Want a top of the line smartphone to buy in Nigeria? Samsung or IOS, which are you picking? Notice how I didn’t say android or iOS? Yeah, not a mistake. Samsung is pretty much the most established Android brand by market share and virtually other metric too.
In 2019, the company sold over 296 million smartphone units ahead of any other phone maker (Apple inclusive). That’s 50 million more than the next competitor, Huawei.
There’s a reason for these stellar numbers, and it’s the simple fact that Samsung’s engineers know how to make phones after their consumers’ hearts.
While the S20 plus might not be the most packed phone spec-wise, or the A30s the most reasonably priced budget phone, it’s still the phone most android users will buy. If you’re in the market for a bit of the Samsung experience – like the majority of the world’s Android phone users – here’s a guide to help you make the right purchase decision.
Overall best – the Samsung S20 plus
Let’s cut to the chase. If you have the money and you want the all-round best Samsung phone in Nigeria, the Samsung Galaxy S20 Plus is the clear winner by a wide margin.
No surprise here, the Galaxy S series is, of course, Samsung’s flagship model. Given that it’s the newest kid on the Sammy block, it comes loaded with the latest best-in-class hardware.
You’ll like it because:
It has the best display
Samsung’s dynamic OLED screens are to die for, and with the S20 spotting the long-awaited 120hz refresh rate display, it’s simply the best Samsung display out there over the Galaxy Note 10 plus (60hz refresh rate).
It has the best battery in Samsung’s premium line-up
4500mAh, and by Samsung standards, that’s a lot. For comparison, the much bulkier Note 10 plus checks in at 4300mAh. Although the S20 Ultra spots a juicier battery pack, I’ll tell you in a bit why it isn’t the best Samsung phone YOU should buy.
Fair to note that the extra battery capacity doesn’t necessarily translate to so much of extra battery life. That’s thanks to the power-intensive 120hz refresh rate.
The camera is lightyears ahead of anything out there
The S20 plus takes some of the best photos for any smartphone camera out there. In Samsung’s smartphone line-up, it’s unarguably the best camera overall.
The S20 Ultra packs a much maxed out camera module, but between its buggy camera performance and the fact that you need to pay an additional NGN152,000, the S20 plus is better suited for your needs. I don’t think you’ll be needing a 100x zoom anytime soon.
The S20 plus’s camera module is a quad-cam setup with a 12MP wide camera, a 64MP telephoto cam, an ultra-wide 12MP camera, and a time of flight (ToF) sensor.
Sparing you the details, this setup is finetuned to deliver the crispest, sharpest, and colorful pictures with perfect bokeh in as many conditions as you can imagine. Quite literally, the S20 plus will continue to take the best photos come rain, sunshine, hail, day or night time.
It’s refreshingly sleek
If we were to describe the S20 plus in two words, it’d be chic and stylish. Subtle yet overflowing screens give this truly bezel-less smartphone that fine form of perfection every other smartphone manufacturer continues to chase.
A flawlessly executed hole punch sits atop everything to add just enough sophistication to make the S20 as intriguing as it is fanciful. Really I could on and on, but you’re better of seeing the S20 plus yourself.
It’s not a slacker
12GB of RAM to handle whatever form of multitasking you throw at it, another 128GB of UFS storage to store as much as 4,368 videos, and Snapdragon’s 685 (or Samsung’s Exynos) chipset onboard, the Galaxy S20 Plus is a power users’ dream.
Expect no slouch or sluggishness while using this device.
It’s better than the S20 Ultra
On paper, the S20 Ultra blows the S20 plus out of the water, a ‘daredevil’ camera setup with a 108MP camera, pixel binning technology, 100X zoom, and a 5000mAh battery pack makes this the special S20.
But the special tag doesn’t necessarily translate to ‘value’ at least from the consumer’s perspective. Preliminary tests have shown that the S20 Ultra camera is buggy.
Its battery performance is not so encouraging as well, despite the beefier battery capacity. And on the looks department, it doesn’t even come close to its sister phones.
To conclude, If the S20 plus is a sleek and curvy Koenigsegg Gemera, the S20 Ultra is a brute looking Dodge Challenger.
