The best Samsung phone: every phone Samsung still sells, ranked

If you're going Samsung, here are your choices

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By the end of 2017, almost 1 in 5 phones sold worldwide was a Samsung one – that's almost as good as Apple's figures and way ahead of anyone else in the market besides the big two. And it's no surprise: Samsung's phones are well built, powerful, and stylish.

But with so many top-quality mobiles to pick from, how do you find the one that's right for you? That's where we come in – here we're going to explain the best picks from all the phones you can currently buy direct from Samsung, including the new Galaxy S9 phones.

For the sake of simplicity we have had to cut own some of the older, pre-2017 handsets you can still find knocking around on the Samsung site – in any case, availability is likely to be pretty severely restricted on those phones. Here's how to spend your hard-earned cash.

Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

1. Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus

The best Samsung phone

Reasons to buy
+Bigger screen than the S9+Better specs than the S8 Plus

In our opinion the best Samsung phone at the moment is the Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus, with all of the upgrades this year: to the processor, to the camera, to the on-board OS, to the storage options, and so on. Unlike the regular S9, you get a dual-lens rear camera too.

Admittedly the specs jump from the S8 Plus to the S9 Plus is incremental rather than game-changing, but all the upgrades are welcome – and the new phone manages to shrink the bezels even further while adding some extra durability to the chassis and screen.

Samsung Galaxy S9

The Samsung Galaxy S9

2. Samsung Galaxy S9

The more compact option

Reasons to buy
+Top specs in a smaller size+Worth the upgrade over the S8

Maybe you'd much rather handle a 5.8-inch screen rather than a 6.1-inch one, in which case the Samsung Galaxy S9 has you covered, with its top performance, fantastic camera, and Android 8.0 on board (though it doesn't have the dual-lens camera of the S9 Plus).

That means the same internal specs, with the exception of the RAM – 4GB instead of 6GB. It's a faster, better designed option than the Galaxy S8 that came before it too, with the rear fingerprint sensor in a place that actually makes sense, and improved specs all round.

Samsung Galaxy Note 8

The Samsung Galaxy Note 8

3. Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Maximum screen size

Reasons to buy
+The biggest Galaxy phone+The added bonus of a stylus

If you want the biggest screen possible on a Samsung phone – and think you might make use of a stylus too – then the Galaxy Note 8 is the device to go for (at least until the Galaxy Note 9 turns up). The 18.5:9 Note 8 display manages a huge 6.3 inches, corner to corner.

Of course you get top of the line specs too, or at least top of the line for 2017. With the Note 9 around the corner you might be able to find some decent deals for the Note 8, and it's still going to last you for a long time. The Android 8.0 Oreo update is rolling out now too.

Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

4. Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus

The cream of 2017

Reasons to buy
+Massive 6.2-inch Infinity Display+Still very competitive specs

When it comes to the Galaxy phones of 2017, it's pretty much the same story as 2018 – the bigger phone is the one to go for, with more screen space and a larger battery, if you can afford it. We'd put the Samsung Galaxy S8 Plus just ahead of the Galaxy S8 from last year.

You get a fantastic 6.2-inch Infinity Display screen, the top-end (for 2017) Snapdragon 835 or Exynos 8895, and 4GB or 6GB of RAM. Even a year on, those are still excellent specs, so with Android 8.0 Oreo is now rolling out for these phones too, it's an appealing package.

Samsung Galaxy S8

The Samsung Galaxy S8

5. Samsung Galaxy S8

This remains a superb phone

Reasons to buy
+One of the best 2017 phones+Almost no weak points

It's more than a year old now, but like the Galaxy S8 Plus, the Samsung Galaxy S8 is still a superb phone: it boasts specs that were top of the line for 2017, that fantastic-looking 5.8-inch Infinity Display, waterproofing, decent battery life, a fine camera, and so on.

So why is it lower in our list? Well, it's just that Samsung now makes even better phones, but don't be put off the S8 too much – you may well be able to find it for a very good price now, and Android software updates for it will still be rolling out for a couple of years yet.

Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus

The Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus

6. Samsung Galaxy A8 Plus

Good phones don't have to break the bank

Reasons to buy
+Generous 6-inch Infinity Display+Plenty of phone for your money

You can think of the A8 phones as scaled down versions of the S8 handsets, though they're newer – we'd certainly suggest checking these phones out if you want something that looks good, works well, but won't break the bank like the top-end Samsung phones will.

Again, we always give preference to the larger phone in a Samsung pair, though it really depends on your personal preference as well as your budget. The A8 Plus offers a 6-inch screen, an Exynos 7885 chipset, a choice of 4GB or 6GB of RAM, and a 16MP rear camera.

Samsung Galaxy A8

The Samsung Galaxy A8

7. Samsung Galaxy A8

Think of it as an S8 Mini

Reasons to buy
+Compact and powerful+Decent specs at a decent price
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

And then there's the smaller Samsung Galaxy A8, which gives you just about everything you get with the Galaxy A8 Plus but with a smaller 5.6-inch screen. Like its bigger sibling, the phone is waterproof, though you only get the 4GB of RAM option with this handset.

Again the single-lens 16MP rear camera is here to take care of all your photo-snapping needs, but this being Samsung, you know it's going to be capable of some pretty impressive results. It's available with 32GB or 64GB of storage, with microSD expansion.

Samsung Galaxy A5

The Samsung Galaxy A5

8. Samsung Galaxy A5

Mid-range class

Reasons to buy
+Perfect for everyday phone use+Simple but stylish design
Reasons to avoid
-Empty List

Let's not forget that Samsung makes some very good mid-range phones too, besides its top-of-the-range flagships, and the A5 is currently one of the best value ones you can get your hands on direct from Samsung – not everyone needs the very best specs in a phone.

The 5.2-inch Galaxy A5 brings with it an Exynos 7880 chipset, 3GB of RAM, and either 32GB or 64GB of storage (which can be expanded via microSD). Its design is simple but stylish, and there's a choice of colours, as well as a competent 16MP camera around the back.

Samsung Galaxy A3

The Samsung Galaxy A3

9. Samsung Galaxy A3

Value, value value

Reasons to buy
+Less powerful and expensive than the A5+Pick a colour to suit your style

Why would you pick the Galaxy A3 rather than the A5? Well, it's cheaper for a start, but still keeps the elegant design and colour options of its sibling – Black Sky, Gold Sand, Blue Mist and Peach Cloud. It suits those with smaller hands too, with a screen size of just 4.7 inches.

You're also looking at a 13MP rear camera, an Exynos 7870 chipset, 2GB of RAM, and 16GB of storage, which you'll probably want to expand with some microSD storage. It's a phone that certainly looks more expensive than it is whenever you pull it out of your pocket.