We’re not impressed by gimmicks in our gadgets. Thumbprint scanners and heart-rate monitors aren’t reasons to choose one smartphone over another. But we perked up upon seeing the 5.6-inch display of the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, which features an elegant end-to-end curve that extends the touchscreen of the phone without adding any extra girth. It’s much less a gimmick than a thoughtful design element that elevates the experience of using the phone. The namesake edge of the Galaxy phablet does so too, providing a jack-of-all trades, ever-present menu bar. It helps you quick launch common apps or pull up common notifications on the edge without interrupting anything you’re doing on the main screen. Otherwise, the phone is simply a refined Note 4 — and that’s a very good thing, as that means it’s stocked with a quick Quad-Core processor and Android’s spunky KitKat OS. Just be sure to carve out some pocket space. The phone is a lot of things; subtle isn’t one of them. [$399 with 2-year contract; samsung.com]
With its curved screen and smart OS, Samsung’s Edge is a phablet that truly delivers.