The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is a phone that's got me hot under the collar. It's another evolutionary step forward in the way we're going to be using phones, right?
I mean, it has to be. The rounded spine, with the screen curving away and tucking itself under the chassis, is surely the blueprint for the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6.
Well, that is, assuming the idea of a curved display on one side isn't a novelty and redundant beyond being a clever marketing gimmick, of course.
And it needs to be more than that. Early prices seem to have the Note Edge at around £50 more than the impressive Samsung Galaxy Note 4, with the curved model costing a huge £640 if you shop around, while the £700 RRP is even more wallet bothering. Is the curved screen worth it?
Of course there's more on offer here that makes the Edge a really promising device: a huge 5.7-inch QHD (1440 x 2560) screen even without the curved spine is really pleasant to look at.
That's also coupled with Samsung's Super AMOLED technology, which again makes the Note range the best phone screen I've seen on the market.
The camera is improved, the S Pen is starting to show glimmers of offering really useful functionality to the average consumer (not just the business warrior hell-bent on dropping the notepad) and the raw power of the Snapdragon 805 chipset (or the octacore Exynos option from Samsung) means this phablet can go on, and on, and on.
And while Samsung unquestionably created the phablet market, it's now got some serious competition to contend with. Apple's new iPhone 6 Plus is some people's idea of 'the only large phone' on the market, and the Google Nexus 6, while not mega-cheap as before, is still a very well specified device without the need for bells and whistles.
Samsung's also facing a profits slide that it's desperate to arrest, and that will only be achieved through going back into its R&D labs, putting on a stylish thinking cap, and coming up with something truly innovative that wows the public.
Last year's Galaxy Round, the brand's first curved display in a phone, was a step towards that but didn't really do much beyond, well, being a bit curved. The Note Edge combines an innovative design with actual real-life usage, which means it could be more of a hit than Samsung's other novelties and now that LG's announced the G Flex 2 it really looks like curved screens could be here to stay.
Let's get this out of the way first: you won't like the Note Edge the first time you pick it up. I almost want to applaud Samsung's designers for taking such a bold step, keeping the same high resolution display from the Note 4 but then adding in a few more pixels to bring us this clever spine which can independently show information.
But the problem is the phone gets wider as a result, and you really feel like you need to wedge it into one palm.
It's true that any phablet performs better when held in two hands, but when pulling out the S Pen from the bottom right hand corner (which pleasingly can be pushed in either way, a feature Samsung added in with the Note 3 and has removed tremendous frustration with Samsung's phablet series for me) you still have to hold the phone steady in one hand, which can be a little tricky.
That said, there is an acceptance that the Note Edge is going to be a larger device - after all, that's why you're buying it, right? - and it doesn't take more than a few days to really get used to the idea.
By putting the digital spine on the right hand side of the phone though, Samsung was forced into a big design decision: where does the power button go? Sadly, it didn't make the right call, as the unlock key has been moved to the top of the device where it lived many moons ago.
With a phone that measures 153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm, this is mightily hard to hit and means you have to use two hands to lock the device. Hardly the easiest. It should have either been on the left hand side, or nabbed something from South Korean rivals LG and plopped it on the back.
Failing that, Samsung should have joined the swelling ranks of smartphone manufacturers allowing you to double tap the screen to wake the device. It's not a patented idea, and thankfully it's baked into Android Lollipop (which is arriving soon for this phablet) so could be an option.
The good thing that slightly helps is the home button, which again doubles as a fingerprint scanner, will allow you to unlock the phone and get swiping straight into the action.
In terms of the rest of the design, it's typically Samsung. Anyone that's read any of the other reviews will realise that's not necessarily a good thing, but it's not terrible either in this case.
The metallic rim of the Note 4 and Alpha are missing, presumably to add in the curved spine on the right side, but the overall build quality is good, the frame surrounded by a strong case and there's very little creaking.
I'm not a fan of the leatherette feel of the back cover, but it's removable again and allows you to swap the battery and microSD cards easily, which I'm pleased to see Samsung continuing with.
The infra-red port and headphone jack both reside on the top of the device, making it easy to use the Note Edge as a daily media device, and the speaker (which I'll talk more about in the next section) is placed towards the bottom of the phone on the rear.
The camera on the Note Edge (a 16MP) affair) protrudes quite dramatically from the back of the phone, although not to the point that you'd notice it in the pocket.
