Galaxy S, Note, A and Z compared

(Pocket-lint) – Samsung has numerous options within its smartphone portfolio, from the flagship Galaxy Z folding models to the latest Galaxy S and Galaxy Note ranges.

There’s also the sub-flagship Galaxy A range to consider, as well as the older Galaxy S and Galaxy Note models. Choosing the right Galaxy for you if it’s Samsung you are after is no easy task. 

We’ve broken down the four core ranges – Galaxy S, Note, A and Z – and the devices available within each to help you choose the right Samsung device for you and your budget.

Quick Summary

• The Samsung Galaxy S range is the company’s main flagship smartphone range. Most of its models have a glass and metal waterproof design, lots of power and the best cameras. 

• The Samsung Galaxy Note series is often more expensive than the S range, but it adds S Pen functionality with the stylus built into a metal and glass design. The overall look has similar traits to the Galaxy S range.

• The Samsung Galaxy A is the sub-flagship range, sitting below the S range in terms of price, but borrowing several of its design features including full displays and under-screen fingerprint sensors in some models.

• The Galaxy Z series is the Samsung’s folding smartphones, sitting at the top of the portfolio in terms of price and offering the company’s latest innovations in design.

Samsung / Pocket-lint

Samsung Galaxy S

The 2021 flagships for the Galaxy S range are the S21, S21+ and the S21 Ultra, succeeding the S20, S20+ and the S20 Ultra from 2020. There’s also the cheaper but great S20 FE to consider. In 2019, there was the Galaxy S10e, S10 and S10+, which are still available to buy. We wouldn’t recommend going further back than that because of a lack of software updates.

Samsung Galaxy S21

  • Dimensions: 151.7 x 71.2 x 7.9mm, 172g, IP68
  • Display: 6.2-inches, Full HD+, Infinity-O, 120Hz
  • Cameras: 12MP main + 12MP ultra wide + 64MP zoom; 10MP front
  • Storage: 128/256GB, no microSD 
  • Battery: 4000mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S21 succeeds the S20, offering a new processor, 5G capabilites, a slight redesign, but otherwise a very similar offering to the 2020 handset. It offers a flat display instead of curved, and a drop in resolution to Full HD+.

The material finish is also plastic rather than glass, like the Galaxy S20 FE. It offers the same camera hardware as the S20 however, as well as the same battery capacity and RAM. It’s the entry point into the new Galaxy S devices.

Samsung Galaxy S21+

  • Dimensions: 161.5 x 75.6 x 7.8mm, 202g, IP68
  • Display: 6.7-inches, Full HD+, Infinity-O, 120Hz
  • Cameras: 12MP main + 12MP ultra wide + 64MP zoom; 10MP front
  • Storage: 128/256GB, no microSD 
  • Battery: 4800mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S21+ offers almost identical specifications to its smaller sibling, the Galaxy S21. It is slightly larger and heavier, offering a bigger display but like the S21, it is a flat display with a Full HD+ resolution rather than curved like the S20+

The camera hardware is the same as the Galaxy S21 and the Galaxy S20, ditching the depth sensor from the Galaxy S20+. We expect it to deliver good results and this 2021 model has a battery increase compared to its predecessor too.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra

  • Dimensions: 165.1 x 75.6 x 8.9mm, 228g, IP68
  • Display: 6.8-inches, Quad HD+, Infinity-O, Adaptive 120Hz
  • Cameras: 108MP main + 12MP ultra wide + 10MP tele + 10MP tele 2; 40MP front
  • Storage: 128/256/512GB, no microSD 
  • Battery: 5000mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra is the top of the S21 range, offering the largest display, a glass and metal body, an adaptive 120Hz refresh rate and a sharper display than the S21 and S21+.

It also has a different camera loadout than the other two devices in the range with two telephoto lenses on board. Additionally, the S21 Ultra comes with S Pen functionality, putting it up against the Note range, even though the difference here is that the Ultra doesn’t have the S Pen included. It’s the most expensive of the S21 range however so be prepared to dig deep.

