Feeds
Samsung Mega 6.3

Samsung Mega 6.3: Enter the PHONDLESLAB

Big, but a nice bit of kit into the bargain

Business security measures using SSL

Review Some made-up words deserve a place in the popular lexicon. I’m thinking about “friscalating” or “omnishambles”. Others, like the wholly wretched term “phablet”, most certainly do not. So from now on I’ll be calling smartphones with screens between 5 and 7 inches VLPs, or Very Large Phones. Anyone using the word phablet in my earshot will be getting a punch on the hooter.

Samsung Mega 6.3

Samsung’s Mega 6.3: big screen, narrow frame

At the moment Samsung’s Galaxy Note 2 rules the VLP roost pretty much unchallenged but the competition is hotting up. Sony’s 6.4-inch Xperia Ultra and the 5.7-inch Samsung Galaxy Note 3 are due soon while Asus has the 6-inch FonePad Note up its sleeve. Doubtless all three being flagships will cost a pretty penny and that leaves space for the likes of the Huawei Mate 6.1 and the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3.

At the moment you can pick up unlocked examples of the Mega 6.3 for around £375, while the Huawei Mate seems to be generally available for around £30 less. That’s a fair bit cheaper even than the 2012 Galaxy Note 2.

With the Galaxy S4 being only a few months old and the Note 3 just around the corner, the Mega 6.3 has clearly been specified with an eye on not stealing sales from its betters. To that end it has to make do with a 1280x720 rather than a 1920x1080 display, a dual- rather than quad-core CPU, and 1.5GB rather than 2GB of ram.

Samsung Mega 6.3

Slim‘n’smooth profile offsets size... a bit

But let’s start by considering the size of the thing. At 167.6 x 88 x 8mm the Mega 6.3 is noticeably taller and wider than the (hardly petite) Note 2. Granted, it’s 1.4mm thinner, but that really doesn’t make much difference. At 199g it’s 16g heavier than the Note 2 – or, to put it another way, nearly the weight of two iPhone 5s.

So it’s a big and heavy lump but is it unusably big and heavy? That depends on how you’ve been conditioned. After the Asus FonePad it’s certainly not too large or too weighty, and to anyone moving on from a Galaxy Note 2 the differences soon become inconsequential. But come to the Mega 6.3 from a device with a 4 or 4.3-inch screen and you may catch your breath.

That said, I have two minor complaints about usability. Firstly, the smooth-edged hyperglazed plastic body sometimes felt a little too keen to slip out of my grasp. And secondly, though the power button on the right is placed low down to facilitate easy thumb-reach, the volume rocker on the left is too high.

Samsung Mega 6.3

The UI has been tweaked for easier one-handed usage

The Mega has some handy software tweaks with a view to improving the single-handed user experience. These take the form of a reduced-size phone dialler that’s two-thirds the usual width, and a floating keyboard. Between them, you can make calls and type messages using the thumb of the hand you are holding your Mega in.

The Mega 6.3 ploughs a design furrow that’s becoming a little too familiar. Put it next to a Galaxy S4, Note 2 and Note 8.0 and you have to ask yourself if Samsung has decided it can do without a design department altogether. The physical home button looks more dated each time I encounter it and it's never been a design that I've particularly liked.

The Mega 6.3’s 92,160 pixels are scattered across a 6.3-inch TFT LCD panel with a pixel density of 233dpi. Not surprisingly that’s a lower figure than the Note 2 boasts - 267dpi, thanks to its 1280x720 5.5-inch display. It’s a more cleverly packaged device than the Note 2 though. According to my back-of-an-envelope calculations, the fascia is 20 per cent larger while the screen is 30 per cent bigger.

Samsung Mega 6.3

Traditional Galaxy controls at the bottom.

All this big screen and medium rez malarkey means that while the Mega 6.3’s display isn’t the sharpest you’ll ever clap eyes on, the sheer size of the thing makes everything bigger and that brings its own rewards: you don’t have to squint at it if your eyesight isn’t perfect, and even the most random of finger-stabs tends to hit the right target. I suspect users who have failing senses or who are just plain clumsy will appreciate the Mega’s 6.3’s huge screen.

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch
For decades Hollywood actually binned its 4K files. Doh!
Oi, Tim Cook. Apple Watch. I DARE you to tell me, IN PERSON, that it's secure
State attorney demands Apple CEO bows the knee to him
Apple's big bang: iPhone 6, ANOTHER iPhone 6 Plus and WATCH OUT
Let's >sigh< see what Cupertino has been up to for the past year
Huawei ditches new Windows Phone mobe plans, blames poor sales
Giganto mobe firm slams door shut on Microsoft. OH DEAR
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Get your Indian Landfill Android One handsets - they're only SIXTY QUID
Cheap and deafening mobes for the subcontinental masses
Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch
Sizes, prices and all – but not for the wrist-o-puter
A SCORCHIO fatboy SSD: Samsung SSD850 PRO 3D V-NAND
4Gb/s speeds on a consumer drive, anyone?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.