Samsung launches its biggest phablet yet

Samsung launches its biggest phablet yet

Samsung claims that the phablet's huge screen is ideal for multitasking -- using two apps side by side -- and for enjoying video content. It also claims that it packs a high definition screen. However, it is not divulging the pixel count so it's unclear as to whether this is a 720p or a full 1080p HD display.

As with other devices in the Galaxy range, the Mega offers Group Play (a music streaming feature that enables a number of Samsung handsets in the same location to simultaneously play the same music track) and its WatchOn smart remote control that also provides reviews and TV recommendations.

It also comes with either 8GB or 16GB of built-in storage plus support for a further 64 GB via micro SD card, and will run Android Jelly Bean 4.2 out of the box.

At 16.7cm x 8.8cm x 0.8cm thick, the 6.3-inch Mega will struggle to fit in a trouser pocket or even an inside jacket pocket and is only 3cm shorter and narrower than a Google Nexus 7 tablet. This may explain why Samsung is hedging its bets by also launching a 5.8-inch version of the same device, the Mega 5.8.

Samsung is yet to confirm specific dates for territory-by-territory availability, only that the phablets will start to roll out globally in the beginning of May starting in Europe and Russia.

A recent report by Flurry, an apps analytics firm, revealed that despite the fanfare surrounding phablet devices, it could find no proof that these larger handsets were having any impact on data consumption or other traditional forms of use. "Phablets appear to make up an insignificant part of the device installed base, and do not show disproportionally high enough app usage to justify support. Tablets, on the other hand show the most over-indexing of usage, especially in games," said Flurry's Mary Ellen Gordon.

Nevertheless the trend of larger screen sizes in smartphones continues -- Sony, LG, Lenovo and HTC have all launched new handsets this year with 5-inch+ displays, while Huawei launched the Ascend Mate, which boasts a 6.1-inch screen.