Review Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200 Smartphone

Florian Wimmer (translated by Bernie Pechlaner), 07/14/2013

Mega-sized and mega-good? Users who think that 5-inch smartphones like the HTC One are not quite big enough will be delighted with Samsung's Galaxy Mega and its 6.3-inch display. In the following review, we'll discover that the phablet has more to offer than just a large screen.

Im Test: Samsung Galaxy Mega

For the original German review, see here.

"Phablet" seems to be a buzzword right now: the devices, which are slotted between smartphones and tablets as far as their size is concerned, feature - at least for smartphones - a huge display, but also offer phone functionality. Despite the size, larger jeans pockets still provide enough space for these hybrids (called "smartlets" in Germany). The Samsung Galaxy Mega is one of the largest phablets available - the 6.3-inch display is almost as large as the displays found on 7-inch tablets. To ensure that the Mega still fits into pockets, Samsung uses a display with a 16:9 aspect ratio.

An RRP of 599 Euros (~$770) isn't exactly a bargain - the Galaxy Mega is priced at the upper end of middle-class phones. For a little more, potential buyers can get their hands on high-end smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S4, the HTC One, or Sony's Xperia Z and Xperia ZL. The LG Optimus G, Google Nexus 4, iPhone 5, and the Samsung Ativ S are other options. The Huawei Ascend Mate also comes with a large display, but costs less. Samsung's own Galaxy Note series also competes with the Galaxy Mega. Users looking for a combination of the best features from both smartphones and tablets might also find the Asus PadFone 2 a compelling alternative.

There are plenty of choices - let's see how the Samsung Galaxy Mega fares against the competition.

Case

"Wow - that's big!" - that's the initial reaction from other editors and casual observers alike when they see the extra-large smartphone for the first time. Fortunately, the Galaxy Mega, which measures 18.8 x 8.8 x 0.8 centimeters, still fits in many pockets - although those who favor skinny jeans might be out of luck.

Users familiar with the Samsung Galaxy S4 won't need a long time to adjust: with the Galaxy Mega, Samsung continues the tradition of taking the case of the top-of-the-line Galaxy S and resizing it to fit other phones. While this strategy has worked well for Samsung in the past and the build quality is up to the usual high standards, the large display does impact the sturdiness of the design: when we applied pressure from the back, the screen showed some ripples - and we were able to bend the case fairly easily when grabbing the corners.

For some, the choice of plastic as the main material for this upper-class phone might still be a deal breaker - but the Galaxy Mega certainly doesn't feel cheap and the weight is also pleasantly light at 199 grams. Our review model is black, although Samsung also offers a version dressed in white. The back of the phablet features tiny reflective squares on top of the black paint. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder - it's up to the user to decide if they think the design is sophisticated or tacky. We admit that we would have preferred a matte surface instead.

Connectivity

The Galaxy Mega - outfitted with a dual-core processor and the standard micro-USB port on the bottom and audio jack on the top - is equipped similarly to its upper middle-class competitors. Only the 1.5 GB of RAM is a distinguishing factor: the iPhone 5 comes with 1 GB - the Samsung Galaxy S4 and most higher-end phones come with 2 GB. The flash storage space of only 8 GB is also an indicator that Samsung's Galaxy Mega is more of a middle-class and not high-end phablet.

Left: volume rocker switch
Left: volume rocker switch
Right: button for standby
Right: button for standby
Top: audio out
Top: audio out
Bottom: micro-USB slot
Bottom: micro-USB slot

Software

The Samsung Galaxy Mega uses the same software - Android 4.2.2 - as the high-end Galaxy S4. Samsung applies its own TouchWiz interface on top of the operating system. As far as the operation is concerned, changes are minimal though - so users of other Android systems won't need long to adapt.

Additional preinstalled software also mirrors the Galaxy S4: "S Voice" is a comprehensive voice control software package similar to Apple's Siri. "S Planner" is a powerful calendar tool"WatchON" allows the Galaxy Mega to be used as a remote control, and "Story Album" allows the user to create photo albums with text and graphics, which can then be displayed on the home screen.

Although we like that Samsung includes plenty of software, we think that the "Samsung Apps" are a rather unnecessary addition, since the software requires the user to have a Samsung account just to access Google Play via a secondary route. At least there's hardly any bloatware - the German version of the phablet neither includes the tabloid paper nor the hotel broker software which was preinstalled on the Galaxy S4.

The GPS module works flawlessly.
The GPS module works flawlessly.

Communication & GPS

Thanks to quad-band, quad-band UMTS, and hexa-band LTE support, the Galaxy Mega should be able to handle all cellular phone networks around the globe. Unlike the Galaxy S4, the Galaxy Mega doesn't support the latest WLAN standard 802.11 ac - since there are hardly any routers at this time, this shouldn't matter too much. The phablet supports WLAN standards 802.11 a/b/g/n and also features NFC and Bluetooth 4.0. Our reception test showed decent, but not outstanding performance: ten meters from the router and through three walls we recorded between three-quarters and one-half of the full signal strength. Adding another wall drops the signal strength to about 50%. Other smartphones and tablets feature better Wi-Fi reception.

The satellite module supports GPS as well as the Russian Glonass network. The reception quality is quite good: the position is established to within a few meters after just a few seconds. Impressive: the GPS works quite well inside, although not quite as accurate.

