Review: Samsung Galaxy Note Edge for Sprint
The main display on the Note Edge measures 5.6 inches across the diagonal and includes 2560 x 1440 pixels. That's 0.1 inches smaller than the Note 4's, but that's not including the side display. The main and side displays are separated by a hard (digital) line on the screen. The side display is usually shaded darker to set it apart visually from the main screen.
The main screen is awesome. It's just as awesome as the screen of the Note 4. It's pixel-rich, bright, colorful, and all-around impressive. I was able to use it outdoors with no problem, and viewing angles are incredible.
The secondary screen comes and goes when needed. It features its own user interface, but content from the main screen will bleed over from time to time (think wallpapers, etc.) You do have to position the phone differently in order to see all the content on the side display, thanks to the curved nature of the screen. That said, it's just as bright and colorful as the main screen. You can see it when outdoors, no problem.
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The Note Edge performed on par with other devices I've tested on Sprint's network in and around New York City. It is Spark-enabled, which means it has a better chance of finding usable LTE 4G service in about 100 major markets around the country. I had trouble connecting calls on the first try when coverage was weak (two bars or below,) but no trouble at all when the phone reported stronger service. Similarly, data speeds were best under the strongest coverage conditions and they slowed a bit as the signal deteriorated. Even under the worst conditions, the Note Edge was able to make calls and load web sites, even if not right away.
The Note Edge performed far better than other phones I've tested on Sprint's network as far as voice quality was concerned. Not only was volume excellent, so was the clarity of calls. I had no trouble hearing calls in noisy restaurants during lunch, nor when out and about at the mall, or in the car. Voices could have been a bit warmer, but otherwise I have no complaints. Those I spoke to through the Edge said I sounded great. The Note Edge has noise elimination, which means background noise on my end was inaudible to the person on the other end of the line. This feature can be turned on or off. The speakerphone could have been a bit louder, but the quality was just as good as the earpiece. Ringtones and alerts are generally quite loud. I didn't miss any calls for not hearing the ringer. I thought the vibrate alert was a touch on the weak side.
The battery inside the Note Edge is slightly smaller than the one inside the Note 4, but you wouldn't know that unless you compare spec sheets. It offers comparable battery life, which is to say it gets from early in the morning to bedtime without trouble (even with the extra screen real estate). It will be gasping for breath at the end of the day, especially if you've used it intensely. You'll need to charge it each night.
The Note Edge does feature some tools to help manage battery life. The phone has both "Power Saver" and "Ultra Power Saver" modes available. The former covers the basics, such as dimming the screen and turning off extraneous apps and radios when not in use. The latter takes a more aggressive approach and shuts down major systems. It can switch to monochrome graphics, simplify the user interface, and otherwise lock down anything beyond the core communications tools to save battery life. Most people people, however, shouldn't have to go to these extremes in order to get a full day from their Note Edge.
It's worth pointing out that the Edge includes quick-charge technology. It can achieve a 50% charge in just 30 minutes when used with the included charger from Samsung.
Hands On with Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge isn't the first phone to ship with a curved screen, but it's the first with a non-uniform curve that's mostly flat but spills over the edge to cover both the front and the right side. It's similar to a concept phone Samsung showed off a couple of years ago, but now it's here, it's real, and you can actually buy one soon.
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