EXPANDING THE GALAXY NOTE FAMILY
For the past three years, Samsung announced a new generation of GALAXY Note smartphone at IFA, and some might say it has become rather routine. This year, Samsung expectedly unveiled the next Note update, the GALAXY Note 4. However, they also threw a curveball into the mix, revealing another member of the Note family, the GALAXY Note Edge.
The GALAXY Note 4 is your typical new generation device update. It sports a 5.7-inch AMOLED display with a higher resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 pixels against its predecessor. The GALAXY Note 4 is also the second device in Samsung’s portfolio beside the GALAXY Alpha to sport a metal frame, which should silence critics who had been slamming Samsung for not doing enough to improve the build quality and feel of its flagship devices. Interestingly, this was a topic that Samsung repeatedly took advantage off in lieu of “Bendgate”, the event spawned from a social media frenzy just days into the launch of Apple’s latest iPhone 6 Plus devices, which were reported to be bending under pressure of tight pants and an infamous YouTube video of an iPhone 6 Plus being bent with bare hands.
What’s the deal with the Edge?
The GALAXY Note Edge breaks away from the whole ‘slimmer-is-better’ mantra for smartphone design. At a glance, you can consider it as a slightly smaller and curvier variant of the GALAXY Note 4, but what sets it apart is the implementation of a unique curved edge on its 5.6-inch AMOLED panel. Samsung claims the curved edge allows users to access frequently used apps and view alerts or notifications without interfering with whatever tasks they are doing on the device. Examples of what the edge on the Note Edge can be used for include: full access to camera controls for maximum screen real estate, placing folders for quick shortcut access, telling the time when the main screen is off, and as a ruler when you need to measure things in a pinch.
As with any new device, both the GALAXY Note 4 and Note Edge feature performance upgrades, boasting a 2.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor and 3GB of RAM to ensure a smooth experience for just about any modern app you want to throw at them.
Other notable new features are the inclusion of optical image stabilization for better low-light photos and steadier video recording, a 3.7-megapixel front-facing camera with a bright f/1.9 aperture, and a more pressure sensitive S Pen.
The market reception to the new GALAXY Note devices is critical in determining whether Samsung can bounce back from its disappointing Q2 earnings report which saw its first year-over-year drop in net profit in almost three years. Against the backdrop overwhelming demand for Apple’s iPhone 6 models, it remains to be seen if the GALAXY Note devices can hold the fort for Samsung this year.