Galaxy Note Edge: A First Step

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Galaxy Note Edge
  • Display
  • Processor
  • Camera
  • Storage
  • OS
4.5

Samsung and Apple have been in competition for a long time. When Apple first introduced the original iPhone, they were considered the leaders in the smartphone market (a market they created). Once Samsung launched the Galaxy S, they intended it to be an iPhone killer. However, Samsung’s software issues, as well as the early stages of Android, held it back from really competing with Apple. Then, over the past few years, something interesting began to happen. After surviving several years of lawsuits from Apple, Samsung seems to be coming out on top. As Apple is starting to refine its flagship phone, Samsung is doing what Apple did so many years ago: changing the market. Samsung first did this by introducing the first phablet: the Galaxy Note. Apple scoffed at the idea at first but has recently admitted that consumers want larger phones. Now, with the Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung is taking yet another first step towards the potential future of the market.

Galaxy Note Edge – The Future, Redesigned

As many of you know from my Galaxy Note 4 review, I have never been a fan of Samsung. They make great phones, for sure, but their TouchWiz interface just isn’t to my liking, and they lack essential aesthetics to appeal to a westernised market. They made vast improvements with the Note 4, but it still wasn’t quite enough. The Galaxy Note Edge does not improve upon the Note 4’s design. In fact, it looks almost exactly like it (with the additional trim screen, of course). The Galaxy Note Edge is marginally smaller display wise, though it is a bit wider. It also sports the metal band that brought the minor luxurious look to the Note 4. Naturally, though, the Edge isn’t about metal trims or display sizes. It’s all about the second screen.

(You will also notice there is no SPECS section. The Galaxy Note Edge is virtually identical to the Note 4 spec wise. For more on specs, refer to my Note 4 review linked here)

In all honesty, I go back on forth on how I feel about the look of the Galaxy Note Edge. Sometimes I think it sounds like the future of mobile devices, and other times I feel like it looks like a misshapen Note 4. In the end, my feelings are probably the same as everyone’s… it is just going to take some getting used to. The Galaxy Note Edge is pretty neat, though. It functions as a notification display when the rest of the screen is in sleep mode, and it offers its “quick menu” style when the device is on. This video shows off how it works quite nicely.

All in all, it looks good and functions fine, but there is one minor issue. While the Galaxy Note Edge’s display is crisp, its actual usefulness is debatable. As far as I can tell, there is nothing the screen adds that would benefit me besides some minor convenience (and it is very minor). I believe the Galaxy Note Edge’s display will indeed become amazing when third party developers get a hold of the software. The dual side-by-side screen functionality could add a whole new look and feel to mobile apps. It could also create a unique interface with mobile games that has not been seen before.

THE VERDICT

In the end, it is too early to tell. The Galaxy Note Edge has a lot of potential, but it also has a lot of risks. Samsung is putting a lot of faith in its new flagship design, and if it does not get into the right hands (both consumers and developers) it could bomb. If taken advantage of, the Galaxy Note Edge could prove to be the most intuitive and revolutionary smartphone to date. If not, it will probably go down as just another gimmick tacked on to a high-end phone. Its steep price at $849 in the U.S. will also make it difficult for users with tighter budgets to get a hold of it, something that could potentially damage the device’s progress. In the end, though, we will all have to sit back and watch to see if the Galaxy Note Edge succeeds or fails. Only time will tell.

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