MWC 2012 – Samsung Galaxy Beam hands on review

We flip the lightswitch to shed some light on Samsung’s projector phone, the Galaxy Beam. Allow us to illuminate you

Samsung Galaxy Beam – overview

This is Samsung’s just-announced Galaxy Beam, an Android smartphone with a twist. Sammy’s fitted its new blower with a 15 lumens projector, allowing you to share your phone’s screen, or media files, with anyone who cares to look at the wall you’re pointing it at. But is it a flash in the pan or the light at the end of the tunnel? Read on to find out…

Samsung Galaxy Beam – build and design

The Galaxy Beam isn’t dainty – next to the likes of Samsung’s Galaxy S II, it’s positively plump – but it’s got a distinct identity with a fat yellow rail around its edge and a bump that houses its light-emitting kit.

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It’s solid, though, and you won’t feel protective of the projector lens. The textured back is also home to a neatly-centred 5MP camera.

More after the break...

Samsung Galaxy Beam – projector

In the world of projectors, 15 lumens isn’t much to brag about, but the Galaxy Beam’s shining light is bright enough to make a screen up to 50in big, and is just about readable in a flourescent room from four feet away. It’s better used at close quarter to the reflecting surface, or in a dark, dark room.

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Our prototype had trouble focussing, but eventually – we’re told – this will be done via the volume rocker. We just hope it won’t adjust the volume at the same time.

The Samsung Galaxy Beam has a dedicated projector button to activate or shut off the feature, instantly displaying (or ceasing to display) either your current screen or PowerPoint, picture or movie files via the Projector app.

We can see this being a hit with kids, but we’re not convinced it’ll wash when you make a presentation for your next job interview. Unless you want to work at Stuff, of course. We’d be pleased as gadget lovers watching a smartphone projector.

Samsung Galaxy Beam – the phone

The Galaxy Beam isn’t quad-core, doesn’t run Ice Cream Sandwich and isn’t HD. That said, Samsung’s projector phone runs Android 2.3 (Gingerbread) fluently on its 1GHz dual-core processor and unless you’re an OS obsessive, there’s little reason for you to care that its specced below Samsung’s headline devices. After all, you’ve got a projector on your phone. How cool is that?

 

Samsung Galaxy Beam – first impressions

There’s an argument to suggest the Samsung Galaxy Beam is just a gimmick. At a scrape, we can find arguments to suggest it might be a genuinely useful tool (watching 50in movies in a darkened hotel room, say), but really we agree: it is a gimmick, albeit one we find almost irresistable. We had a lot of fun in our short test. We look forward to having even more fun with Samsung’s, ahem, bright idea when we get it in for a full review.

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