It's weird how much other phone brands can get away with the camera unit sticking out the back of the phone when Apple gets castigated for a couple of millimetres, but I'm glad that's the case. I'd rather have a better snapper than an aesthetically more pleasing handset, and the Note Edge does both pretty well.
The lightness of the phone, at 176g, is nothing to get excited about (it's actually one of the heavier on the market), but then again it's not too heavy either. In the palm it's nicely balanced, and pulling out the S Pen is an easy task thanks to the whole thing being so grippable.
That said, I did find myself holding it in a weird way so as not to touch the spine in general use. I never really had an instance where I accidentally did anything with that element, but it didn't stop it being slightly in the way all the time.
While there are some cool parts to the Galaxy Note Edge, the big reason to buy it is obvious: the curved element at the side.
I'm not going to go into the other key features of the Note range, such as the improved S Pen or enhanced camera, as these are very similar to that which we saw on the Note 4. I'll be covering them in the review, but I just wanted to point out that while they are key features of the Edge – and very good reasons to buy – you can check out the Note 4 review to find out about them, or read on through the review to see where they fit in.
An all-new screen design
I'll say it now: I can't really work out whether it's a genius innovation or design gimmick. I'd say it falls between the two, which is still good news as it means an attempt to evolve handset design has brought an improvement.
The reason I'm torn is that despite coming with quite an array of features, I only used about 15% of the options regularly. For instance, the main bar is the one you'll turn to most and here is where you'll place your most-used apps, much as you might on the bottom level of the phone for easy access.
This works really well, and a quick swipe or tap on the spine will call them up whenever you need them throughout the phone. After that, there's a sort of mash-up between the notifications panel and the most recently installed / used apps, which is less useful beyond telling you the weather.
After that you've got the contextual menus, so if you're listening to Spotify for instance, you'll be able to see what's playing and skip tracks forward and back. I was really impressed with this functionality actually, as it shows Samsung has worked hard to bring the element from the main notification pane to the spine, as there's no way Spotify coded that in already to its app.
You're able to download more edge tricks from Samsung as well, meaning this area will only grow. Sports scores, stock tickers and the ability to see how much RAM your phone is using are all options available now, and if this notion gets popular, should result in more from third parties too.
The other big win here is the ever-present tool bar that's accessed by pulling down from the top of the spine. It contains things like a timer, a torch, the stopwatch and more. The one you'll show your friends is the ruler, which is a nifty trick that will come in useful probably three times during a two year contract with the Note Edge, but hey, at least it's something novel.
However, while the options are good, Samsung has a long, long way to go before getting it right.
One of the biggest irks is the way the spine doesn't seem to be able to perform as a proper notification area. When a new song comes on Spotify, for instance, most phones will see the notification area change to tell you the name of the song. That's fine. It's out of the way.
But when you're using the spine to flip through tracks, and the navigation buttons keep disappearing to be replaced by the track notification (which you can see written on the spine already) then the whole process becomes very long-winded and requires a lot of swiping away.
Then there's the message alert: again, this would have started scrolling through the notification bar at the top of the phone on something like the Note 4. But here, it shows up on the spine horizontally. Unless you've positioned your phone exactly in your eye line on the desk, this is no use and forces you to twist your neck and palm to read the message.
You could just unlock the phone and have a look, obviously, but the point of the quick view is just that: a quick view so you know whether the missive deserves your time.
I am looking forward to seeing what Samsung does with this feature in the future though - being able to add my own message in was fun as that's what stays there when the spine is in standby mode, but then again whenever I read it I realised that it wasn't doing much.
I had high hopes for it during media browsing, but unless you're watching a video using Samsung's own video player, the onscreen buttons won't disappear to the spine (which would allow you to see the entire screen while navigating through your movie) which is a shame.
Night, night baby
I will say this though: the night mode is brilliant. When a certain time hits, the Note Edge will instantly keep the screen shut off apart from a small clock with the weather on the spine. Plug in and lay this down on your bedside table and you've got a very unobtrusive clock that doesn't burn your retinas with brightness.
Having used a lot of purported 'night mode' clocks before, which still feel brighter than the sun in actual use thanks to the LCD backlights needing to be on even in dark mode, the Super AMOLED technology delivers a tiny fraction of light and achieves a lot.
The heart rate monitor - rebooted
Hang on a minute... I'm actually coming around to the idea that the Galaxy Note Edge could have found a better use for the heart rate monitor. It doesn't feel right. It's a useless feature, right?
