Best Galaxy Note 7 Alternatives
Whether you own the Galaxy Note 7 and need to exchange it or you're just shopping for a big-screen phone, there are plenty of great alternatives to Samsung's failed phablet.
This list delivers much of what the Note 7 promises — a big screen, a long-lasting battery and a top-notch camera — without the risks. (Photo Credit: YouTube)
iPhone 7 Plus
Unless you're a committed Android devotee, this 5.5-inch phone should be near the top of the list for anyone who uses their phone as their primary camera. The dual lens setup for the 12-MP rear camera on the 7 Plus gives you a true 2X optical zoom and a software update lets you take photos with stunning deep focus effects. Apple's improved the battery life on its bigger phone, with the iPhone 7 Plus lasting 10.5 hours, and the phone is water resistant, too.
Galaxy S7 Edge
At 5.5 inches, the screen on the Galaxy S7 Edge isn't as big as what you'd get with the Note 7, but you'd make few other compromises. You still get a curved display with a very useful Edge screen, and the S7 Edge is just as resistant to dust and water as the Note 7. And if the Note 7's cameras impressed you, they offer the same 12-megapixel rear and 5-MP front cameras Samsung debuted with the S7 Edge. You'd be getting our favorite camera phone and our top rated smartphone overall with the S7 Edge.
We've only had a chance to look at the camera on this 5.7-inch smartphone, but if you're looking for a phone that can keep pace with the best camera phones Samsung has to offer, LG's latest flagship is a good pick. Besides the dual rear camera that help with wide-angle shots, a trio of microphones on the V20 do an excellent job of picking up audio. It's defintely a top big-screen contender if you shoot a lot of video with your smartphone.
Moto Z Play
You'll never have to worry about battery life with Motorola's 5.5-inch modular phone. The Z Play is our current long-lasting smartphone champ, coming up just shy of 14 hours in our battery testing. The modular design also lets you add on accessories to boost the Moto Z capabilities, including a projector and a speaker. You will be taking a step down from the Note 7's camera, especially in low light, though the Moto Z Play's 16-MP shooter is still pretty impressive for a $449 phone.
Samsung charges a bank account-breaking $849 for the Note 7. You can get a high-performing phone for less than half that amount with the 5.5-inch OnePlus 3. The same Snapdragon 820 processor that powers the Note 7 also can be found in the OnePlus 3, but the latter phone includes 6GB of RAM, helping it outpace the Note 7 in our tests. The 16-MP camera on the OnePlus 3 can hold its own against the best camera phones Samsung has to offer, though the shooter on the OnePlus 3 is less reliable in low-light settings.
ZTE ZMax Pro
So you like big-screen phones? Well, here's a 6-inch phablet that dwarfs the Note 7. And price tag on ZTE's phone is just as extreme, but in the other direction — you can get it for $99 through MetroPCS. Power users, beware: The ZMax Pro turned in average results in our benchmarking tests, and its cameras are easily the most disappointing feature about this otherwise promising phablet.
Blu Energy XL
Like the ZMax Pro, Blu's Energy XL goes big on screen size with a 6-inch curved display. You'll also enjoy longer battery life with the Energy XL — more than 12 hours. And at $299, Blu's phablet costs considerably less than the Note 7. You're also making performance trade-offs with this phone compared to the Note 7, and its color accuracy issues will disappoint if you're used to the Note 7's superior shooter.