We all knew Samsung was preparing to launch the Note 4 at IFA this year, but no one expected to see a second version with a screen which curves around its right-hand edge.
That’s exactly what we have with the Galaxy Note 4 Edge, an Android flagship with a 5.6-inch screen which covers the front and wraps around the right side of the phone, where extra controls, icons and notifications are displayed.
Borrowing much from the regular Note 4’s form factor, the Note 4 Edge is a solidly built smartphone with Samsung’s new-and-improved design and build quality first seen on the Galaxy Alpha a few weeks ago. The phone has two metal bands around its outer edge and a general feeling of quality lacking in all previous Notes.
But of course the biggest attraction is that curved screen. The so-called Edge Display shows a list of app icons by default, but can be swiped to show the weather forecast, stock prices, notifications, or trending topics on Twitter.
The best bit about the Edge Display is that it can be lit up independent ally to the rest of the phone, so when laid flat it can act as a bedside alarm clock, or with the main screen covered by a case the Edge Display can subtly show you incoming notifications at a glance.
Samsung hopes the Edge Display will capture developers’ imagination and an SDK (software development kit) is now available for those looking to create new uses for the screen.
We reckon the Note 4 Edge is one of the most interesting products to launch at IFA this year, and although it could be dismissed by many as a gimmick, we hope developers give it a shot and create some cool uses for it.
Samsung is yet to announce a price or release date for the Note 4 Edge - or which markets it will be sold in - but we expect to see it somewhere around £550 to £600 SIM-free, similar to the regular Note 4.