Well, yes... but less so than before. Where the Galaxy S5 debuted the technology, and props to Samsung for sticking with it all this time, I didn't think that it would ever be something beyond a novelty. But recent additions to the S Health app that powers it, as well as improved functionality from the sensor, mean I was more tempted to use it during my time with the phone.
Now it doesn't just monitor heart rate (actually, it doesn't do that at all on the model I was using. While it could clearly do it, thanks to other tests noting my pulse, the actual heart rate monitor failed time and time again) but also oxygen saturation levels and stress too.
It's not the most accurate, as the fact my oxygen level is perfect in one hand but poor in the other will attest (although I could have slightly poorer blood on one side of my body, of course...) and the stress calculator is a bit vague, but at least Samsung is trying to make it a more complete system.
If it is fully accurate, then it should offer you the option to alert you throughout the day to check these readings to get a better idea of what's going on with you. Just a thought, Samsung.
But it's not that accurate right now - although I do like the life coaching goals, as these do pop up when you set ideals to follow, be it through less stress or improving happiness. It's like Samsung is giving me a digital cuddle.
Interface and performance
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge comes with Android 4.4.4 on board, the latest and last version of KitKat from Google.
There's only one newer iteration of the software available, Android 5.0 Lollipop, but that only recently broke into the market so it's no surprise the Note Edge isn't rocking the very latest sweet treat and it's likely to get an update to it soon.
Typically, Samsung has stuck its TouchWiz overlay on top of Android bringing a familiar look and feel to the device for anyone who has previously owned any of the firm's handsets.
In fact the interface on show here is almost identical to that of the Galaxy Note 4, with the only real difference being that chunk of curved display on the right and the additional functionality Samsung has built into it which I've already covered in the previous section.
You can, if you wish, use the S Pen to navigate around the Note Edge, but it's just the same using your finger to swipe through the home screens, slide left on your default home page to enter the Flipboard news feed.
From the lock screen you can launch directly into the camera app by sliding up from the camera icon in the bottom right hand corner of the screen.
Standard Android security including pin, password and pattern are all available, plus Samsung has included its fingerprint scanner from the Galaxy S5, Galaxy Alpha and Note 4 under the physical home key.
Samsung has improved the accuracy of its fingerprint scanner since its introduction on the S5, but the system still doesn't perform to the same level as Apple's excellent Touch ID.
There were still regular occasions where I was required to swipe my finger multiple times to get the Note Edge to recognise my digit, making it a frustrating and time wasting practice. You'll be better off with a pin or pattern lock here.
Drag down from the top of the screen and you'll be greeted by the familiar Android notification bar sporting a row of customisable quick settings, a brightness slider and then quick links to S Finder and Quick Connect.
While the wide variety of functionality is welcome, it does mean around a third of the screen is taken up before you actually get to your notifications, which can be a little annoying if you're especially popular.
Hit the multi-tasking key below the screen and you'll be greeted with a series of cards showing the apps currently running in the background. You can easily scroll through these and close any you don't want anymore by swiping sideways over them.
You'll note that some of the apps have an icon in the top right corner, denoting the fact that they can be used in mulit-window. This is when you get two apps displayed side by side on screen.
Only a selection of applications are capable of doing this including; Internet, Messages, Maps, Facebook and WhatsApp.
You can also view the selection of multi-window applications by holding down on the back key to bring up a column of apps on the left of the screen.
It's a nice trick, but I didn't find myself using it all that often as switching between apps via the multi-tasking menu worked well enough for me.
Samsung doesn't pre-install as many apps on its phones as it used to, and you'll have to venture to the Google Play store to download basics such as Facebook and Twitter, but it does make for a cleaner interface.
If you find there are offending applications which Samsung won't let you uninstall then you can always hide them from view via the drop down menu in the app list.
One app that Samsung does include is S Health, which works with the accelerometer built inside the Galaxy Note Edge as well as the heart rate monitor found on the back of the handset.
S Health lets you keep track of your fitness and exercise with simple monitors such as the built in pedometer to count your daily steps to more advanced functions such as tracking everything you eat, your weight, sleep and stress levels.
Using the heart rate monitor on the back you can keep track of your beat - although having to manually pull out the Note Edge and take the reading is a little counter intuitive.
The functionality works much better in wearable form, and the automatic monitoring by the Moto 360 is a far better example of the heart rate technology at work.
