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To put it bluntly, Samsung makes a lot of phones. They have a 5G phone for just about every budget – from the super premium Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 to the entry level Galaxy A 51 5G.
Luckily, that means there are also plenty of discounts to be had on Samsung devices, including the latest phones in Samsung's popular Galaxy S21 series. All three Galaxy S21 models are 5G ready, come with the same speedy 5-nanometer processor, and include a multi-lens camera system that's among the best you can get on a smartphone.
We've broken down Samsung's current 5G phones to show you how they compare with each other and where you can get the best deals.
The Galaxy S21 is the smallest of Samsung's new flagship phones, with a 6.2-inch 2400 x 1080 resolution display. It also includes 8 gigabytes (GB) of RAM, a 10-megapixel (MP) front camera, and three rear cameras: a 12-MP wide, 12-MP ultra wide, and a 64-MP telephoto lens. It is available with either 128GB or 256GB of storage and starts at $799.99.
We praised the S21 for its attractive, easy-to-hold design, long battery life, and great camera – though we thought the low-light photos could be a bit better. Overall, this is a great phone and a particularly good choice for those who want a new Android phone with the latest capabilities, but do not need a massive screen.
The Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus has all of the same features of the Galaxy S21, but comes with a bigger 6.7-inch screen. The S21 Plus also comes with either 128GB or 256GB of storage, though its starting price is usually $999.99, making it $200 more expensive than the Galaxy S21.
The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the largest and most feature-rich S21 model. It has a 6.8-inch 3200 x 1440 resolution curved display with 12GB or 16GB of RAM, support for Samsung's S Pen stylus, a 40-MP front camera, and four rear cameras. You have the option of getting it with 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage, and it usually starts at $1,199.99.
Like the S21, we found the Galaxy S21 Ultra to have a great screen, a solid build and design, long battery life, and a great camera. However, we found it to feel slightly heavier than the S21 and expensive – especially since it did little to differentiate itself from the middle-of-the-road S21 Plus. The S21 Ultra might be the best fit for camera enthusiasts who feel they are willing to pay a premium for a four camera setup.
The Galaxy Note 20 and the Note 20 Ultra were released in August of 2020 and are the latest in Samsung's distinctive note-taking devices. Both the Note 20 and The Note 20 Ultra are 5G ready and feature the S-Pen, Samsung's digital stylus that seamlessly tucks away into the bottom corner of the bezels.
Users can take notes in the Samsung Notes app and watch them sync in real time with Microsoft Outlook and OneNote. Notes can also be exported to Microsoft Word and Powerpoint for smooth integration and productivity.
The base-level Galaxy Note 20 typically retails for $999.99 and is hard to recommend at that price. The 60Hz refresh rate and plastic casing make this a tough sell in the premium market.
However, this is still a solid phone and could be a good pickup at the right price for someone who loves writing notes by hand.
The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra offers a more well-rounded experience than its smaller sibling. It has a bigger curved display than the Note 20 and includes a 120Hz refresh rate at 1080p, which drops down to 60Hz at 1440p. It also has more RAM – 12GB – and comes with the option for 512GB storage. The Ultra – which normally starts at $1,299.99 – also has three rear cameras, including a 108MP wide lens.
We found the Ultra to be powerful, with a premium design, a great screen and good battery life. We wished the full 1440p was not limited to a 60Hz refresh rate, while the curved edges of the screen made it difficult to write with the S-Pen. We would not recommend getting this phone at full price, but the Note 20 Ultra has a lot to offer note takers if it can be had for under $1,000.
The Galaxy S20 FE, or Fan Edition, is a pared-down version of last year's S20 lineup. It was released in October and offers many premium features – such as 5G, a crisp and large screen with a 120Hz refresh rate, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage – at a non-premium price of $699.99.
It still has three rear cameras, though they are not as powerful as some of the more premium Galaxy models. The back of the phone is plastic instead of metal, but it still feels premium and durable. We found this phone to be a good choice for most people due to its solid design, great battery life, nice screen and fair price.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is Samsung's most expensive and ambitious phone to date. Its distinguishing feature is its large, folding display. The main screen is 7.6 inches with 2,208 x 1,768 resolution, while the cover screen is 6.2 inches with 2,260 x 816 resolution.
Samsung recently lowered the price on the Galaxy Z Fold 2 by $200 –from $1999.99 to $1799.99 – but it's still pricey. Unlike its poorly reviewed predecessor, we found the Galaxy Z Fold 2 to be the most promising foldable device on the market.
We liked its vibrant, tablet-sized screen, its long battery life, and excellent speakers, but found its design to be a little awkward in phone-mode. It also lacked any waterproof rating, which we found disappointing for a phone this expensive. Ultimately, this is a device that is really only for those who are willing to pay a premium to try out the latest in foldable screen technology, but these discounts make it a little more palatable.
The Galaxy Z Flip 5G is Samsung's attempt at modernizing the classic flip phone. The Flip features a 6.9-inch foldable glass display– unlike the plastic display found on the Motorola Razr – as well as three 12MP rear cameras, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor. The Flip 5G launched in August at $1,450, but is now only available in a 256GB model that is regularly priced at $1,199.99.
We found the non-5G version of the Galaxy Z Flip to bring something new to the smartphone experience, while also functioning well enough as a standard smartphone. However, we thought the Flip's cover screen was a little too thin and awkward when it was closed, and wished it was waterproof. The price of Flip makes it, like the Galaxy Fold 2, a niche item for those wanting a new — but not yet perfected — flexible smartphone.
The Galaxy A71 5G was released in June of 2020 as a lower-priced option for those looking to get a 5G phone without all of the more expensive features. It comes with a 6.7-inch 1080p OLED screen, 8GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage. It has four rear cameras with a 64MP main lens, a 32MP front camera, and is priced at $599. It has good battery life, but lacks the ability to charge wirelessly. Ultimately, this is a good choice for those looking for a solid, yet basic, 5G phone.
The Galaxy A 51 5G was released in April of 2020 and is smaller and slightly older than the Galaxy A 71. It is priced at $499.99 and has a 6.5-inch 1080p AMOLED display, 4GB of RAM, 128GB of storage, and a 48MP four-lens rear camera, along with a 32MP front camera.
We found it to have a great screen, decent battery life, and nice cameras, but wondered if the phone compromised a little too much on overall performance. This is a great entry level 5G phone, but one that might feel slow and dated sooner rather than later.