Finder's team looked into every phone that Samsung offers consumers here in Australia, including some last-generation devices like the Galaxy S20, to pick out which models are the best of the best. We dug through dozens of product pages and read hundreds of customer reviews to make sure we made the right choices.
Samsung makes plenty of devices on all ends of the price spectrum, but its latest flagship phone, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G, is far and away the best of the bunch.
Performance and battery life on the S21 Ultra 5G is nothing short of impressive. In our review, the phone posted stellar benchmark scores and even maxed out one test. It lags a bit behind the A14 Bionic chip found on Apple's latest iPhones, but it's still one of the snappiest Android devices on the market. Its 5000mAh battery is enough to keep the behemoth device powered throughout the day, too.
The S21 Ultra 5G is a sizable step up from the S21 and S21+. You're getting a 6.8-inch Quad HD+ display, an improved front-facing camera, four rear cameras instead of three, and 100 times Space Zoom (compared to 30 times zoom on the S21 and S21+). There's also support for Samsung's S Pen on the Ultra, a feature typically reserved for Galaxy Note devices. While you're getting plenty of extra features, you'll have to ask yourself if it's worth the whopping $350 price premium over the standard S21.
The bump in specs also means that the S21 Ultra 5G is a far bulkier phone than the other S21s. It is 27 grams heavier than the S21+ and weighs 58 grams more than the S21. It's also a millimetre thicker than both models, so it's not best suited for those who prefer a more compact phone.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is well-liked by customers, with the phone boasting an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 on Google from more than 17,000 reviews. Buyers loved the phone's screen, especially when the refresh rate was at 120Hz. Users were also pleased with the phone's battery life, from which many could squeeze more than a day's worth of usage. Some were unhappy with the death of expandable storage on the S21, though.
As Samsung's latest flagship, the phones in the Galaxy S21 line-up represent the best of what the Korean giant can serve up. While the standard S21 5G leaves out a couple of features only available on the top-spec S21 Ultra, the phone still packs a heap of hardware into a stylish package, making it the runner up best Samsung phone on the market.
Samsung refined the design of the Galaxy S21, making several noticeable changes from its previous-generation devices. The phone's back panel is now plastic rather than glass, and the SIM slot now lives next to the USB-C port. Arguably the biggest change is to the camera housing, which seamlessly integrates with the phone's design in what Samsung calls its "contour cut" camera cut-out.
The screen on the S21 is a little different from previous generations. The S21 has a slightly less impressive flat FHD+ panel instead of the QHD+ one found on the S20. In reality, most people are unlikely to spot the difference on a screen of its size. The display keeps the 120Hz refresh rate from last year, making the whole phone feel more responsive.
The Galaxy S21 makes gains by being the first phone in the Galaxy S-series line-up to come with 5G as standard, but Samsung has stripped a much-loved feature from the phone: expandable storage. No longer can you slap a MicroSD card into your phone to instantly boost its onboard storage.
The Galaxy S21 5G earned a 4.5 out of 5 rating from more than 9,500 reviews on Google, with many users praising its snappy performance and 120Hz display. Some customers were chuffed with the more refined design on the S21 compared to its predecessors, too. Others were less pleased with the omission of the MicroSD card slot.
Released months after the S20, the S20 FE (Fan Edition) is a more budget-conscious version of last year's Samsung flagship. Keeping the best bits of its more premium sibling while tastefully cutting down on costs elsewhere, the Galaxy S20 FE is the best value Samsung phone you can get your hands on.
The phone has pretty powerful parts on the inside, with an Exynos 990 processor (the same found on the S20 and Note20), 6GB of memory, 128GB of internal storage and a decently sized 4500mAh battery. The phone's cameras are impressive too, with a triple-lens set-up on the back, 30x Super Resolution Zoom (which is just another marketing term like Space Zoom), and a 32-megapixel front-facing camera.
The S20 FE's screen has been downgraded from the S20, featuring a 6.5-inch FHD+ display rather than a QHD+ one. Still, it's a Samsung Super AMOLED panel, so you probably won't be disappointed. The screen's size fills a gap between the smallest and largest phones in the series, being bigger than the S20 and slightly smaller than the S20+.
