Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 vs Mega 6.3, Galaxy Note 2 and Asus Fonepad

In this article I will talk about the differences between the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8, Galaxy Mega 6.3, Galaxy Note 2 and Asus FonePad.  Those two smartphones have been announced on April 11, 2013.  Large-screen phones (phablet) are becoming very popular among the enthusiast market and business users.  With two new phablets, you probably interested to know the differences between the two and also comparing them to the Samsung Galaxy Note II, a  5.5-inch  HD display smartphone and  Asus Fonepad, a 70inch tablet device with full 3G phone functions.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Galaxy Mega 6.3

It seems that Samsung wanted to conquer the large-screen smartphone market and it does that with the introduction of two new phones, the Galaxy Mega 5.8 and Mega 6.3.  Obviously the first one has a 5.8-inch display and the other has a 6.3-inch display, but this is not the only difference between the two.  We will start by talking about the differences between the two new devices — then I will compare them to the Note 2 and Asus Fonepad so you can understand what’s unique to each device and help you decide which one to buy.  Here’s a summary of the key differences between the two phones.

Samsung Galaxy Meag 5.8 and Mega 6.3 size comparison

Samsung Galaxy Meag 5.8 and Mega 6.3 size comparison (via mobiledevicesize.com)

 
Galaxy Mega 6.3
Galaxy Mega 5.8
Notes
Announced11 Apr 201311 Apr 2013
OSAndroid 4.2 Android 4.2 Both run the same operating system version
Dimensions6.60 x 3.46 x 0.31 inches (167.6 x 88 x 8 mm)6.46 x 3.30 x 0.38 inches (162.6 x 82.4 x 9 mm)The 6.3 is taller, wider but thinner
Weight7.02 oz (199 g)6.42 oz (182 g)Mega 6.3 is 17 grams heavier
Screen6.3-inches
720x1280 pixels
233 ppi
HD TFT Multi-touch
5.8-inches
540x960 pixels
190 ppi
TFT Multi-touch
Mega 6.3 has a larger display with higher resolution, higher pixel density (more detailed screen) - both use a TFT screen. Should be a good display, but not at the same league as the Note 2's Super AMOLED display
Stylus (S-Pen)NoNoNon of the handsets come with a S-Pen stylus
SensorsAmbient light, Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compassAmbient light, Accelerometer, gyro, proximity, compass
microSD SlotYes (up to 64GB)Yes (up to 64GB)Both phones can expand storage memory quota using microSD memory cards (Great!)
Memory8 / 16GB Internal Memory + 1.5GB RAM8 Internal Memory + 1.5GB RAMBoth have the same amount of RAM, but the Mega flagship model is available also with 16GB of internal storage, compare to only 8 on the 5.8 model
LTEYes

(LTE Cat3 Downlink 100 Mbit/s, LTE Cat3/4 Uplink 50 Mbit/s, HSDPA+ (4G) 21.1 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS)
No

(HSDPA+ (4G) 21.1 Mbit/s, HSUPA 5.76 Mbit/s, UMTS, EDGE, GPRS)
Mega 6.3 supports LTE networks, the Mega 5.8 does not. LTE is the latest standard in mobile network technology. (ie. AT&T LTE was rated with an average of 19.12Mbps download / 10.09Mbps upload speed)
Wi-FiWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspotWi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n, dual-band, Wi-Fi Direct, Wi-Fi hotspot The Galaxy Mega 6.3 model is compatible with the IEEE 802.11ac wireless computer networking standard for faster data transfer speeds over Wi-Fi connection
BluetoothYes, v4.0 with A2DP, LEYes, v4.0 with A2DP, LE
NFCNoYesThe Galaxy Mega 6.3 has NFC (Near Field Communication) support, allows transferring data between two NFC-enabled devices by touching them
IfraredNoYesThe 6.3 has infrared port that makes the Galaxy Mega 6.3 function as a remote control. You can use Samsung's WatchON TV service that takes advantage of the remote control feature
CameraPrimary: 8MP + LED Flash
Secondary: 1.9MP

