It’s official. After weeks of turmoil, the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 is officially discontinued. Samsung will no longer manufacture, sell or replace the Note 7. That means, that if you already had a Note 7 or were looking to buy one, you need to look somewhere else. Where exactly? Below are your best options.
Note: If you own a Note 7, the first thing you should do is turn it off and stop using it. Next, try to return it.
For The Galaxy Fans: Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
This is the one that makes the most sense. It might even be the phone that your carrier gives you by default when you go in to return your Note 7.
S7 edge has a similar design to the Note 7, with a more pronounced curved display and edges. And it has almost everything that the Note 7 had going for it – the same fast processor, IP68 certification, 4 GB RAM and the same awesome camera.
You’ll get a 5.5 inch screen instead (still QHD), you’ll lose out on the Iris scanner, but you do get a bigger (3600mAh compared to Note’s 3500) battery. Plus you’ll get the familiar TouchWiz UI. No S Pen though. You do miss out on the new Grace UX that Samsung debuted on the Note 7, but that should make its way to the handset with the Nougat update before the end of this year.
For The Google Fans: Google Pixel XL
If you’re more into the Google camp than the Android/TouchWiz camp (meaning most of your data is in Google accounts and you rely on Google services to be productive), you honestly should take a good hard look at the Pixel XL. Yeah, it kind of looks like an iPhone, the back isn’t exactly pretty and there aren’t even any reviews out.
But Pixel gives you top of the line specs – Snapdragon 821, 4 GB RAM, 5.5-inch QHD AMOLED display (5.0 for the non XL model), and has a 12 MP camera that’s supposed to be the best-in-class according to DxOMark.
What’s interesting here is that Google’s controlling every single thing about this phone. Means there’s no bloat (if you buy unlocked that is), you get exclusive features like Google Assistant, and it’s ridiculously fast. Even at things that Android traditionally doesn’t do well, things like smooth scrolling.
And unlike the Note 7, you will be the first in line to get security and software updates from Google. Plus, with Nougat, you will not miss out on the multi-window multitasking features that Samsung with TouchWiz on the Note 7. Not to forget, you get full resolution, unlimited backup of all your photos to Google Photos. Hard to beat that.
Yes, $769 for the Pixel XL might seem like a lot to pay for a stock-ish Android Google phone but I think that as a package, it works well, and should be worth the price.
For The Futurists: Moto Z
Moto’s flagship has all the important things – high-end specs and a QHD screen, plus almost stock Android. The ridiculous thing is that it does it all in a package that’s only 5.2mm thick. Just like the iPhone 7, it too doesn’t have a headphone jack. Audio goes through the USB-C port.
Moto Z is one of the few “modular” phones around. You can attach what Moto calls “Mods” to the back of the phone to add functionality. So your phone can be transformed into a projector, a zoom camera or a jukebox. There’s also a battery pack Mod.
Moto Z isn’t for everyone, but if the Mods excite you, or you just like how cool it looks and how thin and light it is, it might just be the next phone for you.
For The Underdogs: LG V20
As MKBHD says, the V20 might be this year’s most underrated phone. The 2nd screen is a bit of a gimmick, but it’s useful at times.
The phone has top of the line specs. The best thing though, it’s the first phone to release with Android 7.0 Nougat. That means you get multi-window mode, natively. The handset’s dual-camera setup at the rear is another selling point, and if you are an audiophile, the quad DAC of the V20 is going to bring orgasms to your ear.
For The Open Minded: iPhone 7 Plus
If you like high-end phones, the best the market has to offer, especially when it comes to the camera, then the iPhone 7 Plus is worth a good hard look. Yes, it’s an iPhone, but these days, as long as you use Google services, switching to iOS is very easy. All your Google apps will be there.
Much has been written about the 7 Plus’s camera. On the whole, the dual camera setup is pretty good. The 2x optical zoom helps you capture stuff that wasn’t possible before. The upcoming Portrait mode is also supposed to be (mostly) impressive.
Of course, there’s no headphone jack. If you can’t live with the bundled Lighting headphones or the adapter, this might be a big problem. You can always consider getting a Bluetooth headset though. Yes, you are not going to get multi-window multitasking on the iPhone 7 Plus like you would on the Pixel XL or the LG V20, but you will get access to high-quality apps.
Read: Our iPhone 7 Plus Review
For The Pen Addicts: Samsung Galaxy Note 5
The truth is that no one does the mobile stylus like Samsung. If you really like the S Pen and you just can’t let it go, your best option to downgrade back to the Note 5. Which, to be honest, isn’t such a bad idea. Note 5’s processor is still plenty fast, the camera still pretty good (iPhone 6s quality), and you’ll be able to find new ones on Amazon or plenty of them on the used market for pretty cheap.
For Everyone Else
OnePlus 3: High-end specs, in a cheap package. You’ll save 50% of the sticker price of the Note 7 and you’ll get a phone that’s almost as good. It doesn’t have QHD screen, there’s no stylus but overall the OnePlus 3 is a solid package.
Nexus 6P: The camera is nowhere near as good as the Note 7, but you do get stock Android that’s fast and you’ll also get prompt updates. The phone has a QHD screen, slick aluminium body, stereo speakers, and a fast fingerprint sensor.
What Will You Go For?
There’s no shortage of Android phones out there. But when you’re looking at the high end, and if you need a killer camera, you aren’t really left with that many options. Not to forget that while all the above phones are genuinely a good alternative to the Galaxy Note 7, barring one — which is not even Android — none of them feature an IP68 rating that makes them water-resistant.
Nonetheless, with the Note 7 now no longer on sale, which phone will you buy from the ones mentioned above? Share with us in the comments below.