You didn’t think the Galaxy Note II was the last word, did you? That Samsung’s 5.5-inch phablet had filled the last gaps between smartphone and tablet? Think again. If the Note is two parts smartphone, one part tablet – the huge Galaxy Mega flips that around. Let’s see how the two versions of the Mega (Mega 5.8 and Mega 6.3) compare.
If you can still classify these as smartphones, then they’re the biggest damn smartphones you’ve ever seen. The Mega 6.3, naturally, is larger than its baby bro, but it does manage to be thinner.
No surprise here, as plastic is par for the course with Samsung devices.
Plastic isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. For one, it opens the door to removable batteries. It also keeps weight down, and lets Samsung spend more on other components.
... but if plastic doesn’t float your boat, several of Samsung’s competitors will be happy to take your money.
This is what I mean about the plastic. Despite their enormous sizes, these are still relatively light phablets. They may leave a sizable impression in your pocket, but at least they won’t feel like heavy bricks.
What do you know: the Mega 5.8 has a 5.8-inch display, and the Mega 6.3 has a 6.3-inch display. Screen size is the most obvious difference between these two phablets.
Resolution is also worth paying attention to. Much has been made of the mid-range pixel densities here, but the Mega 6.3 has a respectable 233 pixels per inch (PPI). That’s only about 34 fewer than the Galaxy Note II, which has a terrific display.
If we’re bringing up the Note, though, we have to mention that it – and the Galaxy S series – sports an AMOLED display. The Mega phablets use TFT LCDs.
Samsung hasn’t mentioned the make of processors here, but it did reveal the clock speeds of these dual-core CPUs. We’re definitely talking mid-range here, but both should be speedier than your average mid-range device.
We’re looking at 1.5 GB of RAM in each Mega. Again, not too shabby for a mid-range device: Apple’s high-end devices have never had more than 1 GB of RAM.
Okay, here’s where we see some limits. 8 GB of storage isn’t much. But you can pay more to push the Mega 6.3 up to 16 GB.
Even more important, though, is the microSD slot that each has. It adds up to 64 GB of extra storage, and basically cancels out the shortage of internal flash memory.
This is a big advantage for the bigger Mega. It gets LTE, while the Mega 5.8 settles for (not quite as fast) HSPA+ 21.
You’ll want to check with your carrier first though. If it doesn’t have LTE in your area, this might be a moot point.
These are some nice numbers for battery capacity. Considering that neither screen is pushing the limits of pixel density, it’s a safe bet that both Megas will easily last a full day.
Again, for “mid-range,” this ain’t too shabby. There’s a lot more to image quality than megapixels, but if Samsung wanted to be cheap, it could have done much worse than 8-megapixel rear shooters.
Here’s a nice bonus. Both phablets ship with the latest version of Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean.
They also get the latest version of Samsung’s TouchWiz “Nature” UX. That means many of the Galaxy S 4’s features show up here too. So apps like S Translator (real time translation), S Travel (trip information), and Air View (preview emails and pictures by hovering your finger) are all joining the Mega party.
Wrap-upThere are a few more caveats about the Megas:
Pricing and availability are also question marks. All we know is that the two Megas will be available in May – in Europe and Russia. No mention yet of U.S., Canada, Australia, or anywhere else. With Samsung’s high-end phablets doing well, though, we wouldn’t rule out a larger rollout for these mid-range (likely cheaper) phablets.
So is the cycle complete? Have we now seen every screen size imaginable? Maybe. But, then again, there’s always room to expand on the high end.