Galaxy Note Edge Specs And Review Roundup: The Real Details About Samsung's Quirky New Design

By Connor Sears , Updated Nov 19, 2014 11:54 AM EST
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Samsung's big new phone this quarter was the Galaxy Note 4 phablet, but the company also had a little experiment up its sleeves. The Galaxy Note Edge has all of the trappings of a competitive phablet with one small addition, something Samsung calls the Edge screen.

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The Edge screen is a 160-pixel extension of the touch screen that curves over the right side of the phone and functions independently from the main screen. With the Edge screen, a user's favorite apps can always be on standby at all times. It can also be used to get quick and easy information – a new tweet, the latest sports scores or a number of other options – without having to leave the app that's occupying the main screen. The Edge screen also comes with a small selection of tools that can be brought up effortlessly at any time and without interrupting your other apps. You can bring up a stopwatch, alarms or even a ruler without closing that YouTube clip you're watching.

Other than the Edge screen, the Galaxy Note Edge's specs put it on par with the new Note 4. It comes with a 5.6-inch, Quad HD display with a 2560x1440 resolution (not counting the Edge). Under the hood, it sports 3 GB of RAM and 32 GB of built-in storage space, though you can use microSD card to beef up this limit. In the camera department, the Note Edge carries a 3.7 MP camera in the front and a 16 MP one in the back. It even comes with the Note 4's S Pen stylus. One big difference, though, is price. At AT&T, the Galaxy Note Edge will run you $399 on contract, compared with $299 for the Galaxy Note 4.

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With its interesting new Edge screen and curved design, the Galaxy Note Edge has the potential to be either a curiosity or a new standard for smartphones. The general consensus among reviewers is that, though the Edge screen is well designed and certainly useful, it's hard to justify the $100 price hike over the Galaxy Note 4.

CNET (4/5) – "You'd think this triangular shape would feel off-kilter or sharply uncomfortable to hold. I certainly got that impression when when I first saw the Edge, but it's surprisingly balanced when you actually use it, even for extended periods of time. I carried the Edge in my right and left hands for an hour at a time during a hike. I did grip it differently than I would other phones, but it felt sturdy and secure the entire time, and I quickly grew used to the altered feel."

TechRadar (4/5) – "The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge falls into a bit of a no mans land in the mobile market.

"It's got a lot of power, a decent screen and a range of features, but the Galaxy Note 4 does pretty much everything the Edge does, just better. It's therefore difficult to see where the Galaxy Note Edge would fit into someone's buying cycle."

Gizmodo (Should You Buy It: No) – "The curved screen on the Note Edge can surprisingly useful, and way less of a random gimmick than any curved-screen phone that's come before. But! It's not useful enough to be worth the extra $100 you can expect to pay for it. Besides, it's not worth the drawbacks; You lose compatibility with the upcoming (and awesome) Gear VR, you sacrifice some precious battery life, and you'll hate yourself a little bit every time you try to put the phone to sleep."

GSMArena – "The Edge was always a concept - kudos to Samsung for actually bringing it to the market, instead of just showing it off at a trade show and forgetting about it. However, it's aimed squarely at affluent early adopters, those who want the bleeding edge and can afford it."

Mashable – "The edge panel itself is a well-thought-out piece of technology. It's not buggy in the slightest, and it was an expert at responding to my finger taps — it hardly ever confused a edge tap with one on the main screen, and there were virtually no "false positives" from my palm, even though it appears to rest dangerously close to the panel as you hold it."

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