Samsung expanded its line of pen-enabled smartphones with a pair of new devices on Wednesday, announcing both the Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge in Berlin with similar launch events taking place around the world. The former was expected as Samsung typically introduces a new Galaxy Note annually. The latter was more of a rumored long shot but it’s the real deal, complete with a display on the side of the handset.
The two Google Android 4.4 smartphones share a number of features, namely a high-resolution 2560 x 1440 screen, 2.7 GHz quad-core processor, 16 megapixel rear camera, 3.7 megapixel front camera, 3 GB of memory and a starting option of 32 GB for internal storage. Both of course, come with Samsung’s S-Pen digital stylus and supporting apps such as Action Memo, Screen Write, Image Clip and Smart Select. Samsung says it has improved the fingerprint sensor on the device as well.
You’d be hard-pressed to notice but the Galaxy Note 4 has a slightly larger display, measuring 5.7-inches diagonally. The Galaxy Note Edge is 0.1-inches smaller but has the unique touchscreen along the right edge of the phone. With it, you can tap your most used application shortcuts for fast access. Notifications can also appear on the side screen, useful for when watching videos on the main display, Samsung says.
Since this type of screen is new, I’ll reserve judgement until after I use it. It could prove valuable but I don’t think it’s the kind of thing you can praise or condemn until you give it a try. I’ll give Samsung credit for the attempt no matter what: By using a curved design and secondary touch display, it shows the company is still willing to innovate and try new ideas.
Watch for the Note 4 to launch in the U.S. next month; pricing and availability will be determined by carriers. AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon and U.S. Cellular will offer the Note 4. Samsung says the Galaxy Note Edge will become available in the fall but it hasn’t shared which, if any, carrier partners it has lined up although T-Mobile has already said it will sell the Note Edge as did Sprint and AT&T.