The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 spawns another era of diverse and cutting edge smartphones. This latest installment from the Korean mobile manufacturing major underlines its presence in the Android smartphone world as a phone with a gargantuan screen. Over the years, Samsung’s experimentations with large screen sizes have yielded good results. The Mega 5.8 is one such experimentation. It is a mid-range large-screen mobile phone. This phone is an extension of the success created by the Note series phablets. The Mega 5.8 is an attempt by Samsung to tap into the phablet consumer market.
On first impressions, it is the impressive screen size that captures your attention. The 5.8” TFT display lights up your eyes with its extra-large dimensions. When you hold the phone in your hand, it could seem unusual. You will not hold this phone as you would do with a smartphone. You would hold it like a tablet.
The design of the phone is similar to other phones in the Galaxy Series lineage. The device looks like an oversized version of the Galaxy Grand. Even though the device is massive in size, it is not chunky. It is slightly taller to Note 2 which has a screen size of 5.5’.
The glossy plastic exterior of the device is well-supplemented by the curvaceous edges. The design of the Mega 5.8 is not out of the ordinary. It is very much like other Galaxy phones, the only difference being the size.
The screen size is impressive if you are into 5” screens and beyond. If you are looking for a phone that has a hybrid screen which borders between a tablet and a smartphone, then this screen suits you. The 5.8” screen is extra-large and befits calling itself as a phablet. Watching videos on the screen is a fantastic experience. The stock video player supports video resolutions up to 1080p. There is the Popup Play feature that lets you watch video in a miniaturized window on the UI – meaning the video does not occupy the entire screen’s real estate.
This smartphone runs on the latest Android operating system – Android 4.2.2. Also known as Jelly Bean, the operating system combines with the 1.4 GHz and delivers an impressive performance. Under the hood there is also 1.5 MB of RAM. You not only get excellent system response but there is no lag or sluggishness.
Samsung's TouchWiz Nature UX runs on the operating system delivering impressive interface options. The UI has many additions, tweaks, and modifications. Some of the useful features that Galaxy users are used to exist on this phone. SmartStay is one such feature that does not turn-off the screen when the user is peering down into the screen. Blocking Mode is another useful interface option that lets you manage the notifications you receive on the Notifications Bar. The Multi Window Mode lets you display many apps on the screen simultaneously. This is possible without clutter on this smartphone given its screen size.
Internal storage is pegged at 8 GB. You can expand memory up to 64 GB by way of the expansion slot. There are a range of connectivity options to choose. There is WiFi, WiFi Direct, EDGE, GPRS, and Bluetooth. There is also HSDPA and HSUPA that enable high speed data access and transfer. NFC is included in this device. You can use the microUSB port to transfer data to and from your phone.
Samsung has a decent camera that lets you take good snaps. The 8 MP rear camera has LED flash and a bunch of camera features. The camera interface is easy to use. In fact, it can’t get more straightforward than this. There are many in-built filters that let you customize photo-capturing. There is the popular Burst Shot that lets you take simultaneous snaps. Panorama lets you take 360 degree pictures.
This phone is dual SIM. You set one of the SIM cards as the main SIM for placing calls. You can switch over to either SIM card in one user action. There is a button in the Notifications Panel that lets you do this. Many dual SIM phones do not have the ability to register incoming calls in one SIM when the other SIM is being used. But there is this facility on this device.
What’s not so great?
The screen is not impressive when it comes to screen resolution. For a screen size this big, there are only 960 x 540 pixels. This aspect pegs the pixel per inch density of the screen at just 190. Most manufacturers have released HD displays for their 5”screens or at least the screen has better pixel density. Why did Samsung, which sets the trend, deviate from this line of thought? After all, it was Samsung that started it all. So the screen size of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 seems only about the size and nothing to do with the screen resolution.
Why is this device only dual core when several manufactures are releasing their large-screen smartphones with quad-core processors? The Mega 5.8 seems to be behind the race in this regard. The Mega 5.8 has an 8 MP camera at the rear. There is a front facing VGA camera of 1.9 MP. These specifications are not impressive given that the S 4 has a 13 MP camera. The Mega 5.8 only has basic camera features such as geo-tagging, auto focus, LED flash, and smile detection.
There is no Night Mode as part of camera features. Photos taken during the day would be fine. But photos taken during the night may not fulfill your expectations.
The battery specification is a 2600 mAh Li-Ion battery. The Note 2 and Galaxy S 4 have better batteries. This battery does not match up. Considering that the Mega 5.8 is larger than those devices a better battery would have made sense.
Vs. Google Nexus 4
The Nexus 4 has a screen size of 4.7”. But the screen packs an impressive screen resolution of 768 x 1280 pixels. This means that the pixel per inch density of the screen is 318 compared to 190 ppi on the Mega 5.8. The Nexus 4 is a powerful device given that it is powered by a quad core processor. Although it has a similar specification camera, there are more camera features available. Overall, the Nexus 4 is a batter smartphone. But if you want a larger screen-size, then it has to be Mega 5.8.
Vs. Apple iPhone 5
The iPhone 5 has a screen size of 4”. The screen resolution is 640 x 1136 pixels which make for a pixel per inch density of 326. There is not much to choose between these phones otherwise. Both phones are strictly for loyalists.
The Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 is only a decent smartphone with a large screen size. It is not a device for the mainstream market. It is for niche consumers. The large screen makes gaming, watching videos, movies, and browsing the Internet a pleasurable experience. As to why there is not enough pixel density on this screen is an open question.
You can use this phone as a multimedia device. Given that it is dual SIM device, you can take advantage of favorable tariff rates from network carriers. The verdict is that you can forget buying the Mega 5.8 and go for the Galaxy Note 2 instead. This is a more expensive phone, but with a screen size of 5.5”, plenty of features, impressive functionality, and is worth a buy over the Mega 5.8.
Price and availability
The average running price of the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 is Rs. 21284. The price could vary as per online retail stores and electronic outlets.