Notebookcheck

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Smartphone Review

Florian Wimmer, Tanja Hinum (translated by Liala Stieglitz), 02/16/2015

Lateral thinking. Are there still any real innovations in smartphones? Samsung surprises the consumer with the Samsung Galaxy Edge and its curved screen that arches around the casing's front. In this report, we will find out whether this really has any impact on how the phone is used.

In review: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.

For the original German review, see here.

Even though Samsung has not been quite that successful with its smartphones during the past year, and the Chinese competition is putting it under pressure, the Korean manufacturer is still a key player in the market. This is demonstrated by the introduction of innovative ideas such as the Galaxy Note Edge: a "special edition" of the Samsung Galaxy Note 4 with a screen that does not stop at the casing's edge, but elegantly curves around it. The additional screen surface provides space for useful tools such as a ruler or displaying notifications when the smartphone is in a flip cover. But is this really a useful innovation or does it just look cool? We will find out in this test.

For this purpose, we compared the Galaxy Note Edge with its "conventional" sister model, the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, and searched for differences and similarities. With a retail price of at least 749 Euros (~$853) the Galaxy Note Edge also has to compete with other large and expensive smartphones like Apple's iPhone 6 Plus and Google's Nexus 6Sony's Xperia Z3 is a rather classic smartphone, the same as Nokia's Lumia 930. Probably only the YotaPhone 2 with an e-Ink screen on its back can equal the Galaxy Edge in extravagance.

Case

The casing is rigid, and its curved screen is an eye-catcher.
The casing is rigid, and its curved screen is an eye-catcher.

There have been  both advocates and critics of the polycarbonate casing used in Samsung's smartphones. Samsung has acknowledged these critics and has launched many models with metal casings in its new generation. Therefore, the casing of Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge, like the Galaxy Note 4 before it, features a metal bezel. However, the design has been smoothed out, and now resembles Samsung's new Galaxy A series than the Note 4.

This is  a positive. After all, the Galaxy A series stands for a simpler and higher quality design than used by Samsung in the past where somewhat fancy elements like waves often dominated. The Galaxy Note Edge now looks more restrained than the earlier Galaxy models, but looks very elegant with its stylish chrome bezel and the optional dark-gray or white casing, not forgetting the screen that is pulled over the right edge and gives the smartphone an extravagant touch.

As expected from the Galaxy models, the back can be removed. It is still made of high-quality leather-look plastic. This does not affect the casing's stability; the casing cannot be warped and pressure on either the front or back is not visible on the screen.

The casing's weight has been reduced by a few grams compared with the Galaxy Note 4. At a weight of 174 grams (~6.14 oz) the Galaxy Edge is quite light for its size. The device is also relatively slim with a thickness of 8.3 millimeters (~0.33 in).

159 mm / 6.26 inch 83 mm / 3.27 inch 10 mm / 0.3937 inch 184 g0.4057 lbs158.1 mm / 6.22 inch 77.8 mm / 3.06 inch 7.1 mm / 0.2795 inch 172 g0.3792 lbs153.5 mm / 6.04 inch 78.6 mm / 3.09 inch 8.5 mm / 0.3346 inch 176 g0.388 lbs151.3 mm / 5.96 inch 82.4 mm / 3.24 inch 8.3 mm / 0.3268 inch 174 g0.3836 lbs144.9 mm / 5.7 inch 69.4 mm / 2.73 inch 8.95 mm / 0.3524 inch 144 g0.3175 lbs146.5 mm / 5.77 inch 72 mm / 2.83 inch 7.3 mm / 0.2874 inch 152 g0.3351 lbs137 mm / 5.39 inch 71 mm / 2.8 inch 9.8 mm / 0.3858 inch 170 g0.3748 lbs

Connectivity

The Galaxy Note Edge's equipment is very similar to that of the Galaxy Note 4. The only significant difference is found in the slightly lower battery capacity, which is probably due to the somewhat limited space in the area of the Note Edge's sloping screen.

Otherwise, a real high-end diversity of interfaces is included, for example, the infrared port known from other Samsung smartphones that allows the smartphone to be used as a TV remote control.

Left: volume rocker
Left: volume rocker
Right: no interfaces
Right: no interfaces
Upper edge: power button, 3.5 mm combo audio port
Upper edge: power button, 3.5 mm combo audio port
Lower edge: micro-USB port, S-Pen
Lower edge: micro-USB port, S-Pen

Software

Unfortunately, the latest Android 5.0.1 has not yet found its way into the Galaxy Note Edge. Samsung is still working on the new version of its TouchWiz interface based on the latest version of Google's operating system. Therefore, the user will have to be satisfied with Android 4.4 as the foundation. Of course, TouchWiz is installed anyway. Android veterans who have previously used another version of the operating system or user interfaces from other manufacturers, will nevertheless find their way quickly. TouchWiz is more of an extension than a fundamental modification of the operating system.

The "Flipboard" widget is at the very left, and compiles a stream of the latest news and the user's personal social media notifications. The phone app is deep seated in almost all screens as an icon.