The S20 FE is available in six different colours, so you can easily match your phone with your aesthetic. You can also choose between 4G and 5G models of the S20 FE, but if you want to maximise your network speeds, it'll cost you an extra $150 to go with the 5G variant.
The Galaxy S20 FE earned itself a 4.6 out of 5 rating from more than 53,000 reviews on Google, with happy customers complimenting the phone's camera and display. Some users weren't as pleased with the in-display fingerprint scanner.
Samsung caters to every end of the mobile phone market, and its A series devices are among the best budget models available. The Galaxy A32 is a stand out option with its giant screen and remarkable battery all crammed into a slim, refined chassis. At an asking price of $499 at launch, the brand new device is Samsung's best cheap phone.
The A32 is pretty similar to the previous-generation A31 when it comes to specifications, but it features a refined design that feels more in line with the rest of Samsung's current line-up. The most notable part carried over from last year's model is the massive 5000mAh battery, which the company says can keep the phone powered for up to two days.
The 6.4-inch Super AMOLED display is one of the better panels you'll find on a budget phone. It also gets decently bright, reaching 800 nits of brightness. The FHD+ resolution might leave a little to be desired, but it's the same as you'll find on the S21 for less than half the price. The least impressive part of the A32 is its processor, which isn't likely to hold up over time and could be insufficient for some uses today.
The A32 is by no means short on cameras. You'll find four of them on the back of the phone, offering everything from wide and ultra-wide shots from the 8-megapixel ultrawide shooter to sharp close-ups thanks to the macro lens. The front-facing camera is also impressive, packing in a 20-megapixel sensor for great selfies and video calling.
Since the phone has just launched here in Australia, there isn't much word from customers about how it performs. Some professional reviewers got their hands on the phone ahead of its launch, and many seemed to like the phone's screen and battery life, but noted that its slow processor hampers its day-to-day performance.
Samsung is obsessed with big phones, with none of its current devices measuring up at under 6 inches on the screen. Despite plenty of competition among its siblings, the gorgeous and enormous display found on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G makes it the best big-screen Samsung phone money can buy.
The Note20 Ultra 5G is a formidable phone, with a massive 6.9-inch QHD+ Dynamic AMOLED 2X display that's packed into a slim and refined form factor. The screen can run at 120Hz, giving it a much more responsive feel than devices running at the more standard 60Hz rate. Unfortunately, if you want to take advantage of that high refresh rate, you'll have to sacrifice some resolution. The Note20 Ultra 5G won't run above 60Hz if you're at the screen's QHD+ resolution.
There's plenty of tech inside the phone. There's a speedy Exynos 990 octa-core processor, 12 gigabytes of RAM, a 4500mAh battery and three cameras capable of taking stunning photos and videos. There's also the S Pen, which can be handy for power users and avid artists. All of that hardware makes the phone pretty hefty, weighing in at 208 grams. It's still lighter than the Galaxy S21 Ultra, though.
Users are fond of the Note20 Ultra 5G, with the device attaining a 4.5 out of 5 rating from more than 11,000 reviews on Google. Customers complimented the phone for its good battery life, design and performance. Many other buyers appreciated the continued inclusion of the S Pen. Some weren't too happy with the high refresh rate mode being locked to a lower resolution, though.
While not compact in the traditional sense, the 6.2-inch Galaxy S21 5G is one of Samsung's smallest phones. Thanks to the device's super-slim bezels, all of that screen is packed into a smaller, lighter shell, making it the best compact Samsung phone available here in Australia.
The S21 is a much smaller phone than basically everything else Samsung still makes, weighing just 169 grams. Because of the near-bezel-less design of the S21, Samsung was able to cram a big 6.2-inch display into the phone's relatively compact shell. Still, some might feel like that's a little big for their needs.
Keeping the attention on the screen, it's got a smooth 120Hz refresh rate. Many other compact phones on the market right now are still stuck at 60Hz. While that's a welcome improvement, the screen's resolution is FHD+, so while it's still one of Samsung's incredible AMOLED screens, it might not look quite as stunning as the one on the S21 Ultra. Another downside is the phone's battery life, which can leave the phone begging for a charger before the day is over. It makes sense, the phone keeps all of the high-end parts on the other S21 devices, but it's got the smallest battery of the bunch at 4000mAh.
