Front facing camera on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Plus
Justin Duino / How-To Geek
Update, 02/24/2023: We’ve updated many of our picks with the latest line of Samsung products. Take a look!

What to Look for in a Samsung Phone in 2023

It may sound like a bit much to need a buying guide for phone shopping from just one company. How hard can it be? Well, Samsung makes a lot of phones, and it can be difficult to figure out which ones have the features and specs you want.

You may be familiar with some common Samsung lines, such as the Galaxy S series or the Galaxy Z foldable phones. However, those are just a few of Samsung’s smartphone lines. The company has a smartphone at practically every price point.

There’s more than just price to take into consideration, though. Are you okay with the big size of the Galaxy S23 Ultra, or do you want something smaller? How important is camera hardware to you? Is a long battery life a necessity?

One nice thing about Samsung phones is they all run the same software: One UI. Whether you’re looking for the biggest and baddest or something low-key and affordable, the software will look the same across Samsung phones.

No matter want Galaxy phone you end up choosing, you will not be compromising on the software. One big selling point of Samsung phones is great software support, typically even better than Google’s offerings. There’s a Samsung device that fits everyone’s needs, so let’s start finding them.

RELATED: The Best Android Phones of 2023

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I unlock my Samsung phone?
First things first, you need your Samsung phone’s IMEI number. The easiest way to find it is by entering *#06# in the Phone app (or navigating to Settings > About Phone). Next, contact your mobile service carrier and tell them you’d like to unlock your phone; give them the required information. At this point, there’s nothing left to do on your end. Your carrier will handle it and let you know when your Samsung phone is unlocked.
How do I take a screenshot on my Samsung phone?
There are a couple of ways to take screenshots on your Samsung phone. Firstly, you can press the Power and Volume Down buttons simultaneously. Or, if you’d prefer a simple hand gesture, you can locate Settings > Advanced Features > Motion and Gestures, then enable “Palm Swipe to Capture.”
How do I reset my Samsung phone?
If you’re going to trade your phone in for a new one, or there’s an annoying bug that won’t go away, a factory reset will take care of things by wiping your phone clean. So, before factory resetting your Samsung phone, make sure you back up your photos, videos, and other important files.
How do I pair the Samsung Galaxy Buds with my Galaxy phone?
Before starting the pairing sequence, ensure your phone’s Bluetooth is enabled. Once you’re sure Bluetooth is available, set your Galaxy Buds in their charging case, close the lid for about five seconds, then open the case again. Next, choose your Galaxy Buds from the list of available devices, and they’ll attempt to pair with your Galaxy Phone. For more help, check out Samsung’s support page on connecting Galaxy Buds.
Are Samsung phones waterproof?
While no Samsung phone is waterproof, all models since the S7 are equipped with an IP68 water resistance rating. This means you shouldn’t go swimming with a Samsung phone in your pocket, but your handset is safeguarded against splashes of water and sweat, as well as water submersion of 1.5 meters for up to 30 minutes (though it’s unwise to put this to the test).

Best Samsung Phone Overall: Galaxy S23

Front and rear facing cameras on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Series
Justin Duino / How-To Geek


  • Perfect handheld size
  • Beautiful 120Hz display
  • Same processor as the Ultra
  • Reasonable price for a smartphone


  • Only a small upgrade to cameras over the S22

The best Samsung phone overall should be something that checks all of the major boxes: price, power, design, camera, and battery life. Right now, the Galaxy S23 takes the cake.

Available in six colors, the S23’s aluminum frame has a look for everyone. This smartphone’s upsides are more than skin-deep, though. Beneath the 120Hz, 6.1-inch HDR screen is a Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 octa-core processor that, combined with 8GB of RAM, easily handles mobile games, live streaming, and productivity work.

Processing power is great and all, but what if you want to take some selfies or snap some vacation pics? That’s where the S23’s capable camera lineup comes into play. The 12MP selfie camera is a 2MP improvement over the S22’s front-facing camera, but that’s where the improvements end in the photography department.

You’ll still find a 12MP Ultra Wide camera, a 50MP Wide-angle camera, and a 10MP Telephoto lens on Samsung’s 2023 flagship handset. That’s not to say these cameras need improvements; they still rival and, in some cases, beat the Apple iPhone 14’s camera setup. However, if you already have the S22 and your main priority is a boost to camera quality, you may want to opt for the upgraded S23 Ultra instead.

But the best phone camera in the world doesn’t matter if you’re constantly anchored to a charging cable. Thankfully, the Galaxy S23 features a 3,900mAh battery—a 200mAh improvement over the S22. This is more than enough juice to get you through a day of work, play, and endless social media scrolling.

And in case you come across a particularly great meme that’s too funny not to grace your camera roll, you’ll enjoy up to 256GB (with 128GB at the lowest) of storage space.