Samsung Galaxy S20 FE

  • Dimensions: 159.8 x 74.5 x 8.4mm, 190g, IP68
  • Display: 6.5-inch, Full HD+, Infinity-O, 120Hz,
  • Cameras: 12MP main + 12MP ultra wide + 8MP zoom; 32MP front
  • Storage: 128GB, microSD 
  • Battery: 4500mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S20 FE launched after the rest of the Galaxy S20 range but it offers a lot for its price point – which is quite a bit lower than the Galaxy S20. The FE, or Fan Edition, offers a big display with a 120Hz refresh rate, along with a design that is the same as the S20 range but with a plastic body instead of glass.

It drops the screen resolution to Full HD+ like the S21 and S21+ and it has a flat display with larger bezels than the rest of the S20 range, but it offers a good camera loadout, a good battery and it’s a great price.

Samsung Galaxy S20

  • Dimensions: 151.7 x 69.1 x 7.9mm, 163g, IP68
  • Display: 6.2-inches, 3200 x 1440 (566ppi), Infinity-O, 120Hz
  • Cameras: 12MP main + 12MP ultra wide + 64MP zoom; 10MP front
  • Storage: 128GB, microSD 
  • Battery: 4000mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S20 is the foundation for the 2020 phones, updating the Galaxy S10, with new hardware, a new display that offers 120Hz, a bigger battery and new cameras. 

The camera gets a new sensor with larger pixels and a more impressive zoom arrangement giving you up to 30X digital zoom, as well as 8K video capture. This model also comes in 4G or 5G versions. It’s more affordable than the bigger devices, but the display is smaller. Overall, it’s a good solid phone.

Samsung Galaxy S20+

  • Dimensions: 161.9, 73.7 x 7.8mm, 186g, IP68
  • Display: 6.7-inches, 3200 x 1440 (524ppi), Infinity-O, 120Hz
  • Cameras: 12MP main + 12MP ultra wide + 64MP zoom + DepthVision; 10MP front
  • Storage: 128/512GB, microSD
  • Battery: 4500mAh


Switching things up, the S20+ is probably the sweet spot for many in the S20 series, in terms of size, but it only comes as a 5G handset in many markets, making it look relatively expensive compared to the S10+ that it replaces. 


It also offers lots of power, that great display with 120Hz for those who want it, and a new camera system – the same as the Galaxy S20 and S21 but with an added depth sensor – which doesn’t appear to do much. The battery is respectable making this a good all-rounder.

Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra

  • Dimensions: 166.9 x 76.0 x 8.8mm, 220g, IP68
  • Display: 6.9-inches, 3200 x 1440 (509ppi), Infinity-O, 120Hz
  • Cameras: 108MP main + 12MP ultra wide + 48MP zoom + DepthVision; 40MP front
  • Storage: 128/512GB, microSD
  • Battery: 5000mAh


The Galaxy S20 Ultra sets out to be the greatest of the Galaxy S20 family with big everything: big display, big battery, big camera resolutions. Just like the S21 Ultra that replaces it. That all, sadly, comes at a big price.


On the whole the S20 Ultra is a great phone, but the battery might not last as long as you expect and the cameras are a little oversold, so the 100X zoom headline doesn’t really deliver. It’s a 5G phone.

Samsung Galaxy S10e

  • Dimensions: 142.2 x 69.9 x 7.9mm, 150g, IP68
  • Display: 5.8-inches, 2280 x 1080 (438ppi), flat Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 16MP wide + 12MP main; 10MP front
  • Storage: 128GB or 256GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 3100mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S10e was originally the cheapest of the S10 range, offering a flat display and a physical fingerprint sensor, rather than a curved screen and under-display sensor. On the back, the S10e has a dual camera instead of triple.

