Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Samsung Galaxy Note 3: first look


With the exception of the bendable LG G Flex, few devices can claim to have got the "Wow!" factor in the bag the way the all-new Samsung Galaxy Edge does. Of course, the Edge is, technically, not yet on the market, but we were surprised to hear that all four of the major US carriers will carry it, and not in some distant future, but as soon as October!

At a first look, the Note Edge seems to be very different from anything there is on the market right now -- even its predecessor, the Note 3. However, with the exception of that extra side screen, this is still very much a Samsung Galaxy Note device, so we were naturally curious to see how the two compare. Read on to find out.

Design


With the Note Edge and Note 3, you've got two devices that are very alike in terms of their basic shape -- two rectangles with rounded corners. The differences, with the exception of the screen on the right edge of the former, however require a closer inspection. For one, the Note Edge is the first in the Note line (along with the new Note 4, that is) to sport metal in its build. Indeed, the frame is now made out of the sturdy material, instead of the plastic imitation present with the Note 3.

Looking at the back, we again have some subtle differences. For example, while both devices have a soft-touch, faux-leather backs, the Note Edge does away with the fake stitching that is present with the Note 3, and also adopts a slightly different (and nicer) pattern. Also different is the button placement on the Edge, and instead of housing both of these on the right side of the frame, Samsung has instead put the power button on top of the device, while the volume rocker has been moved to the left side. In terms of ergonomics, this is an unwelcome change, but the company obviously had to move them to make room for the side screen.

Display


The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge comes with a super-crisp, 5.6-inch Quad HD resolution (1440 x 2560) Super AMOLED display, good for the whopping 525 pixels per inch. In addition to that, Samsung has also set aside 160 pixels for the display on the edge, though we don't yet know its exact size (we guess about 1 inch). Thankfully, said tiny screen is not separate from the main one, so content seamlessly curves over to the side.

Looking at the Note 3, things are more tame. Last year's Note flagship makes use of a seemingly larger, 5.7-inch Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 1080 x 1920 pixels, or a ppi of 386. Obviously, if you count the side screen on the Edge, the two are pretty much on par in terms of screen real estate.

Interface and functionality


While both devices make use of Samsung's TouchWiz overlay based on Android 4.4 KitKat, the two differ visually. The reason for this is simple: Samsung simply didn't update the TouchWiz software of the Note 3 to the latest version available. Unfortunately for the Note 3, this means that we definitely dig the interface on the Note Edge, as it simply is more refined and far more attractive. In fact, in comparison, the UI on the Note 3 feels seriously outdated.

The Note Edge also scores a win in terms of functionality, and not solely based on the extra side screen, too. For example, it is equipped with a fingerprint scanner, which Samsung has embedded into the physical Home button, along with a heart rate monitor on the back, right under the camera. The Note Edge also has the very useful Ultra Power Saving Mode on board, allowing it to survive on little to no charge for very long time if you so need it to. Further still, the S-Pen stylus on the Note 3 is now inferior, as the updated version with the Note Edge has been tweaked. For example, not only does the display on the Edge allow for a more precise experience, but the amount of pressure you need to apply with its S-Pen is higher, so that it mimics the experience of writing on paper with a real pen better.

And, lastly, there's the side screen, of course. Many of the built-in Samsung apps on the Note Edge have been reworked to work in concert with it, so, for example, it'll display certain settings when the camera app is on, show music controls, and even display your missed notifications.

Processor and memory


The Galaxy Note Edge will come in two flavors -- one equipped with a 2.7GHz, quad-core Snapdragon 805 chipset with four Krait 450 cores and an Adreno 420 GPU, and another, with an octa-core Exynos 5433 chip from Samsung itself. The company's silicon utilizes two clusters of four cores -- one with power-efficient ARM Cortex-A7 cores and another with powerful ARM Cortex-A15 cores. Depending on the task at hand, the chip intelligently switches between the two, always trying to save power without degrading the user experience. If need be, the Exynos 5430 can mobilize all eight cores for those times when you need all hands on deck.

As for the Galaxy Note 3, it sports a now aging quad-core Snapdragon 800 chip. The still very respectable processor has four Krait 400 cores ticking at 2.3GHz and an Adreno 330 GPU. Obviously, this is an inferior solution to the SD805, but considering the more pixels the latter has to push, the difference in performance should be negligible to small.

In terms of memory, we've got a tie, with both devices boasting 3GB of RAM.

Camera


While we haven't yet had the chance to properly test out the camera on the Note Edge, let alone compare it with what competitors have to offer, it's hard to imagine that the Edge will lag behind the Note 3's camera in terms of overall performance.

The 16-megapixel, unit on the Edge makes use of what the company is calling Smart OIS, which combines the efforts of both an optical image stabilizing gizmo, and the built-in software's digital image stabilization. Overall, Smart OIS will help you take shake-free video, and will even aid you in taking better pictures in low light environments. 

