Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Review

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Final Thoughts

The overall performance of the Galaxy Note Edge aligns very closely to the Note 4. For all intents and purposes, the Note Edge is a Note 4 underneath, hence the similar scores across the board. If you were impressed or satisfied with the performance of the Note 4, you won’t be let down by the Note Edge. Samsung deserves credit for packing more pixels onto the Note Edge, along with additional software customizations, all without a notable performance hit. The extra 160 pixels along the handset’s right edge add a lot of new functionality as well, without an adverse affect on power.

samsung galaxy note edge photos 2481
The Note Edge is clearly a unique device in the current smartphone market. But it’s not very sensible to mull over its pros and cons as they would apply to the masses, because Samsung simply is not targeting the masses with this product. It’s aimed at those who stay on the cutting edge and are willing to try something that has never been done before. In some ways, Samsung's approach with the Note Edge reminds us of the Kyocera Echo from many years back, which shipped with two displays that could fold out for a wider viewing area.

samsung galaxy note edge photos 2484

The Note Edge’s biggest standout feature is the Revolving UI along the curved edge. Unfortunately, it’s of diminished use to lefties, so if you’re a southpaw reading this, you’ll be best served by the Galaxy Note 4. For the righties out there though, you've got a decision to make. Do you pay $100 more for the Note Edge and get the curved edge, or do you save that $100 and opt for the (otherwise very similar) Note 4? The Note Edge's additional screen restate is more than a gimmick. It’s ability to act as a secondary dock of sorts, a notification bar, and potentially more if developers exploit it, is a worthwhile addition. If there was no price premium for the Note Edge over the Note 4, we’d opt for the Note Edge.

However, there’s another wrinkle to consider: the additional screen real-estate along the edge is unconventional, and could impact future software updates. The Kyocera Edge we mentioned prior was forever doomed to remain on the version of Android it shipped with, due to the additional complexities in the software. We suspect that even if the Note Edge is eventually upgraded to Android 5.0, it may take a bit longer than a more conventional device like the Note 4. Perhaps that’s unfounded worry, but it’s worth mentioning.

Ultimately though, if you’re looking for an Android-based phablet with a unique extra, the Note Edge fits the bill very nicely (so long as you’re on AT&T, of course). For the majority, the Note 4 or Nexus 6 may make more sense. And if you’re fond of iOS, the iPhone 6 Plus is where its at. Regardless, we recognize Samsung’s willingness to try something unorthodox with the Galaxy Note Edge, and actually deliver something that’s useful in practice. We really like the Galaxy Note Edge and hope that it is the first step towards more smartphone innovations moving forward.

 

     
  • Same stellar performance as on the Note 4
  • Gorgeous display and classy styling
  • Useful Revolving UI on curved display
  • Camera captures excellent images
  • Quite expensive
  • Awkward in use for lefties
  • Doesn't ship with Android 5.0
  • Exclusive to AT&T in the U.S.


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