If you recently bought a Note 7, you now have a tough decision to make. You can either go to bed every night wondering if your phablet is going to explode while you sleep, or you can exchange that ticking time bomb for a new phone with some peace of mind.
Unfortunately, letting go of your beloved Note 7 won’t be easy, even if it’s only for a few weeks until the replacement models come in from Samsung – which are expected to ship to the U.S. no later than September 21, according to the official Note 7 recall page.
With the Note 7 recall now official in the United States, carriers like T-mobile are offering complementary “loaner” devices to anyone who recently made an unfortunate purchase.
For those thinking about going with a replacement or the dreaded temporary loaner, exchanging with another Samsung device means seamless functionality with your wearable devices and other accessories. Here are four suggestions worthy of phablet fans looking for a true interim device for their Note 7, click on any image for a side-by-side spec comparison.
1. Galaxy S7 Edge
While there is no phone on the market that can truly compare to the Galaxy Note 7, if hardware is your game, look no further than the Galaxy S7 Edge. This is essentially a Note 7 without the stylus and a slightly smaller 5.5-inch edge display.
You get the same great 12 MP camera tech found on the Note 7 with that super fast 26mm f/1.7 lens you’ve grown to love. Under the hood, the S7 Edge features the same Snapdragon 820 setup found on the Note 7, which includes 4GB of ram and an Adreno 530 GPU.
Although the Galaxy S7 Edge is on the lowest end of the phablet spectrum, its 4K display packs the same amount of pixels as the Note 7 into a slightly smaller 5.5-inch display which gives it a slightly higher pixel density of 534ppi vs. 518 ppi. Your eyes, of course, probably won’t notice the difference.
2. Galaxy Note 5
Of course, if you must have a stylus, you can always downgrade to the more familiar design of last year’s model. Going with the Galaxy Note 5 means you retain Gear VR support in addition to all the great drawing and writing capabilities you just can’t live without.
Photographers will enjoy the fast 28mm f/1.9 OIS lens that takes very sharp photos, even in low light situations but a lack of expandable memory makes keeping sufficient space for your pictures a challenge.
The screen on the Note 5 is the same Super AMOLED display found on the Galaxy Note 7, minus the dual edge and always on display. Switching to the Note 5 also means losing IP68 water resistance and losing about 500 mAh of battery capacity.
Overall, if you need a direct Note 7 replacement, the Note 5 will easily get you through the next couple of weeks.
3. Galaxy S6 Edge+
In August of 2015, the Galaxy S6 Edge+ was announced alongside the Note 5. If you are a fan of the extra large dual-edge display, the S6 Edge+ boasts the same 5.7-inch 4K super AMOLED technology found on the Note 5 while scrapping the S-pen.
When it comes to design and build quality, the Note 5 and S6 Edge+ are neck and neck. Both devices are almost identical in terms of internal hardware, sporting 4GB of RAM alongside a Snapdragon 820 chipset.
4. Galaxy Note 4
While the Note 5 featured some nice upgrades, its lack of expandable memory makes the Galaxy Note 4 an awesome choice for those who need massive amounts of storage. Media buffs will love the removable battery, which allows for endless videos and gaming when paired with a second battery charger.
The Note 4 also sports a big, beautiful 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display, with Quad HD resolution, just like that found on the Note 5 and 7. A quad-core processor under the hood coupled with 3GB of RAM will make you question how old this phablet actually is.
All of that questioning will go out the window the second you start taking photos. When it comes to camera quality, there is no question that the Note 4’s 16MP f/2.2 lens is much slower than the class-leading f/1.7 lens found on the Note 7, or even the f/1.9 snapper found on the Note 5.
While the Note 4 had a considerably better camera than the Galaxy S5 with its new sensor and optical image stabilization, the focus and capture speeds of the Note 7 is unmatched, especially in low light situations.
Other annoyances that come along with the Note 4 includes the more difficult to use “sliding” fingerprint scanner, zero water protection, and lack of wireless charging built in.