It’s been a rough past few months for Samsung. After a successful launch, the Galaxy Note 7 proved to be a fire risk, resulting in an unprecedented recall of over two million units. A few weeks later, Samsung shipped “safe” units to consumers, but those haven’t fared any better. Five separate replacement units have caught fire in the past week alone, including one on a Southwest Airlines flight.
Samsung tried, but it’s time to admit defeat and move on. When the public’s safety is at stake, no device is worth the trouble, no matter how good it is. That’s been the toughest pill to swallow for a lot of people: The Note 7 is a stellar device, but there appears to be a fundamental flaw with its design and no amount of “safe” units will make the problem go away.
It’s true that the Note 7 is the most well-rounded device on the mobile market, offering an impressive set of features and hardware. You get IP68 water and dust resistance, an excellent 12-megapixel camera, 4GB of RAM, a gorgeous 5.7-inch Quad HD display, and S Pen capabilities. Luckily, there are a lot of wonderful alternatives that aren’t going to explode on your nightstand.
Our advice to you is to return your Note 7 as soon as possible. It’s not easy parting with things we love, but it’s better than waking up to a room full of smoke. It’s going to be a hard holiday season for Samsung, not only because the Note 7 is having issues, but because consumer trust has been broken. Now, it’s time for Samsung to admit it was wrong and we can all look toward the next device.
When you do return your Note 7 for an exchange, you’ll have a lot of really great alternatives at your disposal. Below are a few alternatives you should consider.
The Obvious Choice: Galaxy S7 Edge
Released in March, the Galaxy S7 Edge was Samsung’s best device before the Note 7 hit the market. Now that the Galaxy Note 7 is out of the picture (as far as we’re concerned), the Galaxy S7 Edge as a replacement is a no-brainer.
It’s the closest experience you’ll get to the Galaxy Note 7, offering a beautiful screen, incredible camera, IP68 water and dust resistance, and a 3600mAh battery. It’s essentially the Note 7 without the S Pen and no iris scanning technology—two things most people can live without.
The Major Competition: iPhone 7 Plus
The iPhone 7 Plus is without a doubt Apple’s best, most technologically advanced device ever. Sure, the design is similar to the last few versions, but it has a dual-camera setup, an incredibly fast A10 Fusion chip, up to 256GB of internal storage, a 2900mAh battery, and an IP67 rating. If you’re willing to jump over to iOS, the iPhone 7 Plus is worth consideration, and probably the biggest threat to the Note 7 (if it manages to stay on the market).
The Affordable Alternative: OnePlus 3
There’s something to be said about the OnePlus 3, which continues to be a favorite among the TechnoBuffalo staff. The OnePlus 2 felt like a huge misstep for the Chinese startup, but the sequel was a return to form, offering a great mix of hardware and software. There are valid concerns surrounding OnePlus’ ability to churn out timely software updates, but the OnePlus 3’s combination of specs (6GB of RAM!) and price (just $399 unlocked) is hard to beat.
The Upcoming Option: Google Pixel XL
So the design is a little pedestrian and it’s only rated IP53 but, make no mistake, the Pixel XL is the device of the future. Not only does it feature an impressive spec sheet, but it comes with Google Assistant, Google’s exciting new AI technology that is at the center of the search giant’s new hardware lineup. It also has the best Android camera on the market, according to DxOMark testing. We haven’t reviewed the device just yet but we loved what we saw at the Pixel announcement.
The Waiting Game: Galaxy S8
If you’re really patient, the Galaxy S8 will no doubt be one of next year’s best and most sought after Android devices. There have been some sketchy rumors about what to expect from the device, like a dual camera setup and bezel-less screen, and you can bet it’ll have impressive specs.
As far as the design is concerned, we’re not really sure what to expect, but if it’s anything like the S7 or S7 Edge, you know it’s going to be good. Samsung probably won’t release the S8 until February at the earliest, so you still have plenty of time to wait, but it will surely be worth it.