As for the Note 3, we've got an excellent 13-megapixel snapper, but optical image stabilization is nowhere to be found. Regardless, we'd say that the Note 3 is now time-tested, and we've been consistently happy with its performance -- it's no longer on top of the list, but it's handling itself very well even today.

Expectations


Unless you're looking to try out something wild, then buying into the Note Edge probably doesn't make much sense -- you're probably better off with the Note 4, especially since it will likely be cheaper. Speaking of cheaper, however, the Note 3 is likely to be considerably more affordable in comparison. Sure, we don't yet know how Samsung will price the Edge, but it's safe to assume that you'll be saving a few Benjamins by opting for the Note 3. And while it won't feel as bleeding-edge, it is absolutely adequate for just about any use case scenario you can think of.


Related phones

Galaxy Note Edge
  • Display 5.6" 1440 x 2560 pixels
  • Camera 16 MP / 3.7 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, Quad-core, 2700 MHz
  • Storage 32 GB + microSDXC
  • Battery 3000 mAh(18h 3G talk time)
Galaxy Note 3
  • Display 5.7" 1080 x 1920 pixels
  • Camera 13 MP / 2 MP front
  • Processor Qualcomm Snapdragon 800, Quad-core, 2300 MHz
  • Storage 64 GB + microSDHC
  • Battery 3200 mAh(21h 3G talk time)

FEATURED VIDEO

16 Comments

1. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

Real innovations always comes from Samsung, except design language.

2. jeeta444

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

Lolll………innovations ?? floating touch copy from xperia sola. -dot view case copied from htc m8. -back button for selfies from lg g3. -fingerprint in home button from touch id. while note edge is nothing more than a odd looking brink.it will be dead in some time similar to smart eye or scroll eye whatever.… every time same pathetic design and plastic materials used in low to high end phones.

4. Felix_Gatto

Posts: 942; Member since: Jul 03, 2013

That's not the real innovations, the real one is YOUM display.

6. jeeta444

Posts: 154; Member since: Mar 24, 2014

I dont see any usage of note edge.. good concept but nothing more than a gimmick.samsung should spend some money for designing their devices rather than these crap concepts.

8. bob808

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 04, 2014

you do know that apple is also working on a curved display dont you?

5. nebsif

Posts: 37; Member since: Jul 27, 2014

s pen? phablets overall? its been years since note1 and I still see no point buying anything bigger than 5.5 that isnt a Note. Dafuq do I need an oversized phone that doesnt utilize the extra space to the max?

9. bob808

Posts: 2; Member since: Sep 04, 2014

and who does apple copying from?

13. boozer

Posts: 7; Member since: May 24, 2014

You literally haven't even tried let alone seen the damn thing in person yet you chose to whine about how something crappy is based on the video. Everybody copies from EVERYBODY. Period. Does Samsung literally owe these guys a living? I don't understand how some people are agitated over an inanimate object or who copies who. I mean if you don't like something, then stop your crying and don't buy it.

3. hboy857

Posts: 367; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

Although I find note edge weird,ugly and gimmicky you have give Samsung credit for trying to create something new.

7. isprobi

Posts: 797; Member since: May 30, 2011

I like the look of the Note Edge. And I do see a value in the edge screen for things like getting a private look at notifications during meetings when the front screen is off or covered. My only question is what happens if you accidentally touch that screen while holding or picking up the phone?

10. Oceans11

Posts: 12; Member since: Sep 26, 2013

I picked up the Maxwest Android Gravity 5.5 (Kit Kat) from YIPPZ. This phone has a 5.5 inch screen, quad core, 13.0 mp camera it's Dual SIM and has a 1yr US warranty. It's super fast! I love it, because I can choose any MVNO and I am not stuck in a contract!!

11. jpd514

Posts: 57; Member since: Nov 08, 2013

I am going to change my Note 3 for the Note Edge as soon as available. If I would like to be 1.5 years late on technology I would be with apple

12. gigaraga

Posts: 1454; Member since: Mar 29, 2013

Both are gorgeous. Note 3 still stands strong after a year ..but dayum dat Note Edge is a killer!

14. jtl78

Posts: 31; Member since: Nov 19, 2012

Does anyone know if the Note 4 and Note 4 Edge is waterproof?

15. alizee

Posts: 6; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

samsung i love you

16. Immolate

Posts: 310; Member since: Jun 17, 2011

If you're worried about looking like a nerd if you're carrying the Note Edge, then you're obviously new to the Samsung Note experience. I am an unapologetic tech geek and I am totally loving the newness of the Edge! I've been geeking out since the Og Note hit the market and have been drawing looks sticking the glassy monolith to the side of my head ever since. I'm currently rocking the Note 3 (who isn't?) and I am so going to buy the Note Edge in October. It will be hard listening to everyone around me croon about their Note 4's for a month, but I will find a way to muddle through it. What can compare to its curvy, luminescent goodness? Next to it, all "conventional" phones will look hopelessly ordinary. Sure, you can still be a first level tech geek and use a two-dimensional screen, but you will be reminded each time you see royalty walk by with a Note Edge that you are merely a hobbit of the realm.

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