Smartphones

Samsung Galaxy Mega teardown: Oversized phone with average hardware

Samsung's Galaxy Mega may share the Galaxy S4's general design. But as Bill Detwiler shows you, this monster phone's hardware is a step behind the Galaxy S4.

The Galaxy Mega looks like an oversized 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 weighing 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 1.7 GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 16GB of storage, an 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera, 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 6.3-inch display with 1280 x 720 resolution.

Full teardown gallery: Cracking Open the Samsung Galaxy Mega

Cracking Open Observations

Easy to crack open: Like the S4 and most Samsung phones/tablets I've cracked open, disassembling the Mega is relatively easy and doesn't require any special tools--just a Phillips #000 screwdriver and maybe a thin blade.

samsung_galaxy_mega_2013_teardown_021.png
 Bill Detwiler/TechRepublic

Hardware layout similar to the Galaxy S4: The Mega's overall internal design is similar to the S4. The main board is located at the top and a smaller board at the bottom.

Fused front panel/display/internal frame: Like the Galaxy S4, 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.

samsung_galaxy_mega_2013_teardown_024.png
 Bill Detwiler/TechRepublic

Monster phone with merely average hardware

If the Mega is so similar to the Galaxy S4 in appearance and overall construction, why are it's looks deceiving? It all comes down to hardware. The S4 has a 1.9GHz quad-core processor, 2GB of RAM, 13-megapixel camera, and a screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. 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 time of publication, the Mega is $149 (US) compared to the S4 which is still $199 (although some carriers offer slightly better deals). And even when the Galaxy Note 3 hits store shelves, it will cost $299. So if you're in the market for a midrange phablet, the Mega is worth a look.

Samsung Galaxy Mega vs. Galaxy S4 specs
 Bill Detwiler/TechRepublic

Internal hardware

Our AT&T Galaxy Mega test unit had the following hardware:

  • 1.7GHz Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 MSM8930 (mounted under the DRAM)
  • 1.5GB Samsung K4P2E304EB-PCC2 LPDDR2 mobile DRAM
  • 16GB Toshiba THGBM5G7A23BAIR e-MMC module
  • 6.3-inch HD TFT display (1280 x 720)
  • 8.0-megapixel rear-facing camera
  • 1.9-megapixel front-facing camera
  • 3.8V, 3,200 mAh Li-ion battery
  • Qualcomm PM8917 power management IC
  • Maxim Integrated MAX77803
  • Silicon Image Sil9244 MHL Transmitter with HDMI Input
  • Qualcomm WCD9304 audio codec
  • Lattice Semiconductor LP1K36
  • 607A Y3JB
  • InvenSense MPU-6051M six-axis gyroscope and accelerometer
  • Skyworks SKY85707-21 5GHz, 802.11n/ac front-end module
  • Samsung CMC6240M
  • Broadcom BCM20793 NFC IC
  • Skyworks SKY77619 multiband power amplifier module for quad-band GSM/EDGE and Penta-Bands
  • Skyworks SKY77737 power amplifier module for LTE bands 12/17
  • Qualcomm WTR1605L LTE transceiver
  • SWE GNF09
  • RF Micro Devices RF7307 single-band 4G LTE power amplifiers
  • Audience eS305 earSmart voice processor (AUD 305B)
For more information on the Samsung Galaxy Mega, including performance and battery life benchmark tests, check out Jessica Dolcourt's full CNET review.

About

Bill Detwiler is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and Tech Pro Research and the host of Cracking Open, CNET and TechRepublic's popular online show. Prior to joining TechRepublic in 2000, Bill was an IT manager, database administrator, and desktop supp...

5 comments
richard.stroud
richard.stroud

I got Note 3 for $169.99 at Amazon. Best deal for performance double the specs.

sf_jeff
sf_jeff

Ugh!  You lost me at "ATT"

PFCNPFCN
PFCNPFCN

GALAXY MEGA 'CAUGHT IN THE MIDDLE' AS MICHAEL PORTER WOULD SAY

More than twenty years ago Michael Porter's COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE book warned about getting 'caught in the middle UNLESS YOU HAVE AN INNOVATION.

Samsung is making the same mistake as such as Apple, Blackberry and Nokia ....trying to be all things to all people and they get 'caught in the middle'. 

It's all about understanding how to zig-zag within the Axiomatic Design (CN-FR-DP-PV)  terminology and following Axiom #1 and Axiom #2.

Mobile devices, like Smart phones, Tablets and Laptops have TWO FRs (functional requirements) ... namely MESSAGING (i.e. alert) and DISPLAY.  To try to satisfy both is getting 'caught in the middle'.

Think about it Blackberry before you sell out your Leadership in capability to fulfill MESSAGING functionality for ENTERPRISE MOBILITY.

Superimpose MPS (Mobile Process Service) innovation on the Blackberry and there one has the Disruptive innovation based on Axiomatic Design.....but that's a story for another dy!!

Regards from Brian in Sweden

Alias Sir George the Dragon Slayer

Knighted in Canadian Dragons' Den 2009 

unixfool
unixfool

@sf_jeff You can get the phone with other carriers as well.  The review was pretty much carrier-agnostic, yet all you focused on was AT&T.  Wow.

helforama
helforama

@PFCNPFCN people MIGHT take YOU more SERIOUSLY if you didn't RANDOMLY CAPS works for NO REASON.