The red carpet has just been rolled out for one of Samsung’s biggest devices of the year — the Galaxy Note 3. It’s one heck of a powerhouse, and with the display coming in at 5.7-inches with a Full HD Super AMOLED panel, it features one of the best screens out there.
Just how well does this big guy perform in comparison to the Galaxy Mega 5.8, though? Sure, the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8 might be a mid-range device, but it’s certainly no slouch. Let’s take a look at this showdown, shall we?
Design and build quality
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 sports a new kind of material — a faux leather type of texturized plastic. Normally, the backs of Samsung phones feature a glossy, slippery plastic, which makes the devices a tad harder to grip. In this case, this new texturized plastic makes the Galaxy Note 3 easier to handle and contributes to a much better grip.
Overall, the Galaxy Note 3 looks much better built and durable, which is a great improvement over its predecessor and even the Galaxy S4.
In the other corner, we have the Samsung Galaxy Mega 5.8, sporting that glossy plastic material that everyone either loves or hates. It’s larger and more slippery in the hand, and in some cases, you need two hands to operate the device. It’s fairly well built, but it doesn’t look like it could take much of a beating from accidents and drops.
Both devices are made by Samsung, so you do get your usual button placement. Impressively, the Note 3 is more compact and lighter than the Mega 5.8, despite having almost the same display size.
Verdict: While the Galaxy Mega 5.8 features the tried and true, glossy plastic design, the Galaxy Note 3’s faux leather back plate takes the cake. It’s a very well built device, and it really does feel durable, not to mention stylish.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 features a 5.7-inch Full HD Super AMOLED panel capable of 1,920 x 1,080 resolution, translating into a pixel density of 386ppi. It’s a beautiful display, and it’ll certainly perform extremely well when it comes to media consumption and gaming. Viewing angles are good, and the colors are vibrant, thanks to the typical saturation of Super AMOLED panels. There really is a lot of2 vibrancy and sharpness in this display, making the Galaxy Note 3 a great go-to media device.
As for the Galaxy Mega 5.8, well, it’s display is fairly average. It has a 5.8-inch TFT display capable of 960 x 540 resolution, rated at a mediocre 190ppi. It’s not an impressive display, but it’s certainly not a bad one either. It can handle media well, but it’s nothing outstanding. Viewing angles are great, but the display is really lacking in vibrancy and sharpness when compared to the Note 3.
Verdict: The Galaxy Note 3 is the obvious winner, with its super crisp and vivid screen. It’s the perfect device for media consumption.
In one hand, we have the Samsung Galaxy Note 3 with its 13-megapixel camera sensor. The optics aren’t much different from the Galaxy S4’s, as this is basically the Galaxy S4’s camera strapped onto the Note 3. Regardless, it really is a great performing unit.
Picture quality is really good, as colors are reproduced very well and there is a lot of detail in the photos. As for the camera app, there are loads of scenes and modes to choose from, as the Note 3 did receive all of the camera features in the Galaxy S4.
Looking at the Galaxy Mega 5.8’s 8-megapixel camera, you’re left wanting more. Photos look good, as color reproduction is done well, but there’s a real lack of sharpness and vibrancy. When it comes to the camera app, you get Samsung’s usual bevy of modes and scenes, such as Sound and Shot, Best Shot, and sports mode.
Verdict: Again, the Galaxy Note 3 takes the cake.
In the Galaxy Note 3, we have a 3,200 mAh Li-ion battery. There’s been a lot of optimizations done, so this battery will easily get you through the day, depending on how much you use the device. If you use it heavily, there’s a few power saving options to eek out that last bit of juice.
As for the Galaxy Mega 5.8, we have a 2,600 mAh Li-ion battery. Much like the Galaxy Note 3, this should easily get you through the work day. After all, the Mega 5.8 is a mid-range performer, so it doesn’t need as much power as the Note 3. There’s also a power saving mode if you need it to last just a little bit longer.
Verdict: Both the Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Mega 5.8 have impressive battery life. Either device will be able to get you through the day with no problem. It’s a tie.
Galaxy Note 3
Galaxy Mega 5.8
|Processor||Snapdragon 800, @2.26GHz, Krait 400 (LTE Markets)||Dual core Broadcom 1.4Ghz|
|Display & size||5.7 inches, Super AMOLED HD||5.8 inches, TFT-LCD|
|Resolution||1080 x 1920 pixels||540 x 960 pixels|
|Pixel density||386 ppi||190 ppi|
|Dimensions||5.95 x 3.12 x 0.33 inches||6.46 x 3.30 x 0.38 inches|
|Weight||5.93 oz (168 g)||6.42 oz (182 g)|
|Front-facing camera||2 megapixels||1.9 megapixels|
|Camera||13 megapixels||8 megapixels|
|Built-in storage||32 GB||8 GB|
|Storage expansion||microSD, microSDHC up to 64 GB||microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC up to 64 GB|
|Battery||3200 mAh||2600 mAh|
|OS||Android (4.3)||Android (4.2) Nature UX UI|
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 features the latest from Qualcomm — a Snapdragon 800 processor. It also has 3GB of RAM, and it comes in 32 and 64GB storage capacities. If you need more space, removing the back cover will reveal a microSD card slot, capable of holding an additional 64GB.
In the other hand, we have the Galaxy Mega 5.8. It features a dual-core 1.4GHz processor, backed by 1.5GB of RAM. It comes in a single storage option — 8GB. However, if you need more, the microSD slot can hold a capacity of 64GB.
Verdict: Both devices will be able to handle more tasks you throw at it, but in the rare case that there’s a more demanding task, the Galaxy Note 3 can handle that with no problem. It’s close, but the Note 3 wins again.
The Galaxy Note 3 is running Samsung’s latest version of TouchWiz atop of Android 4.3 Jelly Bean. It comes with a handful of new features, while taking on all of the features found in the Galaxy S4. There’s also some new S-Pen functionality baked in, such as Air Command, a handy menu displayed when clicking the stylus button while hovering over the screen.
As for the Galaxy Mega 5.8, it’s running Samsung’s TouchWiz interface atop of Android 4.2 Jelly Bean, but it doesn’t come with nearly as many features as the Galaxy Note 3.
Verdict: With S-Pen functionality and a lot of handy software features, the Galaxy Note 3 wins this trophy, though for a mid-range phone, the Mega 5.8 really isn’t that bad.
Samsung’s Galaxy Note 3 is a really impressive device. It has all of the top-of-the-line hardware, a beautiful display, great build quality and feel in hand, and a bevy of software features. It’s an Android geek’s dream come true!
That’s not to say that the Mega 5.8 doesn’t have its place in the market, though. This is a mid-range budget phone, so you’re just not going to see crazy specs inside this handset. You’ll get specs that can accomplish regular tasks and get you through your work day, but not much more than that.