The curve on Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge actually makes sense

Success will depend on the availability of apps that take advantage of it

Galaxy Note Edge

Galaxy Note Edge

Smartphone makers have been experimenting with different types of curved screens, but Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge is the one that makes the most sense so far.

The biggest challenge for companies that make Android phones is differentiating them from the competition. Displays have long been a focus, with companies offering different screen sizes and resolutions, and now curves are part of the mix.

Until now, neither Samsung nor LG have had much success with curved displays -- few people have heard of the Galaxy Round or LG's G Flex. But this time Samsung may have got it right.

On the Galaxy Round the entire screen is curved, but on the Note Edge it's only the part that wraps around the sides of the device. The idea is to create an area a bit separate from the rest of the phone that offers quick access to frequently used apps, alerts, and functions like the camera shutter.

I can't say I was completely won over after testing the Note Edge at Samsung's launch event at IFA, but the basic idea holds much more promise than previous efforts. It shows that curves can be more than a gimmick.

How to best use the edge of the screen will be a learning experience for Samsung and for app makers. There's a fine line between information that's useful and that's simply distracting. A news ticker on the devices shown at IFA fell into the latter category, for example.

Samsung has published an SDK that app developers can use to make use the curved part of the screen. But given that the phone likely won't sell in huge volumes, it may have a hard time attracting them, since developers prefer to focus on the biggest selling devices.

Many of the specs on the Note Edge are carried over from the Galaxy Note 4, including the 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution, Snapdragon 805 processor and 16-megapixel camera, all of which add up to a very capable smartphone.

How widely Samsung plans to sell the Note Edge remains to be seen. It said the device would be available in "select markets ... later this year," suggesting the market may not be that big.

Pricing wasn't immediately available, but the cost of the device will be key. In the end, I don't think consumers will be willing to pay a lot extra for the curves, even if Samsung has shown they can be a bit more useful.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags consumer electronicsIFASamsung ElectronicsAndroidsmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Mikael Ricknäs

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?