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Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review

Katharine Byrne
9 Jan 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
680
inc VAT SIM-free

It's expensive and the curved screen adds nothing to the phone's overall utility, but the Galaxy Note Edge is still a quick and decent phone

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Specifications

Processor: Quad-core 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Screen Size: 5.6in, Screen resolution: 2,560x1,440 (+160), Rear camera: 16-megapixel, Storage: 32GB / 64GB, Wireless data: 3G, 4G, Size: 151x82x8.3mm, Weight: 174g, Operating system: Android 4.4

The curve may be a bit of a botched experiment, then, but that doesn't mean the Note Edge is necessarily a bad phone. For instance, we think its 5.6in screen is a fraction better than the Note 4's, as it's not only brighter, measuring 340.08cd/m2, but its whites looked cleaner and more pure, leading to slightly punchier and more striking levels of contrast.

The screen's pixel density is also higher than the Note 4, standing at 524PPI (pixels per inch) compared to the Note 4's PPI of 515, although in practical terms the difference is barely noticeable. Text looked equally dark and defined thanks to the screen's perfect 0.00cd/m2 black levels and desktop sites were just as easy to read on the Note Edge as they were on the Note 4.

As with all Samsung's Super AMOLED panels, the Note Edge's colour coverage hit the full 100 per cent of the sRGB colour gamut. However, this doesn't necessarily guarantee accurate colours, as our more detailed measurement report showed that reds and greens were very oversaturated. They were, however, less oversaturated than those on the Note 4, although purists will likely find both screens a little too intense. Still, we prefer the extra vibrancy afforded by the warmer colours and videos in particular look superb and much more pleasing to the eye than they do on colder LCD screens.

S Pen

Elsewhere, though, the Note Edge struggles to stand out from its flat sibling. Like the Note 4, the Note Edge comes with Samsung's latest S Pen which slots into the bottom of the handset when it's not in use. Taking it out automatically triggers an action wheel, giving you the option of jotting down a quick memo, selecting something onscreen or sketching out a picture. With 2,048 levels of pressure sensitivity at its disposal, it's a great tool for drawing, although the sloping edge doesn't give quite as much support to your hand as the flat edge of the Note 4.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge with stylus

^ Multi Window is excellent for multi-tasking with different apps, but it's a shame the curve is completely neglected

The Note Edge also has Samsung's Multi Window feature, which lets you use two apps simultaneously. This is great for multitasking as the phone's huge resolution gives you plenty of space to work with. We particularly like that you can adjust the height of each supported app to your liking.

One-handed Operation

The Note 4's one-handed operation mode also makes an appearance here. By quickly swiping your thumb from the side of the screen to the middle and back again, the whole screen (side bar included) snaps to either side of the display.

It's very reminiscent of Apple's Reachability feature in iOS 8, as it brings every part of the screen within comfortable reaching distance. However, here you can adjust the size of the window to your liking, giving you an effective screen size ranging from 3.5in to 4.5in. This lets you see the entire screen rather than just a small portion of it like Apple's Reachability, and the gesture worked very reliably when we tried it out for ourselves. 

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge different screen sizes

However, it's clear the feature hasn't been quite tailor-made to fit in with the Note Edge's curved screen, as the already tiny footprint of the app launcher bar becomes even smaller here, making it even harder to swipe through the edge panels and tap the app icons accurately. 

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