Have we got a good one for you today – the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge goes up against the high-end OnePlus One. Both devices are beautifully designed and look and feel like a premium device – the Galaxy Note Edge has more "wow" factor, while the OnePlus One is more conservative in its approach…nothing flashy, strictly functional. Samsung is a household name that most everybody knows, whereas the OnePlus from China may eventually reach that status as supply lines are opening up and more people can order them online for fast delivery.
As one would expect, there are very few similarities between these two devices, down to the operating system – one uses Samsung's TouchWiz and another only uses Android as a base for its CyanogenMod 11S UI. Both the Galaxy Note Edge and the OnePlus One are close to the same size, although the Galaxy Note Edge is a little wider, the displays are close in size, and they both use a Qualcomm Snapdragon branded processor, both have 3GB of RAM and even their batteries are very much alike. They both have the usual suspects – Dual-Band Wi-Fi, NFC, Bluetooth 4.1 and both have a microUSB 2.0 port for charging and data transfer.
Please look at the detailed Specifications in the chart below and you can see just where and how they differ, and then we will look at each individual device and list its pros and cons in order to help us determine the winner of this comparison.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
The new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is Samsung's attempt to bring to us another model with the popular Galaxy Note series features and at the same time show us that they can still be innovative. With the Galaxy Note Edge, Samsung has combined the functionality of the Galaxy Note 4 and added a curved display on the right of the main display. Although it is one big display, the software makes it appear to be a completely separate display that is able to function completely independently from the main display. Developers can use that area to add more functions when they design their apps and in the meantime, it offers that 'WOW!' factor to the look of the device.
The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge uses a 5.6-inch QHD Super AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 x 160 (curved edge) pixels with 524 pixels-per-inch (PPI). It is not only a sharper and brighter display than the OnePlus One's, it also adds the "Edge" twist to the device. The Note Edge (US version) uses the updated Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor clocked at 2.7GHz, while the OnePlus One is still using the older Snapdragon 801 quad-core clocked at 2.5GHz – both are great processors, but the 805 carries with it a few extra features and better graphics chips. Both devices, as we mentioned above, have 3GB of RAM, however, the 32GB Galaxy Note Edge also adds the ability to increase that by the addition of a microSD card slot.
Samsung really improved the camera this time around by increasing the sensor to 16MP, and then added autofocus, LED Flash, OIS, ISOCELL technology and the ability to take live HDR shots. The OnePlus One uses a 13MP sensor, which is not indicative of the picture quality in itself, but the lack of OIS hurts the photo quality of the OnePlus One. The front-facing camera (FFC) on the Galaxy Note Edge is not larger, but at 3.7MP, but does offer a wide-angled lens allowing you the ability to fit more people in your selfies or video chat.
The Galaxy Note Edge uses a 3000mAh battery, 220mAh less that the Galaxy Note 4 because of the curved display, but will still last you every bit of a full day. If the battery ever does become a problem, you can use Samsung's UPSM (Ultra Power Saving Mode) or its Quick Charge 2.0 option to help you get out of a bind. It also comes with many extras that the OnePlus One does not possess – VoLTE and Wi-Fi Calling capable, LTE Cat 6, metal frame and trim, three microphones for noise cancellation and better sound, IR Blaster, download booster, fingerprint scanner, Heart Rate Sensor and UV and Oxygen Saturation sensor. The Note Edge also provides the S-Pen and all of its software and capabilities as well as the curved 'Edge' for added functionality. The Note Edge is running Android 4.4.4 KitKat on all four major US carriers and should, very soon, receive its 5.0.1 Lollipop upgrade. It will run you $399 on a two-year contract and about $850 off-contract.
The OnePlus company is a Chinese startup company that has taken off faster than even they could have imagined – so much so that they were unable to initially keep up with demand – thankfully, the supply is starting to catch up so more people will be able to enjoy the OnePlus One. The small profit margins are matched only by the small inventory they keep on hand, but that is one way that they can keep down the price. The OnePlus One is a high-end device with a mid-range price tag – a combination that everybody loves. While it is not being sold directly in the US market, you can still order one online and have it shipped here, as it will work on the GSM networks of AT&T and T-Mobile, including 4G LTE.
The OnePlus One sports a beautiful 5.5-inch IPS LCD FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels and 401 PPI, which is not quite up to the 524 PPI of the Galaxy Note Edge's QHD display. The OnePlus One uses a Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz – a tried and true processor, but the next generation Snapdragon 805 found in the Note Edge has a few more features, is slightly faster and has better display and graphics capabilities. They both have 3GB of RAM, however, the OnePlus One has only a 16GB or 64GB option and no room for expansion like the Galaxy Note Edge.
The camera is good, but not great – it has a 13MP sensor, autofocus, and a dual-LED flash, but is still has no OIS. It offers up a great 5MP FFC for those social media selfies and video chats. The OnePlus One does have a 3100mAh battery, slightly larger than the 3000mAh in the Galaxy Note Edge, but either one will get you through a full day.
As I said in the Introduction area, both have the usual Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, NFC and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer. The OnePlus One has dual, bottom mounted speakers and while it uses Android 4.4.2 as a base operating system, it runs CyanogenMod 11S UI. It will run on the GSM Bands on AT&T and T-Mobile, including 4G LTE. It will run you $299 for a white 16GB version or $349 for a black 64GB model.
…And The Winner Is…
This was another tough choice – ONLY because of the value offered by the OnePlus One – not because of the specs or desirability of the device. To me, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge outclasses the OnePlus One in every category, including looks. It has a better: display and 'Edge' options, processor, internal storage capability, and cameras at both ends. It is VoLTE and Wi-Fi Call ready, has the download booster, three microphones, an IR Blaster, can handle LTE Cat 6, and better multi-tasking/multi -windows, and the S-Pen and all of its available options and niceties. Notice that I am leaving out the Fingerprint scanner, Heart Rate Sensor, UV and Oxygen Saturation Sensor because some consider some or all of them a gimmick.
The OnePlus One has a great build quality, small bezels, and is quite attractive in an understated way…but as it comes for use in the US, it is an exclusive on the GSM networks of AT&T and T-Mobile. It is a great value for $349 for the 64GB model, but at what 'cost?' I would rather pay $399 for a two-year agreement and completely enjoy the many features of my Galaxy Note Edge on any network…but that's just me. If you feel the need to own your phone, then you would certainly purchase the OnePlus One for a $500 savings over the off-contract price of $850 fro the Galaxy Note Edge.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let me know which one of these two devices excites you the most and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.