Before You Buy 155 (Transcript)

Leo Laporte: Coming up: Sharp made its name in Aquos TV, are you ready for an Aquos Phone? We’ll take a look at the 4K display, a WiFi range extender and I’ve got a phone with an edge. It’s time to watch, Before You Buy.

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Leo: Time for Before You Buy, the product review show where we get some of the latest and greatest stuff in here and we give it to our staff and give you a real world grasp of what it might be like to own such a thing. Speaking of such a thing, Jason Howell is here. He’s from All About Android and is an Android expert so we gave him something that I didn’t even know existed. I’ve had Sharp Aquos TV’s, the early nice LCD’s. Those are the ones that they had George Takei, oh my! And if George Takei saw this he night say, “Oh my”! It’s an Aquos Phone.

Jason Howell: It’s kind of striking looking too. It is the Sharp Aquos Crystal.

Leo: There’s no bezels.

Jason: Well that’s the thing, there’s almost no bezel, there is like 75% no bezel. You don’t have any on the top or the sides.

Leo: Just the bottom.

Jason: You have a pretty large chin down here.

Leo: Well you’ve got to do something.

Jason: Exactly. And not to mention there is a front facing camera you have to have somewhere, you have your sensors, you have your notification light and they went ahead and put it on the bottom. So you have a little bit of an extra bezel down there but for the most part it is kind of futuristic looking when you see the screen going right up to the edge. It is a very interesting design choice.

Leo: I think that is one way to differentiate yourself.

Jason: Absolutely. Completely agree. Now this is the Sharp Aquos Crystal it is $240 off contract on Sprint. Or if you are going MVNO, Virgin, Boost you can get it for $150. So it is definitely low to midrange kind of spec territory here.

Leo: It ‘aint Lollipop but it is KitKat.

Jason: It is KitKat. 4.4 KitKat, it is 1.2 Ghz quad core Snapdragon 400 processors like a lot of the lower to mid range devices like the MotoG.

Leo: I keep wanting to say move it we are getting a reflection, but that’s…

Jason: That is actually the screen.

Leo: It’s bizarre.

Jason: That is the wallpaper on the back.

Leo: It is going over the top on the front.

Jason: What is interesting if you see it n person is that the glass, well plastic, screen protrudes off the top of the device. You can kind of see it separate there. it is kind of a thick sheet of plastic on top. It is kind of like the screen itself, Sharp Aquos has the line has a pretty nice vibrant screen. I would definitely say this screen falls in that category. It is a 720 P screen, 5 inch device. Not IPS, it is LCD, micro SD slot on the back underneath the flap which kind of has this dimpled approach, that we are seeing a little bit more of. I can’t say that I’m a huge fan of the back. It feels pretty flimsy and plastic. To be honest, the first time I took it off one of the snap tabs actually snapped off.

Leo: Can you replace the battery?

Jason: You cannot. It is non-removable.

Leo: See that is frustrating. You’ve got the back off but the battery is glued in.

Jason: It is under there and you can’t get to it. But you do have your micro SD card slot if you want to expand the memory of which there is 8 Gigs on board.

Leo: Is that all?

Jason: That is all.

Leo: Very light.

Jason: So very light. Low to mid range, that is exactly what they are targeting here. 1.5 gigs of RAM, interesting as you don’t normally see that .5 in there, but there you go. And then 8 megapixel rear facing camera, 1.2 megapixel front facing camera down here. Now that is interesting. The last two photos are front facing pictures.

Leo: It seems like you are going to get a lot with the palm of your hand on this one.

Jason: And that is the thing, right. This is holding the phone you normally would to do a selfie and you end up looking up your nose. They recommend, and there is actually an on-screen notifier that tells you to hold it upside down. So when you are taking a selfie it actually tells you to rotate the phone. Which, I suppose this doesn’t look that strange when you are in the camera mode. Something to keep in mind. Since we are talking about the camera first and foremost it is definitely one of the down sides of the device. I took a lot of outside pictures and this is a low to medium light and it looks okay but the problem is that when you get really close to these pictures you can see a lot of detail is lost and very pixelated. It’s just not the kind of camera that you are going to want to take a lot of really great pictures that you are going to want to hold on to. So, there is that. The video also is kind of washed out. It was super colorful in person. Just a lot of quality is lost.

