back to article Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: A side swipe at smartphone design

Edge. Get used to the word. From here on in, if the scuttlebut is to be believed, several flagship Samsung devices will be available with an Edge variant.  An Edgy version of the Galaxy S6 has already been confirmed.  A what? In simple terms with a bit of extra screen that curves around the right hand edge of the device. …

  1. Mr.Mischief

    Nice

    When they first mentioned "Edge" I was wondering if it was a gimmick and what it possibly could be used for.

    Seems they have a few ideas that I never thought of, but now that the edge is there, I have an "a-ha" moment.

    Nice review.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice

      > but now that the edge is there, I have an "a-ha" moment.

      How long before Apple invent this and sue Samsung for copying it?

      1. Gordon 10 Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Nice

        In fairness to Apple though (if I must) - if they did it they would have had the guts to launch it as a singular flagship product rather than just one turd among the many that they are throwing against the wall to see which sticks.

        (Trolling the fandroids and making a valid point - can today get any better?)

      2. FIA Silver badge

        Re: Nice

        How long before Apple invent this and sue Samsung for copying it?

        Probably not that long at all....

    2. N13L5

      Re: Nice

      Can't wait till people find out the exposed bent part of the display gets all scratched up in a short time...

      Good way to get people to buy new phones more often, I guess

  2. P. Lee

    I want to love it

    but I can't help feeling... a convex glass surface which you can't cover? How much more fragility does this introduce?

    1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: I want to love it

      My first thought too - how is this going to work in a suitably chunky case, like an Otterbox?

    2. Dazed and Confused

      Re: I want to love it

      > but I can't help feeling... a convex glass surface which you can't cover? How much more fragility does this introduce?

      How much more fragile are bottles than windows?

      Surely the convex piece of glass should be stronger.

      This might also help with some of the flexy problems that some manufactures have experienced. My old SGS2 would occasionally reset when I squatted down with it in my back pocket and I know friends who also had the same issue, no lasting damage,the phone just used to reboot.

  3. Jon B

    Left handed version?

    I assumed the edge was on both sides, but see it is just on the right.

    1. Craigness

      Re: Left handed version?

      The S6 Edge has 2 edges.

      1. Anakin

        Re: Left handed version?

        I works upp side down if you set TW to rotate.

        All difference is buttons on top

    2. Zog_but_not_the_first
      Thumb Down

      Re: Left handed version?

      Yes, more rightist prejudice in design. And yes, I'm a sinister commentard.

      1. Arctic fox
        Thumb Up

        @Zog_but_not_the_first Re: "............I'm a sinister commentard......"

        Have a thumbs up for that joke - I might not have got it were it not for an interest in medieval heraldry!

        :)

        AF

    3. Spiracle

      Re: Left handed version?

      Since Samsung have gone to the trouble of tooling up for a very much non-standard curved screen why didn't they go the whole hog and just drop the physical Home button? Then lefties could just invert the device when not using it for making calls.

      Or am I missing something here?

    4. King Jack

      Re: Left handed version?

      Do you wear girls blouses? Just asking because the buttons are on the other side. No? Why not? We have two hands, do your brain a favour and learn to use them both . I hear it boosts brain power too.

      1. Martin Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Left handed version?

        Do you wear girls blouses? Just asking because the buttons are on the other side. No? Why not? We have two hands, do your brain a favour and learn to use them both . I hear it boosts brain power too.

        Look, I keep my phone in my left-hand trouser pocket, and nothing else. Hence, I always use my phone with my left hand - even though I am right-handed. It's quicker and easier.

        If Samsung want to assume everyone uses their phone in the right hand, that's their problem. But they won't get a sale from me.

        And snotty comments like yours make me all the more determined to keep using my phone as I want to use it.

      2. kmac499

        Re: Left handed version?

        Hmmm Try using your other hand..

        I'd suggest you could try the same but that might be awfully close to infidelity.

        Righties in righty world have no idea how unnatural and awkward it feels for Lefties. I'd love to see how well you'd cope in lefty only world..

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wonderful screen, less wonderful everything else...

    Wonderful screen but such a shame Samsung can't work past the cheap looking 'chrome' and plastic. If they made this to the industrial design standards of HTC and Apple, and removed all the crapware, they'd be unstoppable. At the moment though... 7/10 - could do better.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Wonderful screen, less wonderful everything else...

      "Wonderful screen but such a shame Samsung can't work past the cheap looking 'chrome' and plastic. "

      Metal cases may look nice but then tend not to be a great idea when you've got a radio antenna inside.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Facepalm

        Re: Wonderful screen, less wonderful everything else...

        "Metal cases may look nice but then tend not to be a great idea when you've got a radio antenna inside" - and yet, pretty much every other manufacturer has managed to use far less plastic and far more metal than Samsung.

        That's what smart industrial design is about. And Samsung don't even bother to use premium plastic either, but they sure as hell charge premium prices.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Wonderful screen, less wonderful everything else...

          "and yet, pretty much every other manufacturer has managed to use far less plastic and far more metal than Samsung."

