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Cellphones Handhelds Hardware

Samsung Ups Ante In Smartphone Size Wars: 6.3 Inches 221

Posted by timothy
from the don't-mean-to-brag-but dept.
New submitter jarold writes to note that Samsung has launched two extra-large cellphones: a 6.3 inch LTE ready version, and a 5.8 inch version. "Branded as Galaxy Mega, one would struggle to fit [either in a] pocket or use it with just one hand. The good thing, it is only 8mm thin and weighs under 200 grams. More portable than a tablet, it comes with a durable polycarbonate body. Unlike most of Samsung's latest smartphones, it does not have a super AMOLED panel. Instead, it has an HD super clear LCD display, which is bright enough to please most users. It features split screen and multitasking between video and other apps." For a phone that big, users might need to brush up on their side-talking skills.
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Samsung Ups Ante In Smartphone Size Wars: 6.3 Inches

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  • Ridiculous (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15, 2013 @04:10AM (#44282401)

    Stop calling these phones. They are wide-screen monitors.

    • by BlackPignouf (1017012) on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:12AM (#44282545)

      THE BRAND NEW iPad Mini Mega
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=abtmeXXT7VA [youtube.com] :D

    • by thsths (31372)

      If the kindle fits in my pocket, why shouldn't this?

      Maybe it works both as a tablet and a phone. I can certainly see a market for this.

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Not everybody wears the XXXL Buster Big Boy Cargo Pants your mom buys you, bro.

        A 6.5" by 3.5" "phone" is not going to fit in the average person's pocket. This means it will be used by:

        -- women who always have a decent sized purse with them;
        -- men who don't mind wearing a fanny pack everywhere they go;

        • My nexus 7 fit in my pants pocket, and this seems smaller, so that shouldn't be a problem except for tiny males with miniature pants.
        • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Interesting)

          by fzammett (255288) on Monday July 15, 2013 @09:35AM (#44284301) Homepage

          I'm 5'9" and I wear almost nothing but jeans and jean shorts most days. I don't wear skin-tight jeans, but neither am I wearing "fat guy" jeans... they fit "right" in my eyes: no struggle to button, but they're far from cargo pants territory.

          My Nexus 7 TABLET fits in the BACK POCKET of my pants without struggling to get it in and out. It's actually comfortable there (aside from the weight, which is a bit much and tries to pull my pants down). Now, yes, that's only true if I'm standing up... sitting ain't happening... this "phone" (phablet I guess is the term they invented?) should fit just as well as it's smaller.

          Now, me personally, I don't want a phone this big. I have an S4 and I think it's just about perfect... I considered the Note II and I could see possibly going to that size, but that's the upper limit for me I think. To me, this phone is just too big to be carrying around all the time. But to say it doesn't fit in "regular" pants I just don't think is accurate. You most definitely do not need a fanny pack or anything like that.

          • by Kelbear (870538)

            5'10, nexus 7 fits in my dress slacks too (but as mentioned in another post, I keep it in a sling-bag)

            I too chose the 5-inch S4, because it's the upper limit of how far my thumb can reach across a screen when holding the device in 1 hand. If I want a bigger screen, I'd get more screen space, but I'd sacrifice one-hand usability. If I'm giving up one-hand usability, I had better get a good amount of screen space to make up for it, so a 6-7 inch screen makes more sense to me than the Note II's 5.5inch screen.

          • This should actually be quite a bit smaller, since not only the screen diagonal is smaller, but it also doesn't have the fairly wide bevel of Nexus 7.

        • by Kelbear (870538)

          I carry a man-purse (shoulder-bag) whereever I go. Makes it easy to bring gum, phone, keys, tablet, headphones, pen, multi-tool, workpass, forms/coupons, and wallet wherever I go. I like having this stuff with me, and the man-purse is a practical way of doing it rather than just walking around running into situations where I wish I had been carrying ______ with me.

          Keeps me from having lumpy pockets, allowing for a clear view of my glorious posterior. Buddies made some jokes at first, but it blew over pretty

      • I have a 7" Android Tablet that I used to use heavily. I had a Moto Droid 2 smartphone that was nice, but the bigger screen of the tablet was enough of a draw that I'd use the tablet a fair amount for personal browsing.

        That all changed when I got my new phone, a Moto Razr Maxx HD. The screen is bigger and sharper than the Droid 2, just enough that the relative usability of the tablet almost disappears, and the fact that my phone already has all "my" stuff on it from earlier today is more of a draw.

