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Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: First impressions

For all purposes, it is a single display but with a curved edge. Thanks to amoled, the area of the main screen can remain off while only the edge stays lit.

, ET Bureau|
Last Updated: Sep 03, 2014, 11.56 PM IST
BERLIN: The new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge was a sort of unexpected surprise at the Unpacked event. There were rumours of a device with a 'side display' - but it was mostly dismissed as not being real.

For all intents and purposes, the Note Edge is very much like the Note 4 - it has similar specs (although only a 2.7Ghz quad core - skipping the Octa core hints that it will be launched in limited markets - possibly giving India a miss). It even has the same 16MP rear camera with optical image stabilisation and improved 3.7MP front camera.

The 'Edge' is a 160 pixel wide, 2560 pixel high section of the display that curves over the edge of the right side. The Edge can operate independently of the main display - even though there is no gap between them. For all purposes, it is a single display but with a curved edge. Thanks to amoled, the area of the main screen can remain off while only the edge stays lit.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: First impressions

Touch sensitivity remains intact for the entire screen - and you can swipe through the different edge screens quite easily. There's a special case available that covers the main screen but keeps the edge visible so that you can view notifications with the cover flap closed.

Edge use cases - in night mode, with the phone kept at a bedside, the edge can show a softly lit clock - so that you don't have to pick it up to see the time. In camera mode, if you choose, all controls (including shutter button) can move to the edge. In this way, the shutter is located in the same place as a traditional camera.

Plus of course, it's sort of a second display - it shows shortcuts to commonly used app, various kinds of tickers (news, weather, stocks), it can show notifications (so that they don't distract you from what you're doing on the main screen) and there are even games. More use cases will come up as developers take an interest to develop apps for the edge display - Samsung has released the software development kit (SDK) to make things easier.

With the Edge, Samsung seems to have leveraged their display expertise to get a very unique product out to market - simply to highlight a strong sense of innovation. The display technology will likely push the price up a fair bit and the limited market availability is another let down. However, it points toward an interesting new direction that mobile devices can take in the near future - till we get screens that can fold or bend on command.

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