On the Samsung Edge, the screen runs around the corner

On the Samsung Edge, the screen runs around the corner

Two new smartphones, its own virtual reality glasses and various accessories: At the start of the International Radio Exhibition (IFA) in Berlin, Samsung’s mobile division dominates the fair with a whole series of world premieres. The highlight of the Unwrap event at Berlin’s Tempodrom is the new high-end smartphone Galaxy Note Edge, whose screen Samsung’s engineers wrapped around the right edge of the phone.

The developers bend an AMOLED display more than 45 degrees around the corner, and that lets the Note Edge leak in a pointed edge. The effect is amazing in the first hands-on test of the “world”: the image runs around the edge of the device, the screen looks limitless on one side.

On the rounded part of the screen, Samsung accommodates buttons for standard actions, such as notifications, sending messages, flashlight, copying content or playing buttons for videos. Since the icons look like virtual buttons on the side of the phone, they do not disturb the image impression, for example when watching video in full screen, when browsing the Internet or playing games.

Side screen area can be configured

Samsung leaves it up to users how to split the extra side screen space, but also offers ready-made toolbars with features such as a pedometer, a search function or a ruler.

The” Edge ” dubbed side screen surface also makes the smartphone a real eye-catcher, Samsung’s designers create a real design innovation with practical benefits in the premium smartphones.

The Samsung Note Edge is – apart from the peripheral screen – identical to Samsung’s second trade fair novelty: The Galaxy Note 4 replaces the Note 3, it is intended as a phablet to appeal to all those business customers for whom the Edge design is too avant-garde.

AMOLED screen with 5.7 inch

For the first time, Samsung is installing a new AMOLED screen with a diameter of 5.7 inches and a resolution of 2056 by 1440 pixels on both phones, which convinces in the test of the “world” with bright colors and strong contrasts.

The screen is significantly sharper and more colorfast in direct comparison with previous models – Samsung calls the new technology Quad HD. In the Note 4, too, the glass is slightly curved over the entire screen surface, which gives a three-dimensional impression, especially when viewing photos.

The most important new feature of the Note 4 is a new input pen, which reacts much more sensitively than the predecessor Note 3. It recognizes both pressure and input angle when writing notes and even allows calligraphic font experiments in the test of the “world” – an effect that is otherwise only known from expensive graphic input tools.

Stylus can “Drag & Drop“

In line with the new pen, Samsung is renovating the in-house user interface of Google’s Android operating system and allowing functions that are otherwise only possible with a mouse on the PC – such as copying content via “drag & drop” or marking websites. The copied content can be stored in a” scrapboard ” named cache and used in other apps.

A second innovation in the software is a focus on multitasking-users of Note Edge and Note 4 can run multiple applications at the same time, overlay them on the screen using pen inputs in window form, shrink them as miniature icons or split the screen between them. The goal of the developers was to make multitasking as easy as possible.

Camera with optical image stabilization

What remains are the cameras and microphones of the Note models: The rear camera has 16 megapixels and, for the first time, minimizes camera shake using optical image stabilization. The front camera with 3.7 megapixels is optimized for self-portraits, can take photos with low depth of field with an aperture of F1.9.

What remains is the audio recording, in which Samsung has found an amazing opportunity for a product innovation: thanks to three directional microphones, the new notes can accurately distinguish between background noise and the voice of an interlocutor, and allow the recording of conversation logs even in noisy environments.

Eight voices distinguish

Even more: When recording in meetings, the phone can tell the individual interlocutors in the room apart – and, if desired, simply hide unpleasant colleagues when playing the recording. The software distinguishes up to eight voices.

With the features, Samsung is clearly aimed at business customers who carry the phablet in their jacket pocket. For German jeans bags or leisure use, such as sports, the notes seem simply too large-that’s why Samsung positions its smartwatch Gear S as an ideal second device.

The Gear S was already shown last week, which thanks to its own mobile chip should not only work as a smartphone extension on the wrist, but also as a standalone device. Samsung is showing matching Bluetooth headphones called “Gear Circle” at IFA, which are worn as a ring around the neck. In order to accept a telephone call via smartwatch, users can pull apart the ring held by magnets and lead the ends into the ears. In the first impression of the “world”, however, the earplugs seemed relatively chunky.

Virtual reality glasses for the Note 4

The latest Samsung innovation in the mobile business is virtual reality glasses based on the new Note 4 smartphone. The “Gear VR” glasses were developed together with the virtual reality pioneer Oculus VR, and rely on the software platform developed by Oculus as well as the same optical lens technology.

The highlight: The VR glasses are marketed as accessories for the new Note 4 smartphone-Samsung simply clamps a Note 4 into a futuristic white – black glasses holder, and then uses its sensors and its screen as a hardware base. The glasses are operated by touchpad, which is housed on the right eyeglass bracket-headphones are missing, but the glasses leave the audio output of the Note 4 free to plug in your own earplugs.

Thanks to the powerful smartphone hardware, the glasses are independent of stationary playback devices such as PCs or game consoles, can be used as a private face cinema on the train or plane.

Virtual reality games with Oculus Rift

VR games also work well in the test of the “world” – even if not the same almost perfect VR impression as the competition glasses Oculus Rift, which tracks the movements of users in space with an external camera. So far, only the Note 4 fits into the frame of the glasses, since only its new Quad HD screen resolves high enough-when trying it out for the first time, the pixel grid of the screen was still weakly visible.

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