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Samsung Galaxy Edge review

Michael Sawh

By

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

7

User Score:

Pros

  • Still has the same gorgeous screen as the Note 4
  • Strong all-round camera performance
  • Great for gaming

Cons

  • Curved screen is not very useful
  • Battery life is less than Note 4
  • Very expensive SIM-free

Key Features

  • Curved second screen; 5.6-inch Quad HD Super AMOLED (2560x1440+160); 16-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization; 2.7GHz Quad-core processor; Android 4.4 KitKat, 3,000mAh battery;
  • Manufacturer: Samsung
  • Review Price: £650.00

What is the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge?

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is basically the Note 4 with one peculiar addition, a curved screen. Bizarrely, though, it's only curved on the right side of the phone and the reason isn’t really clear. Samsung hasn’t explained why it’s there and after the time we have spent with it, we are not sure either.

Priced at an expensive £650, the Note 4 could well give us a glimpse of phone design in the future, in its current state though, we can't really see the benefits of the Edge to make you want to spend your money on it.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: Design

It doesn’t take long to realise how the curved edge changes the way you handle this phone. Unlike the Note 4, which comfortably balances its large frame with the slightly curved back and raised corners, wrapping your fingers around to grip in one hand has a slightly pinching effect. It’s not as comfortable to hold as the Note 4 or the iPhone 6 Plus. That’s down to the fact that it now replaces the anodized aluminium trim on that side, creating a more unbalanced feel.

Surprisingly, though, the extra screen segment doesn’t make the Note Edge much heavier. The Edge weighs in at just 174g, with the Note 4 a couple of grams heavier at 176g. It’s only a fraction thicker, too – 8.5mm vs 8.3mm on the Note 4. Everything apart from that second screen is the same.

note edge

Note 4 and Note Edge side-by-side

That means the Edge retains many of things that made us love the Note 4. The faux-leather plastic back – minus the horrible fake stitching of the Note 3 – gives the Edge a nice, assured grip and the back is removable so you can get to battery, the micro SD card slot and of course get your micro SIM card in place. Disappointingly, however, the slightly raised corners, which gave the Note 4 an extra degree of protection, are gone.

The buttons are largely in the same place and the home button packs in Samsung’s improved Touch ID-rivalling fingerprint recognition sensor. The exception is the standby button, which is now at the top of the phone to accommodate the curved screen. That makes it more of a stretch reaching a finger up to it, which is irritating

For S-Pen users, the Wacom-powered stylus is still intact of course, housed in the same compartment. Around the back you’ll find the same small speaker and camera sensor with heart rate sensor just below.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: Screen

IIf you cover up that second screen, this is the same outstanding display from the the Note 4. It’s a slightly smaller 5.6-inch Super AMOLED panel with the same Gorilla Glass 4 protection that Samsung sneakily unveiled without telling anyone.

It has a 1,600 x 2,560 screen resolution, so you get an extra 160 pixels courtesy of the curved edge. The 524ppi (pixels per inch) pixel density is less than TrustedReviews Phone of the Year the LG G3 (534ppi), but what really matters here is that clarity is still exceptionally impressive. This is one of the best smartphone displays available.

You get the same immensely bright, vibrant and sharp results as the Note 4 and can enjoy those fantastic black levels when watching films watching. Colours are punchy and perhaps out of the box a little too colourful, which is easily solved in the display mode options found inside the Screen settings.

As we commented in our Note 4 review, most are unlikely to appreciate the jump from a Full HD 1080p display to a 2K QHD one, but having dropped down to a Galaxy S5 since, picking up the Edge really hammers home the big improvements Samsung is making with its smartphone displays.

So, what happens when you add an extra curved screen to an otherwise great one? Well, aside from working independently from the main display from a software point of a view, not a great deal. There's no discernible difference between the two.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

torjs99

December 19, 2014, 12:09 pm

it is a bit meh. samsung shouldn't keep releasing multiple versions of the same thing instead it should be invest its money on improving its own garbage software or removing it.

LeeTronix

December 20, 2014, 9:21 am

I have an Edge and I would be interested to note that all these people who knock it if they actually own one since it was only released on Dec 12 in the UK and seemingly only a few days early in a few other places. I find interesting how some people come out with scathing views of a phone they do not own, hmm..so moving on...

As for Samsung, it is not my favourite maker but I have to give them the benefit of doubt and that is what I have done. I quite agree that all this bloat ware can be too much and pointless, on the other hand many people will like it so it is about a balance for the consumer and as a consumer you have a choice and also a choice to remove it should you wish too. If anything I find the most lacking or wanting issues is Android itself as it is a bit all over the place and Google software seems to just throw things together hoping it sticks most of the time and is very messy and user unfriendly, well that is what I find.

I think if Android starts to really sort out its software infrastructure then I think it would be mighty impressive. I guess you have to appreciate that most phone manufactures are making a phone to carry the software and not actually developing their own OS.

With that in mind, the edge is very comfortable to hold contrary to how it might look, I found using the keyboard painless and quick to use more than on a traditional phone of the same kind of size, and I do have a many of them. The actual use of the Edge screen is very useful and so easy to navigate, it is that simple. The phone itself it extremely well built and as mentioned pleasant to hold and navigate with. The battery could do with being bigger, however the fast charge mechanism is really good. You have to also realise that you need to dumb down on any phone the display, and turn off wifi etc in the background if you want to maximise battery life, the Edge is no exception. I have found just casually using the phone with standard settings on typically will give me well under a day's usage. However Samsung in their wisdom allow for a removable battery, that is a good alternative and a real plus.

The Edge software is informative, simple and easy to set up and use. I think their will for sure more developed apps for it and the ones I have seen and am using are excellent. The screen display I find is really good and produces a nice natural colour with probably the best adaptive display I have ever seen. So far the "bloat ware" has not effected any lack in performance, and seems to work well with multiple apps open at any time, so so far so good.

I think if I was looking at the Note for and comparing to the Note Edge I would recommend the Edge over the Note 4, because it offers something a different, however it is a matter of choice and some people will always complain about change over tradition!

Thanks for reading :)

Kent Nguan

December 29, 2014, 3:46 am

Not recommended, user of Samsung Note Edge for 1 mth+, been taking quite good care of it, so as not to drop it, but the screen cracked on my 1st drop, from waist pocket level. And Samsung is demanding S$300++ to repair it!? High end pricing, low end quality. My Sony Xperia Z Ultra has been dropped many times but no crack screen at all, just damaged bezels.

Kent Nguan

January 1, 2015, 1:36 pm

To dismiss anyone thinking that I'm getting paid to do this, this is a picture of my Note Edge with the crack.
https://www.dropbox.com/sc/bq7...

Michael Borrini

January 31, 2015, 5:32 pm

Wow I just got my new edge. And I love it. So much easier organizing all my apps. And to be honest its just a awesome phone. Guess some people will just be haters and complain about everything though.

imjohnphan

October 8, 2015, 7:24 am

Check out the comparison review at https://goo.gl/5t4Bzq

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