Samsung Galaxy Note Edge hands-on review Not content with unleashing the Galaxy Note4 on the world, Samsung has brought its wacky brother the Note Edge out to play and it'sgot a curved wraparound display.
Although its eye-catching form factor willraise lots of questions not to mention eyebrows the Note Edge's spec sheet is identical toits sibling in almost every single way.
So, is that curvy display enough to set it apartfrom its sibling WELL-ROUNDED The Note Edge's rounded screen is instantlynoticeable.
Unlike the Samsung Galaxy Round's full curve, the Edge's display only curvesoff on the right hand side of the device, with the curved edge effectively acting asa small second screen.
Thanks to its identical 2560 x 1440 2K resolutionand AMOLED panel, the Edge's display appeared just as sharp and vibrant to our eyes as theNote 4's.
While the Note 4 has a 5.
7in display witha 16:9 aspect ratio, the Note Edge's display is slightly smaller at 5.
6in with a 16:10aspect ratio, thanks to the nature of the curved display.
LIVING ON THE EDGE Samsung showed off various different usesfor the news ticker-like second screen.
You can display the time and discreetly view notificationsby swiping the curved edge while the rest of the screen remains blank.
We found the swipe a little tricky to master,and would have preferred a simple double tap method, as seen in the likes of the LG G3or HTC One (M8).
In general use, you can swipe across the sidedisplay of the Note Edge to switch between various widget-like functions; you can trackyour calories burned and steps taken, see the latest stocks and weather informationscroll past.
You can also display (very thin) wallpaper on the curved surface, if you wantto add a dash of extra customisation to the device.
THE EDGE OF THE WORLD The second screen can be used as a dock forthe standard phone, email, internet and message icons displayed on the side, if you want acleaner looking desktop; and when you're watching videos or snapping photos, the camera andmovie controls are displayed on the second screen, opening up the the main display andremoving distractions.
Similarly, the Edge will also display notificationsalong the side of the phone, which should prove less of a distraction than the standardAndroid notification bar.
The Edge's screen is a definite head turner;however, its actual usefulness will depend on how many developers are prepared to addEdge functionality to their apps.
Samsung told us that the SDK for the Edge's screenwill be open to developers; assuming they take advantage of it, we could see some interestingapp implementations once it launches.
TAKE NOTE OF THE DESIGN Unsurprisingly, the Note Edge takes its designcues from the Galaxy Note 4; that means it's rocking the same improved soft grippy fauxleather back and metal banding around the outer edges for a more premium feel.
In thehand it feels like a definite improvement over the pure plastic of past Galaxy devices.
A removable battery and microSD slot are alsopresent and accounted for – two important features for media hoarders and power users.
THE POWER CURVELike the Note 4, the Edge comes rocking a quad-core 2.
7GHz Snapdragon 805 processorand 3GB of RAM, which makes it incredibly powerful, on paper at least.
We didn't spotany lag when swiping around, but we'll have to wait for our full review to squeeze everylast drop of power from its silicon innards.
STABILISED CAMERA We didn't have time to thoroughly test outthe 16MP camera of the Edge and compare shots with its rivals, but we have high hopes forits optical image stabilisation.
The LG G3 already makes good use of its OISlens to capture more light in darker conditions while minimising blur; we'd expect to seemore of the same from its similarly-equipped Samsung rivals.
The Edge also features a wide-angle selfiemode which you can sweep across like a panorama to capture more subjects.
Both the Note 4and the Note Edge also allow you to take a selfie by using their rear heart rate sensorsas shutter buttons.
Samsung's tricked out the Edge with all ofits standard TouchWiz software smarts like Multi Window, and there are plenty of newtricks for the S Pen too.
Not only is it twice as sensitive; you can use it to select sectionsof the screen and paste them into a scrap book, before dragging and dropping them intomessages and emails to send them off.
A feature called Snap Note also caught oureye.
If you snap a photo of whiteboard or paper notes, it automatically detects theedges, compensates for any skewed angles, and converts text and diagrams into digitallyeditable versions.
That means you can increase the size of writtentext and even change its colour.
It won't be useful for everyone, but for students snappingphotos of lectures, slides and notes, it could be a godsend.
INITIAL VERDICT At first glance, it's hard to see why Samsungjust didn't release the Galaxy Note Edge and scrap the Note 4 altogether.
When we asked a representative, they toldus that price was one factor for releasing two separate devices.
The increased productioncosts to create the Edge's curved display means that it won't be released in every market;although it's a pretty safe bet it will hit UK shores.
The Edge has all the tasty specs and softwaretricks of the Note 4, with an unusual and eye-catching design thrown in for good measure.
While the second screen's usefulness is debatable at this stage, it might be quirky enough totempt users away from the standard Note 4.
If the price is right that is.
Stay tuned for our full Galaxy Note Edge reviewfor our final verdict.
PRICE AND RELEASE DATEThere's no official word regarding the Edge's price as of yet, but we expect it to landat around the £600 mark, thanks to its unusual design.
It's already a whopping US$900 SIM-freeacross the pond, so prepare your wallets for a shock.
You can at least set aside a day to go andpick one up.
Samsung has told Trusted Reviews that it'll land on UK shelves on Friday 28November, with the option to pre-order directly from Samsung or Carphone Warehouse on 14 November.