5 big phones that make a great (non-explosive) Samsung Galaxy Note 7 alternative

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 has arrived with a splash: Samsung decided it did not want a Note 6 and jumped straight to the Galaxy Note 7, its latest and best productivity monster with a large, 5.7-inch display, an S Pen and a newly refined body that is now waterproof. The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is pretty much the full package when it comes to smartphones: it's got the stunning looks and the top performance courtesy of the Snapdragon 820 system chip in the United States.

Unfortunately, the phone also has one critical phone: it tends to explode, and this is not in just one or two isolated instances. Up to date, there have been tens of documented cases, and probably a lot more that did not get much exposure from the press. Samsung finally gave up on the phone: the Galaxy Note 7 has been pulled from sales channels and is now officially recalled.

If now you're looking for a replacement for the Note 7, here are some great alternatives that will make you a much financially happier and free person, without hugely sacrificing your productivity and style.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Display5.5" Quad HD Super AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
Camera12-megapixel with Dual Pixel AF


  • Identical premium design
  • Display with great colors
  • Fast performance
  • Camera is fast and performs well in low light
  • Has dropped in price notably
  • Fast recharge times


  • Glass back is a fingerprint magnet
  • microUSB port is a thing of the past
  • 32GB of storage is less than the 64GB of its rivals
The Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge is the same phone as the Galaxy Note 7 sold for $250 less.

If you don't absolutely need an S Pen in your life, you should get the Galaxy S7 Edge. The S7 Edge even has better battery life than the Note 7, which is in important concern.

We can literally sum up all the important differences between the two phones in one sentence: a minimal difference in screen size (5.7" on the Note 7 vs 5.5" on the S7 Edge), double the storage (64GB on the Note 7 vs 32 gigs on the S7 Edge), USB-C connectivity on the Note 7 vs microUSB on the S7 Edge, and finally, a smaller battery on the Note 7.

All else is the same: practically the same dual-curve edge screen design, absolutely identical Snapdragon 820 system chip, virtually identical cameras. Still see any reason to pay crazy dollar for the Note 7?

Google Pixel XL

Display5.5" Quad HD Super AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 821, 4GB RAM
Camera12-megapixel with digital video stabilization

Display5.5" Quad HD Super AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 821, 4GB RAM
Camera12MP w/ f/2.0 and digital video stabilization


  • Stylish metal design
  • Remarkable camera with outstanding video stabilization
  • Google Assistant recognizes your speech better and provides better responses 
  • Fast updates
  • Fast charging


  • No water-resistance
  • 32GB of storage in base model is less than the 64GB of its rivals
  • Assistant still does not feel fully finished

The larger of Google's two new phones, the Pixel XL, is a beautifully crafted device with a metal body, a slight chamfer that makes it a more comfortable in-hand fit, and it's also powerful on the inside. Like the Galaxy Note 7, it's a big phone with an excellent camera that captures good-looking images in both good and not-so-good light. amd it also has remarkable digital video stabilization.

The big highlight of the Pixel XL, however, is without a doubt the stock Android 7.1 Nougat experience with the promise for timely updates in the future. That's one feature that no Samsung phone can quite match. Google's new Andrdoi also comes with AI that is more useful and the Google Assistant that helps you with your searches.

Moto Z Force Droid

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Display5.5" Quad HD Super AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
Camera21MP w/ f/1.8 and OIS


  • Modules allow you to achieve more with your phone
  • Fast performance
  • Clean interface


  • Battery life is below average
  • Magnetic module connector spoils the design
Nearly $200 cheaper than the Galaxy Note 7, the brand new Moto Z Force Droid is a true gamechanger: with its Moto Mods, you can add things like a pico projector so that you can project a movie anywhere or powerful speakers so you don't need a separate Bluetooth speaker, and these are just a few examples of how you can augment its capabilities hugely.

But it's also a good phone on its own: the 5.5" Moto Z Force features the top-end Snapdragon 820 system chip and a clean and fast-performing Android build. It's got some neat Moto gestures and a very good camera, all important 

OnePlus 3

Display5.5" Full HD AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 820, 6GB RAM
Camera16MP with PDAF and OIS


  • Amazing value for the money
  • Stylish, refined design
  • One of the fastest fingerprint sensors
  • Deep Android customization options
  • Speedy performance
  • Excellent camera
  • Super fast Dash charge


  • Battery life could be a bit better

These days, you don't need to spend nearly $900 to get a great phone: some phone makers like OnePlus are specializing in making $400 flagship-grade devices, and by this we mean phones with a stylish and refined design, and the top-level chip (in this case, the Snapdragon 820).

The OnePlus 3 is the sole focus of the company's efforts right now, much like the latest iPhone is the focus for Apple. This allows the company to remove its flaws quickly with substantial updates, but even without the updates, the OnePlus 3 is an outstanding phone. At its 5.5" screen size, it's similar in dimensions to the Galaxy Note 7, and offers very fast and clean user interface. It's a productivity beast as well: it ships with 64GB - on par with the Note, and it's got the fast storage, great camera and decent battery life with super fast, Dash recharging technology. Unless you absolutely need that S Pen, the Gear VR or unless you are crazy about that dual curved-edge design, it's hard to see many other reasons to spend nearly twice as much on the Galaxy Note 7 when you can get the OnePlus 3.

ZTE Axon 7

Display5.5" Quad HD AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 820, 6GB RAM
Camera20MP with PDAF and OIS


  • Amazing value for the money
  • Good performance
  • Tons of storage


  • A bit bigger than most premium phones
  • Questionable UI elements

Another device that costs half the Galaxy Note 7, but that we feel can give it a run for its money, is the ZTE Axon 7. A recently-launched phone in the United States, the ZTE Axon 7 has similar chops to the OnePlus 3: the top of the line Snapdragon 820 system chip, a very good camera, and a fairly smooth and fast-performing user interface.

Being easily available in the US is, of course, a big plus, and all in all, given its similar size and performance speed, the ZTE Axon 7 is a productivity beast akin to the Note 7.

Related phones

Galaxy Note7
  • Display 5.7 inches 2560 x 1440 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP (Single camera) 5 MP front
  • Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 4GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB, microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh
  • OS Android 6.0 Marshmallow


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