This has been a disappointing year for both Samsung and fans as the Galaxy Note7 has officially been discontinued due to safety concerns.
With the former “King of Phablet’s” official absence in the competition this year, you might be looking for another large-phone alternative that can substitute for it.
Luckily, there are plenty of other alternatives available in the market to replace the Note7 . Let’s take a look at each of these devices:
1. LG V20
One of the best alternative that came to my mind of course was the phablet offering from Korean rival LG. The LG V20 sports almost the same spec that was present in the Note7.
Snapdragon 820, 3200mAh battery, 4GB of RAM. The absence of stylus in the V20 can be amended by the presence of its “always on display” at the top of the device just above the notification bar.
This feature gives even quicker access to quick toggles (flashlight, Bluetooth, etc.), serves as an shortcut to several apps (mail, calendar) and displays information such as battery, cell signal and time even when the device is put to sleep.
Also, the V20 offers a features reminiscent only of older Note devices – a removable battery. It also comes with a microSD card slot like the Note7.
Unfortunately the V20 doesn’t offer water resistance like the Note7, so if you’re thinking of getting a phone you’d like to use in a beach, then there are other alternatives out there.
LG’s offerings has always been overshadowed by Samsung’s especially for their flagship devices. With the Note7 out, maybe this year will be the time that we see more LG phones in the hands of phablet users.
2. iPhone 7 Plus
No surprise here. The iPhone has always been a well-established smartphone whose domain in the phablet industry (with the introduction of the Plus models) rivals Samsung’s very own Note series.
While the platform may be different (iOS vs Android), if your goal is to have a phone with large screen, great specs and great after-sales support, then the iPhone 7 Plus is definitely worth considering.
Just keep in mind that the 7 Plus will cost you more than the Galaxy Note7, especially when opting for a prepaid solution – and that it doesn’t have an audio jack (which is a bummer right now).
3. Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
This is probably the most obvious phone to go through as a Note7 alternative. The Galaxy S7 Edge and the Galaxy Note7 are basically like siblings: has the same specs, from the same company and with almost the same software.
You are missing the iris scanner and the S-Pen from the Note7 along with a slightly smaller screen (5.5 vs 5.7 inch). But other than that, you’re almost getting the same phone.
The uncanny similarities however, might come at a cost. While the Galaxy S7 Edge may not exactly suffer the exact same issues that the Note7 had, there has also been reports of S7 Edge devices going on fire, one of those incident happening here in the Philippines.
Samsung has assured its users that the S7 device counterparts are safe – and I am inclined to believe so. However, with the recent fiascos between Samsung devices recently, then perhaps there are more safer alternatives out there, at least that’s the way I see it.
4. ASUS Zenfone 3 Deluxe (ZS570KL)
ASUS has always been an underdog when it comes to their flagship offerings, but to have the Zenfone 3 Deluxe fully go under the radar of most tech reviewers and sites is beyond me.
On paper, it is a solid, well-speced device that could potentially match the Note7. Packing the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 821 processor (newer that the Note7 is using, which was the 820), 6GB of RAM, 23 MP, f/2.0 with OIS camera, 3000mAh battery and an all-metal finish, there’s no denying that the Zenfone 3 Deluxe is a premium offering worthy of a flagship status.
The only 2 weakest feature of the Zenfone 3 Deluxe is its screen (1080p resolution, but when did that become bad), and the absence of it in postpaid carriers (phone is most likely only available unlocked).
There really is not that much issue in the first problem, seeing as it is a Super AMOLED display. The second one, however, is a big factor. I have yet seen any carriers that offers the Zenfone 3 Deluxe – vastly limiting the demand for the device.
If that is not an issue, and you are willing to get a phone unlocked instead. Then going for the ASUS Zenfore 3 Deluxe may be worth considering. Its also more competitively priced.
5. Google Pixel XL
If an all-stock, vanilla Android offering rocking the latest software update sounds more appealing compared to those heavily modified Android skins that other OEM’s opt (Samsung, LG, etc.), then Google’s latest offering with the Pixel XL is might be worth looking into.
With multitasking/split-screen feature baked into Android 7.0+ (Nougat) along with other improvements, you won’t miss much power feature that before was present in Galaxy flagship devices (Note7 included).
The Pixel XL also comes with the latest hardware available for an Android smartphone, such as Snapdragon 821 processor, 4GB RAM, and a 12MP camera.
Differentiating itself from the previous Nexus lineup, the Pixel phones are entirely attributed to Google alone. This probably means that Google will be more aggressive into marketing its product, similar to how Microsoft is with its Surface devices.
This decision to keep Pixel a Google-only device however, may have attributed to its price being high, compared to Nexus devices. So if you can justify the Pixel XL’s cost for a vanilla Android smartphone, then definitely consider the Google Pixel.
Its a shame there’s no Galaxy Note7 this year (at least not successfully). With the plethora of other alternative devices, however, its good to know that were not missing much out.
Perhaps its also time to crown a new “King of Phablets”, a title long held by Samsung’s Note series. We’ve yet to see which phablet will take the crown, but it will be interesting too see how the market goes forward this time around.