Old Samsung phones still worth buying in 2023
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
When you think of Android OEMs, there’s a good chance that Samsung would be near the top of that mental list. The Korean firm has made some of the best Android phones, with the latest Galaxy S23 series setting the benchmark for others to follow. But what if you don’t have the capital to purchase the latest flagships but want a device that’ll still provide near-flagship caliber performance? Let’s turn back the clock and look at some old Samsung phones still worth their salt and your cash.
Why you should consider an old Samsung phone
We understand the allure of buying the latest flagship phones. You may be a power user craving the latest chipsets, camera hardware, and software support or simply want the latest and greatest available. However, buying the newest device available doesn’t always make sense financially. The Galaxy S23 series starts at a lofty $799 and runs up to $1,199 for the Galaxy S23 Ultra. You’ll need much more to snag a Galaxy Z Fold 4 or Z Flip 4. You can, however, skirt these pricing penalties by considering a phone just a few months older.
As the law of diminishing returns hits modern technology, we’ve seen more recent Samsung flagships take an iterative upgrade approach over sweeping, meaningful changes. For instance, beyond chipset, durability, and selfie camera upgrades, there aren’t many big-ticket changes between the S22 and S23. This means that opting for a slightly older phone affords you several great features that many of Samsung’s current flagships boast.
Of course, like buying a used car, considering an old phone comes with fine print. Software support becomes a concern the older the device is. Samsung has promised that new flagships phones from the Galaxy S22 series will be supported for five years with four major Android releases, but some phones, like the Galaxy S10 series, have already seen their last update. You may get a surprise patch occasionally, but be mindful that Samsung no longer supports many older devices.
Secondhand products are generally risky buys, as you’re relying on the original owner to be a careful user. These devices may have hidden issues or more noticeable aesthetic problems. You won’t have to worry about this with brand new devices. Additionally, if you damage your discontinued device in any way, there may no longer be a reliable stock of replacement components.
Ultimately, we think the risks are worth it. Some older phones can still afford users excellent value, especially considering many flagships from just a few years ago can now be had for new mid-range devices.
The best old Samsung phones still worth buying
Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus
Hadlee Simons / Android Authority
The Samsung Galaxy S22 Plus is one of the best examples of an older flagship that’s still worth buying. We had very few criticisms of the device when it launched in early 2022. The phone certainly lacked the drama of the Galaxy S22 Ultra but included a specs sheet that offered great value for the cash it demanded. It’s the bowl of porridge that Goldilocks would love.
The 6.6-inch 120Hz AMOLED screen is particularly impressive, yielding a pleasing color profile right out of the box. It’s bright, too, with our reviewer Eric Zeman stating it’s one of the brightest phone screens he has ever used. The panel helps accentuate the snaps garnered by the reliable 50MP main, 12MP ultrawide, and 10MP 3x telephoto camera array.
We think all three Galaxy S22 series models are worth buying in 2023, but the Plus offers the best value. You can find it for as low as $450 — slightly pricier than the Google Pixel 6a — at some retailers. For that price, especially considering its pending years of software support, it’s the best old Samsung phone you can buy in 2023.
Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
Our readers voted 2021’s Galaxy S21 Ultra as the Android phone of that year, and that’s no surprise. Two years later, the giant device is still an impressive piece of kit and falls well within Samsung’s five-year software update program.
Unlike older Samsung flagships, the Galaxy S21 Ultra’s battery life is one of its more impressive features. We garnered up to two days on a single charge during our review, which for its 6.8-inch screen and Snapdragon 888 is impressive. This is one of the first Samsung phones not to feature a charging brick in the box, but this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re buying the phone pre-owned.
Why is it still worth buying? Well, one of our biggest issues at launch was its price. The Galaxy S21 Ultra once retailed for $1,199. You can now find it for as low as $370 at some retailers. In essence, it’s now competing against the Google Pixel 6a and the Galaxy A53. Yes, the latter will include longer software support, but the Galaxy S21 Ultra makes sense for those craving a kitchen sink-packing handset that does almost everything well.