        My 7" tab

    • Re:Ridiculous (Score:4, Interesting)

      by obarthelemy (160321) on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:36AM (#44282599)
      Well... my 6.1" screen is to a 4" screen what a 23" is to a 15" on the desktop. Would you go back to a 15" on your desk ?
      • Re:Ridiculous (Score:5, Insightful)

        by neokushan (932374) on Monday July 15, 2013 @06:33AM (#44282757)

        I wouldn't go that far. It's more like the difference between a 24" and a 21" monitor. Both are still "big" compared to what the majority of people use (Which is probably about 19" these days, perhaps 17") but there's a shift towards them. Your point is still valid, however, once you go bigger it's hard to go back.

        That being said, you don't cart that 23" screen around with you. I have a 24" monitor on my desktop, but I still go back to a 15" laptop because 17" is too big to carry around.

        • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15, 2013 @06:46AM (#44282799)

          however, once you go bigger it's hard to go back.

          That's what she said

        • by fnj (64210)

          Pssst. 15" is too big to lug around too. 13" is the appropriate size.

          • by neokushan (932374)

            I actually agree with this, but I am an unfortunate oddity on this one. I have terrible eyesight so I can't drop down to far screen-size wise or I can't read anything because laptop screens are generally all 1080p these days (or at least, they are on the laptops worth actually paying good money for). I could just up the DPI but this breaks far too much stuff to be practical.

            I used to have an old 11.6" Laptop and that was perfect but it's actually hard to find a small(ish) laptop that DOESN'T have say a 1080

            • by fnj (64210)

              I hear you brother. I had the nice jewel-like HP 2133 with the keyboard to die for and 1280x768 on an 8.9" display, but I got to where I would have to bend over it about 6" away to see anything at all. My Thinkpad X301 13" 1440x900 was a thing of beauty but also got too hard to see. I'm afraid the future is realistically just one with no notebook.

              I did find out that with GNOME 2, and after finding out the secret with stupid Firefox and Thunderbird which do things their own way, I could get everything to sca

      • You're probably looking for a +1 Funny mod, but I don't have to carry around a 23" display to use it on my desktop. I don't have to hold a 23" display to the side of my head when I'm using it.

      • by mwvdlee (775178)

        If I had to carry around the 23" monitor everywhere I went? I'd go back to 15" without hestitation.

      • I don't move a 23" monitor everywhere I go. Portablity means something. It's why I have a 13" MBP instead of a 17" MBP. If a phone won't easily slip into the jacket pocket of my sport coat or suit, I don't care what it does. I am not watching hollywood blockbusters on my phone.. I want my phone to be easily portable. To me the Galaxy S4 is a larger phone than I want to hold. But my clients are more likely to call than email or text me.

        The future wife, she carries her phone in her purse mainly. And s

    • by citizenr (871508)

      actually they are called Phablets in China, and are the next big market after everyone and their dog started making tablets.

    • This is convergence of Phones, Computers and Self Defense Weaponry. Hitting someone with these phones would probably cause a concussion.

  • Ah, Samsung (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15, 2013 @04:11AM (#44282403)

    I heard you're idea's and their definately good.

  • Dead Zone? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erikwestlund (1003368) on Monday July 15, 2013 @04:12AM (#44282409) Homepage

    I know that for a while people thought 4" screens were overkill, too big for people's hands, etc. I'm using a 5" Galaxy now and, while it took some getting used to, it's manageable with one hand (and I don't have large hands).

    However, 6.3" just seems like a deadzone. Too big to hold in a hand and use effectively, unless you're Shaq, but smaller than a 7 or 8" tablet like the Nexus 7 or iPad mini, which perform tablet duties pretty well.

    Conventional wisdom on device size has been proved wrong time and again over the last few years, so who knows? Maybe what we're seeing is devices for every size. With rumored smart watches on the way, we may have 1-2" smart watches, followed up with 3.5-6" phones, and 7-11" tablets, after which the ultrabook/laptop market takes over. Maybe every device will excel at somethings while providing enough functionality for other basics (email, media) to keep people happy.

    Interesting times.

    • by gl4ss (559668)

      well they have devices from 10" to 2.5" now.. samsung is just big, big big.

      and since the sw is pretty much the same anyways, they just keep churning.

