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Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 - Performance and Camera

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

6

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 – Performance

To go with its mid-grade screen, the Galaxy Mega has a mid-range processor. It’s a dual-core processor CPU on the Krait architecture – a 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 chipset.

Although dual-core, this is an otherwise up-to-date chipset that offers good day-to-day performance, in part thanks to the 1.5GB of RAM. There’s some minor, very occasional stuttering but no consistent lag.

Benchmarks show that the Samsung Galaxy Mega is significantly slower than a phone like the Samsung Galaxy S4 – for example the Mega scores around 13,000 points in the AnTutu benchmark, where the S4 scores around 24,000. However, there’s little to show the phone up too badly at present.

There appeared to be more texture pop-in and slight frame rate inconsistency in impressive 3D racer Real Racing 3, but it’s more a case that the Mega will age more quickly than a top-end phone, rather than that there are things it currently cannot do well. Although dual-core, it's fairly powerful.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 – Internal Speaker

Speaker placement in the Galaxy Mega is typical of Samsung’s Android phones. There’s just one speaker output, which sits to the bottom-left of the phone’s rear.

In a phone this size, you might hope to see stereo speakers, so that when watching a film the sound isn’t completely mono. However, its performance is pretty good regardless. The Samsung Galaxy Mega goes much louder than most, and has beefier bass than the vast majority of phones too.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 – Camera

The Samsung Galaxy Mega has a camera that’s roughly a year behind the competition. Its core specs are identical to those of the Samsung Galaxy S3 – an 8-megapixel main sensor and f/2.6 aperture lens.

Its image style is typical of a Samsung phone – they are processed to give a punchy, high-contrast look that is high on impact, if not quite as great at producing an entirely natural look when examined more critically.

Macro performance is reasonable, although you can’t get super up-close to the subject. Around 15cm distance is required to get a solid lock-in in most conditions.

This 1:1 pixel crop gives you a decent idea of the amount of close-up detail you can get with the Samsung Galaxy Mega.

Given how small a proportion of the full photo's scene this represents, it's a pretty good performance. However, other Samsung phones we've tested have managed to get closer to the subject while maintaining focus.

Low-light performance won’t get close to matching something like the HTC One or Lumia 925, either. With a fairly slow lens, no optical stabilisation and a ‘standard’, tiny 8-megapixel sensor, it can’t do much with a low-light situation without resorting to a using the flash.

To the human eye, this scene was a lot less dark than it appears in the photo. A Photoshop edit of the photo shows that there is some more 'hidden' detail to be exposed, but the resulting image is horribly noisy.

The same scene with LED flash in action

The Mega offers a solid array of additional photo modes. The most useful for everyday shooting are HDR ("rich tone"), which melds to exposures to increase dynamic range – the level of detail resolved in very bright and very dark areas – and panorama.

Other photographic standards include the continuous shot burst mode and a couple of more specific burst modes that pick out shots with the best picture of the subject (where that’s a person, that is.)

More frivolous extras include Sound & Shot, which records an audio clip along with the snap, and the standard array of basic filters such as Solarise and Vintage.

For a company renowned for packing-in as many phone features it can, the Samsung Galaxy Mega camera app is actually pretty classy. And dead easy to use.

There is some more fun to be had post-shoot, though. You can edit photos, and beyond the usual cropping and fiddling with brightness you can also mess around with people’s facial features when they’ve been papped straight-on.

Luke

News editor Luke Johnson, post-fiddle

Its video skills are pretty good too. The phone shoots at 1080p and has software stabilisation to stop handheld video from looking too juddery. It’s not a perfect replacement for hardware stabilisation, but OIS is still a rarity in mobile phones.

The Mega's video focusing is solid. There’s both mid-capture touch focusing and autofocus, making it a versatile mobile video camera. Sadly there are none of the active face-distorting video effects included in an up-to-date vanilla Android phone.

There are also a few bits missing that you’ll find in other new Samsung phones too, such as simultaneous rear and front camera photo capture (a feature we didn’t miss) and HDR video (which we did miss).

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut

Matthew Bunton

July 25, 2013, 3:17 pm

Looks like they dropped the ball with this one. If it had the latest specs it could have fulfilled my phone and tablet needs.

