Samsung is well known for pushing the boundaries of what’s possible with smartphone design.
In recent years, the company has been responsible for kick starting a number of new trends in mobile tech.
The Samsung Galaxy S3 and later the Samsung Galaxy Mega took screen size to a whole new level and by the time the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 was released in 2014, the trend for smartphone buyers around the world stated that bigger was definitely better.
Gone were the smaller screens, replaced by devices so big one can barely fit them in their pocket.
Even Apple followed suit.
The Galaxy Note also saw Samsung try to introduce another trend, bringing its S Pen stylus to a smartphone/phablet for the first time. However, despite the release of the LG G3 Stylus, the idea is yet to really catch the eye of both consumers and competitors alike.
As for the company’s latest trend, it seems that Samsung has a thing for curves.
In the past 18 months, the company has released a curved wearable with the Samsung Galaxy Fit, a curved smartphone, with the Galaxy Round, and it has recently unveiled a range of curved smart TVs.
On Thursday, I got to spend a bit of time testing out the latest Samsung device to feature a curve.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge was unveiled at the Mobile Expo in Bangkok and was the first time people in Thailand were able to get their hands on the device.
I’m a big fan of the Galaxy Note 4, which is basically what the Note Edge is, minus the curved screen. The display on the Note 4 is stunning, and stands up against any device out there in my opinion.
Despite generally not being a fan of Samsung’s version of Android, the way the Note 4 can multitask is excellent and even the stylus, which I previously dismissed as just being a bit of a gimmick, works really well, its functionality having improved massively from when I first used the S Pen on the Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0 tablet a couple of years ago.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge first impressions
There’s only one place to start with the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge and that is with its curved display, which takes up the whole of the right hand side of the phone.
The thing with the curved edge is that rather than being a curved version of the existing display, it’s actually a display all of its own and works independently of the 2560×1400 S-AMOLED 5.6 inch screen.
Rather than just being a bit of gimmick, the edge display has a multitude of different uses, such as clock, shortcuts panel and notifications display. You could even set it up to like a rolling news ticker, displaying the latest news, football scores, weather, or stock information. It can even be used as ruler.
This aside, is the curved edge actually useful? Well on first impression, the answer to that is no.
Does it get in the way when using the phone? Yes, so much so that the phone is actually a little awkward to hold – even more so if you are left handed. In fact, I wonder if lefties would be able to comfortably use the Note Edge at all.
However, despite being almost completely unnecessary it does provide quick easy one handed access to your apps and helps to free up a load of space on your homescreen.
The fact that the curved edge is neither practical or necessary is not really the point.
The fact that the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is the first phone to offer this kind of curved display is very much the point.
People who will like this phone are the kind of people who will sleep easy knowing that the curved screen is there if they want it and that their phone has something that no other phone out there has.
Critics will cry out and call the screen nothing more than a gimmick but these would almost certainly be the same people who would wax lyrical about innovation if a leading fruit inspired smartphone manufacturer was to ever release a similar kind of thing at some point in the future.
Whilst the Galaxy Note Edge is a bit of an oddity at present, if the rumours are to be believed it could be a sign of things to come for Samsung.
And the fact that Samsung has released the API to developers in order for them to build their own downloadable panels via the curved edge also suggests that the curved edge screen could be here to stay.
Curved screen aside, as mentioned, the Note Edge is basically a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and for that reason, there are few better smartphones out there at the moment.
The curve is either something you’re going to love or hate and whether it’s enough to shell out 28,900 baht for remains to be seen, especially when you can pick up the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 in Thailand for around 26,000 baht.
With regards to performance and battery life, it was obviously as you’d expect from a new phone pretty much just out of its box and I would have to spend much more time with the Note Edge to comment further.
Hats off to Samsung for offering something different and unique with the design of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. However, the reality is that whilst it is an excellent phone, the same unique and innovative design is only likely to have a somewhat niche appeal.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Specs
151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3 mm / 174 g
5.6” Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (2560 X (1440+160))
2.7 GHz Quad Core Processor
3GB RAM + 32GB Internal memory, supports microSD up to 128GB
2.5G (GSM/GPRS/EDGE) : 850/900/1800/1900 MHz
3G (HSPA＋ 42Mbps): 850/900/1900/2100 MHz
4G (LTE Cat.4 150/50Mbps) or 4G (LTE Cat.6 300/50Mbps)
* May differ by country and carrier
Front Camera 3.7MP + F1.9/ Selfie (90º), Wide selfie (120º)
Rear Camera 16M+ Smart OIS/ Fast AF, Live HDR (Rich Tone)
Android 4.4 (Kitkat)
Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (2X2 MIMO)
Download Booster, NFC, Bluetooth® v 4.1 (BLE),ANT+ ,
USB2.0, MHL 3.0
IR LED (Remote Control)
3000mAh Fast Charging
Codec: MP3, AAC/AAC＋/eAAC＋, WMA, AMR-NB/WB, Vorbis,
Adapt Sound, Sound Alive, Wise Voice 2.0, Extra Volume 2.0
3 Mics (Directional Voice Recording)
15g, Hovering 15mm, Pressure level 2,048
Gesture, Accelerometer, Geo-magnetic, Gyroscope,
RGB ambient light, Proximity, Barometer, Hall Sensor,
Finger Scanner, UV, HRM
Related: The official global launch of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Jonathan is our Google Nexus and Android enthusiast. He is also fanatical about football which makes it all the more strange that he should support Stockport County. In addition to writing about tech, Jonathan has a passion for fitness and nutrition and has previously written for one the UK’s leading watch and horology websites.