Telephony

The phone app is equivalent to the one we are used to from the Samsung Galaxy S4; the voice quality is also very good: the voice of the caller was loud and clear and easy to understand on our end and vice versa. The reception quality - our provider is German Telekom - is actually slightly better on the Galaxy Mega: while the Galaxy S4 didn't always show all bars, the new phablet did.

Cameras & Multimedia

The cameras are also worthy of an upscale device: the 8 megapixel camera on the back takes (daylight) photos which are equivalent in quality to the iPhone 5 or the Galaxy S4. One of the strengths of the Nokia Lumia 920 is low-light conditions - when the light is bright and exposure times are long, the pictures tend to be brighter than normal and suffer from camera shake more easily. For that reason, photos taken with the Samsung Galaxy Mega look sharper than ones taken with Nokia's high-end phone. The Galaxy Mega does suffer from very high color noise in low-light conditions - but the LED flash does improve the quality in these scenarios. All in all, the quality is quite impressive - especially since the 1.9 megapixel camera up front is also capable of decent pictures.

Videos can be played back using the integrated player; it's also easy to access other devices within the same network and download videos from there. Once the videos are saved on the Galaxy Mega, the player-window can be positioned so it floats above the navigation screen: that way, other tasks can be accomplished while the video is playing. The playback of saved HD videos also worked without a hitch.

Samsung Galaxy Mega (8 megapixel) – plant
Samsung Galaxy Mega (8 megapixel) – plant
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel) – plant
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel) – plant
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel) – plant
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel) – plant
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel) – plant
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel) – plant
Reference: Sony Alpha 57 (16 megapixel) – plant
Reference: Sony Alpha 57 (16 megapixel) – plant
Samsung Galaxy Mega (8 megapixel) – scene
Samsung Galaxy Mega (8 megapixel) – scene
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel) – scene
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel) – scene
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel) – scene
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel) – scene
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel) – scene
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel) – scene
Reference: Sony Alpha 57 (16 megapixel) – scene
Reference: Sony Alpha 57 (16 megapixel) – scene
Samsung Galaxy Mega (8 megapixel) – landscape
Samsung Galaxy Mega (8 megapixel) – landscape
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel) – landscape
Apple iPhone 5 (8 megapixel) – landscape
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel) – landscape
Google Nexus 4 (8 megapixel) – landscape
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel) – landscape
Nokia Lumia 920 (8.7 megapixel) – landscape
Reference: Sony Alpha 57 (16 megapixel) – landscape
Reference: Sony Alpha 57 (16 megapixel) – landscape

Accessories

Samsung doesn't skimp on accessories: aside from the quick-start guide and the power adapter with detachable USB cable, the box also includes a headset and a 4 GB microSD card with adapter.

At the time of writing, Samsung's online shop didn't offer any accessories for the Galaxy Mega. Many different add-ons are available for the Samsung Galaxy S4 - but due to missing software or because of the form factor, those accessories are not compatible with the Galaxy Mega. The menu does offer settings for a universal USB docking station.

Warranty

In some countries, the Galaxy Mega is - like many other Samsung smartphones - covered for a period of 24 months. To take advantage of the warranty, the phone needs to be shipped to or dropped off at an authorized service center.

Input Devices & Operation

One of many options: voice control using S Voice.
One of many options: voice control using S Voice.

The Galaxy Mega and the Samsung Galaxy S4 also have striking similarities here: while the keys are slightly smaller, the number keys are now directly accessible. Since the display is so large, it's quite easy to work with the virtual keyboard, which can be configured and adapted extensively - for example, it's possible to swipe the keys instead of pressing them. In addition, the Galaxy Mega also supports voice and handwriting recognition. All input choices work flawlessly. A little highlight: the keyboard can be detached and moved across the screen. Users who don't like the above choices can also opt for the classic Android keyboard.

The capacitive touchscreen recognizes up to 10 fingers at the same time. The surface allows fingers to glide easily and input is supported all the way into the corners. An advantage of the large display: the very large icons.

Other modes of operation

The Galaxy Mega features almost all the innovative control methods of the Galaxy S4 like "simple mode", which simplifies the home screen, eye recognition, voice control, aids for people with disabilities, Air-View, and a whole lot more. Only scrolling with the eyes is not supported. Since these methods function much like on the Galaxy S4, we urge our readers to check out the review of Samsung's high-end smartphone. 

We like the fact that Samsung offers the user so many different ways of modifying the operation of the Galaxy Mega to their liking - although all those options might confuse new users. Samsung also offers many accessibility options for users with disabilities: the camera light can be set to turn on when a message is received, the user can enable magnification, invert screen colors, and tweak many other settings.

Display

No Full HD, no AMOLED display - the Galaxy Mega doesn't copy all the features of the Samsung Galaxy S4. The resolution is only 1280x720 pixels - quite a bit less than the Full HD resolution of the high-end smartphone. Since the display is so large, the difference would be noticeable. Although all icons are sharp and individual pixels are not discernible with the naked eye, a Full HD display would have been the better choice. However, the Huawei Ascend Mate has the same-size screen and also comes with 720p resolution.

The display is based on LCD technology, which can produce really nice screens - see for example the HTC One. The average brightness is very high at 443.7 cd/m² - although most high-end smartphones can at least equal this value if not better it. The Samsung Galaxy S4 doesn't get quite as bright due to the AMOLED technology.

