Samsung Galaxy Edge Series: What You Need To Know

History and details about each release

The Galaxy Edge Series is characterized by a curved edge. Samsung

The Samsung Galaxy Edge series, which premiered in 2014, is part of Samsung's flagship smartphone and phablet line which features screens that curve around one or both edges of a device. Here's a look at how this series has grown from an experimental phablet to a must-have device.

The edge feature is a bit different in each iteration of the series, but it started as a way to see notifications without unlocking the phone and evolved into a mini command center. Samsung's flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ feature curved screens, despite lacking the Edge designation.

The Edge-style screens could mean that all or most Galaxy smartphones will have curved screens going forward and that the Edge series is diverging with the Flagship Galaxy smartphone line. 

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+

Samsung Galaxy

Manufacturer: Samsung
Display: 5.8 in Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (S8); 6.2 in Quad HD+ Super AMOLED (S8+)
Resolution: 2960x1440 @ 570ppi (S8); 2960x1440 @ 529 PPI (S8+)
Front camera: 8 MP (both)
Rear camera: 12 MP (both)
Initial Android version: 7.0 Nougat
Release Date: April 2017

The Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ are Samsung's 2017 flagship phones. The two devices share many features, such as camera resolution and perform similarly in battery life and other benchmarks, but the S8+ is noticeably larger. Its 6.2-inch screen puts it squarely in phablet territory, though the S8's 5.8-inch screen pushes boundaries. While these phones aren't technically Edge models, they certainly look the part with screens that wrap around the sides, with barely noticeable bezels.

Aside from overall size (and weight) and display size, the two models have a few other differences. The S8 has 64 GB memory, while the S8+ comes in 64 GB and 128 GB. The S8+ also has a slightly longer rated battery life. 

The Edge functionality is taken up a notch here, with more than a dozen Edge panels to download. By default, the panel displays your top apps and contacts, but you can also download a note-taking app, calculator, calendar, and other widgets.

The phones are rated to survive up to 1.5 meters underwater for 30 minutes and are dust resistant.

The main complaint from reviewers is that the fingerprint scanner on both devices is too close to the camera lens, making it hard to find and easy to smudge the lens. The sensor has to be on the back of the phone because the bezels are razor thin.

Samsung Galaxy S8 and S8+ Features

  • Always-On Display: The time and date or calendar always appears on the screen, as well as unread notifications.
  • Iris Scanner: Galaxy S8 and S8+ users can unlock their device in a new way: with their eyes. Reviewers say its reliable, but may not work well in very bright light and you may need to take off your glasses if you wear them.
  • Bluetooth 5: The Galaxy S8 is the first phone with this version of Bluetooth, which can connect at a distance of 120 feet away. As of late 2017, though, there aren't any Bluetooth 5 devices with which to test this feature out.
  • Samsung Bixby: Samsung's virtual assistant, Bixby, is built into both phones. It responds to voice commands, set up reminders, and control most of your phone's functions.
  • MicroSD slot: This isn't usually a notable feature, but Samsung has been known to eschew the memory card slot in some of its Flagship devices. Both devices will accept cards up to 256 GB.

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge

Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge
Samsung

Manufacturer: Samsung
Display: 5.5 in Super AMOLED Dual edge screen
Resolution: 2560x1440 @ 534 PPI
Front camera: 5 MP
Rear camera: 12 MP
Initial Android version: 6.0 Marshmallow
Release Date: March 2016

The 5.5-inch Galaxy S7 Edge is a significant upgrade over the S6 edge, with a bigger screen, a larger and longer-lasting battery, and a more comfortable grip. Like the Galaxy G8 and G8+, it has an Always-On Display, so you can see the time and date and notifications without unlocking the phone. The Edge panel is easier to access than on previous models. You no longer have to return to the home screen; just swipe in from the right side of the screen. The panel can display news, weather, a ruler, and shortcuts to up to 10 of your favorite apps and contacts. You can also add shortcuts to actions such as a composing a message to a friend or launching the camera.

Other notable features include:

  • A camera with fast focus and shutter speed, plus excellent photos.
  • A Selfie Flash mode for better lit pictures of you and your friends.
  • 4K resolution video. 
  • The ability to survive up to 1.5 meters underwater for 30 minutes.
  • Dust resistance to keep the grit out.
  • Support for wireless and fast charging.
  • A Qualcomm Snapdragon 820 Octa-core processor runs cooler and faster than previous versions.
  • 4GB of RAM vs. the S6 Edge’s 3GB.
  • A MicroSD slot that accepts cards up to 200 GB.

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge+

Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge
Wikimedia Commons

Manufacturer: Samsung
Display:  5.1 in Super AMOLED (Edge); 5.7 in Super AMOLED (Edge+)
Resolution: 1440 x 2560 @ 577ppi
Front camera: 5 MP
Rear camera: 16 MP
Initial Android version: 5.0 Lollipop
Release Date: April 2015

The Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and S6 Edge+ feature two curved edges, compared to the Galaxy Note Edge's one. The Note Edge also has a removable battery and a MicroSD slot, which both the S6 Edge and Edge+ lack. The S6 Edge+ has a larger screen, but it's lighter in weight than the Note Edge.

The S6 Edge comes in three memory capacities: 32, 64, 128 GB, while the Edge+ is available in only 32 or 64 GB. It won't surprise anyone that the more substantial Edge+ has a more capacious battery: 3000mAh vs. the S6 Edge's 2600mAh. That's necessary to power its giant screen (6 inches bigger than the S6 Edge's), though both displays have the same resolution.

The Edge panel on the S6 Edge and Edge+ has limited functionality compared to the S7 Edge and the Note Edge. You can designate your top five contacts and get color-coded notifications in the Edge panel when one of them calls you or sends a message, but that's it.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Flickr

Manufacturer: Samsung
Display: 5.6 in Super AMOLED
Resolution: 1600 x 2560 @ 524ppi
Front camera: 3.7 MP
Rear camera: 16 MP
Initial Android version: 4.4 KitKat
Release Date: November 2014

The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge is an Android phablet that introduced the Edge panel concept. Unlike the Edge devices that followed it, the Note Edge had only one curved edge and was regarded more as an experiment than a fully fleshed out device. Like many early Galaxy devices, the Note Edge has a removable battery and a microSD slot (accepting cards up to 64 GB).

The Note Edge's edge screen has three functions: notifications, shortcuts, and widgets, also called Edge panels. The idea was to make it easy to view notifications and conduct simple actions without unlocking the phone. You can add as many app shortcuts as you want on the Edge panel and create folders as well. In addition to notifications, you can view the time and weather. In the settings, you can select which types of notifications you'd like to receive on the Edge panel, so it's not too cluttered.

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