Earlier, I had the opportunity to check out the brand new Samsung Galaxy View – a truly massive tablet with one intended purpose: portable, big screen media. The event took place at the Air Canada Centre while the Toronto Raptors took on the New York Knicks (and unfortunately lost). Ken Price, VP of Carrier Sales + Marketing at Samsung gave me a brief demo of the device and then let me experience the View on my own.
I’ve written this before attending the event as I want my opinions to be truly un-phased by actually experiencing the device. My first thoughts are ‘is this really something we need?’ Now, the problem with that sentiment is that it’s nearly the same opinion I had on the Phablets when they first came out – but now that I’m rocking a 5.5″ device, I don’t know how I ever lived without. The Samsung Galaxy View feels like it’s a ‘stay at home’ device, as I think it’s just too large to be portable outside of the home. I’m also curious how the stand works on it, and how heavy it is. With an 18.4″ screen, I wonder what the battery life is like too.
This is a very big, bright and detailed screen. It feels familiar to use – mostly because I’ve been using a Samsung Tablet for over a year, and the experience is nearly identical. There’s some addition considerations that have gone into this device. First off, they recognize that this is a potential new market, and one that requires it’s own configuration: On the front display, they offer a media button that immediately brings you into a media viewing experience. They are launching this with Bell, so naturally it jumps into Bell’s Fibe streaming service. It also has the ability to customize the 16 heads up apps with a variety of streaming services but for launch, it’s Bell.
The device has a stand that pivots for two main positions – standing vertical, it sits back at I’d say a 15-degree from totally straight. That pivoting stand is curved so when you switch positions to it sitting in your lap, it curves to the natural curvature of your legs, allowing it to sit comfortably on your lap. It could also sit nicely on a table in that position. It’s a unique feature, and confirms to me that this is a ‘stay at home’ device. The back of the device bubbles out to caress and support the stand, but also to house a 5700 mAh battery. It also has a handle for easy carrying, but at nearly 6lbs, you’re not really going to want to carry it too far.
Initial impressions are decent, and at just $700 – it’s a better price than I paid for my current Samsung smartphone, so I can certainly see people buying one. That’s especially true for people who may be wanting more ‘normal’ sized tablet, but want more visual bang for their buck. It does feel very Star Trek-y. You can check out more on the Galaxy View on their website.