What is the best Samsung smartphone to buy in 2021?

Samsung offers one of the most comprehensive ranges in the telephony market. However, it can sometimes be complicated to navigate and identify the best smartphone according to your needs. Here are our recommendations.

TOP 3 Samsung smartphones of the moment

Nec plus ultra

9 / 10

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

  • The best of high end from Samsung
  • A sublime screen
  • An exceptional photo module

The top of the range

9 / 10

Samsung Galaxy S21

  • An almost perfect global solution
  • An excellent screen, 120 Hz compatible
  • Very good photo quality on the main sensor

Despite ever more aggressive Chinese brands, Samsung is still firmly established in the first place of smartphone manufacturers. This leadership obviously comes with a bloated lineup, although Samsung has calmed down on this in recent years.

For a wider selection, don’t hesitate to take a look at the best smartphones of the moment .

The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the first of the S21 family to have been tested on Frandroid. As the name suggests, this is the most advanced version of the range, supposed to bring together all the latest innovations. Unlike a Z Fold which experiments with flexible screens, this smartphone remains very traditional and represents more of an evolution than a revolution.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra prise en main

The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra in hand // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

The design changed little, but we appreciate the very elegant black dress and the very imposing photo module that finally comes under control. On the screen side, Samsung pushes the limits of its OLED technology a little further with very high brightness and an adaptive refresh rate of 120 Hz.

The onboard Exynos 2100 is currently taking the performance crown on Android. There are, however, some compatibility issues with certain games. But beyond performance, it’s battery life that takes a leap forward thanks to the 5nm manufacturing process and its adaptive refresh rate. On the other hand, Samsung has decided to follow Apple and no longer deliver a charger.

As with the rest of the phone, the photo module evolves slowly, but surely, the main sensor is comfortable in all situations and especially the 10x zoom is remarkably clear. The photo module and the great app that comes with it make the Galaxy S21 Ultra one of the most talented cameras around.

With this S21 Ultra signs a near fault, only its weight and its very high price are likely to cool more than one. For more details, go to our full review of the Galaxy S21 Ultra .

The top of the range

9 / 10

Samsung Galaxy S21

  • An almost perfect global solution
  • An excellent screen, 120 Hz compatible
  • Very good photo quality on the main sensor

Available at 859 € on Amazon

If the Ultra is too big or too expensive for your needs, there is nothing wrong with the classic Galaxy S21 . Samsung has managed to lower the price without major sacrifices in either the experience or the functionality of this phone.

Samsung Galaxy S21 et S21+

The Galaxy S21 and S21 + have the same photo block // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

Nicely finished, it is particularly pleasant in the hand and almost gives the impression of being compact despite its (very nice) 6.2 inch screen. Above all, its new SoC is finally up to the top of the range, which not only allows it to be perfectly fluid, but above all to maintain good autonomy despite its 120 Hz screen. We can thus take advantage of all the qualities of the top range from Samsung without ignoring a major element. You can find his complete test at this address .

After a first model almost stillborn due to its screen problems, this second generation of folding phone was clearly expected around the corner. Let’s say it right away: Samsung has fixed most of the issues with the flexible display and its hinge. The whole is more robust and inspires a lot more confidence. The second front screen also gains in size, which makes it much more pleasant to use.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 slightly folded // Source: Samsung

The whole remains thick and quite heavy (279 g all the same), but we put a little perspective when we realize that we have a small tablet in our hands. Among the progress of this new version, we particularly welcome the choice of a particularly powerful Snapdragon 865+ processor and the integration of a quality photo module.

The software experience was also very pleasant, which was not easy as flexible screens are a game-changer. There are still a few bugs to be noticed, but these are more to be found on the side of third-party developers who have not yet fully adapted their applications. The autonomy leaves us more divided, the phone takes care of the day without worry in traditional use, but the tablet mode melts the battery like snow in the sun.

Finally, Samsung delivers here the first foldable smartphone truly usable on a daily basis. A little taste of the future that comes at a high price, however … Before going to the cash register, you can read our complete test of the Galaxy Z Fold 2 .

This lite version of the Galaxy S20 was designed in part with feedback from users and others to bring the price down. The design is therefore slightly revised, with the adoption of a flat screen and a matt plastic back to reduce costs.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE // Source: Arnaud Gelineau – Frandroid

The 6.5-inch screen is content for its side with an FHD + definition, but retains the excellent OLED technology of the brand and in the process gains 120 Hz compatibility. Too bad, however, that the latter is not adaptive , it will have to be activated and deactivated by hand.

The main advantage of this 5G version of the S20 FE is that it has the Snapdragon 865 rather than the slightly less powerful Exynos 990. We therefore find first-rate performance as well as a solid autonomy. This will last for more than a day and the included 15W fast charger will take 90 minutes to refuel. You can go faster by purchasing a 30 W charger.

The photo module is less ambitious than that of these big brothers. Forget the 100x zoom or the 108 Mpx shots: we have to be content with a 12 Mpx sensor, accompanied by an ultra wide-angle and a telephoto lens. Nothing very original then, but the shots produced are of quality in all situations.

If not revolutionary, the S20 FE 5G represents a good compromise between functionality and price in the high end. For more details, you can read our full review of Galaxy S20 FE .

Launched at the end of 2020, the Galaxy M51 seeks to stand out thanks to a gigantic 7000 mAh battery. Obviously, you have to cram it somewhere, resulting in a phone (9.5mm thick) and heavy (213g).