Andy

July 25, 2013, 5:15 pm

I own this phone coming from the Galaxy Note as i wanted 1 device rather than a phone and tablet, Its an amazing device, fast with no lag, great screen (who needs 1080p at this size) the camera is great the speaker is the loudest ive heard, and overall its a great phone. People need to stop following what marketing departments force feed you, with Pc's it was the ghz war then the cores war (Amd oct core anyone??) then with cameras it was megapixel war then optical zooms (tried using 40x optical zoom...blurry mess) Now with phones we are combining both these wars and putting spin on it. For most users does a quad core offer any benefit? Nope, does a 1080p screen really benefit on a small device...nope well apart from taxing the cpu and battery. And as a staunch user of samsung phones this lcd panel offeres a more natural colour pallette with none of the issues faced on the amoled screens, Just do a google for black crush amoled on xda and see how badly Samsung mucked up the amoled drivers, yet this panel offers an amazingly sharp colour neutral and extremely bright image.

Yes its too large for most people but then they would not buy it anyway, however its the phone thats impressed me the most overall.

Completetab

July 25, 2013, 6:11 pm

I will prefer Ascend mate over it as it is much lower in price still the display is much better and gives a smooth experience.

Matthew Bunton

July 25, 2013, 6:14 pm

The Galaxy Note 3 looks even better to me.

Gullyside Ganna Garty

August 8, 2013, 3:09 pm

Awesome display. I want mine now

BEN66

August 11, 2013, 9:00 am

Buggy review, improper and without technical competence. Who defines
the "State of the Art" ? The reviewer suggests that anything not new and
with big numbers in the specs is awfully outdated....i think, imho, the
reviewer itself is kinda outdated.

I own this device since
only a day, but it´s for me, in the short using time, the best device of
it´s kind i ever had. No need to tell what and how many i owned in the
past (or actually own). Just my 2 cents....and u can take it or leave it :P

skywalkr2

August 26, 2013, 8:11 pm

For $150 this "phone" is amazing. Expensive? Really?

skywalkr2

August 26, 2013, 8:12 pm

Just got it... and for what I use a phone/tablet for its perfect... Of course if you are a gamer or are doing something else that would actually use 4 cores... its probably not for you.

dubya

September 19, 2013, 4:39 pm

Leave the Opinions to yourself. Just because you don't like the size don't rate it bad. The sheer size of the screen is the reason I'd even want to buy it. I would love if they up-ed it to 7inches. Currently I have the Note 2. but if the Mega had flagship specs I'd upgrade to this in a heart beat.

bill

October 18, 2013, 7:12 pm

Got this phone the other week and love it,love the size,mainly use for watching sky go,bt sport in my taxi while bored on the rank,to me the size is a plus if you mainly watch tv videos etc in fact 7 or 8 inches would have been better,i use Bluetooth for calls so i dont have to hold it.
sky go compatible is a big bonus for me as not many phones this size at this price work with sky go.
Paid £268 off Amazon,bargain.and 4g ready what more do you want

MANthrax

December 25, 2013, 5:43 pm

Thank god I never bought any "skinny" jeans. Its large but as a bluetooth headset user this solution works perfect for me. Full size web pages are easily workable. Wish the camera had 120 fps on the video recorder. Wish the battery was larger since at this size a little thickness would not be noticeable. First 2 days it was large but picked up my HTC Sensation to remove the SD card and it is just tiny. I could never go back. Onward to 7" please.

jamal

February 17, 2014, 5:00 pm

I bought this phone 3 weeks ago . So far soo good . I think its a great deal you wont regret about. Its so fast never been laggy with very nice colors on lcd . Batery is fair good for such huge screen size . And the camira is very clear with good video shooting.
I think this phone should have been rated much much higher. 8/10 easly

Solomon

August 29, 2014, 3:54 pm

Honestly i am crazy about phones and i like phones with good spec and big screen as well and that why i like this Samsung mega 6.3 how i wish the phone has quad core processor!
above all, i wld love the phone... bcos i want to buy one.
But my only problem is that the 6.3" is not available in Nigeria **sad face** and getting it from Ebay or Amazon is another problem bcos im here in Nigeria.

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