Think phablets stop at the screen size of 6 inches? Then turn your heads to Samsung’s latest phablet offering out of the Note series – the Galaxy Mega 6.3. The Mega 6.3 is the second phablet to be released by Samsung out of the Note series (the first being the Galaxy Grand). Released together with the Galaxy Mega 5.8, the Mega 6.3 is the flagship in the Mega series.

When I first heard of Samsung releasing the Mega series, my thought was “didn’t Samsung already have the Note and Grand in the Galaxy branding to make their devices represent the phablet category? Why is there a need to create another Mega name in the Galaxy branding?”. This question was finally answered one day when I visited SenQ Digital Station, that day totally changed my way of perceiving Samsung’s branding. If we were to look at the phablet range that Samsung have, Notes are the flagship phablets, Megas are the mid ranger and Grand the entry level phablet, make sense right? Now let’s get back to the Mega 6.3 and read on.

Hardware Overview

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The Mega 6.3 may be a mid range phablet, it is no slouch in terms of specifications, the phablet has a screen size of 6.3 inches as the name suggests at a resolution of 1280X720, which translates into a pixel density of 233PPI, the phablet is huge when held on hand but it has a sturdy feel even though made of plastic. In terms of thickness, the Mega 6.3 is quite slim at 8mm, not the slimmest but enough to make you feel comfortable wrapping your hands on it. For the internals, here are the full specifications:

Processor: Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8930AB 1.7GHz with Adreno 305 GPU
RAM: 1.5GB
Memory: 16GB Built-in with microSDXC expansion up to 64GB
Display: 6.3” SC-LCD 16m colors at 720p (1280×720) resolution
Camera: 8MP AF Rear, 2MP front
Video: Up to Full HD 1920×1080 (rear), 1280×720 (front), both at 30fps
Connectivity: LTE 100Mbps DL/50Mbps UL (800/900/1800/2600/850/2100MHz)
HSDPA 42 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps (850/900/1900/2100MHz)
EDGE/GPRS Quad band (850/900/1800/1900MHz)
WiFi 802.11 b/g/n/ac Dual band 2.4GHz and 5GHz
GPS+GLONASS/NFC/Bluetooth 4.0/IR Blaster
USB 2.0 with OTG 1.3 support and 2.0A charging voltage
Operating System: Android Jelly Bean 4.2.2
Battery: 3200mah

As you can see, the spec sheet looks really good, and most importantly is the fully featured wireless connectivity, it supports all network bands that you should have no problem travelling around the world with the Mega 6.3.

Ergonomics – Huge, comfortable to hold if you have big hands

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This is a huge phone, ergonomics is definitely a part that we would like to talk about. When I carry the Mega 6.3 around, most of the people I showed to comment on how huge the Mega 6.3 is and inconvenient it is to carry such a huge phone in your pocket, and that is true in many ways, not everyone wants a brick in their pocket.

I personally have average sized hands, not too big and not small either, holding this phablet is quite fine for me, it may few very uncomfortable in a girl’s hand, but will be great in a big hand (big foot should probably use it?), the comfort is mostly contributed to the thin structure and rounded edges of the phablet, the Hyper-Glaze coating on the back cover feels nice but cheap if you’ve used metal phones before.

Holding the phone to perform activities such as browsing the web, watching videos, gaming, and replying e-mails is fantastic, the large screen of the Mega 6.3 shows objects on the screen that you can almost feel them. Even though the 720p resolution does not make the display the sharpest of all, but it is sharp enough to make your viewing experience comfortable.

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However, the problem is when you are going to put this huge device into your pocket, and that’s when problems start to happen, walking with the Mega 6.3 in your pocket is fine until you sit or squat, and if you wear tight jeans, the phablet is going to be really protruding in your jeans and people will easily see that you are carrying a huge phone in your pocket.

Software Features

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If you’ve seen our Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Useful Features video, you will find that the Mega 6.3 shares a few features from the flagship Galaxy S4, like Air View, Voice Commands, and Multi-Window. We explain the features briefly below.

