With a Samsung Galaxy Note Edge release date in sight, consumers are starting to weigh their current device and other top devices against Samsung’s next flagship smartphone. In this Galaxy Note Edge vs Galaxy Note 3 comparison, we take a look at the key differences buyers should be aware of as we march deeper into the fall.
A month ago, Samsung took to the stage in Berlin, Germany and announced a handful of new products including the Samsung Galaxy Note 4, Gear VR, Gear S smartwatch, and a unique new product called the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. The Galaxy Note Edge will be a part of the storied Galaxy Note series though it’s unlike any Galaxy Note that’s ever been released.
While it shares some things in common with the Galaxy Note 4, the Galaxy Note Edge is a little bit different. While it includes an array of powerful features, it also comes with a unique display that bends over the side and provides some extra space, and features, to its users. Of course, there are no Galaxy Note Edge users yet because the device still isn’t out. In fact, it’s still without a release date.
Even so, consumers are still weighing the Galaxy Note Edge versus the competition. Two of the Galaxy Note Edge’s key competitors will be the Galaxy Note 4 and iPhone 6 Plus but we expect the Galaxy Note 3 to garner some interest as well.
The Samsung Galaxy Note 3 is Samsung’s former flagship and a device that remains on shelves as a cheaper alternative to Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Note 4 and Galaxy Note Edge models. It’s a device that packs a number of solid hardware features, is in possession of Android 4.4 KitKat, and features an S Pen stylus that works similar to the S Pen found on the Galaxy Note Edge. It’s a device worthy of attention and it’s a device that’s still in the hands of many users, some of whom might be looking to upgrade.
This Galaxy Note Edge vs. Galaxy Note 3 comparison will address some of the key points that current owners and prospective Galaxy Note 3 buyers will want to keep in mind as we push toward the Galaxy Note Edge release date.
S Pen & Curved Screen
Both the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge and Galaxy Note 3 come with big displays that are perfect for gaming, watch movies and the S Pen stylus that Samsung bundles with both. However, their screens and S Pens aren’t created equal.
Let’s start with the S Pen. Samsung’s made some significant improvements to this year’s S Pen including increased sensitivity to make the note taking experience on the Galaxy Note Edge feel more like writing on paper. More sensitivity also leads to better looking text from handwriting.These improvements are not found on the Galaxy Note 3.
Samsung’s also made some significant improvements to the S Pen’s applications including, Air Command, S Note and Voice Memo, and more. These improvements are going to be a core part of the Galaxy Note Edge experience and they’re features that may not arrive on the Galaxy Note 3 in the future. It’s not clear.
The other feature is its unique display. The Galaxy Note Edge comes with a 5.6-inch screen that features Quad HD resolution. That bests the full HD resolution on the Galaxy Note 3. But that arguably isn’t the biggest difference.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge features a display that curves down over the edge of the device. Thus the name. The Galaxy Note Edge and its screen can be seen in the video below.
The bent display offers some advantages. The bent part of the Galaxy Note Edge’s display not only offers better viewing angles for content, it also provides users with an extremely quick way to access their most used applications, settings and more.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge bent display can also display notifications on the side without pausing or interrupting content that’s running on the main screen. So if you’re watching a movie and you get a text or an email, it will appear on the side as opposed to on the main screen. This is only the beginning as Samsung will deliver a Galaxy Note Edge SDK that will allow developers to take full advantage of the new display type.
The question you’ll need to ask yourself is, do you need the curved display? Samsung’s talking it up but at this point, it’s nothing more than a gimmick, a concept that looks great but probably won’t be necessary for most users.
Samsung’s changes to the S Pen though are tangible and extremely impressive and that, along with the curved display, are two features in particular that Galaxy Note Edge vs. Galaxy Note 3 buyers will need to take a close look at in the days ahead.
Samsung typically supports smartphones for two years before kicking them to the curb. That could change with the improvements to hardware though we suspect that older devices will still lose out on updates and features. The Galaxy Note 3 is older than the Galaxy Note Edge and that should come with some draw backs.
The first is that there is no guarantee the Galaxy Note 3 will get all of these new TouchWiz features, features that include changes to Multi-Window View. Older devices tend to get bits and pieces of Samsung’s new software but never the entire change log. Samsung needs to be able to sell its new products and software is a big part of that.
The other draw back is the length of software support. The Galaxy Note 3 has already received one year of software support, the Galaxy Note Edge isn’t even out yet. We expect the Galaxy Note Edge to outlast the Galaxy Note 3 and that’s something that you’ll need to think about before jumping in with one or the other. If you can live with an early death, the cheaper Galaxy Note 3 price tag might be worth it. More on that in a second.
Galaxy Note Edge Release Date
We still don’t know when the Galaxy Note Edge release date is. We’ve heard that it will arrive in late October after the Galaxy Note 4 though that information applies to Korea and Japan and no one else. The U.S. Galaxy Note Edge release appears set for the fall while the UK and Canada face delays. Canada won’t get the Galaxy Note Edge until 2015.
What this means is that you’ll likely need to wait a few weeks, or months, to go hands on with the Galaxy Note Edge. Due to its display technology, we highly recommend comparing the two, physically, before making a commitment. You’ll just need to decide if the Galaxy Note Edge’s unique features are worth the price of admission. For many of you, they may not be.
Galaxy Note Edge Release Will Be Limited
Another thing. If you live anywhere outside of a high-end market, there’s a good chance that you won’t be able to weigh the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge vs Galaxy Note 3.
While the Galaxy Note 3 is found on carriers and regions all over the world, the Galaxy Note Edge is only confirmed for four carriers in the U.S. and only a few regions worldwide.
Right now, by our count, it’s confirmed for Korea, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. We’re expecting it to hit China and other European nations though we are still expecting a very limited release.
The Galaxy Note Edge been touted as a high-end device aimed at the high-end market. Samsung made this explicitly clear in several controlled leaks including one from Bloomberg earlier this year. Earlier this month, a Samsung executive said that the Galaxy Note Edge would be a “limited edition concept.” In other words, it’s not expected to be a mass produced device like the Galaxy Note 4.
Samsung also recently said that “the Galaxy Note Edge will be released in selected markets” which points to a very controlled release in a limited amount of markets around the world. In other words, unless you live in a key battleground, there’s a chance that you’ll be unable to score a Galaxy Note Edge on your favorite carrier.
Galaxy Note Edge vs. Galaxy Note 3 Price
As we’ve noted many times, the Galaxy Note 3 is cheaper than ever. For $99 or so on-contract, you can pick up a Galaxy Note 3 on most carriers. For a device as powerful as the Galaxy Note 3, this is a pretty big steal. Remember, it was originally priced at $300.
Prepare to pay far more for the Galaxy Note Edge. The Galaxy Note Edge is expected to be more expensive than the $299.99 Galaxy Note 4. We don’t know how much the 32GB model will cost consumers but every single price leak we’ve seen hints at a premium price point.
What this means is that there will be some added pressure to do your homework ahead of time. You’re really going to have to buckle down and decide if the curved display, the new S Pen and the Galaxy Note Edge’s software are worth the extra money. That’s something we can’t decide for you though we will be able to make some recommendations in the weeks ahead.