Camera Features:
Beauty Face, Best Photo, Best Face, Drama, Rich Tone (High Dynamic Range),
Sound & Shot, Sports, , Continuous shot
Primary: 8MP + LED Flash
Secondary: 1.9MP

Camera Features:
Beauty Face, Best Photo, Best Face, Drama, Rich Tone (High Dynamic Range),
Sound & Shot, Sports, , Continuous shot
Both phones have the same camers and support touch-focus, geo-tagging, face and smile detection and HDR
ProcessorExynos 5250, CPU Dual-core 1.7 GHz Cortex-A15Dual-core 1.4GHzMega 6.3 has a faster processor
GPUARM Mali-T604ARM Mali-T604High performance GPU
Battery3200 mAh Li-ion2600 mAh Li-ion
Other FeaturesS Memo
S Planner
S Travel
S Voice 2.0
Story Album
Sound & Shot
WatchON
Air View
ChatOn
Pop Up Play, Multi Window
Samsung Link
Story Album
S Translator
WatchON
Multi Windows
Pop Up Play
Sound & Shot
ChatON
S Voice 2.0
S Travel (TripAdvisor)
Samsung Link
Galaxy Mega 6.3 also includes "Air View", which according to Samsung specs lacks on the 5.8 model
Shell MaterialsPlasticPlastic

Galaxy Mega 6.3 Advantages over the Mega 5.8:

  • Slimmer
  • Larger display, with higher resolution and higher pixel density
  • Available also in 16GB model
  • 4G LTE support
  • IEEE 802.11 ac
  • NFC
  • Faster processor
  • Stronger battery
  • “Air View”
  • Ifrared port

Both devices don’t come with a S-Pen stylus, for that you will have to get the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 or the older Note. We can see that Samsung dropped the Super AMOLED display and used a cheaper TFT instead. The two devices employ a dual-core processor, not a quad-core processor as found in higher-end models. Still the specs looks pretty good and it looks like Samsung taken on the Asus FonePad as well as trying to dominate the large-screen smartphone market. More selection is always good and I we should have nothing to complain about that. This will also elevate the competition and we probably see many more of those large-screen smartphone being announced this year.

Regarding price, the GT-I9200 Galaxy Mega 6.3 has a listed price of €899.00 and the Samsung GT-I9152 Galaxy Mega 5.8 price is €799.00 (pre-order price from notebooksbilliger.de).  Just for comparison, at the same online eCommerce store the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 GT N-7100 is sold for €478.00 — so the GALAXY Mega 6.3 is almost twice more expensive than the Note II. As we are waiting for the announcement of the Galaxy Note 3, the Note 2 price was reduces quite significantly since it was released and it’s a great time to get one. The official prices in the US and UK haven’t been released yet, and they might be different than what was published on notebookbilliger.de website.

Both phones have a very large displays, and it’s the first time a phone breakers the 6-inch barrier, shrinking the gap between tablet devices and smartphones.  The Asus Fonepad is a 7-inch tablet device with 3G capabilities.  The obvious question that arises is whether there is a difference between a 7-inch Tablet with phone capabilities versus 6.3-inch smartphone– the answer is yes, there is. Technically both are smartphones because you can use those devices to make phone calls, and both have large displays, so it doesn’t matter how you call this device, call it tablet or call it a smartphone. The differences mainly related to the size of the device and the user interface, whether it’s optimized for tablet devices. There are also some apps that are specifically designed to take advantage of the larger display size.

This leads me to talk about the differences between the Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy Mega 5.8 versus the Asus Fonepad and Galaxy Note II.

How Asus Fonepad Fits In?

Asus Fonepad is a 7-inch tablet with 3G capabilities. This means that you can make calls with it like you do with any other smartphone. The thing is that there is a big difference in size between the Asus Fonepad and Galaxy Mega 6.4 as you can see in the image below.

