Trouble with the Samsung Galaxy Note7 continues, with more reports of fires involving the replacement units provided to consumers following a recall. Given the safety concerns, Consumer Reports strongly urges consumers to stop using their Note7 phones and take advantage of the exchange offers provided by the major carriers for different phones.

But what should you select instead?

In terms of sheer smartphone performance, whatever model you choose will have a high bar to clear, since the Note7 is a very capable device. Here’s what you’re looking to replace: A 5.7-inch phone with water-resistant construction, a stylus, expandable memory, a beautiful screen, and an iris scan to one-up the fingerprint scan of some competitors.

Let’s be clear, there’s no one other device that matches all of that functionality—the stylus, for instance, is unique to the Note series—but some smartphones pack in a lot of similar features.

You can come close with the Samsung Galaxy 7, the LG G5, or—for anyone ready to abandon Android altogether—the iPhone 7 Plus. Here are details on those models.

Samsung Galaxy S7

The Galaxy S7 tops Consumer Reports’ ratings, with a beautiful display, great camera technology that produces sharp images, and a look and feel that closely corresponds to the Note7’s. The display is smaller than the Note7’s, at 5.1 inches, and you don’t get a stylus. Iris scan? No, but there is a fingerprint scanner for quick, secure unlocking. The phone is water resistant, and it has the same expandable memory as the Note7—the phone can accept a 256GB microSD. It also had excellent battery life in Consumer Reports testing.


The LG G5 is an innovative phone. It’s got a beautiful, 5.3-inch display; it produces great still photos and video; and it gets excellent marks for battery life. But the most striking feature is that the phone has modules that a user can swap into the base phone, to get high-resolution audio or a beefed-up camera. (Lenovo’s Motorola Moto Z and Moto Z Droid Force are also modular. Even if you never buy an additional module, you’ll benefit from some interesting engineering in the base camera technology.

The phone has a relatively high-resolution, 8-megapixel selfie camera, along with two rear-facing cameras that work in tandem to bring users the benefits of zoom without the bulk of a single telescoping lens. The 16-megapixel camera has a 78-degree viewing angle used for most shots, while the 8-megapixel ultra-wide-angle camera puts its 135-degree viewing to work when it’s time to zoom out and capture subjects in the periphery.

Other forward-thinking features include a USB Type-C port, which supports ultrafast data connections of 10 gigabits per second and doesn’t have the "wrong-side up" insertion issues of the soon-to-be extinct micro USB cables.

iPhone 7 Plus

The  iPhone 7 Plus has many of the features that made the Note7 appealing. Like the Samsung Galaxy phones, including the Note7, the new iPhone is water-resistant.

The excellent touchscreen display spans 5.5 inches—just a shade below the Note7’s 5.7-inch screen. And the 12.2-megapixel camera ranks among the best we’ve ever seen. It also records Ultra HD video. And this model offers a second 12.2-megapixel camera with 2x optical zoom, which we’ve confirmed in our labs does indeed outperform the digital zoom feature on many other phones. The battery life is very good and the phone has a fingerprint reader.