Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 review: Walking tall

GSMArena team, 16 June 2013.
Pages: 1234567891011

Tags: Samsung, Android

Introduction

Many - including this website - have complained that only big phones have high-end specs. But there's a flip side to this argument - it's hard to find a big phone with mid-range specs. That's where Samsung's new Galaxy Mega 6.3 comes in. It's big as its name suggests, but aims for the midrange instead of entering the overcrowded high-end arena.

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Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 official images

A big screen caters to our flawed human senses - often our eyes value size over resolution and so do our thumbs. So, while the pixel density of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 screen is no match for the bleeding edge screens on current flagships, many will find it more comfortable to read off the big screen - a nearly 60% more screen real estate is nothing to sneeze at.

The Galaxy Grand is another device that favored display size over specs, but that's in the lower end of the Android spectrum. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 on the other hand has respectable specs, not too far off what passed as "flagship" last year.

Key features

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE; quad-band 3G with HSPA; LTE
  • 6.3" 16M-color 720p TFT LCD capacitive touchscreen; 233ppi
  • Android OS v4.2.2 Jelly Bean with TouchWiz UI
  • Dual-core 1.7GHz Krait CPU, Adreno 305 GPU; Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset
  • 1.5GB of RAM
  • 8 MP autofocus camera with LED flash, 1080p video recording @ 30fps, continuous autofocus and stereo sound
  • 1.9 MP front-facing camera, 1080p video recording
  • Drama shot, Shot and sound
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi a/b/g/n/ac, Wi-Fi Direct and DLNA
  • GPS with A-GPS, GLONASS
  • 8/16GB of built-in storage
  • microSD card slot
  • microUSB port with USB host and MHL
  • Bluetooth v4.0
  • NFC
  • IR port for remote control functionality
  • Standard 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Accelerometer and proximity sensor
  • Active noise cancellation with dedicated mic
  • Ample 3,200mAh battery with great endurance; user replaceable
  • 8mm thickness; 199g of weight

Main disadvantages

  • Big, even for a phablet
  • Resolution on the low side for the screen size
  • Midrange performance
  • Design is a bit played out by now
  • No FM radio
  • Shared camera interface makes framing tricky

So, it's not just last year's flagships, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 borrows from this year's model too - the latest Android version with latest TouchWiz enhancements, IR blaster, Air View, Multi-window and a bunch of other exclusive software goodies.

And while there's no denying it's a big device, it's only slightly bigger than its 6.3" screen. The other measurements - 8mm thickness and 199g of weight are actually pretty slender. It's barely thicker than the Galaxy S4 and weighs only 16g more than the Note II (which is 9.4mm thick).

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Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 in our office

The 720p resolution is perhaps lower than some people would have liked, but the 233ppi pixel density is better than that of the Galaxy S II though not quite as good as the one on the Note II (no surprise given the different market segments). And the Snapdragon 400 chipset should be able to hold its own against the top quad-core chipsets of the previous generation like the popular Tegra 3 or Samsung's Exynos 4.

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is a half-step between phones and a 7" tablet. Some say it's too big to use as a phone and too small to be a tablet. Others respond with "you can't slip a tablet in your pants pocket, but the Mega 6.3 just fits." There's certainly evidence in favor of both claims - jump over to the next page to find out which argument prevails as far as hardware is concerned.

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