    • However, 6.3" just seems like a deadzone. Too big to hold in a hand and use effectively, unless you're Shaq, but smaller than a 7 or 8" tablet like the Nexus 7

      Don't forget that the correlation between screen size & device size is not neccessarily linear. Samsung managed to increase the screen size of the S4 (over the S3) by 1/5 of an inch while (slightly) reducing the phyiscal dimensions of the phone.

      The Nexus 7 has a massive bezel, these devices do not & will be smaller than the 0.7 inches you'd ex

    • Whether a phone will fit in one hand is up to its width. The 5 inch Galaxy S4 is 69,8mm wide, the 6,3 inch Galaxy Mega is 88mm. The iPad Mini has an aspect ratio of 4:3 instead of 16:9 so it's 134mm wide although it's only 0,7 inches larger in screen diagonal.

      Back around the time the Nokia E90 [wikipedia.org] was launched, I predicted a good smartphone would eventually be around 20x9cm with a slide-out keyboard and a large touchscreen; mainly based on the fact that I wanted something that would fit in a normal inner jacke
    • Depends on your size. 6.3" is about the max size that will fit comfortably in my pockets. 7" will but it's a stretch (see what i did here ?), really, I tried, because I'd love it if I could carry around a 7" phone. Maybe when they do away with bezels...
      And I can handle my 6.1" Ascend Mate mostly one-handed, to call, scroll pages, even type with the "stuck to the side" mini keyboard.

      I got laughed at for my humongous HTC HD2 (4.3"), then for my Samsung Galaxy Note (5.1")... Now I'm getting more interested loo
      • by tippe (1136385)

        Maybe it's time that you start wearing track pants. They stretch, so might be able to accommodate up to an 8" "phone" in comfort. Who knows, you might be the first to start up a new fashion trend and show the world that there's a third use for track pants other than: a) exercising or b) showing everyone that you've "given up" and just don't care what you wear anymore.

        While I'm at it, here are a couple of other ideas that people can use to comfortably carry a 6-7" phone around with and look trendy doing it

      • Choice .. No, No, not another choice. Its like some people dont want black Fords!
    • by luther349 (645380)
      i got a 4 inch phone its a good dam size. anything over 5 inches is pushing it.
    • by Daetrin (576516)
      "I know that for a while people thought 4" screens were overkill, too big for people's hands, etc. I'm using a 5" Galaxy now and, while it took some getting used to, it's manageable with one hand (and I don't have large hands)."

      Is it comfortable, or just manageable? I've tried the Galaxy S4, and i certainly _could_ use it with one hand, but it doesn't seem like it would be comfortable. There's no way i can wrap my fingers all the way around the back and simultaneously reach the entire screen with my thumb
  • by JenniP (824070) on Monday July 15, 2013 @04:12AM (#44282411)
    http://uk.asus.com/Tablet/Fonepad/ASUS_Fonepad/ [asus.com]

    I just bought an Asus Fonepad to replace my ageing Galaxy Note (Which is still a nice phone but too small). The Fonepad is 7" (Nexus 7 sized), and is a completely functional phone, although I haven't had to take a call yet I can imagine you will look a complete idiot.

    Jen
    • although I haven't had to take a call yet I can imagine you will look a complete idiot.

      I called a friend who was testing some 7" tablet as a phone. I couldn't understand why he kept giggling until I met him and he told me he felt stupid talking into something that size in public. It's kinda funny how people worry less about how comfortable it is to use than what others will think.

      • by gl4ss (559668)

        yeah and then the same guys use green suspenders with red jeans..

        i had a n-gage. it was good for talking into.

      • Phones were huge in the 1960s and 70s. Even the biggest thing they make now is small by comparison to a Motorola brick. Anyhoo, these large tablets make nice desk phones and they work fine with a bluetooth headset.
      • He might want to buy a bluetooth headset. Then he can read the numbers he is dialling AND hear the calls.
    • I think the design gurus at the various phone handset manufacturers are closet Dom Jolly/Trigger Happy TV fans...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=27aVPqpnL7Y [youtube.com]

    • Get a Sony smartwatch or something similar, and a earphone-style bluetooth headset such as jabra clipper. This is what I do with my 8 inch Galaxy Note. I take it out of the bag only when I need to reply to an IM or SMS
    • You use this style of device with a Bluetooth headset. Nobody expects you to lift this to your face. Maybe even a smart watch, too.
  • by Ian Pote (2858169) on Monday July 15, 2013 @04:21AM (#44282435)
    People used to say that the Galaxy Note was too big and wouldn't be a best seller and they were blown out of the water after launch day. I'm holding out for this one.
    • by maroberts (15852) on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:15AM (#44282551) Homepage Journal

      ...and I have no problem using it as a phone. I tend to use my little finger to support it underneath when talking on it, but apart from that don't really notice any difference.