The workmanship is good, although the use of a plastic backing may be surprising at this price point. It is, however, an acceptable compromise to limit weight gain.

Samsung Galaxy M51

For the display, Samsung chose a 6.7-inch FHD + resolution Amoled panel. While generally pleasing to the eye, the calibration would have deserved more attention. Too bad it is content with a refresh rate of 60Hz as more and more competitors switch to 90Hz or higher.

Samsung’s know-how in terms of photography is not to be proven, the 4 sensors produce a satisfactory result, with a very versatile main sensor and an efficient night mode. The M51 does not upset the hierarchy of photophones, but it does well in all situations.

The choice of a Snapdragon 730G is a bit surprising. While the chip ensures good fluidity on a daily basis, we are used to seeing more muscular SoCs in this range. In return, it is very energy efficient, which, coupled with the 7000 mAh battery, allows the phone to exceed 4 days of use on a charge. Refueling will take two hours with the supplied charger.

Samsung delivers here a phone that is certainly a little boring, but very balanced and above all extremely durable. If battery life is important to you the Galaxy M51 is quite simply the best around. You will find all the details in our complete test of the Samsung Galaxy M51 .

The big mid-range

8 / 10

Samsung Galaxy A71

  • A good general balance
  • A slightly larger screen than the A51
  • OneUI 2.0: the new interface from Samsung

Available at 379 € on Samsung

After a successful Galaxy A70 in 2019, Samsung is backing up with the Galaxy A71. We use the same formula, and it still works. The Galaxy A71, like the Galaxy A51, strikes a good balance on all points, whether in design, battery life or the camera and of course the screen. Samsung’s know-how on the matter is undeniable, it is still the strong point of the mid-range terminals of the Korean brand.

On the other hand, it slows down slightly on performance with a Snapdragon 730, even if the whole is correct. It also suffers from the comparison with the A51 which offers very similar performance for a lower price. The Galaxy A71 is therefore rather recommended if you are looking for a slightly larger format phone thanks to its 6.7 inch screen. You can find all the details in our Samsung Galaxy A71 review.

The best quality / price ratio

8 / 10

Samsung Galaxy A51

  • A good Super AMOLED display
  • Comfortable autonomy
  • OneUI 2.0: the new interface from Samsung

Available at 279 € on Samsung

After the flamboyant Galaxy A50 in 2019, here is the Galaxy A51 in 2020. The previous vintage was excellent, this one is just as good. It takes all the qualities of its predecessor, but makes a few tweaks to improve the experience and make it all the rage for the season. The Amoled display is still excellent and grows slightly to reach 6.5 inches (down from 6.4 previously). It also switches to the center punch, inherited from Note 10 , instead of the water drop notch.

New generation requires, it gains a little power with this Exynos 9611 – which roughly corresponds to a Snapdragon 712 – supported by 4 GB of RAM. This gives the terminal a perfectly smooth behavior and you will be able to play anything, although it will sometimes take a few graphics concessions. Note, however, that Fortnite does not have citizenship, at least for the moment, but an update can always arrive.

This configuration remains relatively inexpensive. Like its predecessor, the Galaxy A51 thus offers solid autonomy thanks to its 4000 mAh battery: 11:26 a.m. during our personalized Viser test, which in practice translates into a full day and a half of use, or even two days.

For more information, find our complete review of the Samsung Galaxy A51 .

The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the 2020 flagship for Samsung. It is therefore no surprise in the technical debauchery. The main differences with last year’s Note 10 are first in the display. It is still Amoled, but this time with a refresh rate of 120 Hz. Besides the intrinsic quality of the – very large – 6.9 inch panel, this gain in fluidity is particularly pleasant to use. We liked it at OnePlus and others, now it is at Samsung too.

The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the best camera phone currently available from the Korean manufacturer. It is equipped with a versatile 108 + 12 + 12 megapixel triple sensor which offers excellent rendering in the vast majority of situations. Its portrait mode is particularly effective and we will even tend to say that its low light mode is almost too effective since it tends to brighten the scene a lot, without flash.

The large size of the smartphone allows it to accommodate a nice battery, which provides comfortable autonomy even if we could have expected a little more from Samsung on this point. However, you will have no complaints about performance with a new Exynos 990 processor, engraved in 7 nm and the 12 GB of RAM that accompanies it. The ultimate you can admire in our Galaxy Note 20 Ultra review.

The Galaxy Z Flip 5G is the first foldable smartphone that can be recommended … if you want a foldable smartphone and are on a budget. A little more accessible than the Galaxy Fold which exceeded 2000 euros, this Z Flip 5G is also much more functional on a daily basis. By folding horizontally, we get the form factor of the clamshell smartphones of yesteryear. And, yeah, that’s downright cool.

While it does not have all the technological advances of the S20 range, the Z Flip 5G retains a solid technical sheet that broadly corresponds to what the high-end terminals of the year 2019 offered. sufficient for all uses and for the months to come. There is no need to worry. The photo portion is of the same ilk as well, somewhat in line with what was done last year.

The concern of the Z Flip 5G lies more in its autonomy, a little less well managed than on more traditional smartphones. You’ll have a hard time going past the day’s use, it’s tolerable, but the standard is now a day and a half of use. Samsung unsurprisingly uses its OneUI interface, but with some nice optimizations designed for this form factor. You can find all the details in our Galaxy Z Flip (4G) review.

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