438
cd/m²
459
cd/m²
435
cd/m²
438
cd/m²
477
cd/m²
428
cd/m²
429
cd/m²
460
cd/m²
429
cd/m²
Distribution of brightness
Information
X-Rite i1Pro 2
Maximum: 477 cd/m²
Average: 443.7 cd/m²
Brightness Distribution: 90 %
Center on Battery: 477 cd/m²
Black: 0.45 cd/m²
Contrast: 1060:1

We measured a contrast ratio of 1060:1 - good, but far below the HTC One, which almost doubles this value. The black value of 0.45 cd/m² is fairly average. Blacks appear pretty saturated, although they can look dark gray at times depending on the brightness level. Although Samsung's AMOLED displays are known for their extraordinary colors, the Galaxy Mega is no slouch and the colors are saturated and vivid.

Just like with the Galaxy S4, the user can choose different display modes. "Dynamic" has very vivid colors, "Standard" has normal saturation and contrast, and "Video" offers a natural, albeit not very saturated picture. The Galaxy Mega also features an automatic mode, which chooses the display mode without user input. 

Color accuracy is - according to our test with CalMAN software and a colorimeter - quite good with the phablet in "Video" mode. Even when using "Dynamic" mode, the deviation of the colors from their sRGB ideals is pretty moderate. Lighter grays deviate the most from their ideal values - "Video" mode is also the best choice here. Even when using the much larger AdobeRGB color space for comparison, the average DeltaE of 4.04 for many of the colors is certainly acceptable.

CalMAN color management, Dynamic
CalMAN color management, Dynamic
CalMAN color management, Standard
CalMAN color management, Standard
CalMAN color management, Video
CalMAN color management, Video
CalMAN color accuracy, Dynamic
CalMAN color accuracy, Dynamic
CalMAN color accuracy, Standard
CalMAN color accuracy, Standard
CalMAN color accuracy, Video
CalMAN color accuracy, Video
CalMAN gray levels, Dynamic
CalMAN gray levels, Dynamic
CalMAN gray levels, Standard
CalMAN gray levels, Standard
CalMAN gray levels, Video
CalMAN gray levels, Video
CalMAN saturation, Dynamic
CalMAN saturation, Dynamic
CalMAN saturation, Standard
CalMAN saturation, Standard
CalMAN saturation, Video
CalMAN saturation, Video
Outdoor use
Outdoor use

Due to the high screen brightness, the Galaxy Mega can be used outside even on very bright days. Even when exposed to direct sunlight, the screen content remains decipherable - although it's very tiring for the eyes in the long run. Inside, the brightness has to be decreased especially when there's a lot of white in the picture - otherwise the screen can be blinding.

Viewing angles
Viewing angles

The viewing angle stability is outstanding: even at very extreme angles, the display remains clear and the colors true.

Performance

The dual-core SoC is sourced from Snapdragon and is clocked at 1.7 GHz. The Galaxy Mega features 1.5 GB of RAM. Most high-end smartphones usually feature quad-core processors and more RAM. Our review model does come with a processor with a higher clock speed than the Huawei Ascend Mate

As far as the processor performance is concerned, the Samsung device outperforms the Huawei Ascend Mate when running synthetic benchmark tests. Overall, the Galaxy Mega offers lower middle-class performance when compared to the competition. We were still able to navigate smoothly however - even when running two applications simultaneously in multi-window mode.