Starting at $800, the Galaxy S23 is a perfect cross-section of solid performance, modern design, and a reasonable price.

Best Samsung Phone Overall

Samsung Galaxy S23

The standard model of Samsung's flagship phone is the perfect mix of features and price for most Android users.

Best Mid-Range Samsung Phone: Galaxy S21 FE

Person holding green Galaxy S21 FE


  • Same processor as the S21
  • Triple cameras on the rear
  • Big screen with 120Hz refresh rate
  • Large battery


  • Kind of expensive for a mid-range phone

The “FE” series has become Samsung’s middle-of-the-road series. They are not quite high-end but are more powerful than budget devices. The latest is the Galaxy S21 FE, which brings some nice features for a lower price.

For $699, you get 128GB of storage, a 6.4-inch AMOLED display with 2340×1080 resolution (bigger than the standard S21), and a 120Hz refresh rate. One area of sacrifice is RAM. The FE version starts with 6GB, while the standard S21 has 8GB.

The Galaxy S21 FE has the same Snapdragon 888 as the other Galaxy S21 devices. Similarly, the S21 FE has a 32MP selfie camera and triple cameras on the rear. Those cameras are a 12MP ultra-wide, 12MP main lens, and an 8MP telephoto shooter. Lastly, it packs a beefy 4,500mAh battery.

As mentioned, the Galaxy S21 FE is $699 for 128GB. That’s not as cheap as some other mid-range devices, but it comes with Samsung’s great software support and a trustworthy brand.

Best Mid-Range Samsung Phone

Samsung Galaxy S21 FE

With an AMOLED screen, a 120Hz refresh rate, and a Snapdragon 888, the Galaxy S21 FE is a great mid-range phone to pick up.

Best Budget Samsung Phone: Galaxy A32

Photo of a Samsung A32 cellphone with a wooden background
Aji Nur fathoni/


  • Costs less than $300
  • Great battery life
  • Multiple cameras is a bonus at this price


  • Display is lackluster

Samsung has a phone for every price range, including the budget category. The Galaxy A32 is a phone with all the benefits of a Samsung-made device with a price under $300.

The Galaxy A32 has a 5,000mAh battery, so it gets great battery life. It’s powered by the Mediatek Helio G80 processor and 4GB of RAM, which is decent at this price point. There’s also a microSD card slot, so you can upgrade your storage if you need to.

Cameras are a big part of smartphones, but budget devices usually suffer in this area. The Galaxy A32 offers a triple camera setup on the back, with 64MP, 8MP wide-angle, and 5MP macro cameras. They aren’t the best out there, but you do get options, which is always a bonus, especially compared to other budget phones.

One area where the Galaxy A32 struggles is in the display. It’s 6.4 inches and Super AMOLED, but the resolution is lower than mid-range and high-end models. For most people, it’s not a problem, but you may notice it if you’re used to something with higher specs.

As mentioned, the Galaxy A32 costs only $280. That’s a great price for a budget phone with 5G connectivity, and the device will still get Samsung’s four years of updates.

Best Budget Samsung Phone

Samsung Galaxy A32

For under $300, you can get a competent Samsung phone! With a 5,000mAh battery and three cameras, this phone will last all day and do what you need it to do.

Best Samsung Phone for Battery Life: Galaxy S23 Ultra

Person holding the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra and its S Pen with a hand-written note
Justin Duino / How-To Geek


  • 5,000mAh battery
  • Five total cameras
  • Super high-end specs


  • Very expensive
  • Very big

When battery life is your top concern, you’ll need to come to grips with using a large phone. If you’re alright with that, the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra fits that bill.

It has a beefy 5,000mAh battery and a giant 6.8-inch display, so you’ll get great battery life and all the screen real estate you’d ever want. Joining that massive battery and display is the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, up to 12GB of RAM, up to 1TB of storage, and five total cameras.

The processor and RAM are just as important as the battery capacity when it comes to battery life. You want an efficient processor with enough memory to prevent heavy hardware stress. A device that has to chug hard to do what you need will use more resources and won’t have great battery life, so the S23 Ultra has all its bases covered.

Of course, a phone this big, with this many cameras, and this level of high-end specs isn’t going to be cheap. The base model of the Galaxy S23 Ultra starts at $1,200. That might be worth it if you need a battery that lasts as long as your overnight work projects and oh-so-late gaming sessions.

Best Samsung Phone for Battery Life

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Read Review Geek's Full Review

A bigger phone means a bigger battery, and the S23 Ultra has a huge 5,000mAh battery to power all of the smartphone's bleeding-edge features.