Samsung has preloaded the fitness app "S Health" as an additional app. It can, for example, be used as a pace counter via the incorporated sensors, and the device provides recommendations for more exercise when indicated. It also monitors the heart rate; the corresponding sensor is located on the back, below the camera. The heart rate sensor provided quite realistic results.

In addition, the voice control "S Voice" is also preloaded. It can be used as an alternative to Google's voice control. The app "S Note" can be used for making notes and sketches with the included stylus pen. Some adware apps are also preloaded; Samsung has promised improvements in the future - we will see.

All Samsung apps also support the additional space on the edge screen of the Galaxy Note Edge. However, it is, treated as a second screen that receives notifications or runs a small, personal app independent of the actual screen content. The application options that Samsung has come up with range from a ruler to a stopwatch to games. More about the screen can be read in "Input Devices and Controls".

At first glance, the TouchWiz interface has not changed much.
At first glance, the TouchWiz interface has not changed much.
The side bar is located in the screen's curved edge.
The side bar is located in the screen's curved edge.
"S Health" counts steps and reminds the user to move.
"S Health" counts steps and reminds the user to move.
Not many satellites were found indoors.
Not many satellites were found indoors.
But functioned much better outdoors.
But functioned much better outdoors.

Communication & GPS 

The Samsung's Galaxy Edge is on an absolutely high-end level with regard to the mobile networks with which it cooperates. The LTE Cat. 6  supports speeds of up to 300 Mbit per second downstream and up to 50 Mbit per second upstream. In addition, four GSM, four UMTS and seven LTE frequencies are also supported, making the smartphone usable in many places around the world. During the reception test in urban areas, we always had a very high signal quality in the rather sparsely developed German E-Plus network.

The Galaxy Edge Wi-Fi connections are not limited. All the current standards up to 802.11ac are available to the user, allowing them access to high-speed wireless networks. Bluetooth 4.1 and NFC are also installed.

The A-GPS module also operates with both the Russian GLONASS and the Chinese BeiDou satellite systems. Thus, navigation should be possible almost everywhere in the world. Indoors, it took a little longer before the smartphone connected to a satellite, with an accuracy of 13 meters (~43 ft). The signal quality rapidly improved outdoors. The accuracy was about 4 meters (~13 ft) close to buildings, and the tracking system was even more precise in an open field.

A car trip provides results that are even more detailed. We took both the Garmin Edge 500 navigation system and Samsung Galaxy Note edge along, and compared the results. The route measured using both devices deviated by approximately 250 meters (~273 yd), which seems very reasonable in view of a total route of over 30 kilometers (~18.6 mi). Generally, neither device placed us directly on the road. When crossing the bridge, the Garmin Edge 500 at least placed us on the bridge and did not let us "hover" over the water as the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge did. However, it was easier for the Galaxy Note Edge to track us on the path in the woods. Overall, the review sample's tracking system is accurate enough for navigation purposes.

GPS Garmin Edge overview
GPS Garmin Edge overview
GPS Garmin Edge bridge
GPS Garmin Edge bridge
GPS Garmin Edge woods
GPS Garmin Edge woods
GPS Samsung Galaxy Note Edge overview
GPS Samsung Galaxy Note Edge overview
GPS Samsung Galaxy Note Edge bridge
GPS Samsung Galaxy Note Edge bridge
GPS Samsung Galaxy Note Edge woods
GPS Samsung Galaxy Note Edge woods

Telephone & Voice Quality

 

Samsung fans will recognize the phone app right away. Compared with other Samsung smartphones, it has hardly been modified. At least at first glance, because the lateral screen has naturally also been incorporated. It displays call duration, and hands-free mode can be enabled and disabled there. Another app can run at the same time on the large screen without interference. Convenient: Like in the Note 4, it is possible to call a contact by swiping from right to left or write a message by swiping from the left directly in the contact hub.

The voice quality is very similar to that of the Galaxy Note 4Good, but not outstanding. Both parties could hear and understand each other well. However, the sound is not as crystal clear as with Sony's Xperia Z3. Instead, the other party’s voice sounds rather muffled. Speech is also decent with the speaker, but not perfect because the maximum volume is rather too low, and is not completely free from buzzing noises. The sound, using  the included in-ear headset is also good; only trebles are over emphasized.

Cameras & Multimedia

The camera equipment has remained exactly the same as the Galaxy Note 4. A 16 megapixels lens with auto focus, LED flash and optical image stabilizer is on the back. The maximum resolution of 5312x2988 pixels is exceeded by some competitors, such as Nokia's Lumia 930. Nevertheless, the primary camera on the Galaxy Note Edge shoots good pictures. Details look sharp, the color reproduction is decent, and even details remain visible in dark areas. Only in low light situations does color noise quickly become evident. The camera records videos in a 4K resolution with 30 frames per second or in Full HD with up to 60 frames per second. The slow motion mode achieves up to 120 frames per second, but the video is converted into the final result directly in the smartphone and only a maximum resolution of 1280x720 pixels is available.