Samsung Galaxy S20 FE
Robert Triggs / Android Authority
For a more modern solution that now plays in the budget space, consider the Galaxy S20 FE. The “Fan Edition” models were created to plug the niche between the premium Galaxy S line and the mid-range A series. Age has been kind to the phone’s price.
The Galaxy S20 FE shades some of the Galaxy S20 Plus’ specs, including the generous 4,500mAh battery and 6.5-inch AMOLED screen. Beyond these, the device was nothing spectacular and Samsung made plenty of sacrifices for its lower retail price.
Samsung Galaxy S10
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority
Arriving over four years ago, the Galaxy S10 plays second fiddle to the premium Plus model. The phone may seem a curious inclusion as its lengthy update support period just ended. However, we think the Galaxy S10 still has a niche appeal that would make the perfect backup phone.
With a 19:9 aspect ratio and 6.1-inch display, it’s still one of the smaller, more pocket-friendly modern phones Samsung produced. It includes plenty of design quirks, from the horizontal camera bar at the rear, special edition candy colorways, and that camera cutout at the top-right of the screen. You also get a headphone jack and useful reverse charging functionality.
Since launch, the Galaxy S10 has been swamped by more modern competition and even modern mid-range phones, but we’ve found it for as low as $145 on eBay. You could get a Motorola G Power (2022) at that price, which may only beat the Galaxy S10 on battery endurance.
Samsung Galaxy Note 9
OK, hear us out. The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is the oldest phone on this list. Launched in 2018, this was the last fully-featured Note with a microSD card slot and headphone jack. Yes, it’s decidedly dated and no longer garners software support from Samsung. However, the Note 9 may still make sense for some seeking a large phone with oodles of storage for media consumption, content creation, or writers.
At the time of our review, we couldn’t get enough of its large AMOLED screen with improved S Pen smarts, and the generous internal storage options. Five years later, the chipset is starting to show its age, and its camera performance can’t stack up against modern Samsung models. However, we’d caution against nixing it from your shopping list.
Sure, it might only have collector’s appeal in 2023, but with the 512GB storage model going for as low as $250, it might be the perfect option for mass-storage media lovers. Pair it with a microSD card to store everything you could ever want.
Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 2
Eric Zeman / Android Authority
Samsung has steadily improved its foldable platform since the original Galaxy Fold, but its sequel may be the one to consider. When the Galaxy Z Fold 2 launched in 2020, we called out the steep asking price. However, this is no longer an issue — you can find it for around $280 on sites like eBay. For that money, it makes this the best old Samsung foldable phone you can buy.
For the price, you get a Snapdragon 865 Plus, 12GB of RAM, and 256GB of internal storage in a phone that includes a much larger screen if required. Lumping in the 7.6-inch foldable display makes this a great dedicated game emulation station or cross-continental travelers.
The Galaxy Z Fold 2 is a prime example of how shopping for an old Samsung phone makes plenty of financial sense. You can’t find a like-for-like alternative in this category and at this price. However, considering the nature of its design, think twice before buying a secondhand foldable phone.
Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3
Dhruv Bhutani / Android Authority
We wouldn’t call the Galaxy Z Flip 3 an old Samsung flip phone, but it’s not the new wine it once was. Still, considering its price used, it’s well worth a punt if you like a particularly compact form factor.
There’s not much you’re missing out on going with the Galaxy Z Flip 3 instead of the Flip 4. The former packs a 6.7-inch AMOLED main screen, up to 256GB of internal storage, the Snapdragon 888 SoC, and a pair of reliable 12MP primary cameras. Battery life could be better, but the phone remains a solid package.
Now, for the price. The Galaxy Z Flip 3 launched at a lofty $999, but we’ve found it for as low as $270 on eBay. For that price, you can snag a Motorola G Stylus (2022) and a Google Pixel 6a if you get lucky or can stretch your budget. But can you find another flip phone worth buying at this price in 2023? Not likely.
Should you buy these other old Samsung phones?
