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Samsung’s weird Galaxy Note Edge will go on sale in the U.S. for as much as $400 on contract

Thinking about picking up a Galaxy Note 4, but wish it was a little bit weirder? If you can hold on until November 14, the odd Galaxy Note Edge will become available in the United States from the big carriers.

It’s not going to be a cheap phone, and its price will largely depend on which carrier you want to buy it from. Not all availability details from the various carriers have been announced, but AT&T plans to sell the Galaxy Note Edge without a contract for $945.99. At Sprint, its off-contract price will be $840 — which is significantly more than the vanilla Galaxy Note 4, which starts at $720 at the same carrier.

But the real surprise is that the carriers are planning to subsidize Samsung’s oddest phone. AT&T will give you a discount if you buy one on a two-year contract, but it will still cost a whopping $400 even after the subsidy.

Photo by Kif Leswing/Gigaom
Photo by Kif Leswing, Gigaom

Like the Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy Note Edge is a high-end Android device, with a 5.6-inch screen with a 1440 x 2560 resolution, a 2.7GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 processor and a host of Samsung sensors, including a fingerprint scanner and heart rate monitor. But the main difference from the Galaxy Note 4 is the curved right edge of the screen, which usually displays a shortcut bar that can stay awake even when the main screen is off. Eventually, [company]Samsung[/company] wants developers to make apps for the edge screen, although that’s a tough sell with only one handset on the market with the curved Edge screen.

In my short experience checking it out in September, I’m dubious about the ultimate utility for the edge screen, but there are a couple of compelling ways to use it, including as an alarm clock.

The Galaxy Note Edge probably won’t sell nearly as many handsets as the regular Galaxy Note 4, because it’s ultimately a niche device, which the price reflects. Even Samsung executives acknowledge that the it’s a “limited edition device” that’s “technology-intensive to mass produce.” But if you’re looking for an attention-grabbing phone, and cost is not an issue, the Galaxy Note Edge is one of your best choices this holiday season.