The JBL Link View was on my radar for a while. I know JBL will try to pack in sound along with the display. We reviewed the Link 20, which also works with Google Assistant, a few months ago and the Link View takes it a step further with the display.
Design and Build
The oval build of the Link View focuses on the audio as much as the display. But as expected the speakers don’t take a backseat to the display on the Link View. The oval-shaped smart display has an 8-inch touch screen with a 5-megapixel camera above it. On the top border, you have the camera cover slider with flat volume buttons right behind it. It’s all black, which is different from the other smart displays I have reviewed. It’s also the biggest of the smart displays.
Experience and Features
You don’t get much in the box of the Link View. Just the speaker, power cord and manual. As expected this is not my first rodeo with a smart display, so setup still remains quick and easy. Open the Google Home app, confirm the code on your phone and the speaker, let it update and done. What I really wanted to test was the sound and the microphone range on the Link View. I think even those who haven’t done the setup or are doing the setup for the first time, won’t have a hard time. The app walks you through it pretty well.
Features: As expected I use the Link View like usual with smart speakers and displays. It’s mostly for calendar and weather. These are the same features I listed in my other reviews. Lately, I am writing more and more things on my calendar so I am always checking back on it. Also, New York weather is extremely indecisive, so asking the smart display for weather updates about 3 times a day is the norm. f course, you can handle other things besides entertainment, you can view your calendar and events ahead of your day, by saying things like “Good Morning”. Evening routines can be activated too by saying “Good Night’. You can set the alarm for the next day, turn off lights, and even have the assistant play nature sounds for you to wake up to. You don’t have to do everything by voice. You can scroll through cards on the screen. You’ll see the weather followed by a calendar card, news card, music card, and more actions. If you swipe from the bottom up, you’ll have the options to adjust the brightness, volume, toggle Do Not Disturb, view/ set alarms, and see device information. If you swipe from the top down, you can view the other Google Devices in your home, or broadcast from one device to the other Google Home devices. After a few weeks of using it in my kitchen and cooking around it, I found it easy to wipe and clean, which is definitely a plus.
Sound: As expected, big speakers, big sound. The Link View can get very loud, so I’ve been using it to jam out more and more. JBL comes through with a rich loud sound. It works well for me in my small kitchen since I only had a small smart speaker there. JBL shines here as they are a speaker company first
You have choices on which smart display to get. The Link View is the most expensive out of them. If the sound is as important as the display, the Link View is for you. If you’re trying to keep it small and have a color option, you will enjoy the Home Hub display from Google. You’ll feel it in the price difference, as the Link View ranges from $199 to $249 and the Home Hub and Lenovo Smart Display range from $99 to $149 with sales.