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Samsung is determined to help users of its Galaxy Note smartphones phablets get more stuff done.
During a press event in New York City today -- and on the site of Samsung's new Manhattan "flagship" offices -- the company took the wraps off two new Android (4.4 "KitKat") smartphones, including one that offers a large, pixel-packed screen (2560 pixels by 1440 pixels) that cascades over its right edge. Called the Galaxy Note Edge, appropriately enough, the device features a 5.6-inch AMOLED touch display the curves over the right side to provide what Samsung calls the Edge screen user experience (UX).
Users can swipe across the Edge Screen to flip through notifications and app updates. In a hands-on test drive of the device, the edge proved a responsive and intuitive way of thumbing through the weather, sports scores and various, bite-sized morsels of content.
Samsung is also making available an Edge SDK (software development kit), enabling developers to code Edges-specific capacities into their mobile apps. Conceivably, developers of business Android apps can extend their software into the Edge screen, allowing for interactive, real-time alerts and updates that can be easily and inconspicuously viewed while the handset is resting on a desk or conference table.
On the productivity front, the 4G LTE-capable handset houses a 2.7 GHz quad-core processor for snappy app and multitasking performance. The screen accommodates split screen usage scenarios, with the ability resize and reposition apps.
An updated S Pen stylus, "writes and draws like a pen," said Ryan Bidan, senior director of Strategy at Samsung Telecommunications America. "It's more sensitive to pressure, tilt, rotation and speed than ever before," he said. "But it also works like a mouse." It allows users to copy/paste and drag-and-drop content "all with the basic control and consistent accuracy you've come to expect."
+The Galaxy Note Edge, available in black and white, is slated to go on sale later this year.
Also on deck was the new the Galaxy Note 4. Sporting a more traditional form factor, the Note 4 features a slightly larger 5.7-inch "Quad HD" AMOLED display with a resolution of 2560 pixels by 1440 pixel that is comparable to the Edge.
Processors vary depending on the region and carrier. The Galaxy Note 4 will be made available with either a 2.7 GHz quad-core processor or an "octa-core" processor that combines two quad-core chips (1.9 GHz and 1.3 GHz).
Rounding out the new features is an improved fingerprint scanner to help keep a lid on personal data, a 16 megapixel rear camera with optical image stabilization and a microphone array that provides improved noise cancellation and powers the built-in voice recorder's selective voice playback function that allows listeners to hone in on specific speakers in group conversations.
Samsung's Galaxy Note 4 ships in October. Both phones will be available on the networks of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
Pedro Hernandez is a contributing editor at Datamation. Follow him on Twitter @ecoINSITE.