Review: Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 has excellent battery life and 4G connectivity, but performance isn't always smooth

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 has excellent battery life and 4G connectivity, but performance isn't always smooth.

Design & display

The Galaxy Mega 6.3 is absolutely huge. At 88mm wide and almost 198mm tall, this is the biggest smartphone we've ever reviewed, easily dwarfing the Galaxy Note II.

It weighs almost 200g, but it doesn't feel overly heavy in the hand considering its size.

The large footprint of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 means it's very difficult to use single-handedly. It's easy enough to access the right-mounted power/lock screen button and left-mounted volume rocker single-handedly, but nearly impossible to reach the home, menu and back buttons.

The size of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 isn't helped by Samsung's glossy, plastic finish, which makes the phone slippery to hold.

Thankfully, the design is very svelte at just 8mm thin, and it allows for a removable battery and a microSD card slot.

The Galaxy Mega 6.3's 6.3in screen has a lower, 720p resolution of 1280x720 when compared with most current flagship smartphones.

Image quality remains bright, clear and vibrant overall, but the glossy surface can be very reflective.

Software & performance

The Galaxy Mega 6.3 runs the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean operating system, and is skinned with Samsung's latest TouchWIZ UI overlay. The basic interface remains unchanged from the Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy Mega 6.3 comes with the multi-window feature, which allows you to run two apps on the screen simultaneously. It's an excellent feature given the huge screen size.

We also like the "one-handed operation" features, which position the dialer, the calculator and the unlock pattern towards the left or right of the screen.

Smart Stay, which uses the phone's front facing camera to determine when you are looking at the screen, refusing to timeout in that case, and Air View, which allows you to hover over the screen with your finger to display extra information are also included.

The Galaxy Mega 6.3 doesn't include a few of the S4's other software features like Smart Rotation, Smart Pause and Smart Scroll but they are mostly gimmicks that won't be missed.

Thankfully, the built-in infrared port remains at the top of the phone that allows the Galaxy Mega 6.3 to act as a remote control for your TV.

The Galaxy Mega 6.3 is fast and smooth for most part and handles the latest graphically intense games, such as Real Racing 3, without any issues.

However, basic tasks like swiping through home screens and scrolling through lists and Web pages aren't as slick as the best devices on the market.

Camera & battery life

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 has an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a front-facing 1.9-megapixel camera for video calls.

The camera app is almost identical to the one used on the Galaxy S4 and we like the excellent scrolling carousel to change camera modes.

Photos captured are above average in quality. The Galaxy Mega 6.3 suffers from excessive image noise when shooting in low light, but photos in well lit areas have impressive levels of detail.

Absent from the Galaxy Mega 6.3's camera are drama shot, eraser mode, animated photo, and dual camera, all of which come with the Galaxy S4.

Our GT-I9205 review model of the Galaxy Mega 6.3 came with 8GB of internal memory but Samsung also sells a 16GB model. It remains to be seen whether Samsung will officially launch the device Down Under.

The Galaxy Mega 6.3's 3200mAh battery is one of the strongest features of the phone. In our testing, the Mega 6.3 easily lasted a full day on most occasions, usually pushing close to 18 hours of use.

Note: The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 hasn't officially been released in Australia. You can currently purchase it from online store MobiCity.

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