Samsung has made a lot of insane products over the years, but rumors started swirling about an 18″ Android tablet, I still couldn’t believe it. Yet a few months later, here I am sitting 5 feet away from a tablet bigger than my laptop. So is the Samsung Galaxy View a tablet you should even consider buying? Let’s take a look.
- 18.4″ Full HD IPS Display – 1920×1080
- Exynos 7580 Processor
- 64GB Storage (expandable via microSD)
- 2GB RAM
- 5,700 mAh Battery
- Android 5.1.1 Lollipop
- 4G LTE On AT&T
Let’s just get it out of the way. The Galaxy View is absolutely enormous. On paper you might think, “Oh well it doesn’t seem that big”. Stop thinking like that. This thing is probably half the size of your coffee table. That said, the View isn’t an ugly device. It’s functional design includes a textured back with a built-in kickstand and the front of the device doesn’t look half bad either. Samsung made a lot of smart decisions with the hardware on this tablet. The front doesn’t house a home button as it would be ridiculous if it did include one. The bezels are relatively slim as well making content more immersive.
The rear of the device isn’t like your typical tablet. Rather than being flat, there’s a curved portion which connects to the textured kickstand. The kickstand can be positioned to either hold the tablet up for watching content or to type of have the device on your lap. One major gripe I have is that the stand isn’t adjustable, it only has two positions.
At a hefty 6 pounds in weight, the View is not portable by any means, well at all. You’re not going to carry this around at school or work (although someone please make a video about using this for a day in high school). That said, you are going to have to move this throughout the home from time to time and to make that easier, Samsung has included a carrying handle.
From the size alone, it’s clear Samsung wanted the Galaxy View to be a tablet for media and media alone. However the most important part, the display, actually lacks a little bit. The 1920×1080 resolution is great on most other screens, but at this size it feels like a much lower resolution display. Samsung really should have included a 2560×1440 or even higher resolution on this display. From far away, this display looks fine, but get close enough to actually use it and it stops looking so good.
When it comes to the software on board, Samsung has included what is essentially the same version of Android they include on their other tablets, just with a few small additions for a better media experience.
Swipe to the left on the touchscreen and you’ll find one of two things, the “Media Hub” or DirecTV. On the WiFi variant you’ll get a customizable selection of apps like YouTube, Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, and much more. On the AT&T variant I was using however, you’ll get access to DirecTV. That means you’ll be able to access plenty of movies and TV shows and live stream DirecTV to the Galaxy View. You can even access your DVR list! Thank to AT&T’s 4G LTE, you’ll be able to access all that content anywhere you’d like.
Embedded inside the Samsung Galaxy View is a 5,700 mAh battery. On paper, that doesn’t seem like much for a tablet of this size. However, it lasts a long time! It can easily last days on standby without dropping much power at all and even when you are actively using it, power doesn’t go to quickly. It’s unlikely you’ll kill this tablet in a day, even two!
One thing I didn’t like however is the way it charges. Rather than using microUSB or even the new USB C standard, this tablet uses a proprietary adapter. While I understand that it provides far more power than the other standards would, it just means you’re going to have one more charging brick sitting around.
One of the biggest problems I have with the Galaxy View is the speakers. In 2016, I find it unacceptable for any tablet to have rear/bottom firing speakers, but with one that is literally designed for consuming media, it’s even worse. Regardless, the View has two rear-firing 4W speakers. While yes they are loud, they don’t sound great. The audio they produce isn’t rich at all and they are overall just very poor speakers, something I’m sad to see in a media-centric tablet.
So at the end of the day, is the Samsung Galaxy View a tablet you should buy? That is honestly something I can’t give a yes or no answer to. The View is a product that will only appeal to a specific customer. It’s not for everyone. If you don’t use a television at home or need something for the kids so they can watch content and maybe play the occasional game, the Galaxy View is not a bad choice. However the massive size makes it something that doesn’t really fit into the average household.
At $549, the Samsung Galaxy View isn’t overpriced by any means. In fact, you can get the 4G LTE variant for only $499 with a two-year agreement at AT&T, which is an even better deal. If the Galaxy View fits into your life, then it’s certainly a device worth looking into, but for the majority of users, it’s not really practical.
– The Samsung Galaxy View was provided for review by AT&T