Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge does a lot with a little curved display

 Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung surprised everyone today with a new Note-branded smartphone that was not the Note 4. In addition to the next in the Note line, Samsung announced the Note Edge. What makes this Note special is the little bit of extra curved screen Samsung has given the device, allowing it to serve as a notification panel among many other things.

The impressive hardware update to the Galaxy Note 4 was very nearly overshadowed by the announcement of an entirely different Samsung device with a curved display. Not since the Samsung Nexus S have we seen something that claimed to have a curved design, and the Note Edge is the first to actually deliver. The phone can be used just like any other smartphone, but there’s this little but of additional display that can be used for a ton of other things. It can be your notification panel, launch controls, alarm clock, or even the shutter and controls for your camera.

The entire point is to add functionality to the already multitask-friendly Note line, and it’s also a very nice looking phone to boot.

Note Edge

As long as you can get over the phone being asymmetric, the Note Edge feels like a great phone. The muted aluminum edges and the curved glass front feel nice, and in all of my time using the phone it never once stuttered like Samsung phones have a history of doing. The phone is powered by the same hardware as the Galaxy Note 4, but it’s as though there is a separate display lined up right up against the flat QHD display. Samsung describes the resolution as 2560×1440 + 160, and that has a lot to do with how differently you will end up using the two different chunks of display.

In software, Samsung has full control over this second screen. It has a unique launcher, unique app controls, and the UI is inconsistent with the rest of the Note experience. This is because you are meant to use it like a second screen, when your phone is laying down on a table somewhere. It’s unlikely that you would use this area a lot while holding the phone and actively using it, unless you take advantage of the Interruption Free mode and push your notifications to that display while you are watching a video or playing a game. Even then, the only other useful feature is within the launcher itself, but only if you make a habit of using the side display for launching apps.

Note Edge 2

The Note Edge is clearly not for everyone, but so far the phone seems like a smart idea. There will be some who can’t stand the phone, while others find it is more functional than the Note 4. This is Samsung doing what Samsung does best, throwing ideas out there to see what sticks. The Note Edge is absolutely something that has the potential to stick, as long as Samsung isn’t aggressive with how users and developers take advantage of this new display option.

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