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Monday, April 13, 2015
Samsung Galaxy Note edge Review
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge hands-on review: Design
Despite its new breed of screen tech, the Note Edge is actually thinner and lighter than the Galaxy Note 4 – although only by a tiny margin. The device is 8.3 mm thick and 174 g but it feels a lot lighter than it actually is. However, this is still a huge phone and you'll only be happy with it if you're prepared for its 'phablet' proportions.
Samsung has stuck with the textured faux leather effect rear cover which provides good grip but may not be to everyone's taste in terms of looks. Although the rear cover is the typical thin plastic which we're now accustomed to on Samsung phones, there is some proper metal running around the edge which not only looks good but provides strength – it's a shame that most of it is covered with white paint leaving just a shiny bevelled edge.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: Curved screen
The 'next generation display' is obviously the unique selling point of the Galaxy Note Edge. Samsung demonstrated it a long time ago but it's finally arrived in a commercial product. As you can see from pictures, the display curves around towards the back of the phone on one side, almost giving you another dimension.
The display itself, ignoring the curved section for a moment, is essentially the same as the Note 4's. It's got a Quad HD resolution, 1600 x 2560 (not 1440 because of the edge screen), and uses Samsung's Super AMOLED technology. The resolution means the LG G3 is no longer the only smartphone on the market offering Quad HD. It's no big deal, but the Note Edge's screen is marginally smaller than the Note 4's at 5.6in instead of 5.7in.
Back to that new curved section which is perfectly easy to use, the curve feels nice and intuitive to swipe over and looks pretty good from most angles too. If you're left handed then you can actually spin the phone 180 degrees so the curve is on the left but then the buttons, ear piece and front facing camera are all at the wrong end. Samsung has made no mention of producing a special left-handed version.
At the moment, the curved section is mainly about providing information – even if the main part of the screen is underneath a cover. With customisation, it can show various different things from time and weather to stock prices and football scores. It also has app icons which frees up space on the main part of the display. It's simple to scroll through the panels which you've chosen to use.
At night time, the curved section can effectively work as an alarm clock although it's not as clear as we'd hoped looking at it side on, you really need to look at about 45 degrees. A bar also drops down when you want to access tools like the flash light, timer and a ruler.
Furthermore, when using apps like the camera or video player in landscape mode, the curved section will display buttons and other information, once again freeing up the main flat part of the screen for whatever you're doing. You can also answer calls from the edge screen and get notifications – including permanent ones such as music playback so it's really easy pause or skip a track.
In terms of hardware, the Galaxy Edge is much the same as the Galaxy Note 4. The screen is the stand out difference and the key reason to opt for the Edge over the regular version.
This means that inside is a 2.7 GHz processor, although it's worth noting that the Note 4 will also come in an Octa-core model in some markets. There's still 3GB of RAM which is a healthy amount and the benchmark results are pretty impressive.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: Battery life
Battery life is a downside to the Note Edge despite the removable battery. After more than a week with the phone, we've found that it will realistically only last one day. The screen consumes a lot of power so every time it's switch on the battery percentage drops in front of your eyes. Of course, it does have the potential to last longer but only if left on standby or if you use Samsung's Ultra Power saving mode.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: Cameras
Photographers will be pleased with a 16 Mp rear camera with optical image stabilisation (OIS) complete with the usual array of Samsung camera modes including HDR and selective focus. The front camera is a respectable 3.7Mp with f1.9 for all those selfies. Performance is good as you would expect from a premium Samsung smartphone and you can also record video in up to 4K resolution.