Samsung Galaxy Note Edge phablet is weird yet innovative

Weird science brings forth curvy phone-tablet hybrid

samsung galaxy note edge

Samsung unveiled its latest phablet at IFA 2014. It has this weird curved screen edge, which may take some getting used to.

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers wonder if it's a gimmick or genuinely useful.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.

Mikael Ricknäs reports from Berlin:

The Edge's screen, which wraps around the side of the device, sparked an explosion of comments by tech reviewers. ... Since its inception three years ago, the Galaxy Notes have become as important for Samsung as its Galaxy S range of smartphones.

The Galaxy Note 4 is a replacement for the existing Note 3 model while the Galaxy Note Edge, with its curved screen, is a new member. [The] edge screen, which wraps around one of the sides of the device...offers quick access to frequently used apps, alerts and device functionality including the camera shutter. ... There is an SDK developers can use to add their own features.

[It] has a 5.6-inch screen [at] a 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution...a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization. ... A 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera offers [an] up to 120-degree wide angle [for] selfie addicts. [It's] powered by a Snapdragon 805 processor from Qualcomm, which...offers better performance across the board [then] most current high-end smartphones [and has] LTE-Advanced, a network technology that offers speeds up to 300Mbps.  

So... release Harry McCracken!

We've known for a while now...that it's possible to build a smartphone with a curved display. What's been less clear: why a consumer might get all that excited about buying a curved smartphone. [But] this time, Samsung came up with new interface features [that] actually take advantage of it.

Unlike other curved-screen phones, the Note Edge's display is mostly flat: It's just on the right-hand edge that it curves toward the case back. Samsung treats that curved space as a tall, skinny, dedicated area of the interface which it calls the Edge Panel. ... You can pin your favorite apps to it--like a vertically-oriented...Dock or...Taskbar. Android notifications...show up there.

[It] isn't a pointless frippery: It lets you swipe your way gracefully across the Edge Panel without your finger or thumb skidding into the rest of the interface. And it just feels pleasant. ... Samsung has done a sensible job of figuring out when to display it and when to hide it.  

But Zinthar makes a point by quoting Jurassic Park:

"Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn't stop to think if they should."  MORE

Meanwhile, Marques Brownlee says you shouldn't bother watching his video: [Uh, I'm not sure that's what he meant -Ed.]

Watching videos about the Note 4 is one thing, but actually holding it in your hand is another. I'm seriously impressed with the build.  MORE

Update: Mikael Ricknäs sends us this follow-up opinion:

Samsung may have got it right. ... I can't say I was completely won over...but the basic idea holds much more promise than previous efforts. It shows that curves can be more than a gimmick.

Samsung plans to sell the Note Edge remains to be seen. It said the device would be available in..."later this year."  


Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon