Is the Galaxy Note Edge doomed to the same fate as the Samsung Continuum?


The year was 2010 and Samsung was riding the high of their debut Android flagship, the Galaxy S. That Galaxy S spawned a smartphone line that has since gone on to sell millions of handsets; the sales figures growing exponentially for each new iteration. The most recent, the Samsung Galaxy S5, garnered sales of over 10 million units in its first month alone. But back in 2010, before Galaxy devices carried the banner for Android, Samsung’s strategy was quite a bit different.

At that time, carriers still depended on device differentiation to draw customers to their network, and the policy was that each US service provider would receive a unique version of the Galaxy S. In the end, consumer desire and other factors in the smartphone industry that favored a unified device experience led manufacturers and carriers to ditch the strategy for future generations of Galaxy devices, but not before the DNA trickled down to one of the most disastrous Android releases of all time: the Samsung Continuum for Verizon.


The Contiuum, which did or did not carry a Galaxy prefix depending on the marketing materials you reference, was released several months after the original Galaxy S. The specs for the phone aren’t even worth mentioning today, but they were mostly identical to the already popular Galaxy S and among the best you could get in an Android phone at the time. What set the Continuum apart was the presence of a secondary ticker display — a gimmicky second screen placed below the phone’s navigation keys and measuring 1.8 inches and sporting a whopping resolution of 480×96 pixels.

This ticker showcased notification info, the date, time, weather and updates from your social feeds among other things, but it ended up looking more like a constant banner ad on your smartphone. It could be awakened independently to quickly access info without tasking the Contiuum’s larger primary Super AMOLED display. The benefits were touted as battery saving and distraction reducing — don’t interrupt the meeting by waking your bright smartphone display, discreetly check the Continuum’s ticker. Perhaps the idea was ahead of its time.

Perhaps its place as a one-off feature on a Samsung device running Samsung’s version of Android meant developers weren’t too keen to take notice. What we can agree on is the fact that Samsung utterly miscalculated in launching this phone and believing that a ticker gimmick would be enough to get consumers interested in buying a different version of a phone that had already been available for months.

Four years later, why are we talking about the long-forgotten Continuum now? Earlier this week Samsung announced the Galaxy Note Edge, a device that is reminiscent of the Continuum in both its unique functionality as well as the strategy surrounding its upcoming launch.


The Edge, like the Continuum, offers users a secondary display that will act as a notification ticker, shortcuts drawer, and information hub. The secondary display can be awakened independently of the main display. Samsung  is hoping once again that developers will buoy the idea by introducing novel uses for the “Edge Screen.”

The Edge, like the Continuum, is also a repackaging of another Samsung device. In this case, it’s the upcoming Galaxy Note 4. Slightly different this time around was Samsung’s decision to announce both devices simultaneously and launch them concurrently across several carriers (including the big four in the US).

So how is the Note Edge different from the Continuum? For starters, the technology has evolved since 2010. The Edge utilizes flexible display technology developed by Samsung to present its secondary display as a curved portion sloping off from the primary Super AMOLED pane. It’s an impressive technical feat, and Samsung has fleshed out functionality to an extent that wasn’t seen on the Continuum. The screen’s placement, higher resolution, and larger surface area help it blend into the overall design of the phone. Moving frequently used shortcuts to the Edge Screen frees up space on the main display, adding precious real estate for multitasking.

The question we must ask again echoes the Continuum: does the secondary display functionality provide reason to choose this phone over the standard Note 4? Maybe that’s a bit of a loaded question. After all, the Continuum’s chances for success were hampered by availability limited to a single US carrier. The Galaxy brand wasn’t a household name in 2010.

Samsung Galaxy Round hand

As a counter, we might look toward the Galaxy Round, another device designed to showcase Samsung’s curved display technology. The Galaxy Round also was limited in release, but folks weren’t exactly clamoring for the device. The device’s namesake roundness seemed to exist only as a neat parlor trick not as a form factor that added any particular useful functionality. With the Note Edge, Samsung seems to have found a much more novel and useful way to deploy flexible AMOLED tech, but we’re still not sold.

The Continuum, Round, and Note Edge seem to highlight Samsung’s insistence on making available to the general public devices that should have never left the R&D department. In fact, the Note Edge is nearly identical to a prototype device Samsung showed off nearly two years ago at CES 2013. We’re not saying the Note Edge will be the next Continuum or Galaxy Round, but you can’t blame anyone for making the comparison.

We applaud Samsung for pushing the boundaries of what the smartphone can be, and devices like the Edge certainly seem refreshing in a market that has seen plenty of stagnation lately. One handset won’t do it, however. Proprietary form factors are not favorable to developers and hardly ever last more than a single generation. Is the Galaxy Note Edge just another of these oddities? We’re as eager to find out as anyone.

Kevin Krause
Pretty soon you'll know a lot about Kevin because his biography will actually be filled in!

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  1. I must be missing something . Everyone keeps saying how gimicky and dumb this phone is and why anyone would choose this over the regular note. I just keep wondering why not. Is it going to be much more expensive that the regular note 4 or missing any major feature.

    everyone keeps asking why anyone would get this .I keep asking why would anyone get the regular note 4

    1. Definitely agree with your logic. If it utilizes the exact same specs as the “regular Note 4” and does everything (feature wise) the same, why not buy the one with an extra feature?

      1. I’m definitely intrigued as a current note 3 owner. My worry is protection limitations on cases ( otterbox, etc). How is that exposed edge going to be protected from inevitable drops?

        1. That, my friend, is my only concern. However, from observation through the years of smartphone development, I’ve noticed that the more popular a device is, the more 3rd parties will be involved to create stylish cases. I am sure Otterbox can do this. My Note 3 has an Otterbox with the built in screen protector (Not curved of course). Anyway, I am sure Sammy will have some alternative cases until more third party companies get involved. Honestly, I really want this to go with my 9000 Series 65″ UHD (4k) Curved Display :). I want to keep everything uniformed lol.

      2. The Gear VR won’t work with the Edge. Cases might be iffy.

    2. I think the fear is your palm will constantly be causing unwanted functioning. And I think this will be a fail. Not cuz its not clever usefull or glitchy but because things like this need an evangical or a decent developer who takes a liking and really pushes the boundaries of a feature like this and curates into ssomething special. But right now iIwould think most developers will either ignore it or just throw some rudimentary text at it. My guess is reports of crazy phone will start showing up when the screen gets confused from all the different inputs/orientation.

      1. Saying that the palm will cause any unwanted functionalities is just pure speculation, at the moment. I will, of course, take heed to this concern as it is a valid point, and test drive this device before any commitments are made. I cannot make the call that this device is DOA before then, as I am personally open to innovation. It can potentionally lead to new develpment and designs and only the consumer wins in the end.

        1. Actually, it’s common sense.

          You remind of all those people who said 3D televisions would be the next big thing. Some failures don’t need to be tested.

          I’ve made a note on my Google Calendar to come back and taunt you 1 year from today for lacking common sense on this issue.

          1. There are plenty of hands-on videos online as well as articles and I have yet to see the palm being an issue at the moment. It is, of course, a concern that some have but noone appears to have that issue at the moment. I even mention that this was something that I would look into myself before making a commitment. However, you conveniently missed the part. Didn’t you?

            Now to address your insult:

            “I’ve made a note on my Google Calendar to come back and taunt you 1 year from today for lacking common sense on this issue.”

            “Common sense” tells me that you are either a troll or a natural weirdo/creep who wishes to stalk those who differ in opinion. In either case, you are the one who appears to have the “palm” up his @$$ causing “unwanted functionalities”.

    3. The Edge isn’t compatible with the Gear VR where as the Note 4 is but that is just a semantic.
      *EDIT just saw the comment below point this out.

    4. It’s only worth buying if you use Samsung apps that will utilize the form factor.

      This includes exactly no one who reads Phandroid, because Samsung apps are garbage. Just like TouchWiz.

    5. My only cause for concern regarding the Edge is it’s Galaxy VR compatibility. Otherwise, hell nah im getting the regular version.

  2. Blah, Blah, Blah…..says the Apple guy who drools when Apple comes out with a “new” color.

    1. lol! This is the Apple guy!

    2. Apple apologists are the best, aren’t they?

  3. The Edge could be very interesting phone and will be my next Note.
    That phone could evolve in way that many people right now would want the Galaxy lineup was. This phone turn up side down to be controlled by the left hand I see Samsung bringing Note Edges in the future without physical buttons and being able to be used in any way by left or right hands.

    1. I am going with this one myself. All the specs and features on both devices are exactly the same except this one adds an extra feature that can potentially save battery. Why not? I’m in.

