Samsung’s phablet (that’s phone and tablet combined) sales have really taken off, thanks to the commercial success of the Galaxy Note Series. While Apple still dominates the tablet market, Samsung is arguably the runaway leader when it comes to the phablet space.
Recently, they added a new line of ginormous phablets — the Samsung Galaxy Mega. But, did Samsung push the limit too far with this new series?
This review will attempt to answer that, although we’ll focus on the smaller Galaxy Mega 5.8-inch dual SIM variant.
The Galaxy Mega 5.8 is one slim device with a 9mm thickness. It might be hard to operate for those with small hands. Though enormous in size, Samsung manages to make it a somewhat light device.
The Galaxy Mega 5.8 is made of high-grade glossy plastic with an aluminum strip running along the sides as seen on the Galaxy S3, S4, and Note series. The physical buttons are also very tactile and responsive.
The speaker, located near the camera flash, is loud enough and produces crisp sounds. The Galaxy Mega 5.8 has an onboard 8GB storage space and can be further expanded with an additional microSD.
We hope on the next iteration though, Samsung can include a LED light notification, which is becoming a standard nowadays.
The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 is a Dual SIM phablet with dual standby features. The dual SIM craze is kind of big here in the Philippines, so there will always be a market for the Mega 5.8.
An Android 4.2.2 device out of the box, Samsung has opted to use the Touchwiz Nature UX instead of the usual Samsung Touchwiz UI. If you currently own a Samsung Android phone, you will immediately notice the minor difference between the two user interfaces.
The inclusion of the multi-window functionality, as popularized by the Galaxy Note 2, fully justifies the screen’s humongous real estate.
The Galaxy Mega 5.8 sports an 8-megapixel camera which is good enough for taking decent pictures and can be uploaded to your favorite social networking sites. There is also a front camera for video calls.
We were very pleased with the battery performance. Rated at 2600 mAh, the Mega 5.8?s battery will last you a day or two with moderate usage and with the WiFi on.
Quite frankly, the display leaves much to be desired. If you’re used to looking at S-AMOLED or IPS grade displays you’ll be very disappointed with the Galaxy Mega 5.8, which has a TFT display. Logic tells us that with such a huge screen, it will require more than a 190 ppi pixel density.
The screen looks alright when viewing up front but the color washes out when viewed on the sides, top or bottom. In short, the first Galaxy Note, a 2-year old device, runs circle around the Mega 5.8 when it comes to display.
The Galaxy 5.8’s display is not the worst though. It still beats the displays of certain locally branded phones. If you have never used phones with high density display, then you might not be able to notice the difference and might actually consider this for your next upgrade.
Colors are still vibrant enough and the display is very bright and can be used outdoors. The Galaxy Mega 5.8 is considered a mid-range phone with a mid-range price so don’t expect a Galaxy Note series-like display. The shortcoming of this device ends here though.
At the heart of the Galaxy Mega 5.8 is a dual core processor that clocks at 1.4 GHz. Pair that with a 1.5GB RAM and you have a device capable of switching in between applications with almost no hiccups. We were able to run memory-hogging applications like Facebook without lags at all.
Gamers will be much stoked with this device as it handles notable graphics intensive games like Dungeon Hunter 4 pretty well. It generates less heat, too, when playing games. The overall experience was great and we swear it performs very much similar to a quad core device.
Standard Benchmark Scores are as follows:
What we like with this device
- Big 5.8-inch screen
- Dual SIM
- Slim profile
- Fast with excellent multitasking capabilities
- Android Jellybean 4.2.2 out of the box
- Multi-window functionality to fully exploit the huge screen
What we don’t like
- Relatively poor display
- No LED notifications
- Device size not for everyone