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8: 82.4×162.6×9 mm (3.24×6.40×0.35 in.)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3: 88×167.6×8 mm (3.46×6.60×0.31 in.)
Asus Fonepad: 120.1×196.4×10.4 mm (4.73×7.73×0.41 in.)

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.4 and 5.8 versus Asus Fonepad size comparison

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.4 and 5.8 versus Asus Fonepad size comparison

Fonepad is 3.2 cm wider, 2.9 cm taller and 2.4 mm thicker than the Galaxy Mega 6.3! – This is a big difference in size.

In Asus Fonepad promotional video you can see a guy and a girl taking with the Fonepad and it does look very odd. The device just look too big to be held like a regular phone and this part of the video looked like a parody to me. What Samsung did was to release those two new Galaxy Mega phablets, which have larger screens compare to its high-end smartphones and be able to better compete in this niche. Yo can see that the Asus Fonepad (like all tablets) have relatively much larger bezel.  Even the Samsung Galaxy Note II is far from being pocketable, and the Galaxy Mega phones are even larger. You might be able to put the Galaxy Mega 6.3 in large pocket but it won’t be easy to carry around.

Samsung Galaxy Mega smartphones are also aimed to those people who don’t want to carry two separate devices (both tablet and smartphone) and are willing to make a compromise in screen size. It’s worth mentioning that a larger screen improved readability. Text will look larger (depends on the resolution as well) and that’s why tablet are better as e-Readers, browsing the web, watching videos and even playing games. Furthermore, the larger the device the larger and stronger the battery that can be used. That’s why tablet devices have stronger battery in general. For example, the Asus Fonepad has a 4270 mAh battery, the Mega 6.3 has a 3200 mAh battery, Note 2 has a 3100 mAh and the iPad 4 (Wi-Fi + Cellular) has a staggering 11,560 mAh battery! — The Galaxy Megas sit somewhere in between and try to offer the benefit of the two worlds (tablet & Phone) without being best in either, but very good in both.
In the next image you can see that the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 is smaller than the Galaxy Meag 5.8 and 6.3. If you held the Note 2 in your hands you know that it’s relatively large device, not the average device size that you are well familiar with. It takes time use to it and many people find it a bit too large to carry around. The Mega’s are even larger.

vs Asus Fonepad and Samsung Galaxy Note 2 – Features Comparison

Both the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 and Asus Fonepad have a few advantages over the Galaxy Mega phones and in this section I want to talk about the differences. You’ve already seen that the Note 2 is smaller than the Mega 6.3 & 5.8 and the Fonepad being much larger than all the three, so I will skip the size comparison and get straight to the features.

Display

Asus Fonepad — 7 inches, 800 x 1280 pixels, ~216 ppi, IPS LCD
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 — 5.5 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels, ~267 ppi, Super AMOLED, Corning Gorilla Glass 2
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 — 5.8 inches, 540 x 960 pixels, ~190 ppi, TFT
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 — 6.3 inches, 720 x 1280 pixels, ~233 ppi, TFT

Screen size differences comparison

Asus Fonepad screen size compare to the Note 2 and Mega 5. & Mega 6.4 phones

Fonepad enjoys having a larger high-res screen and IPS LCD technology. It’s resolution in not as high as the iPad or other Full HD or higher resolutions found on many other tablets. Therefore, the pixel density is about average. The Galaxy Note 2 has the smallest screen in the group but uses the excellent Super AMOLED technology with Gorilla Glass protective glass, it also has the highest pixel density in the group. The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is somewhere in the middle, with specs that are somewhere in the middle — it doesn’t have the largest display or resolution, nor the highest pixel density. The Mega 5.8 is one level below the 6.3 with even smaller screen size and reduced resolution.

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There are many advantages of having a large display, one of those is for watching movies. If you have a subscription to Netflix or Hulu you know what I’m talking about — watching a TV show or movie in bed with a hot tea and a snack on the side, sounds like fun isn’t it?
Everything is better one a large screen, browsing the web, viewing photos or playing games. It’s not like doing it on your 23-inch or larger computer screen but it’s as closest it can be to that experience on those type of devices.