  4. My problem with this phone is that there is no support of that edged screen at all. ROMS would be scarce. since the ROM developers would have to create a new ROM just for the edged screen. This logic can be for apps as well. I would even be surprised with Samsung released Android updates for the N4 Edge at the same time as the Note 4, just because demand won’t be as high as it is for the Note 4.

    There are other aspects where this technology could be useful, for example for the screen navigation system in cars (but on a bigger scale of course). But on a phone in this moment? It’s a hard pass for me.

    1. That’s not the reason of the community and the innovation. Is funny people talk about the development community as this is not a evolving community.
      Put your sentence in the jump of 540 to 720 and then 1080 resolution screen in PC years ago. I think you only see the present my friend changes are coming every day and everywhere and apps are business.

      1. In my mind, you can’t compare screen resolution to the curved screen of Note Edge.

        Higher resolution has always been desired, since our eyes can tell the major differences between 540p to 1080p. It’s only natural to go up higher in resolution for innovation.

        But a curved-edged screen? I don’t see it. The Note Edge isn’t going to change how smartphones are made in the future, because it’s not anything remarkable… It’s a nice showing of Samsung’s capability of producing a curved screen of that angle on a phone, but unless there are more edged-screen phones adopted by different manufacturers, there will be no demand from customers, therefore little development from developers to adopt the edged screen (due to little gain compared to extra work involved for decent incorporation of the feature).

  5. Personally, wondering if the side of my palm would be touching it and accidentally launching apps. And a case that could protect it from face plants would leave the edge part exposed…?

    1. I would at least check this thing out in person before ruling it out. I am sure that the palm concern was addressed during the design development of the device as that would be an obvious concern. Interesting point though. I will be looking into to this on launch. The market needs more innovation these days as tech appears to be slowing down to me. I want this to be successful for the consumer as I hope it will inspire new/ambitious future designs. Hit or miss, this will be interesting.

    2. Samsung already presented a few cases that work quite well far as I heard.

  6. Very nice phone..just not my cup of tea.

    1. Probably the most legit comment here and not a single up vote.

  7. Gee, a blogger who loves Apple products is dissing a Samsung device. What a surprise. Why would anyone take his post seriously.

    But the readers of this forum are just as bad. I just love the certainty expressed by people who couldn’t possibly know what they purport to know.

    Will your palm trigger apps? Maybe, but until more people actually have a chance to use it you’re just speculating. Samsung’s not stupid, and I’m sure lots of people within the company have tested it. I’m doubtful Samsung would be marketing this if that were a major problem

    They’ll be no 3rd party support. Really? You know that for sure because you’ve polled the development community? Maybe we should wait and see. Developers may like the ability to differentiate their apps by supporting it. In the end, sales will probably be the key factor–if the Edge sells well, developers will support it.

    Maybe people should just wait until there are some facts to discuss unless of drawing conclusions based on an absence of information.

    And maybe all the people who complain that Samsung doesn’t show any innovation, that all their products are alike, blah, blah, blah, should be excited that someone is pushing the envelope, because few other companies are. With the exception of the Sharp Aquos, all the other Android phones looks like clones of the prior version, and pretty much clones of each other, with a few minor differences. No one who doesn’t spend way too much time on these forums is going to notice the difference between a G2 and G3, Z2 and Z3, S4 and S5, Note 3 and Note 4, and so on. Most people won’t even notice the difference between a Sony, LG, or Samsung. They’re pretty much all slabs with glass on the front and rounded corners. Take away the big round button at the bottom, and the same will be true of the new larger iPhone. (But I’m sure Kevin will tout the “innovation” of Apple finally offering NFC and a screen that you don’t need to squint at to see.)

    Samsung is at least trying something different, which is what most of the whiners say they want to see. The forums are filled with people complaining that this year’s latest, greatest device is only an incremental improvement from last year’s. Well, put your money where your rmouth is.

    1. Jeez… Your 15 sentence assault on people expressing their thought-possible concerns only solidifies my hesitation to voice my concerns as well as others. And with that I bid you, your cheeto stained aqua teen hunger force tee shirt and female attention deprived comments a graceful bow out. Kudos meyerweb, well done.

      1. Not “thought-possible.” People are expressing possbilities, they’re expressing certainties. “My palm WILL trigger apps.”

