Known for their flagship Galaxy S and Galaxy Note smartphones, this South Korean tech brand has dominated the marketplace for high-end / high-spec Android smartphones in recent years. You can’t go wrong with choosing Samsung, but since their phones are pricier than other Android brands (especially the flagships), it is important to select the right model. To help you, we have put together a buyer’s guide to provide an overview of the different options, the key specs to look for, and the best Samsung models today. Check it out below.

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Top Samsung Smartphones Price List 2021

Top 10 products Price Store
Samsung Galaxy Note10 Plus ₱ 25,670.00 Lazada
Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus ₱ 15,700.00 Shopee
Samsung Galaxy S10 ₱ 22,599.00 Lazada
Samsung Galaxy Note 9 ₱ 16,101.40 Lazada
Samsung Galaxy S8 ₱ 10,500.00 Shopee
Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus ₱ 13,888.00 Shopee
Samsung Galaxy A50 ₱ 13,349.00 Lazada
Samsung Galaxy Note8 ₱ 13,999.00 Shopee
Samsung Galaxy A70 ₱ 15,182.16 Lazada
Samsung Galaxy Note10 ₱ 21,701.12 Lazada
Most Popular
Samsung Galaxy Note10 Plus

Cheapest at Lazada ₱ 25,670.00 ₱ 45,000.00 Go to Shop

Everything you need to know about choosing the right Samsung smartphone

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With an impressive 22% market share, Samsung is the world’s largest smartphone manufacturer. Originating from South Korea, the tech giant started its smartphone journey in 2009 with the I7500 Galaxy. Whilst not the first company to introduce an Android smartphone (that trophy belongs to HTC), Samsung quickly rose to its position as the smartphone leader. It did this by providing users with quality hardware and an intuitive UI.

If you are thinking about getting a Samsung phone, you’ve made a good choice. There are several options to choose from, each with different capabilities and tradeoffs. To help you select the right Samsung smartphone for your needs we have created a buyer’s guide. In this we take you through:

  1. An overview of Samsung Phone Series
  2. The Key Smartphone Specs to Compare
  3. Our Recommendations of the Best Samsung Smartphones Today

1. An Overview of Samsung phone series

Samsung has come a long way since the introduction of its first Android phone in 2009. Today, the South Korean tech giant has a wide selection of smartphones catering to different needs and budgets.

Here are the many Samsung phone series you need to know about:

  • Galaxy Z: The Galaxy Z is the newest series of Samsung smartphones. Introduced in 2019, the Galaxy Z is Samsung’s venture into foldable screens. So far, this series has three models: the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold, Galaxy Z Flip, and the Z Fold 2.
  • Galaxy S: The Galaxy S is Samsung’s flagship series of smartphones (and it is the most popular and sought after). The Galaxy S features the latest Qualcomm chipsets, camera modules, and advanced camera software / AI.
  • Galaxy Note: The Galaxy Note is the second flagship series from Samsung. The key difference between the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note is the form factor (with the Note being a phablet with a bigger display and S-pen). There were rumors this line was going to be discontinued. These proved premature. Samsung is still producing the Note series phones, although would not be releasing any new models in 2021.
  • Galaxy A: The Galaxy A phone series are the Samsung phones targeted to the mid-tier and budget segments. The phones are affordable smartphones with decent specs.

When you are browsing Samsung phones you may come across the Galaxy C, Galaxy J, and Galaxy E smartphones. These phone series – which preceded the A series in targeting the budget and mid-tier niche -- were discontinued in 2021. Other discontinued Samsung lines include the Galaxy Young, Mini, Ace, Pocket, and R.

2. The Key Smartphone Specs to Compare

Now you understand the different Samsung phone series, let us explore what specs to look for.

Looking at a spec sheet can be intimidating. Especially if you don’t know what all the acronyms stand for or which of the various numbers are important. To help you navigate, here is a quick guide to the most important smartphone specs. Notably: the screen; performance; camera, and battery.

The Screen

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The first thing you should consider when buying a smartphone is the display (or screen). There are four factors which determine the quality of your phone’s screen:

  • Size: The size of the screen is typically measured in inches or centimeters, diagonally from the screens opposite corners. Smartphone screens today are typically around 6 inches (15.2cm) but can vary from as small as 5 inches (12.7 cm) to as much as 6.8 inches and above (17.2 cm).

The optimum size of screen is largely dependent on your personal preference and intended usage. If you are someone who enjoys one-handed use, a phone with a smaller screen will be a better choice (something around 5 inches). If you are planning to use the phone for a lot of reading, maybe a phablet-sized (6.5 or 6.8 inches) is a good option.

