Samsung throws a curve ball with new bent screen phablet

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The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
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The Samsung Galaxy Note Edge

Samsung has unveiled the world's first smartphone with a curved display. Called the Galaxy Note Edge, an edge is what the device could give the company as competition in the smartphone and phablet space increases.

The Edge's 5.6-inch Quad HD display curves around the right-hand edge of the handset, and it becomes an extra mini-screen or info bar when some apps are in use.

Samsung describes it as a "fresh new vision of what a screen could be."

For example, when watching a video, the pause and skip buttons appear in the curved element so the controls are accessible but don't interfere with the moving image on the display.

That area of the screen can also be used for quickly accessing other apps -- great for multitasking -- and can work as an information ticker of alerts and notifications without encroaching on the main display.

Although Samsung officially announced the device at it official IFA press conference on Wednesday, it also admitted that developers are yet to really get the most out of the Edge's special feature so not all apps currently support it.

Away from the clever screen, the Edge has S-Pen input like the standard Note phablet and is focused on multitasking and productivity as much as getting to the next level of Candy Crush Saga. So it has a state-of-the-art Snapdragon 805 quad-core processor, 4GB of RAM and some very impressive camera specifications.

On the rear side there's a 16 megapixel camera with image stabilization and the ability to capture UHD footage; meanwhile the camera above the display has an extra wide lens so that owners can take group-shot selfies and make sure everyone gets in the shot.

However as impressive as the handset looks, there is a sense that Samsung is simply showing off its display manufacturing expertise and is hoping that the feature will become indispensable through app developers' creativity.

The Galaxy Note Edge will be available in black or white and will be available in in "select markets" later in 2014.

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