It misses out on a couple of the features but the S10e still offers a fresh design, as well as lovely build quality and good hardware. It’s undercut by the impressive S10 Lite however, which appears to offer more for the money.

Samsung Galaxy S10 Lite

  • Dimensions: 162.5 x 75.6 x 8.1 mm, 186g
  • Display: 6.7-inches, 1080 x 2400 (394ppi), Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 48MP main + 12MP wide + 5MP; 32MP front
  • Storage: 128GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 4500mAh


An addition to the S10 range, this handset debuted alongside the Note 10 Lite at CES 2020 in early January. 

It fits into the range above the S10e. Why? It has more cameras, a larger screen and a bigger battery. It’s actually the largest of the standard S10 series, having the same screen size as the S10 5G. 

It also has some other premium specs, not least the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 platform under the hood. Confusing, but given the price, very compelling. 

Samsung Galaxy S10

  • Dimensions: 149.9 x 70.4 x 7.8mm, 157g, IP68
  • Display: 6.1-inches, 3040 x 1440 (550ppi), dual-edge Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 16MP + 12MP + 12MP, 10MP front
  • Storage: 128GB or 512GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 3400mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S10 is a great device, featuring a lovely design and plenty of features including an in-display fingerprint sensor and reverse wireless charging.

There’s a triple camera on the rear and the 19.5:9 aspect ratio display is stunning, while the software experience is up there with the best.

Samsung Galaxy S10+

  • Dimensions: 157.6 x 74.1 x 7.8mm, 175g, IP68
  • Display: 6.4-inches, 3040 x 1440 (522ppi), dual-edge Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 16MP + 12MP + 12MP; 10MP front
  • Storage: 128GB, 512GB or 1TB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 4100mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S10+ features an outstanding display, brilliant sound quality and a great software experience packed full of features.

The design is great, it has a fun wide-angle camera and it offers strengths in all areas, delivering one of the best phones of 2019.

Samsung Galaxy S10 5G

  • Dimensions: 1162.6 x 77.1 x 7.9mm, 198g, IP68
  • Display: 6.7-inches, 3040 x 1440 (505ppi), dual-edge Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 3D Depth + 16MP + 12MP + 12MP; 10MP front + 3D Depth Camera
  • Storage: 256GB or 512GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 4500mAh


The Samsung Galaxy S10 5G follows a very similar design to the S10+ but it’s larger, has a couple of extra cameras and most importantly, it is 5G-enabled.

It’s not cheap, but it has a good design, great camera potential and if you’re after a 5G phone, it’s an option worth considering as it should be available at good prices now the S10 range has been superseded twice.

Samsung / Pocket-lint

Samsung Galaxy Note

The main models in the Galaxy Note range are the Note 20 and Note 20 Ultra (and their 5G variants), all of which launched in August 2020. Don’t ignore the Note 10 Lite, Note 10 and Note 10+ if you’re interested in the Note though.

As ever, only opt for a Note if you’re going to make use of the S Pen stylus and consider the S20 Ultra if you want S Pen compatibility but without it being built in. 

Samsung Galaxy Note 20

  • Dimensions: 161.6 x 75.2 x 8.3mm, 192g (LTE), 194g (5G), IP68
  • Display: 6.7-inches, 2400 x 1080 (393ppi), flat Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 12MP main + 12MP ultra-wide + 64MP telephoto; 10MP front
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB (5G), 256GB (LTE), no microSD support
  • Battery: 4300mAh


The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 offers a similar design to the Note 10 it succeeds, but it opts for a flat display and changes the camera housing on the rear to a more pronounced offering. There’s also a ‘glasstic’ rear instead of glass but the overall design is lovely and neat.

The camera system is the same as what you’ll find in the Galaxy S20 and S21 so it should deliver great things, and while the display sticks to a 60Hz refresh rate and there’s no microSD support again, if you’re looking for a phone with an integrated stylus then there’s little better than the note-taking potential of this phone.

Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra

  • Dimensions: 164.8 x 77.2 x 8.1mm, 208g, IP68
  • Display: 6.9-inches, 3088 x 1440 (496ppi), dual edge Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 12MP main + 108MP ultra-wide + 12MP telephoto; 10MP front
  • Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB (5G), 256GB/512GB (LTE), microSD support
  • Battery: 4500mAh


The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra sits at the top of the Galaxy Note series and it offers some of the best technology Samsung has to offer. It has a similar design to the Note 10+ but changes things up in the rear camera housing as well as the camera make up. A similar offering to the S20 Ultra is on board but with a laser sensor to help with the zoom – which has dropped to 50X instead of 100X.

After nearly 10 years at the cutting edge, the Samsung Galaxy Note series is still on top of its game. Yes, it’s easy to see the Note 20 Ultra as “just another Note” – but that’s because it’s got so much right.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

  • Dimensions: 151 x 71.8 x 7.9mm, 168g, IP68
  • Display: 6.3-inches, 2280 x 1080 (401ppi), dual edge Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 12MP + 16MP + 12MP; 10MP front
  • Storage: 256GB, no microSD support
  • Battery: 3500mAh


The Samsung Galaxy Note 10 offers a cleaner design than the S10 range with vertical rear camera setup and a centralised punch-hole front camera.

It was the first Note device to offer a smaller screen but it retains all the S Pen performance of the other models. A few compromises have been made, such as a lower resolution display and no microSD support, but the Note 10 is a great option for those that have always wanted a Note but may have found it too big. There’s the option of 4G and 5G models too.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10+

  • Dimensions: 162.3 x 77.2 x 7.9mm, 196g, IP68
  • Display: 6.8-inches, 3040 x 1440 (498ppi), dual edge Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 16MP + 12MP + 12MP + Depth; 10MP front
  • Storage: 256GB/512GB, microSD support (up to 1TB)
  • Battery: 4300mAh


The Samsung Galaxy Note 10+ has the same design as the Note 10 but on a larger scale. It also ups the rear camera lenses to four, adding a depth sensor and it increases the screen resolution and size too.

The S Pen stylus and its gesture controls are great, while the huge screen and neat punch hole camera are everything you’d hope for from the Note series. There’s also smooth and speedy operation, making the Note 10+ a fabulous handset. Like the standard Note 10, there are 4G and 5G options.

Samsung Galaxy Note 10 Lite

  • Dimensions: 163.7 x 76.1 x 8.7mm, 199g
  • Display: 6.7 inches, 2400 x 1080 (394ppi), Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 12MP + 12MP + 12MP; 32MP front
  • Storage: 128GB, microSD
  • Battery: 4500mAh


The Note 10 Lite arrived in January 2020 and is an entry to the Note range that reflects what Samsung tried to do with the S10e – have a cheaper model that still retained a premium name. 

It’s no slouch with an Exynos 9810 octa-core platform underpinning everything and it only features a few corner cuts as opposed to the main Note 10 models. It’s also bigger than the standard Note 10, but slightly smaller than the Note 10+. 

It doesn’t, however, quite have the specs to compete with the S10 Lite.

Samsung / Pocket-lint

Samsung Galaxy A

Samsung also offers a wide range of A models, which might be worth considering depending on what you want from your smartphone. There’s some overlap with Galaxy S phones, especially at the top end.

Samsung Galaxy A90 5G

  • Dimensions: 164.8 x 76.4 x 8.4mm, 206g
  • Display: 6.7-inches, 2400 x 1080 (393ppi), Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 48MP + 5MP + 8MP; 32MP front
  • Storage: 128GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 4500mAh


The Samsung Galaxy A90 5G has a large display with a small waterdrop notch at the top and a triple vertical camera on the rear, neatly positioned in the top left corner. It’s also Snapdragon 855, so this is flagship grade, even if it is 2019 flagship grade.

There are some excellent features onboard this device, not just a lovely design and build quality but a triple rear camera, an under-display fingerprint scanner and 5G.

