Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Review
Interface and Functionality
TouchWiz in the Note Edge is subordinated to the secondary edge screen, but at its core it remains the same one as on the Note 4. The S Pen is also on board.
The Galaxy Note Edge runs on Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung’s TouchWiz custom user interface on top. We’ve seen TouchWiz evolve to a brighter, less cluttered version in the Note 4, and those looks are retained in the Note Edge, but the whole interface is transformed, subordinated to the secondary edge screen.
All controls for Samsung first party apps have now been moved to the edge: playing and pausing music for instance happens here, and the change is as profound as to have the static row of icons in the home screen removed from the main screen. It makes sense - after all, you have a panel with even more (7, to be exact) shortcuts on the curved rim. Then, the rim is also used to display you all sorts of notifications there rather than in the top bar - the edge screen is much wider and fits a lot more information, so that makes a lot of sense.
Basic functionality - things like calling and messaging - have not been affected by the edge screen, and you have pretty much the same experience in those apps. Typing on the built-in keyboard of the Note Edge is comfortable as you have the convenience of a separate, fifth row for the numbers, and keys - while a bit small - are nicely spaced, making it easier to hit the right key.
Then, you also have the fingerprint scanner on the Note Edge. It requires you to swipe from slightly above the button (actually, starting from the bottom part of the screen itself) and through the key. Accuracy seems to have improved slightly over earlier version of the finger scanner and we find it decent, though, not great.
The S Pen signature feature of the Note series comes with all the improvements we’ve already seen on the Note 4. The new S Pen comes with double the sensitivity: it now detect 2,048 levels of pressure, compared to 1,024 on the Note 3. The big question for most users, however, would really be a very simple one: can I use this to take notes as I usually do on paper? The answer is ‘not quite’. Despite being more accurate, for handwriting the S Pen still draws with an annoying lag.
Finally, you have all the new sensors from the Note 4 on the Edge: the UV meter and the SpO2 blood oxidation sensor in particular. They contribute to a more health-conscious lifestyle, and integrate well with the health and fitness tracking of the S Health application.
Processor and Memory
The combination of a Snapdragon 805 system chip and 3GB of RAM on the Note Edge puts it among the top Android performers, and the 32 gigs of internal storage is double what many others offer.
Under the hood of the Galaxy Note Edge hums the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 system chip, with the same 3GB RAM, as you’d find on the Note 4.
In daily usage, the Note Edge is a fairly smooth performer, but that occasional TouchWiz stutter (even though rare) is still there.
Digging in the spec sheet and performance benchmarks, we see the familiar 28nm manufacturing process used for the 805. It’s a 32-bit chip, one of the last of this kin, featuring a quad-core Krait 450 CPU running at clock speeds of up to 2.7GHz. The Krait 450 is a small, evolutionary step, and does not bring any huge improvement in CPU performance power. Single-core performance on the Note Edge is among the best of Android, but it cannot match the capabilities of wider cores like the one in the iPhone’s Apple A8. Multi-core performance, thanks to the four cores, is very good, as testified by benchmarks right below.
While the difference in CPU compute is not that big, the Adreno 420 GPU in the Note 4 is a big step forward from the earlier-generation, Adreno 330. You can clearly see how most gaming benchmarks report the same frame-rate, despite the fact that the Quad HD Note Edge has a lot more pixels to push than earlier, 1080p devices.
The Galaxy Note Edge comes with a plentiful 32GB of internal storage on board, more than most other smartphones that come with a 16GB starter model. You can also expand on that initial storage allowance via microSD cards of up to 128GB on both.
AnTuTu Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 46284
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 41185.33
Motorola DROID Turbo 48412
Vellamo Metal Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 1118
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1230.33
Motorola DROID Turbo 1814
Sunspider Lower is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 370.5
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1087.87
Motorola DROID Turbo 828.2
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 365.2
GFXBench T-Rex HD on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 26.3
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 25.9
Motorola DROID Turbo 27.7
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 40.9
GFXBench Manhattan 3.1 on-screen Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 10
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 11.2
Motorola DROID Turbo 11.2
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 18.4
Geekbench 3 single-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 1089
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 1112.67
Motorola DROID Turbo 1060
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 1625
Geekbench 3 multi-core Higher is better
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 3302
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 3259.67
Motorola DROID Turbo 2891
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 2918
Internet and Connectivity
You have a choice of two pre-installed browsers to surf the web on the Galaxy Note Edge: a custom Samsung-made solution, and Google’s mobile Chrome. Both get the job done similarly well: Samsung’s solution syncs with Firefox, while Chrome has a cross-device syncing option with all other versions of Chrome; Samsung’s browser also has the neat full-screen browsing mode, while Chrome’s stand-out feature is its nice card-based interface. Both load webpages quickly, and scrolling as well as zooming in and out is snappy.
In terms of connectivity, the Note Edge features 4G LTE with speeds of up to 300Mbps for downloads (LTE Category 6), and it’s worth mentioning that the phone comes with versions for all major US carriers.
Other connectivity options include Bluetooth 4.1, dual-channel Wi-Fi, GPS, and NFC. The Note Edge also has an infra-red beamer with a companion app that allows you to use your phone as a remote for your TV, AC, and other electronics.
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2560 x 1440 pixels
16 MP (Single camera)
3.7 MP front
- Hardware Qualcomm Snapdragon 805, 3GB RAM
- Storage 32GB, microSDXC
- Battery 3000 mAh
Android 5.1 Lollipop