The front-facing camera is also the same as that in the Galaxy Note 4. Samsung has jumped on the selfie bandwagon and offers a relatively high-resolution front-facing camera with 3.7 megapixels. The image quality is decent, but pictures blur quickly. The heart rate monitor on the back can be used as a release as soon as a face has been recognized. The phone can be panned left and right to create a panorama group picture in the groufie mode.  However, it has a resolution of only 1504x992 pixels.

Image Comparison

Choose a scene and navigate within the first image. One click changes the position on touchscreens. One click on the zoomed-in image opens the original in a new window. The first image shows the scaled photograph of the test device.

Scene 1Scene 2Scene 3

Accessories

Our review sample was Samsung's Galaxy Note Premium Edition that is sold only by Samsung for 899 Euros (~$1024). In addition, the buyer gets a 64 GB micro-SD card and flip cover, as well as a stylish box, a colorful brochure that describes the device's highlights, and a polishing cloth. This is rather meager for the extra 100 Euros (~$114) compared with the normal edition, which comes with a headset, a quick charger with a USB cord, as well as a tool for removing the stylus, micro-SD and SIM card.

Samsung's accessories store is vast. The flip cover is probably the most interesting item. It replaces the Galaxy Note Edge's back and the phone detects that it is connected via a pin contact. It was included for our "Premium Edition", otherwise it costs approximately 30 Euros (~$34). The lateral screen is left uncovered so that notifications can be displayed here. However, this part of the screen is not protected. Replacement S Pens also cost 30 Euros (~$34) in Samsung's store.

Warranty

Samsung offers a 24-month warranty, but only 6 months on the consumable elements and accessories.

Input Devices & Controls

clearly arranged layout and somewhat small keys characterize Samsung's on-screen keyboard. On the other hand, the gap between the letters and numbers is quite generous making reliable typing possible. In addition, the keyboard offers countless input options starting with swiping over the keyboard, voice input, to handwritten notes with either the finger or the S Pen - all current standards are available. Furthermore, the keyboard can be faded in as a hovering input, and the long pressure on the space key enables switching between installed languages quickly. This is handy when, for example, writing a German text with many foreign words.

The multi-window bar opens on the left when the back key is pressed and held. Various applications can be dragged onto the screen from there. Two can always be opened at the same time; they share the screen and their window size is variable. It is even possible to save preset combinations of windows and open them with only a tap. This is useful, but only functions with some preselected apps.

The S Pen is the centerpiece of the Galaxy Note series. It is a stylus that is pulled out of the device's lower edge. The smartphone automatically detects when the pen has been removed and opens the "S Pen Command" menu. It can also be opened via the button in the pen. In fact, the Stylus allows using the smartphone with a little  more precision than with the finger. Of course, the stylus is a great gadget for creative minds; Samsung has launched an online gallery where users can post their S Pen drawings.

The touchscreen's utilization is very accurate even in the corners, and always responds reliably, regardless of whether we used the finger or the S Pen. The greatest feature is certainly the screen's curve over the right edge. Handling is also quite accurate there. However, the symbols are sometimes rather small because the bar is not very wide, and triggering them with the stylus is more accurate than with the finger. In fact, a little more multitasking is possible with the bar. For example, the user can watch a video on the main screen and read incoming messages on the sidebar. However, tapping on an element in the sidebar frequently opens the app on the big screen. Thus, the sidebar is not really stand-alone, and its use is also limited, especially since the bar's content can only be read the right way around in landscape mode.

On-screen keyboard portrait mode
On-screen keyboard portrait mode
On-screen keyboard landscape mode
On-screen keyboard landscape mode

Display

Of course the screen arched around the edge is the greatest highlight of Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge. It is based on Samsung's Super AMOLED technology that enables pitch black and brilliant colors. With a resolution of 2560x1600 pixels and a diameter of 5.6 inches, it is a 16:10-screen having 160 pixels more in width than the screen in the Galaxy Note 4. These additional pixels are utilized for the curve and the controls implemented there. The screen is protected by Gorilla Glass 3

The average brightness, which has been a problem with AMOLED screens for a long time, is high at 473.8 cd/m² in Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge. We achieved this brightness by illuminating the brightness sensor with a lamp. It is also considerably higher than in the conventional screen of the Galaxy Note 4 where we measured an average of only 339 cd/m². Other OLED screens on the comparison devices, such as Google's Nexus 6 or Nokia's Lumia 930, are even darker. The illumination of 94% is also outstandingly homogeneous, and only exceeded by the YotaPhone 2. Consequently, colored surfaces look very even on our screen.

