Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Review

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Introduction and Design
Introduction

Measuring 6.3” across, as the name suggests, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is not to be disregarded, be it only for the fact that it is the phone with the largest screen out there.

The specs can be considered mid-range for this year, as the handset is still venturing towards a trial appeal with an existing or imaginable marketing niche of users. 

These would be people who use their handsets mostly for media, browsing and games, rather than actual talking, and want their display as big as possible this side of a tablet screen.

Will the Galaxy Mega 6.3 succeed in addressing this alleged target market? Read on our review to find out...

In the box:

  • In-ear stereo headphones
  • Wall charger
  • MicroUSB cable

Design

The first impression about the phone is “darn, it's big”. The second impression is that it is in fact rather thin, with a slim bezel, classy faux-metal rim around the sides and a very nice looking pattern, which spans both on the back and at the front.


Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
Dimensions

6.6 x 3.46 x 0.31 inches

167.6 x 88 x 8 mm

Weight

7.02 oz (199 g)

Samsung GALAXY Note II
Dimensions

5.94 x 3.17 x 0.37 inches

151 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm

Weight

6.44 oz (182 g)

Huawei Ascend Mate
Dimensions

6.44 x 3.37 x 0.39 inches

163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 mm

Weight

6.98 oz (198 g)

LG Optimus G Pro
Dimensions

5.91 x 3 x 0.37 inches

150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3
Dimensions

6.6 x 3.46 x 0.31 inches

167.6 x 88 x 8 mm

Weight

7.02 oz (199 g)

Samsung GALAXY Note II
Dimensions

5.94 x 3.17 x 0.37 inches

151 x 80.5 x 9.4 mm

Weight

6.44 oz (182 g)

Huawei Ascend Mate
Dimensions

6.44 x 3.37 x 0.39 inches

163.5 x 85.7 x 9.9 mm

Weight

6.98 oz (198 g)

LG Optimus G Pro
Dimensions

5.91 x 3 x 0.37 inches

150.2 x 76.1 x 9.4 mm

Weight

5.64 oz (160 g)

Compare these and other phones using our Size Comparison tool.


Despite the cool looks and svelte waistline, it is almost impossible to operate the Mega 6.3 with one hand – you'd be lucky if you don't drop it trying to pull down the notification bar, let alone while fumbling for the back key way down right.

To cut a long story short and deal with the question on everyone's mind – yes, you can hold the phone with an average or larger palm, but not operate the handset with one hand. You'd have to shrink the keyboard and dialer left or right, which is a feature Samsung provides on its big-screen phones, or else it would literally be a stretch to write a quick text message reply, or dial a number by keying it in. Two hands are your best bet, and that's the price to pay for a giant display. As for carrying it around, you'd better have baggy pants with deep pockets and stretch fabric, or sport a purse – it is not by accident that Samsung is heavily marketing the Note family to women, for example.


There are only two buttons interrupting the metal-imitating rim around the sides – the power/lock key on the right is well situated and easy to feel and press, while the volume rocker on the opposite side is a bit too flush with the surface and has a shallow tactile feedback.



Display

The 6.3” LCD panel sports 720x1280 pixels HD resolution, with a pretty decent 233ppi pixel density. This is not a sassy Full HD panel, yet it is a far cry from the 480x800 pixels abomination on last year's 5” Galaxy Grand, for instance. Color representation is vivid, though not OLED-style saturated, and the display has very good viewing angles.

Peak brightness is slightly above average for an LCD panel, at 450 nits in the middle, but has uneven distribution, going to sub-400 nits at the corners, which is typical for such large panels. While brightness seems enough, we'd wish a bit less reflectivity outside under direct sunlight, when viewing the image on the screen is a challenge.




Interface and functionality

The newest TouchWiz Nature UX 2.0, as found on the Galaxy S4, is what's painted over Android 4.2.2 here, with some of the hand-gestures and eye-tracking bells and whistles that are present on the flagship. Samsung has thankfully provided a dedicated portrait mode for the interface, which helps when you turn the phone sideways, and are holding it with two hands.


Speaking of two-handed operation, the screen size actually makes it a breeze to type on the default portrait keyboard, as its letters are huge, and the large display gives other advantages, too - the gallery's split view feature is not cramped, and the multi-window mode for running two apps at once is actually useable.


One would argue that Samsung didn't include a stylus with the Mega 6.3, as you can easily doodle with your finger on the large screen canvas, but it's more likely because the Note franchise shouldn't be undermined, and the price of the Mega line had to be kept in check.

Processor and memory

A 1.7 GHz dual-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 is running the show, which we actually see for the first time, and paired with the unorthodox 1.5 GB of RAM to boot. Benchmarking it reveals pretty run-of-the-mill results, but the chipset does its job well, without lag or stuttering in the interface or while loading apps.