Best budget Samsung – the Galaxy A30s
Affordability is not something most people tend to associate with the Samsung brand, but that doesn’t mean they’re no affordable Samsung phones out in the market.
Fair to note that ‘affordable’ from the Samsung perspective is a tad bit different and I’ll come out to tell you that instead of purchasing a Samsung phone retailing for sub NGN70,000 you’re better off buying a flagship phone from a budget phone manufacturer (Tecno, Infinix, Itel).
That said, If you’ve got above 90,000 our choice best budget Samsung phone for you is the Samsung Galaxy A30s.
Why you will love it:
It’s cheap, obviously.
Right now, on Jumia, you can get the A30s for about NGN89,000. For a 64GB, 4G smartphone with 4GB of RAM, that’s not too shoddy.
Note, however, that there are a few other smartphones from other manufacturers that trump the A30s at this price point. If you’re not all too invested in the Samsung brand, you should definitely check them out.
Spec-wise the A30s is decent
Onboard the A30s is a Samsung Exynos 7904 Octa-core processor matched with 4GB of RAM. That’s enough to handle all the tasks you’re gonna throw at it as an everyday user. A very large (for the price) 4000mAh battery powers this all up, so decent battery life is a given as well.
Design and finesse
Unlike most other smartphones at this range, the A30s ships with an optical in-display fingerprint reader. The design factor is unique and premium enough at this price point; you get a plastic build at the back with a 268ppi Amoled waterdrop HD display.
The camera takes some pretty awesome shots (for the price)
At this point, if you’re getting hooked to the A30s, you’re probably asking how good is the A30s camera. Simple answer, pretty good.
The triple 25MP, 8MP, and 5MP camera setup on the A30s do a great job of taking super cool shots. The quality is right on the money for the average user who just wants to post cute pics on social media.
Unlike premium Samsung phones, however, the A30s’ primary camera uses a relatively tiny aperture (F2.0) and lacks optical image stabilization(OIS). You’ll need OIS if you plan to take crisp and sharp photos in all situations.
The best mid-tier Samsung phone – the Samsung Galaxy A51
The Mid-tier range is for users who want a dose of the flagship experience at a price that’s give-or-take NGN100,000 below standard flagship pricing.
For a price of 133,000 NGN, the Samsung Galaxy A51 is our choice mid-tier smartphone. While you’ll not get premium spec features like phase detection autofocus and IP68 water/dust resistance, Samsung designed this phone to exude a bit of that faux premium feel.
What that means is you get:
Premium grade specs
The A51 ships with a quad-core 48MP, 12MP, 5MP, 5MP camera setup that’s tuned to take incredibly awesome photos. The onboard processor is a Samsung Exynos 9611 octa-core processor matched to 6GB of RAM and 128GB of built-in UFS storage.
At the front, everything is presented through a 405 PPI AMOLED display. This means that despite having a larger and better screen to body ratio than the pricier Samsung Galaxy A71, the Galaxy A51 delivers sharper images and videos in more detail than the former.
Distinctive form factor
Samsung is world-famous for the designs of its A-list smartphones, I mean the Note 10 is an absolute stunner. Often, however, this design language doesn’t drip down to its more modestly priced options, but that’s not the case with the Galaxy A51.
With its hole-punch display and rather fantastic screen to body ratio (87.44%), the Galaxy A51 is a sure head-turner. For comparison, the iPhone 11, Apple’s flagship has a screen to body ratio of 82.9%, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 10 has a better 91.66% screen to body ratio.
So, what’s the cut. How’s Samsung managing to sell this device at such a low price (by its standards) with an impressive line-up of features.
Easy, it has shaved off a myriad of somewhat gimmicky features that would have certainly improved the experience of using this smartphone but won’t be missed if they were not there. As standard the Samsung Galaxy A51 ships without:
- Wireless charging
- IP68 resistance rating
- 4000mAh of battery capacity
- An optical in-display fingerprint reader (compared to an ultrasound one as is found in the Note 10)
The relatively small battery life is the most apparent drawback but come to think about it, is 4000mAh really small, probably not.
