When Samsung debuted the asymmetrical Galaxy Note Edge alongside the Galaxy Note 4 back in 2014, consumers expressed mixed reactions. On the one hand, the idea of having a usable secondary display was pretty neat; on the other, the Edge cost $100 more than the Note 4 and many wondered whether it was worth the extra cost.
The Note Edge wasn’t nearly as successful as the Note 4, as numbers would go on to show. At the beginning of 2015, it was said that the Note Edge sold 630,000 units, whereas the Note 4 sold more than 4.5 million units within its first month. The first half of 2015 also brought the unveiling of the highly anticipated Galaxy S6 along with another device that featured an edged display, the Galaxy S6 Edge. The Galaxy S6 Edge, much like the Note Edge, also cost $100 more than the more traditionally designed S6.
The difference between the Note Edge and the S6 Edge, visually, is simply that the S6 Edge features edged displays on both ends of the smartphone instead of the Note Edge’s one-sided edge display. Functionality-wise, the Note Edge has the advantage by having all of the features of the S6 Edge and more such as app shortcuts, music control, games, and S Health data. Additionally, the Note Edge also has a tool panel that can toggle a ruler, stopwatch, flashlight, timer, and voice recorder.
Although the S6 Edge does have some usefulness to its edges, it was primarily created for notification purposes and, as an added bonus, turned out to be a tall glass of water when it comes to visuals. The S6 and S6 Edge both ended up being a disappointment to Samsung in regards to sales and profits initially, but sales did pick up once Samsung slashed prices of both devices in order to alleviate some of the initial loss. Sales or no sales, the overall idea of a curved display managed to leave a lasting impression. The same dual-edged design seen in the S6 Edge was also used for the BlackBerry Priv, and is expected to make a return this year with the alleged Galaxy S7.
As for the Note Edge, the Note 5 debuted solo this year with no indication that Samsung has plans to recreate the Note Edge again.
While it would seem that the dual-edged display has won in terms of the more popular “edge” design, I have to wonder if such a design will ever feature functionality more like the Note Edge. I would think that having a ruler, timer, music control, app shortcuts, and everything else the Note Edge has would be something people would want in addition to what the S Edge already offers. I would like to see how a Galaxy S Edge phone would sell if it had all of the features of the Note Edge. I strongly believe that the wonky design of the Note Edge is what caused its sales to fall short, along with the opinion that $100 was too much of an additional cost; $50 seems more appropriate. But if they’re going to charge $100 extra, I would want to get as much functionality out of my edges as possible. Then again, perhaps being almost purely aesthetic is an appeal all on its own.
Readers, what do you think about dual-edge displays? Do you think they should have more functionality, or do you think they are good enough as aesthetic additions? Let us know in the comments below!