The Galaxy S21 earned an impressive 4.5 out of 5 rating from more than 9,000 reviews on Google. Users were happy with the phone's comfortable size despite the substantial display. Some noticed that the phone's battery life wasn't spectacular, with their devices struggling to last a full day.
If you're looking for a unique phone that's sure to spark a conversation, your search can stop here. Samsung's second-generation Galaxy Z Fold2 5G brings with it plenty of improvements over its predecessor, making it the best folding Samsung phone money can buy.
The Z Fold2 represents the very best engineering from the folks at Samsung. There's no doubt that the giant, shiny and folding nature of the phone will catch plenty of eyeballs. It's not all about the looks, though. It's running on speedy hardware, so the phone feels responsive and quick.
The South Korean manufacturer made huge generational improvements to the folding phone that ironed out many initial issues that plagued the original Z Fold. The refined hinge, which has built-in "sweeper technology" to keep dust and dirt out of the phone's sensitive mechanisms, helps increase the phone's durability. The external and internal screen received sizable upgrades that make the Z Fold2 more usable and practical than its predecessor. The main 7.6-inch folding display is slightly larger than before and can run at 120Hz, and the cover screen jumped in size significantly to 6.2 inches (from 4.6 inches).
While the 256GB of storage found on the Z Fold2 will likely be more than enough for the vast majority of people, you'll be out of luck if you need more space since there's no handy MicroSD card slot on the $2,499 phone. That price tag, by the way, makes it the most expensive phone in Samsung's line-up and is even pricier than the most expensive iPhone.
While it's not a phone for everyone, those who've bought the Galaxy Z Fold2 5G seem to like it. It's earned a 4.7 out of 5 rating from more than 1,400 reviews on Google, which is the highest in this round-up. Customers loved the phone's innovative design and praised Samsung for improving many of the drawbacks from the previous generation. People were also impressed with how useful they found multitasking to be on the bigger 7.6-inch folding display.
Samsung stopped making "Active" versions of its flagship phones after the Galaxy S8 Active, but luckily the company still makes rugged phones for those who need them. With a tough exterior and features that make it ideal for use in rough conditions, the Galaxy XCover Pro is the best durable Samsung phone money can buy.
The Galaxy XCover Pro is for people who need a seriously durable phone for their day to day work, such as those working in industrial settings. While that means the phone is less sleek and thin, its ruggedised exterior means you'll have a much harder time doing any damage to it. Other bonuses include that the touch screen still works with heavy-duty gloves, and it meets military-grade standards that allow the device to withstand abnormally rough treatment. There's also the more standard IP68 water resistance rating, which is the same as the one found on the Galaxy S21 and Note20.
Those nostalgic for the pre-Galaxy S6 days of user-replaceable batteries will be happy with the XCover Pro. The included 4,050mAh cell easily slips out of the phone when it has run out of juice and can be swapped with a fresh battery.
There are a few compromises to having a rugged phone. The 6.3-inch display has a decent 2340x1080 resolution, but it's using a TFT panel rather than the bright and crispy AMOLED ones found on other Samsung devices. The phone's two rear cameras are poor performers and can't record video in resolutions higher than 1080p.
The Galaxy XCover Pro earned itself a 4 out of 5 rating from more than 350 reviews on Amazon, with customers praising the phone for its replaceable battery and ruggedised build. Some customers did run into a few issues with the phone's connectivity and network compatibility, though.
Making phones with great cameras has long been a focus of Samsung, but it has pushed the envelope even further with its latest and greatest flagship device. With four rear-mounted cameras, a 40-megapixel front-facing camera and 100x Space Zoom, the Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G is the best Samsung phone for any mobile photographers.
Samsung paid particular attention to the camera on the S21 Ultra, as it's the only model to have four rear-facing cameras. It also boasts a 108-megapixel wide-angle camera, capable of taking super sharp photos. You also get heaps more room for zoom on the S21 Ultra, with users able to see much further into the distance with 100x Space Zoom. For reference, both the S21 and S21+ have 30x Space Zoom. The front-facing camera also got an upgrade to 40 megapixels.
