The Galaxy S22 and S22 Ultra
Justin Duino / How-To Geek

Samsung is notorious for releasing a lot of different Android phones under the “Galaxy” umbrella. Some Galaxy S models cost thousands of dollars while some Galaxy A models are only a couple hundred bucks. So what’s the difference anyway?

While companies like Apple and Google focus on just a few new smartphones a year, Samsung wants to have a phone at every conceivable level. Throw spaghetti at the wall and see what sticks. This is great for finding a Samsung phone that matches your needs, but the abundance of choice can also make things confusing.

Galaxy S

Galaxy S22 models.
Jack Skeens/Shutterstock.com

We’ll start with Samsung’s most well-known series, the Galaxy S. At one time, Samsung said the “S” in Galaxy S stood for “Super Smart,” though the company has since abandoned that. It does still tell us what this series is about, though. It’s the best of the best.

The 2022 lineup of Galaxy S smartphones included the Galaxy S22, Galaxy S22+, Galaxy S22 Ultra, and Galaxy S21 FE. These devices feature Samsung’s highest specifications and best features. Big, high-definition displays, powerful processors, plenty of RAM and storage, wireless charging, water resistance, stylus, and much, much more.

The Ultra models sit at the top of the Galaxy S series, while the FE models are at the bottom. The range in price is from around $1,300 to $700. The FE models are the closest you’ll get to a “mid-range” Galaxy S. It’s not quite as “everything but the kitchen sink” as the other Galaxy S devices.

Galaxy A

Samsung

The Galaxy A series is much more spread out than the Galaxy S series. The 2022 Galaxy A lineup included nine phones: Galaxy A03, Galaxy A03 Core, Galaxy A03s, Galaxy A13, Galaxy A13 5G, Galaxy A23, Galaxy A33 5G, Galaxy A53 5G, and Galaxy A73 5G.

These devices are firmly in the “entry-level” range. That simply means these devices are more affordable and not as spec’d out as the Galaxy S series. They have quite a few things in common, but there are a lot of differences too.

The key areas where you’ll see a downgrade from the Galaxy S are the materials the phone is built of, display resolution, number of cameras, RAM, and processor. You won’t see sacrifices in the display size, battery, and software support.

There’s a pretty wide range in pricing for the Galaxy A series as well. At the top, you’re looking at the Galaxy A73 and A53 for around $500. At the bottom, you’ve got the Galaxy A03 series in the $150 range.

Basically, if you think of smartphones as existing on three tiers—high-end, mid-range, and low-end—the A series occupies the latter two.

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Galaxy Z

Samsung Galaxy Fold
Samsung

The last series is Samsung’s newest and most confusing naming scheme. The Galaxy Z series is for Samsung’s foldable phones, but the name is not used in all regions.

The original Samsung foldable phone was simply called the Galaxy Fold. The “Z” name was tacked on after the fact and given to subsequent devices in the series—Galaxy Z Flip, Galaxy Z Fold 2, Galaxy Z Flip 3, etc.

In March 2022, Samsung began removing the “Z” name from foldables in certain regions. It’s widely assumed this was due to the letter “Z” being used as a pro-war symbol by the Russian military and people. It’s not clear at this time if Samsung will continue to move away from the “Z” naming scheme.

In regard to the actual devices, the Z series is for foldables. These are the bleeding edge devices from Samsung. They’ve come down in price considerably over the years. The Galaxy Z Flip series, especially, is now cheaper than the Galaxy S Ultra series. The Fold, however, is still the most expensive series in Samsung’s arsenal.

Which Series is For You?

The nice thing about having so many options is there’s a Samsung phone for everyone. You simply need to figure out what things are important to you and pick the Samsung device that matches up.

For most people, the best option is the standard Galaxy S model—not the “Plus” or the “Ultra.” It’s a good solid size that’s not too big and has most of the features from the other models, but it isn’t quite as expensive.

Samsung is always releasing new phones in these series. If you don’t find something you like, you may just need to wait for the next one. Samsung phones are very popular and you can find them in most stores that sell smartphones.

The Best Samsung Phones of 2022

Best Samsung Phone Overall
Samsung Galaxy S22
Best Mid-Range Samsung Phone
Samsung Galaxy S21 FE
Best Budget Samsung Phone
Samsung Galaxy A32
Best Samsung Phone for Battery Life
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Best Samsung Camera Phone
Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra
Best Samsung Foldable Phone
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4
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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