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Samsung Galaxy View announced, we go hands on
Tablet displays are getting ever increasing in size and with the new Samsung Galaxy View, Samsung is aiming to take the biggest leap yet. Featuring an 18.4-inch display, the GalaxyView is the largest ever Android device made but did Samsung really need to push the boundaries?
At an exclusive preview at Samsung’s London Gear S2 Galaxy Studio, we checked out this larger-than-life tablet, which Samsung says is the perfect device to bridge the supposed gap between tablet and television.
The Korean OEM believes that the Galaxy View’s 18.4-inch display can successfully do this and is billing its tablet as your ‘portable’ media device. The suggestion that the Galaxy View is portable is only partly true as it is designed to be easy-to-carry but given its large size, it certainly isn’t portable in the sense that you’d carry it on public transport. That being said, Samsung has designed a carry case for it, in case you feel inclined to do so.
The display offers 1920 x 1080 pixels’ resolution and on paper, this equates to a measly 119 pixels per inch density. Despite this low density, the Galaxy View display is quite immersive and definitely better in person than the specs suggest. One thing that is certain however, is that the display is large and when Samsung says it’s the largest Android tablet ever (which isn’t technically correct), they certainly mean it.
Running on Android Lollipop, the Galaxy View comes with the standard Android interface coupled with a few new features designed for the large display. By far, the most interesting of these is the new visual video-centric UI, which brings content from third party service providers directly to your fingertips. There are a few preloaded providers with several more available to download and there really does seem to be something for everyone. Whether it’s watching the latest videos uploaded to YouTube or catching originally programming from Netflix, there’s a lot of video available at your fingertips.
The design of the Galaxy View is such that the integrated stand features two modes; one lets you prop the display up while the other puts the display at a comfortable angle. While this is useful, a particular downside is that the stand is fixed at either of the positions and can’t be stowed away when not needed. In particular, the design definitely doesn’t lend itself to stowing away the tablet when you’re not using it.
Under the hood, the Galaxy View has an interesting set of specs: Samsung has thrown in a 1.86GHz octa-core Exynos 7580 CPU, 2GB RAM, 32GB storage and microSD card expansion and optional LTE connectivity. One of the biggest concerns about such a large device is the battery life and Samsung says the battery will offer up to 8.5 hours’ video playback but as always, it’ll need further testing to find out how much battery it actually offers.
Samsung clearly believes that there’s a need for a large screen device between tablets and TVs and while 18.4-inches may seem unnecessarily large, it’s the ideal size for someone who needs a media device that can be carried but isn’t a small tablet display. There’s no doubt that the Galaxy View is a niche product but dependent on pricing – which hasn’t been revealed yet – it could yet make its way onto several Christmas shopping lists.
If you don’t have a TV or other large-screen media device, the Galaxy View may be perfect for you but even if you don’t have a need for one, the specs would suggest that this won’t be too expensive at launch. If Samsung prices it at around $200-$250, the Galaxy View would a great device to have in your home, for when you need a large device that can be otherwise stowed away. However, the company is yet to confirm actual pricing but we’ll update this with further information when we know.
After many leaks, the Galaxy View is finally official but do you think there’s a need for such a large tablet? In a similar way to the Galaxy Note, will we see the Galaxy View spawn an entirely new category that companies compete fiercely in? Do you plan to buy the Galaxy View? Let us know your views in the comments below guys!