      I'm still not sure why people want their phones paper thin.
      Personally I'd be happy with something twice as thick as a Note if it trebled the battery life, and possibly improved wireless/GPS reception.

    • Happy Galaxy Note user here too (5.3"). I do get a lot of comments about the size, but no problems with usability.

      I do like the stylus drawing ability (agreed, not everybody needs this), as well as better readability. So I will definitely give this a look come upgrade time.

      That said, if they can improve the display to make it sunlight readable, that will be a big plus. Also, better battery life is always a boon (not too unhappy to have to plug in every night or second night, though, but it takes a bit of

  • You must be compensating for something if you have a big phone.......
  • Are they trying to reinvent the laptop?
    • by KiloByte (825081)

      No hardware keyboard. Pass.

      Either you use it as a slightly smarter dumbphone, in which case extra size is inconvenient, or as an actual computer, in which case some reasonable input device is a must.

      • by turp182 (1020263)

        At this size, doubling the thickness to add a slide-out hardware keyboard probably makes sense, it would be pretty easy to type on compared to a Blackberry. Could probably also increase battery life considerably with the extra space.

        Of course I'm looking forward to the day when I can use my 15" laptop as a "clamshell" phone... I'm surprised how close we are to that being some sort of reality.

  • Muppets. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by irn_bru (209849) on Monday July 15, 2013 @04:53AM (#44282497)

    Still happy using my Sony Xperia Mini [sonymobile.com] precisely because it's so tiny (88mm by 52mm) I'd love to replace it with something newer/more powerful but it seems nobody is making anything even near this size anymore. I don't even want a 4" screen, let alone these monsters...

  • by bazorg (911295) on Monday July 15, 2013 @04:53AM (#44282499) Homepage

    I follow Shaquille O'Neal on Twitter and his iPhone does not seem to be the right size for accurate typing :)

  • Too tiny (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:04AM (#44282525)

    Come on Samsung. Put the telephony part in your 40"+ TVs and call it a day. /s

    • Replying to undo an accident mod.

      But seriously, a TV with built-in video conference features might be useful, as long as they don't go and invent their own standard for it. I have been playing with the thought of setting up sort of "virtual windows" between separate office spaces, to allow a different, ad-hoc mode of communication between people at different locations.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The poster doesn't appear to be aware of the Sony Xperia Ultra that's been doing the rounds. It appears to be competing more with the 7" tablet part of the market than the mobile, especially as shown paired with the Bluetooth headset.
    * http://www.gsmarena.com/sony_xperia_z_ultra-review-944.php [gsmarena.com]

    • by yurtinus (1590157)
      Never buying another Sony phone after they abandoned software updates for their 2012 phones... Shipped with 2.3 when everybody else was updating to 4.1, and finally got the 4.0 update near Christmas. Later found out "Nope, we're done updating those phones, go buy a new one" less than a year after they were released.

      Thanks but no thanks, Sony. I'm done with you and will not hesitate to tell others what to expect from you, either.
  • by jeremymiles (725644) on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:28AM (#44282569) Homepage Journal
    I don't care how thin it is, I want a bigger battery.
  • Its how you use it !
  • by Rob_Bryerton (606093) on Monday July 15, 2013 @05:52AM (#44282643) Homepage
    I have an S3 and have seen the S4. Instead of just making the thing bigger, then bigger, I think Samsung should focus on quality and usability. It's almost like they design it w/a computer but never do a physical mock-up to see how usable the units are.

    Button placement is just bad: the power button is opposite the volume rocker, so when you (awkwardly) shut it off w/the side button, the tendency is to cancel out the button press by hitting the volume rocker. Dumb. The 4 words I utter most often when using my S3: "F&^%ing P.O.S."

    Too thin. Way too thin. Very awkward to hold when talking on it. Double the thickness and use it for a better battery and use some better materials (aluminum).

    Cheap, plastic-y look and feel. This is again, really bad. Just looks and feels cheap, especially compared to the newer iPhones and HTC One. You're charging us a small fortune for these things; how about spending more than 2 cents on the case?