480
cd/m²
476
cd/m²
459
cd/m²
480
cd/m²
481
cd/m²
457
cd/m²
484
cd/m²
479
cd/m²
468
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 484 cd/m² Average: 473.8 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 94 %
Center on Battery: 481 cd/m²
Contrast: ∞:1 (Black: 0 cd/m²)
ΔE Color 2.24 | 0.4-29.43 Ø6.2
ΔE Greyscale 4.02 | 0.64-98 Ø6.4
Gamma: 3.07
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Google Nexus 6
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Screen
2%
-10%
-61%
-71%
-117%
-36%
Brightness middle
481
335
-30%
519
8%
274
-43%
702
46%
275
-43%
321
-33%
Brightness
474
339
-28%
496
5%
264
-44%
671
42%
278
-41%
325
-31%
Brightness Distribution
94
92
-2%
90
-4%
89
-5%
90
-4%
89
-5%
95
1%
Black Level *
0.62
0.72
Colorchecker DeltaE2000 *
2.24
1.77
21%
3.67
-64%
6.99
-212%
8.92
-298%
10.99
-391%
5.16
-130%
Greyscale DeltaE2000 *
4.02
2.06
49%
3.78
6%
4.01
-0%
9.59
-139%
8.29
-106%
3.42
15%
Gamma
3.07 72%
2.41 91%
2.42 91%
2.03 108%
2.75 80%
2.16 102%
2.93 75%
CCT
6476 100%
6424 101%
7327 89%
6329 103%
9408 69%
6731 97%
6394 102%
Color Space (Percent of AdobeRGB 1998)
99
Contrast
837
975

* ... smaller is better

Absolute black is made possible by omitting the backlight in AMOLED screens. The organic diodes are totally black until they are prompted to light up. This results in a black level of 0.0 cd/m², and a theoretically infinite contrast. As is usual with Samsung, the screen can be configured via multiple, predefined profiles. Colors look rather pale in "Standard", though also most natural. They are slightly overemphasized in "Movie" and "Photo", but also very bright and vivid.

We use the CalMAN software and a photospectrometer for a more detailed analysis. We ascertained that colors actually have the lowest deviation from the sRGB reference color space in the profile "Standard". Virtually no shift is visible to the naked eye. A light bluish cast covers the colors in the profile "Movie", which is non-existent in "Photo". The colors display the strongest shift from the ideal value of the reference color space in "Movie" mode. The AdobeRGB color space is rendered very well in "Photo" mode.

CalMan ColorChecker (Standard)
CalMan ColorChecker (Standard)
CalMan Color Management (Standard)
CalMan Color Management (Standard)
CalMan Saturation Sweeps (Standard)
CalMan Saturation Sweeps (Standard)
CalMan Grayscale (Standard)
CalMan Grayscale (Standard)
CalMan ColorChecker (Movie)
CalMan ColorChecker (Movie)
CalMan Color Management (Movie)
CalMan Color Management (Movie)
CalMan Saturation Sweeps (Movie)
CalMan Saturation Sweeps (Movie)
CalMan Grayscale (Movie)
CalMan Grayscale (Movie)
CalMan ColorChecker (Photo sRGB)
CalMan ColorChecker (Photo sRGB)
CalMan Color Management (Photo)
CalMan Color Management (Photo)
CalMan Saturation Sweeps (Photo)
CalMan Saturation Sweeps (Photo)
CalMan Grayscale (Photo)
CalMan Grayscale (Photo)
CalMAN ColorChecker (Photo, AdobeRGB)
CalMAN ColorChecker (Photo, AdobeRGB)

The screen's high brightness is noticed favorably outdoors, but then again, the glossy screen is a problem. The visibility is generally good, even in bright surroundings because the screen's high contrast has a very positive impact. The legibility is hardly limited under cloudy skies, but direct sunlight might, of course, be a problem.

The viewing angle stability is one of the great advantages of AMOLED screens. We could still recognize content on Samsung's Galaxy Edge clearly, even from very flat viewing angles.

Outdoors
Outdoors
Viewing angles
Viewing angles

Performance

The Galaxy Note 4 is quite a strong device and its Note Edge sister model comes with the same performance-relevant components: The Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084 has four cores and clocks with 2.7 GHz. We noticed that the review sample worked very fast in practice, and that even multitasking was not a problem. Only on rare occasions was the Note Edge defeated by the Apple's iPhone 6 Plus  in our benchmarks.

Geekbench 3
32 Bit Multi-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
3265 Points ∼10%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3239 Points ∼10% -1%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
2874 Points ∼9% -12%
Google Nexus 6
3141 Points ∼10% -4%
Sony Xperia Z3
2708 Points ∼9% -17%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
2136 Points ∼7% -35%
32 Bit Single-Core Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
1088 Points ∼23%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1112 Points ∼23% +2%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
1609 Points ∼33% +48%
Google Nexus 6
1043 Points ∼22% -4%
Sony Xperia Z3
979 Points ∼20% -10%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
846 Points ∼18% -22%
Smartbench 2012 - Productivity Index (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
9949 points ∼53%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
9732 points ∼52% -2%
Google Nexus 6
7468 points ∼40% -25%
AnTuTu v5 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
47548 Points ∼48%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
47172 Points ∼48% -1%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
50360 Points ∼51% +6%
Google Nexus 6
51812 Points ∼52% +9%
Sony Xperia Z3
42125 Points ∼42% -11%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
38083 Points ∼38% -20%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084, Qualcomm Adreno 420, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084, Qualcomm Adreno 420, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Nokia Lumia 930 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Apple iPhone 6 Plus Apple A8, PowerVR GX6450, 64 GB eMMC Flash
 
Google Nexus 6 Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 APQ8084, Qualcomm Adreno 420, 32 GB eMMC Flash
 
Sony Xperia Z3 Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 MSM8974AC, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 16 GB eMMC Flash
 
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon 800 MSM8974, Qualcomm Adreno 330, 32 GB eMMC Flash

Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge is also impressive with high speeds in the browser benchmarks. Apple's iPhone 6 Plus is again slightly faster. Therefore, browsing with the device is really fun. Pages are opened quickly and animations are rendered smoothly.

