Cracking Open the Samsung Galaxy Mega
The Samsung Galaxy Mega looks like an oversize version of the Galaxy S4. But looks can be deceiving. The Mega may best the S4 in sheer size, but it lags behind Samsung's flagship phone in nearly everything else.
At 3.46 inches wide, 6.59 inches tall, and a weight of just over 7 ounces, the Galaxy Mega is a monster phone or a small tablet -- depending on your point of view. And if you're really into cute product names, you can even call this crossover device a phablet.
The Mega has a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera, a 1.9MP front camera, and a 6.3-inch display with a 1,280x720-pixel resolution.
For more information on the Galaxy Mega, including performance and battery life benchmark tests, check out Jessica Dolcourt's full CNET review.
Cracking Open Observations
Easy to crack open: Like the S4 and the most Samsung phones and tablets I've cracked open, the Mega is relatively easy to disassemble and doesn't require any special tools, just a Phillips #000 screwdriver and maybe a thin blade.
Hardware layout similar to the Galaxy S4: The Mega's overall internal design is similar to the S4's. The main board is located at the top and there's a smaller board at the bottom.
Fused front panel/display/internal frame: Like the Galaxy S4's, the Mega's front panel, display, and internal frame are fused together. If one part breaks, you'll likely need to replace the whole assembly.
Monster phone with merely average hardware
If the Mega is so similar to the Galaxy S4 in appearance and overall construction, why are its looks deceiving? It all comes down to hardware. The S4 has a 1.9GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, a 13-megapixel camera, and a screen resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels. The Mega is a step behind in every category except the battery.
Why would you want a device that's really too large to be a phone (in my opinion) and has hardware that's less than cutting-edge? Well, price. At the time of publication, the Mega is $149 (US) while the S4 is still $199 (although some carriers offer slightly better deals). And the Galaxy Note 3, which is similar in size but has better hardware, will cost $299. So if you're in the market for a midrange phablet, the Mega is worth a look.
(A more detailed version of this story was published on TechRepublic's Cracking Open blog.)