Samsung Galaxy A80

  • Dimensions: 165.2 x 76.5 x 9.3mm, 220g
  • Display: 6.7-inches, 2400 x 1080 (392ppi), Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: Rotating 48MP + 8MP + HQVGA
  • Storage: 128GB, no microSD support
  • Battery: 3700mAh


The Samsung Galaxy A80 has a huge, uninterrupted display thanks to the automatic slide up rotating camera. We weren’t 100 per cent sold on the rotating mechanism’s durability, but the A80 is a lovely looking device with some great features.

There are some excellent specs under its hood, including plenty of RAM, a battery that will likely see you through the day, as well as an under-display fingerprint sensor, bringing lots of flagship features for less money than the flagship Galaxy devices.

Samsung Galaxy A71

  • Dimensions: 163.6 x 76.0 x 7.7mm, 179g
  • Display: 6.7-inches, 2400 x 1080 (392ppi), Super AMOLED Plus
  • Cameras: 64MP main + 12MP ultra wide + 5MP macro + depth sensor; 32MP (f/2.2) front
  • Storage: 128GB, microSD support up to 1TB
  • Battery: 4500mAh


The Samsung Galaxy A71 was announced at the start of 2020, essentially an update for the A70. That brings with it newer hardware, but similar core specs. There’s the shift to Infinity-O for the display, with a punch hole rather than the notch of the A70. There is also a 5G version in some regions.

That’s joined by a higher resolution rear camera, going after the megapixels in this mid-range device. If you love the S10 range but you can’t justify the price tag, the A71 is half the price with plenty to love.

Samsung Galaxy A51 5G

  • Dimensions: 158.9 x 73.6 x 8.7mm, 187g
  • Display: 6.5-inches, 2400 x 1080 (405ppi), Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 48MP main + 12MP ultra-wide + 5MP depth + 5MP macro; 32MP (f/2.2) front
  • Storage: 128GB, microSD support up to 1TB
  • Battery: 4500mAh


There’s a few small differences between the Galaxy A51 and the Galaxy A71 models, but overall this is an update on the A50 model, with a larger display, increased resolution on the cameras and a larger battery capacity.

It’s still a mid-range device, but it is available with 5G in some regions. The base level of storage is generous with microSD expansion and a there’s a nice punch hole display too.

Samsung Galaxy A41

  • Dimensions: 149.9 x 69.8 x 7.9mm, 152g
  • Display: 6.1-inches, 2400 x 1080 (431ppi), Super AMOLED
  • Cameras: 48MP main + 8MP ultra wide + 5MP depth; 25MP front
  • Storage: 64GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 3500mAh


The Samsung Galaxy A41 updates the A40, moving to a 0.2-inch larger display with an under-display fingerprint scanner and a largwer battery. It keeps the Infinity-U display, so there’s a water drop notch at the top, rather than the punch hole that you’ll find on the A51.

There’s a step-down in the number of cameras from the A51, missing out on the macro camera, but otherwise the A41 offers a nice compact Samsung handset.

Samsung Galaxy A21s

  • Dimensions: 163.7 x 75.3 x 8.9mm, 192g
  • Display: 6.5-inches, 1600 x 720 (270ppi), TFT LCD
  • Cameras: Quad rear 48MP (f/2.0) main + 8MP (f/2.2) ultra wide + 2MP (f/2.4) depth + 2MP (f/2.4) macro; 13MP front (f/2.2)
  • Storage: 32GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 5000mAh


The Samsung Galaxy A21s has a huge display with a punch hole selfie camera in the top left corner, a huge battery that should more than see you through the day and a quad camera on the rear in a camera housing that resembles the more expensive S20 range.

There’s a physical fingerprint sensor on the rear and microSD support for storage expansion too. The resolution isn’t the highest, nor is the internal storage but for the price, the A21s could be a good option for those that want a Samsung with a big screen and big battery.