Leo: You can see how blurry it is there. It’s just not very crisp.

Jason: Definitely the stand out feature of the Aquos Crystal is the display itself. The edge to edge design of the display. I will say that the plastic layer on top is not very good at protecting itself from scratches, there is already a scratch there and I take pretty good care of my reviews.

Leo: That is why you want glass on there.

Jason: Yeah. If I was to turn this off and look at it closely there are a lot of little micro scratches there. I’ve been basically carrying it in my pocket for the last couple of weeks so that shouldn’t happen. But there you go. The display itself, the screen itself, looks pretty good and is definitely the highlight. What else do we have here? Weight-wise it is a little heavier, a little thicker and again a low to mid-range device category.

Leo: It is 720 P, a five inch?

Jason: A 5 inch screen, that is right. Which feels small to me after the Nexus.

Leo: I know, we are spoiled. I have to say I like the design. I think no bezels is unique.

Jason: It is totally unique. I hope to see more of this. I will say one of my fears with a minimal bezel design is that you would have unintentional touches registered on the edges and I have experienced some of that where suddenly something goes awry and how did that happen but it could’ve only been my fingers holding the device on the sides so keep that in mind. Maybe the bezel is there to prevent some of these phantom touches and stuff. Performance-wise it is the Snapdragon 400 processor so doing things on an OS level is pretty straight. You can kind of see it a bit jagged there. Especially if you are doing anything in the background like updating your Apps though the play store or downloading or whatever, everything slows to a halt including web browsing. Do keep that in mind. The 400 processor is good for regular stuff but not high performance stuff like some of the advanced gaming that you will find on Android these days. Battery life was great and partially that is because of the 720 P screen we are not driving a full 1080P screen. And really no complaints there. Software-wise you will notice this is all pretty straight forward. They didn’t really customize it. Even the settings, there is minimal software features. This is stay on, so it detects when you are holding it and will keep the screen on while you are holding it. There is also some other features for accelerometer.

Leo: Is Sharp new to phones? I don’t remember.

Jason: I have not seen another Sharp phone in the US. I don’t believe this is their first but…

Leo: I know they make them in Japan.

Jason: Exactly. I think here in the US you just don’t really see them. Harman Kardon audio features which I didn’t really experience much difference with those but you’ve got them in there, I suppose it is a nice feature to have. Overall, it is a pretty stock experience. I will say this is Sprint device and there is a bunch of pre-loaded apps most of which you can uninstall which is good because it is 8 gigs of storage but some of the Sprint specific apps stay there and what bugs me more than anything when I see these kind of pre-installed apps is when you have a nice screen and the icons for the preinstalled apps are not updated. So you get this mix of blurry icons and everything else looking sharp and for some reason that bugs me. But I suppose that is what you get. That is the Sharp Aquos Crystal. I would say the pros are obviously the bezel-less design is unique and definitely eye catching, the display itself looks great in person. I really liked it. I would say the phone, for its class, performs pretty well with standard slow down as you would expect with a Snapdragon 400 processor. And battery life is very good as well. On the cons: it is fragile, the exposed glass right up to the tip means that if you drop this face down you are going to get scratches.

Leo: Even on the corner you might really damage the screen just by hitting the edge.

Jason: True. It is out there so there eis nothing to protect it, so you want a case which will then eliminate the whole bezel factor. The back plate is also delicate so overall it felt kind of fragile. Camera is not so good, limited availability because it is only Spring, MVNO so you kind of have to be a Sprint customer to even get in on this. I suppose as my verdict I would have to say it is a try. Value-wise $240 unlocked and $150 if you are Virgin or Boost. Those are good prices but definitely it has some downsides to it. If style is what you are in for, you are going to get some points with the Sharp Aquos Crystal, but beyond that….

Leo: It looks great. Different. And that is something that you don’t see a lot. Android phones have now become all alike.

Jason: I would love to see more phones kind of in this category because it really does make it feel kind of futuristic.

Leo: They do make a 5.5 inch high end version on this phone. It is much more expensive. I think it is an interesting try from Sharp but not necessarily a buy.

Jason: Definitely not a rush out and buy.

