It’s been a couple of months since we’ve last heard about the new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, a device with an experimental design that Samsung is trying out for the very first time this year. Finally, the phone is available for sale in the U.S. on all four major carriers. Although the Note Edge might not be the first phone that features a curved display, it is the first to feature a curved display with a specific function - and that’s serving as an interactive sidebar, or a weird, slender secondary display.
The Galaxy Note Edge is unique, of course, and that’s certainly something worth mentioning in today’s somewhat stagnant smartphone market. Left and right all you see are flat slabs with no super noticeable differentiators between one another, but the Edge is noticeably different simply by looking like the phone’s display is somehow melting off of the right side. For some, this odd design alone is worth checking the phone out for - but what about when you find out that the price of the device is insanely high, even if you’re planning on purchasing the phone with a two-year contract?
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge can cost anywhere from $800 to over $900 full-price, depending on the carrier you’re buying it from. On contract, you can purchase the phone from $399 to $429. Again, this depends on the carrier. Either price could be considered shocking to people on either end of the spectrum, as both prices are much higher than anybody is used to seeing; it’s almost identical twin, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, costs $699 full-price, or $299 on contract. Is the extra “Edge” really worth an extra $100?
I suppose right now it might be, since it seems like it would be more of a niche market than anything. While the secondary display is innovative enough, there still hasn’t been much time for development to be put into it. There are a few uses for it already, such as being used as an alarm clock, news headliner, recent app display, and even some simple games - but overall, nothing groundbreaking has come through for the Edge yet.
I’m very on the fence on whether the Edge will be popular enough to become a standard yearly release. This year, I don’t expect the phone to sell extremely well - that price tag, in my opinion, just won’t justify itself over the almost identical Galaxy Note 4. The only thing the Note 4 is really missing over the Edge is, of course, the small, secondary display. Couple that with the fact that there isn’t much you can even do with the secondary display yet to really justify the price jump, and you’ve got kind of a hard sell going on there.
However, if enough developers are given the chance to take a crack at figuring out some neat stuff to do with the Edge, then perhaps next year might be a better year for the strange new design. After all, the Note didn’t exactly take off with flying colors the first year it was released, either; the phone, at the time, was an ungodly large size. It was also only available on one major U.S. carrier, which probably also hindered its sales - the Edge, on the other hand, will be available on all major U.S. carriers. On the plus side, at least everybody has a chance to get one if they want one, no matter what carrier they’re on.
Still, I think the price and the unfamiliarity of the “extra screen” are going to scare most people right off. I’m interested in the development of the Edge and seeing what it will be able to do in the future, but right now I’m not interested in it enough to want to spend that much money on it. Not when you can have the Galaxy Note 4, which is, again, almost exactly the same phone, for $100 less.