Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge is unfair to left-handers
Samsung’s latest feat of technological wizardry is the funky curved screen on the Galaxy Note Edge. While that may appeal to some, it really takes seeing it in action before the utility of the curved part of the screen can really be appreciated. We went hands-on with the Note Edge to help you see just how cool that new feature is… but we’re right-handed.
Most of the time, tech sites don’t focus too much on the right- versus left-handed utility of devices. Other than power and volume buttons, smartphones and tablets are typically dominant-hand-agnostic. Once the device is on, the interface can be configured however you’d like, and the differences between right- and left-handed use becomes much less important. (If you’re a Southpaw and take exception to that statement, please head down to the comments and let us know!)
The part of the display that wraps around the Note Edge is on the right side of the device. For right-handers holding the phablet in their left hand, this is perfect. We can swipe, scroll, and tap on that part of the display with the fingers on our right hand. For lefties, however, the story is a bit different. They hold the device in their right hand, with their thumb pressing on part of the curved screen. In addition to having unintended screen presses, this also makes holding the device much less stable – a thumb on a slick, curved screen is much easier to slip than a thumb on a flat screen. The solution? Turn the device upside down!
No, seriously. That’s the “fix”: hold it upside down, with the Samsung logo at the bottom and the big button at the top.
Most of the Android-powered phones that I’ve used allow screen rotation 90-degrees from either side of “up” – a quarter-turn to the left or right. But turn the phone upside down and you’ll see an upside down phone. I’ve used custom ROMs that enable full rotation, and I’ve had some cases where that came in handy, but most of the time it was an inconvenience, waiting for an accidentally rotated screen to roll back to “right-side-up” took a few seconds.
When held upside down, based on what we’ve seen so far, the Note Edge works just like you’d expect a left-handed version of the device to function. Almost. In this orientation, the home button is on the top, the speaker is on the bottom, and the “Samsung logo” implies that “you’re holding it wrong”.
Lefties know better than anyone that they’re treated like second-class citizens. Most of the time they have to adapt to live in the right-handed world in which we live. I’ve got to it it to them, they do a very good job!
The Note Edge isn’t a small device, and using it one-handed isn’t something you’re likely to do, so perhaps some of the right- versus left-handed functionality is mitigated by that fact. Even still, Samsung at least addressed left-handed users by allowing the screen to rotate 180-degrees, which is better than nothing.
What do you think, left-handers? Is Samsung’s solution going to work for you? If not, what should have been done differently? Head down to the comments and let us know!