T-Mobile started rolling out the Android Lollipop 5.0.1 update for the Samsung Galaxy Note Edge a couple of days ago. The Note 4 was updated the week before. There are some nice improvements on the Note Edge and it’s always good to see existing devices receive software updates.
The evaluation unit I have received the update over the air right away, but you can also connect via Samsung Kies to check for availability. The update is a whopping 1.1GB in size so make sure you are connected to a fast WiFi connection and have your battery charged to greater than 50 percent.
While there are primarily improvements in the OS that may not be readily apparent, there are at least five differences I found on the Galaxy Note Edge.
- Move to SD card: A major benefit of the Lollipop update is the restored access to the microSD card. You can now move installed apps to the SD card and have more integrated storage on board.
- Chrome browser tabs on overview screen: Lollipop puts multiple browser tabs on the task switcher/overview screen. You can go into Chrome and turn off this merged functionality if you want to manage tabs within Chrome.
- Camera shutter gone from the edge: I don’t know what Samsung was thinking here. The edge display used to hold all of the camera controls, including the shutter button, but with the new Lollipop interface it appears down on the right side of the display just like every other Android Lollipop device. It may be easier to use on the display, but now there is a bunch of empty space in the edge area so it would be nice to have the ability to add more camera controls there.
- Toggle off edge notifications: To eliminate some redundancy you can toggle off edge screen notifications. You may want to do this since some of the Lollipop notifications are coming at you from the top whether you like it or not.
- Smart Lock: You can now use your Bluetooth smart watch or other connected device or a trusted location to unlock your Samsung Galaxy Note Edge.
Other changes include updated settings area and quick settings controls, new text messenger app, slightly modified dialer and contacts application, and other Material Design improvements.
It seems that Samsung Note Edge users may lose a bit of the cool edge functionality with the Lollipop update, while gaining the benefits of Material Design and speed of Lollipop. I recommend you look at how you use your device today to see if it’s worth the update.
I’ve read some forum posts where users are experiencing shortened battery life and heating issues after updating to Lollipop. If your device is acting up, try backing it up and then performing a hard reset. This practice has resulted in many people having a better performing device.
AT&T and Sprint Note Edge users were previously provided the Lollipop update so the last major carrier waiting for the update is Verizon.
Given the poor battery life I experienced on the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge and the very limited functionality of the edge display, I personally prefer to use the larger Samsung Note Edge. With this Android Lollipop update, the Note Edge is definitely a device to consider for the road warrior.
Further ZDNet Note Edge coverage