Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3-inch phablet, hands-on

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3-inch phablet, hands-on

Summary: The march of the phablets continues - so does the Galaxy Mega 6.3 and its mammoth screen deliver?

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  • Samsung has decided 2013 is the year of the phablet and is wasting no time in bringing a wealth of new devices to market.

    The Mega line currently has two different sized devices, though both (as the name would imply) are far larger than a 'normal' sized smartphone.

    I've had some hands-on time with the most recent addition, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 - the 6.3-inch 720p screen is no match for the Galaxy S4 in terms of resolution or display, but is perfectly adequate for the mid-to-high end of the market that the Galaxy Mega will likely be priced to attract.

    Key hardware specs include a 1.7GHz dual core processor, internal storage of 8GB or 16GB, 1.5GB RAM and support for  microSD cards up to 64GB.

    But, like many of Samsung's recent phones, it will hoping that the software rather than the hardware provides the compelling purchasing argument. To that end, it has included some of the more sought after features from the S4 and Note II, although not all the same goodies are on board.

    Firing up the handset takes you to the usual array of Android apps found on the Android 4.2 Jelly Bean build. Samsung is obviously particularly proud of its weather app, as it takes up around half of the total homescreen size.

  • Having all that extra screen real-estate to play with gives Samsung a few extra options with the Mega 6.3. The image above shows the notification bar pulled down with quick access to the system options. Rather than just showing things like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and perhaps one or two other options, the Mega 6.3 lets you switch most of the system functions on or off without needing to delve into the menus.

    In addition to the standard Android options that you can change: multi-window mode, S Beam, Air View and Smart Stay can all be switched on or off directly from the notification bar. Potential Samsung Galaxy S4 buyers that wanted those software features specifically will be pleased to find them included on the Mega 6.3, although Air Gesture is not present.

    Air View is Samsung's way of allowing users to see a preview of a text message or email (or quick dialling) without needing to open the message, or even touch the screen. Similarly, Smart Stay is the feature seen on previous generation Galaxy devices that keeps the screen awake as long as you're looking at it.

    Other Samsung specific features like Group Play, WatchON, ChatON and S Translator are present on the device too.

    With a release date pegged for May and no retail price yet announced, the software on the Mega is not quite yet perfect — twice in the ten minute period I was using the phone, it popped up a message to say that the TouchWiz UI had crashed and needed to reboot.  

     

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Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, Mobility, Tablets

Ben Woods

About Ben Woods

With several years' experience covering everything in the world of telecoms and mobility, Ben's your man if it involves a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or any other piece of tech small enough to carry around with you.

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Talkback

23 comments
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  • love my Galaxy Note but

    I think this is just a little too large to carry around day to day as a phone. Now being said I'd love to have one for use on long trips where I'm not having to haul it around all day long.

    So the 5.3"/5.5" in my opinion the 'sweet spot' between too big and too small.
    REDPINXC
    • Waiting for the Note 3...

      5.5 inches is a good size, but my contract is up in 3 months so I'll just wait a little while until the Note 3 comes out in September. Too bad the Note 2 doesn't have 32 GB built in on the American carriers...
      DonRupertBitByte
    • Galaxy Note not big enough

      As a Galaxy Note user, I've also carried a nexus 7 in the same pocket, yes that's right, Nexus 7 and a Galaxy Note1 in the same pocket. while the Nexus 7 is a tight fit, something around 6.3" would be comfortable in the pocket and offer beneficial screen size.
      Add s-pen and Full HD screen, call it Note 3 and I'm there.
      warboat
  • Does it fit in your shirtpocket?

    If no, that will be a dealbreaker for many.
    paul613
    • Re: Does it fit in your shirtpocket?

      You put your phone in your SHIRTPOCKET!?

      http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=QLw6FemRavs
      ldo17
      • Yep.