Sunspider - 1.0 Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
390 ms * ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
955.6 ms * ∼10% -145%
Nokia Lumia 930
534 ms * ∼6% -37%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
347.4 ms * ∼4% +11%
Google Nexus 6
784 ms * ∼9% -101%
Sony Xperia Z3
827.5 ms * ∼9% -112%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
922 ms * ∼10% -136%
Octane V2 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
6221 Points ∼12%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
5379 Points ∼11% -14%
Nokia Lumia 930
2737 Points ∼5% -56%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
7276 Points ∼15% +17%
Google Nexus 6
5271 Points ∼11% -15%
Sony Xperia Z3
5339 Points ∼11% -14%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
2776 Points ∼6% -55%
Mozilla Kraken 1.1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
5293 ms * ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
6127.4 ms * ∼10% -16%
Nokia Lumia 930
11108 ms * ∼19% -110%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
4469.8 ms * ∼8% +16%
Google Nexus 6
6124 ms * ∼10% -16%
Sony Xperia Z3
6502 ms * ∼11% -23%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
8164.9 ms * ∼14% -54%
Vellamo 3.x
Metal (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
1780 Points ∼48%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1817 Points ∼49% +2%
Google Nexus 6
1579 Points ∼42% -11%
Sony Xperia Z3
1549 Points ∼42% -13%
Multicore Beta (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
1896 Points ∼42%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
1924 Points ∼43% +1%
Google Nexus 6
1701 Points ∼38% -10%
Sony Xperia Z3
1775 Points ∼40% -6%
Browser (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
3334 Points ∼44%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3472 Points ∼46% +4%
Google Nexus 6
3740 Points ∼49% +12%
Sony Xperia Z3
2871 Points ∼38% -14%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
5739 Points ∼29%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
6442 Points ∼33% +12%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
8604 Points ∼44% +50%
Google Nexus 6
6559 Points ∼34% +14%

* ... smaller is better

Apple's iPhone 6 Plus is also the fastest device in the graphic tests. The Galaxy Note Edge shares the second place with the Galaxy Note 4 and Google Nexus 6, both based on the same SoC as our review sample. The single-core Adreno 420 graphics card with a clock rate of up to 600 MHZ should certainly make it possible to play almost all current games available in the Play Store.

3DMark
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Physics (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
18255 Points ∼21%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
18913 Points ∼22% +4%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
9473 Points ∼11% -48%
Google Nexus 6
18113 Points ∼21% -1%
Sony Xperia Z3
13674 Points ∼16% -25%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
6632 Points ∼8% -64%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Graphics Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
20818 Points ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20733 Points ∼4% 0%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
23937 Points ∼5% +15%
Google Nexus 6
25480 Points ∼5% +22%
Sony Xperia Z3
19606 Points ∼4% -6%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
16362 Points ∼3% -21%
1280x720 offscreen Ice Storm Unlimited Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
20188 Points ∼9%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
20299 Points ∼9% +1%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
17873 Points ∼8% -11%
Google Nexus 6
23368 Points ∼10% +16%
Sony Xperia Z3
17882 Points ∼8% -11%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
12339 Points ∼5% -39%
GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
42 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
42.4 fps ∼0% +1%
Nokia Lumia 930
15 fps ∼0% -64%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
44.8 fps ∼0% +7%
Google Nexus 6
39 fps ∼0% -7%
Sony Xperia Z3
27.5 fps ∼0% -35%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
21.1 fps ∼0% -50%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
25 fps ∼1%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
27.7 fps ∼1% +11%
Nokia Lumia 930
20 fps ∼1% -20%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
52.4 fps ∼2% +110%
Google Nexus 6
28 fps ∼1% +12%
Sony Xperia Z3
29.4 fps ∼1% +18%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
20.9 fps ∼1% -16%
GFXBench 3.0
off screen Manhattan Offscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
18 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
17.7 fps ∼0% -2%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
18.8 fps ∼0% +4%
Google Nexus 6
19 fps ∼0% +6%
Sony Xperia Z3
11.8 fps ∼0% -34%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
8.8 fps ∼0% -51%
on screen Manhattan Onscreen OGL (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
10 fps ∼0%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
11 fps ∼0% +10%
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
30.6 fps ∼1% +206%
Google Nexus 6
12 fps ∼0% +20%
Sony Xperia Z3
12.6 fps ∼0% +26%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
9.9 fps ∼0% -1%

The Galaxy Note Edge proved extremely fast in storage accessing. The 32 GB internal storage is accessed considerably faster than in all other comparison devices. Although the Galaxy Note 4 had a very fast storage, the Note Edge exceeds it, particularly in the read times. Very good. 