Leo: Very good. Thank you. Jason Howell, host of All About Android on the Twit network. We gave Chad Johnson a 4K monitor. The brand new Acer Ultra HD monitor and he had this review for us:

Chad Johnson: Hello, my name is Chad. I’m with Twit and Before You Buy. Today I have a new monitor review for you. This is the Acer 4K2K, ultra HD monitor. The model number is B286HK if you want to go out and buy this for yourself. I said 4K2K which is another way of saying 4K or Ultra HD. there is a lot of names going around. But the gist of it is that there is 3840 x 2160 resolution, that is 3840 pixels x 2160 pixels. Normal HD is 1920 x 1080. So you’re getting an awful lot more pixels in this ginormous monitor. It has a lot of really nice features. One is a stand that swivels. You can move it all around, it goes up and down, pan tilt and it also will rotate for very, very large monitor viewing. It is Visa compliant on the back as well. On the back there is a ton of different options to hook this thing into your computer, with a few other options as well. It has DVI, HTMI with MHL charging. So if you have an MHL stick, it will power that, display port, mini display port and it also has USB connectors on the side. That is USB 3.0 with USB 3.0 pass through. The monitor has full access to 6 axis color management via the menus down here. The menus are pretty simple, it is basically what you would expect to see on a monitor. But it is fast and fairly intuitive in getting from one menu subset to another. So you have six axis saturate and six axis hue where it gives you full access to RGB and CMY color. So if you want to change something you can. they also offer what they call will be empowering technology, where you can switch between an eco-standard graphics or movie mode if you want. Those are basically color profiles that they have made for you and those are available for you on there as well. What is also very interesting is you can basically make this a two monitor set up by doing picture and picture. So right now this is both DVI going on, it is a little bit hard to tell but this is a version of what is playing behind it as well. You can also do that by moving it all around if you want or you can move it from one area to the next. Or you can change the inputs if you want. So right now this is doubling. But you could change the input to the HDMI stick or to something else if you want. Which I think is really interesting. It is not quite practical I’ve got to say, it’s not incredibly practical, but it is very interesting. The back light on this is LED, which means that it turns on very fast and it is incredibly bright. A benefit is that it is APEC gold standard as well as energy star compliant and TCO 6.0 qualified. All in all I think this monitor is positioned perfectly for a commercial market. Maybe a business to buy for their employees. It has some features that kind of make me think that. Mostly because it works really well for text documents but maybe not so perfectly for movie editing or something like that. It also has a magnet on the stand for holding your paper clips and the stand also has ridges for pens and things like that. I just very much felt like this monitor would fit perfectly in an office that needs a lot more desktop space. So pros and cons for the Acer 4K Display: big pro is that 4K resolution absolutely loved it. I also like the USB 3.0 pass through and all the options for plugging things into the back of the monitor as well as the picture and picture mode that it offers. For the cons: the ghosting issue that I was having was a little disheartening, picture quality in terms of blacks being very black didn’t quite seem 100%. By the MSPR on this monitor is $599, so $600, I would say that is a steal for what you get. The humongous display - 28 inches is humongous, the amazing pixels density and the my cons about the color accuracy is not that big of a deal when you look at that price point. I would say that for the Acer B286HK 4K2K Ultra HD Monitor coming in at 28 inches is a buy for me here. Thanks so much for watching this review, I’ll see you next time on Before You Buy.

Leo: Well a definite buy for the Acer 4K2K Ultra HD Monitor. When Chad was reviewing it, it was at a higher price. Now that they’ve drop the price to $500 I bet he likes it even more. $500 for that 4K monitor. Pretty darned good. Shannon Morse is here, Snubbs, we should give a little plug for. They took Tekzilla and they are doing Tech thing and raising money for it on Patrion. Shannon and Patrick Norton. So visit if you want to find out more about that. We gave Shannon the Amped Wireless Touch Screen Wi-Fi Range Extender, does it work? Let’s see.

