It's been about a month or so since the Galaxy View was first announced and first released to the masses but I finally have my hands on a review unit, thanks to AT&T. So this is the 4G and Wi-Fi variant. And you'll notice some subtle differences in the software, which we'll take a look at here in a moment. But if you haven't heard of the Galaxy View, it's like the iPad Pro but bigger and it runs Android. In fact, I'd like to think of it more as a TV than an actual tablet. You take a look at the hardware and you'll see that Samsung wasn't exactly trying to keep this thing on a diet. It's relatively chunky.
On the right hand side of the device, we have a micro USB port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and AC charging port. The View doesn't charge from the USB port. It charges from an AC port which is a bit different. There's nothing on the left hand side. We do have a large speaker grille on the back underneath of the stand. So the Galaxy View features a stand that is non-removable and has two standing positions-- there's one upright position designed to sit on a counter or desk for watching TV, and another to lay it upright on a counter or desk to better navigate the device. That's it, those are the two positions. What's nice is that Samsung included a little handle that is certainly needed for such a large device. Even if the handle makes carrying it a little bit awkward. It's awkward because the weight isn't balanced.
Hidden beneath the stand when in the standing position is a tray that is actually home to a microSD and SIM card slot. There is a volume rocker and a power button on the upper left hand corner, which we can use to power up the display. The Galaxy View features an 18.4-inch 1080p TFT LCD touchscreen display that is absolutely ginormous. It is what really defines the device; not because of the quality but because of just the sheer size. I can't really think of another tablet with a display quite this big. The iPad Pro features about a 13-inch display but even that is small in comparison to the View. It is worth noting that the View's display is extra wide since it features a 16:9 aspect ratio. The display itself is fairly bright and it has solid viewing angles based off first impressions. It is very pixelated when viewing content up close that is to say. You can start to notice each individual pixel. For example, you look at an app folder on the home screen with apps in it and you'll see just how pixelated the app icons look. I think if you use this tablet more as a TV (you know, for watching movies, TV shoes, Netflix) in general, then the resolution should be just fine. But if you use it more as a tablet, you're going to start to have more problems. You're probably not going to like all the pixels.
I mentioned the software is Android. It's technically TouchWiz running on top of Android 5.1.1 Lollipop and it's being powered by a Samsung Exynos 7580 octa-core processor with 2GB of RAM. The View doesn't appear to be very snappy but it's pretty fast to load up YouTube videos and surf the web in a quick enough manner. There is some AT&T bloatware on my model since it is from AT&T. Since AT&T actually acquired DirecTV last year, we have a special DirecTV home screen to the left that allows you to watch TVs and movies with your DirecTV or AT&T account. So that's kind of cool if you happen to be a subscriber. There is a dedicated DirecTV button in the lower right hand corner of the display to easily access that menu. We also have one for Google Now and you can use Ok Google voice commands on any screen, which is always nice to have.
I will say the speakers are very, very loud even if they don't appear to be of very high quality. And while there is no back-facing camera sensor which is a tiny bit odd (not that it's necessary). It's just odd that we don't have one there. There is a front-facing 2.1MP camera sensor and it's garbage, as expected.
Over the course of the next couple of weeks or so, my goal is to figure this device out-- what is it really good for? Is it more of a tablet or more of a TV? Who should buy this thing? We can all really wait and see. I will say that it costs about $500 off-contract on Amazon or AT&T. I'll leave both the Amazon and AT&T links in the description if you want to check this guy out.