I moved from a Samsung Note 3, to a Samsung Note Edge (note 4 variant). The move was not because I chose to make the move, but because I received the note edge as a gift. A key advocate of my receiving the note edge as a gift was set to inherit the Note 3 as their phone 🙂
All this means is that I am not really invested in the decision to move to the Note Edge, as it was not my decision. So I can present a more detached review. From one generation of device to the next there usually seems insufficiencet incentive for me to update and with most electronics I tend to wait more than one generation to update. At least moving to the Note Edge rather than the Note 4 means I will more clearly see the difference from the previous Note 3.
The secondary display.
Starting from around the Samsung S4, Samsung arrived at the concept of having a secondary display with their phones. The idea is somewhat similar to deciding that for simply checking the time and many of the uses of a phone, particularly the more traditional uses phone usage, a simpler smaller display like that of older phones is actually ideal. Then for browsing, photos, games, detailed contact information, social networking and other ‘tablet like usage’, the bigger and more detailed the display the better. So a larger ‘primary’ display for more detailed work and simpler smaller ‘secondary’ display for sporadic quick interaction. The first implementations came by way of a window in a display case framing a small area of the main display. In that implementation, when the case is closed, the smaller secondary display is still available and when the case is opened, the larger primary display is revealed. With the note edge, for the first time, both primary and secondary display are available simultaneously. Now this is a breakthrough, but the software simply does not make all the usage of this that is possible. Examples of usage include the camera where the controls for the camera are on the secondary display and the viewfinder is the main display. But some of the best uses can be when the device is actually being used for two tasks which can each have their own display. Like using the main display while the secondary display is controlling music. Or where the secondary display manages an incoming phone call avoiding interrupting the primary display.
The Unique feature, simultaneous secondary display.
The secondary display, which I first experienced with the Note 3 through the ‘S-View’ cover, is certainly a useful feature. You can even buy ‘s-view’ covers now for iPhones as well a quite a range of Samsung phones. Samsung has also developed an LED wallet cover for the regular Note 4. Both the LED cover and the Edge avoid the trap of S-View wallet covers which require a window in the wallet cover. The window prevents using the wallet to hold cards! This means the Edge is not the only phone where you can have the secondary display and have a wallet that holds cards, but the LED cover is a very limited display and the user cannot touch and interact with this display. The Note edge IS the only device so far where both displays are available at once.
If there is any interest I will post a part 2 to this review covering more on the Note Edge.