Samsung said this week it will make its Galaxy Note Edge smartphone available in the U.S. starting Nov. 14. The latest addition to the popular line of Galaxy phones, the Edge sports a unique curved screen that wraps around the side of the handset.
The thin section of the 5.6-inch AMOLED screen along the phone's flank is designed to provide quick access to email, apps, notifications, weather and news without interfering with what's on the homescreen.
Since it can be viewed from the side, the edge display allows you to, say, see the score of the game or pause your music without opening your phone cover. You could also check the time from bed without lifting the phone off the nightstand or your head off the pillow.
The phone certainly looks different from any other out there, but how much are these conveniences worth? Samsung is betting that they're worth quite a lot -- to the tune of about $100 extra per phone, if you compare the Note Edge to the Galaxy Note 4, released last month.
AT&T will sell the Note Edge for $400 with a two-year contract, or for $946 without one. T-Mobile's $0-down offer charges $36.25 a month for 24 months, for a total cost of $870. A similar payment plan from Sprint squeaks in just under that, at $840, with a plan.
The Galaxy Note 4, which has a 5.7-inch display that ends at the perimeter of the phone's face, but is otherwise virtually the same, costs $100 to $120 less at each of the carriers. Both phones have a 16-megapixel rear-facing camera with optical image stabilization, a wide-angle front-facing camera, and a stylus. They also offer an "ultra power saving mode," that Samsung claims increases standby time up to 24 hours on only 10 percent of battery life.
In order to fully leverage the Edge's standout side screen, Samsung will need app developers to find new ways to incorporate the feature into their products.