The Galaxy Note Edge feels like an unfinished product, Edge screen is under-utilized

Last year, when the Galaxy Note Edge was unveiled along with the Galaxy Note 4, Samsung said that it would be a “limited edition concept device”. However, Samsung went on to release it in almost all its important markets, be it the US, the UK, India, or some other Asian and European markets. Granted, the device has a beautiful curved edge Super AMOLED display, but what good is it if it serves no real purpose? Samsung is yet to find a real use of the curved part of the screen. Right now, the Note Edge comes with 19 panels which can be set on the curved edge of the display, but only a few of them are actually useful in day-to-day lives.

Read More: Our in-depth review of the Galaxy Note Edge (SM-915FY)

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - Edge Panels

The Notification Panel might have been quite helpful, but whenever you receive a notification from an app, the Notification Panel just shows the app icon instead of the actual information within the notification, and it can’t display quick action buttons beneath notifications. This limits the actual use of the panel. Other Edge Panels such as Favorite Apps, Bookmarks, and 10 Favorite Contacts are just shortcuts to things which can be achieved even from the home screen of any Android smartphone. None of the other panels are much useful or provide any extra utility which isn’t available in Android widgets.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge - Edge Screen In Contacts

Samsung has failed to add some obvious things like quick settings toggles, even though it would make sense to have such features on the Edge screen. Even in apps like Contacts, Samsung could have moved the whole alphabet strip on to the Edge Panel, but it didn’t. The curved edge part of the screen could be used in other apps like Gallery, a web browser, or even while using an on-screen keyboard (for things like moving a cursor, or for functions like cut/copy/paste). One other idea that could’ve made a Galaxy Note Edge user’s life easier is the placement of notification bar pull-down button on the Edge Panel.

A couple of weeks ago, Samsung has released an SDK for the developers, but we hear that it is quite limited in terms of functionality, making it very hard for developers to develop panels for the Note Edge. While interacting with a developer who is making a third-party panel for the Note Edge, he told us that the SDK is extremely limited, causing hold-ups in the development. He had to hack a lot of stuff to get things working and that the Samsung developers forum isn’t helping him in any way.

Even two months after the launch, only one new panel has been added to the list of stock panels, which makes it look like Samsung released the Note Edge too early with very less support for the Edge Screen. Samsung has done such things in the past, and I am talking about rushing unfinished products into the market. Remember the Galaxy Round, which was announced back in late 2013, but never saw a mass market release? Samsung needs to stop releasing unfinished products. It’s likely that we will see developer support picking up in the coming months, especially since the Note Edge is widely available.

It is expected that Samsung will announce a curved edge screen variant of its upcoming flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S6. We hope that Samsung figures out how to make a better use of the curved edge screen on smartphones by the time it announces the Galaxy S6. For now, there doesn’t seem to be much reason for consumers to pick up the device with such a high price tag, other than for the wow factor that you get from having a phone with a display that curves to the side.

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2 years 4 months ago

And this is what separates Apple product launches from others. If this curved screen feature was released by Apple, the company would make sure it not only had a bunch of useful panels developed in-house, but also would have gotten developers on-board ahead of time so that cool third-party panels or app integrations would have been available at launch as well.

We saw this play out with Apple Pay vs. Google Wallet. Wallet came out much earlier, but it was more or less a capability that retailers could use, if desired. But before Apple launched Apple Pay, the company made sure it signed up several popular retailers, which would help drive adoption. And it would have a good SDK to encourage more development after launch.

I think the jury is still out on whether the Edge-style curved screen is a “killer app”. But there’s a difference between something that’s just cool vs. something that changes people’s expectations about a product category. As the author mentioned, it’s the difference between an experiment vs. a lasting innovation. Developing a new feature is one thing. But really investing in that feature, coming up with compelling use cases, and nurturing an ecosystem around it is quite another. Sometimes, throwing ideas at the wall and seeing what sticks could be a way to identify new opportunities. But Samsung, Google, etc. really need to consider which features could be game-changers and then go “all in” on ensuring those features have the desired impact.

johny jackson
2 years 4 months ago

Bye sammobile. I am tired of your unfinished editorials and hatred comments in all the news post. Sammobile Boss said “Trus me. I will fix this site” But nothing happened.

2 years 4 months ago

We will start using Discuss in V4 and aiming to release that in February. There we will start moderating comments as well. You know we are a small team and are trying to give you guys the best possible experience and with V3 we couldn’t deliver.

Big changes are coming so please bear with us.

2 years 4 months ago

I totally agree with you but they posted on Twitter that some changes will happen on February. I really would love to see Sammobile improved but they didn’t do much to improve, at least we don’t see any improvements for a long time. Sammobile is unique in many ways but their presentation and editing capabilities.

2 years 4 months ago

You do know it isn’t February yet? So why the comment?

2 years 4 months ago

Well it is a new product

2 years 4 months ago

True That, but they haven’t thought it through in a proper way. I use this device daily and I can give you a few examples of how to use the Edge screen better.