Samsung Galaxy Note Edge: Do we need a curved display?

The Galaxy Note Edge may turn out to be a classic case of over-engineering

Comment: DJ Lee, president, head of sales & mobile comms at Samsung spoke of "revolutionary changes" and making jumps to the "next dimension" during his keynote at IFA 2014.

The Samsung chief was keen to tell the world, his firm is working hard on new and innovative form factors.

So, it wasn't a surprise when he pulled the Note Edge out of his pocket; a device with a curved edge that acts as a secondary display.

While the extra real estate looks useful and I was excited by the concept (as you'll see the in my initial hands on video below) having had some time to reflect, I keep thinking the same thought: Is it necessary?

Yes, the panel allows you to run basic apps, like a stopwatch or keep an eye on the stock market, without taking up space on the main display. But when the Note 4 has a 5.7in display, having notifications briefly run along the top of the screen is not going to impinge on your user experience.

Samsung knows the curved panel needs to be improved, which is why it has opened up the SDK to developers in the hope they will be able to inject life into it. And while there may be some interesting ways to control apps - this could end up being a classic case of over-engineering.

Perhaps this is why Samsung is planning on a limited launch of the Note Edge - to test consumer reaction.

It will be interesting to see if the Note Edge will be as popular as the Note 4.

To accommodate the curved add-on, Samsung reduced the size of the main panel to 5.6ins. However, this is still the same Super Amoled Quad-HD technology (2560 x 1440) found on the Note 4.

There's little difference in performance too, with the Note Edge set to be powered by a 2.7GHz quad-core processor, have 3GB of RAM and a choice of 32/64 GB of storage.

It will have a slightly smaller 3,000mAh battery than the Note 4, but will also support fast charging so users should be able to get to 50 per cent in 30 minutes.

Pricing is yet to be confirmed and, if the Note Edge is more expensive than the Note 4 due to the curved panel, this may a huge barrier to adoption.

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