Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Samsung Galaxy S5
With the Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung puts years of research into action, introducing a phone with a curved display that actually serves some purpose, unlike the proof-of-concept Galaxy Round. While largely carrying the Note 4's specs, like a Quad HD display, Snapdragon 805 chipset, and the new S Pen stylus, the Edge is undoubtedly a unique handset that deserves your attention, mainly on account of the Edge side screen.
The Galaxy S5, on the other hand, is Samsung's spring flagship, with a smaller, 5.2” display, and more modest silicon, which has now fallen in price sufficiently to warrant a long and hard look if you are in the market for a new handset. That is why we are pitting the Note Edge against the Galaxy S5, hoping to help you choose whether to upgrade, or which one to get in the first place...
The edgy Note and its unique curved screen are attention-grabbers, but the Galaxy S5 feels more ergonomic in the hand.
The Note Edge looks veritably unorthodox, both when lying on a table, and in your hand, as it sports that curved screen area on the side, and classy metal rim surroundings. While the side ticker isn't exactly brimming with truly value-added usage scenarios, it definitely contributes to the phone's cool factor. The Edge is still a large phablet, though, so operating it with one hand is going to be much harder than on the more compact Galaxy S5, more so because Samsung has placed the power/lock key at the top of the Edge, which is quite unergonomic.
Both handsets sport thin, removable plastic rear covers, revealing the swappable battery compartments, and the microSD slots you can use for extra storage. Samsung went with a dimpled pattern on the back of the S5, while the Edge has a more leather-like rear that is still fine to the touch.
The phones sport Samsung's fingerprint scanner, embedded in the home key beneath the display, but, while on the S5 you can still swipe over the scanner, and unlock the phone with one hand, the same operation on the Note Edge is a bit more difficult, due to its larger size. The larger phone has a fancy trick up its sleeve, though, besides the sloping display, and it is the S Pen stylus, which brings an additional input method and some neat features, if you are inclined to use it.
Note Edge with its new-generation color-accurate QHD AMOLED display has an edge over the cold, oversaturated screen of the Galaxy S5.
The Note Edge is listed with a 5.6” Quad HD Super AMOLED panel with the breathtaking 1440x2560 pixels of resolution, and 525ppi pixel density. The Galaxy S5 has a more down-to-earth 5.1” Super AMOLED screen with 1080x1920 pixels of resolution, and 432ppi.
We measured the pretty high for an AMOLED display 496 nits of peak brightness on the Note Edge, but the S5 isn't far behind with 442 nits, plus both have very low screen reflectance, so outdoor visibility is not an issue with these Samsung handsets.
While we certainly can't complain from both phones when it comes to pixel density and high peak brightness, we can whine about the color representation of the Galaxy S5's display. In line with the AMOLED tradition until recently, its colors are way colder than the reference 6500K white point, and way oversaturated and inaccurate, compared to the sRGB gamut, especially the greens. Granted, the screen has several modes to choose from, but they are all more or less inaccurate.
In contrast, the Note Edge, at least in its Basic screen mode, clocked 6719K color temperature, which is pretty close to ideal, and its color points fit almost perfectly in the sRGB gamut reference, as you can see in the chart. The color temperature shifts significantly when you tilt the screen, though, becoming much colder and more typical for an AMOLED display, yet to a lesser extent than on the Note 4, for instance. You can still have jolly, oversaturated colors with the Note Edge, as there are several other screen modes to choose from. Additionally, both phones have super-sensitive modes for the screen, so that they can be operated with gloves on.