AndroBench 3-5
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
10 MB/s ∼4%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
3.14 MB/s ∼1% -69%
Google Nexus 6
1.49 MB/s ∼1% -85%
Sony Xperia Z3
2 MB/s ∼1% -80%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
1.58 MB/s ∼1% -84%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
22 MB/s ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
19.87 MB/s ∼11% -10%
Google Nexus 6
7.85 MB/s ∼5% -64%
Sony Xperia Z3
15 MB/s ∼9% -32%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
11 MB/s ∼6% -50%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
122 MB/s ∼48%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
38.91 MB/s ∼15% -68%
Google Nexus 6
18.46 MB/s ∼7% -85%
Sony Xperia Z3
18 MB/s ∼7% -85%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
30.43 MB/s ∼12% -75%
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
217 MB/s ∼24%
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
178.77 MB/s ∼20% -18%
Google Nexus 6
25.78 MB/s ∼3% -88%
Sony Xperia Z3
149 MB/s ∼16% -31%
Yota Devices YotaPhone 2
139.14 MB/s ∼15% -36%

Games

Basically, the Adreno 420  has enough capacity for just about all the games in the Play Store. The graphics card's throttling during prolonged use is usually unnoticeable. However, rare slowdowns occur; primarily in graphically demanding games like "Asphalt 8: Airborne", which is annoying in a high-end device.

Samsung has also preloaded some games for the curved lateral screen: A simple memory game, for example, where the user has to memorize matching symbols and tap them. Nothing particularly sophisticated, but quite nice for in between.

It is pleasing that the sensors function very reliably, and the accurate touchscreen also contributes to an unmarred gaming enjoyment.

Sophisticated games like "Asphalt 8: Airborne" are no problem for the graphics card.
Sophisticated games like "Asphalt 8: Airborne" are no problem for the graphics card.

Emissions

The graphics card starts to throttle soon.
The graphics card starts to throttle soon.

Temperature

Interestingly, the Galaxy Note Edge is considerably cooler than the Galaxy Note 4 despite the same SoC. It reached a maximum of 35.8 degrees Celsius (~96.4 °F) on the back during full load, and the temperature increase is not as extensive. On average, the device remains cooler than its conventional sister model while idling. The Note 4 was already a relatively cool device, and thus we can only speak of a further improvement of an already high standard, although this will be hardly noticed in practice.

However, we had already observed throttling of the graphics card in the Galaxy Note 4 after a prolonged load. Has Samsung managed to get this under control? We checked it with GFXBench 3.0 that runs the same benchmark in its battery test 30 successive times. There is no throttling while the frame rate remains stable. In fact, the Adreno 420 in the Galaxy Note Edge cannot maintain its full performance over a long time. Its behavior is similar to that of the graphics card in the Galaxy Note 4. The frame rate is sometimes halved during prolonged games or benchmarks.

Max. Load
 34.1 °C
93 F
33.4 °C
92 F
30.9 °C
88 F
 
 34.9 °C
95 F
33.6 °C
92 F
31.1 °C
88 F
 
 33.5 °C
92 F
32.5 °C
91 F
30.6 °C
87 F
 
Maximum: 34.9 °C = 95 F
Average: 32.7 °C = 91 F
30.1 °C
86 F
35.8 °C
96 F
34.5 °C
94 F
34.5 °C
94 F
30.8 °C
87 F
34.3 °C
94 F
31.7 °C
89 F
33.8 °C
93 F
34.3 °C
94 F
Maximum: 35.8 °C = 96 F
Average: 33.3 °C = 92 F
Power Supply (max.)  38.6 °C = 101 F | Room Temperature 21.5 °C = 71 F | Voltcraft IR-350
(±) The average temperature for the upper side under maximal load is 32.7 °C / 91 F, compared to the average of 33.1 °C / 92 F for the devices in the class Smartphone.
(+) The maximum temperature on the upper side is 34.9 °C / 95 F, compared to the average of 35.6 °C / 96 F, ranging from 22.4 to 51.7 °C for the class Smartphone.
(+) The bottom heats up to a maximum of 35.8 °C / 96 F, compared to the average of 34.1 °C / 93 F
(+) In idle usage, the average temperature for the upper side is 25.8 °C / 78 F, compared to the device average of 33.1 °C / 92 F.

Speaker

The speaker is located on the back, which is not the best solution. The sound is noticeably muffled on soft surfaces or paper. Furthermore, the sound is relatively quiet up to approximately 2/3 of the volume. Beyond that, the volume increase is evident, and is ultimately sufficient at maximum volume. Overall, the sound is fairly compelling in all volumes, but the trebles are rather subdued.

