Samsung Galaxy Note Edge review: The other side

The other side

GSMArena team, 14 November 2014.

Display

The OLED technology lends itself to flexible screens, which is a lucky coincidence - or part of the master plan - for Samsung since Super AMOLED is its calling card. The screen spans 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, in other words QHD with a 160px strip on the side, the Edge screen.

As we already said, it's a single screen unit, not two joined together even if the software treats them like that sometimes. A curved Gorilla Glass 3 is placed on top for protection. It has chamfered edges, which makes its sides pleasantly smooth, but the metal rim of the phablet is a sharp edge you feel with your fingers as you swipe from the side.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

The exact pixel density number is a bit unclear, but the Galaxy Note Edge screen is as sharp as the Note 4 screen in practice. The Super AMOLED is arranged in a diamond-pattern PenTile matrix, but at this pixel density it makes no difference.

The process of bending the screen did have an effect on some of its qualities, but it still has bright colors, stunning contrast and great viewing angles. The viewing angles are important in a unique way - normally you view the screen dead on, but the curved Edge screen covers a good 60 worth of viewing angles in a very small area, so any imperfections will be painfully visible.

That said, the Gorilla Glass does reflect light, which can make the curved section difficult to see in certain lighting conditions.

The screen isn't very bright, slightly darker than the already relatively dim Galaxy Note 4 screen. That's a common disadvantage of OLEDs, but we've seen much brighter ones and they compete with bright LCDs just alright.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge 0 179 0 351
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 0 291 0 399
LG G3 0.14 109 763 0.72 570 789
Apple iPhone 6 Plus 0.17 208 1197 0.52 705 1361
Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro 0.23 196 846 0.64 562 876
Samsung Galaxy S5 0 274 0 529
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 0 149 0 379


While the Edge screen presents some issues with reflectivity, the main section of the screen keeps them to a minimum and the Galaxy Note Edge has one of the most legible screens on the market.