        I notice you don’t hesitate to insult people who have the nerve to disagree with you, eh? Maybe you should look in the mirror, Hoffman. Just because you’re still living in your mom’s basement doesn’t mean we are all.

        – from a happily married, and quite well employed, Meyerweb.

        Oh, and I’m sorry the length of my post taxes your attention span.

        1. Kevin does seem as if he has some kind of agenda with this article. I thought he left for Iphone news anyway. I mean he has the right to write whatever pleases him, but how exactly am I to determine an honest article from prapaganda with him at this point? Sorry, just my opinion.

    2. Hey, great points! A little dogmatic, but certainly some great points:)

  8. i quite like the idea of this, and love that they are finally releasing something of the one they showed a while back. Considering how underwhelming my current though new phone is i might want this depending on reviews. Now they just need to release a flip phone that opens up to be one big display (though I suppose folding screens might be a bit off still).

    1. Open….Wow a 12 inch screen! LOL

      1. i don’t mean dual separate screens, i mean a single large screen that is foldable, where when opened it looks at acts just like what we have now. there’s been quite a few articles about them on here over the last few years

  9. If you can still run Apex launcher, root and run exposed plugins, and still have the sidebar work; then I’d be up for it.

    1. that’s going to be the key…does it only work with touchwiz. If so i’m not even remotely considering this…

    2. I’m almost certain it’s going to be a TouchWiz only thing.

    3. I’m going to stop you at Xposed Plugins. Xposed isn’t fully compatible with ART yet. Android L is going to be in ART.

      Just keep that in mind.

  10. The Edge for those who like minimum screens this could be a plus. Additionally the mods they have done to the notifications in styles and customizable options . Plus putting out the SDK to developers . How many of you have sidebar apps? I have drop my phone to many times by using one hand so I use both so the Palm thing is not a issue to me. Benchmarks are down on both these upgrades according to a article I was reading with the Edge being behind the note 4. I’m saving my money for next year’s model, it will be a substantial upgrade instead of incremental . there are many changes up ahead such as Android L in which Samsung is notorious for 6 mth. delay and we have 64 bit processors coming and possibly ram increases and app compatibility plus 2k or 4k screens . Android Wear could play a role in software arrangements of coding. So I’m going to wait for next year. Just my opinion .

  11. Wasn’t that phone on Verizon? ONLY?

    One of the problems BACK THEN was every carrier wants something different. Something that differentiated their devices and services from others, diluting the market and getting bastards like this.

    Recall the Galaxy S II
    ATT: Galaxy S II (close to the original model)
    T mobile: Galaxy S II (Qualcomm based)
    Verizon: That thing, or some other product that they asked Samsung for
    Sprint: Galaxy S II, epic 4g touch

    The problem with this was that it was a ‘verizon exclusive’ released with an SDK, and no other offering on any network and verizon didn’t have the foothold as a monster carrier as they do now. ALSO, manufacturers are flatlining their devices lineup, except Samsung and Motorola (Why still a droid line with moto and not other manufacturers, IDK).

    meh — just what I see.

    1. And as usual, there is an article mentioning something on Verizon, and some idiot makes a moronic comment blaming Verizon.

  12. Market oversaturation, that’s all. It’s the Samsung way.

    I hope it does well, because I want that Russian e-ink backed phone to make an appearance stateside.

  13. Where are the god damn wallpapers.

  14. Not really sure why Samsung just hasn’t knocked off Motorola’s Active Display by now. Seems like it’d be dead simple to pull off especially since Samsung almost exclusively used AMOLED displays and in my opinion it’s more convenient than any form of ticker.

  15. I imagine the case would be awkward. I’d be interested to play with this phone but not interested enough to buy it. It’s definitely not a gimmick I imagine would sway people interested in phones like the M8, S5 or G3 but I could totally be wrong about that. However I’m gonna predict we are soon reading an article comparing the sales to the Fire phone…

  16. I wasted my time reading this article.

    1. And now you’re wasting ours commenting ;)

      1. I just think you shouldnt’ be reading every comment then. Sheesh, there is always a smart alec everywhere.

        1. Well if everyone was serious all the time, the world would be boring. =.P

  17. I see two problems with the Note Edge for me.

    1. I’m left handed. Rotating it 180 moving all the button and connections isn’t appealing.

    2. It won’t work with the Gear VR.

    1. I didn’t even think about left-handed people. That does raise an issue. I wonder why they thought this would actually work with that in mind.

