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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Phones

Samsung Galaxy Note 7 vs. S7 Edge: Which phone to buy

You love their curvaceous screens but aren't so sure about the S Pen stylus. Let me help.

Josh Miller/CNET
Now Playing: Watch this: Should I buy the Galaxy Note 7 or S7 Edge?
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Note 7 or S7 Edge? Both Samsung Galaxy phones have a lot in common, especially those wraparound screens that look awesome and are home to special shortcut software. Both phones share similar specs, including a sharp-shooting, 12-megapixel camera and the same speedy processor.

There are slight variations, but the biggest differences come down to this:

  • Note 7's S Pen stylus
  • Note 7's higher price
  • S7 Edge's slightly longer battery life
  • Note 7's 64GB of onboard storage versus the Edge's 32GB

I really enjoy the Note 7. It's Samsung's best, most luxe-feeling phone, and I enjoy using it to navigate around and mark up the screen. But if you're not going to use the digital pen, then the phone probably isn't for you. The S7 Edge's more sloping curves will get you the same immersive, feeling as the Note 7 (arguably more so) and the battery will take you a little further, too.

Although the Note 7 doubles the S7 Edge's storage, casual users can get away with the Edge's 32GB capacity, or can buy a microSD card for more space. (Both the S7 Edge and Note 7 card slots accept up to 256GB more.) Those cards are reasonably priced, but it's nice not to have to think about storage at all.

Now Playing: Watch this: Our original Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
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Still, if you're craving the Note 7's stunning symmetrical design, then watch those local sales. Samsung and its retailers want you to buy this handset. Limited-time promotions already bundle the Note 7 with a gift, and if you can wait for the holiday rush, you'll find plenty of deals on all of Samsung's phones. You may find a price you're happier to pay if you stick it out for the next month or two.

Final verdict: The S7 is good, the S7 Edge is great and the Note 7 tops them both. If money's no object, buy the Note 7. If you just want a really good, large-screen phone, the S7 Edge will beautifully go the distance.