    Come on Samsung, this isn't rocket science...
    • by gl4ss (559668)

      very few people use their iphones without protection. iphones could just as well be plastic.. plastic isn't viewed as bad for long term use by consumers, for example you bought it still.

      I just wish I could find a decent android in the shame candybar touch form factor as 5800 xpressmusic was in. a bit thicker and a smaller screen - and a toggle slider for screen on/off, which all androids seem to miss(and windows phones for that matter even from nokia).

    • by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Monday July 15, 2013 @08:07AM (#44283279)
      Am I the only one who thinks it's in fact you that's the problem? You didn't like the S3, saying it's too thin, has a bad battery, and poor button placement, then go on to slate the next iteration of that handset? Dude, take your experience and learn from it; Don't look at buying a Samsung Sx next time. There are hundreds of Android phones available. Hell, the Nexus 4 is half the price, just as capable, and not bound to a network contract.
  • We've been through this a few times. Once upon a time portable stereos were cool, they made them as small as possible. Then people realised the really tiny ones sounded like shit so they got bigger, and bigger until 'portable' needed quotes.

    Being quite anti-mobile I'm quite keen on this new trend as quite a few people who use them run out of battery so often they end up giving up and getting over their mobile phone habit so you can engage them in conversation again. It's progress.

  • is not aware that phone size is anything worth fighting about. (I still think they should build phone capability into the iPad Mini).
  • Seen them here in the Netherlands over a month ago...
  • by c (8461)

    That meme pretty much bit the dust with the advent of decent bluetooth (or even wired) headsets, or integrated vehicle sets.

    If a device is too big to hold comfortably to the ear, you're pretty much an idiot (or, to be redundant, a hipster) to stand there holding it that way if there's a better solution.

    At this point, the only significant difference between "tablet" and "phone" should come down to pocketability and how well you can hold it.

  • Cue the "well, my cellphone screen is bigger than your dick!" comments from scorned women.
  • by DarthVain (724186) on Monday July 15, 2013 @08:58AM (#44283865)

    "...durable polycarbonate body..."

    I am sorry, but why are we using terms like this here? Unless this is just an ad...
    Saying something has a plastic case probably doesn't sound as good as a "durable polycarbonate body"... Obvious and stupid.

    Anyway, the only problem I see with a 6.3 inch smart phone is this:

    The only problem with the S3 and it's 4.7 inch screen, or likely the S4 and it's 5 inch screen is the battery.
    No matter how you slice it, back lighting and running a screen that big chows down on battery life. One of the only gripes I have with my S3, is that if you actually use it, the battery life is pretty terrible as that screen sucks down all the battery energy in no time flat. Unless they have come up with some super low powered screen, or some transcending battery technology that somehow solves this issue (which I truly doubt they have), you are inherently building a flawed device from day 1. Enjoy your 6 inch cellphone that has a battery life of 2 hours.

  • Don't be a Padhole [thebestpag...iverse.net]

  • At the beginning of my current Sprint contract I got a Galaxy SII. It's been a good phone, no complaints. But durring this time I also picked up my first tablet (Asus Transformer Infinity) and I now find I've backed way off on the smart functions and apps on my phone.

    I think at this point I'd be happier with a smaller device that acted as a solid 4G LTE hotspot to my tablet (and a new carrier because Sprint lied through their teeth about 4G deployment in my area)

  • New from Samsung... the GALAXY MEGA!

    *drops mike and walks offstage*

  • by swb (14022) on Monday July 15, 2013 @12:14PM (#44286359)

    Instead of trying to decide on "one" device for a phone and debating whether the tablet-like screen size is more valuable than phone-sized portability and ergonomics, the debate should be about why I can't get my "cell" phone number to work on more than one device.

    I can (sort of) see why cellular networks may not "work" with two or more devices with the same number, but with VoIP this really ought not be a limitation for secondary and tertiary devices.

    If AT&T could make my phone work on whatever device I had (iPhone, iPad(s), even PC) then it wouldn't matter what size device I had. If I wanted easy portability and good ergonomics, I'd take my iPhone. If I wanted a bigger screen but mostly good portability, I'd take my iPad mini and possibly a bluetooth headset or headphones for taking calls. And so on.

    Basically, screen size doesn't have to be a permanent choice, it can be a "What works best today?" choice.

    I don't see where this hurts anybody -- I certainly wouldn't buy an iPad over an iPhone and an iPad because I could make calls on my iPad, and it's not like cell phone companies aren't looking for Yet Another Thing to charge you for.

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