The best bang for buck – the Galaxy S10
Our bang for buck smartphone is the Samsung Galaxy S10. This phone was released back in early 2019, that however, doesn’t stop it from being a worthy contender in a 2020 ranking.
Back then, when it was released, the Galaxy S10 came equipped with an Exynos 9820 (Qualcomm SM8150 for the American and Chinese markets) processor, 128GB, and 8GB of storage and RAM respectively (in the base model), and an astonishingly good triple camera setup.
If you look closely, you’ll see that this spec sheet is still outstanding in 2020, but unlike 2019, you don’t need to shell out premium cash to get your hands on a Galaxy S10.
On Jumia and Konga, the Galaxy S10 currently retails for give-or-take NGN250,000. You can get it cheaper if you order yourself from Amazon.
For that price and in addition to the amazing spec you get:
One of the best cameras in the smartphone market
The S10’s camera still stands up tall in 2020 because it’s just that good. Its f/1.5 -2.4 variable aperture primary camera captures detailed images in light and dark situations. Despite lacking the Time of Flight (ToF) sensor found in its successor, the Galaxy S10 still manages to handle depth well with the information it gets from its 12MP f/2.4 telephoto lens.
Portraits here are super sharp with just the right bit of bokeh. Colors are vibrant but still well within the realms of ‘real’ as well.
Top draw display – top draw design
With the Samsung Galaxy S10, you get a stunning display parsed into what is still one of the finest and sturdiest smartphone builds. At the front, it’s all seductively impressive screen with a signature hole-punch for its dual front-facing camera.
The Galaxy S10’s display is a QHD Super AMOLED panel measuring 6.4 inches with a pixel density of 522 PPI. This is mated to an all-glass back, and the phone itself is almost bezel-less for that refreshingly flush and sexy look.
Everything you need in a premium top of the line smartphone
In-display ultrasound fingerprint reader – check. Heart rate monitor – check. IP68 dust and water resistance – check. NFC and Samsung pay – check. Fast wireless charging and reverse wireless charging – check. Here’s where it gets interesting, onboard 3.5mm headphone jack – yes absolutely check – you won’t find that on the Samsung Galaxy S20.
Something for the geeks – the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip
You’d think the S20 Ultra should snatch this spot, but Nah, that phone is just an overly overengineered Galaxy S20 Plus, and even its overengineered features are buggy.
Our Samsung ‘Geekchoice’ instead goes to the newly released Galaxy Z flip. At NGN520,000, the Galaxy Z Flip is not by any stretch of the imagination cheap. So why should you buy instead of, say the Galaxy S20 Plus, which is better specked and costs less? I’ll tell you why:
Flip phones will forever hold a special place in the hearts of those born in the early 2000s, and If you’re feeling like connecting to the past, the Galaxy Z flip is your current best bet.
Although Motorola released a contemporary version of its Razr smartphone not too long ago, the Z Flip trumps it fair and square in practically every area – build quality, functionality, practicality, looks you name it.
It’s capable under the hood
The Galaxy Z flip is not just about the looks and nostalgia though, under the hood, it packs impressive firepower too. A Qualcomm SM8150 Snapdragon 855+ processor plus 8GB of RAM and 128GB of storage runs this phone, so pretty much Galaxy S10 standard. The camera is a dual 12MP f/1.8 (wide), 12MP f/2.2 (ultrawide) setup, which is subpar to the Samsung Galaxy S10 and S20 cameras but still good enough to take beautiful pictures.
It’s drop-dead stylish
If tech was your way of making a fashion statement, the Galaxy Z Flip is the ultimate fashion accessory. This phone comes in captivating head-turning dark black and purple finishes.
The folding design on its own is legendary, but Samsung managed to spice it up to new levels of awesomeness. You’re better seeing this one yourself.
So which Samsung phone should you go for?
That’s all up to you, your budget, and your preferences. Hopefully, this guide was pointer enough to help you make an informed decision.
In text images © Aaron Yoo @ TheBetterDay and licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0
Featured image "Samsung Galaxy S8" by Ben Miller @ BENPRO.AT and licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0