Feeds
Samsung Mega 6.3

Samsung Mega 6.3: Enter the PHONDLESLAB

Big, but a nice bit of kit into the bargain

Security for virtualized datacentres

Bigger display, crunchier CPU

For a TFT panel the display supports impressively broad viewing angles with very little colour shift or contrast loss in evidence when you tilt or angle it. On the whole it’s very similar to the screen on the Galaxy Note 8, which is something of a compliment.

Samsung Mega 6.3

The webcam is good.

Doing the dirty work is a dual-core 1.7GHz Krait-class Qualcomm Snapdragon CPU with an Adreno 305 GPU and 1.5GB of RAM. It’s indicative of the silliness of the smartphone power wars - well, Android smartphone power wars - that this is now considered a thoroughly mid-range spec. Be that as it may, it’s more than powerful enough to do everything I want a VLP to do and do it smartly.

Benchmark scores didn’t quite match those of the Note 8 - AnTuTu returned an average of 13,500 versus the Note 8’s 16,500 - no doubt due to the Note 8 having a third more RAM, but the Mega 6.3 is more than powerful enough to play the likes of Modern Warfare 4: Zero Hour smoothly so the benchmark numbers are verging on meaningless.

Out of the box, the Mega 6.3 runs Android 4.2.2. Of course you also get the TouchWiz overlay with all the usual Samsung bells and whistles - like multi-screen apps, Smart Pause, a pop-out video player etc. - about which I’ve said more than enough while reviewing the likes of the Galaxy S4 and Note 8.0.

Samsung Mega 6.3

The Mega in AnTuTu: versus the Note 2 (left) and the rest

My take on TouchWiz is simple: that the bigger the screen the more sense it makes and the more useful it is too. On the Mega 6.3 it approaches neat tablet-levels of usefulness so I wasn’t seen running for the Play Store with my trousers on fire to download a new launcher at the first possible opportunity.

When it comes to storage, the Mega 6.3 packs 8 or 16GB depending on which version you go for. The latter is the smart choice if you can find it because though there’s a Micro SD card slot TouchWiz takes up a big chunk of space. With games getting bigger and bigger - Modern Warfare 4 is a 1.8GB download - anything less than 10GB free after the system has put its tanks on the lawn could start to cramp your style. The 8GB Mega only has 4.8GB free.

Connectivity is spot on though, with a micro USB port that supports USB hosting and MHL, an NFC chip (actually built into the battery) and an IR transmitter. There’s also dual-band 802.11ac Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0, 21Mbps HSDPA and LTE 4G.

Samsung Mega 6.3

The 8GB version can run out of space fast (left), but at least Samsung’s TouchWiz UI makes sense here (right)

I've nothing negative to report in regards to call quality or signal reception, and I'm pleased to say that the Mega’s loudspeaker is one of the best I’ve encountered on a Samsung device recently: it's loud, tuneful and very composed. There’s even a decent amount of bass on offer.

The Mega 6.3 packs 8 and 1.9MP cameras both of which can record 1080p video at 30 frames per second and the accompanying sound in stereo. By smartphone standards the main camera is reasonable, by tablet standard very good indeed. The webcam is very good by any measure.

Samsung Mega 6.3

The big battery is the deal-maker here

I’ve saved the Mega 6.3’s killer feature until last: the combination of a 1280x720 screen and a removable 3200mAh battery. That’s near enough the same partnership (3100mAh and 5.5 inches) that gives the Note 2 its epic run times between charges and it pays the same dividends in the Mega 6.3. Loop a 720p video and you get close to 11 hours from a charge. To get fewer than two days general use, you really have to hammer it.

The Reg Verdict

What we have here is a Very Large Phone with a slightly mid-range specification. I can see the logic behind that. Wanting a huge screen doesn’t necessarily mean that you also want a quad-core chip that can power a Boeing 777 or a screen resolution beyond the range of human visual acuity. The Mega 6.3 combines a big screen with a reasonable price, solid performance and excellent battery life so if you are after a device that will fulfil the role of both phone and tablet without demanding too much in the way of compromise in either direction the Mega 6.3 is that device, especially for 375 quid. ®

Many thanks to Expansys for the loan of our review unit

Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL

Samsung Mega 6.3

Samsung Mega 6.3: Enter the PHONDLESLAB

A massive 6.3-inch phone that makes for a surprisingly decent mid-size tablet.
Price: £375 (8GB) RRP

More from The Register

next story
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
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Monitors monitor's monitoring finds touch screens have 0.4% market share
Not four. Point four. Count yer booty again, Microsoft
Hey, Mac fanbois. HGST wants you drooling over its HUGE desktop RACK
What vast digital media repository could possibly need 64 TERABYTES?
In a spin: Samsung accuses LG exec of washing machine SABOTAGE
Rival electronic giant tries to iron out allegations
Bono: Apple will sort out monetising music where the labels failed
Remastered so hard it would be difficult or impossible to master it again
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.