          And you'll find plenty of people complaining about poor signal quality or none at all especially from Apple products. I wonder why that is?

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Wonderful screen, less wonderful everything else...

            "And you'll find plenty of people complaining about poor signal quality... I wonder why that is?"

            Easy. They're on EE.

    2. Jim 59

      Re: Wonderful screen, less wonderful everything else...

      To me, plastic seems the ideal material for a phone, ever since those Bakelite 1930's models. I have seen too many iPhones with crazy-paving broken glass. I hope Samsung stick to light, flexible, strong plastic. Mine has received a real beating and barely has a scratch. Mean while my brother-in-law is risking a cut ear by continuing to use this smashed iPhone.

    3. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

      Re: Wonderful screen, less wonderful everything else...

      Like others here, I consider plastic to be the only sensible material for phones, if only for the practical benefit of impact resistance and ease of repair/replacement of bits inside (like batteries). The not-trivial advantage of most plastics being largely transparent to radio-waves is the killer argument (two bars average on my Samsung here at home, whereas my friend's iPhone on the same network saw none during a stay here).

      YMMV, of course.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    if this...

    Had not been running googles creepy spyware then I might have given it a second glance. But it is, so I will not be doing so.

    1. RyokuMas Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: if this...

      I'm sure you could flash it and stick Cyanogen or another AOSP variant on there if it's that much of a problem...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: if this...

        Although I agree that cyanogen is a nice option, I would be loathed to do this one a handset of this value tbh.

        1. Danny 14 Silver badge

          Re: if this...

          Why? First thing i did to the wife's note 3.get rid of the bloat. My s2 is metal framed and has no issue with signal (plastic back which may make the difference)

    2. Indolent Wretch

      Re: if this...

      Your right! Other peoples creepy spyware is up to 17% less evil.

      However to all those pushing Cyanogen, since the selling point of this phone is the new curved extra side display and since I also assume Samsung have written special extensions for it which Cyanogen don't have, there's probably no point.

  6. JDX Gold badge

    "still easy to hold without accidentally touching or activating the edge display."

    I have my doubts. It's bad enough with my Lumia 1020, which has physical buttons on the right edge (lock, volume, camera).

    One of those things you have to try in person, methinks.

    1. Anakin

      Re: "still easy to hold without accidentally touching or activating the edge display."

      I got my Edge 15 december.

      Not one single time it got it wrong if i poke or hold.

      My S3 got crazy when i hold the phone and my finger tips just got in to the glass

      It is a lovely phone and i love the size

      The pen is very smart to and get the phone even better.

  7. Russell Hancock

    other "edge" panel ideas

    They need to create one for simple conversion to Reg standard units... there should also be one that only shows a count down until the next BOFH is available then flashes at you until you read it!

  8. Yesnomaybe

    I am overdue an upgrade from my (excellent) Note2, and have had serious difficulties making my mind up between the Note4 and the Note Edge.

    This article has been very helpful, insomuch that I have decided the Note4 is the device for me.

    Cheers!

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Looks like more people will be buying the Note from now on. The S6 being a sealed unit.

  10. Unicornpiss
    Meh

    These should be all the rage in the "right Twix" factory...

    ...But like the author, I'm a lefty. Also, I can't see a way to implement a sturdy case without at least partially blocking the "edge".

    1. Ally Bee

      Re: These should be all the rage in the "right Twix" factory...

      Cases are for wimps! I am a wimp though!

  11. Missing Semicolon Silver badge

    How easy is it to avoid touching controls when holding it?

    My S3 is a bugger for that - I'm for ever touching the screen, or worse the back button, when trying to use the camera.

  12. theOtherJT

    so...

    It's a notification area/button set that you press with the thumb if you're holding the phone in your right hand...

    Any particular reason why we couldn't do that without a curved screen? Or make it configurable so it can go on either side, for that matter.

    I mean, maybe that's a nice ui tweak, but I don't really see why we need special hardware for it.

  13. Gordon 10 Silver badge
    Joke

    Does it come with a free U2 album

    inquiring minds want to know

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Does it come with a free U2 album

      Wouldn't it be Psy?

  14. Avatar of They
    Meh

    Gonna be expensive.

    You can't put a case on, and I guess replacement screens cost much more now they are curved. AND given the sides won't provide even the tiniest of protection, that screen will crack.

    1. The elephant in the room

      Re: Gonna be expensive.

      You put a case with a cover on it, and the edge screen shows uptates that you would otherwise have to open the cover for. (Admittedly, there will be an area in the middle obscured by the hasp, but the information can probably be configured not to be displayed in that area).

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Gonna be expensive.

        Or... you could get a HTC One M8/M9 with a dot view case. Notifications with case closed and no clasp configuration necessary! The more I think about it, the more it's obvious that just like curved TV's, this curved phone screen was made just because they could, and they need to convince you to keep buying buying buying. It creates more problems than it solves.

  15. Dana W

    Impressive, Instead of skinning Android to look iPhone like, Something DIFFERENT!

    They should have done something like this ages ago.

  16. Yugguy

    Putting it in a case?

    I seem to be the one person in the world without a cracked smartphone screen as I use a case.

