This continues where we left off in Part 1 of the Samsung GALAXY MEGA (GT-I9205) review, where we touched on Design and Build, Key Features and Camera. Here we’ll touch on Software, and importantly its overall performance and battery life.
The GALAXY Mega comes with Android 4.2.2 Jelly Bean layered with TouchWIZ, the UI flavour users love to hate. Never mind that TouchWIZ and its bundled apps take up over 3GB of storage space, you have to credit Samsung for trying to pack in as many features as humanely possible into the mega device.
The Mega UI, is similar with what is available on the GALAXY S III, GALAXY Note II, and GALAXY S4 – Dual-View, which takes advantage of the large display with split views and multi-windows. This is great for multi-tasking and dragging and dropping objects between apps. Apps like S Memo, Polaris Office, YouTube, ChatON, Gmail, Facebook, Gallery and Message support the multi-window feature. At times there is a lag when two apps are running alongside, something I didn’t experience on the GALAXY S4. I suspect the lower processor specs and bigger display to be the root of the problem.
Samsung has included some smart features and apps seen on the flagship GALAXY S4 – Smart Stay, Air View, Driving Mode, Safety Assistance and S Health. Strangely, they’ve left out Air Gesture and things like rotation, pause and scroll.
I have to say that the bundled Viki Premier app is fantastic, with free rich content from music videos, movies, TV shows and more.
With the S Memo app, I almost wish that there was an S Pen. A stylus would be a perfect fit for the 6.3-inch display.
A year ago, the Mega would have broken speed records but in current days of 8-core and 64-bit processors, the venerable Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 has been reduced to a mere mid-range performer. That being said, it will still beat a wide range of devices out there based on benchmarks alone. In real world usage though, you’ll find it more than adequate to run your latest apps, watch videos and play games. The only time there’s visible and obvious lag is when it needs to multi-task in a multi-window environment. Overall, a reliable performer.
In terms of call quality, I did not encounter any issues with sound or call quality throughout. Audio playback is loud and crisp, especially when playing games or watching videos/listening to music.
Battery endurance is something of a no-brainer given the fact that the GALAXY Mega comes with a whopping 3,200mAh battery. And it doesn’t disappoint. Being my battery-sucking self, I was able to get over 12 hours (meaning lasting me an entire work day) in normal usage. Samsung quotes 17 hours of talk time, which is highly possible.
Specs at a glance
- 167.6 x 88 x 8mm Dimension (H x W x D)
- 199g Weight
- Dual Core 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with Adreno 305 GPU
- 8GB Memory
- CMOS, 8.0MP Megapixels Camera Resolution (Rear)
- CMOS, 1.9MP Megapixels Camera Resolution (Front)
- Power LED (1EA) Flash
- Accelerometer, Gyro-sensor, Digital Compass (Magnetic), Luminance (RGB), Hall, Proximity
- 3200mAh Standard Battery
- 6.3″ Size Super Clear LCD (HD 1280 x 720 Resolution)
- USB v2.0 H/S
- 3.5mm Stereo Earjack
- MicroSD External Memory Slot
- 3FF (Micro SIM)
- Micro USB
- MHL 11pin Support
Network/Bearer and Wireless Connectivity
- EDGE / GPRS (850 / 900 / 1,800 / 1,900MHZ) support
- HSDPA 42Mps HSUPA 5.76Mbps (850 / 900 / 1,900 / 2,100MHZ) support
- FDD LTE Downlink 100Mbps Uplink 50Mbps (800 / 850 / 900 / 1,800 / 2,100 / 2,600MHZ) support
- 802.11a/b/g/n/ac 2.4+5GHz dualband
- Wi-Fi Direct, BT 4.0 LE, NFC
- DLNA, MHL 1.2, KIES, KIES Air support
For more photos of the Samsung GALAXY Mega 6.3, visit Flickr.
Pricing and Availability
The Samsung GALAXY Mega 6.3 retails at RM1,599. Available in white or black, at all Samsung retail stores and authorised dealers.
- Big display great for videos and games
- Snappy performance
- Good battery life
- Decent camera
- Size not for everyone
- Average display quality
- Limited built-in storage
- Where’s the stylus?
The Samsung GALAXY Mega is a pretty solid mid-range device and its principal trait – the massive 6.3-inch size is both a maker-or-breaker for consumers. It clearly satisfies a niche – the user who wants a bigger display but neither wants a tablet, nor want to fork out too much money for a single device. The lack of an S Pen is somewhat of a shame, and could have made it an ‘affordable Note’.
Samsung didn’t skimp on this one though, aside from the puny 8GB of storage, so an overall good buy for value-hunters. If you’re looking for more performance and Note-like features, then go for the newly launched phablet wonder boy – the GALAXY Note 3.