- Large screen
- Good battery life
- Built in kickstand
- MicroSD support
- Loud stereo speakers
- Heavy and bulky
- Low res screen 1080P 120PPI at 18.4″
- Separate charging cable required
- Can only be used in portrait mode
- No gyroscope
The Samsung Galaxy View which is a monster of a tablet at 18.4 inches. However unlike most Samsung products this screen is TFT LCD. Not the gorgeous AMOLED they usually opt for, and it’s only 1080P instead of quad HD. The resolution is completely understandable though, because you’d need a massive battery if they used a quad HD panel. Making it even heavier than it already is at a little under 6lbs.
The power button and volume rocker are on the top, along with a microphone. On the back there is a microSD card slot which supports up to 128GB cards, and SIM slot which supports LTE. While on the right side are all the ports. Including a headphone jack, micro USB port, and a charging port. That’s right it has a separate charging port for the 5700mAh battery. What about that micro USB port you say? That’s just there for data transfers and USB on the go. Why doesn’t the micro USB port work for charging? I have no idea, but it is really inconvenient making you carry around a special cable just for charging, and not being able to use power banks. As far as I can tell it also doesn’t support quick charging, because it took a little over 4 hours to fully charge it.
There isn’t too much special about the all plastic design of the Galaxy View outside of the size. Except for the built in stand on the back. Which pivots and has two set positions for lying down or standing up, and includes a handle. While there is a handle which makes it convenient to carry, it’s not in the right position to set it down standing up. You have to pivot while you’re trying to set it down. Which just seems like bad design to me. The stand also cannot be removed, meaning it makes this large tablet even more bulky and thick. Plus it cannot be setup in portrait only in landscape.
Speaking of carrying it, this is a heavy tablet at 5.8lbs to be exact, which is expected when it’s this large. Meaning it’s not all that portable. Usually one of the best things about a tablet is it’s portability. They are light and come in sizes which are easy to carry around and hold. Whether you’re at a coffee shop, in bed, or on the couch. Not so with the Galaxy View. This thing is so big that it’s hard to find a place to sit down, and so heavy and thick you don’t want to try holding it. Although it fits in your lap, it does feel a little awkward to use. I’ve compared it to a Samsung 10.1 inch tablet below, for a sense of scale.
Watching videos on it can be pretty enjoyable, and the screen looks best at 3 ft. or more back. Otherwise you will notice the screen being a little blurry compared to high res screens we are use to today. The stereo speakers are located on the back near the pivot point, and have good volume. I’d say one of the best uses for this tablet is as a portable TV. It would also make a nice kitchen computer. For watching cooking videos on Youtube, looking up recipes and doing other kitchen computing. Outside of that I don’t see much use for this monstrosity of a tablet. It might be suitable for doing some office work, but unless it’s for slideshows. I’d say you’re better off using a laptop. Besides the office software offerings on Android can be a little lacking, and you might prefer a larger screen for presentations.
The Galaxy View is running Android 5.1.1 Lollipop with Samsung’s Touchwiz skin on top. It also includes extras like multiwindow and split screen. Multiwindow let’s you cascade apps, but I found the split view to be much more useful. As it will allow you to see both apps at the same time. The only problem is these features don’t work with every app. Meaning the apps you most want to use it with, might just not work.
The Galaxy View uses Samsung’s own in house CPU the Exynos 7 Octacore 7580, along with 2GB of ram. Performance is pretty decent, although it’s certainly not fantastic or what I would call fast. You would think gaming would be great on such a large screen. The problem with gaming is, sitting within arms reach of a 1080p screen makes the graphics a little blurry. On top of that it cannot be rotated into portrait, and forces all portrait games to be played in landscape. So you end up with a much smaller playing area and a lot of wasted screen.
What if you only wanna play games in landscape? Well the problem there is, usually the controls for games are designed for something you are holding or that’s in your lap. Meaning it might not be the most efficient way to play. Since holding a near 6lb tablet with a permanently attached stand, isn’t all that comfortable. Sitting in your lap can also be troublesome as it kept trying to slide out of mine. Not to mention arm fatigue from reaching out to use the screen when it’s standing up. Plus tilting it is out of the question, because there is no gyroscope. As I learned when I failed to get a car to turn in Asphalt. One redeeming quality though, is you can at least use USB OTG to connect a controller. Which works great as long as the game supports that.
While it has great battery life, giving me almost 7 hours screen on time. I feel Samsung would have been better off using a higher resolution screen, and marketing this as a stationary Android computer. They already made it too bulky to carry around easily, attached a non removable stand, and require you to use a separate power cable. Why not go all in and just up the screen resolution, and make something different. Instead of trying to give good battery life to something you probably won’t want to even carry around.
In the end I’m not sure what Samsung was really thinking when they made the Galaxy View. I don’t think it quite works as an office presentation tool, it doesn’t really excel as a tablet, and gaming is a bit hit or miss. It’s as if Samsung ran out of ideas for innovating with tablets, and said let’s just make it bigger. This is really more of a stationary touchscreen computer which happens to run Android, than a tablet. The only areas I think the Galaxy View would be truly useful is as a portable/stationary TV or kitchen computer.