A view of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge cell phone on display at Samsung 837 on July 19, 2016 in New York City.
Samsung Galaxy S7 Matthew Eisman—Getty Images

5 Awesome Smartphones to Consider as Alternatives to the iPhone 7

Sep 07, 2016

Apple just introduced the new iPhone 7, leaving many smartphone owners with a major decision: Do I go with the latest and greatest from Apple? Or should I consider something else?

While Apple's newest smartphone is going to be subject to both high praise and widespread derision, as virtually all of its releases and features are these days, it's almost certain to be a hot seller—and a solid, reliable device. But if you're looking for other options to consider before making a final decision, here are five (or, technically, seven) that are worth thinking about as well.

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iPhone 6s (right) and iPhone 6s PlusYui Mok—PA Wire/PA Images

iPhone 6s or 6s Plus

They're no longer the flagship products for the iPhone line, but both of these phones still have tremendous value, offering many of the features of the iPhone 7 (since they, too, will upgrade to iOS 10). Your pictures won't be quite as good as the people who have an iPhone 7, but you'll probably pay at least $100 or so less (money you can spend on extra memory to store those photos). And if you want an alternative that will let you stay in the Apple ecosystem, these are the easy (and some of the only) choices.

A view of the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge cell phone on display at Samsung 837 on July 19, 2016 in New York City.
Samsung Galaxy S7Matthew Eisman—Getty Images

Samsung Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge

Samsung's top of the line phone comes with a top of the line price (starting at $672 for the S7 and $792 for the S7 Edge), but if you're a power user, you'll find plenty to live. The AMOLED display is breathtakingly sharp and the camera is widely considered superior to the iPhone's. Storage is expandable with additional memory cards and it's water resistant, able to withstand up to 30 minutes in five feet of water. It also boasts the biggest battery of any Samsung phone and has technology that allows it to charge quickly.

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Sony Xperia Z5 Joan Cros—NurPhoto/Sipa USA

Sony Xperia Z5

Smartphones are great for selfies and group shots, but they're generally not good when it comes to action photos. The $499 Z5 is an exception. It has a remarkably fast autofocus that makes it easier to capture things on the run, and the 23 MP camera grabs wonderful shots. It's waterproof and boasts a crisp 5.2 inch screen too. The fingerprint sensor is top of line (and puts Apple's to shame, honestly). The battery can last up to two days. And it doesn't hurt the Z5's cool factor that it was the preferred phone of James Bond in last year's Spectre.

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LG G5Josep Lago—AFP/Getty Images

LG G5

LG's phones don't get the same attention as the company's television sets, but the G5 is a standout. It's one of the few smartphones on the market with a replaceable battery, something that's especially useful for those times you forget to bring a charger with you. The $688 phone boasts a dual camera, like the iPhone 7, and has a sharp screen to view those photos. It's also modular, letting owners add on optional peripherals that can do things like make it easier to shoot landscape (horizontal) pictures and improve the audio quality (though both are just fine without the help).

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HTC 10Tyrone Siu—Reuters

HTC 10

If you use your phone for music more than photography, the HTC 10 is absolutely worth a look--or rather, a listen. The audio quality on the this smartphone is leaps and bounds beyond any competitors. It's certified for Hi-Res audio and comes with high-end headphones that give music great depth and soul, with a very clear sound. The camera's nothing to ignore, either, but it falls a bit short of some of the other phones on this list. At $599, the HTC 10 is also a bit cheaper than many of its high-end competitors.

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