Samsung Galaxy A21e

  • Dimensions: 147.4 x 69.7 x 8.4mm, 141g
  • Display: 5.8-inches, 1560 x 720 (296ppi), TFT LCD
  • Cameras: Dual rear 13MP (f/1.9) main + 5MP (f/2.2) ultra wide; 8MP front (f/2.0)
  • Storage: 32GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 3000mAh


The Samsung Galaxy A21e doesn’t have a punch hole camera like the A20s – instead opting for a waterdrop notch at the top – making it look a little more dated. There’s a big enough display though, a dual rear camera and it still has a nice design for the price.

You get a little more with the A21s – especially in the case of the battery – but the A21e still has an ultra-wide angle camera on the rear to give you some interesting shots, as well as some software features for great selfies from the front.

Samsung Galaxy A10

  • Dimensions: 146.1 x 71.4 x 7.9mm, 157g
  • Display: 6.2-inches, 1520 x 720 (271ppi), TFT LCD
  • Cameras: 13MP (f/1.9, AF, FHD video), 5MP front (f/2.0)
  • Storage: 32GB, microSD support up to 512GB
  • Battery: 3400mAh


The Samsung Galaxy A10 is the cheapest A model device but it still has a huge display for its footprint, a large battery capacity that should easily see you through a day and then some and plenty of storage from the 512GB microSD support.

It doesn’t have a fingerprint sensor and it only offers a single rear camera and single front camera, but if you’re after a cheap Samsung device with a nice design and basic specifications, the Galaxy A10 might be the one for you.

Samsung / Pocket-lint

Samsung Galaxy Z

The Samsung Galaxy Z series sits at the top of the Galaxy portfolio in terms of price, mainly down to their folding designs. The two latest models are the Galaxy Z Fold 2 and the Galaxy Z Flip. There’s also the original folding device in the Galaxy Fold but it has had its issues so the newer model is likely the better option.

Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2

  • Dimensions: 159.2 x 128.2 x 6.9mm (unfolded), 159.2 x 68 x 16.8mm (folded), 282g
  • Internal display: 7.6-inches, 2208 x 1768 (372ppi), AMOLED
  • External display: 6.2-inches, 2260 x 816 (388ppi), AMOLED
  • Cameras: 12MP (f/1.8, AF, OIS), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 12MP telephoto (f/2.4), two 10MP front (f/2.0)
  • Storage: 256GB, no microSD support
  • Battery: 4500mAh


The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2 succeeds the original Galaxy Fold, offering the same book-style design with a vertical fold but featuring a number of refinements, including a hinge redesign. There’s also a larger external display on board and punch hole front cameras for a neater finish. 

The Galaxy Z Fold 2 appears to have fixed some of the biggest issues with the original Fold so if you’re after a folding smartphone and the latest innovation Samsung has to offer in terms of design, the Galaxy Z Fold 2 might be the one for you.

Samsung Galaxy Z Flip

  • Dimensions: 167.3 x 73.6 x 7.2mm (unfolded), 87.4 x 73.6 x 17.3mm (folded), 183g
  • Internal display: 6.7-inches, 2636 x 1080 pixels (425ppi), AMOLED
  • External display: 1.1-inches, 300 x 112 pixels (303ppi)
  • Cameras: 12MP (f/1.8), 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.2), 10MP front (f/2.4)
  • Storage: 256GB, no microSD support
  • Battery: 3300mAh


The Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 5G is also a foldable smartphone but it folds horizontally rather than vertically like the Fold, resulting in a very cool clamshell design. A little like an older Galaxy S model folded in half. There is a 4G model with the Qualcomm Snapdragon 855+ and a 5G model running the Snapdragon 865+.

The Z Flip 5G allows you to have a larger display but without that length in your pocket and the hinge design offers various viewing angles. There are some compromises in terms of camera and battery but for those after retro cool, the Z Flip could definitely be the Galaxy for you.

Writing by Britta O’Boyle.

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