Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Review
The 16-megapixel OIS camera on the Note Edge captures beautiful images with pleasing colors and a lot of detail, plus it does 4K video.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge comes with a 16-megapixel main camera with optical image stabilization, as well as a 3.7-megapixel front shooter. Unfortunately, when it comes to important details like the sensor used in the Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung is not sharing any details publicly except for the resolution and the 16:9 native aspect ratio. In terms of optics, the lens on the Note Edge has a focal length of 31mm (in 35mm equivalent) and an f/2.2 aperture.
The camera app on the Note Edge is also very similar to the one on the Note 4 with one notable exception: the edge. On the Note Edge, the on-screen camera shutter key and some other key settings are displayed on the edge itself. What this does is free up space on the main screen so that you have the full display to better compose your shots, but there is little added value apart from that - it does not make reaching for the button any easier (but nor does it make it much harder). For all else, the camera app is identical to the one on the Note 4: snappy and rich in options. Admittedly, some of the advanced options we were used to seeing in Samsung phones pre-Note 4 have been removed, and the experience is less cluttered, but you still retain manual control over things like ISO, white balance, and exposure.
When it comes to image quality, the Galaxy Note Edge captures some great-looking images with pleasing colors and an impressive amount of detail. The 16-megapixel snapper also does a good job with dynamic scenes. Indoors, pictures turn out pretty sharp, with low levels of noise (and optical stabilization seems to help here), and color rendering is also nice. The Note Edge's single LED flash lights up the frame fairly well, but it introduces a slight bluish cast. Interestingly, if we’re to compare images from the Note Edge side to side with ones from the Note 4, the similarity is striking - images turn out nearly identical.
The 3.7-megapixel front camera does a decent (but not stellar) job with selfies, and by default it does apply a ‘beautify effect’ to images (something that you can adjust).
When speaking of video, the Note Edge can record 4K at 30 frames per second (fps), or 1080p at either 60 fps or 30 fps. 4K looks great: with nice colors, rich in detail and with a high, nearly 50Mbps bit-rate, plus you get to use the digital zoom option (you have up to 8x times zoom) while retaining a lot more detail than when you zoom in 1080p. 4K does have its small quirks, though - you can still record only 5-minute long clips at most, and you have to keep in mind that those recordings turn out very large in size. 1080p video quality is also very nice, and in both 4K and 1080p, the optical stabilization adds extra smoothness. The quality of sound recording is very good on the Note Edge that features three microphones for better noise cancellation.
The accurate screen on the Note Edge is a nice asset for image enthusiasts, and the spacious display with edge controls makes it easier to fast forward and skip back in videos.
The spacious, 5.6-inch screen of the Note Edge makes it a great device for media consumption - be it watching a movie, or browsing through images.
First, for images, the Note Edge is a particularly good fit because of its nicely calibrated display that shows photographs as they were meant to be seen. The stock Samsung gallery brings cloud integration, as well as a nice, two-column layout for easier navigation in your image gallery.
For videos and music, the stock Samsung apps have all their controls moved to the edge screen, something that we find to be convenient, as all of the main screen remains reserved for the content and you can enjoy it with less of an interruption.
Sound quality via the single loudspeaker on the back of the phone is fairly loud and clear, and you can even hear some depth to tunes, which is nice. Still, this is not a speaker that can match the industry-leading clarity and depth of a device like the HTC One (M8).