During the presentation of the Galaxy Note 4 last week at IFA 2014, Samsung introduced to something quite different: the Galaxy Note Edge. With its a curved screen, the Note Edge is offering a new set of features to an already strong phablet. What are the differences and similarities between these two devices? Find out in our comparison of the Note 4 and Note 4 Edge.
The Galaxy Note Edge is a variant of Galaxy Note 4, and there isn't much of a difference in purely aesthetic terms: their backs are quite similar, a little more slippery than the Galaxy S5 with some serviceable plastic imitation leather. At the front, both devices have a similar mic, home button, power buttons and volume placement. In addition, each has an S Pen, the usual stylus for Samsung's Note series.
The big difference between the Note 4 and the Note Edge is, of course, the screen. The Note 4 Edge features a curved right side, which acts as an entirely new screen group. In terms of dimensions, the Note Edge is (very) slightly lighter and smaller, but is wider than the Note 4.
If we look at the dimensions of the two screens, they only differ by 0.1 inches. Both have QHD display (2560 x 1440 pixels) are very similar aside from the actual shape. On the Note Edge there is an added equivalent of 160 pixels as the sloped portion acts as a second screen connected to the first.
Both devices run on Android 4.4.4 with the latest version of TouchWiz, similar to the one launched with the Galaxy S5, and have extra features dedicated to the S Pen. Samsung had already made some significant improvements to the S Pen interface on the Galaxy Note 3, and it has been taken a step further once again with the 2014 generation of devices. In our various tests we found that the handwriting recognition was better than that of the Note 3 and were impressed by the other options provided this time around.
The real difference in software terms between the Note 4 and Note Edge is once again relating to the screen. The sloped section of the Edge acts like a tool box, with various purposes ranging from acting as a notification or a shortcut bar, to becoming a remote control when playing videos, for example.
In terms of performance, the hardware between both handsets is pretty much the same so therefore everyone should have a very similar experience. During our two recent tests, we didn't notice any particular problems, bugs or slowdowns - the Note 4 and the Note Edge are very fast devices.
The camera technology contained within the Note 4 and Note Edge is exactly the same, so theoretically the images captured should be of a similar high standard. We will have to wait for our full reviews to find out how well the camera's perform, and if one outweighs the other.
Finally we come to some hardware which divides these phablets: battery capacity. While the Note 4 carries a 3220 mAh battery, the Note Edge is slightly lower at 3000 mAh. Though a 3000 mAh battery in a handheld device is still impressive, when it's powering a 2K resolution screen, fast CPU and an additional screen partition, we will be interested to find out in our full review just how battery life is affected.
|Samsung Galaxy Note 4||Samsung Galaxy Note Edge|
|System||Android 4.4.4 + TouchWiz||Android 4.4.4 + TouchWiz|
|Screen||5.7 inch Quad-HD (2,560 x 1,440 pixels), 515 dpi||5.6 inch Quad-HD (2,560 x 1,440 + 160 pixels), 515 dpi|
|Processor||Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Quad-Core 2.7 GHz||Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 Quad-Core 2.7 GHz|
|RAM||3 GB||3 GB|
|Internal memory||32 GB (+ microSD up to 64GB)||32/64 GB (+ microSD up to 64GB)|
|Battery||3,220 mAh||3,000 mAh|
|Camera||16 MP, OIS (rear), 3.7 MP, f / 1.9 (front)||16 MP, OIS (rear), 3.7 MP, f / 1.9 (front)|
|Connectivity||4G / LTE, HSPA +, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, USB 2.0, MHL 3.0||4G / LTE, HSPA +, Wi-Fi 802.11 a / b / g / n / ac, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC, USB 2.0, MHL 3.0|
|Dimensions||153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm||151.3 x 82.4 x 8.3 mm|
|Weight||176 g||174 g|
|Extras||S Pen, heart rate monitor, digital fingerprint sensor, infrared, barometer, UV sensor||S Pen, heart rate monitor, digital fingerprint sensor, infrared, barometer, UV sensor|
For us this time we have a simple conclusion. Without hesitation, the Galaxy Note Edge is currently our preferred device. It contains the best of the Note 4, with its 2K screen, Snapdragon 805 processor and S Pen functionality, but adds something genuinely innovative. The screen is unconventional, sure, but Samsung has created something which is convenient and actually helpful to the user. It's bold, and brave, and more like the Samsung we used to know.
Based on what you've seen, which device to you prefer?