Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge
For the past three years Samsung have launched a new Galaxy Note device in September, and this year is no different with the new Galaxy Note 4.. but Samsung have also launched the rather interesting Galaxy Note Edge at the same time.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 looks very similar to the Note 3 although it is a tiny bit larger and heavier. There are some subtle physical differences, especially on the back, but otherwise the Note 4 continues with the faux-leather back on top of the minimalist looks of its predecessor.
Go beyond the surface and it is clearly a much improved device. The 5.7" display ups the resolution to 1440 x 2560 pixels from 1080 x 1920 pixels, and it also has a 2.5D Gorilla Glass coating that makes the front panel look seamless and slightly curved. The CPU is somewhat faster with either a 2.7GHz quad-core or 1.3/1.9GHZ octa-core processor, a 16 megapixel camera on the back (with OIS and 4k video capture) plus a 3.7 one on the front (compared to 13 megapixels and 2 megapixels on the Note 3). The operating system is also the latest Android KitKat 4.4.4 out of the box, with the latest Samsung interface enhancements.
Inside is 32GB of storage plus a microSD slot, 3GB of RAM, support for the GPS, GLONASS and Beidou positioning systems, a whole bunch of sensors including UV and heart rate, NFC support, optional Qi charging and all the other features you would expect in a high-end Samsung. Inside is a 3220 mAh battery, and the Note 4 also packs an infra-red controller for your entertainment gadgetry.
Of course, this Note 4 comes with the S-Pen stylus, and it can do neat tricks such as running applications side-by-side. The Galaxy Note has always been better at creating content that just browsing for it alone, and the Note 4 enhances all the applications that support this.
Pricing and availability are not known, but the current Galaxy Note retails for around €500 and we would expect the new one to be around the same with the prices of the Note 3 dropping considerably.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge A variation on the Galaxy Note 4 is the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, a fundamentally similar phablet apart from the rather obvious and unique feature of having a curved screen on one edge of the device that acts independently from the main one.
The edge display can either show a set of context-specific controls (for example, camera controls in the camera application), shortcuts to favourite applications, an alarm clock or whatever else an application might want to use it for. Of course, those applications will have to be specially written for the Note Edge, but the handset should come with enough to make it useful.
Logically, this is a bit of an extension from the on-screen buttons that some Android devices have, but perhaps Samsung have been wise to put this love-it-or-hate-it feature into its own device rather than the mainstream Note 4.
Samsung Galaxy Edge We've seen devices such as the LG G3 come out with impossibly slim bezels, but Samsung have demonstrated that bezels might be irrelevant. Why not wrap the screen around all the edges? Heck, Samsung have even had a screen on the back of the phone before.
So, is this the beginning of a new design paradigm that will have other manufacturers following suit? Or will it be one of those oddities that will soon be forgotten about? If you are thinking that this is a fad, remember that the original Galaxy Note was almost comically big at the time but went on to popularize phablets, so perhaps Samsung have something very significant here.
As with the Note 4, we don't know how much this will cost, but the trick screen will definitely command a premium over the Note 4.