We’ve seen large tablets before, but nothing quite like this — Samsung is now selling their Galaxy View, an 18.4″ 1080p entertainment tablet with a built-in app interface that resembles what you’d see on a smart TV. The philosophy behind the design — that television watching is moving away from television and towards streaming platforms on mobile devices — makes sense, but the device itself is a little more questionable.
Thing is, the device really has to make sense at $600. You can get a larger 1080p television for much less, and could probably throw in a cheap tablet at checkout and still land under $600. A device as a big as the Galaxy View is mostly to be used an entertainment device unless it’s being paired with a keyboard and used as an all-in-one, but even then, it’s underpowered. Point is, it’s a tough sell on its own at that price. Thanks to AT&T, that price won’t be as intimidating.
AT&T is slashing the price of the Galaxy View down to $100, but you have to give them a little something first. To get the promotional price, you’ll need to sign a two-year contract to one of AT&T’s DirecTV subscriptions, which you’ll presumably watch on your new jumbo tablet. Existing customers haven’t been completely left out in the cold, though — DirecTV subscribers can activate a new smartphone line on an AT&T Next monthly payment plan to get the $100 price, too. If you are already a DirecTV subscriber and don’t need to add any lines to your AT&T plan, then yeah, you’ve been left out in the cold.
The tablet is made for in-home portability, using a built-in handle to make it easy to get a change of scenery (say, living room to bedroom) while on a Netflix binge. Aside from the 1080p display, specs include a 1.6 GHz octa-core processor, 2 GB of RAM, 32 GB or 64 GB of storage (with a Micro SD card slot good for up to 128 GB cards), and a 2.1 MP front camera. It’s not especially powerful when you consider the size of the device — trying to use it for anything other than streaming videos (like gaming) probably won’t be satisfying. Physically, besides the handle, the Galaxy View has a plastic construction and a built-in, fixed kickstand that extends out from the back of the device.
The main streaming app interface, which surfaces streaming services like Netflix, Crackle, and Hulu in addition to DirecTV, is the focal point, but one swipe will take you to a regular Android 5.1 Lollipop tablet with Samsung’s TouchWiz overlay.
The Galaxy View is LTE-capable, so it can be purchased from AT&T on one of their tablet plans. With an AT&T Tablet Installment Plan, it’s available for $0 down and $30 per month for 20 months, but it can also be purchased for $500 with a two-year contract. It’s also possible to add the Galaxy View to an existing plan for an additional $10 per month.