Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review
So this phone sports something new, and from the outside look, innovative and useful. Is this the case? Read below to find out.
The first thing you notice when unpacking this phone is the round edge on one side of the phone. Upon turning it on, words appear on the edge of the phone and you realise it is a screen – actually the main screen has been extended to cover the side of the phone. Models with this special screen is named after it. Edge.
It amazes you at first
I will go as far as say that icons for apps looks even better on the round screen because it almost give a 3D look to it, and it does look useful for apps you’re using on a daily basis. It is the equivalent to your bookmarks space in your browser. Only problem is that it can get in the way for some things. Watching Youtube or Netflix and want to see what time it is? You will have to suspend the app entirely – you can’t pull the status bar down when running an app in horizontal mode because of the edge. Having an edge app showing the clock might solve this problem. Then there’s the mis-touch problems – I don’t know about the rest of you, but I hold my phone on the sides, and the edge screen is there.
That leads me to the special apps for this phone and its corner screen can run. I tried a few edge apps, one showed the weather and notifications, another showed favourite apps and a third one had a mini memory game which was fun in small doses. Apart from that, by the looks of it, only music apps seems to really make use of the extra screen space going by lists on the internet made by fans. I must admit, in the couple weeks I had this phone, I felt there was a lot of potential for the edge but I think for me and my routine on phone it would be more in the way than helpful. Perhaps it is about getting used to it, after all i didn’t had that much time with the phone.
How reliable is the software?
Most games does work for the phone because it got a lot of coverage before being released because of the special screen, so it sold well and the phone has been out for a good while. However, one of the games I currently play have the ugly tend to crash on the Edge – it runs fine on my Galaxy Note 2, so I know for a fact it isn’t the game code unless the game has a problem with the edge software. Play Store also tend to crash on this phone, even if its just running in the background because I visited it earlier and didn’t kill the process.
The phone actually has a lot of problems when looking on the time it has been out, you would expect for updates to it to prevent the Play Store – an essential app – crashing. Not to mention the damn widget for the clock to crash, making you believe that the time has stopped – or worse, not waking you up in the morning. This basically forced me to reboot the phone every night before sleeping. Not enraging but tedious and risky because getting out of bed early is important, jobs and school depends on it. Now I don’t know this particular phones past, but my best guess is it has a bunch of factory resets and wipes but not used heavily as this phone has been in the hands of reviewers.
Let me take you into my world
The brightness on the screen is great, it is crisp and clear, the buttons on the phone makes sense (albeit different from the Galaxy Note 2 I own but this is due to the edge screen), power button at top of the phone, volume button on the left side, and the home button on the front – which is by standard set to voice command if pressed and hold. I vaguely recall it was the same for my Galaxy Note 2 until I changed it because I am not a fan of voice command other than for a quick fun gimmick. To be frank, I feel stupid talking to a digital device. Sadly, the same goes for the edge screen – not a huge fan after my initial curiosity was satisfied. But this is just me, not everyone would agree, so with this said, the phone is not bad in any way, just not useful to me.
The phone arrived with a wallet cover for the testing – the black colored one matches perfect with the black phone and with the phones silver lining it looks awesome. However in daily use it’s another matter. The front of the cover is smaller than the back one to show the edge screen and while it makes sense, it makes the front cover flip out from the phone easy (when laying around, the cover is always tucked around to the back) so I have to have my phone in a pocket inside my bag. And I haven’t used the edge screen to check anything – not once. The flashing led light the phone also have by standard is telling me if there’s anything new, so by that, the edge screen is just another step.
Brilliant camera. I was recording something inside my car on a sunny day – which means somewhat dark inside where the phone is and a lot of light surrounding in the background, and it did a really good job of keeping focus and also using the right lighting in a harsh environment for a camera. This is probably the best thing about the phone.
We gotta talk
And Samsung – you REALLY gotta tone down pre-installed apps. You put ANT+ on the phone, I can’t even disable it. Why? I do not plan to get any of the instruments that this app speaks with. Why are you forcing me to have it on my phone and forcing me to use time and bandwidth to update an app i don’t want? (go read the reviews on the ANT+ apps on the store and you’ll see I am not alone) Same goes for a sleeve of others apps. Like Flipboard. Sure, it’s cool, I even tried it out a long time ago back when it wasn’t a forced app from you. I decided it wasn’t for me (I don’t read when on the go, but when i do, I use facebook and posted links there for entertainment!) and what now? I am forced to have it on my phone – it’s even available by sliding to the left (as standard, granted might be able to change that). With the edge screen having so limited number apps (thus less useable) and all those forced apps really put me off that phone, maybe even Samsung products in general.
Now, the phone is brilliant. Remarkable design and a feature that no one else has – the curved screen. It has a long battery life, crisp screen, soft covers and alluring to both gadget geeks (like me) but also screen-lovers – and the business oriented guy or gal because of the quick options through the edge screen. People who like recording themselves and their friends will simply love the camera as it beats every other thing I have – even the recording option on my Canon EOS camera (that granted, is better at still pictures!) and of course also beating my Galaxy Note 2 camera to smithereens.