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Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge to debut in Japan at the end of October

Samsung's Galaxy Note Edge to debut in Japan at the end of October

More countries will be added before the end of the year, Samsung promises

Samsung's Galaxy Edge smartphone has a curved screen

Samsung's Galaxy Edge smartphone has a curved screen

Japanese consumers will be the first to get their hands on the Galaxy Note Edge with its curved screen when the smartphone starts shipping at the end of October.

The Note Edge is currently available for pre-order in Japan, and will be available from operators KDDI and NTT DoCoMo, Samsung said on Wednesday. The company is still mum on availability in other parts of the world, only saying the phone will be launched "in select markets before the end of the year," according to a spokeswoman.

Thanks to a screen that wraps around the side of the phone, the Note Edge was one of the more unusual products to be launched at the IFA trade show in Berlin in September. The idea is to create an area a bit separate from the main screen that offers quick access to frequently used apps, alerts, and functions like the camera shutter.

I wasn't completely convinced after testing the Note Edge at Samsung's launch event at IFA, but the basic idea shows that curves can be more than a gimmick. Learning how to best use the so-called "Edge Screen" will be a trial-and-error process for Samsung and for app makers, which can use an SDK to integrate it with their apps. The trick will be to use the curve without making it too distracting.

The Note Edge also has an impressive spec sheet that includes a 5.6-inch screen with a 2560 by 1440 pixel resolution, a Snapdragon 805 processor from Qualocomm and a 16-megapixel camera.

The Japanese launch comes after Samsung on Monday announced that third-quarter operating profit to fall by almost 60 percent due to sluggish sales of mobile devices.

Send news tips and comments to mikael_ricknas@idg.com

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