      Reminds me of that MS Keyboard that’s tailored to people who press SpaceBar with their right thumb.

  18. Personally, I’m not even remotely interested.

  19. Is it plastic like all the other Samsung phones? If so, I’m not interested.

    1. You’re an Idiot. Why bother posting on a device if you havent had the decency to actually investigate the darn thing. It has a metal frame just like the Note 4 … seriously some people are just too stupid to own any form of technology – here’s a ball, go sit in the corner.

      1. Was it so hard to say “No it’s metal, you should check it out.”? They’re just asking if the device non-plastic. If they found out it was plastic, they won’t care for it. If it’s metal, they will become more interested.


      2. Just finish school for the day buddy?
        I was using this type of technology before you were even a twinkle in your father’s eye.

        If I’m paying top dollar, I don’t want cheap and crappy plastic materials on my phone thank you.

        Now go finish popping your pimples before bed.

        1. Sorry mate just knocked off work. The one that pays me the 155k a year – the job that I got by being resourceful and reading up on things.

          If youre paying top dollar then reasearch the darn thing yourself rather than have someone tell you what to do. Take some ownership and be accountable for your own decision.

          1. Lol!
            An adult with a job doesn’t blow a gasket over a small comment made on an android website like you did. Nice try there but your teenage fanboyism is clear as day.

            I never asked anyone what to do, especially not a 13 yr old.
            All you needed to say was that it’s majority plastic with a metal frame, not go into an immature little rant.

            I’ll tell you what to do though, if you’re going to brag about a salary you won’t be earning for another 20 years to look cool online, try something a bit more impressive. 155 grand isn’t what it once was.

            Enjoy the rest of your internet time till daddy tells you it’s time to go to bed little fella ;)

  20. indecently of the main display. seriously?

  21. I think it will be great, and it should grow to be as loved like the windows taskbar or a chrome style favorites toolbar, you’ll wonder how you lived without it. If you can’t see how this thing is going to be useful and game changing, might as well subscribe to an iOS blog and pick up the latest iphone for a more cookie cutter experience.

  22. They should have had the edges on both sides, one is rather awkward even if it’s more practical. I bet Apple does it then everyone goes wild instead of the reaction to this.

    1. Apple only does thing when they know it’s a good idea. In that case, it’s not.

      1. Apple had many failed products too.

  23. I think it is beautiful and functional. My only concern is how much the curve will be inadvertently touched when reaching other parts of the phone… oh, that AND dropping the phone, erm, curve first!

    1. I wonder how much the part and labor would cost to fix a break there.

  24. “The secondary display can be awakened indecently of the main display.”

    Man, I hate getting awakened indecently. It makes for a bad day.

  25. “Awakens indecently”?! Really? Does it try to spoon the other screen with a fully on chubby? Jeez

  26. What manufacturers need to focus on is battery life and durability, not gimmicks.

    1. Aren’t they focusing on battery life? I mean, all the stuff that’s come out to prolong battery life. Increasing the size of the battery isn’t necessarily solving the issue, it’s prolonging the inevitable. The actual battery itself hasn’t evolved in years. It’s the same technology.

      Durability? What all does that include for you? Just dropping? Or resistant against the weather? The Active sounds like your perfect phone. And so does that Kyocera, or was it Huawei, phone. There’s another high-end rugged phone out there besides the Active.

      But I think you can only work on that stuff so much before you get to an asymptote. Which is why they’re working on gimmicks and stuff.

      Heck, to be honest, I think we’re at that point in mobile advances where you can’t really do much more. Which is why I’m not really feeling upgrading my M8 to the “M9”. I just finally don’t feel a reason to.

    2. EDGE isn’t a gimmick. if u want to preserve your battery. one STOP GOING ON FACE BOOK 24/7 2 stop talking on it all the time. 3 turn off your data traffic you will be surprise how much battery life u will get by doing those things.

      1. that’s a compromise, not a solution

  27. I am very interested in this phone. Though I will need to handle it first because I am afraid of what my thumb might achieve when reaching for the screen

  28. I actually have a functioning Samsung Continuum. Still works fine as a contract-less phone too, when I need it. Too bad the previous owner dropped it and cracked the screen….

  29. I almost wonder if a strip on the back that would automatically activate when you placed it face down would be better.

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