Do we have a good one for you tonight – the newest Samsung Galaxy Note Edge versus the bread and butter flagship of Samsung, the Samsung Galaxy S5. Many refer to the Galaxy Note series as Samsung's true flagship, and while it is at the top of their food chain, a real flagship should be the device that the company expects to sell the most of and goes up against the HTC One's, the LG G3's and the Sony Xperia Z series. Each year, the Galaxy S is released first, followed by the Note series in the fall – each one feeds off one another, stealing upgrades upon each rendition.
Generally, the design of the Galaxy Note series and Galaxy S series were almost identical, with the Note being just a little larger. However, when the new Galaxy S5 was met with less than an enthusiastic reception, Samsung did two things – first they switched to an all-metal frame and trim to silence the plastic critics and they released a second version on the Galaxy Note, the Galaxy Note Edge to silence their 'lack of innovation' critics. Today we will look at the Galaxy Note Edge and compare it to the Galaxy S5 – to see where Samsung made some improvements and if they went far enough.
There is very little about these two devices that are the same. The screens are both Samsung's great Super AMOLED technology and are only one-half inch apart in size. Both US versions use a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, but different models. They both offer a 32GB internal storage option and they both have a microSD card slot to expand that storage. The Galaxy Note Edge and Galaxy S5 use the same 16MP sensor in the main camera with Samsung's ISOCELL technology for better low-light pictures…they both have autofocus and a LED flash, but the Note Edge takes its camera a step further by adding OIS and the ability to take Live HDR photographs.
They both have the usual Dual-Band Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1 LE, NFC capability, a microUSB port (v2.0 in Note Edge and v3.0 in Galaxy S5), they both have VoLTE and Wi-Fi calling capabilities, they both have an IR Blaster, fingerprint scanner and Heart Rate Sensor. They both are on all major US carriers and running 4.4.4 KitKat.
Check out the Specifications below and really compare them side-by-side…then we will look at each device on an individual basis and point out their strengths and weaknesses. After that, I will pick the winner based on specs and execution.
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
The new Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is half Galaxy Note 4 and half a hybrid – it has all the characteristics of the Note 4 and it brings some of its own characteristics to the party. The right side of the display curves downward forming its own second display that operates independently from the main display. According to Samsung, there is only one display, however, the software actually makes it look like there are two separate and distinct displays.
The Galaxy Note Edge comes with a 5.6-inch Super AMOLED QHD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1440 x 160 pixels and 524 pixels-per-inch (PPI). This is going up against the 5.1-inch, 432 PPI display of the Galaxy S5. In the US, the Note Edge uses the newest Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 quad-core clocked at 2.7GHz going up against the Galaxy S5's Snapdragon 801 quad-core processor clocked at 2.5GHz. The Note Edge packs 3GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage compared to only 2GB of RAM and 16GB/32GB of storage in the Galaxy S5 – both have a microSD card to expand that memory.
We already discussed the main camera differences with the Note Edge adding OIS and live HDR photos. The Note Edge also improves over the 2MP FFC on the Galaxy S5 with a 3.7MP wide-angle lens. This not only gives you more pixels, but also allows you to fit more people into your social media selfies and video chats. The 3,000mAh battery in the Note Edge is slightly larger than the 2,800mAh battery found in the Galaxy S5 – Samsung had to shave off 220mAh off the Galaxy Note 4's battery to fit it under the curved display.
As far as extras over the Galaxy S5, the Note Edge does have the S-Pen and software choices, a little larger display for multi-windows, LTE Cat 6, metal frame and trim, three microphones for noise cancellation, download booster, and adds a UV and Oxygen Saturation Sensor. Last, but certainly not least, is the 'Edge,' where developers can add even more functionality than the Note series already has. It gives the device a great grip and that WOW appeal from onlookers, as well as a premium feel.
Samsung Galaxy S5
The design of Samsung Galaxy S5 is a little better than the Galaxy S4 – it has a nicer feel in your hand and the infamous dimpled back makes for a firm grip and a very nice looking smartphone. It was not what many of the critics were looking for or even expecting, but after the 'dust settled,' we are seeing many very happy Galaxy S5 owners, especially those coming from the Galaxy S3 on their two-year upgrade.
The Galaxy S5 has a slightly smaller display than the Galaxy Note Edge – 5.1-inches versus 5.6-inches – but there are two real differences – one is the resolution with 'only' Full HD on the Galaxy S5 or 1080p while the Galaxy Note Edge has the QHD display. It is powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 quad-core clocked at 2.5GHz with 2GB of RAM and most models have 32GB of storage…with the processor and RAM slightly less than the Note Edge. With both devices you can add up to 128GB of additional storage with a microSD card.
The main 16MP shooter is the same but they added OIS on the Note Edge, and the 2MP Front-Facing Camera (FFC) is a little less than the 3.7MP on the Note Edge as well as it having a wide-angle lens. The battery is a respectable 2,800mAh and not much smaller than the 3,000mAh battery in the Note Edge.
As far as extras over the Galaxy Note Edge – it is IP67 certified, so there is some water resistance. But other than that, it is slightly smaller, and would be easier for small hands or one-handed operation and it does have a price advantage of $199 on a two-year contract…although we have seen it for much less as a special. It is running the same Android 4.4.4 KitKat as the Galaxy Note Edge.
…And The Winner Is…
As I am sure, there are no surprises that I picked the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge as the winner in this comparison – is it too expensive, yes. The Galaxy S5 offers a true value at this point in time for the hardware you get, and if you are looking for a bargain, then by all means pick up a Galaxy S5 and you will not be disappointed.
The Galaxy Note Edge offers a better display, better processor, more memory, better main and FFCs, three microphones for noise cancellation and better sound for your voice on calls, Quick Charge 2.0 and Download Booster. You also get a smartphone that looks like no other with its 'curved edge' design, and of course, the S-Pen and all of its attributes and software and ease of using Multi-Windows, cut and paste, etc. This all comes at a premium cost of $399 on a two-year contract and only you can decide if it is worth the extra money.
Please hit us up on our Google+ Page and let us know which one of these two great devices you would pick to win this comparison and WHY…as always, we would love to hear from you.