Air View

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One of the useful features that can be used on the Mega 6.3, as you can’t always use two hands to use the phablet, Air View helps you by allowing you to preview content before entering them with one finger. Air View is supported in Messages, E-mails, Videos and Gallery.

Voice Commands

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Voice commands come in very useful when you want to use the phone single handed, such as answering a phone call, controlling the music player, and taking pictures yourself. Unfortunately, voice commands are not really sensitive at times and we hopeSamsung can improve that in a future software update. The digital assistant S-Voice, is simply terrible.

Multi-Window

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When you have a huge screen, you definitely want the ability to multitask, and multi-window has been the popular feature in the original Galaxy Note, and Samsung has made available in the Galaxy S3 and S4, then now on the Mega 6.3.

One handed operation

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Again, Samsung thinks for the user, they have created a one handed operation for the dialer, calculator and unlock pattern on the lock screen so that you can simply use one hand to use those features.

Lock screen widgets

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Thanks to Android 4.2.2, lock screen widgets are made available on the Mega 6.3, and TouchWiz certainly makes this feature more colorful.

IR Blaster

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The Mega 6.3 has an IR Blaster that allows you to control your TV, DVD Players and satellite top box, you have the WatchOn software built in that supports most remote control codes.

Camera

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The rear 8 Megapixel camera of the Mega 6.3 takes great pictures with an amount of detail and color saturation is great. Also, both the rear and front camera of the Mega 6.3 supports various camera modes, some of them being extracted from the GalaxyS4 such as Best Photo, Beauty Face, Best Face, Sound & Shot. Besides, the camera is able to take full resolution pictures while recording video. Check out the sample shots below.

Performance and Benchmarks

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In terms of overall performance, the Mega 6.3 is able to multitask with very minimal lag thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor and an ample 1.5GB of RAM. TouchWiz may slow down the Mega 6.3 at times however the recovery time is fast. Gaming performance on the Mega 6.3 is decent and not much of lags noticed, we tested Asphalt 7, Real Racing, Minion Rush on the Mega 6.3. Check out the benchmark scores below

Battery Life

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You may think that the 3200mah battery is huge and can last forever on the Mega 6.3, however the battery life is average. For a light to medium usage, as in 4G LTE turned on all the time, some texting and 8 phone calls with an average of 5 minutes, browsing a few web pages and watching 3-4 YouTube videos the phone is able to last 12-14 hours before needing a charge. If you are on a heavy usage, expect the phone’s battery life to drop to 8-9 hours. The killer of the battery life is definitely the huge 6.3 inch screen, which we believe the battery life could be better if Samsung implemented a AMOLED panel on it.

Bottom Line

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The Mega 6.3 is a very capable phablet, it shares software features from flagship Galaxy devices and the hardware shows impressive performance for a mid range device, even though the screen is huge, once you use the Mega 6.3, going to a Galaxy S4or a smaller screen phone feels like downgrading your device. Another thing worth noting is that the Mega 6.3 has LTE connectivity onboard, and at a recommended retail price of RM1599, this is simply the best mid range LTE smartphone that you can get if not for the big screen. Here’s how we think:

Pros
+ Great performance for a mid range device
+ Camera takes great pictures with good range of shooting modes
+ Loudspeaker is loud and clear
+ Doesn’t heat up a lot when fully loaded
+ Good call and music quality
+ Screen quality doesn’t disappoint although at 720p resolution
+ Removable battery and expandable storage
+ Running on the latest Android 4.2.2
+ Worldwide GSM/HSPA/LTE band support
+ Fantastic price tag

Cons
– Average battery life, screen is too power hungry
– TouchWiz affects performance
– S-Voice is terrible
– Incomplete Samsung software experience
– Can be quite cumbersome in your pocket

If you are looking for a huge screen, great hardware specifications and affordable price tag smartphone, we definitely recommend getting the Mega 6.3. We rate the Galaxy Mega 6.3 at 4.5 out of 5 stars due to its fantastic price tag and hardware while having some software features shared from flagship Galaxy devices.

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Check out some of our previous videos below:

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