    I couldn't with this piece of pointlessness.

    It is therefore pointless.

    1. 080

      Re: Putting it in a case?

      Pointless is buying the latest phone since it is a whole 0.2mm thinner than the cheaper version, and then sticking it in a chunky case. I hate cases and can easily manage 2 years without damage just by being reasonably careful. This is a lovely device to use even if you normally use your left hand, just use your fingers instead of your thumb.

      1. cambsukguy

        Re: Putting it in a case?

        I can easily manage two years, just coming up, without a case and without being careful. I ride and hike and am a guy so I am careless by design.

        Since I don't require a super thin phone with glass to the edge I guess I can save on cases.

        Saves access time too and I can see information such as time, notifications and appointments etc. when the screen is 'off' - very useful for discrete use.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Putting it in a case?

          and am a guy so I am careless by design

          Downvoted for that :-P It's the wife that's careless.

      2. Yugguy

        Re: Putting it in a case?

        I have to say that I have never used slimness as a buying criterion.

    2. Irongut Silver badge

      Re: Putting it in a case?

      You're the one person in the world without a cracked smartphone screen?

      I must be looking at my phones wrong coz I've never seen any cracks in any of them and I've never used a case. Why would I pay for an expensive smartphone designed by some clever chap and then stick it in a cheap and nasty case?

      1. Yugguy

        Re: Putting it in a case?

        Buy a decent case like I have.

  17. Matt Bacon 1

    Triumph of gimmickry over usability...

    OK, so if I'm holding this phone (right-handed) so I don't drop it -- with a nearly 6" screen there's a fair amount of it trying to tip itself out of my hand. The ball of my thumb is covering the bottom three icons, I can't reach the next couple up, and the top few are a stretch that loosens my grip. Looking at that first image, I reckon southpaw guitar players have got a much better chance of using it than right-handers.

    If they want to tweak the UI to make it non standard, they should take a leaf out of a Linux phone UI I saw at MWC a few years ago, which popped out an overlaly "fan" of icons from the middle of the screen at the right hand side, all of which fell under one thumb. It could do second level navigation, AND could fan from either the right or left screen edge, as you configured it...

    Whatever happened to that....?

    bestest,

    M.

  18. phands

    Been using and Edge since they appeared in the USA.

    Nice review. I bought an Edge when they first came out in the USA last year, replacing an S5.

    I use the Edge screen far more than I ever thought possible - it's one of those things that I wonder what we did without before it existed. There's also a Samsung smart cover for it, which does a lot to protect the Edge's edges (!) while leaving the edge screen visible for notifications. It's great to be able to cancel alarms or reject calls without opening the cover. They also got the edge screen sensitivity just right - I have never yet got a false activation by accidental touch, but it doesn't miss deliberate actions either.

    In continuous use over the last 4 months or so, battery life is excellent, and I'm a demanding user. I have a friend with the Note 4, and the battery life difference isn't really noticeable, fortunately.

    The cameras are great - rival my big expensive Canon DSLR in some cases!

    The final thing I love is the S-Pen - the handwriting to text is just great for on the fly notes at meetings.

    And....no, I'm not in Samsung's employ! I'm a techie in big data centres for a large cloud company.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Been using and Edge since they appeared in the USA.

      Um... those of us with an M8 have been happily silencing alarms and rejecting calls with the case closed for almost a year now. What's more that's not all we can do, we can get notifications, answer or make a call and have a full conversation including hanging up, we can control music and podcast apps, check the time and weather... all without opening the case.

      And get this right - none of it needs a gimmicky curved screen.

      1. phands

        Re: Been using and Edge since they appeared in the USA.

        I've had that functionality with the smart case on my S5, and the M8 dot case didn't appeal to me, even as the phone did.

        I guess the definition of gimmicky is personal. I find it useful.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Been using and Edge since they appeared in the USA. - phone cameras

      The one thing I don't believe in your comment - which otherwise leads me to believe that I might consider one of these at some point - is that the camera rivals a DSLR in any shape or form. I guess if you put the cheap kit lens on a DSLR and then got it covered in finger marks that might be true, and of course a side by side comparison on a cheap monitor is meaningless because the monitor then limits the picture quality. But make A4 prints on a good printer, and see if you can repeat your statement with a straight face.

      Phone cameras are a useful add on, but a camera with a sensor and lens that small is limited by the laws of optics and QED - the postprocessing that makes the pictures acceptable is all to do with the limitations on viewing conditions and the way the human eye works.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Wow

    I think it looks horrible. Maybe I'm weird, I'm right handed so I tend to hold my phone in my left hand and Swype/type with my right. The curve looks like it'll either just be in the way or so awkwardly placed I couldn't use it. And it's precisely where my thumb would be holding the phone while making a call. I'm genuinely surprised this pig ugly gimmick is getting so much praise... but then I always find Samsung phones pretty ugly, I'm a devout HTC fan.

  20. Anakin
    FAIL

    You can use it upp side down

    You can set TW to rotate and hold the phone in your right hand.

    It is a bit akward to have the buttons on top but you can get use to it.

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