If you think smartphones with huge screens are ridiculous, look away now. Samsung has just announced the Galaxy Mega 6.3 Android phone, a mid-range device with a huge 6.3in touchscreen.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is "a device that combines the portability and convenience of a smartphone with the power, multitasking capabilities and extensive viewing experience of a tablet." In other words, the company couldn't make up its mind whether the Galaxy Mega is a smartphone or a tablet but feels it's onto a winner with large screens. Who are we to argue with Samsung's profits?
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 is absolutely huge. At 88mm wide and almost 198mm tall, this is one of the biggest smartphones on the market, easily dwarfing the Galaxy Note II by some margin. It's also bigger than the 6.1in Huawei Ascend Mate, a phone that Huawei claimed had the "biggest screen in the world" back in February.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 weighs almost 200g so it's pretty heavy despite being constructed from Samsung's very familiar glossy plastic. We do have to give Samsung credit for the design, however, as the Galaxy Mega 6.3 is very svelte at just 8mm thin.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 might be mega in screen size, but it's certainly not mega in specifications. This is very much a mid-range smartphone, so we expect it to be priced well below flagship handsets like Samsung's own Galaxy S4, for example. Compared to the S4, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 has a lower, 720p screen resolution, less RAM (1.5GB compared to 2GB) and a slower, dual core processor. The display is also a regular TFT panel compared with the Galaxy S4's super AMOLED screen technology.
The rest of the Galaxy Mega's hardware features are pretty standard. There's a microSD card slot to expand the 8GB or 16GB of internal memory, an 8 megapixel rear-facing camera for still photos and full HD video recording, a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera for video calls and a large 3200mAh removeable battery.
Samsung will produce two models of the Galaxy Mega 6.3. The GT-I9200 model is a 3G only device, while the GT-I9205 adds 4G LTE capabilities. It's not yet known whether this model will support the 1800MHz 4G network band used by Telstra and Optus (and soon to be Vodafone) in Australia.
Like all of Samsung's Galaxy smartphone range, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 has plenty of software features. The phone runs the latest version of Android, 4.2 Jelly Bean, but is skinned with Samsung's TouchWIZ user interface.
Features include 'Air View', which enables users to hover their finger over the screen to preview selected information on the phone, such as a video thumbnail, a calendar entry, or a photo gallery, an S Translator app that can translate nine different languages using both text to speech and speech to text, and 'Group Play' which can send music photos and documents to multiple devices on the same Wi-Fi network.
There's also Samsung WatchON which uses an Infrared port on the Galaxy Mega 6.3 to act as a remote control, a split screen feature that can run two apps at a time on the screen, and an S Travel app.
The Galaxy Mega 6.3 has a number of camera software features including 'Drama Shot', which takes 100 shots in four seconds, "Sound & Shot' which takes a picture and captures up to nine seconds of audio, and 'Story Album' which groups photos together somewhat like a timeline.
The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 will be available globally from May and will be initially be released in Europe and Russia.
There's been no word as yet if and when the Galaxy Mega 6.3 will be released in Australia.