NEW THIS MONTH
This gadget is both an oversized smartphone and a mini-tablet. LIM TSIAO HUI makes calls with it.
An oversized smartphone that’s also a mini-tablet.
Most smartphones have at most a 5-inch screen while mini-tablets usually sport 7-inch screens. So for a smartphone, the Samsung Galaxy Mega has a whopping 6.3-inch screen.
As long as a pen and as wide as a business card, the smartphone measures 16.7 x 8.8cm, but is only 0.8cm thick. It jutted out of my jeans pocket and was more easily carried in my handbag.
“I am not holding that brick to my ear!” exclaimed my colleague. But I found it surprisingly comfortable to talk on – it’s light at 199g – and my fingers didn’t feel any strain. While using it in public, I barely drew second looks.
FIGURING OUT THE MENU
The Android interface is not as intuitive as that of the iPhone or Windows 8 devices. It took me a while to find the settings to mute the keyboard-tapping sound and to set a password – these common tasks were embedded in the menu.
SURFING THE INTERNET
It can’t beat a 10-inch tablet for online shopping, or reading the digital version of Simply Her, but I could still read without squinting.
TAKING PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
It has an 8-megapixel camera. Because the phone is thin but big, it’s hard to shoot pictures with one hand. But it was a cinch searching for photos and videos taken with apps like Instagram and Whatsapp, as they are automatically categorised into folders.
SENDING MESSAGES AND E-MAIL
I appreciated the oversized keyboard with its well-spaced keys. A useful line of numbers above the QWERTY keys meant I didn’t have to switch between keyboards. I typed faster, with fewer typos. But it was impossible to type with just one hand.
READING AND EDITING DOCUMENTS
Reading text documents was a breeze. I could even make quick changes on the go. The spacious calendar was a huge plus – the month-at-a-glance view let me see my daily appointments easily.
NAVIGATING WITH IT
Thanks to the giant screen, GPS maps are clear – to use it as a navigator, just mount it in your car with a vehicle dock ($58, from Samsung Experience Store). Directions given were fairly accurate too. Samsung Galaxy Mega, $798 (without contract), available from all telcos, major electrical stores and Samsung Experience Store.
The Samsung Galaxy Mega is as long as a pen and more than half the width of an A5
notebook, but it’s less than 1cm thick.