Unfortunately, all of this tech doesn't come cheap. The base model of the S21 Ultra will set you back $1,849, and if you want the highest storage configuration (which might come in handy if you're a super avid photographer), that will cost a whopping $2,149.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra 5G's reputation as a strong performer, both in photography and general use, is backed up by its 4.6 out of 5 rating from more than 17,000 reviews on Google. Users loved the phone's photo quality, highlighting how bright and sharp images typically turned out. Customers mentioned that photo quality noticeably decreases as zoom increases, and some also experienced issues with autofocus.
The vast majority of Samsung's phones come with 128GB of storage on the base model, including many entry-level Galaxy A devices. Flagship phones, like the S21, can be equipped with up to 512GB of internal storage.
While in the past, Samsung users have had the luxury of seamlessly expanding their storage through a MicroSD card slot, that's not the case anymore. You won't find a slot to boost your storage on any of the three Galaxy S21 models, and it's unlikely to make a comeback on newer flagship models as they're released. Those investing in one of Samsung's A-series phones are in luck as those devices seem to be keeping the slot (for now).
Samsung has a long-standing reputation for making huge phones, with its Note series first propelling "phablets" into mainstream acceptance about 10 years ago. The focus on big screens hasn't gone away. Instead, it has taken over. The Galaxy S21 is the smallest phone in the Korean giant's current line-up, and it has a 6.2-inch screen (almost a whole inch larger than the smallest iPhone). On the other end of the spectrum is the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, which boasts a 6.9-inch display.
You can find a Samsung phone at almost any price point, thanks to the company's much more extensive product line than competitors like Apple and Google. You can expect to pay at least $1,000 for any new high-end Samsung phone, with the Galaxy S21 sitting on shelves with a starting price of $1,249. The most expensive device in the line-up is double the price of the S21, with the Z Fold2 5G reaching a staggering retail price of $2,499. The Galaxy A12 is Samsung's cheapest phone at the minute, which costs $299 at its retail price. In reality, you can often find Galaxy A series phones on decent discounts, chopping $50 or more off that retail price tag.
For a while, Samsung valiantly kept the beloved 3.5mm headphone jack on its flagship phones even after most major players ditched it. Unfortunately, Samsung has also now dropped the port from most of its line-up. You can still find the jack alongside a USB-C charging port on Galaxy A series devices, but you'll only find a USB-C port on every new Galaxy Note, Z or S phone.
Samsung has an entire software division dedicated to smartphone security, making it a very wise choice if you're concerned about the security of your personal data. Which isn't to say that you don't also get fingerprint sensors for simple locking. It's just that on many models, especially in the premium space, you also get access to Samsung Knox.
Knox is a pre-installed enterprise-grade security application that partitions off any data you secure with it into its own encrypted enclave. This also means that you can set up a Samsung phone with Knox installed for both work and personal usage with your critical work documents safe from prying eyes and your personal data easily accessible and shareable.
The camera is one of the most important parts of any modern smartphone, as people want to snap, record and share more content more often. Samsung's high-end phones have always been good shooters, and its latest flagships are among its most impressive yet. Across the devices, you'll find 8K video recording, AI video stabilisation and as many as four rear-facing cameras. There's also up to 100x zoom, allowing you to capture plenty of detail from a distance.
Samsung hasn't left out Galaxy A phones, giving many of them multi-camera set-ups as well. Unfortunately, those phones often have fewer camera capabilities resulting in lower-resolution videos and less impressive photos than you might find on Samsung's best camera phones.
Network speed and support
As carriers across the country switch on 5G networks, more people can take advantage of the super-fast speeds that come with it. Luckily for those wanting to buy a Samsung phone, you've got plenty of 5G options. The Galaxy Z Fold2 was the first Galaxy phone to come with 5G as standard, followed by the Galaxy S21 this year. But you've been able to get Samsung phones with 5G support since the Galaxy S10 5G launched in 2019.
Wireless charging and quick charging
Wireless charging technology isn't new for Samsung. It's been available on its phones since the Galaxy S6 launched way back in 2015. For the moment, you'll only find wireless charging on Samsung's flagship phones, like the Galaxy S21 and Note20, but rumours suggest that the company could be bringing the technology to its Galaxy A phones in the future.
Samsung's quick charging tops out at 25W on its latest phones, which is a far cry from the 100W+ that some of its competitors advertise. While that means Samsung doesn't offer the fastest quick charging on the market, it can be safer and easier on your phone's battery, especially with the use of Programmable Power Supply (PPS) technology.
