Samsung has recently launched the Galaxy View that is touted as the "largest Android mobile device" with a giant display. Although it might be considered a tablet at first glance, it does not possess qualities of a tablet and appears to be a small smart TV.
Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs considered tablets as "cars" and often took PCs as "trucks". Samsung, however, did not think of a "car or truck" while making the Galaxy View. Instead, it appears that the company wants to give an all-new experience to existing TV viewers with the new device that features a massive 18.4in display.
The display panel has 1920x1080 pixels (full-HD) resolution that does not produce eye-popping pixel density. Also, there is no S Pen integration, unlike the Galaxy Note series tablets.
Samsung admits that the Galaxy View is primarily "designed with a video-centric" interface and thus, there is a dedicated home screen for videos. The home screen offers direct access to video streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, YouTube and Twitch. Apart from streaming services, the device has access to some news and infotainment sources such as CNN, CBS and Showtime Anytime. The South Korean giant has partnered with numerous sources to make the device more like a smart TV rather than a tablet.
Under the hood, the Galaxy View has a 1.6GHz octa-core processor with 2GB RAM and up to 64GB internal storage along with microSD card support. This hardware is sufficient to run Google's Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system and the company is claiming that the device delivers eight hours of video playback through its 5,700mAh battery. There are two 4-watt stereo speakers that are hidden under a two-way stand at the back.
The company has provided a USB port, headphone jack and a charging port, but there is no HDMI output. The lack of an HDMI port makes the Galaxy View closer to a dated TV, with no way to let users watch HD content directly via a set-top box. Likewise, you cannot use devices like Apple TV or Roku on Galaxy View.
To persuade buyers, the Galaxy View does have some proprietary features and social communication functionality such as video calling and Family Square. But the device just has a 2.1MP camera sensor which does not offer high-quality video calling experience. The last thing that Samsung has provided on the Galaxy View to make it a small smart TV, is the versatile two-way stand. This plays a major part in differentiating the Galaxy View from tablets available in the market.
Samsung will start selling the Galaxy View from November, which has been priced at $599 (£388). An LTE version will be launched in the US following the formal availability in the market.