Geekbench 2 - 32 Bit - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
1907 Points ∼15%
Apple iPhone 5
1648 Points ∼13% -14%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
3216 Points ∼26% +69%
HTC One
2332 Points ∼19% +22%
Sony Xperia Z
1918 Points ∼15% +1%
Sony Xperia ZL
2036 Points ∼16% +7%
LG Optimus G E975
1831 Points ∼15% -4%
Google Nexus 4
2054 Points ∼17% +8%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1557 Points ∼13% -18%
Asus Padfone 2
2132 Points ∼17% +12%
PassMark PerformanceTest Mobile V1 - System (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
2589 Points ∼41%
Apple iPhone 5
3490 Points ∼56% +35%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
3430 Points ∼55% +32%
Google Nexus 4
2638 Points ∼42% +2%
Huawei Ascend Mate
2239 Points ∼36% -14%
Linpack for Android
Single Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
171.088 MFLOPS ∼22%
Apple iPhone 5
365.18 MFLOPS ∼48% +113%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
304.848 MFLOPS ∼40% +78%
HTC One
308.211 MFLOPS ∼40% +80%
Sony Xperia Z
210.109 MFLOPS ∼27% +23%
Sony Xperia ZL
227.808 MFLOPS ∼30% +33%
LG Optimus G E975
232.225 MFLOPS ∼30% +36%
Google Nexus 4
76.841 MFLOPS ∼10% -55%
Huawei Ascend Mate
46.73 MFLOPS ∼6% -73%
Asus Padfone 2
217.749 MFLOPS ∼28% +27%
Multi Thread (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
298.525 MFLOPS ∼21%
Apple iPhone 5
574.95 MFLOPS ∼40% +93%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
617.879 MFLOPS ∼43% +107%
HTC One
733.333 MFLOPS ∼51% +146%
Sony Xperia Z
569.82 MFLOPS ∼40% +91%
Sony Xperia ZL
587.689 MFLOPS ∼41% +97%
LG Optimus G E975
540.598 MFLOPS ∼38% +81%
Google Nexus 4
221.638 MFLOPS ∼15% -26%
Huawei Ascend Mate
117.211 MFLOPS ∼8% -61%
Asus Padfone 2
554.825 MFLOPS ∼39% +86%
AnTuTu Benchmark v3 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
13392 Points ∼37%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
23181 Points ∼65% +73%
HTC One
23500 Points ∼66% +75%
Sony Xperia Z
14244 Points ∼40% +6%
Sony Xperia ZL
19942 Points ∼56% +49%
LG Optimus G E975
17554 Points ∼49% +31%
Google Nexus 4
17555 Points ∼49% +31%
Huawei Ascend Mate
14746 Points ∼41% +10%
Smartbench 2012 - Productivity Index (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
4922 points ∼47%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
7353 points ∼71% +49%
HTC One
6850 points ∼66% +39%
Sony Xperia Z
4831 points ∼47% -2%
Sony Xperia ZL
5031 points ∼48% +2%
LG Optimus G E975
4951 points ∼48% +1%
Google Nexus 4
3178 points ∼31% -35%
Huawei Ascend Mate
4850 points ∼47% -1%
Asus Padfone 2
5239 points ∼50% +6%
Quadrant Standard Edition 2.0 - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
6958 points ∼29%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
12566 points ∼52% +81%
HTC One
12049 points ∼50% +73%
Sony Xperia Z
7964 points ∼33% +14%
Sony Xperia ZL
7821 points ∼33% +12%
Google Nexus 4
4552 points ∼19% -35%
Huawei Ascend Mate
4404 points ∼18% -37%
Asus Padfone 2
7402 points ∼31% +6%

Legend

 
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200 Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 8930AB, Qualcomm Adreno 305, 8 GB SSD
 
Nokia Lumia 920 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Plus MSM8960, Qualcomm Adreno 225, 32 GB SSD
 
Apple iPhone 5 Apple A6, PowerVR SGX543MP3, 32 GB SSD
 
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505 Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB iNAND Flash
 
HTC One Qualcomm Snapdragon 600 APQ8064T, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 32 GB SSD
 
Sony Xperia Z Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
 
Sony Xperia ZL Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
 
LG Optimus G E975 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 32 GB SSD
 
Google Nexus 4 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 16 GB SSD
 
Huawei Ascend Mate HiSilicon k3v2 Hi3620, Vivante GC4000, 8 GB SSD
 
Asus Padfone 2 Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro APQ8064A, Qualcomm Adreno 320, 32 GB SSD

The Qualcomm Adreno 305 GPU can't quite keep up when running most of the synthetic 3D benchmark tests. Only the Huawei Ascend Mate is slower at times - but current high-end smartphones and the Asus PadFone 2 are able to outperform the Galaxy Mega decisively.

