The second half of 2014 proved to be an exciting time for fans of phablet devices. Samsung, the company which arguably started the whole phablet thing with the Note, released not one, but two new Note handsets. In addition to the Note 4 flagship, the company introduced the innovative Note Edge, which kept most of the Note 4's assets, but also added an intriguing curved screen edge to the equation. What's more, Samsung's arch-rival in the mobile space, Apple, also decided to jump on the phablet bandwagon with the launch of the iPhone 6 Plus. This means that lovers of excessively big screens on mobile devices have more choice than ever, and for the first time since the advent of phablets, that choice isn't narrowed down to Android.
We've already compared the Note 4 to the 6 Plus, and as you can imagine, it was an epic face-off. Now, however, we're going to experience something a bit more different. In comes the Galaxy Note Edge – Samsung's experimental phablet with curved screen, which is here to test the waters and see if the market is ready to welcome such an offbeat idea. Of course, the more pressing issue right now is to determine the exact benefits of the Edge screen, because, after all, that's what the Note Edge is all about – that little, curved screen area to the side. In order to prove that it's any good, the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge will inevitably have to face the iPhone 6 Plus. Apple's first phablet didn't quite redefine the way we think of phablets, but it did bring the iOS experience to the super-big-screen world, and for many consumers out there, that was enough to spark their interest in the 6 Plus, and the category as a whole. An experimental twist to a successful formula, versus an influential product with powerful characteristics that are easy to take advantage of... It's bound to be interesting!
Super-sized, super-thin iPhone design meets Samsung's futuristic, but elegant proposition
The Note Edge is among the better-looking Samsung phones, we dare say. Whether due to the curved screen edge, or the refined body with eye-pleasing proportions, the Note Edge simply isn't as uncouth as the Note 4. Instead, it has a more elegant, sophisticated kind of look. Even then, the iPhone 6 Plus is a very tough opponent to beat in the design department.
Apple's handset has an extraordinarily great in-hand feel, thanks to its high-quality materials and razor-thin profile. Because of their physical characteristics, the iPhone 6 Plus is way more comfortable to hold and work with; unfortunately, the edge near the curved screen side of the Note Edge is very thin, making it feel a bit sharp and unpractical for holding. Other than that, the Edge (6.04 x 3.09 x 0.33 inches (153.5 x 78.6 x 8.5 mm)) is pretty much of the same overall dimensions as the 6 Plus (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches (158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1 mm)), except for the thickness, that is. There also isn't a great difference in terms of weight - the 6 Plus is a just a tad lighter with its 6.07 oz (172 g), compared to the Edge's 6.21 oz (176 g).
Physical keys work well on both phones, but those on the iPhone 6 Plus are way better, thanks to their defined, clicky behavior. On top of that, we tend to prefer the positioning of the 6 Plus' power key, which is situated on the right hand side of the phone, instead of on the top, as it's on the Note Edge. When it comes to such massive smartphones, having the power button on the side almost always makes it easier to reach.
Both trying to be impressively high-end with their home buttons, the Note Edge and iPhone 6 Plus also offer integrated fingerprint scanners for a higher level of security. Once again, there isn't anything particularly bad about the Edge's home key, but that of the 6 Plus gets the higher marks for comfort and clickiness.