Samsung has unveiled two new smartphones, the latest model in its successful Note range and a unique smartphone which features a screen which bends on one side.

The Galaxy Edge smartphone was unveiled at the IFA trade show in Germany on Wednesday, and features a curved screen that folds over the right edge of the phone.

The phone is based generally on the Galaxy Note 4 which was also launched on Wednesday but is slightly wider and heavier as a result of the unique scree design.

Why the curved screen?

Well, we're not sure, but (surprise, surprise) Samsung says it serves multiple purposes.

Samsung Galaxy Note Edge
Samsung Galaxy Note Edge Samsung

When the screen is off, the folded edge will be able to show time and notifications. At night Samsung envisions it acting like an alarm clock (as long as you remember to turn it the right way).

Wake the screen and it will show you notifications as well as shortcuts to timer, flashlight and even a ruler - which actually makes some sense in this orientation.

In normal use you can decide what goes along the side. You can put the shortcuts that typically appear along the bottom of the screen there, or put a stock ticker or Twitter feed on the curved edge.

The final use for it is to act like a virtual desktop, allowing you to switch quickly between several screens.

Samsung's own camera and video apps already take advantage of the extra screen space, shifting the controls to the side to make the interface cleaner.

Samsung will be opening up the API for the Edge's screen to all developers though how many will put any effort into what is likely to be a very niche phone is limited.

The company has yet to announce a release date or price for the Galaxy Note Edge.

Galaxy Note 4 launched

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Samsung Galaxy Note 4

As expected, Samsung also launched the Galaxy Note 4, which is the latest in the company's successful large-screen smartphone range.

The Note 4 features a Quad HD display which is the same as the resolution on LG's G3 smartphone (2560 x 1440) with Samsung keeping the same screen size as last year's model (5.7in).

The phone looks similar in terms of design but Samsung has used more premium materials in its construction, giving the phone a more premium feel - following the launch of the all-metal Galaxy Alpha last month.

The phone will feature the powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 805 chipset, 3GB of RAM, either 32GB or 64GB of storage and a microSD card slot to add up to a further 64GB.

Samsung has brought the fingerprint scanner and heart-rate monitor from the Galaxy S5 which launched earlier this year - as well as adding a UV light sensor next to the camera on the back.

The camera has been upgraded from last year with a 16 megapixel sensor present along with optical image stabilisation and a dual LED flash all featuring.

Samsung has said the phone will launch in October but has not revealed pricing yet.