Oliver Cragg / Android Authority
We listed the best old Samsung phones worth buying in 2023, but there are plenty of other devices you may be considering. Here’s what you need to know about each:
- Samsung Galaxy S22 (Check pricing): The more compact Galaxy S22 model is worth buying in 2023 thanks to its compact size, still-fresh Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 chipset, and four pending years of software support.
- Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra (Check pricing): Last year’s Samsung flagship remains one of the best Samsung phones you can buy, even in 2023. It includes Note-inspired styling with an embedded S Pen, great performance, and a versatile camera setup. However, even used models demands a high price.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 FE (Check pricing): You’ll find minor upgrades to the chipset, camera performance, and design with the Galaxy S21 FE over the S20 FE. You can find it for around $230 on retailer sites. At that price, it’s worth considering if you value an additional year of software support.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 (Check pricing): We’re not crazy about its styling, but you can find pre-owned Galaxy S21 models within the $200-300 bracket, making the compact flagship a capable old Samsung phone to buy in 2023, and one that gives newer mid-range Samsung phones a run for their money.
- Samsung Galaxy S21 Plus (Check pricing): Samsung’s recent iterative upgrade philosophy is apparent with the Galaxy S21 Plus. Considering that the Galaxy S22 Plus makes for a much better buy in 2023, we recommend opting for that phone instead.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 and S20 Plus (Check pricing): Now three generations old, the Galaxy S20 and Galaxy S20 Plus are no longer worth buying when considering the Galaxy S22 lineup.
- Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra (Check pricing): The S20 Ultra launched at $1,149, making it one of the more expensive flagships you could buy in 2020. In 2023, the 128GB storage model can be had for around $300 renewed. That’s still pricey considering the Galaxy S21 Ultra is a more rounded device for a few bucks more.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 20 series (Check pricing): The last Samsung Galaxy Note line will have some collector’s appeal, but is it worth buying in 2023? In reality, the Galaxy S21 Ultra makes more sense thanks to its more modern hardware and longer software support period.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 10 series (Check pricing): The standard Note 10 can be had for under $200 if you’re lucky, and that’s an excellent price for a phone with a stylus in 2023.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 (Check pricing): We don’t recommend buying the Galaxy Note 8 in 2023. Sure, it makes for a fun artifact, but its chipset, battery life, and camera performance all fall short compared to modern rivals.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 (Check pricing): If you’re looking for a more recent foldable phone that doesn’t demand four figures, the Galaxy Z Fold 3 is a good device to buy if you have around $900 in your back pocket. We’d wait for it to drop in price before pouncing, though.
- Samsung Galaxy Fold (Check pricing): Samsung’s original foldable phone had many first-edition problems. We don’t recommend buying it as a serious daily driver in 2023.
- Samsung Galaxy Z Flip (Check pricing): Like the Galaxy Fold, Samsung’s first foldable flip phone is best admired from afar. There are better options in 2023.
- Samsung Galaxy S9 (Check pricing): No longer supported by Samsung, the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus are not worth buying in 2023, even if you can find it for around $100 on eBay.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 (Check pricing): The Galaxy S8 is only officially upgradable to Android 9. The six-year-old phone will likely struggle against most mid-range devices on processing power and battery life stakes. We don’t recommend buying it in 2023.
- Samsung Galaxy A02S (Check pricing): Available for around $70, the A02S is still worth buying in 2023 if you can live without a fingerprint sensor and processing power.
- Samsung Galaxy A03S (Check pricing): The A03S adds a fingerprint reader and a little more RAM to Samsung’s budget line for around $120. It’s a good entry-level phone worth buying in 2023 provided you keep your expectations in check.
- Samsung Galaxy A13 (Check pricing): Launched in 2022, the 6.6-inch quad-camera phone is still worth buying in 2023, even though the Galaxy A14 is now available.
- Samsung Galaxy A23 (Check pricing): Priced at $299, an old Samsung phone (like the Galaxy S20 FE) might be worth considering instead of the Galaxy A23 in 2023.
- Samsung Galaxy A53 (Check pricing): The Galaxy A53 is still an excellent mid-range phone. However, with its price hovering around the $350 mark, it may be worth considering a slightly older Samsung flagship or the ever-reliable Google Pixel 6a instead.