Samsung is the company that started the Phablet craze back in 2010 with the launch of its Galaxy Note series with shockingly large display sizes and overall device sizes as well. Last year Samsung launched the Galaxy Note 3 with a 5.7 inch 1080p Full HD screen and top notch hardware and has reached a plateau of hardware in certain sense. More and more companies started making similar devices.
This year Samsung decides to show that it has lot more surprises in the phablet category with the unique device – the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge with its signature edge display. Let’s find out how good is Galaxy Note Edge when compared to Galaxy Note 3.
Body & Handling
The Note Edge with the curved rim is a bit hard to handle as you have to be careful not to press something at the edge accidentally. Design-wise it has a metal frame while the Note 3 is a less inspiring plastic affair. The actual footprint of the two phablets is very similar with the Note Edge being slightly wider due to its edge.
The Galaxy Note Edge, with its right rim occupied by the curved screen, has its Lock Button at its top which is definitely hard to reach and inconvenient position for such an often used button. The Note 3 in comparison has its power key conveniently placed at the right. Each of these devices has a larger physical Home Key but the one on the Note Edge comes with a Fingerprint Scanner that the Note 3 lacks.
Display & UI
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge comes with a 5.6 inches Super AMOLED Display with a Quad HD resolution and an additional 160 pixel wide section for the edge. This is a step up from the 1080p display from the Note 3. Its pixel density comes with 525ppi on the Edge versus 386ppi on the Note 3. In reality both of them appear very sharp but looking closer at the tiny elements you may see a slightly sharper picture on the Note Edge. It has one of the best AMOLED screens we have seen so far with the vibrant accurately calibrated colors. While the Note 3 features colder colors with overblown saturations.
The Note Edge display has also been improved in terms of peak brightness while the Note 3 is noticeably dimmer. Both of them did a good job with screen reflection; however, Note Edge is the one that is easier to read outdoors.
The Galaxy Note Edge and Note 3 both run on Android 4.4 KitKat with Samsung’s TouchWiz custom user interface on top. We have seen TouchWiz evolved to a brighter version in the Note 4 and in the Note Edge the same idea perseveres but all controls for Samsung’s first party have been moved to the rim on the Note Edge. The rim is also used to ticker notifications which is cool but not really a huge boost in functionality.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
5.6 inch Super AMOLED Display
1440 x 2560 pixels resolution
525 ppi pixel density
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
5.7 inch Super AMOLED Display
1080 x 1920 pixels resolution
386 ppi pixel density
The Note 3 on its part features an older version of TouchWiz that is similar in terms of functionality but comes with darker visuals and lesser choice of wall-art. Basic functionality is well covered on both. Both of these devices also feature Samsung’s S Health solutions but it is the Note Edge that makes the most use of it with UV Radiation Sensors built right in.
Features & Performance
The Signature S Pen functionality of the Note series comes with a more polished version on the Note Edge. The S Pen comes with double the sensitivity of the earlier versions. This however is still not the perfect replacement for your notebook or pencil.
The Snapdragon 805 on the Note Edge is faster than the Note 3’s Snapdragon 800. But the difference is not so huge and for games it becomes negligible. Both have 32 bit Quadcore Chips that do a fine job handling apps smoothly for daily usage.
The Note Edge and Note 3 both feature a plentiful 32GB of internal storage on board. Storage can also be expanded via Micro SD cards which are an edge over the other competitor devices of the class in the market.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Qualcomm Spandragon 805 SoC
2.7 GHz Quad Krait 450 CPU
Adreno 420 GPU; 3 GB RAM
32 GB internal storage
Samsung Galaxy Note 3
Qualcomm Spandragon 800 SoC
2.3 GHz Quad Krait 400 CPU
Adreno 330 GPU; 3 GB RAM
32/64 GB internal storage
You have a choice of two pre-installed browsers to surf the web on both i.e. the Samsung’s browser and the Google’s mobile version Chrome. Rendering web pages is a slightly faster process on the Note Edge, faster to scroll and zoom around while a very slight lag is sometimes observable on the Note 3.
In terms of connectivity you have 4G LTE on both devices with about 300MB/sec for downloads on the Note Edge and a 150MB/sec on the Note 3. Other connectivity options include Bluetooth version 4.1 on the Note Edge versus 4.0 on the Note 3. Both of the handsets have GPS and NFC and an Infrared Beamer with a companion application which you can use to remotely control electronic devices like your TV or AC.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge comes with a 16 Megapixel rear camera that supports Optical Image Stabilization while the Note 3 supports a 13 MP main camera with no OIS. The Note Edge’s camera app is remarkably different than the standard TouchWiz camera app in the Note 3. The Note Edge has all the active elements of its UI moved to its side screen including the shutter button and any options you might want to think of it. This frees up space on the view finder allowing it to focus on composing your shots but it does not bring any huge functional improvement. When it comes to image quality, however the Galaxy Note Edge steps up its game and captures an outstanding amount of detail with pleasing natural looking colors which gives a very dynamic look to its shots.
The Note 3 on the other hand is good and in sufficient light it performs not too far behind the Note Edge but one has to admit the fact that it has less sharp detail and images captured are slightly on the cold side. For indoor shots the Note Edge has sharper and less noisy images than the Note 3. Turning to the front cameras the Note Edge has a 3.7 MP while the Note 3 has a slightly lower 2 MP camera.
In terms of video both the Note Edge and the Note 3 can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second. 4K videos look remarkably good with nice rich colors with plentiful detail and with nearly 50 MB bit rate. In 4K recording it makes a lot more sense to use the digital zoom option while retaining a lot more detail than zooming in at 1080p resolution.
The quality of sound recording is also great on the Note Edge and features three microphones for better noise cancellation a step ahead from the two microphones on the Note 3 which also records very clear audio.
The large displays on phablets like the Note Edge and the Note 3 make media consumption a pleasing experience. Both are similarly well equipped in terms of software sharing nearly identical video and music players as well as a photo gallery.
The music player on both is equally rich in settings and offers adjustments to all options including fine tuning of sound via the equalizer. The single speaker of the Galaxy Note Edge is louder than the Not 3 and sounds a bit cleaner but both did a good job over the loud speaker but do lack in depth and they are not on par with the industry leading HTC One M8 speakers.
The large sized phablets, Galaxy Note Edge and Note 3 comes with gigantic batteries. The Note Edge has a 3000mAh battery slightly smaller than the 3200 mAh battery in the Note 3. Still with clever optimization and more power efficiency the Note Edge manages to squeeze more out of the battery than the Note 3.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is a pretty much a clone of the Galaxy Note 4 without the curved edge. The curved rim is cool and you can do all stuffs in it but does not add any meaningful functionality improvement over the use of the original form factor. The Galaxy Note 3 on its part has dropped its price and now it’s much more affordable to get and still packs top notch specifications. If you have the money and want the cool factor then Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will not disappoint as it wows people with its curved rim but it’s over priced. The Note Edge costs nearly $400 on contract whereas the Note 3 comes with a much affordable price. If you compare by specifications Galaxy Note Edge is the clear winner but if you are looking for a phablet having both high specifications and cost effective then Galaxy Note 3 is the winner for sure. The decision is yours.Google+