Samsung: Enemy of the lefties

Taking a page from Apple’s book, Samsung suggests left-handed users hold it differently.

When it comes to how a device feels in the hand, there’s typically a wide range of adjectives: Heavy, light, thick, thin, slick, smooth, slippery, tacky…you get the idea.  What usually isn’t described is how terrible the device works in the right vs. left hand.  Why?  Because up until Samsung’s Galaxy Note Edge, it hasn’t really been an issue.

According to engadget‘s editor and left handed phone user, Brad Molen, the Note Edge is so cumbersome to use left handed, he’s been advised by Samsung to use it upside down.  Yes, you’ve read that correctly.

For those that are unfamiliar with Samsung’s Note Edge, the device is Samsung’s attempt to bring something new to the table.  Utilizing new curved screen technology, the Note Edge can display application icons/notifications along the right-hand side of the device.  This seems like a fine and dandy idea on paper, or if you like asymmetric designs.  However, as Brad Molen has discovered, asymmetric design doesn’t work particularly well for handheld devices.


Since the device is uncomfortable to hold as intended in the left hand, due to the sharp edge of the curved-side to the back of the device, Samsung has came up with the solution to simply hold it upside down.  Brilliant!  Except for, well, that has problems of its own.  Once held upside down, the “Home” button is now awkwardly placed at the top.  But never fear, Samsung has already incorporated a virtual “Home” button that is accessible by sliding up from the top (now bottom–confused yet?)  So now anytime you want to hit the “Home” button, you just have to slide and tap.  OK.  A little more work, but not terrible.

However, with the device flipped over, the volume keys are now in an inconvenient position near the bottom on the side and worse, are now also backwards: pressing the top volume key will turn the volume down and the bottom turns the volume up.  Right.  Surely just a minor annoyance?  Well suppose now you want to make a phone call –I know, I know, crazy concept for a “smartphone” these days– now there’s more of a user-unfriendly issue: now you have to turn your Note Edge right-side up…er, top-side up (this is getting confusing) since the dialing screen isn’t designed to work upside-down and also because you will need to have it properly orientated to speak into the microphone and listen to earpiece.

And with all of this flip-flopping and spinning your Note Edge like one of those corner sign-spinning guys, you may have lost track of your power key, S-Pen, and which way your volume key needs to be pressed to adjust the volume.

This guy knows how to handle the Galaxy Note Edge.

Now, ultimately Mr. Molen advises that if you’re a left-handed cell phone user, you should probably just get a regular Galaxy Note.  I of course suggest buying a phone that actually works in either hand, or both hands….like any BlackBerry.