Which mobile phone brand?
Samsung mobile phones rated
By Oli McKean
Article 4 of 11
Samsung is one of the most successful smartphone brands in the world. We dig deeper to find out if Samsung phones really are worthy of the hype.
Samsung is a South Korean company founded in 1938. It began in trade, focusing on items such as dried fish and fruit. Over the years, it has developed into a huge, multinational company – and, in 2017, we know it much better for its washing machines, televisions and mobile phones.
Samsung is a household name, but are its products actually any good? Here, we reveal whether Samsung smartphones truly deserve your attention or whether you should shift your gaze to another brand.
We’ve found that not all Samsung mobile phones are equal: alongside some Best Buys, our tests have also unearthed Don’t Buys that you shouldn’t touch with a bargepole. If you want to read up on a specific handset, head to our Samsung mobile phone reviews.
Scroll down for a snapshot of how Samsung smartphones hold up in our test lab. Only logged-in Which? members can view our exclusive ratings and verdicts in the table below. If you’re not yet a member, sign up for a £1 trial to get instant access.
|Samsung mobile phones overview table|
|Number tested in the past three years||20|
|Number of Best Buys|
|Average test score|
|Brand reliability rating|
|Customer score (%)|
|Should I buy one?|
|Table notes||Average test score based on results of models tested in the past three years (as of 23 August 2017) that are still available. The customer score and brand reliability rating are based on a Which? member survey conducted in July 2017 of 3,783 smartphone owners. The customer score is based on whether members would recommend the brand to a friend, and reliability is based on members’ experience of that brand. Table last updated 23 August 2017.|
How much do Samsung mobile phones cost?
It really depends on which Samsung mobile phone you go for. If you’re really budget-conscious, you could consider the brand’s Galaxy J range. At the time of writing, you can buy the Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) Sim-free for about £140.
But if you want to treat yourself to a fancy S-series phone, such as the Samsung Galaxy S8, you’ll likely spend upwards of £500.
By producing smartphones for a wide range of budgets, Samsung sets itself apart from main competitor Apple, which focuses entirely on premium models. Find out how these two big players compare by heading to our Apple vs Samsung mobile phones round-up.
Choosing the best Samsung mobile phone
To help you pick between Samsung mobile phones, we’ve rounded up the different ranges:
- Samsung Galaxy S range: Samsung is best known for its Galaxy S series of high-end smartphones. Launched in 2017, the Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are the latest in the range. With sleek designs, lighting-fast processors and high-quality large screens, the S range is designed to compete with Apple iPhones. At the time of writing, the S8 and S8+ cost around £689 and £779, respectively. But if you’re not fussed about owning the newest phones, you can find cheaper deals on older models.
- Samsung Galaxy A range: this is one of Samsung’s mid-market ranges. The phones within the range are pretty similar, with elegant metallic casings and good camera specs, though they’re differentiated by screen size. You’ll pay between £250 and £350 for the latest A-range phones, the Galaxy A3 (2017) and A5 (2017).
- Samsung Galaxy J range: these phones are similarly mid-market, but they’re a bit cheaper than comparable A-range phones. The latest phones in the series cost between £140 and £200. One of the reasons why the A range is more expensive than the J range is the former’s more advanced cameras. For instance, A-range cameras are more likely to have optical image stabilisation to help prevent blur when taking shots on the move, as well as full-HD video recording on the front-facing camera.
- Samsung Galaxy Note range: you may remember the headlines about the production halt and recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 in 2016 due to the battery cells catching fire, meaning you can’t buy this phone anymore. Older models, such as the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 are no longer widely available.
Another consideration when picking a Samsung mobile phone is the screen size. For instance, the Samsung Galaxy J3 (2016) has a 5-inch display, while the S7 Edge has an expansive 5.5-inch screen, which might prove too large to comfortably use. It’s always a good idea to try a phone out in a shop to make sure you’re happy with how it feels in your hand before looking around for the best deal and making a purchase.
We’ve recently tested the new mid-range Samsung Galaxy A3 and A5. One thing worth commending is their water-resistance, with both certified to IP68, the highest rating. This means they should survive a 30-minute bathe in 1.5 metres of water – handy if you accidentally drop your phone in the toilet. What’s really impressive is that this rating is better than that offered by Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus (both IP67), while some other pricey top-of-the-range models, such as the Google Pixel and Pixel XL aren’t water-resistant at all.