  • Type: Different phones employ different screen technologies. Today there are two types typically in use (each with different pros and cons). Check out our table below for a quick explanation:

Type of screen

Pros

Cons

LCD (Liquid Crystal Display)

  • Color is produced from a backlight through a set of films and mirrors
  • High brightness
  • Bright whites
  • Flexible viewing angles
  • More affordable
  • Blacks are not deep
  • Rigid hardware
  • Thicker smartphones due to a need for backlight

OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode)

  • Each pixel has its own light source
  • Sub-types include AMOLED and Super AMOLED
  • Vivid and true-to-life colors
  • True blacks (pixels simply switch off)
  • Save on energy during dark modes
  • Flexible hardware
  • More expensive
  • Less durable
  • Prone to pixel burning
  • Resolution: A screen’s resolutions refers to the number of pixels on the display (measured in each dimension of the screen). The rule of thumb for screen resolutions is the higher the number, the more visual information on the screen can display, the higher the level of detail and clarity.

Here are standards currently used when it comes to display resolutions:

Name

Resolution

High Definition (HD)

1280 x 720

Full HD (FHD)

1920 x 1080

2K, Quad HD, (QHD)

2560 x 1440

4K Ultra HD

3840 x 2160

The appropriate resolution for your phone depends on your screen size and planned usage. Many phones today, including the budget category, has an HD screen. Flagships phones typically have 2K or even 4K resolutions.

If you are a gamer or a content creator, we recommend a 4K screen to maximize your viewing experience.

  • Refresh rate: The refresh rate refers to how many times per second your screen can display a new image. It is expressed in terms hertz or Hz. For example, if your screen has a 90Hz refresh rate, it means your screen refreshes 90 times in a second.

The higher the refresh rate, the more fluid your interface, gaming, or videos will be displayed on the screen. Typical smartphone refresh rates are around 60Hz to 90Hz but can easily go up to 120Hz for high-end or gaming phones. Keep in mind that high refresh rates can drain your battery, so make sure to set it on lower refresh rates when using casually and only setting it on high when gaming or watching a movie.

The Performance

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Performance of a smartphone refers to how fast your phone can process data. It’s determined by four items: the chipset, processors, RAM, and OS (or operating system). Here’s a quick summary of each of these items:

  • Chipset or SoC (System on a Chip): The Chipset – made up of semiconductors -- is the physical “brain” of your phone. Samsung uses Qualcomm chipsets. The latest being the Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 on the S21 series.
  • Processor or CPU: The CPU is the part of the chipset that executes the tasks. A CPU is often divided in “cores” with each core responsible for processing data. Data is distributed across these cores simultaneously, so the more cores, the faster it executes tasks. Most of the smartphones today, even those belonging in the budget tier, have octa (or 8) core processors.
  • RAM or Random-Access-Memory: The RAM of a phone (represented in gigabytes or GB) is the memory allocated to temporary store data so that it is easily accessed by the processors. The higher the RAM, the easier / faster it will be for your phone to switch between apps and the smoother the interface. Whilst phones with 2GB of RAM are adequate for the task, we recommend getting phones with at least 4GB of RAM.
  • Operating System or OS: The OS it is the software that manages your phone’s resources and your primary interface. Samsung runs exclusively on Android – an open-sourced software that is used on many smartphones (with the exception of those from Apple).

Android brands often have a “skin” which is a modified version of the OS. For Samsung this is the OneUI. When buying a Samsung phone, it is crucial that your phone be updated to the latest Android OS to enjoy smoother UI, security, and app compatibility.

The Camera

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If you are someone who likes to take photos or videos with your phone, having a good camera is a must. Camera quality is influenced by your phone’s camera sensors, the lens and image processing system that uses AI.

The sensors are the electronic devices in the phone which captures the image. The quality of the sensor is measured in terms of physical area and the number of megapixels. The number of megapixels details the amount of information the sensor can capture and translate into data. To put simply, the higher the number megapixels the sensor has, the more details the sensor captures, the better the image quality.

Most smartphones today are designed to have multiple lens (each with its own sensor). For example, the Samsung S21 has three lenses: a 12MP (wide) lens, a 64MP (telephoto) lens and a 12 MP (ultrawide) lens. Having three lenses allows the camera either to choose the best option for the picture or use combination of each lens.

Here is a list of all the types of lenses you are likely to see on your phone (and what they are used for):

  • Wide Lens: The most common type of lens on single-lens camera systems. It captures broad field of vision for landscapes and group shots to capture as much of the scene as possible.

  • Ultra-wide Lens: Provides an even wider angle of vision than the standard wide lens. It creates a round effect on the side creating a “fish-eye” view.

  • Telephoto Lens: Enables 2x to 3x optical zoom that brings subjects closer but loses the field of vision. This makes telephoto lenses great for portraits.

  • Periscope Lens: Used for anything higher than 3x up to 10x optical zoom and more. It is called a periscope lens as it uses the same technology as submarine periscopes (where folded lenses are used to reflect light and bounce off prisms directly to the sensor).

