Some of the Note Edge’s native applications also use the panel on the edge of the screen. For example, when the phone is just sitting there locked and asleep, the clock is displayed on the edge. When you’re using the camera, the edge shows camera options, an HDR toggle, shortcuts to scenes and filters, and the shutter button. With all of these touch-screen options out of the way, they don’t cover the main picture frame, making it easier to compose a shot.
I initially previewed the device at IFA Berlin, and got the chance to play with it again just last week. I love how easy it is to flick a thumb over the edge to scroll through the panel options. It’s snappy and easy to navigate. Samsung says there eventually will be third-party panels to download, and I’m eager to see what developers will come up with. This could possibly even be an occasion to improve Samsung’s TouchWiz, one of the most widespread Android customized UIs, and yet certainly not the most loved.
A nice touch: Samsung sells a flip wallet accessory that leaves the secondary panel exposed so you can interact with the widgets while the wallet’s lid is shut.
Other than the cool curved edge to the screen, the Note Edge is similar to the Galaxy Note 4 that arrived in September. It packs the same quad-core 2.7 GHz Snapdragon 805 processor, 3GB of RAM, and a smaller yet massive 3000 mAh battery capable of rapid charging. Cameras also are the same: The main one is a 16-megapixel shooter with optical image stabilization, and the front one has a 3.7-megapixel sensor. Even the case is the same size, measuring 8.3 millimeters thick, and buttressed by an aluminum frame. Of course, Samsung’s Note Edge comes with the company’s “S-pen” stylus. It’s neatly hidden in the lower right side of the phone, and it brings all the same features we’ve seen on the Note 4.
Availability is scheduled for Friday, but some carriers are taking pre-orders. The unique design and the largeness of the hardware make the Note Edge a premium device, so you’ll pay accordingly. It will cost $400 on AT&T with a two-year contract, or $946 off-contract. Sprint customers can get for $840 on-contract, payable as $35 monthly payments for 24 months and no upfront cost. T-Mobile will reportedly price it at $870, or $36.25 per month on a 2-year contract with no upfront fee. Verizon and U.S. Cellular have not yet announced pricing.
If you buy the Edge, you get Samsung’s “Galaxy Gifts” package, which is also the same as what you get when you but a Note 4. It includes 50GB in free Dropbox storage for two years, a year’s subscription to Bloomberg Businessweek Plus, one free ebook every month on Kindle for Samsung, a free six-month subscription to Pocket Premium, and thanks to a partnership with PayPal, special deals on selected online stores.
source: wired.com By Maurizio Pesce