• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

Having had substantial success with the Samsung Galaxy Note line Samsung have taken things to the extreme with the Samsung Galaxy Mega- a 6.3 inch monster that tries to combine a phone with a tablet to mixed results.

Size matters

The Samsung Galaxy Mega is going to live or die on its screen size. At 6.3 inches it’s probably the biggest phone on the planet. That size extends to the overall dimensions of the handset, which come in at 167.6 x 88 x 8mm. In other words it’s long and wide but actually quite thin. It’s also heavy at 199g (compared for example to the Samsung Galaxy S4 which is just 130g).

Samsung Galaxy Mega Size Comparison

 

That all means that it’s not quite as portable or user friendly as we’d expect a smartphone to be. Smaller pockets will struggle to cope with it and it’s also rather awkward to use with one hand, particularly if you’ve not been blessed with giant fingers.

Movie magic

While the Samsung Galaxy Mega isn’t as user friendly as we’d like, the screen size does mean that it’s great for watching videos and playing games on. Surprisingly it uses SC-LCD rather than Samsung’s own Super AMOLED technology, and it’s a little worse for it, with less vibrant colours, but it’s still reasonably good looking. It’s also fairly sharp, despite a resolution of 720 x 1280 (which gives it a pixel density of 233 ppi).

The quality of the screen is shown up by the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 and HTC One, but the sheer size more than makes up for it if media is a priority.

Déjà vu

Samsung Galaxy Mega In-hands

The actual build of the Samsung Galaxy Mega is a lot like that of the Samsung Galaxy S4. In other words it’s a plastic rectangle (available in white, black or plum purple) with curved corners and a metallic edge. But even the buttons and sensors all have roughly the same size, shape and positioning as on the Samsung Galaxy S4. If you like the look of the Samsung Galaxy S4 then you’re sure to like this too, but if it’s too plastic for your tastes then you’re not going to like this either.

Slow and steady

While on the surface the Samsung Galaxy Mega may seem like an over-sized Galaxy S4, under the hood it’s a very different story, as the specs are rather underwhelming. Using a 1.7 GHz dual-core processor and 1.5GB of RAM the Samsung Galaxy Mega isn’t going to win any awards for power.

In practice it doesn’t seem terribly underpowered, but equally things are never quite as snappy as we’d like. It would be reasonable to expect a lot of power to accompany that huge screen, but in reality it’s mid-range under the hood. The combination of power and size seems to have been reserved for the Galaxy Note range.

Features

The Samsung Galaxy Mega runs Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean rather than the latest version of Android (4.3). Thankfully there aren’t too many differences between the two so you’re unlikely to really miss it. It’s skinned with Samsung’s TouchWiz interface and includes Samsung staples like ‘S Translate’, ‘S Memo’ and ‘Air View’, though it misses out on ‘S Health’. Many of these features are a bit gimmicky anyway but they’re a nice addition none the less.

The Samsung Galaxy Mega also has an 8 megapixel camera, which is a step down from the 13 megapixel sensor found on the Samsung Galaxy S4 but still delivers reasonable shots and includes a bunch of modes such as HDR and ‘Sound & Shot’ which adds several seconds of audio to an image.

Low light performance isn’t great and even in optimal conditions the photos taken by the Samsung Galaxy Mega aren’t as good as the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S4 or Nokia Lumia 925, but the quality is easily comparable to most mid-range handsets.

The camera is also capable of shooting 1080p video at 30fps, while a 1.9 megapixel camera on the front can be used for video calls and self portraits.

While the specs are decidedly mid-range in a lot of ways the Samsung Galaxy Mega also includes NFC and infrared- two features which are largely reserved for high end handsets and which allow it to make contactless payments and work as a remote control for other electronics. 4G is also on board, so you can enjoy fast mobile data speeds if you get it on a compatible network.

A choice of 8 or 16GB of internal storage doesn’t give you a huge amount of space for media and apps, but thanks to the inclusion of a micro SD card slot that can be increased by another 64GB.

Keep on Truckin’

One of the more impressive aspects of the Samsung Galaxy Mega is its battery, which at 3200 mAh is far bigger than the 2600 mAh one included in the Galaxy S4 and even slightly bigger than the 3100 mAh battery in the Samsung Galaxy Note 2. Of course the larger screen size demands a bigger battery but even so the battery life is impressive, easily lasting a day even with heavy media use and potentially a lot longer if you’re mostly just using the phone for calls and texts (though in that case we’d have to ask why you’d even want the Samsung Galaxy Mega).

Our conclusion

The Samsung Galaxy Mega tries to combine a phone and a tablet but it never quite convinces. It’s too big to really be optimal as a smartphone while it’s not quite big enough to work as an alternative to a tablet. The specs are reasonable but decidedly mid-range, though with the inclusion of NFC, 4G and infrared it’s not lacking for features. The battery life is great too, but unless you really can’t afford both a tablet and a phone we’d recommend a phone with a smaller screen- like the Samsung Galaxy S4 for example, or even the Samsung Galaxy S4 Mini.

Specifications

Specifications

Dimensions 167.6 x 88 x 8 mm

Weight: 199g

Screen size: 6.3 inch

Screen Resolution: 1280*720 pixels

Pixels Per Inch (PPI) : 237ppi

Processor: 1.7 GHz Dual-core

RAM: 1.5GB

Battery capacity : 3200 mAh

Onboard Memory: 8GB (microSD support)

Camera :  8 megapixel  / 1.9 mega-pixel (front-facing)

Operating system: Android Jelly Bean (4.2)

Ultrafast / 3G / 4G LTE : Yes / Yes / Yes

Bluetooth / NFC : Yes / Yes

Colours : Black, White

Launch Date:  Available Now

Price : £400

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