        I keep my Galaxy Note 1 in my dress shirt's pocket...complete with a 5000mAh battery and rubber case. At 86mm wide, it's a snug fit, so I don't worry that it will fall out.
        paul613
    • depends on the shirt

      My SIII doesn't fit nicely in my shirt pockets, which is to say it fits; but not enough to button the flap and lock the phone in place. This had led to a couple of heart attack type events including dropping the phone out of my pocket investigating a leaky roof at my uncles house.

      I do have to say that I am very happy with my Ballistics case, phone survived a 2 story drop onto concrete without even dislodging the SDHC card.
      l_creech
    • But...

      Do you also were a pocket protector with your phone in your pocket? Dude, geeks are cool now, get the damn phone out of your shirt pocket already.
      Rann Xeroxx
  • Is it just me....

    or are some of the specs less than other devices?
    This is just too big! Not worth it!
    Duct tape
    HBCASurfer
    • cont'd

      duct tape it to your head on a windy day!
      LOL
      HBCASurfer
  • Only big handsets makes sense !!!

    Considering that a smartphone actually is the smallest portable computer a person has at her disposal and considering further that smartphones are actually used like laptops it makes sense to give them the largest possible screen.
    Let's face it, Goggle Maps on a 4" screen isn't quite a pleasure to work with. For everyone beyond her 30s even reading emails on a 4" screen isn't comfy. That being said, to fully leverage a smartphone a large screen is more a necessity than a luxury.
    EnticingHavoc
  • Didn't we get rid of bricks?

    I thought brick-sized cell phones went out in the 80's. This looks like a cell phone for a clown to use in his act. Here buddy, slap this big screen TV up against the side of your head and talk to it. Nobody will laugh... trust me.
    BillDem
    • its big but for some of us who rarely talk on the phone (in public anyway), its not a problem looking silly. Have you see the asus phonepad? Its the size of a nexus 7 and is a phone. In the ad people are shown using it against the ear and it does look silly.
      Not that I am thinking of getting one of these. I wish google would put out a "nexus 5" phone, that was 5.5 inches, for like
      drwong
      • ...continued

        $349 then I'd stop using tablets altogether.
        drwong
    • people say its too BIG

      and then carry around an iPad because their iPhone screen is too small.
      warboat
    • Re: Didn't we get rid of bricks?

      Yes we did.

      Unless you know of some very thin bricks...
      ldo17
  • Phablets make sense with bluetooth headsets

    As a portable computing device there is a point where the phablet makes sense. It's small enough for a woman to carry in a purse, or a guy in a jacket pocket.... does it make sense as a hand held phone? I don't think so, but with the ubiquitous bluetooth headsets, it can remain in a pocket or purse unless you are texting or browsing. Probably a good phone for skypeing. It could serve as a hands free vehicle phone mounted on the dash with GPS display function. There are all kinds of ways it makes sense.
    **owly**
    • phablet user for 2 years

      I've been a phablet user for over 2 years. Dell Streak 5, Blue Studio 5.3, Galaxy Note 1 & 2.
      I've never used them with a Bluetooth headset, I just hold it up to my ear and talk or use wired headset. I don't care what others think, I'm talking on it. From my experience, people don't care and those that do are actually asking stuff like, wow,you can make calls on that tablet? what is it?
      warboat
  • Nice and NOT too big

    I wish I could afford one, as I am now retired I am watching the pennies, but I use a Galaxy Tab (MK1) it does everything I need its my Phone, Sat Nav Goes on line while out and checks my favourite sites picks up email from one of my addresses and IMHO does fine the extra speed of the newer chip and leaving Gingerbread behind would be nice but as I am getting older and slower its not a problem, the thing is I have hands like the proverbial shovels so a 7" Tab does not look uncomfortable in my hand, and I have brought a leather pouch that the British Police use for their notebooks it fits fine and goes on my belt. Anyway getting back to this Mega IMHO Very nice would mind one, but don't have the cash

    [IMG]http://freespace.virgin.net/pete.owles/Galaxy%20Tab%20&%20mount/DSCF6321w.JPG[/IMG]
    The BarnOwl
  • Opps sorry

    I thought a picture of it in my "MITT" would prove a point Oh hum
    The BarnOwl