Samsung is supersizing its line of Galaxy smartphones with two new devices, including one that has an enormous 6.3-inch screen.
The South Korean tech giant introduced the 5.8 -inch and 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega smartphones Thursday, saying the two phones provide an “optimal viewing experience.”
The firm suggested its size made it ideal for watching videos or running two apps alongside each other.
For comparison, Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy S4 has a 5-inch screen, while the Galaxy S III sports a 4.8-inch display. The Galaxy Note phablet lineup starts at 5 inches for the original and comes in at 5.3 inches on the Galaxy Note II.
Earlier this year, China’s Huawei unveiled a 6.1-inch phone, but the Galaxy Mega beats it by a fraction of an inch. Samsung’s gigantic phone shows the race to build the biggest smartphone has taken on a similar flavor as the competition to build ever-larger flat-screen TVs in the last decade, says Mashable.
According to Samsung, the Galaxy Mega “combines the portability and convenience of a smartphone with the power, multitasking capabilities and extensive viewing experience of a tablet.”
One of the key reasons for the gigantic screens, which are only about an inch smaller than many popular tablets, is multitasking. Samsung wants to give users enough room to be able to run two apps on their smartphones at the same time comfortably, says the LA Times.
The display might be enormous, but Samsung claims the Mega is thin enough to put in your pocket and hold with one hand.
“We are aware of a great potential in the bigger screen for extensive viewing multimedia, Web browsing, and more,” JK Shin, CEO and head of Samsung’s mobile business, said in a statement.
“We are excited to provide another choice to meet our consumers’ varying lifestyles, all while maintaining the high-quality features of the award-winning Galaxy series.”
Both devices will boast several of the features available on Samsung’s petite Galaxy S4, which launches later this spring.
Among them: Group Play for sharing content across multiple devices, S Translator for translating content by text or voice, and WatchON to transform the smartphone into a TV remote control. The smartphone will also run the latest version of Google’s Android operating system.
The Mega also has split-screen view, the ability to preview messages by hovering over them, and the photo features also found in the upcoming Galaxy S4 (slideshow above). There’s an 8-megapixel rear camera on the Mega and a 1.9-megapixel front-facing one.
The 5.8-inch Mega sports a 1.4GHz dual-core processor, 1.5GB of RAM, a meager 8GB of onboard storage, and a 960×540 display.
The 6.3-inch model raises the specs a little to a 1.7GHz dual-core processor, 16GB of onboard storage, and a 720p display, but contains the same amount of RAM as its little sister. The processor is from an unknown manufacturer.
Both will go on sale in May, with Europe and Russia the first regions to be offered the devices.
Tech consultancy Davies Murphy Group said that within the Android market there had been a notable shift towards people wanting to buy a single device rather than both a smartphone and tablet.
“There is genuine demand for larger smartphones – the problem is at what point does a smartphone turn into a tablet,” he told the BBC.
Samsung was the most popular smartphone maker in 2012 accounting for 30.3% of all shipments, according to analysts at IDC.