Samsung unveiled the Galaxy Note Edge with an OLED display that wraps around the edge of the phone at IFA. The rounded display is used for displaying various tools, including tools specific to the app. We had a chance to play with the phone.
Based on a flexible OLED display
In essence, the Galaxy Note Edge is a Note 4, but with 160 pixels extra (2560x1440 + 160) in the right side, where the screen curves. If you did not know by now one of the unique features of OLED is that you can create flexible plastic displays –that is the big story Samsung is trying to tell here.
The curved section of the screen is meant to display secondary information such as menus, weather, fitness data or simply tools related to the app you are using – for example drawing tools while in the drawing app. You can switch between different “panels” by swiping your finger over it.
It is not a bad concept, but not incredibly useful either. The panels could easily have been integrated on a flat screen, too, but over time Samsung and developers will probably find better uses for it. It would be practical if it could deliver notifications while the rest of the screen was off.
Galaxy Edge is a big phone; the display alone measures 5.6 inches in diagonal. While holding it in your right hand you will often accidently touch the curved display, which at times makes something pop up on screen. It was much easier holding the phone in the left hand and using the right hand to navigate the screen. However, this is not very practical for one-handed use, but we imagine that you can get used to it over time.
Right now, it feels a little gimmicky, but at the same time it demonstrates the potential of the amazing OLED technology. This is just the prelude of things to come. Now make truly flexible products for us, Samsung!