Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Samsung Galaxy Note 4
It's fair to say that Samsung surprised the majority of the industry when it whipped out the Galaxy Note Edge alongside the Note 4 during its announcement event at IFA 2014. Not only were we not prepared for two Note models, but we were taken unawares by the Edge's out-of-a-Sci-Fi-flick look, with its display sloping all the way through the right side of its body.
But take the Note Edge's display out, and we're looking at two essentially identical devices. Or at least it seems so on paper. Is that really so, or are we looking at a gross oversimplification? Let's dig in and find out.
For those of us who value ergonomics, the Note 4 is the clear winner.
As we touched on already, save for the alien-looking auxiliary screen of the Note Edge, it has actually been styled after the Note 4, complete with Samsung's refreshed design language. But the differences are there.
We're still looking at a rounded rectangular body, but the four protective bumps at the corners of the Note 4 are not available with the Note Edge – its side screen obviously leaves no space for them. The Note 4 is thicker, heavier and taller than the Edge, but it's less wide, which is an important consideration when talking phablets (6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches (153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm) versus 5.96 x 3.24 x 0.33 inches (151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3 mm) and 6.21 oz (176 g) versus 6.14 oz (174 g)).
Speaking of the sacrifices the company had to make to fit that futurustic display, it's also important to note that while the volume rocker sits on the left side with both devices, the Edge has its power key moved to the top, whereas the Note 4 has its own conveniently placed within a thumb's distance on the right. Thankfully, you can still use the physical home button on both devices to wake up the screen and then unlock it.
Taking a peek at the rear, we're met with a familiar sight with both – the now Samsung-signature faux leather material has been used with both, though we defintiely like the pattern more than what their predecessor, the Note 3, had to offer. Everything else about the back, from the camera through the heart rate sensor and speaker, is identical.
So how does all of the above come together when talking about handling the two and overall ergonomics? It's really quite simple – the Note Edge, courtesy of its wider framer and edge screen, is the more cumbersome device to operate and handle.
If you thought the bent display of the LG G Flex or the Galaxy Round was unique-looking, then wait until you see the edge of the Edge.
The first thing that you need to know (and the one thing you probably already know) when it comes to the Note 4 and the Note Edge is the difference between the two display panels, and we're not just talking about the auxiliary screen on the Edge's side.
To start off, while both devices are very similar in terms of their dimensions, it's worth pointing out that the Note Edge actually has a smaller, 5.6-inch display (versus the 5.7-incher of the Note 4), but the extra real estate on its profile actually swings this in its favor. Indeed, the secondary display (which is really a part of the main, previously-mentioned 5.6-inch paneL) adds 160 extra horizontal pixels – enough for an extra column of icons. Speaking of pixels, both screens have a resolution of 1440 x 2560 (Quad HD) or density of 525 ppi with the Edge and 515 ppi with the Note 4 – more than sufficient for an extremely sharp viewing experience.
The same kind of small differences also materialize themselves when talking display image quality. Both the and Edge and the Note 4, when put into the optional Basic screen mode, have an excellent color temperature (6719 K versus 6667 K), and minimal color and grayscale deviations (Delta E RGBMCY and Delta E Grayscale, respectively), though the Edge's sceren proves slightly more inaccurate overall, specifically when the accuracy of differing intensities of green, yellow and magenta is involved. The Edge's 5.6-inch panel offers a more correct gamma, though – 2.28 versus 1.98, with 2.2 being the reference value.
The Edge has a small edge in terms of brightness, too – we measured 496 nits at the peak, while the Note 4 tops off at 468. In our experience, the two devices' screens were visible even on a sunny day.