Just a little over a week from now, Samsung will be holding another Unpacked event on August 2nd, unquestionably to unveil this year’s Galaxy Note. Similar to how Microsoft chose to make Windows 10, skipping right over 9, Samsung is rumored skip over the Galaxy Note 6 name and jump ahead to the Galaxy Note 7. This move makes sense as it unifies the names between their Galaxy S7 flagships released earlier in the year, and (coincidentally) would also line up with Apple’s (presumably named) iPhone 7, which will likely show up sometime in September.
There have been a lot of rumors and leaks popping up lately regarding the Note 7, including a new color, an iris scanner, re-implementation of the microSD card slot, and it’s suspected that Samsung might exclude the non-edge variant of the Note this year.
My question is, if that’s true, is the industry ready for it?
Samsung first introduced its first edge variant in 2014 with the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge, which was released alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 4. The design was reveled for its innovation and potential, but was also considered bizarre considering the edge was only present on one side.
In 2015, Samsung initially continued its foray into edged displays with the Samsung Galaxy S6, S6 edge, and S6 edge+. The S6 edge’s design featured edges on both sides. Interestingly, when the Galaxy Note 5 was released later that year, it was only offered in a non-edge variant.
And while this year’s Galaxy S7 and S7 edge reflect similarly to last year’s Galaxy S6 line-up, there appears to be very little evidence that Samsung will offer a non-edge variant of the Note 7.
It wouldn’t be too surprising if Samsung unveiled only an edge variant of the Galaxy Note 7, considering there was no edge variant last year. At the same time, I’m not sure it would be the best move. While I think edge displays are great for some people, I’m not convinced that it’s overwhelmingly preferred. I can’t speak for everybody, but I hardly have an interest in edge displays myself. I think they look nice, but to me they feel like more of a hindrance than an advantage, particularly because it seems like it’s easy to activate the edges with one-handed use.
I guess it all depends on what the Note 7 will bring to the table in terms of edge features. It doesn’t seem like anything truly ground-breaking has ever come from the edge design. Plus, if all of the leaks and rumors end up being true, the Note 7 is very similar to the Galaxy S7 edge spec-wise, aside from the S-Pen; and while the S-Pen has always been one of the most defining features of the Note series, the Note series has also been more powerful than the Galaxy S series in the past, which may not be the case this year. Additional edge features might help to showcase the Note 7.
It will be interesting to see what really happens, but I do hope that there are still two variants. I actually like how Samsung made that work; a lot of companies offer “big” and “bigger” options for their phones, but Samsung offers “big” and “bigger and different”.