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Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3. Who dreams up these things?
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Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3. Who dreams up these things?

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 certainly qualifies as the Godzilla of smartphones or phablets. I’m not sure whether it is a huge phone or tiny tablet or even who would want such a monster.

 

Measuring 167.6 x 88 x 8mm (6.60 x 3.46 x 0.31in), the Galaxy Mega 6.3 makes for difficult one-handed operation. It was pretty much impossible with my small hands. Reaching up to swipe down notifications was awkward, and targeting buttons in some apps is harder than it needs to be because the phone is tall and wide. At 199g (7.02oz.) it is also quite a bit heavier than most phones.

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Not only is the Mega a two-handed device it is awkward to use as a phone..it feels like holding a brick to your face plus it barely fits in my pocket.

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Big phone does however mean big battery and you can expect two days out of the 3200 mAh battery.

On first look you think of a Galaxy S4 on steroids but, that’s where the comparison ends..this monster can’t run with the current flagship phones. Check these specs:

  • Android 4.2.2 with TouchWIZ
  • 6.3-inch 1280×720 pixel Super Clear LCD display
  • 1.7Ghz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 (Krait 300) w/ Adreno 305 GPU
  • 1.5GB RAM
  • 16GB internal storage (10.7GB available)
  • 8MP rear camera / 1.9MP front camera
  • 1080p video capture @ 30fps
  • WiFi (b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 4.0, A-GPS, NFC
  • 3200mAh removable battery
  • 167.6 x 88 x 8 mm
  • 199g

The mid-range processor and GPU shows…it is not quite as snappy as I would like. While it is not objectionably slow you do notice that you are waiting for things to happen when opening apps but scrolling screens is pretty smooth. It is interesting to see a non AMOLED screen on a Samsung device. While relatively low res the 1280 x 720 pixel LCD produces very readable text and actually makes for a very comfortable e-reader.

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Like its Galaxy cousins the Mega runs on Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean with Samsung’s newest Touch Wiz layer on top. That gives you Android’s multiple home screens, and an expanded quick settings menu when you pull down the notifications tray.

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Samsung’s customized interface also brings with it a bunch of features integrated, like S Beam, Samsung’s take on NFC sharing, and lots of tools to share data with other devices like your TV, laptop, and tablet.

The Mega is loaded with connectivity. It covers pretty much all the North American cellular bandwidths including LTE, is NFC capable, includes Bluetooth 4 and is the first phone I have seen with ultrafast 802.11ac WiFi

The Mega’s 8-megapixel camera has continuous autofocus, an LED flash, and good access to camera settings. It is not as feature filled as the Galaxy S4 but the important ones are are still there, including HDR, sport mode, panorama, and continuous shot.

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While the camera is not up to the standard  of the current flagship phones, outdoor pictures were generally pretty good but strong highlights tend to blow out.

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Indoors with flash it produced surprisingly good pictures.

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Videos at 1080p were also surprisingly good, smooth, no flicker and solid autofocus.

As I said at the beginning, Who dreams up these things? It seems Samsung is trying to fill every single niche with a phone for everyone although, for the life of me I can’t imagine who would buy this monster. It is a great small e-reader but way too expensive for that. As well, it is a good internet device but again a 7″ tablet is only slightly larger at less than half the price. If i did need a big screen phablet I would spend a bit more and Get a Galaxy Note.

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 with 16Gb of internal memory is available from Telus and Rogers for $100 with a two year contract and $550 with no term. In the US it is available from AT&T with 8Gb of internal memory  and and a microSD card slot for $150 with a 2 year term. Best buy is selling it unlocked for $680

 

Bob Benedetti

Former RCAF Fighter Pilot Bob worked for CTV Montreal as a Reporter, Producer and Executive producer for 35 years retiring in 2004. Bob started reporting on personal technology in 1995 at CTV and continues today at Home Technology Montreal

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