It’s finally that time of the year where we start to see this year’s fall lineup come to life. Months of speculation and rumors are put to rest as companies proudly unveil their latest creations. With Samsung’s most recent event yesterday, we were perhaps in for a little more surprise than we thought we would be - not only did we get the pleasure of meeting the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, but also its “edgier” cousin, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.
I’ll start off by saying that I am quite pleased with Samsung’s decision to announce both variants at the same time. For a while, it seemed like many companies (Samsung being one of the biggest offenders) would release a flagship and then wait a couple of months before releasing a spin-off of the same flagship. The Samsung Galaxy S4, S4 Active, S4 Mini, and S4 Zoom specifically comes to mind when I think about delayed spin-off announcements. So, in that regard I think Samsung did the right thing this time around so that potential Note buyers can decide right off the bat whether they want the original model or the Edge.
Now, onto the Edge itself: I think it’s a unique idea, but I’m failing to see the real signifigance in the design change, especially right now. From what I can see, it’s a glorified notification area - which still rests at the top of the phone anyway. I suppose scrolling notifications on the side of the phone may be handy for some people, but I also wonder if that idea could have been implemented on the notification bar that already exists. It would seem like, at the moment, that would make the most sense.
On the other hand, it would seem that perhaps the actual benefit of the Samsung Note Edge might not be clear until later. While the odd side addition of the phone might serve as nothing more than a glorified notification area for now, third-party developers will be able to make use of the sidebar in the future. It’s hard to imagine what these developers may have in store for the future, but I’ve learned to never underestimate the power of a determined developer; however, this is assuming that the Samsung Note Edge won’t become a total flop that nobody cares about. It might be a flagship device with great specs, but the odd design does give it a higher risk of flopping.
Would I pick up a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge for myself? As many of you could probably already guess, the sheer size of the phone (5.6-inch display) already made it a no-go for me and my tiny cabbage patch handlets. However, in a parallel universe where the Galaxy Note line was famous for being unusually small, or just taking the design into consideration, I would still have to say that at this point in time (this is key here) I couldn’t see myself using one. Perhaps one day in the future when developers have gotten a chance to get their hands on it I could see a better use for it, but as of right now I feel like I don’t have a real need for that extra display to exist.
At the end of the day, I think it’s good that Samsung is still trying new things to keep the industry fresh. I think this time last year I would have been more annoyed than joyed about that fact, but this year I’ve been noticing that the industry has seemingly been somewhat stagnant. Whether the Edge flops or prevails, if nothing else, Samsung tried (and managed to catch our attention with it).