IFA 2014 officially starts today but already we’ve seen a ton of big announcements from the major companies like Samsung, LG, Lenovo, and Sony. Smartphones, smartwatches, fitness trackers, tablets, all are being showcased as the latest and greatest offerings from each company as the technology of the future. All of these offerings are unique and fascinating in their own way but my favorite announcement thus far is the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge. It’s basically just the new Samsung Galaxy Note 4 but with a curved edge to allow for extra screen space. Is it a gimmick or does it have a true purpose?

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Looks

From the front, you won’t confuse the Note Edge with anything else. Sure, it keeps the same form factor and design elements as the Note 4 but the screen is a dead giveaway that this is not your typical smartphone. As you can see in the picture above, the edge of the Note Edge is rounded and the screen is extended into that rounded edge. It’s tough to explain such a concept in just words so it makes more sense for you to just look at the pictures!

You may wonder how such a feature is useful. Well, the potential for such a feature is immense. The first main function is simple: an app dock. No longer would you place your favorite apps at the bottom of your home screen, they will rest to the right in a vertical column. I rather like this idea because it uses the screen more efficiently by not forcing you to give up space on your home screen. Other uses include an alarm clock mode that will only light up the rounded screen edge instead of the whole screen to show the time and the buttons for the camera app. The assumption here is that each app will make use of this extra space by either showing menu options or features that can be accessed without having to open a menu and thus making for a more efficient experience.

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Ingenuity

On the inside, the Note Edge has impressive specifications for top end performance and special software to power the edge screen separately from the main screen. While there haven’t been many examples of how exactly the edge on the Note Edge will be used, I am really excited to see what developers will do with it. It may just be simple things but that’s why it’s so brilliant. The simplicity of streamlining the user experience is a wonderful thing, especially for us, the consumers. No word on price yet but it looks to be slightly more expensive than the Note 4. Either way, I’m going to keep my eye out for any future information!