Just when you thought a phablet couldn't get any bigger -- Samsung's Galaxy Mega smartphone is making its way to the United States this month. The handset maker debuted the oversized mobile device in South Korea, Europe and Russia.
Samsung bills the Galaxy Mega, which offers a whopping 6.3-inch high definition screen, as a device that combines the portability of a smartphone with the multitasking capabilities and viewing experience of a tablet. The Galaxy Mega is thin enough and still small enough to hold in one hand or put in a pocket but much larger than the iPhone.
"We are aware of a great potential in the bigger screen for extensive viewing multimedia, web browsing, and more," JK Shin, CEO and Head of IT & Mobile Business, Samsung Electronics, said when the device was first released. The device offers a split screen that aims to make it easier to multitask between video and other apps.
Mega (Phone) Features
The Galaxy Mega offers features like Group Play that lets users enjoy music, play games, and share pictures and documents with people around them even without a Wi-Fi or cellular connection. Meanwhile, Samsung Link streams photos, videos, notes, or music to a user's television, tablet or computer. Another feature called S Translator translates what you speak or text into the device. And Samsung's ChatON service lets users share what's on their screens with friends.
Specs-wise, the Galaxy Mega comes equipped with an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera with a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera, along with a variety of camera modes. For example, Sound & Shot captures 9 seconds of sound and voice together as the picture is taken to capture moments. The device runs on the latest Android 4.2 Jelly Bean experience and features a dual core processor, up to 64GB of expandable memory.
Has Mega Closed the Gap?
We asked Roger Entner, principal analyst at Recon Analytics, for his reaction to the 6.5-inch smartphone. He told us the lines between tablet and smartphone are blurring.
"It's difficult to say if this is a super-sized phone or a really small tablet. Since we haven't had a product like this, we really don't know how people will react," Entner said. "I have a Kindle Touch and that just barely fits into a suit pocket. This might be right at that line where it's a really large phone, really small tablet."
As he sees it, Mega has closed the gap and opened a continuum. Tablets and phones are hardly two separate categories at Samsung. And where one person draws the line may be different from where another person draws the line over what is a smartphone and what is a tablet.
"You can install Skype and make phone calls on a tablet," Entner said. "Tablets might not have the circuit-powered phone capability but the voice over IP telephone capability is certainly there and people are technology agnostic. It doesn't matter to them how it's being transmitted."
Posted: 2013-08-27 @ 3:20pm PT
Another option to consider is a traditional Android 7-inch tablet with a 3G HSPA+ SIM slot, as many tablets are beginning to offer this option and cost considerably less than the new Samsung 6.3" device.
One new model to launch next week is the Novo 7 EOS ($189) -- with both Internet data access and Voice Calling function through any GSM Wireless carrier-- with a built-in SIM card slot that provides 3G HSPA+ connection and an Android phone SIM card maybe used interchangeably with both phone and tablet.
The Novo 7 EOS is made by Ainol Electronics, which won runner-up for Best-Tablet-of-the-Year at CES 2012-- and features a 7-inch HD screen (1280x800) like the Kindle Fire, along with 16GB Memory, Bluetooth wireless connection to printers and headsets (ideal to make phone calls), HDMI 1080p along with Google Chromecast compatibility to stream movies to an HDTV, a 2 Megapixel webcam & 5 Megapixel rear camera, Google Play preinstalled and a powerful 4400 mAh battery. Although the Novo 7 EOS may not offer 4G speeds, overall connection of 3G HSPA+ speeds is sufficient for most needs and this new model doesn't cost $350-$500 typical of 4G-enabled tablets.
One of the first sources to offer the Novo 7 EOS is --T ab l e t S p r I n t-- which has complete specs of this model and also features a few other new 3G tablet models to launch this month.
Posted: 2013-08-21 @ 4:46am PT
I think what it comes down to is everybody really wants a small smartphone with a very large screen. Perhaps a screen that somehow folds?
Posted: 2013-08-19 @ 5:33pm PT
Why can't they just make a true tablet with cell phone built in? People would like to be able to make phone calls and not worry about whether there is wifi. If someone developed a real ipad that could use cell phone instead of wifi for calls, they would be rich.