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Review: Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 Duos

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While it was Samsung that had popularized the phablet devices in the smartphone domain, the company confidently took a step ahead and tried to capture the market which is looking for device with even bigger displays but not in the tablet range. Samsung launched two smartphones as part of its new Galaxy Mega series with display sizes of 5.8 inches and 6.3 inches. Let us review the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8.

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Design:

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 looks just like a bigger version of the Samsung Galaxy Grand, with the exact same design and placement of hardware buttons and camera. The device uses the same polycarbonate body with a chromium strip running around the edges. While the phone has a thickness of 9.9 mm, it has comparatively reduced side bezels, thus making it easier to hold despite the massive size. Even though, the 5.8 inch display looks big, it is quite easy to hold and use but the average person would require two hands for its operation.

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The front of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 has the massive 5.8 inch display with very thin side bezels. The traditional hardware Home button and the capacitive Back and Menu buttons are found at the bottom. The top houses the earpiece, the front facing camera and the sensors. The Power/Lock button is placed towards the top right making it easily accessible. The top left edge has the volume rocker. The headphone jack and the micro-USB charging port are situated at the top and bottom edge respectively. The 8 MP camera, the LED flash and the speaker are lined at the top of the back panel.

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Hardware:

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 has two micro SIM slots – one above the battery and the other below. There is also a microSD card slot at the bottom, which can be used to expand the memory up to 64 GB. The device is powered by a 1.4 GHz dual core processor with a 1.5 GB RAM. The device also has a dedicated Broadcom VideoCore IV chip for graphics. The device comes with 8 GB of built-in storage of which nearly 3 GB is consumed by Samsung bloat ware.

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User Interface:

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8, as the name indicates has a 5.8 inch TFT display with a resolution of just 960 x 540 pixels which fails to do justice to the massive display. While the display is comparatively bright, the images on the screen are not very sharp and close to blurred at the corners. The device is quite usable under direct sunlight and maintains appropriate brightness automatically.

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The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 runs on the Android v4.2.2 Jelly Bean with a layer of Samsung’s TouchWiz Nature UX. The device gets a lot of customizations that where introduced in the Samsung Galaxy S4, like the lock screen widgets and new unlock animations. The lock screen also displays important notifications, which can be accessed directly. The home screen consists of seven customizable screens that can be used to add apps and the various widgets.

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The pull down notification panel of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 displays all the commonly used settings right on top along with a shortcut to the settings menu. All the 14 toggle settings can be accessed on one screen. Similarly, the buttons at the bottom of the display also have some shortcuts. While the Home button can be used to view open apps and kill apps, double pressing it would launch S-Voice, Samsung’s voice assistant, which seems to understand the India accent as well. Pressing the Menu button would launch Google Now – the assistive search service.

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A lot of apps initially introduced in the Samsung Galaxy S4 have found their way to the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8. The device has Samsung’s apps like S Planner, Voice Recorder, ChatOn messaging app, Samsung Apps app store, Samsung Hub content store, Paper Artist, Samsung Link, S Translator, S Memo, Story Album and Group Play pre-installed.

While not all the gesture controls, like the Air gestures, found their way onto the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8, we do have the Smart Stay smart screen feature which keeps the screen on as long as you are looking at it. The device can be tilted to zoom images and can silence an incoming call by flipping the phone using the motion sensors. Similarly you can pause songs and videos by covering the screen with your palm and capture screenshots of the screen by swiping you hand from right edge to the left edge.

There is also the Multi-Window feature in the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 which lets you to divide the screen into two halves and operate two apps simultaneously. The keyboard, if required, would be floating between the two apps. While the stock keyboard works well, a third party keyboard is highly recommended as the keys are a little hard to reach considering the size.

Camera:

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 sports an 8 MP rear facing Auto-focus camera, which can take good pictures in broad daylight as well as decent pictures in low-light conditions using the LED flash. While the indoor shots do have some noise, they still manage to maintain the detail. The camera comes with pre-fixed modes like the Best which allows selecting the best face shot in group photos, Continuous mode that takes 3 continuous shots per second. There is also a Sports mode to take pictures of fast moving objects. The Sound & Shot mode adds a few seconds of audio along with the images.

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However the camera on the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 doesn’t have a HDR mode. Worst of all, there is no dedicated camera button to click, which considering the size of the device becomes a little difficult to do without moving. The front facing 1.9 MP camera is very decent for 3G video calls and online video chats giving a very crisp picture.

Performance:

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 doesn’t seem to be fully attired when it comes to device performance. While it is a pleasure to play high-def games with good quality graphics on the massive display, the graphics sometimes did take a second to load. Similarly, switching from app to app is a bit uncontrolled. However, even with the low resolution and sometimes pixelated images, viewing video on the 5.8 inch display gives an altogether different experience.

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Benchmark results of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8

Battery:

The best part of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 would be its 2600 mAh battery. While battery draining on Samsung smartphones is quite common, this device proves otherwise. The phone though took hardly an hour to charge from complete empty to 100 percent lasted for more than 8 hours on a single charge despite continuous 3G data usage and display usage. However games with high-def graphics does give the battery a slight hit. Without the active connections, it could very well last for more than 16 hours on a single charge.

Connectivity:

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 supports dual SIM dual active modes. The SIM’s can be assigned voice, data or both functionalities. While the device supports 3G connectivity on both the SIM cards, only one can have 3G data connection at a time. The calls from one SIM can be forwarded to the other SIM when in use. The phone also supports Wi-Fi a/b/g/n and Bluetooth 4.0. There is a micro USB port for connecting the device to your PC as well as for charging. There is also FM radio functionality with support for recording.

Pros:

  • Excellent battery
  • Big display
  • Good camera

Cons:

  • Low display resolution
  • Performance

Conclusion:

IMG_20130904_122052The Samsung Galaxy S4 along with the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8.

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 is a decent phone with an exceptionally big display however it could have a better display resolution. While the device provides mid-range performance, the dual SIM functionality with the excellent camera and battery at the price point of Rs. 25100 are more than what one can ask from Samsung.

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