Samsung is at the forefront of Android phablets and its latest gadget is for people who want a bigger, more affordable Galaxy Note. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 just went official and we had a chance to handle one for a couple of minutes.
Unlike the Note, the Galaxy Mega does not have an S Pen but it does have the S4’s Air View so you can still perform some of the same things as you can with the S Pen. That’s not the only thing the Mega has borrowed from the S4 either.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 design is identical to that of the Galaxy S4, it’s only the scale that is different. The phablet is made of the same plastic and has a finish with the same pattern. The bezels are quite thin too, but that large screen makes for a large footprint – 167.6 x 88 mm. It’s almost as thin as the Galaxy S4 though, at only 8mm. The Galaxy Mega 6.3 weighs 199g compared to the Note II’s 183g.
The camera on the back does protrude quite a bit though, more than on the Galaxy S4 (but you’ll notice the same arrangement with the LED below the camera). It’s an 8MP shooter that has the same camera UI as the Galaxy S4 camera and shares many of the cool shooting features of the company’s flagship like Drama and Sound & shot..
The phablet feels pretty large in the hand – as close to a 7” tablet as to a smartphone. It dwarfs the Galaxy S4, which is smaller than the screen of the Mega 6.3, so one-handed use is not great (or even possible for some). If you compare it to a 7” tablet it’s much more comfortable to hold though (the low weight helps a lot here).
The screen on the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is an LCD of 720p resolution and 233ppi pixel density. Not quite as sharp as the 720p / 267ppi display on the Note II (not to mention the contrast), but it has 31% more surface area.
The Mega 6.3 is powered by the Exynos 5250 chipset, like the one that went into the Google Nexus 10. It has a 1.7GHz dual-core Cortex-A15, an unusual 1.5GB of RAM and Mali-T604 GPU. We didn’t get a chance to run benchmarks but the Nexus 10 was pretty quick so we guess the Mega 6.3 won’t have many performance issues. Especially in the GPU department, which may be overpowered for a 720p screen (on the Nexus 10 the T604 had to drive a 2560 x 1600 pixel screen).
Samsung put Android 4.2 on the Mega and added the Galaxy S4 special sauce. That means you get the splitscreen Multi-window multitasking, Air View, Group Play, S Translator, S Travel (a branded version of TripAdvisor) and more.
The phablet has rich connectivity options too – everything from high-speed data connections like LTE and Wi-Fi 802.11ac through NFC and even the IR emitter so you can control your home theater setup.
The back cover of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is removable and you can plug in a microSD card to expand the 8GB or 16GB built-in storage. Also, a SIM card as the phablet has full phone functionality. The battery is also here, a 3,200mAh unit barely larger than that in the Note II but should still suffice to keep the smartphone going for quite a while.