Product Launch by Luke Jones on Wednesday September 03, 2014.
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Samsung pulled out a surprise at IFA by launching the Galaxy Note Edge, a phablet smartphone that features a folding two sided screen.It was widely rumoured that the Note 4 would get this display, but that ship sailed when the new phablet flagship leaked a few weeks back. It was then thought Samsung would hold off on launching the Note Edge, but the company pulled a surprise here at IFA in what was a busy launch event. Just like the project YOUM prototype from earlier in the year, the Galaxy Note Edge gets a folded screen draped over the frame of the device, giving the user the main forward display and an extra strip panel running along the side of the handset. Under the hood the Galaxy Note Edge is exactly the same device as the Galaxy Note 4, with internal specs that read: "The Korean version of the handset will get Samsung's own Exynos 5433 chipset, which is split up into a 1.9GHz quad-core processor for bigger activities and a 1.3GHz quad-core for less exhaustive tasks. The worldwide variant of the device gets the Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 clocked at 2.7GHz, while both versions get 3GB of RAM. Around the back there is a 16MP camera and a heart rate monitor, while a 3.7MP front facing sensor gets aperture of f/1.9 and is joined on the forward panel by a fingerprint reader. There are 32GB and 64GB storage options, while a microSD can add up to another 64GB on top." The screen is a Quad HD+ 5.6-inch display, the + accounting for the extra pixels on the side panel, which is of course touch ready. The handset also gets the S Pen from the Note proper, so in many respects it is a direct rival to the Note 4. I suspect Samsung was unsure about radically changing the core Note experience so opted to make two devices to check consumer opinion. Otherwise, there is simply no reason (cost aside, we?ll get to that) why the Note Edge could not have been the Note 4. It looks nice, although the sharp edges where the folding screen meets the rear plate will annoy some, while there is no getting away from the fact that this is wider than just about anything else out there. Of course, the big question is, what can be done with the bar panel? As you can probably imagine, the depth of functionality is not extraordinary as you can only do so much with this little real estate. The bar area is instead reserved for notifications, as an app tray, for a clock, media controls and so on. That said, one look at the handset tells you that this is an area of smartphone technology that has huge potential, with Samsung leading the way to eventually have a bendy smartphone. The overall impression is that this device is very much a first foray into uncharted territory, it feels nascent, but it good as a first effort. However, it is certainly not the complete package that the Galaxy Note 4 is, and that is probably why Samsung did not give the Edge that name. The device is also expected to cost quite a bit more than the already top tier expensive Galaxy Note 4, so this is only for those who simply must have it.
Luke Jones is the Managing Editor at MobileBurn.com and is the person you need to speak to about the content on the site. Luke studied creative writing at Glamorgan University before carving out a reputation as a freelance tech writer. He settled here at MobileBurn, where he reviews devices and contributes to the news.