GFXBench (DX / GLBenchmark) 2.7
1920x1080 T-Rex HD Offscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
6.2 fps ∼1%
Nokia Lumia 920
3.6 fps ∼1% -42%
Apple iPhone 5
6.7 fps ∼1% +8%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
15 fps ∼2% +142%
Sony Xperia Z
13 fps ∼2% +110%
Sony Xperia ZL
13 fps ∼2% +110%
LG Optimus G E975
9.3 fps ∼1% +50%
Google Nexus 4
13 fps ∼2% +110%
Huawei Ascend Mate
22 fps ∼3% +255%
T-Rex HD Onscreen C24Z16 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
10 fps ∼17%
Nokia Lumia 920
6.3 fps ∼11% -37%
Apple iPhone 5
13.6 fps ∼23% +36%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
15 fps ∼25% +50%
Sony Xperia Z
14 fps ∼23% +40%
Sony Xperia ZL
13 fps ∼22% +30%
LG Optimus G E975
17 fps ∼28% +70%
Google Nexus 4
20 fps ∼33% +100%
Huawei Ascend Mate
35 fps ∼58% +250%
Epic Citadel
High Performance (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
56.7 fps ∼94%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
59 fps ∼97% +4%
HTC One
57.5 fps ∼95% +1%
Sony Xperia Z
57.1 fps ∼94% +1%
Sony Xperia ZL
56.5 fps ∼93% 0%
LG Optimus G E975
57.3 fps ∼95% +1%
Google Nexus 4 (1196x768)
54.9 fps ∼91% -3%
Huawei Ascend Mate
40.5 fps ∼67% -29%
High Quality (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
55.8 fps ∼93%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
58.7 fps ∼98% +5%
HTC One
57.1 fps ∼95% +2%
Sony Xperia Z
51.1 fps ∼85% -8%
Sony Xperia ZL
54.8 fps ∼92% -2%
Google Nexus 4 (1196x768)
54.3 fps ∼91% -3%
Huawei Ascend Mate
38.6 fps ∼65% -31%
3DMark (2013) - 1280x720 Ice Storm Standard Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
5284 Points ∼4%
Apple iPhone 5
5721 Points ∼4% +8%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
11344 Points ∼8% +115%
HTC One
10752 Points ∼7% +103%
Sony Xperia ZL
8971 Points ∼6% +70%
LG Optimus G E975
10233 Points ∼7% +94%
Google Nexus 4
11396 Points ∼8% +116%
Huawei Ascend Mate
4232 Points ∼3% -20%
Antutu 3DRating
--- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
3768 Points ∼33%
Apple iPhone 5
11353 Points ∼100% +201%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
5243 Points ∼46% +39%
HTC One
5459 Points ∼48% +45%
Sony Xperia Z
4151 Points ∼37% +10%
Sony Xperia ZL
5218 Points ∼46% +38%
LG Optimus G E975
5532 Points ∼49% +47%
Google Nexus 4
5731 Points ∼50% +52%
Huawei Ascend Mate
4611 Points ∼41% +22%
1024x2048 Off-screen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
2156 Points ∼75%
Apple iPhone 5
1373 Points ∼48% -36%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2037 Points ∼71% -6%
HTC One
2377 Points ∼83% +10%
Sony Xperia Z
1856 Points ∼64% -14%
Sony Xperia ZL
2132 Points ∼74% -1%
LG Optimus G E975
1809 Points ∼63% -16%
Google Nexus 4
1702 Points ∼59% -21%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1758 Points ∼61% -18%
Basemark ES 2.0 - Taiji Free (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
30.39 fps ∼50%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
47.24 fps ∼78% +55%
HTC One
41.08 fps ∼68% +35%
Sony Xperia Z
38.14 fps ∼63% +26%
Sony Xperia ZL
38.23 fps ∼63% +26%
LG Optimus G E975
45.7 fps ∼75% +50%
Google Nexus 4
53.54 fps ∼88% +76%
Huawei Ascend Mate
30.26 fps ∼50% 0%
Asus Padfone 2
58.64 fps ∼97% +93%
Basemark X 1.0
On-Screen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
6.879 fps ∼21%
Apple iPhone 5
18.077 fps ∼55% +163%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
8.608 fps ∼26% +25%
Sony Xperia ZL
7.5 fps ∼23% +9%
Google Nexus 4
15.7 fps ∼48% +128%
Huawei Ascend Mate
5.738 fps ∼18% -17%
Off-Screen (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
3.01 fps ∼14%
Apple iPhone 5
7.562 fps ∼36% +151%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
8.015 fps ∼38% +166%
Sony Xperia ZL
6.4 fps ∼30% +113%
Google Nexus 4
6.8 fps ∼32% +126%
Huawei Ascend Mate
2.633 fps ∼12% -13%

One might think that the just average benchmark results would negatively impact web browsing speeds - but the opposite is the case: the Galaxy Mega even outperforms the Samsung Galaxy S4 - although only by a little bit. Webpages open quickly and browsing the internet is speedy - overall an impressive performance.

Peacekeeper - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
608 Points ∼10%
Apple iPhone 5
863 Points ∼14% +42%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
555 Points ∼9% -9%
HTC One
683 Points ∼11% +12%
Sony Xperia Z
388 Points ∼6% -36%
Sony Xperia ZL
386 Points ∼6% -37%
LG Optimus G E975
545 Points ∼9% -10%
Google Nexus 4 (Chrome 27)
236 Points ∼4% -61%
Huawei Ascend Mate
495 Points ∼8% -19%
Sunspider - --- (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
1090 ms * ∼27%
Nokia Lumia 920
891 ms * ∼22% +18%
Apple iPhone 5
714 ms * ∼18% +34%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
1168.2 ms * ∼29% -7%
Google Nexus 4 (Chrome)
1580.6 ms * ∼39% -45%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1610.3 ms * ∼40% -48%
Vellamo Mobile Benchmark 2.0
Metal (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
680 Points ∼38%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
835 Points ∼47% +23%
HTC One
788 Points ∼44% +16%
Sony Xperia Z
632 Points ∼35% -7%
Sony Xperia ZL
627 Points ∼35% -8%
LG Optimus G E975
589 Points ∼33% -13%
Google Nexus 4
625 Points ∼35% -8%
Huawei Ascend Mate
463 Points ∼26% -32%
Asus Padfone 2
616 Points ∼34% -9%
HTML5 (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
1990 Points ∼64%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2105 Points ∼68% +6%
HTC One
2375 Points ∼76% +19%
Sony Xperia Z
2186 Points ∼70% +10%
Sony Xperia ZL
2194 Points ∼71% +10%
LG Optimus G E975
1756 Points ∼56% -12%
Google Nexus 4
1339 Points ∼43% -33%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1646 Points ∼53% -17%
Asus Padfone 2
2016 Points ∼65% +1%
Google V8 Ver. 7 - Google V8 Ver. 7 Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
2304 Points ∼13%
Nokia Lumia 920
785 Points ∼4% -66%
Apple iPhone 5
1457 Points ∼8% -37%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2222 Points ∼12% -4%
HTC One
1899 Points ∼10% -18%
Sony Xperia Z
1279 Points ∼7% -44%
Sony Xperia ZL
1271 Points ∼7% -45%
LG Optimus G E975
1479 Points ∼8% -36%
Google Nexus 4
1381 Points ∼8% -40%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1502 Points ∼8% -35%
Asus Padfone 2
1473 Points ∼8% -36%
Octane V1 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
2169 Points ∼10%
Apple iPhone 5
1663 Points ∼8% -23%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
2290 Points ∼11% +6%
HTC One
1986 Points ∼9% -8%
Sony Xperia Z
1214 Points ∼6% -44%
Sony Xperia ZL
1182 Points ∼6% -46%
LG Optimus G E975
1163 Points ∼6% -46%
Google Nexus 4
1248 Points ∼6% -42%
Huawei Ascend Mate
1373 Points ∼7% -37%
Mozilla Kraken 1.0 - Total Score (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
13330.3 ms * ∼8%
Apple iPhone 5
20380.2 ms * ∼12% -53%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
13779.3 ms * ∼8% -3%
HTC One
13058.6 ms * ∼8% +2%
Sony Xperia Z
21140.9 ms * ∼12% -59%
Sony Xperia ZL
22540.3 ms * ∼13% -69%
LG Optimus G E975
23662.7 ms * ∼14% -78%
Google Nexus 4
21389 ms * ∼12% -60%
Huawei Ascend Mate
24703.6 ms * ∼14% -85%