Demanding listeners will prefer using headphones or external speakers; connecting via the 3.5 mm combo jack is possible and the sound is decent.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

The Galaxy Note Edge's power consumption is significantly higher than that of the conventional Note 4. This is probably due to the additional screen area. Our review sample consumed up to 2.4 Watts while idling, which is exactly one Watt more than the Note 4. This difference is even greater in load. The Galaxy Note Edge requires up to 11.8 Watts; the Note 4 is satisfied with 9.4 Watts.

With these rates, the Note Edge does not only exceeds its conventional sister model, but also other smartphones with larger screens, such as Google's Nexus 6 or Apple's iPhone 6 Plus. The high power consumption might just be the downfall of our review sample in battery runtime.

Power Consumption
Off / Standbydarklight 0.1 / 0.1 Watt
Idledarkmidlight 0.4 / 1.5 / 2.4 Watt
Load midlight 6.9 / 11.8 Watt
 color bar
Key: min: dark, med: mid, max: light        Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Runtime

In fact, the Note Edge cannot compete with the battery life of the comparison devices. The battery runtime of under 10 hours, is shorter particularly in the real-world Wi-Fi test and playing videos like Big Buck Bunny in Full HD. This is not surprising since the 11.55 Wh battery in the Galaxy Note Edge is considerably weaker than the 12.4 Wh battery in the Galaxy Note 4. The relatively high consumption rates of our review sample also have an impact.

The review sample had an uninterrupted talk time of about 7 hours as long as we stayed within the cell. The runtime was approximately 1 1/2 days in mixed use including standby times. However, the runtime can be extended via Samsung's preloaded Ultra Power Saving Mode. The screen is switched to black and white, which results in particularly high savings in the screen's AMOLED technology because the black pixels do not need any energy. Additionally, the power consumption is very limited in the background, and only specified functions are available.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
21h 26min
WiFi Surfing
9h 02min
Big Buck Bunny H.264 1080p
9h 47min
Load (maximum brightness)
3h 19min
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Samsung Galaxy Note 4
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Apple iPhone 6 Plus
PowerVR GX6450, A8, 64 GB eMMC Flash
Google Nexus 6
Adreno 420, 805 APQ8084, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Sony Xperia Z3
Adreno 330, 801 MSM8974AC, 16 GB eMMC Flash
Nokia Lumia 930
Adreno 330, 800 MSM8974, 32 GB eMMC Flash
Battery Runtime
37%
18%
-5%
0%
27%
Reader / Idle
1286
1668
30%
1436
12%
1153
-10%
1203
-6%
1387
8%
H.264
587
701
19%
675
15%
652
11%
682
16%
WiFi
542
744
37%
777
43%
601
11%
672
24%
1002
85%
Load
199
323
62%
199
0%
135
-32%
132
-34%
175
-12%

Verdict

In Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. Test model courtesy of Samsung Germany
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. Test model courtesy of Samsung Germany

For a street price of 749 Euros (~$853), you should get quite a cool smartphone, and Samsung can in fact deliver that. The "curved" screen is perhaps not always absolutely practical, but it is definitely an eye-catcher. Actually, there is never enough screen area, and the extra bar on the side is a clear gain. The S Pen control is the decisive argument for the Galaxy Note line for many users from the outset, and it is quite unique. It also functions very well in the Note Edge, and provides diverse utilization options.

The "smartphone with the curve" disappointed us a little with its battery life that lags quite far behind the conventional Note 4, the speaker and voice that could be higher-quality, and the graphics card that throttles during prolonged periods of load.

However, anyone who has ever wanted an even cooler Galaxy Note 4, and is willing to pay for it, will certainly be able to ignore these shortcomings - particularly since the screen is first-rate and we also liked the casing because it has a plainer design.

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In Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. Test model courtesy of Samsung Germany
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. Test model courtesy of Samsung Germany

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge (Galaxy Note Series)
Graphics adapter
Qualcomm Adreno 420, Core: 500 MHz
Memory
3072 MB 
Display
5.6 inch 16:10, 2560 x 1600 pixel, capacitive touchscreen, Super AMOLED, Gorilla Glass 3, curved, glossy: yes
Storage
32 GB eMMC Flash, 32 GB 
, 24 GB free
Connections
1 USB 2.0, 1 Infrared, Audio Connections: 3.5 mm audio jack, Card Reader: microSDXC (max. 64GB), 1 Fingerprint Reader, Sensors: motion sensor, light sensor (RGB, UV), proximity sensor, compass, barometer, heart-rate sensor, oximeter, A-GPS, GLONASS, BeiDou, MHL 3.0, NFC, ANT+
Networking
802.11 a/b/g/n/ac (a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.1, GSM quad-band (850/900/1800/1900), UMTS quad-band (850/900/1900/2100), LTE hepta-band (800/850/900/1800/1900/2100/2600)
Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8.3 x 151.3 x 82.4 ( = 0.33 x 5.96 x 3.24 in)
Battery
12 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3000 mAh, Battery runtime (according to manufacturer): 67 h
Operating System
Android 4.4 KitKat
Camera
Webcam: 16.0MP, AF, OIS, LED flash; videos @2160p/30fps (rear); 3.7MP, videos @1080p/30fps (front)
Additional features
Speakers: rear-sided speaker, Keyboard: virtual keyboard, stylus, flip cover, 64 GB micro-SD card, Flipboard, PEN.UP, S Voice, S Health, S Note, 24 Months Warranty
Weight
174 g ( = 6.14 oz / 0.38 pounds), Power Supply: 42 g ( = 1.48 oz / 0.09 pounds)
Price
900 Euro