I found the step counter was okay, but sitting on the train I saw my steps jump up with the various shakes of the carriage, so you can't take the reading as gospel.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge isn't short of power, with its meaty 2.7GHz quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM matching the innards of the Galaxy Note 4.
I ran Geekbench 3 several times on the Note Edge and on average the multi-core score came out at 3200 - slightly lower than the Note 4's 3351.
It comfortably beats LG's bendy G Flex (2067) and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus (2911) though, which means the Galaxy Note Edge is one of the most powerful smartphones on the market.
That power translates into a smooth interface, with apps loading promptly. The Note Edge has no trouble running multiple applications and you shouldn't need to think twice about opening up floating windows with the S Pen, as this phone can easily cope.
Some will still find Samsung's Android overlay a little overbearing, and various areas such as the settings menu are laid out differently to Google's offering which may put some off.
Spend a few days with the Galaxy Note Edge though and the interface becomes far more familiar and if you're able to get past the Samsung way of doing things then you're in for an enjoyable, slick experience.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge comes with a removable 3000mAh battery hidden behind that peel away plastic rear cover.
That's slightly smaller than the 3220mAh power pack found inside the Galaxy Note 4, and while the Edge's screen is a touch smaller at 5.6 inches (compared to 5.7) it sports the same QHD resolution, so unsurprisingly it's a bit of a power hog.
If you're looking for a big battery then the curved LG G Flex boasts a 3500mAh power unit which can last two days, although its 720p display isn't nearly as appealing as the Note Edge.
Meanwhile the 6-inch Huawei Ascend Mate 7 has a full HD display and a 4100mAh battery, making it one of the biggest available, but it is a bit of a beast in the hand.
During the early days of the review I found the battery was struggling to last to the end of the day, but after that things seemed to stabilise a little and I was just about able to get into bed with a sliver of juice left.
That said, the battery had drained to 65% between the hours of 7am and midday, with the screen and Android OS eating up the majority of life.
This drain had come from a few text messages, one phone call, emails, Spotify music, a short burst of gaming and social media activity. Nothing was particularly intensive, and in the power management screen it was a greedy Android OS getting the blame.
If you're hoping for over a day of use from a single charge though, think again and the Note Edge requires a nightly charge with moderate usage - if you're not already dashing to the charger by early evening.
Samsung told me that it does expect battery performance on the Edge to be poorer compared to the Note 4 based on the mAh capacity difference and the Edge's second screen - although the difference I saw was greater than expected. Hopefully a future software update will improve things.
The Galaxy Note Edge is far from disastrous though and in the TechRadar video test - which saw a 90 minute full HD video run at full brightness with Wi-Fi on and accounts syncing in the background - it only lost 16% of battery life.
That's actually a better performance than the Note 4 (19%) and iPhone 6 Plus (27%).
Overall I am disappointed with the battery life on the Note Edge, but it's not the worst performing and as long as you're by a plug each night it shouldn't cause too many issues.
You can extend the longevity of the battery inside the Galaxy Note Edge with Samsung's various power saving modes.
The basic offering, dubbed 'power saving mode' in settings, restricts background data and performance, and it can also change the interface to a greyscale colour scheme to save on firing up lots of lovely coloured pixels.
For more extreme action you can always engage 'ultra power saving mode', something which has featured in all of Samsung's major smartphones in 2014.
As well as reverting to greyscale and limiting various performance and data activity, this mode completely changes the interface to a simplified offering providing access to just a handful of core apps such as phone, messages, email and browser.
You also get a predicted life left reading, which if left in standby mode claims the Galaxy Note Edge could keep going for days.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge has exactly the same 16MP rear snapper and 3.7MP front camera as the Galaxy Note 4.
That's a strong shooting line up, and with a 5.6-inch QHD display to frame your shots the Galaxy Note Edge is well equipped for your photography needs.
The curved section of screen also proves useful in the camera app, with all your controls located here, keeping the viewfinder free of clutter.
When held in landscape the shutter key is at the top of the screen, allowing for easy access. Even in portrait mode it falls nicely under the thumb (when held in your right hand) for quick snapping.
Auto focus is prompt, allowing you to snap pictures very quickly, and if you're having issues with the on screen shutter key you can always use the volume rocker switch. The rocker can also be programmed to toggle zoom or commence video recording.
You'll see a "mode" button in the toolbar on the curved section of screen, and tapping this allows you to select rear-cam selfie, selective focus and panorama.