* ... smaller is better

It appears that Samsung not only skimped on the capacity of the internal flash storage, but also on its performance: the 8 GB module is far from speedy. Read performance is still fairly reasonable - but competing smartphones write data up to three times faster than the Galaxy Mega.

AndroBench 3
Sequential Read 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
49.79 MB/s ∼30%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
75.1 MB/s ∼45% +51%
HTC One
58.75 MB/s ∼35% +18%
Sony Xperia Z
48.79 MB/s ∼29% -2%
Sony Xperia ZL
48.71 MB/s ∼29% -2%
LG Optimus G E975
60.08 MB/s ∼36% +21%
Google Nexus 4
49.7 MB/s ∼30% 0%
Huawei Ascend Mate
35.25 MB/s ∼21% -29%
Asus Padfone 2
43.45 MB/s ∼26% -13%
Sequential Write 256KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
7.48 MB/s ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
13.11 MB/s ∼23% +75%
HTC One
16.37 MB/s ∼28% +119%
Sony Xperia Z
14.49 MB/s ∼25% +94%
Sony Xperia ZL
13.55 MB/s ∼23% +81%
LG Optimus G E975
13.88 MB/s ∼24% +86%
Google Nexus 4
13.97 MB/s ∼24% +87%
Huawei Ascend Mate
7.43 MB/s ∼13% -1%
Asus Padfone 2
7.72 MB/s ∼13% +3%
Random Read 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
9.3 MB/s ∼44%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
12.28 MB/s ∼59% +32%
HTC One
11.83 MB/s ∼56% +27%
Sony Xperia Z
12.84 MB/s ∼61% +38%
Sony Xperia ZL
11.65 MB/s ∼56% +25%
LG Optimus G E975
11.64 MB/s ∼55% +25%
Google Nexus 4
12.14 MB/s ∼58% +31%
Huawei Ascend Mate
6.75 MB/s ∼32% -27%
Asus Padfone 2
10.67 MB/s ∼51% +15%
Random Write 4KB (sort by value)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
0.38 MB/s ∼13%
Samsung Galaxy S4 GT-I9505
1.13 MB/s ∼39% +197%
HTC One
1.19 MB/s ∼41% +213%
Sony Xperia Z
1.15 MB/s ∼39% +203%
Sony Xperia ZL
1.12 MB/s ∼38% +195%
LG Optimus G E975
1.06 MB/s ∼36% +179%
Google Nexus 4
1.07 MB/s ∼37% +182%
Huawei Ascend Mate
0.5 MB/s ∼17% +32%
Asus Padfone 2
0.25 MB/s ∼9% -34%

Gaming Performance

Playing games is of course a lot of fun because of the very large screen. Both the touchscreen and the position sensor allow for precise control of games. The performance is enough to play most games smoothly - at least the casual ones like Angry Birds: Star Wars or action games like Zombiewood. More demanding 3D games like Iron Man 3 are accompanied by micro-stutters. Although those don't really have a major impact, they still might delay some inputs by a fraction of a second. Although the benchmark tests clearly indicate that the Galaxy Mega lags behind the top phones as far as performance is concerned, only very few and very demanding 3D games are going to pose any limitations.

Overall gaming performance lags behind the high-end smartphones. The phablets Huawei Ascend Mate and Asus PadFone 2 perform at about the same level. Navigation is smooth, internet performance is very satisfying, and most games run without problems. Users demanding top gaming performance need to look elsewhere though.

Angry Birds: Star Wars doesn't pose a problem ...
Angry Birds: Star Wars doesn't pose a problem ...
... but although more demanding 3D games are still playable, they don't always run smoothly.
... but although more demanding 3D games are still playable, they don't always run smoothly.

Emissions

Temperature

The Samsung Galaxy Mega does better in this category than the Huawei Ascend Mate, which gets quite warm at times. The Galaxy Mega also heats up when it's under full load - but we measured a maximum of 39.9 °C, which might be noticeable, but is absolutely no reason for concern. During idle, our review phablet remained quite cool at a maximum of 33.9 °C.

