Life on the edge: Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge reviewed

There’s also a matter of what you do if you use your phone as a lefty.

For that, Samsung has made it possible for the phone to work upside down, which is kind of a first and not normally something a manufacturer has to make happen, but then again, there’s a specific edge here and you might want to use that edge on the left side rather than the right.

When you engage this mode, you’ll find the edge appear on the left providing you hold your phone with the Samsung logo at the bottom and the home button at the top, and that provides you the icons on the left, which is great. Samsung even gives you a slide in set of on-screen soft buttons, giving you multi-tasking, home, and back just like the physical buttons on the phone, except through the screen. Great.

Where it becomes problematic, however, is that if you try to answer a call in this way, you’ll find you’re holding the speaker at your mouth and the microphone at your ear, which isn’t particularly handy.

This writer is a lefty, and yet is so used to holding his phone in the right handed configuration that it didn’t bother him.

That said, if you’re expecting to use your left thumb to control the Galaxy Note Edge with that left edge screen, be aware that while support is here, the experience isn’t the same.

One final thing is compatibility for one of Samsung’s killer apps, and that’s the Gear VR technology. While this is technically a Note 4 and that handset is designed for Samsung’s entertainment oriented headset, we’re told ahead of time that the Note Edge will likely be incompatible, with the reason being a slightly different body design (the edge).

We hope this is amended, but we’re doubtful.

Right side or left side, the edge can be utilised regardless of how you hold the phone.


While it is something of a gimmick, we like the Note Edge, though we’re not really sure why. There’s really no reason to have a curved display like it in a phone, and in some instances, it makes using the phone downright difficult.

For instance, you’ll have to re-learn how to hold the phone when in camera mode, as it’s kind of comfortable one way, and plain weird the other, as the screen slopes in such a way where it’s hard to hold. You may even get used to pressing the home button often to get away from Samsung’s impossible to switch off Flipboard homescreen, as it mercilessly sends you there if you swipe just barely away from the curve too far to the left.

And yet. And yet.

And yet, there’s something about the curve that works well.

We like the extended dock, and it’s especially handy if you have lots of icons and shortcuts to work with, and we like how it can show you appointments and the weather and other notifications, and we’re even told there’s a case coming that will show just the edge, making it even more handy for these things.

Edge of today: a difference in design with the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge on the left, and the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 on the right.

But most of the time the Edge does nothing, and is basically just a Galaxy Note 4 with a slightly bigger screen curved to one side, and that means a high performing phone and camera with a pressure sensitive stylus and a battery that scan make a day but not much more (in our tests).

And that’s where we run into a problem: we’re not sure whether that combination of features makes the Galaxy Note Edge worth the premium Samsung is charging.

And it is a premium, with this model grabbing a $300 cost increase, sitting firmly at $1249 outright compared to the Note 4’s price of $949.

Frankly, we’re not sure. It’s nice to have, but having the Edge won’t make or break your life, and if you’ve already started to invest in smartwatches and/or other notification-enabled wearable or off-hand gadgets, you’ll probably use it even less, especially since it does nothing most of the time anyway.

But if you want a phone that few people have, Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge will make you stand out as it’s just that much of an individual, like you.

Value for money
Ease of Use
Reader Rating1 Vote
Super speedy performance; Very, very fast Category 6 LTE support; Feels great in the hands with a metal frame and textured back; Like the Galaxy Note 4, that screen and its extra-bright power reservoir are amazeballs; A camera you can silence (woot!); Includes the Samsung S Pen; Same support for high-res audio as its Galaxy Note 4 brother; The "edge" section is more useful than you might expect, providing a taller dock with support for more shortcuts; The edge section works with lefties (sort of);
The edge doesn't do anything most of the time; Touchscreen is very responsive, and it doesn't help that you're always touching it; Battery could be better; Won't likely work with Samsung's Gear VR despite being a Note 4 technically;