That's a fair fewer options than on older Samsung devices, and if you're missing the likes of sound & shot, animated photo or sports shot you can download them separately with a download shortcut available here.
Panorama mode is straight forward, it lets you take a wide landscape shot by stitching a series of photos together, while rear-cam selfie automatically detects your face and takes your photo, as well as applying "beauty" effects if you so wish.
Selective focus is one of the features which has gone big in 2014, allowing you to snap a picture and then adjust the level of focus to the foreground or background.
It works relatively well, and while I prefer the interface on the HTC One M8 the Galaxy Note Edge provides a perfectly serviceable option.
It does take the Note Edge a second or two to take the selective focus shot, and when you head into the gallery to edit it there's another second or so delay. It's not much of an issue, but it is noticeable as the rest of the interface runs very smoothly.
Optical image stabilisation (OIS) is also included as part of the rear camera setup, reducing camera shake and improving image quality in low light situations.
If you fancy breaking out the video recorder then the Galaxy Note Edge can help you here too, allowing you to film in not just VGA, 720p, 1080p and QHD, but also 4K at 60fps.
This is all very well and good, but how good are the images taken by the Galaxy Note Edge?
It's positive news as the snapper on the Note Edge is impressive, delivering some stunning shots. It's especially strong outdoors in good light, with a high level of detail captured.
In low light the Edge performs reasonably well, but its still an area we're waiting to see someone really excel in.
There is a single LED flash on the rear of the Note Edge if you need some extra illumination, but it can be quite overpowering at times.
Head over to the next page to check out some of the sample shots taken on the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.
As with all large smartphones these days, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is fully prepared for a media onslaught.
You've got the option of either 32GB or 64GB of internal storage, plus there's 50GB of Dropbox cloud storage up for grabs for anyone who purchases the Galaxy Note Edge.
Samsung is one of the few manufacturers that consistently provides a microSD slot in the majority of its handsets and the Note Edge can handle cards up to 128GB in size - in short, there's plenty of storage available here.
Then you've got the 5.6-inch QHD Super AMOLED display which is perfect for watching movies or playing games.
The Google Play store is pre-installed giving you access to a huge range of apps, games, movies, TV shows, music and books.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge sports a dedicated video app, allowing you to get to your movie files easily without having to sift through the gallery - something you've got to do on a lot of phones.
Colours are bright and clear thanks to the Super AMOLED technology, making a movie marathon completely possible on the handset. It's easy to hold and the textured, plastic back provides a good level of grip.
The curved second screen also proves useful during video playback, as controls such as play/pause, skip and volume are all located here. This means you can easily reach them without having to interrupt the action on screen.
Another Samsung party trick included in the Galaxy Note Edge is pop-out play, allowing you to stick your movie into a floating window on screen. This allows you to use the phone as normal, while still keeping an eye on the action.
It's great if you need to fire off some emails, or send someone a quick text, and performance didn't degrade at any point.
As I've already mentioned, head over to Google Play and you'll find a decent selection of movies and TV shows available to buy or rent if you find yourself without anything to watch.
The Music app on the Galaxy Note Edge is your one stop shop for your downloaded music collection.
You can easily view your songs by track, artist or album and the intuitive app shouldn't cause you any problems.
Playback controls can be found on the lockscreen, in the notification bar and handily on the second screen - meaning you don't even need to drag down from the top of the display to pause or skip.
The single, rear facing speaker on the Galaxy Note Edge isn't particularly well placed and I found my hand covered it up most of the time.
With the likes of the HTC One M8 and Sony Xperia Z3 now sporting front facing speakers, the placement on the rear of devices is really being shown up.
Plug in a set of headphones though and the Galaxy Note Edge is capable of kicking out more than acceptable sound quality. There's even a graphic equaliser in the settings menu of the Music app allowing you to fine tune the output of your songs.
On the whole the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge provided a decent gaming experience, with the large, bright display allowing games to pop.
It had no trouble running Family Guy: The Quest for Stuff or Temple Run 2, but the Note Edge did seem to struggle a little with the graphically intensive Real Racing 3.
This is unusual as the Note 4, which sports the same processor, RAM and GPU, was able to run the game without the slight lag and graphical degradation I experienced during the review.
Part of this could be due to the additional processing power required to power the second screen on the Note Edge, similar to the point raised about battery life, so fingers crossed things can be improved with a software update.
