I guess we?re just getting used to seeing really big phones.
Back in the old days (2013), seeing a phone with a large screen was rare.
Carrying a phone with a screen larger than 5.5 inches would be cause for people to stop and ask about it.
This week I?ve been using the Samsung Galaxy Mega 2, and its 6-inch screen doesn?t even merit a second look.
Have we really become accustomed to phablets in such a short period of time?
Samsung remains on top of the smartphone world when it comes to sheer numbers of handsets available, especially models with larger screens.
Its Galaxy S 5 and Galaxy Note 4 are nice phones on the high end. The Mega 2 is a step below in features ? especially the screen.
The Note 4 has a 2,560 x 1,440 pixel, 5.7-inch Super AMOLED (active matrix of organic light-emitting diodes) screen that I think is one of the best. It has a screen density of 515 pixels per inch.
The Galaxy Mega 2?s 6-inch screen is certainly big, but in order to make the phone more affordable, its screen resolution is 1,280 x 720 pixels with a pixel density of 245 pixels per inch.
The Mega 2?s CPU is a quad-core Snapdragon running at 1.5 GHz (the Note 4 uses a 2.7-GHz Snapdragon).
The Mega?s 16 gigabytes of storage and 1.5 gigabytes of RAM are half those of the Note 4. Both phones have an expansion slot for a microSD card.
The Mega?s main camera has an 8-megapixel sensor vs. the Note 4?s 16-megapixel version.
Sure, there?s a faux-leather plastic cover on the back, but it?s covering a replaceable 2,800-milliamp battery, which is getting rarer to find these days.
Are you sensing a pattern here?
The Mega 2 is really mega only in the size of the phone.
But that?s not necessarily a bad thing.
Samsung?s philosophy of building a full line of phones means there should be some models that are larger but not as expensive.
I believe the Mega 2 hits the mark.
The 6-inch screen with a relatively low resolution is perfect for users who want a cheaper phone with a big screen but don?t want the pixels so close together that the text is too small to read.
Sure it?s loaded with software from Samsung and AT&T (which provided the review unit), but most phones are preloaded these days.
Is it for you?
I went into this review thinking the Mega 2 was just going to be a cheap handset and wondered who the target market was.
Then I realized there are a lot of people who want a big phone but don?t expect to play graphic-intensive games.
There are a lot of us who are getting older and would like to be able to take advantage of a bigger screen.
I know plenty of people who don?t want to drop $300 for a phone like the Galaxy Note 4 (with a two-year contract).
The Mega 2 looks much like the Note 4, but it will set you back only $150 (contract price).
The Note 4?s no-contract price is $825; the Mega will set you back $475.
You could look at it as if you?re car shopping.
Not everyone needs the speed of a Porsche or the luxury of a Mercedes.
Plenty of us start out looking for a low- to midpriced car like a Chevy or Honda.
The Mega 2 is like that midpriced car that will carry you where you need to go for a lot less.
Pros: Big screen, inexpensive.
Cons: Lower pixel density, less memory.
Bottom line: If you?d like to save some money and having the fastest phone isn?t your priority, don?t overlook the Mega 2.