When it comes to Samsung, it would seem that almost nothing is off limits when it comes to feature and design. I have to admit, Samsung has made some pretty bold moves over the past several years. Some of them, like the (once) frighteningly massive size of the original Galaxy Note device, has paid off. Others, like the heart rate monitor (which would be a decent feature in theory) isn’t exactly the most useful feature to have on your smartphone - who would hold their smartphone like that throughout an entire workout? Either way, the point is that Samsung, like any other company, has their highs and lows when it comes to design and feature experimentation.
When it comes to one of their latest experiments, the “edge”, it seems a little early to tell how things will pan out for the feature given that the first edge device we’ve seen came out just last September. The Galaxy Note Edge was released alongside Samsung’s Galaxy Note 4. The Galaxy Note Edge was almost identical to the Galaxy Note 4, except for the fact that it featured a sloped edge on the right side of the device and cost considerably more than the Note 4. At the time, I considered it a niche product. However, we recently discovered that LG had plans to release a double-edged device of its own during CES 2015. Now it seems that Samsung plans to release a double edge device as well in the form of a Galaxy S6 variant.
From the looks of it, there will be at least two variants of the Galaxy S6 - the “normal” one, without the edges, and then this other one, with the edges. If it turns out to be true (and all signs are pointing to “yes” given that Samsung has trademarked the Galaxy S6 Edge name already) can we expect the “nicheness” of the edge design to become normalcy?
I seriously doubt it, but now that we have three different phones that are (or are in the process of) using the design, I do wonder if the edge has the potential to become the new “normal” for smartphones. So far we have had this slab design, but perhaps the edge really does have the potential to become the new everyday design.
So far, there hasn’t been a ton of uses for the edge, but it seems like there’s a lot of potential there. Thus far I haven’t had any desire to have a phone with these sloping edges, but I suppose with enough work and features put into these things it could be a pretty great feature. With that being said, I would still prefer the edge to remain in that niche category - I don’t have a problem with the slab design. I prefer the slab design, at least for now. While the edge is unique and, well, edgy, it’s not so developed at this point that I think it should become something every phone should have yet. Perhaps in the future I will feel differently about it, but right now I think the design should be kept to a minimum until the ball really gets rolling on it.
At least Samsung seems to plan to release one of each, which I think is a pretty good idea. I normally jab at Samsung for releasing so many variants, but this is a case where I would rather see too many instead of one potential model that might not be what everybody wants.
With that in mind, I did make mention of the Galaxy Note at the beginning of the article. One of the selling points of the phone was how big it was compared to other phones at the time. For a while it seemed like it would be a hard sell because who would really want a phone that big? Yet here we are, with “phablet” size being one of the most popular sizes of smartphones on the market today. The idea of the edge design going mainstream is in its infancy, which is why I hope the idea stays niche for now; but perhaps sometime in the future, maybe a year or two from now, it will be more common than not.