Samsung Galaxy Mega introduction was a way for Samsung to tell consumers that they can get all that screen real estate on a smaller budget. The Galaxy Mega 5.8 is huge! There is no two ways about it. 5.8 inches are something you hols with one hand, but for several applications you will need to use more than a hand for effectiveness. Fortunately, the person who buys a Galaxy Mega is one who wants just that, a large screen. These people will not find the need to buy a tablet for media consumption of presentations, they have it all on one device.
Some compromises had to be made, like the pixel density, screen technology, internal storage, internal features like lesser sensors than the Galaxy S 4 and phone features, but these are just the premium features you get on the Galaxy S 4. That’s the Galaxy Mega for you. Let’s go into the meat of the matter.
See the Galaxy Mega 5.8 specifications below:
- 5.8 inch TFT Capacitive screen at 540 x 960 pixels, (190 ppi)
- 3G 21 MBps downloads
- Android 4.2.2 Jellybean
- 1.4 GHz Dual-Core Processor
- 1.5GB RAM
- 8GB Internal Storage
- Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi Hotspot, Bluetooth 4.0, WiFi Direct
- 8MP rear camera, AF, LED Flash, Video at 1080p @30fps, 1.9 MP front camera
- Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
- HTML 5 browser
- 162.6 x 82.4 x 9 mm
- 182 grams
- 2600 mAh Li-ion Battery
The Galaxy Mega borrows highly from the design of the Galaxy S 4, makes it better looking than the Galaxy Grand which tends to have a rounded bulky looking edge. Basically, the Galaxy Mega 5.8 is a larger Galaxy S 4 without all those sensor-driven features and brilliant screen technology.
As I said earlier, the Galaxy Mega 5.8 is a device you will hold with one hand comfortably and make calls with, however when you go to social media you will find yourself needing the help of a second hand. Samsung added the one-handed functionality so a user can set that hand they want to use, whether left or right, but for super-users like me this won’t be of use as we buy the better keyboard, SwiftKey and the functionality is only available for the Samsung stock keyboard.
The phone physicals are the usual, volume rocker on the left, power on the right, physical home button with capacitive keys on each side for back and menu, the microUSB port at the bottom, front camera next to two sensors, all on the right of the ear piece. The top has the 3.5mm sound out jack slot while the rear has everything at the top, the LED Flash, camera and speaker side by side.
Under the removable back cover we have the microSD slot that doesn’t require you to remove the battery, however, both microSIM cards would require you to remove the battery.
Features and performance
The Galaxy Mega 5.8 comes with Samsung’s TouchWIZ Nature UI, the same on on the Galaxy S 4 and runs Android 4.2.2, quite a fete considering the number of premium devices that don’t come running this version of Android from other OEMS. Pre-installed apps include Flipboard, Dropbox with 50GB free storage, Group Play, Islamona Ramadhan app, ChatON, Paper Artist, S Translator, S Memo, TripAdvisor, Story Album, Samsung Link and S planner as apps that you won’t find pre-installed in your average Android device.
The notifications area has 14 quick-switch settings, above the usual ones we have blocking mode, smart stay, multi-window and Wi-Fi Hotspot as features available for quick toggle. The notifications area also has a quick control for screen brightness, you can choose auto to allow the phone pick the best optimal screen brightness depending on time and other parameters.
The 1.4GHz Dual Core processor backed by a 1.5GB RAM give you a good and lag-free experience, you barely feel the phone struggling when in use, even when you are on a high processing gaming environment. Internet access on the device is super, with the large screen and 21Mbps capable modem page load is quite fast. The stock browser also has a feature called reader that is available on Samsung devices that allows you strip off all the unnecessary things on a web page and just have the page content you want to read load, with a more legible font. This is even changeable as you have font re-size a tap away.
The phone features multi-window, one of the great pluses you have, multitasking is easy and you can then get to utilize the power of the large screen. This can be experienced on both portrait and landscape mode, in fact it’s better to try it on landscape mode and experience things like copying and pasting from one app to another without struggling, you get to see all you are doing.
Oh, and before I forget, the Galaxy Mega has an all-round landscape mode, even in the apps drawer, home-screens and widgets.
The device has some gesture based features like motion control which allows you to control device by certain motions, like turning the device upside down to mute a call, move it to the ear to call someone who just sent a text, phone vibrates to alert you of missed notifications when you pick it, zooming and browsing images in a gallery, you also get to move an icon from home-screen to another.
Palm motion gestures allow you to take screen shots by doing karate chops on the screen while placing the palm on the screen mutes sound on the phone, this includes video, music and calls.
Then I don’t remember when the stock music player app gained ability to be controlled on the lock-screen, I thought that was the preserve of some other premium music players! That’s quite convenient.
The camera is your standard 8MP camera, good but not exceptional imaging. As usual, Samsung put in camera mode presets for the average user to get their way around photo moments easier. These include
- Auto-mode – this is the default that will be optimal for most times you will take photos.
- Beauty Face – This one requires you to take a photo and hold for it to absorb as much detail as possible, just like HDR photos.
- Best photo – this setting allows you take a series of 8 photos to let you select the best among them
- Continuous shot – perfect when you need to steal as many photos as possible, like when you spot a very hot car in traffic or when watching a live race, takes upto 20 photos when you press and hold.
- Best Face – this feature is for those who can’t keep a steady face during photo moments, the camera will take the image like in video and allow you to go back when the shutter was closing to select a moment just before the subject closed their eyes, or had not done that stupid grin and replace the face. Takes 5 shots to select from.
- Sound and Shot – so when you go to the beach and want to share those photos that include the nice relaxing sound of the beach, or some nice bird sounds in the bush, takes 9 seconds of sound after the shot.
- Panorama – by now I believe we all know panorama shots, they come in handy at times when you want to drink in the whole scenery in one piece without a break.
- Sports – these are high speed shots that are right for sporty events and you want to capture that moment in rugby that your favourite player made that try at rugby.
The camera does you some justice in the shots it takes, not quite a performer in the dark as you can see even in the presets there is no night mode photos, but with the flash you will get some quite good shots. See below some outdoor shots I got as I walked about the estate.
Other photos are available on this Flickr Set
The battery on the Galaxy Mega 5.8 is one of the key performance highs the phone has. I once tried to drain the phone by having all the features that would possibly drain the power, that includes the gestures and sensors, bluetooth, had as many apps as i could find open, but still went to sleep with the phone on and going strong.
The phone comfortably does 24 hours on optimal use. I am not an avid caller, but I do use the internet a lot. I access social media sites like Twitter, Google plus, Whatsapp and Reddit frequently, same applies for email, foursquare, Google talk and Youtube. I read a lot of Kindle books, Pulse reader for my RSS feeds, drop box is left on, a lot of browsing as I click through links shared in social media and I also listen to music on the phone, and the phone comfortably does 24 hours.
Samsung is clearly addressing a niche that does exists, they did that previously with the Galaxy Note and the world changed as a result, large screens are being received with mixed reactions, with quite enough users feeling that a smartphone is good at 4 inches on average, but there is also a growing demand for larger screens. The line between the smartphone and the tablet has basically been blurred and users therefore are spoilt for choice.
The Galaxy Mega 5.8 therefore happens to be one of those devices you could comfortable call a device that works as a perfect balance between the tablet and smartphone. This in that you can comfortably use the device and carry it in your pocket while at the same time the screen is big enough to allow you have a near tablet experience for media consumption and productivity. That bundled with some above average specifications and exemplary battery life makes for a good buy.