Samsung Locks Down Oversized Smartphone Market with Mega Series

by Matt Klassen on April 12, 2013

While here in North American the popular thinking has always been bigger is better, how big do we really want our smartphones to be? It’s a question that has been asked across the mobile world for several years now, with only a resolute few daring enough to test the market’s reception of larger hybrid smartphones, popularly dubbed ‘phablets.’ I myself have scoffed at many such attempts, wondering aloud why consumers would want a phone that obscures most of one’s face, saying nothing about the fact that such devices are usually sub-par tablets as well.

But then along came Samsung with its Galaxy Note franchise and suddenly I had to rethink the public’s willingness to embrace such a hybrid design, to the point now where I’ve recently recommended the Note II to my wife for her next smartphone upgrade.

Given the success of the Note series, recently rumours surfaced that Samsung was once again preparing to push the boundaries of smartphone size, and earlier this week the Korean company unveiled its new Mega line of smartphones, letting consumers choose between a huge 5.8-inch and a colossal 6.3-inch handset. But even as I wonder if Samsung has finally gone too big (why not just bring back the Motorola brick cellphones of old?) it looks like my hesitation might be moot, as the phones aren’t slated for North American release…yet.

To put things in perspective on just how large the screens on the Samsung Mega smartphone series really are, Apple’s iPhone currently sports a 4-inch screen, Samsung’s Galaxy S4 features a 5-inch display, and the company’s Galaxy Note II (the largest phablet hybrid on the North American market) rings in at 5.5-inches.

Samsung’s latest Mega offerings fills a heretofore unknown space in the mobile market between the phablet space and the 7-inch tablet market, offering users the largest screen possible on a device that still functions as a phone. I say ‘largest’ simply for the fact that the next size up for mobile devices is, as mentioned, the 7-inch tablet space, and I simply can’t imagine anyone holding one of those up to their face. While pushing screen size may have some questioning Samsung’s wisdom, there’s no question that such a move will help the company lockdown the oversize smartphone sector.

The handsets themselves come well-equipped, sporting Android 4.2 (Jelly Bean) and dual-core processors. The larger 6.3-inch option features a 1.7GHz processor, while its slightly smaller sibling has a 1.4GHz chip. Both also feature the industry standard 8-megapixel rear-facing and 1.9 megapixel front-facing cameras.

So back to the question at hand, how big do we want our smartphones to be? I’ve always been thoroughly confused given that we’re talking about a ‘mobile’ market, indicating to me, at least, that the devices contained therein should be compact, not so big that they can no longer fit in my pocket.

But for those who are interested in Samsung’s super large Mega series of smartphones, I hate to say you might be waiting for awhile. The Korean tech giant has indicated that these phones will be made available across Europe and Russia only come May, saying that additional decisions about releases will be made on a market by market basis and therefore may take some time.

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Written by: Matt Klassen. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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