Contacts and calling
The Galaxy Note Edge benefits from Samsung's strong contact management, allowing you to pull in people's details from a variety of sources such as Google, email accounts and social networks.
It will also make a decent stab of linking a person's various details together from the sources, but if you want perfection in your contact list you'll need to go through manually and link up some people.
I've always been a fan of the slide to call/message on Samsung phones, and the feature is included on the Note Edge.
Slide left to right over a contact's name in either your call log, messaging app or contact list and the Galaxy Note Edge will call them instantly.
Slide in the opposite direction and you'll be taken to a new text message template, so you can quickly fire off a missive to them. Once you've been using it for a while you'll try and do it on other phones and be annoyed nothing happens. Simple, yet effective.
In the app list you'll find both the Phone and Contacts apps, but in reality it's one with multiple tabs at the top of the screen allowing you to jump between the dial pad, favourites and your list of buddies.
It's all very straightforward to use and if you've previously used an Android phone - or any smartphone for that matter - you won't have any issues doing the basics here.
When you receive a call, instead of the details taking over the screen you're viewing, its the edge screen which comes up with the caller ID and the option to answer or reject.
It's a cleaner way to handle calls, and it allows you to continue viewing whatever it was on screen while also talking on the phone. If you don't like this you can always disable it in settings to return to the standard Android setup.
Phones calls came through crisp and clear, with the Galaxy Note Edge able to hold signal well and neither myself nor anyone on the other end of the line had any issues with call quality.
Messaging and email
That's right folks, not only can you make and receive calls on the Galaxy Note Edge, you can also use it to send text messages and manage multiple accounts.
The default SMS client is Samsung's stock Messages app, and it works in the same way as most others.
Messages between contacts are grouped into streams of conversation, and the Note Edge pulls through profile pictures to brighten up the message streams and your main list of messages.
If you don't fancy Samsung's offering, Google's Hangouts app also comes pre-installed on the Galaxy Note Edge, merging the search giant's own instant messenger with traditional SMS.
The bonus of using Hangouts is that it plays nicely with Android Wear smartwatches, allowing you to view whole conversation streams on your wrist and dictate responses without having to reach for your phone.
Emails are catered for on the Galaxy Note Edge too, and now Google has updated its Gmail app to accept any email account it really does make Samsung's own email client a little redundant.
It's up to you which client you use, with both offering very similar features. I'm a fan of Google's offering and the new Material design it's applied to the app and considering you'll probably have a Gmail address anyway it makes sense to use the Gmail app.
Samsung's keyboard on the Galaxy Note Edge is serviceable, but I still prefer third party options such as SwiftKey when it comes to supreme accuracy and speed.
You can customise various aspects of the keyboard to tailor it more to your typing style with swipe input available, plus pull out the S Pen and you can hand write every word.
The S Pen has been improved on the Note Edge (and Note 4) and the phone is very good at picking up most words - but you still have to write relatively legibly.
It's a neat little party trick, but it's much quicker just to tap out your message on the keyboard which makes this feature a bit pointless.
I only really need one browser on my smartphone, but manufacturers continue to insist on installing their own offerings alongside Google's Chrome.
That's exactly what's happened on the Galaxy Edge, but it really doesn't matter which one you use. Try both, see which one you prefer and then set it as the default.
With 4G connectivity and decent Wi-Fi the Galaxy Note Edge can download sites in a flash if signal is strong. Websites look great on the big, QHD display and the extra space you get with the 5.6-inch screen makes it easy to navigate even content rick desktop sites.
In short, web browsing is no problem for the Galaxy Note Edge, so there's no cause for concern here.
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
The most obvious rival to the Galaxy Note Edge is from the same stable, with the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 flagship phablet dominating the supersize smartphone war.
With the Note 4 you get a slightly larger 5.7-inch display, minus any curvature, but for the most part the two handsets are pretty identical.
Both boast QHD resolutions, rear facing 16MP cameras and heart rate monitors, 2.7GHz quad-core processors, 3GB of RAM, microSD slots and removable batteries.
The Note 4 has the better battery life thanks to a larger power pack and less demanding software, while the Note Edge has the wow factor thanks to its slender, curved second screen.
You'll find the new S Pen inside both handsets, and it offers the same functionality.
The Note 4 is easier to come by and it's likely to come down in price more than the Note Edge, plus performance on the former is a touch better.