Sunlight contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 4
    4.033
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 5
    3.997
  • Apple iPhone 6
    3.838
  • Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
    3.799
  • Samsung Galaxy K zoom
    3.675
  • Nokia Lumia 930
    3.567
  • Apple iPhone 5s
    3.565
  • Samsung Galaxy S5
    3.549
  • Alcatel Idol X+
    3.527
  • Apple iPhone 5c
    3.512
  • Samsung Galaxy Alpha
    3.509
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 Neo
    3.487
  • Motorola RAZR MAXX
    3.42
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Nokia Lumia 925
    3.402
  • Gionee Elife S5.5
    3.386
  • Samsung I9505 Galaxy S4
    3.352
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S5 mini
    3.174
  • Samsung I9000 Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Samsung Ativ S
    3.129
  • Samsung I9190 Galaxy S4 mini
    3.127
  • Samsung Galaxy S4 zoom
    3.118
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Apple iPhone 6 Plus
    3.023
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.97
  • Samsung Galaxy Premier
    2.958
  • Sony Xperia Z1
    2.95
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung I8730 Galaxy Express
    2.861
  • BlackBerry Q10
    2.856
  • Samsung I9100 Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Samsung Galaxy S II Plus
    2.801
  • BlackBerry Z30
    2.79
  • Sony Xperia ZR
    2.672
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Sony Xperia Z3
    2.618
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Compact
    2.616
  • Sony Xperia T3
    2.609
  • BlackBerry Passport
    2.595
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Motorola Moto G 4G
    2.546
  • HTC One Max
    2.537
  • Nokia Lumia 720
    2.512
  • HTC One
    2.504
  • Motorola Moto G
    2.477
  • Sony Xperia Z
    2.462
  • Xiaomi Mi 4
    2.424
  • Samsung Galaxy S III mini
    2.422
  • Lenovo Vibe Z2 Pro
    2.416
  • LG G Flex
    2.407
  • HTC One (M8)
    2.371
  • Motorola RAZR i
    2.366
  • Meizu MX4
    2.366
  • Sony Xperia ZL
    2.352
  • Samsung Galaxy Note II
    2.307
  • HTC One (M8) for Windows
    2.291
  • Oppo Find 7a
    2.279
  • Alcatel One Touch Hero
    2.272
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC Desire 600 dual sim
    2.262
  • Nokia Asha 311
    2.25
  • LG Nexus 5
    2.228
  • Nokia Lumia 820
    2.193
  • HTC One (E8)
    2.185
  • Nokia Lumia 920
    2.17
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Nokia Lumia 620
    2.142
  • Nokia 515
    2.134
  • HTC Desire 500
    2.129
  • Xiaomi Redmi Note
    2.119
  • Sony Xperia acro S
    2.119
  • Nokia Lumia 1020
    2.103
  • Oppo Find 5
    2.088
  • Sony Xperia SL
    2.078
  • Nokia Lumia 630
    2.056
  • BlackBerry Z10
    2.051
  • Huawei Ascend Mate7
    2.024
  • Samsung I9295 Galaxy S4 Active
    2.022
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • HTC One mini
    2.003
  • Xiaomi Mi 3
    2.001
  • Huawei Ascend P7
    1.992
  • LG G2
    1.976
  • OnePlus One
    1.961
  • Oppo R819
    1.957
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia Z2
    1.944
  • Sony Xperia E3
    1.943
  • Nokia Lumia 1320
    1.941
  • HTC One mini 2
    1.94
  • Samsung Galaxy Camera
    1.938
  • Sony Xperia J
    1.932
  • Acer CloudMobile S500
    1.931
  • LG Nexus 4
    1.926
  • LG G Pro 2
    1.922
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
    1.913
  • Nokia Asha 308
    1.911
  • HTC Butterfly 2
    1.905
  • Sony Xperia T
    1.894
  • HTC Desire X
    1.878
  • HTC Butterfly
    1.873
  • HTC Windows Phone 8X
    1.873
  • HTC Butterfly S
    1.867
  • Huawei Ascend P6
    1.865
  • Huawei Ascend Mate
    1.845
  • LG G2 mini
    1.838
  • LG G3
    1.82
  • Nokia Lumia 1520
    1.813
  • HTC Desire 616 dual sim
    1.797
  • Sony Xperia V
    1.792
  • HTC Desire 816
    1.783
  • Sony Xperia Z1 Compact
    1.772
  • HTC Desire 700 dual sim
    1.769
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • Meizu MX3
    1.754
  • LG Optimus G
    1.753
  • Sony Xperia T2 Ultra
    1.74
  • Sony Xperia Z3 Tablet Compact
    1.735
  • Sony Xperia SP
    1.733
  • Oppo Find 7
    1.691
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • BlackBerry Q5
    1.682
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.68
  • Xiaomi Mi Pad 7.9
    1.672
  • LG Optimus GJ
    1.666
  • LG Optimus 3D Max
    1.658
  • HTC Desire V
    1.646
  • Samsung Galaxy Xcover 2
    1.632
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 3
    1.622
  • Jolla Jolla
    1.605
  • Sony Xperia Z Ultra
    1.578
  • Sony Xperia go
    1.577
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • Samsung Galaxy Core
    1.563
  • LG Optimus G Pro
    1.552
  • Motorola Moto E
    1.545
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • BlackBerry Curve 9320
    1.488
  • Sony Xperia M
    1.473
  • Oppo N1
    1.47
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Samsung Galaxy S Duos
    1.4
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand Neo
    1.393
  • Sony Xperia M2
    1.393
  • Samsung Galaxy Grand 2
    1.38
  • Sony Xperia E1
    1.372
  • Nokia Lumia 625
    1.371
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Sony Xperia L
    1.351
  • Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8
    1.35
  • Xiaomi Redmi 1S
    1.35
  • HTC Desire 510
    1.34
  • Sony Xperia M2 Aqua
    1.331
  • Sony Xperia miro
    1.324
  • Samsung I9082 Galaxy Grand
    1.321
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.3
  • Nokia X
    1.291
  • Sony Xperia C
    1.283
  • Nokia Asha 503
    1.281
  • Nokia Asha 501
    1.27
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Nokia Lumia 510
    1.268
  • Samsung Galaxy Fame
    1.245
  • LG Optimus L9
    1.227
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Young
    1.22
  • Sony Xperia E
    1.215
  • Nokia XL
    1.204
  • Sony Xperia E dual
    1.203
  • Asus Memo Pad 7 ME176C
    1.198
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.18
  • Nokia Asha 305
    1.178
  • Nokia Asha 306
    1.175
  • Sony Xperia neo L
    1.169
  • Sony Xperia tipo
    1.166
  • Nokia Lumia 520
    1.161
  • Samsung S6802 Galaxy Ace Duos
    1.148
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

Colors are punchy as usual, which may not be to everyone's taste so Samsung has included the usual setting menu where you get a choice of several saturation/white balance presets.