  • Macro Lens: For close-up photography and capturing the tiniest details. The difference between macro and telephoto and periscope lenses is that it doesn’t zoom in, rather it magnifies what is in front of the lens much like how a magnifying glass works.

  • Depth Lens Creates a three-dimensional map of a scene by scanning the environment with a laser and calculating the time it takes to reflect to the camera. Depth lenses are mostly used to create bokeh effects (soft, out-of-focus background) and blurred background in portraits.

The final element of your smartphone camera is the Image Processing System. The Image Processing System uses your phone’s camera AI to do three things:

  1. Assess the scene and subject to know which lenses to use
  2. Adjust the camera settings needed to capture the best image possible
  3. “Stitching” the image from multiple lenses into a single picture

When taking a portrait photo, for example, your smartphone might utilize its telephoto and depth lens. The AI would be able to detect the subject and activates both sensors to capture the image from both lenses. The Image Processing System would then combine both images together to produce a crisp portrait of the subject, and maybe add a bokeh effect in the background.

The combination of your camera hardware and AI determines how well it processes images across different situations and lighting conditions. How well your camera functions depend on how optimized the components are to work together. Your phone can have the highest sensors possible but, if it is not optimized with the software, the results would still be mediocre.

The Battery

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The final key specifications to consider when looking at a smartphone are the battery capacity and the battery charging system.

Capacity (measured in milliampere-hour) determines how much power the battery can hold. Typical smartphones today do not go lower than 2,500mAh - 3,000mAh. Flagship and high-performance gaming phones can even go as high as 5,000mAh.

The battery capacity, when combined with your usage pattern determine the battery life (I.e. how long the phone can go on a single charge). For example, a 5,000mAh battery life would not last a day for a gamer who turns on 120hz refresh rate at maximum brightness. However, if you are more conservative and use your phone casually throughout the day, a 5,000mAh battery should last at least 1 and a half or even 2 days.

In evaluating the battery life, keep in mind that phone manufacturers often inflate battery life and show figures that do not reflect normal usage. Make sure that you do your research on the models you are interested in. Many tech reviewers will do a “stress test” each model using various settings to estimate the average battery capacity.

When considering the battery, you should also check the smartphones charging technology. Many modern smartphones have fast-charging, wireless charging, and reverse charging.

  • Fast-charging allows your phone to charge as much as 60% in 30 minutes or more with the use of a fast-charge brick and type-C port of your phone.
  • Wireless and reverse charging are new technologies often seen on many flagships today. Both utilize magnetic fields to transfer power. Reverse charging makes your phone into a power bank that wirelessly transfers your own battery to another phone.

3. Our Recommendations of the Best Samsung Smartphones Today

Now you’ve a better understanding of the key specs to look for, the next questions are which phone to choose. Based on our reviews of the reviews, and our own experience, here is our list of recommended Samsung phones:

Best Samsung Phone Overall: Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus

Samsung

Samsung spared no expense in developing the S21 Plus.

Much like the rest of the S21 series, the S21 plus has a Gorilla glass front and back with an aluminum frame that covers the camera modules. This serves as protection for the camera bump as well as make the finish uniform with the glass back. The Samsung S21 plus also has a 6.7” Dynamic AMOLED screen which is completely flat to prevent accidental swipes or taps.

Perhaps the best reason why this is the best Samsung phone on the list is its performance, battery life, and camera. The S21 Plus is powered by the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G chipset and packs 8GB RAM which is more than enough to function as a daily phone or even as a gaming phone. It also has a big battery with 4,800mAh capacity which, with casual to moderate use, can go up to a day and a half in a single charge.

As for the camera, the Samsung S21 features a triple-lens 12MP+64MP+12MP sensors. While the Ultra may be far superior thanks to the 100x zoom, a 30x would be satisfying enough. The S21 also got new features from the software side by adding a “director view” mode that uses both front and back cameras to capture video. This is a great mode for content creators and bloggers to capture reaction videos along with the main shot.

The Samsung S21 plus is a well-rounded flagship phone.

Samsung S21 Plus Specs

Release Date

January 2021

Screen

6.7” Dynamic AMOLED (1080 x 2400)

Main camera

12MP (wide) + 64MP (telephoto) + 12MP (ultra wide)

Front camera

10MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 5G

Internal Storage

128GB / 256GB

RAM

8GB

Built-in OS

Android 11, OneUI 3.1

Battery Capacity

Li-ion 4,800mAh

The Premiere Flagship: Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

Samsung

The S21 Ultra is a powerhouse in terms of design and specs. Right off the bat, the S21 Ultra is a large phone with a 6.8” Dynamic AMOLED screen. The body has a glass front and back and aluminum frames much like the other models from the S21 series. Another design plus for the S21 Ultra is the S Pen support plus a variety of stylus which is a first in the S series.

