Samsung Galaxy View Review: A Big Tablet With Big Problems

Samsung's humongous tablet is best used as an alternative to small TVs, but even then it's a dubious purchase. Here is a hands-on review of the device.

The Galaxy View is an oversized tablet intended to serve as a central hub for media, entertainment, and information. The awkward hardware, mediocre screen, and questionable performance, however, cloud the Galaxy View's outlook.

Samsung claims the Galaxy View is optimized for watching video. Where most tablets have shifted to screens with 4:3 or similar aspect ratios, the Galaxy View opts for the movie- and TV-friendly 16:9 aspect ratio. The makes for an extra-wide tablet that can really only be used in one orientation. The resolution is capped at 1080p. It works with most of today's HD content, but feels a bit anemic when viewed up-close.

The built-in kickstand allows it to rest at two different angles: mostly upright, or mostly flat. The kickstand doubles as a carrying handle to make the Galaxy View easier to transport around your office or home. It sits on flat surfaces, like your conference room table or kitchen counter, quite well. The View runs on batteries, so you can move it most anywhere. However, it is not intended for surfing the Web when sitting on the couch. The goofy kickstand and huge size more or less prevent you from holding it comfortably. This thing is strictly meant to stand on its own.

[See iPad Pro Review: Bigger Isn't Always Better.]

Samsung's TouchWiz user interface rests atop the Android 5.1 Lollipop operating system. Anyone familiar with Samsung's smartphones will feel right at home using the Galaxy View. Samsung customized the View's homescreen and included a dedicated panel for third-party video services such as CNN, Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube. The View is crammed full of bloatware from Samsung and AT&T.

The tablet relies on the Samsung Exynos 7580 1.6-GHz octa-core 64-bit processor. The chip is accompanied by just 2GB of RAM, and the tablet comes in 32-GB and 64-GB variants. The tablet supports microSD memory cards, so you can sideload photos, videos, or music if you wish. Connectivity runs the norm thanks to WiFi, Bluetooth, and optional LTE. Keeping the Galaxy Tab connected is a breeze and it paired well with various networks and accessories. It is sometimes buggy and sometimes slow.

The View goes for $600, but is available now for the discounted price of $500. It's not clear how long the lower price will be in effect.

In the following pages we review the Galaxy View and attempt to answer the burning question, "Is this the oversized tablet for me?"

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