S Pen

Like every Note, the Galaxy Note Edge features an S Pen. For this generation, Samsung redesigned the stylus a bit - it's now slimmer (to fit into the thinner phablets), but grooved for improved grip. The S Pen has a similar handling to previous editions, especially if you hold it at its wider side.

Changes under the hood include a new digitizer, which doubles the pressure sensitivity to 2048 levels. This makes handwriting feel more natural. The notes you jot down can be synced to Evernote to view on other devices.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
The new S Pen is thinner but offers similar grip

The Galaxy Note Edge will unlock and activate the Air command menu when you pull out the S Pen, which really cuts down the time between grabbing the device and using it. The phablet will remind you if you walk away without putting the stylus back in, so you don't forget it on a table somewhere.

Connectivity

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is armed to the teeth in connectivity terms. The mandatory 2G/3G/4G LTE is present with Cat. 6 downlinks thanks to Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 805 chipset. This gives you download speeds of up to 300Mbps, with 50Mbps worth of uploads. If you missed it in the hardware section, the phablet uses microSIM cards.

In terms of local connectivity, there's dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, so you can make the best of your home's Internet connection. DLNA is supported in the multimedia apps for sharing content across compatible devices.

Speaking of sharing, the Galaxy Note Edge makes it easy to share the Wi-Fi hotspot info with nearby devices (detected with Bluetooth) using the Quick Connect feature. This saves you the trouble of typing in the Wi-Fi password.

Bluetooth has been bumped up to version 4.1. There aren't any easily noticeable changes since 4.0 but, among the more important ones, Low Energy mode is now supported for connecting to smart watches and some sport sensors. ANT+ is available for such sensors too, so the Galaxy Note Edge will happily talk to whatever sports sensor you have.

NFC is on board for quick pairing and sharing and there's an IR blaster for controlling electronics at home. Samsung's default app mostly handles your AV setup, but third party apps can be used for a wider range of devices.

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge features a microUSB 2.0 port. It's slower at transferring data than the USB 3.0 port used in a few Samsung devices, but it has a standard size plug and it offers Quick Charge 2.0 and MHL 3.0. With the right adapter, you get 2160p@30fps output so you can watch videos you shot with the Edge in their full resolution. Up to 7.1 surround sound can be output, if the video player supports it (and the pre-installed one does not).

Finally, there's GPS, GLONASS and Beidou receivers. GPS alone is enough on its own but GLONASS provides extra precision, especially in dense urban settings. Beidou is currently available only over China and neighboring regions, but China is an important market for Samsung so it's a nice thing to have on board.

Battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge has a 3,000mAh Li-Ion battery (11.55Wh). That's about 7% smaller than the 3,220mAh (12.40Wh) battery of the Galaxy Note 4.

It supports Quick Charge 2.0, which promises to fill up half the battery in half an hour with a 2A current. Note that the speed depends on the starting charge - it works best on a nearly empty battery and slows down as the charge percentage climbs up. Which is fine, as this feature is intended for quick top ups on the go.

A bigger problem with the battery life seems to be the rest of the hardware and the software - it's not as finely tuned as that of the Galaxy Note 4, because the differences in battery life are quite major. Turning the screen on has a definite effect, but things like the bespoke video player made an even bigger difference - video playback time is nearly 7 hours shorter. For comparison, the web browser is not customized for the Galaxy Note Edge and takes a much smaller hit.

Update, November, 17: We reset the phone and reran the tests because the standby results were suspicious. This time around the Galaxy Note Edge used noticeably less power just sitting around, which improved its endurance rating - it's still behind the Galaxy Note 4, but the improvement is tangible.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Our battery testing procedure is described in detail in case you want to learn more about it.

Reader comments

  • Ashwini Kumar

I Purchased this phone and looks like was a great mistake, it hangs almost everyday and gets restarted. Battery is pathetic and cant even flash this as it wont start once Switched off. Took it to samsung store they kept it for a while and told me t...

  • Luke

My samsung note edge scream is having a problem, how can i get a new scream and touch

  • Mia

The phone was great at first I bought it new in 2015. I have taken great care of it. Now it over heats and is constantly restarting I cannot use the flash because the phone will restart. It dies at 40% battery life. I've replaced the battery and no...