The Best Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Alternatives


If you have a Samsung Galaxy Note 7, you need to stop using it now. Back up all your data to Google and Samsung accounts, factory reset the phone, and go to Samsung's website to find out how to exchange your phone.

But now what? It's not like you can work without a phone. AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint will exchange the Note 7 for any device they stock, while Verizon says it will allow you to return the device for a refund. Best Buy is offering an exchange or refund, and Amazon is offering a full refund.

In some cases, you can get a loaner phone and wait for the new, non-exploding Note 7s to come out. Honestly, except for the exploding bit, it's a great phone. But we'd understand if you want to try something else, after all of this drama.

It's a slightly awkward time to switch out the Note 7 because three of our top potential choices aren't on the market yet. LG's V20 is another big Android phone, this one with a removable battery, but it's not showing up until later this fall. There will be a big HTC Nexus, Pixel, or whatever Google wants to call it, but it hasn't even been announced yet. We're also still waiting for the non-Verizon version of the Moto Z Droid Force.

That said, you probably can't go wrong with one of these six choices this week:

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
The absolute closest thing to a Note 7 out there—minus the spontaneous combustion—is the Galaxy S7 Edge. It's made by the same people and has many of the same components—same processor, same modem, same cameras. The screen is only slightly smaller. We've loved it for months. All you really lose is the S Pen.

Apple iPhone 7 Plus
Is it time to go to the other side? Depends on how much you have invested in Android. Apple's iPhones hit carrier stores on Friday. The 7 Plus has a lower screen resolution than the Note 7, but looks like it has great cameras, a terrific array of apps, and a CPU that just can't be beaten.

Google Nexus 6P
We're about to see a new round of Nexus/Pixel phones, but until then, the Nexus 6P is still a great choice if you're looking for a large Android phone. You get your roomy 5.7-inch screen here, a very good camera, and also Android Nougat 7.0, with features like dual-window multitasking.

Moto Z Force Droid
If you're a Verizon user, the Force is a real treat. Unlike the Note 7, the Force has a nearly unbreakable screen, eliminating one major worry about your phone. It also has a terrific processor and can be expanded with magnetic accessories including a larger battery, projector, and high-quality zoom camera.

LG V10
LG's V20 is about to hit the market next month, but if you can't wait (or you can negotiate a swap), LG V devices are the leading large phones with removable batteries. That can really contribute to peace of mind if you're scared of batteries now. The V10 is still an excellent phone, with a big quad-HD screen and dual rear cameras (a year before Apple decided to add them). Mostly what you're losing by not waiting is that the V10 packs last year's processor and lacks the V20's high-end audio hardware.

OnePlus 3
If you manage to get a full refund, the OnePlus 3 has a 5.5-inch screen, good battery life and a fast processor, and costs half what the Galaxy Note 7 does. Thanks to using a lower-resolution 1080p screen than its high-end Android competitors, it feels really speedy. You'll have to jump through some hoops to find it—it's only sold direct online, not through any major US retailer or carrier—and it only works on AT&T and T-Mobile. But if speed matters to you more than screen resolution, you'll be able to keep quite a lot of your refund with this one.

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