Is There a Good Alternative to the iPhone 7?

Android users may wonder if the smartphone market is keeping pace with Apple’s latest release. Here are a few options to consider.

Tech-savvy real estate agents were probably waiting with bated breath for the recent release of Apple’s iPhone 7 and 7 Plus. As it always does, the new iPhone set the stage and standard for this year’s class of smartphones, and it’ll certainly be the first choice for those already immersed in the iCloud universe.

But the iPhone 7 isn’t the only option you have. Solid alternatives on the Android side have recently debuted as well, offering a broader selection of handsets from several manufacturers. Surprisingly, communications by voice, text message, or email doesn’t really matter when evaluating handsets. High-quality voice and high-speed data over 4G and LTE networks are a given. It’s everything else the handset does that will influence your decision. For mobile real estate professionals, your phone is also your portable computer, navigation system, and camera. This year’s class brings incremental gains on all fronts.

Faster quad-core processors boost performance, add efficiency, and extend battery life. Advances in the phone’s cameras make it less likely you’ll need a point-and-shoot digital camera for high-quality photography; the phones capture all the photo and video you need to promote listings online or in print. While they don’t yet boast the powerful zoom of a true camera, there are workarounds with photo apps and accessory lens kits.

If you’re on a budget and aren’t ready to spend on a new phone, upgrade to a new version of your respective operating system to equip your older phone with some newer features. You can also consider one of last year’s models. When the latest smartphones are announced, it usually brings price cuts for older models. Here’s a brief overview of a few recently announced alternatives to the iPhone 7.

Galaxy Note 7
Samsung USA

Though battery problems have prompted a recall of current models, Samsung’s flagship smartphone, which launched in August, still boasts the features and performance some Android users may want to wait for. A fully functional “phablet” (phone/tablet), the Note 7 ships with Android 6.0 and includes a redesigned stylus for writing or controlling apps on its 5.7-inch high-res screen. Features include:

  • Quad-core Snapdragon 820 processor with 64 GB of internal memory, expandable to 256 GB with a microSD card.
  • Front-facing 5 MP and rear-facing 12 MP cameras with wide-angle lens; can record ultra-high-res 4K video.

Also consider the Galaxy S7 or S7 Edge, which are not affected by the battery recall.

Price: $849

LG V20
LG Electronics

Announced the same day as the iPhone 7, LG’s durable new smartphone still warrants an evaluation by those who want the latest from Android. It’s the first smartphone to ship with Android 7.0. Features include:

  • 5.7-inch high-res display with multi-window view for multi-tasking.
  • Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor, 4GB RAM and 64GB of expandable memory
  • Cameras include a 5 MP front-facing camera and dual 8 MP and 12 MP rear camera system. For ultra-wide photos, the 8 MP camera will capture a 135-degree view.
  • Google In Apps lets users search across all apps, texts, email and memory for information.

Price: U.S. availability to be announced soon

Sony Experia XZ
Sony Mobile

Unveiled Sept. 1, Sony’s latest Android edition should appeal to those who want the best in mobile cameras.

  • For photos or video, it includes a 13 MP front-facing camera and ultra-high-res 23 MP rear-facing camera with wide-angle lens and 4K video.
  • Water-resistant.
  • 5.2-inch HD display.
  • Snapdragon 820 quad-core processor and 64 GB memory, expandable to 256 GB with a micro SD card.
  • A smaller version, with a 4.6-inch HD display, will be available as the Xperia X Compact.

Price: $699; U.S. availability to be announced soon


Google’s newest smartphone runs Android 7.1, the latest version of the operating system.

  • Basic handset has a 5-inch display.
  • Snapdragon 821 processor.
  • 4GB RAM, 32GB of memory.
  • 8MP front-facing camera and 12MP rear-facing camera.
  • Includes Google Assistant, a virtual assistant service, and unlimited storage for photos and videos.
  • Larger screen, additional memory available as options.

Price: $649 or $27 a month for 24 months through Google’s financing options

iPhone 7

  • Faster A10 quad-core processor and extended battery life.
  • The iPhone 7 has a 4.7-inch Retina HD touchscreen; the step-up 7 Plus has a 5.5-inch display.
  • Water-resistant.
  • New 7 MP front-facing camera and 12 MP rear camera with wide-angle lens, digital zoom, image stabilization, and 1080p HD video.
  • The iPhone 7 Plus adds a second lens on the rear for 2x zoom.

Price: Starts at $649 for option with 32GB internal memory; $32 a month if leased through Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program.