Review JBL Link View – Smart Display with Google Assistant

Stephen Watson
March 26, 2019

Here at What Mobile we have been given the chance to review the JBL Link View which has a Smart Display using Google Assistant and is a big step up from the Link 10 we have reviewed recently also by JBL. This is the first smart display product I have had a chance to review so let’s see what this can do.

On first impressions, I like it the JBL Link View has the following features:

  • Stereo Speakers
  • 8 inch Screen
  • 5-megapixel camera mainly used for video calls
  • Splash proofing.

Using this device is really easy whether you swipe or use a voice command this does everything you want from playing your favourite music to giving you a guide for cooking or even watching the latest WWE update this does it all. Want more it only costs £179 which is a bargain!

Design wise the Link View looks nice and stylish and I would not have an issue having this in my kitchen. It looks great, it has a flat front with fabric speakers either side of the speaker and the JBL logo in the centre. It comes in one colour and that is black.

On the back, you can see JBL have considered the sound factor and this does not disappoint. It’s no JBL Charge4 in terms of sound quality but it does not need to be that powerful.  You will see a JBL Logo on the rear-facing diaphragm under that you have the mains power connector and Micro USB port below it. At the top of the back, you will also see the volume control, microphone mute slider and slider to turn on or off the camera.

The Link View is not very heavy at only 1.3kg but this is not a device you will be using on the move so did not concern me about the weight. The Screen is also nice compared to its rivals on the market.  The 8 inch LCD screen has a resolution of 1280 x 800 which is bigger than the Google Home Hub that comes in at 7 inches. The Link View also comes with adaptive brightness that changes brightness when the ambient light in the room changes making having this in the bedroom a winner as you won’t be kept awake with a bright light at bedtime. What I love about this product is the fact that with a little help from Google when not in use it turns into a live picture slideshow of recent events such as holidays or other key events. If you don’t want this you can change it to display just a clock or a range of artist images and can all be customized via the Google Home app.

Using the Google assistant is great fun and I would even say prefer it to Alexa as it seems to give more detailed answers. It also remembers previous searches making feel a bit more conversational. I found the microphone very good as I have a large living room and it picked up command from the other side of the room which is great for any smart speaker.

So features wise Google give the Link View 2 very good ones with the Google wellness feature and the Down Time feature. The Digital Wellbeing feature helps parents put controls on the Link View to prevent offensive themes being shown to your kids.  The Down Time feature allows you to set up a timescale for when the kids can use the Link view for music or videos.

The negatives of the Link View are things such as connecting Hive to the Link View once connected via your phone you can seem to access it via the Link view and only via your phone seems a little pointless if you ask me. I also found accessing some of the settings such as wifi networks problematic meaning I had to change the settings on my phone. I also found casting a video from my phone to my Link View to also be hard to do and once I did it was poor quality. Finally, my last issue with this device is the lack of EQ control JBL has done a good job to set the levels but I want the chance to change these myself.  

Overall, JBL has done a great Job in putting a smart speaker together that also comes with 8 inch LCD screen and also gives you a fantastic sound. The Link View allows you to give commands via voice or simply touch the speaker which give your use of a smart speaker a different dimension.

The Link View also has a 5-megapixel camera that is great for video calls but you do have the issue it locks in landscape version which can be a bit of an issue for those with a smartphone. There is also a privacy mode if you keep this in the bedroom and want to disable the camera and mic this can be accessed via the slider at the top of the device.

As mentioned this product is not perfect with the lack of EQ controls and other settings such as wifi management is an issue in my eyes. That said JBL has set the EQ very nicely so no real need to make any changes as they have made this the go-to item for anyone making who considers the sound more important factor over the smart features this is the product for you.

Price wise its £179 and for everything you get it’s well worth the money I just hope Google comes up with some smart speaker updates to iron out the issues then this will be an unstoppable bit of kit. This device turns me into a half decent cook so it’s got a thumbs up from me and that is no easy task.

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