The Korean Giant has moved forward in defining the form factors of mobiles. With Note Edge, you feel like holding something pretty cool and different. This new form factor has its plus and minus points over the Note 4, but is it worth the sky rocket pricing. We find out in the review of Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.
This is basically a Galaxy Note 4 in design, except the fact that it doesn’t because of its added edge screen. But in all other aspects it definitely is a Note device. That Futuristic curve adds a lot of interesting things to the device. When the device is laying on the desk, it looks like the Note 4 has been hit by a blow torch, resulting in the melting of the one-side of the screen.
It is a noticeable difference that Samsung has placed the power button on the top edge. With every other thing remained the same just like Note 4. On top edge, there are 3.5mm jack, IR blaster, and a microphone, while on the left edge there are volume rocker keys. On the bottom part, there are two microphones, microUSB port, as well as a slot for the S-pen.
Samsung Note series of phablet devices has been popular for one and only one reason. They take better advantage of the big screen than any other smartphone out there, and that goes double for the Note Edge. That’s all thanks to the Edge display which company’s UI treat as totally different screen. The display is actually a little smaller than Note 4, which is about 5.6-inch.
The curve display serves as a cosmetic accessory, big notification bar, handy bedside clock, sports social and stock tickers, data usage meter, shortcuts panel. You name it; Samsung has managed to put a lot of things inside this 160 pixel curve screen. Even the ruler, which is a kind of an odd functionality, comes handy when you want to measure something in the urgency.
Like when a friend called me asking me about the size of the foot to be fit for wedding shoes. While there are still very less number of downloadable panels, we hope that there will be more as Samsung has provided APIs to the developers. With Edge screen, it is far better to multitask than even on the Note 4.
Inside the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is the Snapdragon 805 processor, which is complimented by 3GB of RAM and Adreno 420 for graphics. Just as exactly as the Note 4, meaning the performance is just the same. We might be looking at the full featured phone available right now, because this is basically a Galaxy Note 4, which was already packed with features, and now we have a curved display to add more. As such the usual Samsung hardware, the Note Edge also includes a removable back cover, underneath is the removable battery, microSD card, and SIM slot as well.
Recent Samsung additions include the Heart-rate monitor, and the multiple microphone setup helps in recording the voices. But of course, the main draw of the Note is S-pen, a stylus that provides precision usage and note taking capabilities. Removing the S-pen from its slot opens up the menu options, with S-pen you can either crop screen shots, screen write, access to the S-note and action memo. Samsung has also given a biggest addition to this functionality, which is the photo note. It allows you to capture shots and edit by S-pen, which opens up the creativity.
The battery life of the Note Edge falls in line with large device form factor, 3000mAh still sound low, but it lasted for around 4 hours screen on time. Though, the standby time was better than expected for a device with such hardware capabilities. It allowed me to reach around a day’s usage on multiple occasions of more than average usage.
As for the software on Note Edge, it comes with the Touch Wiz UI that Samsung has changed a lot over the time. But it handles the multi-tasking and the software on edge screen quite well. With multi-window now accessible from the recent apps, it is quite easy to get things done fast on Note Edge. But even in the dual window setup you can still switch to a floating app setup, and make it a small icon for safe keeping. Drag down from either of the corners and most application would be shrunken into a floating window.
Multi-tasking is very big part of the Note experience and with curve display, the level of multi-tasking increases a lot. With Edge screen, you would have favorite apps available all time, notifications, and with a variety of other functions you would be able to do a lot of stuff at a time.
Alright, let’s move on to the camera on Note Edge. The 16MP shooter on the back is capable of worthy shots, though, there is a big problem the way it handles. There are times when you like the shifted camera controls on the edge screen, like when using the front facing snapper. But it is a bad experience when you are trying to capture a steady shot from the rear cam while handling it on your one-hand. It gets awkward and uncomfortable to operate even with two hands. These ergonomics are not made for smartphone camera shooting.
The camera interface is similar to the Note 4’s capabilities, as it is the same module added on Note Edge. But there are probably no complaints about the camera quality, as we loved the camera on Note 4. Though, the high saturation levels make the photos little less accurate, but the details are quite clear. Various modes are available like HDR, Selective focus, panorama, and rear cam selfie, as well as you can download more. The low-light shots were visible enough to see large details. But it can be said that Note Edge and subsequently the Note 4 still performs the best in low-light conditions than its competitors.
Apart from the availability and hefty price point being a negative point about the Note Edge. There is one simple thing that Samsung missed out in its latest innovation was that company didn’t think this through for the left handed usage of the edge screen. While it has been already confirmed by the Samsung, and maybe we see some official update from the company to solve this issue. But in our review variant, which is the model SM-N915D, didn’t have the 180-degree functionality.
Are these features really enough to justify the price of Edge? Well, honestly I’m not that sure. Galaxy Note 4 is such a premium phone, and it makes sense for its pricing. But an extra $150 or around INR 10K for Indian users is pretty large amount for 160 pixel screen. So, it is the question you would have to answer yourself that whether you want to spend extra money for something different.