It’s been a long and hard road since Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7 recall began, and now it’s finally over. Unfortunately for Samsung, it’s ended on a very sour note – the Note 7 is officially dead.
Nomad case for Pixel 3
After two recalls, Samsung has opted to end production of the device. So with users being asked to return the device, what are the best alternatives? Let’s look at a few options (in no particular order). Two things to keep in mind, we’re going to assume that you still want a large screen phone and a spec-heavy flagship as well.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
So let’s start with the most obvious, the Galaxy S7 Edge. Comparing the Note 7 to the S7 Edge is a close comparison, so it’s really easy to move from the Note to the Edge. You don’t lose anything on the spec sheet, camera, or even the water resistance. The only losses are a bit of the size, USB C, some color options, and of course, the S-Pen.
Overall, the S7 Edge is probably the easiest device to switch to, and best of all, it’s also slightly cheaper than the Note, especially since it’s been on the market for a while.
Now let’s head over to another OEM, LG. LG has always tried to be Samsung’s big rival, and it has made some decent ground over the years. Now we’re looking at the perfect storm. Samsung is down a phone, and LG has an incredibly good option about to hit the market.
Why is the V20 a good alternative? First off, it’s a spec-beast. With a Snadragon 820, 4GB of RAM, 64GB of storage, dual camera, and a 5.7-inch primary display, this phone rivals Samsung’s phablet note-for-note. Better yet, the V20 offers many of the same features, and even more. You’ll gain a removeable back and battery on this device, but you’ll lose one big thing: water resistance.
While the LG V20 won’t hit the market until October 28th, it will undoubtedly be one of the best alternate options. At about $830, it lands at the same price point as the Note as well.
While options like the Nexus 6P were great options compared to previous Notes, the Pixel XL is Google’s latest flagship and it’s in a great position to pick up the extra customers Samsung is leaving behind.
The Pixel XL runs top of the line specifications including the Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB of RAM, and 32 or 128GB of storage. Unfortunately, comapred to the Note, the Pixel lacks two big selling points: water resistance and expandable storage.
Regardless, the Pixel is a fantastic option to replace the Note 7, it just won’t be the one for every former Note owner. On a positive note, the Pixel XL is actually slightly cheaper than the Note 7, starting at $769 for the 32GB model.
iPhone 7 Plus
Jumping over operating system’s, let’s talk about the reason behind Samsung’s Note 7 issues, the iPhone 7. Samsung allegedly sped up Note 7 development to beat Apple to the bunch, and clearly it’s going to hurt the company in the long run. Meanwhile Apple is in a great position to pick up some Note 7 owners with the iPhone 7 Plus.
With this device you’ll see a similar overall size, the same water resistance, and the same price point. Added on, you’ll find Apple’s new dual-camera system and up to a whopping 256GB of storage to make up for the lack up expandable memory.
Pricing on the 7 Plus is about the same as the Note, but if you’re willing to make the jump to iOS, it’s a great option to do so with.
Last but not least, let’s talk about a far less expensive option, the OnePlus 3. At just $399 unlocked, the OnePlus 3 undercuts the Note 7 by half, and then some, but it doesn’t make any big sacrifices to do so. You get a Snapdragon 820 processor, USB C, a 3,000 mAh battery, and a 5.5-inch AMOLED display for the money. Oh, and you also get more RAM than found in the Note at a whopping 6GB.
The OnePlus 3 also brings a fantastic metal build, great software, and incredibly fast charging. It’s a really nice package for $399, although you’ll only be able to use it on GSM carriers, so this definitely isn’t the option for anyone who was using a Note on Verizon or Sprint.
To end, let’s quickly go over a few more good options. First, the Galaxy Note 5. While it lacks the water resistance and USB C port of the Note 7, the Note 5 is still a solid choice, especially for the price of used devices. Another great option from last year is the Nexus 6P. With a 5.7-inch display and a low price point, it’s a great option for former-Note owners. There’s also options like the Moto Z and HTC 10 which are solid choices.