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
Price$620

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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
Price$750


Display5.5" Quad HD Super AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 821, 4GB RAM
Camera12MP w/ f/2.0 and digital video stabilization
Price$750

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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


No images

Display5.5" Quad HD Super AMOLED
HardwareSnapdragon 820, 4GB RAM
Camera21MP w/ f/1.8 and OIS
Price$720

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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
Price$400

Pros

  • 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

Cons

  • 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
Price$400

Pros

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

Cons

  • 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 Note 7
  • Display 5.7" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 12 MP / 5 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 820, Quad-core, 2150 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3500 mAh

FEATURED VIDEO

57 Comments

1. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

If gaming is your concern this is all you need to know about Exynos 8890 devices. Manhattan 3.1 - Offscreen/Onscreen OnePlus 3 - 31 fps / 30.4 fps Galaxy S7 - 25.8 fps / 14.1 fps Manhattan 3.1 - Long term performance OnePlus 3 - 29.8 fps Galaxy S7 - 6.4 fps Pwned.

2. abdoualgeria

Posts: 928; Member since: Jul 27, 2015

But oneplus is trash lol

3. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Trash that's twice as fast based on peak onscreen performance and demolishes the Galaxy S7 in long term performance. Not bad for trash.

7. Finalflash

Posts: 4063; Member since: Jul 23, 2013

Or just grab the SD820 variant of the S7....PWNED

10. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Nope, throttles almost as much as the Exynos version. SN820 scores 7.9 fps for long term performance. Galaxy S7 (Snapdragon 820) 15.4 fps Onscreen / 31.2 fps Offscreen, Still well over a 50% drop in performance. You can thank Samsung, they always seem to favour throttling aggressively, that or their phone just can't disperse the heat effectively. This information is freely available on the GFXBench website, it would have taken you only a minute to check that before making yourself look stupid.

9. rocketman1

Posts: 99; Member since: May 07, 2016

I wouldnt touch that trash if you gave it for free. Id sell it new for 50% to get rid of it. Everything about says problems and bugs.

41. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

You haven't touched it and yet you say everything about it says a problems and bugs. Bugs wiped out clean before you even spelt "Bug". But tell me, which phone never came with bugs and problems from the get go?

53. piyath

Posts: 2445; Member since: Mar 23, 2012

S7 edge is explosive, no??

4. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Meanwhile OP3 with 1080p cant even touch S7E in real gaming. https://youtu.be/1YFXN4SQtKY

6. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Are you sure about that? have you tested all the games on the play store on both devices? clearly you must have so please share your results with us. Otherwise GFY.

8. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

I am gonna test all games from playstore, brb.

11. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

I would take three and half hours and un-throttled performance over throttled performance for a bit longer anyday. I'm a gamer, the experience when I'm playing is all that matters which means consistent high framerates, something you don't understand.

12. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

If you're a real mobile gamer....... you wouldn't be playing on Android phones (Not trolling.......my 6S Plus hasn't dropped a frame in a game since I bought it). Optimization is rather lacking for mosted ported games to the other mobile platforms. Even my HTC 10 can't get above 25 fps on some occasions (still bae though). Is there a way to remedy this problem?

14. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Don't think so, HTC are not kind enough to give you the option to change resolution in games, so unless the games themselves have graphics settings you're pretty much screwed. Fair play to Samsung, at least they offer this.

21. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

Its not optimization. Its QHD display. On Samsung at least you can drop the resolution so it can run faster.

22. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

"Its not optimization. Its QHD display." A) That's not accurate. During benchmarks the iPhone 6S Plus resolution scales up to just about QHD in order to better show on screen graphics capabilities. Example: You've seen the frame rate of the OnePlus 3 at just above thirty. The iPhone 6S Plus just about doubles that with the same pixel density. It's about optimization...... and it always has been. B) Then why use a screen you CLEARLY can't power properly? That's stupid and inefficient, not to mention beyond careless on the part of Android OEMs. And while Samsung's rendition is better than most, it's still subpar. Not even reaching 40 fps is terrible for these supercharged Adreno GPUs.

24. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

"During benchmarks the iPhone 6S Plus resolution scales up to just about QHD in order to better show on screen graphics capabilities." Not at all. Benchmark is rendered at FHD all the time:http://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph9686/78195.pnghttp://images.anandtech.com/graphs/graph9686/78196.png That scaling up which isnt close to QHD happens only inside UI (homescreen) "Then why use a screen you CLEARLY can't power properly" Its only for games and majority of those are fine. Also you have an option to lower the res and Mali from Exynos is more efficient in real games than any other GPU.

42. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

Did you just 'Bae' your phone? O_o

54. Arch_Fiend

Posts: 3951; Member since: Oct 03, 2015

Hell yeah lol.

20. Ordinary

Posts: 2454; Member since: Apr 23, 2015

"I'm a gamer, the experience when I'm playing is all that matters which means consistent high framerates" You are forgetting those are mobile devices so power supply is limited unlike PC/Console. I would much rather want longer gameplay with still pretty good framerate than playing for shorter amount of time.

29. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

That's fine, if your happy with longer gameplay with reduced performance than that's your call. That's not what I want, If I have a high end device I want to enjoy the best experience possible and for me that can only be achieved with reduced throttling. It's basically the same reason I spend £2k on my PC every year, I want the best experience possible, three and half hours with no throttling is a hell of a lot better than 4 hours with a 50% drop in performance. Would would you choose? PC #1 Consistent 60 fps with with 3h35m time limit PC #2 60 fps for about 15 minutes then reduces 50% but with 4h19min time limit That's basically what we are looking at here, just simplified.

15. Totse2k15

Posts: 478; Member since: Feb 11, 2014

I pwned your sister. "If gaming is your concern this is all you need to know about Exynos 8890 devices. Manhattan 3.1 - Offscreen/Onscreen OnePlus 3 - 31 fps / 30.4 fps Galaxy S7 - 25.8 fps / 14.1 fps Manhattan 3.1 - Long term performance OnePlus 3 - 29.8 fps Galaxy S7 - 6.4 fps Pwned."

16. kiko007

Posts: 7493; Member since: Feb 17, 2016

Plz stop with the "pwned" garbage gentleman. This is a tech forum......not the parking lot of your local Zaxby's where troubled youth gather to chest bump and play Sludge music. Take that crap elsewhere :D.

40. sissy246

Posts: 7066; Member since: Mar 04, 2015

OMG even if had to +1 you lol

43. Nathan_ingx

Posts: 4769; Member since: Mar 07, 2012

"Plz stop with the "pwned" garbage gentleman. This is a tech forum......not the parking lot of your local Zaxby's where troubled youth gather to chest bump and play Sludge music" Says the one who "Bae"-ed his phone. LAWL.

30. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Why are 10 year old's allowed to post here?

17. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

You are comparing benchmarks scores where the app pushes the desvice to its peak. What this doesn't tell you, is how the device will perform per game. In other words, even though both phones don't perform equally pushing it to its peak, none of the mobile games on Android ever push a device to its peak. Which means with few exceptions, the same game will perform identical whether its Exynos or SnapDragon. Next, the One Plus has more RAM. That's a benefit. yet what does the device do with it, other than waste it and kill the battery? What features does the phone have? Wireless charging? Expandable storage? You sound like a guy who just bought a new car that a Honda Accord and you're trying to compare it to a Jaguar.

31. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

There are a lot of demanding games on the market already and that will only increase over time, some of them are just badly optimised and raw performance is usually a good way to overcome that. More ram isn't a reason to buy the OnePlus 3, I agree but it's there anyway and it doesn't really add must to the cost so get over it. Not everyone wants wireless charging or expandable storage, yes OnePlus 3 lacks these features but so do many other devices and people still buy them.

32. ebilcake

Posts: 1227; Member since: Jul 16, 2016

Actually, just to annoy you I'm going to post this. What good is the 6GB of memory? click the link below and see for yourself. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwLj_el7-_w

5. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

meanwhile my op3 rocks just like 90% of s7!!! and costs oh well!! no phone is worth more than 500$ !! just deal with it!

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