The Galexy Mega 6.3 just invites to be a Full HD display, but unfortunately it isn”t. Maybe it’s too early to release a 6.3-inch AMOLED to the market, not because the technology isn’t there yet, but due to its high price. If Samsung was to release the Galaxy Mega with a Super AMOLED, two things would happen: first, the price of those device would be much higher — actually deviate from the market segment that those devices are aimed for and fewer people could afford buying it. Second, it could cause those devices to compete against the Note 2. That something that Samsung doesn’t want to do, it made birth to those two devices as an addition to its smartphone range, not as a replacement for any of its devices.

For some people even a 7-inch display is way too small and for those people, the Galaxy Mega is not a suitable replacement for a tablet device. If you already have a tablet device, I don’t know how much benefit you’ll have with those new devices.

 Internal Memory

Asus Fonepad — 8/16 GB, 1GB RAM,  microSD (up to 32GB)
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 — 16/32/64GB, 2GB RAM,  microSD (up to 64GB)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 — 8GB, 1.5GB RAM,  microSD (up to 64GB)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 — 8GB, 1.5GB RAM,  microSD (up to 64GB)

All devices are compatible with microSD cards to expand your phone’s internal storage memory. The Note 2 is the best in this group with more internal storage quota options to choose from and more RAM.  Most of you might not take advantage of 2GB of RAM and 1GB is more than enough for most of us.  I remember watching a video where one guy installed many apps and ran all of them in the background. At some point the Android OS automatically closed the background processes that utilized the highest amount of RAM. This was an end case scenario, and in reality most of us wouldn’t come any close to run so many apps simultaneously in the background.

Network & Wireless Connectivity

 

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, LTE and NFC logosAsus Fonepad

  • Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 3.0
  • Not a LTE device
    available speeds: HSDPA 21 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps

Samsung Galaxy Note 2

  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • LTE Device
    available speeds: HSDPA, 21 Mbps (N7100), 42 Mbps (N7105); HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE Cat3 (N7105 only), 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
  • NFC

Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8

  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • Not a LTE device
    available speeds: HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps

Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3

  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
  • Bluetooth 4.0
  • LTE Device
    available speeds: HSDPA, 21 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps; LTE, Cat3, 50 Mbps UL, 100 Mbps DL
  • NFC
  • Infrared port

The Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 is the best in the group in terms of it’s wireless connectivity features, compatible with IEEE 802.11 ac, has NFC, Infrared port and it’s a LTE device.  When you buy the Mega 6.3 you know that you get a device that has all the bells and whistles in wireless connectivity. Fonepad on the other hand is less impressive and actually the worst in the group.

Camera

Asus Fonepad — 3.15MP (front) , 1.2MP (rear), 720p video recording
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 — 8MP (front), 1.9MP (rear), 1080p video recording, LED Flash
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 — 8MP (front), 1.9MP (rear), 1080p video recording, LED Flash
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 — 8MP (front), 1.9MP (rear), 1080p video recording, LED Flash

The Fonepad is positioned last in this group with a lower resolution front and rear camera and only HD video recording resolution.  As for the time of writing this comparison, I couldn’t find any detailed information about the sensor or the lens of the Galaxy Mega phablets. In a short time we will get to see some sample images and can compare those against the competition, Meanwhile, the specs look pretty good considering that this device was designed to sit below the Galaxy Note 2 in terms of features and performance. I also don’t know whether this is the same camera as the Note 2. The Asus Fonepad also lacks a LEF flash at the back of the device.

Processor

Asus Fonepad — Singe-core Inte Atom Z2420 1.2GHz, PowerVR SGX540 GPU
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 — Quad-core 1.6 GHz, Mali-400MP GPU
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 — Dual-core 1.4GHz, Mali-T604 GPU
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 — Dual-core 1.7GHz, Mali-T604 GPU

Regarding 3D graphics performance, we still lack benchmark to reveal a more conclusive assessment.  I expect the Note 2 to take the lead, followed by the Megas and then the Asuse Fonepad.  The frame rate are tight to power of the GPU, CPU and screen resolution.