Shannon Morse: Hi everyone, I’m Shannon Morse with Before You Buy and this week I have the Amped Wireless Wi-Fi Range Extender. The MSRP on this is $119.99. You can get about 800 milliwatts of power out of this. It enables you to have two wire ports as well as USB for shared files and directories and things like that. You also have 300 mb per second of speed. Now, you can get about 10,000 feet of wireless range with this, as least that is what they quote. And it works with B, G and N 2.4 Ghz wireless networks. Unfortunately you cannot use this with AC wireless networks and 5 Ghz. Which kind of stinks. I have a lot of devices on 5 Ghz. Now this is supposed to be able to enable you to eliminate Wi-Fi dead spots. So if you are in a really big area and for some reason in a faraday cage and you don’t have any Wi-Fi in your area you can hopefully get more of a range whenever you connect this in your household, your warehouse or wherever you might be. Now, this does have a touch screen set up on the front. It is 480 x 320 pixels and I noticed that it is a little non-responsive when you turn it one, you might have to click it a couple of times because it does take some pressure to make it actually respond to your touch. Now it does have Wi-FI access controls, there is a signal coverage control on it as well. It does enable you to use Apple networks so you are compatible with your Apple devices. You can use WPA, WPA2 and WPS and whenever you are not using it, you can set this up to be a digital clock. So you can set it on your desk and it will be nice and pretty and it won’t look obtrusive or anything. It is very small too and it is very lightweight. it feels like it is under a pound. It is 5.8 inches x 5.5 x 1.4 So very small. Now it does include a couple of nice things as well. It does have a stand on the back and there is the Stylus which will help you with this somewhat non-responsive screen. It is a very small stylus and it is made of plastic so try not to lose it and don’t let your animals try to eat it. There is an external RPSMA antenna. It looks like it is about five DBI but it is not quoted on the website, so I’m not exactly sure of the exact size of the antenna. However when I used it in my testing it did work and it definitely helped with the wireless in my household. Now I was using this with my Samsung Note 4 and I set it up with the Wi-Fi analyzer application. I was able to get about -40 dB milliwatt on my current wireless network and that went all the way down to -60 DBM whenever I walked really far away from my wireless network. Now when I set this up in an area that still was able to gain somewhat upper range it went down to -50 DBM. So that cut off about -10 with this extender. So that definitely helped with my download speeds. I was able to get about 4 Mb per second extra download speed so not too much of an extra amount but it definitely increased it. So, on the pro side: it does work well, it is a very easy set up because no computer is required. You can do everything from the touchscreen and I love that about this. Now on the con side: there is no 5 GHz or AC wireless and the screen itself is very low resolution and it is somewhat non-responsive so you might need to use the stylus more than what you would want to. So is this a buy, try or don’t buy? I’m going to give it a buy, but only if you don’t need any 5Ghz options. They do have 5Ghz wi-fi range extenders on their website for a little over $100 so those options are available for you. And again, this is the Amped Wireless Wi-Fi Range Extender for your 2.4 Ghz wireless networks. And I’m Shannon Morse and this is Before You Buy.

Leo: Shannon Morse of Hack Five, Snubbs we call her. You can catch her only in Hack Five but watch for her and Patrick Norton to revive Tekzilla as the Tekthing. Now ladies and gentleman, our news director Mike Elgan is here. I feel like we are guinea pigs for these smart watches.

Mike Elgan: Yes, we are.

Leo: Like they just keep giving us more another smart watch, “what do you think of that, what do you think of that”!

Mike: They have to give them to us because we wouldn’t buy them.

Leo: You and I are both Modo 360 Android Wear lovers. We are happy with those.

Mike: Yes.

Leo: We gave you the Sony Smart Watch 3. This is the newest smart watch.

Mike: Sony is ahead of the game, they’ve had a smart watch for years actually. They finally switched over to Android wear which is a good thing and here it is in all of its glory. Now let me just go through some of the things. I’m not going into the Android Wear and we all know about Android Wear. Let’s talk about the unique characters of this. First of all, the band is kind of cool. It just flips off like this. And what is great about this is that it is a silicone band and it is kind of bland looking but highly functional. You set the size here and then you just clip it on like that and you are good to go. It comes off kind of easily so it is not perfect but that is one thing. Another thing that is really unique about this is that this pops out. So it is called the core. Super easy. Of course these are going to be replaceable, right now they just have green and black. Eventually they are going to have all kinds of fruity colors.

Leo: Are you worried about the watch falling out?

Mike: No it is not going to fall out. It is in there very snuggly. It is a little clunky like it kind of exposes some innards and you have to essentially take it out from time to time. That brings us to another unique characteristic of this. Of course we know that there is some interesting cradles in the world of Android Wear Watches. This has no cradle. So basically to charge it, you have to go in here and open this little rubber thing here.

