Samsung has officially announced two new "phablet"-sized additions to its line of smartphones, the Galaxy Mega 6.3 and Galaxy Mega 5.8.
The names quite literally highlight the screen sizes of these large devices; at 6.3 and 5.8 inches respectively, both offer a significant size increase over the 5.5-inch Samsung Galaxy Note II.
It's tough to tell from the specs Samsung's revealed so far just how good the large displays will be -- the initial release only referred to the screens as HD, but left out whether that meant 720p or 1080p resolution. Therefore a 720p resolution is likely on the 6.3, with an even lower resolution expected on the 5.8. Other tech specs place the devices at a mid-range level: Both offer a primary 8-megapixel rear-facing camera and a 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera. Each run Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean), have 1.5GB RAM and offer up to 64GB of expandable memory. A 1.7GHz dual-core processor powers the 6.3 version, the 5.8 runs on a 1.4GHz dual-core processor.
Samsung is selling the Galaxy Mega as ideal for a split-screen experience, hoping to convince the mobile multi-tasker to consider the Mega for watching videos while using their favorite app or composing emails simultaneously.
Samsung has helped define the so-called phablet category of mobile devices, starting with the first rendition of the Note which broke the 5-inch barrier, pushing consumers to consider carrying a 5.3-inch device as their all-in-one screen for on-the-go computing power that still allows for phone calls. The Galaxy Mega 6.3 stretches these limits even further, surpassing even the 5.9-inch Vega No. 6 from Pantech and the 6.1-inch Ascend Mate from Huawei. Although some versions of Samsung's Galaxy Note 8.0 allow for phone calls, that device remains categorized as a tablet and its potential use as a phone falls into a Zach Morris cell phone league.
The Galaxy Mega will first be offered in Europe and Russia starting in May; no word yet on other marketplace availability or pricing structure.
You can read the full press release here.