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Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 Review

It seems that the time of the mega phones isn’t over yet. Samsung even got it right in the name this time, it’s the new Galaxy Mega 6.3. The new mobile phone is really big, it’s actually huge, but that isn’t automatically a bad thing. This phone is actually pretty likable, so let’s see why.

First of all, its price point isn’t that bad. It’s $480 off contract and you can get it for $150 on contract. Now, this price comes with, well, a price. Its LCD screen is ‘only’ 720p and it isn’t, like most other Samsung phones, a Gorilla Glass. It has a Snapdragon processor, which is pretty much a child of the Snapdragon S4. The camera is exactly the same as the one on the Galaxy S III, an 8MP shooter, which is more than a year old now. Flagship devices have more RAM than the Mega 6.3, which only has 1.5GB. The battery, a 3200mAh one, is just a bit larger than the one in the Galaxy Note II.

Despite all of that sounding pretty negative, it also has some neat features. It has NFC support, a microSD slot, 8GB of internal storage and, which I think is pretty cool, an Infrared (IR) port.

Let’s first check out the specs of this monster phone.

Specifications:

  • Processor: 1.7Ghz Dual-Core Snapdragon 400
  • GPU: Adreno 305
  • OS: Android 4.2.2
  • Connectivity: 3G, LTE, NFC, all WIFI standards
  • Display: 6.3” 720p LCD
  • Memory: 8 GB internal storage (expandable with microSD) / 1.5GB RAM
  • Camera: 8MP rear / 1.9MP front
  • Battery: 3200mAh

Now that we’ve covered that, let’s go a bit deeper.

Design:

Explaining the design of the Mega 6.3 can be done very easily; it’s just like the Galaxy S4, but bigger. This means it’s all made plastic, even the volume rocker and the power button (which were metal on the S4). I have to say the build quality is, despite being cheaper, the same as Samsung’s flagship device. The only thing missing here is the wireless charging functionality and with all that in mind, I can only see one significant difference, the lack of Gorilla Glass. The phone’s larger than other devices, which already means that the chance of it getting scratches is higher.

Camera:

The camera of the Mega 6.3 is an 8MP shooter, not in any way cheap, but we can’t really call it the best thing out there. I’ve said it’s exactly the same one that the Galaxy SIII has, and that’s actually not a bad thing. This camera can hold its ground in pretty much every situation; it just doesn’t excel in anyway. You’ll be happy with the pictures it shoots; just don’t expect top notch material.

Performance:

The processor in the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is less powerful than the one in higher-end devices, which makes it noticeably slower, but it’s still faster than other mid-range smartphones thanks to the upgraded GPU. With the 1.5GB of RAM, you shouldn’t see any slowdowns or frame drops, but it won’t be able to handle everything at once. New phones should have at least 2GB of RAM to handle the new Android versions and apps.

Display:

The display is 6.3 inch, that’s actually really big. When you hold it in your hand, it’s not that bad, it even feels just right. When you turn it on, though, it’s suddenly gigantic. You just can’t believe how big it really is. When playing around with it, it feels and looks more like a tablet than a real phone, and yes, it does look a bit ridiculous when taking a call and holding that big of a phone to your head.

The display itself is pretty good, but again not the best out there. Like the specs already stated, it’s a 720p LCD screen. This LCD screen does seem to work in direct sunlight, which is a great feature to have. I think I’m not the only one always getting frustrated when I can barely see what’s on the screen when I’m outside. The viewing angles are great, and the colors are fairly accurate. Exactly what we expect from a Samsung device.

Battery life:

A 3200mAh battery, that’s what this huge smartphone has at its disposal. Its display is so big, it uses way more battery than you’d expect from a phone, which makes its battery life less than optimal for most of us. It should get you through a whole day without any problems, as long as you’re not the heaviest user. Standby time is really great, which says enough. The device isn’t the one eating away at that precious battery life; it’s the device’s screen for the most part. You should be able to control it by adjusting the brightness all the time though, but that gets annoying really fast.

Verdict:

The Mega 6.3 is obviously not built for everyone. Its display is huge and people might just not like that. Also, if you are that kind of person that always wants the highest specs, the best of the best, the elite of the smartphone business, this one isn’t for you either. Then again, if you want a phone with a ton of features, but at a reasonable price, the Mega might be the one to go for. The specs could have been a lot better, but this phone wasn’t meant for the high-end category. They deliberately got rid of the gimmicks and extra fancy features (which almost no one uses anyway). It’s the best balance of price and value out there. So if you want a monster phone that’s actually pretty good, the Mega 6.3 won’t disappoint.

Special thanks to Kevin for all his support and Alex for the proofread. Signing out from Gifu.

Amaya Ai,
Tech Webcast

The Steam mobile app review

Yay! Steam finally came out with their Steam mobile app for iOS and Android about a week ago. Although it has been labeled as a beta, it is fairly neat to use.

If you do not know what Steam is, Steam is a computer game service that allows you to purchase game licenses from many different publishers.  It is essentially a digital locker for your computer games.  You do not get any software on physical media like CD or DVD.  You install the game on your computer by having it downloaded.  One of the advantages of this method is that you can install the game on as many machines as you want, but they are only playable when you log in with your account.

The Steam Mobile app is basically nothing more than a chat client with your friends that you play with on Steam games and a store to let you search and buy game software that will be installed on your computer.  When it first came out, it was by invite only to the beta, of which didn’t seem that hard.  I got my invite in a few hours later after signing in on the app.  Now the beta is open to all registered accounts.

As I said, this app for both iOS and Android is a beta, but that is mainly the service, not the app itself.  The app has a look and feel of being in the desktop version of Steam, only smaller.

It is split into 3 main categories: Community, Store, and News Feeds.

Community

The Community section is where you will find your Steam friends, groups, and friend activity on Steam.  You do have the ability to chat with them if they are online.  You can view their profile on who their friends are, what games they have been playing lately, and their wishlist.

Store

The Store section  is where you can search the catalog, make your wishlist, and be able to purchase games that will then be put onto your desktop or laptop.

I think it would be cool to be able to buy the games and play them directly on the phone. But since many of these games are recent, the hardware of iOS and Android just are not powerful enough yet to handle that ability.  It’s a neat idea, but it will be a while before the hardware can handle that much power.

News Feeds

The News Feeds are just like the advertisements of games on sale like on the desktop/laptop version of Steam. The Steam News part gives information like what games are on sale, client updates, product releases and updates, the Steam Blog, and press releases.
There is also a syndicated section that has links to articles from gaming sites like PC Gamer, Shacknews, Kotaku, and more.

Others

There are two other sections like Settings and Exit Application, but those are fairly self-explanatory on  what they do, so I won’t go into much detail on those.

Final thoughts

The app is really nice for being in the beta phase.  The nice thing is that anyone with a registered Steam account can try out this app on iOS and Android.

I guess I’m just thinking too far ahead into the future when mobile devices will be able to play these games, but at least you have access to the store and the sales that are currently going on.

You can find the Steam Mobile app in The App Store for iOS here and the Android Market here.

Have fun and geek out!

Brian Booher

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