This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. OK
591 Shares 50 comments

What to buy instead of the Note 7

Update: More alternatives added

The Samsung Galaxy Note 7 (or should that be Nope 7) is gone. The phablet with stylus from Samsung was a high-end device – with a propensity to start on fire. So here are our favorite, cheaper alternatives to the Galaxy Note 7.

Firstly, the Note 7 appealed to many for one simple reason: its stylus. If this is what you're after, then there really is little in the way of alternatives other than older generations. Also, none of the devices we have collected here offer an iris scanner or the advanced software features that Samsung built into the TouchWiz version specifically designed for the Note 7. However, if you're in the market for a powerful phablet, then you're in luck, because Android has plenty to offer. So without further ado, here are our picks.

AndroidPIT Samsung Galaxy Note7 event 5181
Lots of Notes here, but you don't need any of them (unless you want a stylus). / © AndroidPIT

OnePlus 3: a powerhouse performance

The OnePlus 3 blew us away from the outset. This device costs only $399, half the price of the Note 7. For that money, you get a 5.5-inch display (0.2 inches smaller than the Note 7) and an even more powerful handset. With the Snapdragon 820 and 6 GB of RAM, it is not only better on paper, but it in practice, too. It's currently the fastest Android smartphone in the world. It also feature USB Type-C, getting you a fast charge and quicker data transfer.

The downsides are that the display simply cannot match the Super AMOLED on offer from Samsung. Indeed, no one in the smartphone world can beat that. Sadly, there is also no support for microSD cards with the OnePlus 3, but the 64 GB of internal storage should be sufficient, nonetheless. Then there is the camera: the Note 7, as with all high-end Samsung devices, has a superlative camera. When you're buying budget, this is certainly an area you can expect to suffer losses, and the OnePlus 3's camera simply can't compare with the Note 7's.

AndroidPIT OnePlus3 soft gold 6523
OnePlus is now all grown up, and it's a beautiful thing. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: OnePlus 3

Best price

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3: budget at a cost

The ultra-budget option comes from the Redmi Note 3, which is aligned in name if not in number with the Note 7. This device goes for around $150 (and that figure is soon to fall further, with the Note 4 around the corner). 

As with the OnePlus 3, we have here a 5.5-inch screen, which, for the money, is surprisingly strong. While there is no iris scanner, there is a fingerprint scanner, a true rarity on a device of this price.

Again, the biggest weakness here, especially when comparing this to the Galaxy Note 7, is the camera. Not all that surprising for a device in this price range, but the camera here is poor. This is a device to avoid if you're a keen taker of smartphone pics.

When it comes to the specs sheet, the Redmi Note 3 falls in line with the Nexus 5X, that is to say, far below the OnePlus 3 and the Galaxy Note 7.

If you're interested in this as an alternative, then, given the low launch price of this line of devices, it might be worth waiting for the Redmi Note 4, which is coming very, very soon.

AndroidPIT xiaomi redmi note 3 0079
A fingerprint scanner makes a surprise appearance on this $150 device. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

Best price

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge: the supreme

Following the arrival of the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in our offices, I wrote that the device had killed the Note line. This upset many, but I stand by it. Unless you really, really want a stylus, I see no reason to choose the Note 7 over the S7 Edge. The Edge is cheaper, has only a slightly (0.2 inches) smaller display, which actually means you get a higher ppi on the S7 Edge (if you're into that).

In terms of performance, the two devices share the exact same hardware, and early comparisons have even put the S7 Edge ahead of the Note 7. The camera setups are also identical. And the S7 Edge has a larger battery (!). They both have curved displays.

In conclusion: can you live without a stylus? If the answer is "yes, I will survive without", then you'd be a fool not to choose the S7 Edge.

AndroidPIT Samsung galaxy s7 edge 13
The best phone in the world? Quite possibly. / © AndroidPIT

Google Nexus 6P: the same size and resolution

The Huawei/Google partnered Nexus 6P is considered one of the best Nexus devices ever and for good reason. We were quite impressed when we reviewed it last year. It was the first all-metal Nexus device and the build looks premium and minimalist.

The 5.7-inch QHD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels and 515 ppi) has rich colors and is bright. This is the same screen size and resolution the Note 7 had. Nexus devices get Android updates right away so you would've most likely had a more updated version than the Note 7 soon enough.

androidpit Nexus 6P 4
The Nexus 6P has a premium build. / © AndroidPIT

Huawei Mate 9: the newest phablet

When we took the Mate 9 out for a spin, we concluded that this device would've given the Note 7 a run for its money. The Mate 9 is smaller than its predecessor but is still 0.2 inches bigger than the Note 7 was. And the Full-HD 373 ppi resolution screen is good enough for ordinary viewing.

The Huawei Mate 9 comes with a Kirin 960 chipset backed with 4 GB RAM and 64 GB internal storage. That's not quite as impressive as the Note 7 but it gets the job done. And the battery is a solid 4,000 mAh so you'll keep running for more than a day. In our trial with the device, we got 43 hours of normal usage out of it.

Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Mate 9 is the camera. Its dual-lens Leica system is a major improvement from its predecessor and smartphone camera technology in general. The rear cameras have a total of 20 MP and the front, 8 MP.

AndroidPIT huawei mate9 0438
You can get up to 43 hours of normal usage out of this device. / © AndroidPIT

Huawei Mate 8: an extra 0.5 inches

When 5.7 inches just doesn't cut it, then you need to consider the Huawei Mate 8. This 6-inch phablet is enormous. It uses an IPS display, which, while not as richly saturated as the Super AMOLED of the Note 7, performs admirably, despite also not having as higher resolution as the Samsung phablet.

The Kirin 950 processor was, for a brief moment, the fastest chip on the market. Today, it lags behind the Exynos 8890 and Snapdragon 820, but it remains up to scratch for the intensive multitasking the Mate 8's 6-inch display calls for.

The main seller for the Mate 8, besides it size, is its battery. This thing is a long-distance runner. A walloping 4,000-mAh juicer resides inside this beast, lasting a day and a half without even breaking a sweat. We bow before this battery, and it laughs in the face of the Note 7's paltry 3,500 mAh.

AndroidPIT huawei mate 8 screen new
The Mate 8 is a blessing for anyone who feels let down by 5.7 inches. / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Huawei Mate 8

Best price

Samsung Galaxy Note 5: aging gracefully

That's right: just because there was not a Note 6, it does not mean there were no Notes at all prior to the Note 7. The Galaxy Note 5 is the forebear of the Note 7. It is loved by many, and rightly so. It's a wonderful device, powerful and sublime. It marked the moment that Samsung redefined the Note series. Yes, the removable battery went bye-bye, but so much more came in its place. The build quality, design, camera and display are still world-class, even today. 

The crown may have passed on, but plenty of regal magic clings to the Note 5. Most importantly, the stylus keeps it in business.

You might miss out on the microSD card support, but you save money, you barely lose out on camera quality (as you do with all the rest of the devices on this list – significantly so), and you get to hold in your hand an Android classic, a star, an icon, a phablet worthy of that fabulous 'ph'.

AndroidPIT Galaxy Note 5 Android 6 0 Marshmallow 1
The beautiful Note 5, which runs Marshmallow, just like the Note 7! / © AndroidPIT

Lowest price: Samsung Galaxy Note 5

Best price

Got any more devices you would consider adding to this list? Let us know down there in those comments.

Readers' favorite comments

  • Victor Di Paglia 1 month ago

    Ok, someone has to say it because NO ONE HAS. The reason we all love the Note series is the STYLUS! There are no equivalent replacements. The people who keep writing that the Edge S.7 and all the rest off these phones are smoking angel dust. The point is, literally, THE FREAKIN PEN. What don't you reviewers see? Are you in a dark closet with one bar on your phone? I've had Note phablets since the Note 3. We are loyal to a fault, and Samsung has let us down. Not one review on how Samsung should be offering the phone to us for half price instead of the piddly $25.00 they are offering as an compensation of the 'inconvenience' of not having a phone, having communications with business partners with losing thousands of dollars in lost revenue. And, BTW, it takes 2 months to get the $25.00. Apparently, the checks are being sent via a Korean fishing boat, and not a motor powered one, no, this boat has sails on it maity. But again, no mention of the 2 month wait for the lousy, insulting $25.00. No mention in any review about that. But that's the state of the media nowadays. No balls. There is no replacement, no equivalent for the Note 7. Apple, as smart as everyone thinks they are, year after year miss the opportunity to make a phone that would sell like crazy, and of course it will be widely accepted and Apple people will believe they invented the phone with the stylus. Just like Apple heads laughed when Samsung made the larger screen phones, as soon as Apple came out with large screen phones, suddenly it was a great idea and it was like they were the ones who came up with the idea. Un-friken-believable.