Many expect their phone to get them through a full day of use, and thanks to big batteries, there are plenty of Samsung phones that are up to the task. It's not uncommon to see batteries as large as 5000mAh in the company's phones, even on ones that cost as low as $499. Some of the more petite phones in Samsung's line-up have smaller batteries which might not last quite as long.
Most flagship phones on the market today come with some water resistance, but not all devices are made equal. Samsung's top of the line devices sport IP68 ratings, allowing them to remain submerged for up to 30 minutes at a maximum depth of 1.5 metres. Some of the company's Galaxy A devices also come with an IP rating, but it's usually the slightly lesser IP67 rating.
While knowing that your shiny new phone can withstand a bit of water can give you peace of mind, that doesn't mean you should constantly dunk the device underwater at every opportunity. These IP ratings are calculated in labs in specific conditions and don't necessarily reflect how the phone will react in saltwater at the beach or chlorinated pool water.
Samsung phones are no slouches. They consistently perform well in synthetic benchmarks, and their real-world performance in work, casual use and gaming is typically quite impressive. These speeds are thanks to the beefy processors on the devices, as well as plenty of RAM.
Most of Samsung's flagship phones found in Australia use Exynos chips rather than the Snapdragon processors found on some international models. The two most notable exceptions are the Galaxy Z folding phones and the 5G version of the Galaxy S20FE, which have Snapdragon chips at their core. Generally speaking, the Exynos chips perform slightly worse than their Snapdragon counterparts, but the average user won't really notice the difference in most scenarios.
1 Brands considered
32 Products compared
9 Best products chosen
We checked out all of Samsung's latest phones to find the best options currently on the market.
We selected the best models based on customer and in-house reviews, as well as by looking at each device's specifications.
The products on this list are chosen by our editorial team and are not selected based on commercial relationships.
We looked into all of the phones in Samsung's various mobile product lines, from Galaxy Z folding phones to entry-level Galaxy A devices, to figure out which are the best in each category.
Every phone on this list is available for purchase here in Australia (as of March 2021). Some new Galaxy A devices are just around the corner (and others have just come onto the market), so once they hit store shelves, you'll want to consider them, too.
We looked at all of the crucial specs to see how each device weighed up against the others and chose the best options based on the battery, camera, design, durability, build quality, screen size and display quality, performance and value for money.
After thoroughly researching each device and reading through hundreds of customer reviews (as of March 2021), we selected what we think are the top nine picks for anyone wanting to grab a new Samsung phone.
Samsung's premium smartphones are among the most popular in Australia, and that means that there's plenty of competition in the carrier space to offer the best deals on Samsung Galaxy S and Galaxy Note phones. There's less pressure on the Galaxy A series, although it does get offered by a few carriers. The Galaxy J series phones' low cost means that if they are offered by telcos, it's pretty much always on an outright basis to pair with a prepaid phone SIM.
Here are the latest models by default, but you can pick your own handset by clicking "remove all" under "Phones" and then selecting the specific Galaxy S and Galaxy Note handsets you want from the pop-up screen.
Jack Baker is a regular contributor at Finder, covering a wide range of technology and gaming issues. He's especially keen on PC gaming hardware and peripherals and Android phones, and he's always hunting down the best deals.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of banks, insurers and product issuers. We value our editorial independence and follow editorial guidelines.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product or service.
Please note that the information published on our site should not be construed as personal advice and does not consider your personal needs and circumstances. While our site will provide you with factual information and general advice to help you make better decisions, it isn't a substitute for professional advice. You should consider whether the products or services featured on our site are appropriate for your needs. If you're unsure about anything, seek professional advice before you apply for any product or commit to any plan and read any disclosure documents (such as any Target Market Determination (TMD) and/or Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)) issued by the provider before making a decision.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or 'Advertisement' are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment when you click on those buttons or apply for a product. You can learn more about how we make money.
When products are grouped in a table or list, the order in which they are initially sorted may be influenced by a range of factors including price, fees and discounts; commercial partnerships; product features; and brand popularity. We provide tools so you can sort and filter these lists to highlight features that matter to you.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad-based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan, we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.