The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is the stuff of tech keynote speeches of the future. Think about it: the phone was unveiled in Samsung’s keynote just last year, but already, what was once a vision of the future of the smartphone is now a reality. And what a beautiful reality it is.
Even if you’re not a fan of the phablet, you have to admit just how beautifully designed the Galaxy Note Edge is — enough to forget about the fact that it won’t slip easily into your back pocket. Not that you’d want to keep it tucked away when you could be clutching it protectively in your hand, anyway.
It has a rounded spine, and differentiates itself from other smartphones with a screen that gently curves its way to the right, before tucking itself seamlessly into the phone’s chassis. It’s a sneak peek into things to come for Samsung, no doubt — and one that everyone can now enjoy with the Note Edge…for nearly a thousand dollars.
So the question is: is a curved display worth that much for a smartphone? Minus the obvious design differences, is the Note Edge all that different from the $600 Note 4? And since we’re on the subject of price ranges, what about Apple’s phablet offering, the iPhone 6 Plus, which costs about as much as the Note Edge — only without the edgy display?
Because Samsung created the phablet niche, it’s not surprising that they’re doing a really good job at it. And the Note Edge takes the idea of a phablet to a whole new level.
Design and Camera
Design-wise, the curved spine and screen — a 5.7 inch QHD (1440 x 2560) — definitely makes the Note Edge a beautiful phone; add to it Samsung’s Super AMOLED technology, and you have for yourself one of the best looking handsets I have laid eyes on.
The camera has also been improved (16MP), and the standard issue Samsung phablet S pen is now showing real functionality with the Note Edge. It also runs on the Snapdragon 805 chipset, which makes it a powerful device.
Because of the unique screen, Samsung did have to make the device a little bigger than what even phablet fans are used to. And in exchange for that fabulous new screen, holding the Note Edge with one hand can feel a little unwieldy.
Thankfully, that screen on the spine does a lot more than just look pretty — it also shows additional information independent of the main screen. This makes up for the added bulk and the power/unlock button going back on top of the device, which is pretty annoying if your phone is bigger than the palm of your hand.
Personally, I would have placed the unlock button at the bottom or the left side of the unit, if only to avoid having to use my phone with two hands all the time.
For a phone this size, though, with all its many bells and whistles, the Note Edge is surprisingly light. Make no mistake: it’s still one of the heavier phones available in the market today, but not so much that it becomes off-putting.
The other tech specs however, don’t seem all that different from the Note 4.
I’d say the Note Edge is an upgrade — and a good one at that — but only in terms of design. It’s Samsung dabbling into the world of curved screens, and if I had to pay nearly a thousand dollars to experience it, I’d much rather wait it out for better functionality to go with its impressive design.
Then again, if you’re a phablet fan and have a few extra bucks lying around, then by all means, pick one up. It’s a beautifully designed phone — just don’t expect it to do anything more than what your Note 4 already does.
|Network||GSM / HSPA / LTE|
|Design||151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3 mm (5.96 x 3.24 x 0.33 in); 174 g (6.14 oz); micro-sim|
|Display||Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors; 5.6 inches; 1600 x 2560 pixels; curved edge screen; Corning Gorilla Glass 3|
|OS||Android OS, v4.4.4 (KitKat)|
|Chipset/ CPU||Qualcomm Snapdragon 805/ Quad-core 2.7 GHz Krait 450|
|Memory: cardslot/internal||microSD, up to 128 GB/32/64 GB, 3 GB RAM|
|Camera||16 MP, 3456 x 4608 pixels, optical image stabilization, autofocus, LED flash|
|Battery||Li-Ion 3000 mAh battery; Up to 18 h (3G); Up to 67 h|