Leo: Do you have to take the band off to do this?

Mike: You don’t have to but it is awkward if you dont. All this stuff is really kind of stiff.

Leo: And there is the cover for the Micro USB.

Mike: So people either love this or hate it. It depends on your lifestyle. If you get up and go to work every morning, you get in the car, go to Starbucks and you are a business person. This is not a good solution. You want the cradle. You want to just throw it in the cradle.

Leo: Everybody has Micro USB now.

Mike: Exactly.

Leo: So at least you can charge it wherever you go.

Mike: This is the Micro USB cable that comes with it. And you can imagine this can go in your pocket, you can’t say that for the MOTO 360’s cradle. It isn’t going to go in your pocket. So this just plugs in and you charge it. So that is a good thing or a bad thing depending on what your lifestyle is. so that is another unique characteristic of that. I’ll show you how this goes together here. It just plunks in there very nicely. That is not going to fall out.

Leo: The only thing people with Android wear watches can do, since the software is always the same, is customize the hardware.

Mike: So how they’ve done that, the biggest thing that they’ve done is that they've built a GPS into the watch itself. So, with this watch you can leave your phone behind. You can go running, do all the stuff you normally do. That is a big deal.

Leo: That is huge.

Mike: The other thing you can do is of course you can have music on this. In order to use the GPS right now you need Google MyTracks. Which is a great app.

Leo: And you need an Android phone. Because the MyTracks writes to it.

Mike: You’ve got to have an Android phone for Android Wear anyway. And if you use Google Play music you can load music onto the watch so now you are good to go. You can go running in the woods…

Leo: You don’t have to have your phone on you and the GPS will just continue to record the weigh points and when you get back to the phone you upload it to MyTracks. Is that how it works?

Mike: Exactly. Now you are already thinking this is a great fitness, outdoor watch. But it has one weird omission for an outdoor fitness kind of watch. It doesn’t have a heart beat monitor of any kind. So that is becoming kind of standard with smart watches. It doesn’t have that. It’s got a very bad screen. This is a yellowish washed out color that is vastly inferior to the LGG watch R or the LGG watch or most of the smart watches that are out there. It is going to be way worse than the Apple watch. I’m certain of that. But this is a very practical watch. It is $249.99 so it is a little on the high side. It is kind of heavy, 76 grams and that compares to the MOTO 360 which is under 50 grams. And the LGG Watch R is just over 60. So this one is kind of heavy.

Leo: That must be the GPS radio. Is that right?

Mike: Right. It has a huge battery in it for the GPS.

Leo: That was my next question. Does the GPS drain the battery?

Mike: It does. If you are really hitting the GPS hard it drains the battery, but if you are not it gets slightly better than average battery life compared to other watches. And that is fair enough. It has a pretty hefty battery in there. Is is a 420 mL amp per hour battery. It’s got all the standard blue tooth 4.0, and that sort of thing. The other thing, it is water proof, dust proof. It is water proof to IP68 rating. So it is like genuinely water proof.

Leo: So it’s not just take a shower with it, it is where you could dive in it.

Mike: You could jump in the water, jump in the swimming pool with this thing.

Leo: Then this would be great for swimming.

Mike: Oh sure. Absolutely. One weird artifact of that usage is that if you are doing the dishes or something, drops of water will activate the screen. So watch out for drops of water. If it is raining, you are going to call somebody!

Leo: Of all the Android Wear watches I like the MOTO 360 best but this one looks pretty nice.

Mike: I’m liking the LGG Watch R very well. I like the round ones. I think their round ones look better. Now I wasn’t going to recommend this. It has a lot of down sides. This silicone thing kind of attracts lent and things. I’ve got to constantly be cleaning it. You get music so you need blue tooth headphones, which is not a big deal if you have them. I’m fashionable and this is a functional, utilitarian watch for people who are going to be outside or traveling. And I wanted to not recommend it. But I’m going to recommend it simply because it has the GPS. We all want to leave the phone behind, go running, go hiking, do whatever you are going to do and this is one of the few watches, maybe the only Android Wear watch that enables you to do that. So I’m going to give it a buy. I think this is a good solid, sturdy watch for people who don’t care so much about aesthetics but do want the functionality of a built in GPS and some of the other features that I mentioned.

