As far as I'm concerned, Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 is dead. After more than half a dozen people in the past week alone claimed that their "safe" replacement Note 7 handsets burst into flames, the phone is no longer an option. Whether Samsung claims the phones are safe after conducting its investigations, recalls the phones again and issues new replacements, or cancels the phone all together, it makes no difference to me. There's just no way I would ever feel safe keeping a Note 7 on my person or even in my home at this point.
It really is a shame because safety issues aside, the Galaxy Note 7 was an incredible phone. In terms of hardware, it was may favorite smartphone ever, in fact. But now the Note 7 is out of the picture and we likely have at least four or five months before Samsung's next flagship smartphone debuts, we're left with an important question: Do Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus have any competition left now that the Galaxy Note 7 is dead?
The answer is yes, and in this post I'll run down the best of the rest.
Apple's iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are two of the most popular smartphones in the world. They also happen to be the most powerful handsets in the world by a wide margin. But iOS certainly isn't for everyone and Android has a number of advantages over Apple's mobile platform.
The Galaxy Note 7 was obviously Apple's top competition until recently. Now, it's impossible to recommend because of the safety risk it poses. All hope isn't lost for Android fans though, because there are several other great options out there.
Moto Z and Moto Z Force: In terms of hardware design, these two smartphones are as good as it gets right now. The Moto Z is insanely thin at just 5.2mm thick, and the Moto Z Force sports a similar design but includes an unbreakable screen. Both phones feature top-of-the-line specs and an Android build that is as close to stock as it gets, and both feature the spectacular Moto Modes modular accessory system.
The Moto Z and Moto Z Force are available unlocked directly from Motorola or on Amazon.
Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge: If you're willing to own a Samsung phone despite the recent debacle, the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge are still two of the best smartphones in the world. The hardware is gorgeous, the cameras are easily among the best in the world, and the displays are the best there is (obviously — these are Samsung phones we're talking about, after all). Best of all, they don't explode.
OnePlus 3: It seems like the OnePlus 3 debuted ages ago at this point, but it actually just launched this past summer. It's also still one of the best smartphones you can buy in terms of design and performance. What's more, it's a tremendous value, offering flagship specs that start at just $399.