Best Samsung Camera Phone: Galaxy S23 Ultra

Person using the 100x zoom on the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Justin Duino / How-To Geek


  • Five total cameras
  • Ultrawide, selfie, and two zoom lenses for every situation
  • High-end specs


  • Selfie camera downgrade from the S22
  • Very expensive

If cameras are super important to you, look no further than the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra. This beast of a Samsung phone has four total cameras on the rear, including a 200MP main (Wide-angle) camera.

The 200MP main camera is joined by a 12MP ultrawide, 10MP 3x telephoto, and 10MP 10x telephoto on the rear. The front selfie camera clocks in at 12MP, meaning you benefit from being equipped for any picturesque situation. Ultrawide is great for stepping back to get a lot in the frame, and telephoto lenses help capture details from a far distance away.

Two telephoto lenses mean you’re covered for two different distances without losing quality. You can zoom in 3x or 10x without digital zoom, which only crops photos and doesn’t look great. Samsung has also equipped the S23 Ultra with “Super Clear Glass” lenses to help reduce glare and lens flare.

As mentioned above, this is a beast of a phone all around. It has a gorgeous 6.8-inch display with a 120Hz refresh rate, Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 processor, up to 12GB of RAM and 1TB of storage, and a 5,000mAh battery. The kicker is these high-end features will cost you around $1,200 or more, but given the price of a full-blown DSLR or mirrorless camera today, $1,200 for a full set of cameras attached to a capable handset is a respectable price to pay.

Best Samsung Camera Phone

Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra

Read Review Geek's Full Review

With five incredible cameras and Super Clear Glass lenses, you'll always be able to take the perfect shot. The S23 Ultra isn't cheap, but it's worth it if you're big on taking pictures.

Best Samsung Foldable Phone: Galaxy Z Flip 4

A Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 open and laying on a pile of rocks
Josh Hendrickson / How-To Geek


  • Easily fits in pockets, purses, and backpacks
  • Powerful processor
  • Fingerprint sensor


  • More fragile that typical smartphones
  • Only 3 cameras total

The foldable phone market has been expanding, but Samsung still has your only easily accessible choice if you live in the US. The tech giant has two foldable product lines, and we think the Flip series is the better of the two for most people.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 promises the screen of a smartphone in a size that easily fits in your pocket. This foldable has a 6.7-inch display when the phone is open and a 1.9-inch Super AMOLED display when you fold the device back up. This makes it a breeze to pull the phone from your pocket, unfold it, and get to work (or back to your YouTube video).

Powering the device is the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 and 8GB of RAM. That’s a slightly newer processor than the Galaxy S22 series and the same RAM as the Galaxy S22 Ultra. In short, it’s one of the most powerful Android devices and certainly a powerful foldable.

Two cameras are on the rear of the handset, with one front-facing camera. The rear cameras consist of 12MP Wide and Ultrawide lenses, while the selfie camera is 10MP.

All this fancy hardware comes at a price, and you have to be more careful with foldable phones over their traditionally designed counterparts. The Galaxy Z Flip 4 will pull around $1,000 from your wallet. That’s $200 less than the non-folding Galaxy S23 Ultra, but it’s still not a price tag to take lightly. If you want something unique, this smartphone is worth the cost.

Best Samsung Foldable Phone

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4

Read Review Geek's Full Review

Not only does the Galaxy Z Flip 4 have specs comparable to the S22 series and beautiful screens, you can fold it up and put it in your pocket. It doesn't get much cooler than that.

The Best Android Phones of 2023

Samsung Galaxy S23
Best Android Phone Overall
Samsung Galaxy S23
Moto G Play (2023)
Best Budget Android Phone
Moto G Play (2023)
Google Pixel 6a
Best Mid-Range Android Phone
Google Pixel 6a
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
Best Premium Android Phone
Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra
ASUS ROG Phone 6
Best for Gaming
ASUS ROG Phone 6
Google Pixel 7 Pro
Best Camera Phone
Google Pixel 7 Pro
ASUS Rog Phone 6
ASUS ROG Phone 6
ASUS Rog Phone 6
Profile Photo for Joe Fedewa Joe Fedewa
Joe Fedewa is a Staff Writer at How-To Geek. He has been covering consumer technology for over a decade and previously worked as Managing Editor at XDA-Developers. Joe loves all things technology and is also an avid DIYer at heart. He has written thousands of articles, hundreds of tutorials, and dozens of reviews.
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Profile Photo for Marcus Mears III Marcus Mears III
Marcus Mears III was the Reviews Editor for How-To Geek and Review Geek. He’s a lifelong technology enthusiast with over four years of experience developing prose that keeps readers in the know. With hundreds of articles across a number of tech publications like MakeUseOf and iGeeksBlog, Mears’ work helps readers around the globe learn to make the most of their devices and software.
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