Max. Load
 37.6 °C32.9 °C30 °C 
 39.9 °C33.4 °C29.6 °C 
 37.5 °C33.2 °C29.4 °C 
Maximum: 39.9 °C
Average: 33.7 °C
29.1 °C32.6 °C37.8 °C
29.1 °C33.2 °C38 °C
29.3 °C33.1 °C39.4 °C
Maximum: 39.4 °C
Average: 33.5 °C
Power Supply (max.)  40.3 °C | Room Temperature 23 °C | Voltcraft IR-350

Speakers

"Loud and clear" - this is how we would describe the sound of the Galaxy Mega. The single speaker is located on the back though - the HTC One features stereo speakers up front. Positive: the sound is not impacted when a finger is covering up the speaker or the phablet is placed on the table.

Overall, the sound quality is good - even lows are present, although not overly so. The maximum volume the little speaker is capable of is sufficient for a medium-sized room. Audiophiles shouldn't expect miracles: decent external speakers or headphones are far superior.

Energy Management

Power Consumption

Considering the size of the screen, the Samsung Galaxy Mega is not overly power-hungry: The Sony Xperia Z and ZL consume almost twice as much at times - and they are both a whole lot smaller.

We also like that the Galaxy Mega only uses a minimum amount of energy when it is turned off or in standby mode. During idle, the power consumption is also very low at 1.4 watts. We measured a maximum power consumption of 4.9 watts under load. All in all, the power consumption is well controlled, which has a positive impact on battery life.

Power Consumption

Off / Standby 0.01 / 0.1 Watt
Idle 0.6 / 1.4 / 1.8 Watt
Load 4.3 / 4.9 Watt
 
Key: min: , med: , max:         Voltcraft VC 940

Battery Life

Although the battery can't quite compete with the long-lasting battery installed in the Huawei Ascend Mate, the Samsung Galaxy Mega also consumes less power across the board - so 12.16 Wh should be more than enough for a decent battery life.

4 hours and 48 minutes under full load is very good indeed - no other device in our comparison comes close. During the more realistic WLAN test, the Galaxy Mega lasted for 8 hours and 43 minutes, which is pretty average. 

Overall battery life is quite impressive - it really is surprising how energy efficient this phablet is despite its huge display.

Battery Runtime
Idle (without WLAN, min brightness)
16h 39min
WiFi Surfing
8h 43min
Load (maximum brightness)
4h 48min

Verdict

Although phablets are still pretty uncommon, we soon discovered that the Samsung Galaxy Mega is perfectly suited as a daily companion. Previous doubts regarding its usability simply vanished over time: "won't fit into a pocket" - well, it does. "With a screen like that, the battery won't last long" - the Galaxy Mega uses less power than many of the much smaller competitors. In many ways, the phablet is similar to the high-end Samsung Galaxy S4 and features an impressive array of connectivity options. We really like the large and very bright display with its impressive viewing angle stability - even though Samsung doesn't use AMOLED technology this time around.

The Korean manufacturer of course has no interest in dethroning their own top model and that is noticeable at times: considering the size of the display, the low resolution - although still appropriate for a phablet - is a bit of a letdown. The plastic case is not quite as sturdy as the one of the Galaxy S4 and neither the dual-core processor nor the graphics card come close in performance to high-end phones.

Users looking for a really large smartphone should definitely consider the Galaxy Mega, which currently sells for around 500 Euros (~$650). Some compromises are necessary of course - but Samsung was able to produce a very large and well-designed smartphone, which - at least for now - should attract some attention. 

A warning at the end: after handling the Samsung Galaxy Mega for a while, all "normal" smartphones appear tiny by comparison.

Reviewed: Samsung Galaxy Mega
Reviewed: Samsung Galaxy Mega
Review model courtesy of ... GetGoods

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In Review: Samsung Galaxy Mega, courtesy of:
In Review: Samsung Galaxy Mega, courtesy of:

Specifications

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200

:: Processor
:: Memory
1536 MB
:: Graphics adapter
:: Display
6.3 inch 16:9, 1280x720 pixel, Capacitive touchscreen with AirView support, LCD, glossy: yes
:: Harddisk
8 GB SSD, 8 GB , 4.5 GB free
:: Connections
1 USB 2.0, Audio Connections: Audio combo port, Card Reader: MicroSD port up to 64 GByte, Sensors: Accelerometer, gyroscope, magnet sensor, ambient light sensor, proximity sensor, auto rotation, rotation vector, gravity sensor, linear accelerometer, position sensor,
:: Networking
802.11a/b/g/n (a b g n ), Bluetooth 4.0 Bluetooth, GSM: 850/900/1.800/1.900 MHz, UMTS: 850/900/1.900/2.100 MHz, LTE: 800/850/900/1.800/2.100/2.600 MHz
:: Size
height x width x depth (in mm): 8 x 167.6 x 88
:: Weight
0.199 kg Power Supply: 0.049 kg
:: Battery
12.16 Wh Lithium-Ion, 3200 mAh
:: Price
599 Euro
:: Operating System
Android 4.2
:: Additional features
Webcam: Rear: 8 MP, Front: 1.9 MP, Speakers: Speaker on the back, Keyboard: Virtual keyboard, Headset, 4 GB storage card, S Voice, S Memo, S Planner, S Translator, WatchON, Samsung Link, Story Album, Trip Advisor, 24 Months Warranty

 