Battery Life

The battery life is very important for these type of devices and consumers expect the battery life to last all day long of multimedia usage. Phablet and tablet devices are first and foremost designed for multimedia use. This can lead for the battery to drain quite fast. The good news is that with a larger device, manufacturers can implement a larger battery — which is much more powerful than the ones found on average size mobile phones.

Asus Fonepad — 4270 mAh battery (non-removable), approximately 32.5 hours talk time, 75.1 hours standby time (3G)
Samsung Galaxy Note 2 — 3100 mAh battery (removable), approximately 13.5 hours talk time, 820 hours standby time (3G)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 — 2600 mAh battery  (removable), approximately 7 hours talk time, 675 hours standby time (not verified)
Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 — 3200 mAh battery (removable)

Not all information available as for the time of writing this article, but I we can see that the Asus Fonepad’s huge battery shows its strength and I predict that the battery last much longer compare to the Galaxy Mega phablets. Just note that Multimedia and Talk time battery benchmark might result in different results. Here we can see that the larger size of the Fonepad allows Asus to use a much larger and more powerful battery, and therefore allow people to do more with the tablet for a longer period of time on a single battery charge.

 

Conclusion

The Note II is an amazing device in its own right even with the two new phablets breathing on its neck. The Note 2 is the better device overall in terms of sheer power, screen quality, its S Pen stylus, camera and the overall features it provided.  The Asus Fonepad is much larger and therefore might appeal better for those who search for a phone plus tablet in one device, and for that purpose, it’s better than all the other devices in this group. The problem is that it’s way behind the competition in the other features that we’ve compared here. The Asus Fonepad price is $249 for the time of launch, which is a very attractive price for such device. So why the price so low? — well, it’s actually a giant phone that cost more than half of the current a high-end smartphone. Many people don’t need all that super powerful processing power and they just want a single device. The Asus fonepad might be the best option out there for the budget wise buyer. Not everyone needs a $600 phone in their pockets, many of us don’t even take a slight advantage of the power and features of those high-end smartphones. Gamers might find the Asus Fonepad lacks the performance that they are looking for, but for that low price, you might make that compromise.

With the Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy Mega 5.8 Samsung has created a new category of devices and filled the gap between its 5-inch+ devices (ie. Samsung Galaxy S4 5-inch, Note 2 5.5-inch),  and its 7-inch tablets (ie. Galaxy Tablet 2 with its 7-inch display). The Mega 6.3 is the better device of the two and certainly seems to worth the extra price if you needs a 4G/LTE device, want that NFC and Infrared functionality and if the larger screen better appeals to you.

Would I buy the Samsung Galaxy Mega 6.3 over the Note 2 only for its larger screen size..mmm.. maybe, but I would probably passed the Mega 5.8 which seems like something in between. The Mega 5.8 is the cheaper alternative and might appeal for those with less money to spend on a new device.  Samsung’s latest phablets will give Asus a good fight, but the Fonepad exists in its own right and I’m sure it will be a very popular device.

The decision is in your hand. We have four devices, each one with its own cons and pros. In order to make a smart buying decision you need to know whether you are going to take advantage of features that each device offers. Some people might find it useful for having NFC or Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, others will appreciate and take advantage of the 32.5 hours talk time that the Asus Fonepad offers.  Every one of us use a mobile device in a different way, some of us play games, install many apps and watch videos, others just browser the web and read emails. Just remember that paying more don’t always give YOU more. I hope that you’ve found this comparison interesting and useful. If you have your own comments and opinions about those four devices, please comment below and share your thoughts. Thanks!

For UK visitors, according to pocket-lint.com, the Samsung Mega 5.8 won’t be released in the UK,  the Mega 6.3 will. We are still waiting for the official prices to be revealed and see how much the Galaxy Mega phablets will cost on different carriers. I will post about it when this information becomes available.

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