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samsung galaxy mega

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Mega – the biggest smartphone to date – which features a 6.3 in (16 cm) screen.

Samsung suggested Galaxy Mega’s size made it ideal for watching videos or running two apps alongside each other.

The South Korean company helped popularize the so-called “phablet” category – in which phones approach tablet dimensions – with its original 5.3 in Galaxy Note in 2011.

That proved more popular than many expected, but one analyst suggested the latest device might be a step too far.

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Mega, the biggest smartphone to date, which features a 6.3 in screen

Samsung has launched the Galaxy Mega, the biggest smartphone to date, which features a 6.3 in screen

Samsung is marketing the Android-powered handset as having a high-definition screen – however, a spokesman was unable to confirm whether it supported 720p or the “full HD” 1080p resolution.

Another South Korean firm, Pantech, currently lays claim to offering the biggest “full HD” smartphone with its 5.9 in Vega No 6 which was announced in January.

China’s Huawei had previously boasted having the biggest largest-screened 720p smartphone with its 6.1 in Ascend Mate.

Samsung suggested that, despite its dimensions, the Galaxy Mega was still small and light enough – at 199 g (0.44 lb) – to fit into users’ pockets and be used with one hand.

However, Samsung is hedging its bets by offering a smaller 5.8 in-screened version as an alternative.

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.

However, its principal technology analyst, Chris Green, suggested that at 6.3 in it would be a “folly” for most users to swap their current handsets for the larger of the two Galaxy Megas.

“There is genuine demand for larger smartphones – the problem is at what point does a smartphone turn into a tablet,” he said.

“When you’ve got this up against your head you’d have to argue you’re using a tablet and not a smartphone – it’s definitely going to compromise its functionality because it’s simply too big and too cumbersome to use as a traditional telephone device.

“But ignoring the phone functionality, as far as the rest of the smart device goes it looks quite phenomenal.”

Samsung was the most popular smartphone maker in 2012 accounting for 30.3% of all shipments, according to analysts at IDC.

Its rival Apple – whose largest handset has a 4 in screen – came in second with a 19.1% market share.