Samsung’s concept for a smartphone with a slanted screen edge that could easily be viewed from the side is now a reality, in the form of the company’s first-of-its-kind device aptly named the Galaxy Note Edge.
Announced last week at IFA 2014, the smartphone’s wraparound display boasts a 5.6-inch Quad HD+ Super AMOLED at a resolution of 2560 x 1440 pixels, with an additional 160 pixels on the edge which cascades off to the right. The sole curved edge serves as a fully-functional touchscreen independent from the main screen itself, and features the app shortcuts one would typically find along the bottom of a phone’s home screen — such as the dialer, your contacts, web browser and camera.
“The Galaxy Note Edge’s unique curved screen provides quick access to frequently used apps, alerts and device functionality – even when the cover is closed – all with the swipe of a thumb,” the company’s press release stated. The Edge’s side screen offers a dynamic user experience, providing owners with a variety of immersive apps, including camera, video, S Note, ticker board, night clock among several others. Users can also receive notifications directly on the Edge Screen while watching videos without disturbing their viewing session. What this means is that a user would simply have to swipe in order to access their latest Twitter updates, sports scores and an assortment of other alerts.
Similar to the other Galaxy Note family members, the Edge comes with Samsung’s S Pen stylus. Using the pen, a user can do things such as capture images off the screen and edit them on the fly, take handwritten notes, and more.
The company’s latest design will run Android 4.4 KitKat, and will be powered by a 2.7-gigahertz quad-core processor. The system also is equipped with 3 gigabytes of RAM, with storage options of 32 or 64 gigabytes, and a microSD slot that offers expansion up to 64 gigabytes. The Note Edge’s rear-facing camera is a 16-megapixel shooter with smart optical image stabilization, while the front-facing lens is 3.7 megapixels.
In terms of connectivity, the Note Edge will support up to LTE Cat 6 for 300Mbps download speeds, and also includes next-generation 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.1, infrared LED remote control, and NFC technology.
While the Galaxy Note Edge puts Samsung ahead of the ‘curve,’ it looks like we’re in for a flexible future. As previously reported here on Bits & Pieces, the share of flexible smartphones in the overall smartphone market is expected to reach 40% in 2018, up from merely 0.2% last year. This should come with little surprise following recent analyst forecasts projecting the flexible display market to cross the $3.89 billion threshold by 2020 – growing at an impressively high CAGR from 2014 to 2020.
As more tech giants look to curved displays, we will be right there to offer our magic touch. Atmel’s Sensor Hub and MaxTouch T are high-performance solutions to bridge the scaling of these touch display markets while application use-cases will surely grow of smartphones and display markets. The MaxTouch T series architecture combines the best of mutual and self-capacitance to ensure optimal touch performance with the highest noise immunity and lowest power consumption. As for Atmel’s Sensor Hub, in more frequency for new products (embedded designs and display markets) are going to demand upon higher levels of integration especially when there are other fusion of data involved. Many of these tasks require the simultaneous analysis and fusion of data from different sensors and sensor types. These can include motion sensors (accelerometers, gyroscopes and magnetometers), environment sensors (light level, color, temperature, pressure, humidity) and many others. To ease the design and build out of such new products, Atmel has partnered with the leading sensor manufacturers. Sensor fusion specialists can be available to provide a complete, easy to implement Sensor Hub Solution to facilitate the flexible display market.