Well, what do you know! We have Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX loaded on the Galaxy Mega 5.8. The custom interface is running on top of Android 4.2.2, which is the most up-to-date version of the platform. There's a whole bunch of minor, yet useful tweaks sprinkled all over the UI, but the major modifications are the ones a user would truly appreciate.

Among these additional features is Smart Stay, which prevents the screen from turning itself off if the user is still looking at it. Blocking mode is another handy addition. When enabled, it blocks specific notifications, including those for incoming calls and text messages, at certain times of the day – at night, or when the user is at work, for example. Both of these features are very useful and the latter is easy to set up.

But the list of UI alterations does not end here. The Multi Window mode lets you have two different apps opened and displayed simultaneously. A feature like this can come in handy on a smartphone with such a large screen, but it does take a toll on the device's performance with some apps, so it is up to the user to decide whether they will be using the feature often or not.

To make the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 at least somewhat less difficult to operate with a single hand, its maker has added the option to have the keypad and on-screen keyboard positioned on the left or right side of the screen. But even with these enabled, single-handed use of the device is still extremely uncomfortable. On the other hand, typing on the virtual keyboard with both hands is convenient as the keys are well spaced apart from each other.

Dual SIM functionality

As the name implies, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 Duos can work with two SIM cards simultaneously. One of them is set as the main SIM card – that's the one that will be used when you place a call. The user can quickly switch over to the other SIM cards with the tap of a button in the notification panel. However, it is worth pointing out that both microSIM cards work in an “always on” manner, meaning that even when one of them is in use during a phone call, the other is still active and will register an incoming call – something that not all dual-SIM phones can do. The user has the option to set mobile data traffic to be handled by only one of the two cards, while the other may be dedicated to receiving and placing phone calls. That way, one can still have a data connection even during a phone call, which may come in handy in some rare instances.

Processor and memory:

As we mentioned earlier, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 has a hardware configuration fitting it in the mid-range device category. The SoC running the whole show is made by Broadcom and sports a dual-core processor clocked at 1.4GHz, a VideoCore IV GPU, and it is paired with not one, not two, but... 1.5GB of RAM. The interface of the device is fluid and responsive most of the time, but slowdowns and dropped frames are way too common. Returning back to the home screen from an opened app often forces widgets to reload, which results in further lagging. Overall, the smartphone's performance won't make you want to throw it against the wall, but we were expecting more in terms of responsiveness. As for its gaming capabilities, casual titles work perfectly. Those more demanding games with 3D graphics and all that eye candy are also playable, but they can be choppy at times.

Quadrant Standard AnTuTu GLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD) Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 3856 7999 2026 FAIL / 386
Samsung Galaxy S II Plus 3833 8228 2142 1558 / 425
Sony Xperia SP 7866 16413 4970 / 44 fps 2013 / 755
LG Optimus L7 II 2823 6674

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 comes with 8GB of on-board storage, but its maker has most of that filled up with software and what not. Since the smartphone has no more than 3.65GB available for apps, games, photos and media, using a microSD card with it is more or less mandatory. At least there are 50GB of Dropbox cloud storage given to the user for free (a 2-year promo) to make up for the lack of on-board space.

Web browser and connectivity:

While surfing the web on a large screen is a joy, the whole experience is a bit spoiled by the screen's low resolution. It isn't as bad as it sounds, but don't expect to be able to read entire web pages without zooming in. The performance of the web browser is nearly flawless, with only rare slowdowns when rendering very heavy web pages. In addition to all the basic features, such as support for multiple windows and playback of embedded YouTube videos, the browser has a neat feature called Reader – it makes the font larger and clears the web page from all non-essential content, thus making the page a lot more convenient to read.

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