The Mega 6.3 comes with the non-mega 4 GB of internal storage, of which only about two are user-available, but you have a microSD card slot for expansion, situated right on top of the micro SIM compartment, next to the generous 3200 mAh replaceable battery.


Quadrant StandardAnTuTuGLBenchmark 2.5 (Egypt HD)Vellamo
(HTML5 / Metal)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.36828133922980 / 25 fps2000 / 698
Samsung Galaxy Note II580618295

LG Optimus G Pro12239


Huawei Ascend Mate519515615n/a1626 / 469


Browser and connectivity

The proven TouchWiz browser is what Samsung supplies with the handset, which has one of the fastest rendering engines around plus native Adobe Flash support. Needless to say, browsing on the 6.3” display is a joy. Due to its sheer size, it's akin to browsing on one of the smaller tablets, no kidding.


Samsung has put a 21.1 Mbit/s HSPA+ 4G radio, and its usual Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 - A-GPS, NFC and FM Radio set. Well, not the “usual” Wi-Fi, as the Mega 6.3 supports the fast 802.11ac standard,, as long as you have the respective router lying around. An MHL connector at the bottom rounds up the connectivity offerings.

Camera

The 8 MP camera module on the back of the Mega 6.3 sports an adjacent LED flash, and is joined by a 1.9 MP unit at the front, capable of HD video recording.

The camera app offers the newest interface from Samsung, with Best Photo, Drama and HDR modes, as well as a variety of scenes and color effects for your pics and videos.


The samples are nothing to write home about, looking soft and with less detail than we'd expect from the resolution. Colors representation is on the oversaturated side, and the phone tends to overexpose brighter spots.


Video is recorded with 1920x1080 resolution at 30 fps, looking fluid, but a bit bland. The Nature UX 2.0 has the shutter key as well as the recording button on one and the same screen, speeding up capture.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Sample Video:

Video Thumbnail


Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Indoor Sample Video:

Video Thumbnail


Multimedia

Samsung's split-view gallery mode is a godsend on this screen size, too, as you can quickly pick and zoom folders with the images and video content in them. There is a built-in editing option with a rich set of features, and the canvass is really conducive to drawing.


The music player sports the usual abundance of functionality, with a number of equalizer presets, surround sound modes, and the useful Smart Volume and Adapt Sound techs that keep the strength at a predetermined level and offer personalized sound settings for each user. The loudspeaker is pretty strong and with clear and full enough sound.


The phone played every popular format thrown at it, inclusing DivX/Xvid/MKV files, up to Full HD definition, and the player supports subtitles, live zooming, and a number of sharing options, as well as the Pop Up Play function that detaches the video windows and floats it above whatever you are doing with the interface underneath.



Call quality

Voice quality is about average in the earpiece, not too quiet, but not exceptionally loud and clear either, sounding a bit hollow and distorted at highest volumes. The receiving end said we sounded a bit muffled and not as clean as they'd like to hear, though the noise-canceling mics do a fine job at suppressing ambient noise.

Battery

A respectable 3200 mAh battery pack is what powers the Mega 6.3, making it one of the most capacious handsets in terms of juice. With “just” HD resolution of the display and its average brightness it should get you through day and a half or two of normal usage, but Samsung is yet to post official talk times in 3G and standby modes.

Conclusion

From the looks of it, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 design and weight is an achievement for such an enormous screen size and a huge 3200 mAh battery pack inside. The display panel actually makes it a great phone for browsing the web, watching videos, reading, editing pics and getting things done with the multi-window mode, due to sheer diagonal.

As can be expected, however, a screen of this size comes with compromises, which are mainly on the handling and carrying around experience, especially in pant pockets rather than a purse. There is just no easy way to grip the phone in your palm, despite the svelte 8mm waistline, and most of the time it will be occupying both of your hands, even for simple procedures like pressing the back key underneath the screen. If you consider the phone to be more of a microtablet with calling functions, rather than a traditional phone, then you'll spare yourself a lot of initial confusion.

Samsung is apparently not aiming the Mega 6.3 for the mainstream user, but for those who want the largest screen in the most compact package aimed at media consumption. It already has a strong direct competitor in that category, however, in the face of the excellent Huawei Ascend Mate, and if Samsung overprices the handset, it might be disappointed in the sales results of the Mega 6.3.

Video Thumbnail


Pros

  • Very slim and compact handset for the screen size
  • Landscape interface mode

Cons

  • Unwieldy to carry and handle

PhoneArena Rating:

7.5

User Rating:

9.6
11 Reviews

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