Leo: That is really kind of amazing. It is a runners watch, primarily it sounds like. No heart rate, but big deal.

Mike: It’s also kind of a travelers watch. If you like to travel light and you’re going into the tropics and you don’t if it’s going to rain and you want to be able to track where you go, this is a great watch for that sort of thing.

Leo: The Sony Smart Watch 3 Android Wear based. Does it have 5.0 Android? It must if it is playing music. That is a feature of the new one.

Mike: Yes.

Leo: Pretty good. And so you say a buy?

Mike: I gave it a buy.

Leo: I have to say that Apple is going to have a little bit of a challenge with the Apple Watch because I think Android Wear is at a point of maturity now where there are some very good choices, as you mentioned. The Sony Smart Watch 3 and the MOTO 3 all have something in their favor.

Mike: Absolutely.

Leo: Thank you, Mike Elgan News Director. You can catch him every Monday through Friday for your daily dose of tech news, TNT 10:00 AM Pacific, 1:00 Eastern, 1800 UTC on Twit. By the way, if you haven’t seen it, but everybody loved last week’s Holiday Specials that you did. You picked five hot button topics and had experts on to debate them. What were the topics?

Mike: The topics were Women In Technology, The Right To Be Forgotten, The Sony Hack, Wearable Computing and there was another one. I’m spacing it right now. Whatever it was, it was very unforgettable!

Leo: They were great. And you can get them at They are still there and available for download and very timely. These are topic we will continue to discuss I’m sure well in to 2015. Thanks, Mike. You’re doing something for tomorrow for the New Year’s Eve party?

Mike: That’s what I hear. It sounds scary and it is going to be weird, but I’m looking forward to it.

Leo: Should I wear stretchy pants? That’s my only question.

Mike: Yeah, I think so. Yeah, for sure.

Leo: I have the stretchy tuxedo pants I believe. I should get those if I don’t! Finally we are going to wrap up with something that Samsung has announced when they announced the Galaxy Note 4. I think may agree that if not the best smart phone of 2014, certainly one of two or three best Smart Phones of 2014. The stylus, the heart rate monitor, removable back means removable battery, SD card support, easily the best camera. This is a remarkable camera, a 16 mega pixel camera. And a fabulous screen. Probably the best screen on the market today. At the same time they announced the standard Galaxy Note 4 they announced the Galaxy Note Edge. Which was a Note 4 essentially, slightly smaller screen, same number of pixels on the screen but with the addition of 160 pixel side screen. Let me show you on the close up so you can see. I’ve got a screen saver on the side screen which is a bubble machine. You can program those. Let me swipe and show you the kinds of things you can do with the side screen. So notifications will show up here. You don’t have much control over which notifications will show up. You can put some special apps in there and it even has an app folder that I can slide out. So when I tap the app from the edge screen it just launches the app the normal way. That is not all this can do. There are nine panels built in and you can download more from the Samsung store. There are other panels, there is weather and you can see here. This is kind of like a flip board app that Samsung makes available. I have sport scores on there right now. But you can see that I can launch other things from there. And it scrolls by as a ticker. This is a game called Memory Match so there is a lot of stuff you can do on here. It also comes with some specialized apps designed specifically for the Edge. But this is where I started to run into trouble. Let me go back here. Correct me if I’m wrong, did they not say that the point of the Edge is that you could be at a Board Meeting and you could have your phone sitting on the table and you’d read the Edge right? Let’s say I want to record that meeting so I tap record and it is upside down. And this is so strange to me. I don’t understand why the orientation is this way. I’ve been looking and they say we have a left handed mode. So that is good news, I can turn on the left handed mode so I guess if you hold this in your right hand it makes more sense. I don’t understand. The left handed mode is to turn this upside down and then the Edge is on the other side, but the problem with that is that now everything is reoriented, the home button is upside down and Samsung is upside down. It doesn’t make any sense to me at all. So, I feel like they had an idea here. Look how useful this is, a four inch ruler. But for some reason it is all upside down and I’m not sure why that is.

Mike: The other thing that was weird about this when they made the announcement is that they said there is an SEK just for the side.