The S21 Ultra excels in every way from the S21 Plus in performance, battery, and camera. It does share the same Snapdragon 888 5G chipset but the Ultra has a 12GB and 16GB variant which makes this phone even faster. The S21 Ultra also has a bigger battery with 5,000 mAh capacity but like other S21 models, does not come with a charger.

There is also a huge difference between the S21 plus and ultra in the camera department. The S21 Ultra packs a quad-lens 108MP+10MP+10MP+12MP sensors that can take images at 100x “space zoom”.

Samsung S21 Ultra Specs

Release Date

January 2021

Screen

6.8” Dynamic AMOLED (1440 x 3200)

Main camera

108MP (wide) + 10MP (periscope telephoto) + 10MP (telephoto) + 12MP (ultra wide)

Front camera

40MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 888

Internal Storage

128GB / 256GB / 512GB

RAM

12GB / 16GB

Built-in OS

Android 11, OneUI 3.1

Battery Capacity

Li-ion 5,000mAh

Budget-Friendly 5G: Samsung A52 5G

Samsung

The Samsung A52 5G may have an affordable price tag but it certainly does not look and feel like it. This model has a glass front, plastic back (which is standard for phones in this tier), and an aluminum frame. Another great design choice for this model is the inclusion of a 3.5mm headphone jack. As for the screen, it has a 6.5” Super AMOLED panel and a 120Hz refresh rate - not something you can get from a budget phone.

As for the performance, the Samsung A51 5G is adequate. The phone features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G and it comes with 6GB and 8GB variants. While it’s not exactly the fastest handphone out there, the next-gen 5G capabilities certainly makes this phone stand out.

Camera performance stands out with this phone. Packed with a quad-lens 64MP + 12MP + 5MP + 5MP system, the A52 5G captures great amount of detail that’s even comparable to the Google Pixel 4a (considered as the top phone in the tier). The phone features a 4,500mAh battery which can last a day but is not breaking any records.

Samsung A52 5G Specs

Release Date

March 2021

Screen

6.5” Super AMOLED (1080 x 2400)

Main camera

Quad lens 64MP (wide) + 12MP (ultra wide) + 5MP (macro) + 5MP (depth)

Front camera

32MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G

Internal Storage

128GB / 256 GB

RAM

6GB / 8GB

Built-in OS

Android 11, OneUI 3.1

Battery Capacity

Li-Po 4,500mAh

Best Mid-Range Samsung Phone: Samsung Galaxy A72

Samsung

The Samsung A72 covers all the basics of a mid-tier smartphone.

Designed to be as close to the S21 series as much as possible with a youthful twist, the A72 features a glass front and matte polycarbonate plastic back with aluminum frame, plus attractive colors. It is a big phone with 6.7” Super AMOLED panel with an impressive 90Hz refresh rate.

The Galaxy A72 is equipped Qualcomm 720G and 6GB and 8GB RAM variants which is decent for the mid-tier range but is not setting any records. Casual and occasional gaming on this phone should not be a problem but it is definitely not the fastest in the range. This can also be said on the phone’s camera. It has a quad lens set up with 64MP + 8MP + 12MP + 5MP sensors.

Where this phone truly excels is in its battery life. The Samsung A72 has a 5,000 mAh battery capacity which can last a day even at 90Hz refresh rate. If you run out of battery, it also supports 25W fast-charge. Unfortunately, like with most of the new Samsung phones, it doesn’t have a charging brick.

Samsung A72 Specs

Release Date

March 2020

Screen

6.7” Super AMOLED (1080 x 2400)

Main camera

Quad lens 64MP (wide) + 8MP (telephoto) + 12MP (ultra wide) + 5MP (macro)

Front camera

32MP

Chipset

Qualcomm Snapdragon 720G

Internal Storage

128GB / 256GB

RAM

6GB / 8GB

Built-in OS

Android 11, OneUI 3.1

Battery Capacity

Li-ion 5,000mAh

In conclusion

You can never go wrong with a brand such as Samsung. Although they are mostly known for their pricey flagship models, their A series are also great mid-tier and budget options. When looking for a smartphone, make sure to look at the most important specs: screen, performance, camera, and battery. It would also help to do research on specific models you are interested in and what other experts are saying about the model. Once you decide, make sure to check out the offers available on our website to find the best deals!

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Marjorie Mae Mendoza

iPrice Tech Writer

Marjorie (MJ) is iPrice Tech Writer in Residence. Always on the hunt for the inside scope on the newest smartphones, computers, and electronic devices, MJ provides a no-holds-barred analysis on what’s hot (and what’s not) in the latest tech releases. In her free time, MJ enjoys first-person video games and digital illustrations.
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