We've said before that media is an area that Samsung seem to have spent a lot of time developing on it's smartphone and tablet range. Honestly, this is something that doesn't surprise us, given that Samsung's biggest rival is a device built very heavily around the media experience; the iPhone.
The Korean firm has graced the Samsung Galaxy Mega with just about every media element that you could possibly think of. A feature packed music player? Yes. A feature packed video player? Yes. An FM Radio? Ye... No.
The Galaxy Mega doesn't come with an FM radio, which isn't as large a surprise as it is a disappointment, given that the Galaxy S4 came without one too.
It is clear that the Galaxy Mega was designed to be a media consumption device, so the hubbub is going to be about that massive screen. We've touched upon it a few times, but it is a bright and clear screen, something that Samsung is famed for. The LCD technology isn't quite at the same standard of the Super AMOLED screens that we have seen from Samsung, like the one that graces the Galaxy Note 2.
It is also not Full HD, offering only a 720p resolution. On the whole this was more than sufficient. It was never going to iPhone Retina display challenging, or even match the Samsung Galaxy S4.
Disappointingly, with the HD display being 0.8 inches larger than the Note 2, the resolution is stretched a little further, meaning if you look really really hard, you can make out edges on icons.
Both the external speaker and the internal storage also have to be up to par, in order to be able to provide a first class media experience. Unfortunately we found both to be more than a little bit disappointing.
As mentioned before in this review, the internal storage is also rather disappointing. Less than 5GB of the 8GB is accessible, which means that you will need to pop in a microSD card. These are supported up to 64GB, so there is some relief. Given that the Galaxy Note 2 comes with up to 64GB internal storage alone, this is somewhat of a disappointment.
The music player app that comes with the Galaxy Mega is as good as it has been on previous Samsung devices. Sound reproduction might not be as great as we would have expected, or even have hoped when it came to the speaker, there is some respite in that that problem doesn't make its way over to headphones. Then again, there is a lot to be said to what headphones you use.
Samsung's music player comes with a built in equalizer, that will choose the right setting depending upon the song, or can be manually chosen from a long list that includes Bass Boost, Pop, Rock and the more interesting Tube amp effect and Virtual 7.1 ch. For less media savvy users, Auto mode is about all you'll ever need, but having the extra functions is never a bad thing.
Another interesting feature is AdaptSound. Follow the set up wizard, listen to a variety of beeps at varying frequencies and the app will boost the music to suit your hearing range. This is something that we reckon will have less effect on the younger audience, given that your hearing range narrows as you age.
Samsung's Music square makes another appearance, sitting alongside all the usual ways that you would expect to view your music; by artist, album, song, playlist or by folder.
This is something that we are still a little undecided on, but if you have a large enough media library, the Galaxy Mega will go through and analyse and sort it, allowing you to choose your music based upon your mood.
Play, pause, track skipping, shuffle and repeat buttons are also used, we figure there would be an uproar if they weren't there.
As a music player app, Samsung' offering is extremely well stocked, and we highly doubt you will ever need another one. Google does have the Play Music app as well if you're after something a little different, or if you're really hard pushed, there is always the Play store for a third party app.
For those interested in audio support, the Samsung Galaxy Mega supports MP3, AAC, AAC+e, AMR, eAAC+, I-Melody, MIDI, WMA, FLAC, WAV and OGG file types.
So we have a half decent screen, so what next? Well, the video player is going to need to be decent. This is another area that the Korean brand has managed to excel in. For starters, opening up the video player greets you with a very attractive moving grid of your videos. Just a little feature, but it helps make the phone feel a little more fun and alive.
The video player also manages to pull in all your videos from your Dropbox account, as well as showing all the videos that you have stored on the Galaxy Mega. This is something that we'd have to give a massive thumbs up to, as it saves a lot of space, meaning that the 69GB you had potentially, is boosted (with another 50GB that Dropbox provides for connecting your Galaxy device).
Obviously when it comes to playing Dropbox videos, we'd suggest sticking to Wi-Fi, lest you get hit with massive data streaming bills. As for video support, the Galaxy Mega is equipped to play MPEG4, H.263, H.264, VC1, WMV7 and 8 file types.
Samsung's Pop-up Play function is also available on the Galaxy Mega, making real use of that extra screen space. It is also possible to split the screen, and have the video playing at the top whilst you browse other apps at the bottom, which is a massive boost to the multi-tasking abilities.
Samsung's gallery app, like the video app, is also very attractive, providing a grid of thumbnails from all the folders that have stored media. We didn't notice initially, but the Galaxy Mega also pulls in all your photos from your Dropbox account (with the Dropbox app also allowing you to instantly upload photos to the cloud), as well as those from your Google/Picasa account, and even from your Facebook account.
Photo editing is also available, for images that you have saved on your device. There are so many to go through that it is impossible to list them all, but should you decide that you want to forgo editing on your desktop, Samsung has you more than covered.