[+] compare
The Samsung Galaxy Mega is a phablet with an extremely large 6.3-inch display.
The Samsung Galaxy Mega is a phablet with an extremely large 6.3-inch display.
Smartphones with 4.7-inch screens suddenly seem small by comparison.
Smartphones with 4.7-inch screens suddenly seem small by comparison.
The new phablet looks a lot like the Galaxy S4 - down to the case.
The new phablet looks a lot like the Galaxy S4 - down to the case.
The reflective design is a matter of taste.
The reflective design is a matter of taste.
The build quality is high, but the sturdiness is a bit lacking.
The build quality is high, but the sturdiness is a bit lacking.
The back cover can be removed easily.
The back cover can be removed easily.
The back is home to the very decent speaker.
The back is home to the very decent speaker.
Because of the low power consumption, the battery life is very good.
Because of the low power consumption, the battery life is very good.
The rear-facing and very good 8 megapixel camera.
The rear-facing and very good 8 megapixel camera.
The micro-SIM and microSD card slots.
The micro-SIM and microSD card slots.
A microSD card and adapter are included.
A microSD card and adapter are included.
Other accessories: the power adapter, quickstart guide, and the headphones.
Other accessories: the power adapter, quickstart guide, and the headphones.
The power adapter is not needed frequently since the power consumption is low.
The power adapter is not needed frequently since the power consumption is low.
The desktop reminds us of the Samsung Galaxy S4.
The desktop reminds us of the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Samsung preinstalls many software titles.
Samsung preinstalls many software titles.
One example: Flipboard.
One example: Flipboard.
The home screen can be configured according to preferences.
The home screen can be configured according to preferences.
Great: Touchwiz allows two applications to be run in parallel.
Great: Touchwiz allows two applications to be run in parallel.
Here we are watching a video and browsing our website at the same time.
Here we are watching a video and browsing our website at the same time.
Speaking of videos: A click on the button on the bottom right...
Speaking of videos: A click on the button on the bottom right...
... allows the user to position the video anywhere on the screen - and the smartphone can be used for other tasks.
... allows the user to position the video anywhere on the screen - and the smartphone can be used for other tasks.
Even though the 3DMark scores are good: the performance is decidedly not high-end.
Even though the 3DMark scores are good: the performance is decidedly not high-end.
Phone functionality is important - and the operation is straightforward.
Phone functionality is important - and the operation is straightforward.
The screen mode can be adjusted:
The screen mode can be adjusted:
Useful: in case of an emergency, Safety Assistance can document the location via a photo and call emergency contacts.
Useful: in case of an emergency, Safety Assistance can document the location via a photo and call emergency contacts.
The options menu features four categories, which improve usability.
The options menu features four categories, which improve usability.
Widgets can be placed on the home screen.
Widgets can be placed on the home screen.
Additional widgets can be accessed by swiping left or right.
Additional widgets can be accessed by swiping left or right.
S Planner is a clear and easy to use calendar application.
S Planner is a clear and easy to use calendar application.
Great: accessibility options for users with disabilities.
Great: accessibility options for users with disabilities.
Overall, a well-designed phablet by Samsung.
Overall, a well-designed phablet by Samsung.
Only very demanding power users ought to look elsewhere.
Only very demanding power users ought to look elsewhere.
With a street price of 500 Euros (~$650), the Galaxy Mega is a very good deal.
With a street price of 500 Euros (~$650), the Galaxy Mega is a very good deal.

Similar Devices

Devices with the same GPU

» Sony Xperia T3 Smartphone Review
Snapdragon 400 MSM8928, 5.3", 0.148 kg
» Sony Xperia M2 Smartphone Review
Snapdragon 400 MSM8926, 4.8", 0.149 kg
» Huawei Ascend G6 Smartphone Review
Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, 4.5", 0.115 kg
» HTC Desire 816 Smartphone Review
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» HTC Desire 610 Smartphone Review
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» HTC One Mini 2 Smartphone Review
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» Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 10.1 Tablet Review
Snapdragon 400 MSM8226, 10.1", 0.487 kg

Links

  • Manufacturer's Information

Price Comparison

Pro

+Very large and bright display
+Great viewing angle stability
+Many ways of operation
+Ample wireless connectivity
+Plenty of additional software included
+Lots of accessories
+Case doesn't get hot
+Very good battery life
 

Cons

-Not a lot of optional accessories
-Operation can be confusing
-System and 3D performance is just average
-Comparatively low resolution
-Case is not very sturdy

Shortcut

What we like

The very bright display and the extensive features set.

What we'd like to see

A higher-resolution display would really improve this phablet.

What surprises us

How many features Samsung carried over from the high-end Galaxy S4.

The competition

Samsung Galaxy S4, Huawei Ascend Mate, Asus PadFone 2, HTC One, LG Optimus G, Sony Xperia Z, Sony Xperia ZL, Nokia Lumia 920, Samsung Ativ S, Google Nexus 4, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0.

Rating

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200
08/05/2013 v3
Florian Wimmer

Chassis
82%
Keyboard
63%
Pointing Device
94%
Connectivity
42%
Weight
100%
Battery
97%
Display
87%
Games Performance
35%
Application Performance
50%
Temperature
84%
Noise
100%
Add Points
83%
Average
76%
88%
Smartphone *
Weighted Average

> Notebook / Laptop Reviews and News > Reviews > Archive of our own reviews > Review Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 I9200 Smartphone
Author: Florian Wimmer, 2013-07-14 (Update: 2013-07-25)