The world's first flexible phone is getting on a bit, and while you can only bend it a few millimetres it's a sign of things to come, and the Galaxy Note Edge is another stepping stone towards the smartphone of the future.
The LG G Flex is massive, a 6-inch display dominates the front of the handset while a massive battery means you'll be able to get two days from a single charge.
That's thanks in part to the 720p resolution which is considerably less sharp than the QHD offering on the Note Edge.
Both handsets are proof of concepts, showing the world that our smartphones can sport curved displays and be just a little bit flexible - as first attempts these are two strong offerings.
They are sure to turn heads in the pub, but if you're looking for high performance from you smartphone there are better, not to mention potentially cheaper, options.
The LG G Flex 2 was recently announced though and could give the Galaxy Note Edge some stiff (or should that be flexible?) competition, so stay tuned for a full review and comparisons.
Apple's first phablet has unsurprisingly garnered its fair share of the lime light and the 5.5-inch iPhone 6 Plus offers up a big screen iOS experience.
For those already heavily invested in Apple's ecosystem and fancying a bigger smartphone the Cupertino firm now has something to offer, and unless you really want to give Android a whirl the likelihood is you'll gloss over the Note Edge and jump straight to the Plus.
The iPhone has bigger bezels above and below the screen, part of which is down to the circular home button. That hides Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner, and it works better than Samsung's effort on the Edge.
There's no fancy curved second screen on the iPhone 6 Plus mind, and its 8MP camera isn't quite as good as the snapper inside the Galaxy Note Edge - but there's very little in it.
In terms of price both handsets are going to set you back a lot of money - there are large handsets offering better value for money, so if that's a key factor for you then the 6 Plus and Note Edge are unlikely to do it for you.
Google's last own-brand handset (courtesy of Motorola) is the flagship for its new mobile platform, Android 5.0 Lollipop.
It's bigger than the Galaxy Note Edge, with a portly 6-inch display, but for Android purists it offers up the operating system the way Google intended.
I fully expect the Note Edge to get an upgrade to Lollipop in the near future, but Samsung will still coat it in its TouchWiz interface so it'll look pretty different to the Nexus 6 interface.
The Nexus 6 is stuck with 32GB or 64GB of internal storage with no microSD option and the 3220mAh battery is sealed into the handset.
If you want a decent camera on your smartphone then the Edge tops the Nexus 6, but it's the same unit as you'll find in the Galaxy S5 and Note 4 - both of which are arguably better devices from Samsung.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge falls into a bit of a no mans land in the mobile market.
It's got a lot of power, a decent screen and a range of features, but the Galaxy Note 4 does pretty much everything the Edge does, just better. It's therefore difficult to see where the Galaxy Note Edge would fit into someone's buying cycle.
Samsung's Super AMOLED displays have always been impressive and the 5.6-inch, QHD offering on the Note Edge is no different, providing an excellent base for games, movies and general larking about.
There's plenty of power on board to deal with pretty much everything, although high intensity games may prove a bit of a stumbling block, and the rear facing camera is certainly capable of taking excellent shots.
The curved second screen isn't a necessity in everyday life, but I did find myself using it quite often just because it's there, sitting under your thumb most of the time.
It's a feature I can easily live without, but it's a nice touch and if the rumours suggesting the Galaxy S6 will have this curved screen on either side turn out to be true then I'll be all for that.
Samsung keeps banging the S Pen drum, but I'm still not fully behind the glorified stylus - I find myself using it very infrequently, and when I do I can usually perform the task quicker with my finger.
Battery life on the Galaxy Note Edge was also disappointing - it appears the second screen is a bit of a power drain and you'll be dashing to the charger every night.
The price is also pretty eye watering - the Galaxy Note Edge is one of the most expensive smartphones on the market, up there with the Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus.
It doesn't quite hit the heights of its Note rival, while the supersized iPhone will gobble up all the iOS users looking for a larger screen.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is a sign of things to come. There are several rumours pointing towards a similar curved screen set up on the Galaxy S6, but like the Galaxy Alpha testing out the firm's next metal frame, the Edge looks to be a proof of concept rather than a fully fledged device in its own right.
The fact it sports near identical specs to the Note 4 shows Samsung was just keen on getting that second display working, and while it's done a commendable job in implementing the new technology, in its current form it's still a little half baked and overpriced.
It's unlikely that many people you know will pick up an Edge, so if you really want to stand out from the crowd than this is a good option - just make sure you're near a charger each night.