conservative fashion.

The Fold remains the most impressive from a technical point of view. Samsung has packed everything into it that is possible—including S-Pen support and a camera hidden in the display. However, the wow factor is higher with the Galaxy Z Flip, which is really super-compact when folded—and it should also be clearly ahead of the Fold in buyers’ favor. Visually, the significantly larger cover display of the Galaxy Z Flip 5 is striking. Furthermore, both models now fully close flat when folded.

In addition to the current models from 2023, you can also find the predecessors in the table. Since their prices have dropped rapidly since their launch, these older devices could be a good opportunity for you to get a taste of the Foldables game.

The following two links tell you what the basic differences are between Samsung’s 2023 and 2022 generations of foldables, including our impressions on the latest models.

Samsung Galaxy S: Flagships from $599 to $1,299

Samsung presents new Galaxy S models in the first quarter of each year. This happened a little earlier than in previous years in mid-January 2024. As always, the portfolio includes the base model Galaxy S24, its big brother Galaxy S24+, and finally the top-of-the-range Galaxy S24 Ultra. All three models are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 3 chip in North America, while the two cheaper models are equipped with the Samsung Exynos 2400 chip in other markets.

All three models have been moderately improved in terms of hardware: slightly more performance, better telephoto camera (S24 Ultra), slightly larger displays and batteries (S24 and S24+), and brighter panels. The big trump card that Samsung wants to play in 2024 is the Galaxy AI platform, which comes with powerful AI features.

In addition to the three new devices, the table also shows last year’s S-Class alternatives. Late last year, the Korean company also announced the more affordable Galaxy S23 FE out of a hat, as a kind of link between the mid-range and high-end. Of course, you can still keep your eyes open to possibly purchase a 2022 model from the S22 series at a reasonable price. These smartphones also have nothing to hide in terms of performance in 2024.

Keep in mind, however, that devices this old will not receive many updates, even from Samsung. Unlike the S24 series, for which Samsung is promising seven major Android updates and seven years of security updates for the first time.

Samsung Galaxy A: Mid-range smartphones from $160 to $550

The Galaxy A series begins from $160 onwards and goes all the way to just under $600 featuring 256 GB of storage space. This means that mid-range handsets are more broadly positioned than many other smartphone manufacturers with their entire portfolio. The handsets of the Galaxy A series from 2022 and 2023 are—as far as we have reviewed them—a rock-solid choice in any case.

nextpit already reviewed 2023’s Galaxy A34 and A54, which unsurprisingly scored the same as their predecessors, with good enough (but not class-leading) performance, camera, and battery life.

You can read more about the differences between the Galaxy A and Galaxy S series in the following article:

Samsung is, of course, not alone in the market with its Galaxy A series devices. If you are looking for alternatives outside the Samsung bubble, we would recommend this article on the best mid-range smartphones to choose from. 

Samsung Galaxy M: Entry-level handsets from $100 to $250

Samsung has placed its entry-level phones under the Galaxy M series. The smartphones cover a price range between $100 and $250. Unfortunately, we have not had the chance to review any of the Galaxy M series to date and therefore, we are unable to provide you with any recommendations. 

Samsung Galaxy M32
Galaxy M: This is the name of the entry-level smartphones from Samsung that fall within the $100 to $250 price range. / © Samsung

We are still working on obtaining review units of the Galaxy M models in the future. Until then, you will find our favorites in the following linked article of the best sub-$200 smartphones.

Samsung Galaxy Xcover: Rugged smartphones

When you first take a look at the technical specifications, the Galaxy XCover series is not very sexy at all. But you will definitely receive maximum protection with the IP68 rating. This means these smartphones should definitely be able to survive everyday sports or even get abused at a construction site. After all, the most modern hardware is of little use to you if the smartphone screen cracks on its very first drop. 

Take note that there is also an Enterprise Edition of these handsets. These models offer an extended warranty as well as options for remote maintenance and management by administrators.

How to buy smartphones at great prices

Depending on when you read this article, the wait for discount campaigns or sales can be even more worthwhile. These are campaigns such as Black Friday, where you can pick up smartphones for a wee bit cheaper than usual. I have collated the information for you in the following table.

We want to hear from you! Have you checked out our recommended Samsung devices list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below. We value your feedback!

Last updated in February 2024 with impressions on the S24 Ultra and other top picks. Older comments were retained and may refer to outdated versions of this guide.

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