Leo: I haven’t seen any third party yet but I presume there will be. Right now there are a few additional apps in the Samsung store. By the way the review is simple on this because it is in every way the same as the Galaxy Note 4, processor, same screen, same specs in all respects the same camera. There is a little difference because of the metal band that goes all the way around on the Galaxy Note 4, it does not obviously and cannot go all the way around, so you have this kind of screen. Which actually doesn’t feel weird in the hand. They are pretty good at stray button presses, you see I’m not actually pressing any buttons even though I am holding it and my finger is on the icon. They kind of know what is going on. I think this is really interesting and I applaud Samsung for doing something different. The edge screen is 160 pixels so it is not a huge high res screen. There are some specific settings for it. You can manage which panels show up and you can turn them on or off. As I mentioned you can rotate it 180 degrees, that is the left hand mode. I’ll turn that off now. I’ve put a personal message in there, where I say, “Hands off Leo’s Galaxy Note Edge” but the only problem with that is that it is really tiny. I don’t think anyone would even see it. The night clock might be the most interesting thing. Let’s turn that on. I’ll switch this to our actual time and turn it on. Because there is no place for side button you can to put it in the iPhone position. You can’t see it. It is very dim. Can you see that at all? I can see it. Turn off all the lights that will help. You can’t see it, can you? I can see it. 50 degrees, sunny, 4:13 PM, December 30th. You actually want it to be that dim because you don’t want it to keep you awake. What’s interesting is that this is oriented properly. This is facing me. Everything else faces that way and I don’t understand why. In order for this to work you have to put it on your night stand table. So, think of this as a Galaxy Note 4 with an interesting feature of a bending screen that goes around the side. Not yet any special stuff on here, but presumably there will be. You can see this is a Sprint phone and there is the standard stuff. I should show you the camera since the camera controls are on the Edge screen as well since really isn’t the ideal place. There is really no good way to hold that. I’m not crazy about that. But there is an interesting use for that too. Pros and cons. The pro: It is unique and different. In some cases, like the night clock, it makes a lot of sense. It is an eye catcher and if you ring this to work and school people will say that is kind of cool. I like how it looks. I think it is very space age looking. The con is that it is not particularly functional and I don’t know but it just bugs me that it feels like when I press this record function the record button should be facing this way. Shouldn’t it? Am I wrong? I can read it upside down so I can record and that is great. You’re sitting in a meeting and your phone is just sitting there recording. But it is odd that they… I don’t understand that choice. I guess I have to give that a con. The other con is that it is $120 more than the Galaxy Note 4. You are paying a lot of money for this little bitty thing. That is almost a buck a pixel. So, try, buy, don’t buy? I think unless you are looking at this as a gotta have it, it is a don’t buy. Some of you will say I am willing to be a little different, having something new and different and I’m willing to put up with some of the negatives on here. But for most of us the Galaxy Note 4 it is such a great phone. For $120 less you are actually getting something that is a little bit more useful. So there it is ladies and gentleman. The Galaxy Note Edge from Samsung, it is a do not buy unless you one of those people who says I have to have the neatest, coolest, only one in the building who has it, phone. You will attract attention as you walk down the hall.

Mike: That is me. That is why I would buy it.

Leo: It is sexy in a weird way. But I just feel like after… I’ll be fair I haven’t used it for weeks. I haven’t used it long enough to know if I would may be get used to it. It does feel weird to be holding the phone in such a way that your hand, no matter how you hold it, is on the screen. It feels like I shouldn’t be holding it. There it is. I was very interested to see it so I’m glad I got to try it. The Galaxy Note Edge. $429 with contract with Spring, $840 without contract.

Mike: iPhone territory.

Leo: When you put it that way, it is actually cheap, right? Hey I want to thank all our reviewers. Snubbs, Chad and of course Mike Elgan, Jason Howell for giving us their great reviews and thank you for watching Before You Buy. If you have a suggestion for a product you’d like to see email We put this show, as we do with all of our Twit shows, on our website at, that is the page for Before You Buy. You can also get it on YouTube at With one slight difference we do put the whole edited produced show, the half hour on there. But we also put each individual review. That is designed to make it easier for you to share with friends and family who you think might be interested in a particular product you can just share that. That is Have a great year, I hope you enjoyed our best products of 2014. We’re looking forward to a whole lot of great products in 2015. But remember, you have to watch before you buy. We’ll see you next year!

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