    OK, I tell it like it is, if you don't like the truth, then buy one of these ridiculous alternatives mentioned in this article and cast a vote for the Dong.

    LIke the Porsche slogan goes, "There is No Substitute."

50 comments

Write new comment:
  • I own an s7 edge and had to turn in my
    Note7. Anyone who says they are no different aside from stylus has never owned both. I replace my Note7 with LG's v20 and its a good device that should have been mentioned here. For the record, my s7 edge is collecting dust and I have zero interest in picking it up again ever.

  • Dean L. 2 weeks ago Link to comment

    Samsung will improve the next note because they don't want another fire-gate. Leaks are already starting, some may be planned to try make up for the note 7. Will just have to wait and see what 2017 brings.

  • The Note series has a specific use. You cannot directly replace the Note 7 with anything but another Note.

  • Mike 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    I'll just keep my Note 4 until it dies. By then maybe they'll have a Note 9 or Note 10.

  • There is a large screen phone with a stylus that has been ignored. LG recently released the Stylo 2 V. It has a 5.7 inch screen with a stylus. This phablet with a stylus seems to be totally under the radar.
    The Note 7 was the best, but I am learning to like my S7 Edge by using it with a $20.00 Cross pen with a stylus.

  • Don't be so hard on the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, the camera has been updated and has a 16mp back shooter with a f2.0 aperture. GSM Arena gave it a clean bill of health (can't post the review link here but if you go to GSM Arena you'll be able to find all the specs and a very thorough review) .

    Although not an ideal replacement for the Note 7 it still ticks a lot of the same boxes, hopefully the Redmi Note 4 will have larger storage capacity and a removable battery, but the Xiaomi is way way cheaper than any major Samsung phone so that has to count for something.

    The LG V20 is the only serious Non-Samsung contender for the Note 7. It's astounding it doesn't even get a mention in this article.

    • The Note 5 is the only serious contender

    • Yes i agree, very bias article, makes me think this website doesn't do their rechearch very well so why depend or even consider on their findings to make any intelligent decisions.

  • Why is stupid article, im sorry but even with note7 6 feet under and maggots are eating away at its guts tht phone is way better than them all hands down. Man i miss tht phone so freaking much i could cry now burn this article please !

  • Sinn 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    This article may sound like this: alternative to Porsche is Wolkswagen...

  • Mark 3 weeks ago Link to comment

    Why Haven't you included the LG V20 on the list? The Note 4 is better than the Note 5 on your list.

  • Ok, someone has to say it because NO ONE HAS. The reason we all love the Note series is the STYLUS! There are no equivalent replacements. The people who keep writing that the Edge S.7 and all the rest off these phones are smoking angel dust. The point is, literally, THE FREAKIN PEN. What don't you reviewers see? Are you in a dark closet with one bar on your phone? I've had Note phablets since the Note 3. We are loyal to a fault, and Samsung has let us down. Not one review on how Samsung should be offering the phone to us for half price instead of the piddly $25.00 they are offering as an compensation of the 'inconvenience' of not having a phone, having communications with business partners with losing thousands of dollars in lost revenue. And, BTW, it takes 2 months to get the $25.00. Apparently, the checks are being sent via a Korean fishing boat, and not a motor powered one, no, this boat has sails on it maity. But again, no mention of the 2 month wait for the lousy, insulting $25.00. No mention in any review about that. But that's the state of the media nowadays. No balls. There is no replacement, no equivalent for the Note 7. Apple, as smart as everyone thinks they are, year after year miss the opportunity to make a phone that would sell like crazy, and of course it will be widely accepted and Apple people will believe they invented the phone with the stylus. Just like Apple heads laughed when Samsung made the larger screen phones, as soon as Apple came out with large screen phones, suddenly it was a great idea and it was like they were the ones who came up with the idea. Un-friken-believable.

    OK, I tell it like it is, if you don't like the truth, then buy one of these ridiculous alternatives mentioned in this article and cast a vote for the Dong.

    LIke the Porsche slogan goes, "There is No Substitute."

  • Now that I have my note7 back in my hands and tweaking and making it miness the way I want to be it's so so beautiful and yes their is nothing I mean nothing tht is out there tht that is better than this note7 by far !

  • Buy any other phone that has a stylus..oh, wait....

  • Please there's nothing out there except the note7 so wht a battery defect it's still the only one out there by far !

Show all comments

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. More info

Got it!