Can tablets replace smartphones? Samsung’s Galaxy Mega aims to find out

Galaxy Mega

Samsung isn’t waiting until September to debut all of its new products. On Monday the company announced the 6.3-inch Galaxy Mega will arrive in the U.S. before the end of August on AT&T, Sprint and US Cellular.

Here’s an early look at the device from AT&T, which will start selling the Galaxy Mega on August 23 for $149 with 2-year contract or $24 a month with AT&T Next:

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Although I have my money put aside for a new Moto X smartphone, I’m intrigued by the Galaxy Mega, mainly because a year ago, I suggested that tablets will replace smartphones. There have been large handsets introduced since then but the Galaxy Mega is what I’d say is the first real tablet-sized smartphone in the U.S. Overseas, many 7-inch tablets have cellular voice capabilities, but that feature is typically removed for the U.S. market.

So what do you get with this tablet, besides the voice calling abilities?

The 6.3-inch display uses a 1280 x 720 Super Clear LCD screen with wide viewing angles. A 1.7 GHz dual-core CPU — just a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 —  is paired with 1.5 GB of memory and the device runs Android 4.2.2. Samsung didn’t specify the internal storage capacity as that could vary by carrier. However, the Galaxy Mega does support up to 64 GB of expandable storage through a MicroSD card slot.

Galaxy Mega front

Samsung will also offer an S-View cover, similar to the Galaxy S 4’s, which shows a portion of the display for notifications, even when the cover is closed. The Galaxy Mega also has several Galaxy S 4 features, such as AirView and the option to run two apps at the same time on screen; a perfect use case for a larger device.

So if tablets are going to replace smartphones, the devices have to be as portable as their smaller cousins. But weighing 199 grams (7.01 ounces) and measuring 168 x 88 x 8mm (6.61 x 3.46 x 0.32 inches), the Mega will feel more like toting a tablet; not a smartphone. On the plus side, it has the potential to replace two devices by itself thanks to the big screen.

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