 

The Galaxy Note Edge will certainly catch attention.
The Galaxy Note Edge will certainly catch attention.
The screen arched around the edge is simply striking.
The screen arched around the edge is simply striking.
It can be used with either a finger or the pen.
It can be used with either a finger or the pen.
The software is still multitasking capable.
The software is still multitasking capable.
Samsung has made every effort in integrating the side bar usefully.
Samsung has made every effort in integrating the side bar usefully.
However, a real killer app is still missing in our opinion: The bar is cooler than that it provides a real added value.
However, a real killer app is still missing in our opinion: The bar is cooler than that it provides a real added value.
Nevertheless, more screen area is always a nice feature, and particularly for the screen of the Galaxy Note Edge.
Nevertheless, more screen area is always a nice feature, and particularly for the screen of the Galaxy Note Edge.
The sharp AMOLED screen has superb colors and high brightness.
The sharp AMOLED screen has superb colors and high brightness.
The stylus is inserted in the casing's lower edge.
The stylus is inserted in the casing's lower edge.
It allows using the device with more accuracy than with a finger.
It allows using the device with more accuracy than with a finger.
As usual, the keyboard is very good, and offers many functions and options.
As usual, the keyboard is very good, and offers many functions and options.
Android 5 is not yet available for the Galaxy devices, but will definitely come as an update.
Android 5 is not yet available for the Galaxy devices, but will definitely come as an update.
The cameras are decent - the back features an LED flash, optical image stabilizer, and auto focus.
The cameras are decent - the back features an LED flash, optical image stabilizer, and auto focus.
A lower resolution is in the front, but there is a
A lower resolution is in the front, but there is a
A selfie can be shot with the rear-sided heart rate sensor, but only models with fingers that can cover the sensor can do that...
A selfie can be shot with the rear-sided heart rate sensor, but only models with fingers that can cover the sensor can do that...
The sensor's actual purpose is its link with the S Health app.
The sensor's actual purpose is its link with the S Health app.
The battery is again removable although Samsung relies on a metal bezel this time.
The battery is again removable although Samsung relies on a metal bezel this time.
The small speaker is also located on the rear, and could be a bit more powerful.
The small speaker is also located on the rear, and could be a bit more powerful.
Games are no problem. However, the graphics card throttles like already in the Galaxy Note 4.
Games are no problem. However, the graphics card throttles like already in the Galaxy Note 4.
In addition to the well-known Google apps, there are also many Samsung apps on the device again.
In addition to the well-known Google apps, there are also many Samsung apps on the device again.
Samsung also has an online gallery where users can post their S Pen drawings.
Samsung also has an online gallery where users can post their S Pen drawings.
Some are very impressive.
Some are very impressive.
We will soon see the remarkable design of the Samsung Galaxy Edge again, won't we Samsung?
We will soon see the remarkable design of the Samsung Galaxy Edge again, won't we Samsung?

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Links

  • Tips for buying a notebook - notebookCHECK Purchase Advisory

  • Find the right notebook - notebookCHECK Hardware Guide

  • Display resolution comparison - DPI (grain size) of displays

  • Our test criteria
  • Manufacturer's information

Compare Prices

Pros

+Great screen
+Bend leads to a larger screen surface
+Solid and high-quality casing
+High performance
+Low temperature development
+Useful battery life
+Stylus use possible
+Extensive software
+Decent cameras
+Diverse communication options
+Accurate GPS module
+Removable battery
 

Cons

-Only middling voice quality
-Unfavorably placed speaker...
-...with mediocre sound
-Longer load throttles graphics card
-Unclear operation of the lateral screen
-High power consumption

Shortcut

What we like

The coolness factor is pretty high.

What we'd like to see

The graphics card should not throttle. Also, the battery life, voice quality and speakers could be higher quality for the price.

What surprises us

That Samsung now relies on a metal bezel after the Korean manufacturer had ardently stuck to polycarbonate for years.

The competition

Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Apple iPhone 6 Plus,  Google Nexus 6, Sonys Xperia Z3, Nokia Lumia 930, YotaPhone 2

Rating

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - 02/09/2015 v4(old)
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
93%
Keyboard
72 / 75 → 96%
Pointing Device
92%
Connectivity
57 / 60 → 95%
Weight
90%
Battery
92%
Display
92%
Games Performance
67 / 63 → 100%
Application Performance
56 / 70 → 80%
Temperature
92%
Noise
100%
Audio
64 / 91 → 70%
Camera
77%
Average
80%
88%
Smartphone - Weighted Average
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> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Smartphone Review
Florian Wimmer, 2015-02-16 (Update: 2018-05-15)