Samsung Galaxy Beam Hands-on

February 27, 2012
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Earlier we got a somewhat subdued look at the Samsung Galaxy Beam, it was from a respectable distance - Sammy wanted to make sure and display the smartphone-pico projector in the best possible light. (Zing.) But later in this first day of Mobile World Congress we were able to get our hands on the device itself, and its unique properties certainly deserve another look. Can you find a reason to want an Android phone that's also a projector, and kinda looks like a walkie-talkie? Read on, and decide for yourself.

The star of the show is recessed into the top of the phone: a 15-lumen projector and bulb that shoots a 640x480 image up to 50 inches diagonally. That's a big image and lot much resolution to make it with, but at more immediate sizes (20-30 inches) the disparity isn't quiet as noticeable. 15 lumens isn't ideal for a conference room presentation, but for quickly sharing photos or videos it should be enough for most indoor situations. The lamp is rated for 20,000 hours of use - so if you were to run it 24/7 for every day of the average two-year contract, it would still have a few months left in it.

The rest of the hardware is rather pedestrian, evoking the original Galaxy S. A 4.0-inch AMOLED screen has 800x480 resolution, strangely higher than the projector itself. The rear camera is 5MP while the phone makes due with a VGA front-facing cam. For cramming a projector and a 2,000mAh battery inside the case, it's a surprisingly slim at 12,55 millimeters - we'll leave you to judge the choice of rescue raft yellow for the body accents.

It's hard to think of a situation where having a tiny and relatively weak projector would be better than just passing the phone around, but it there could be a few. Some quick YouTube viewing at a party, displaying baby photos for those family member who are rich in years - it's at least as valid an approach as connecting to an HDMI dock. We'll see how the Galaxy Beam does when it enters the court of public opinion. Until then, check out the rest of our coverage of Mobile World Congress.


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  • http://twitter.com/Shadeoblac Shadeoblac

    It’s actually a great idea! Add a wii controller, an emulator and you have one really cool portable tv less gaming system!! 

    • http://www.facebook.com/richard.duerr Richard Duerr

      Except the phone hardware is a bit underpowered….

  • peteto1

    It would be GREAT for use with your Slingbox!!……….

  • peteto1

    It would be GREAT for use with your Slingbox!!……….

  • Oliver

    Great review on the Samsung Galaxy Beam and it hits the nail on the head with 1 question “It’s hard to think of a situation where having a tiny and relatively weak projector would be better than just passing the phone around” but the other key question is how much does this baby drain your battery.
    At the moment your far better off with something like the Pico Genie A100 accessory which also charges your phone as it has its own battery and also does not drain your phone battery. Its kind of a case +  projector + speakers + charger all in one.
    The other key problem here is that this doesnt appear to be DLP so the contrast is really low, if you were to compare the Pico Genie right next to this Beam you would get a much stronger image and so it gets around the problem of simply passing the phone around as you get a truer image on the Pico Genie.
    “Rescue Raft Yellow” – have to say it does have a strange appeal and if it wasnt for the fact that it was using S and not S2 software i could have been half tempted to buy one but no point in going backwards when ive already got an S2 and i prefer to use an iPod touch with the pico genie to take photos/videos and not drain my S2 battery.

    • Tristan Mills

      I have the original Galaxy Beam for 1.5 years (Model I8520 singapore release only). My Galaxy Beam has a DLP logo on the back, it has DLP. Projector is very usable. The darker it is, the bigger you can make the sceen. A projector in a phone is far from a gimmick. I use it quite often. Mainly for streaming media from my PC wirelessly over WiFi network and projecting onto bedroom wall / ceiling. It will totaly surprise you how usefull it can be in many different situations. Recently I have used it for as babysitter – projecting kids cartoons onto the hallway wall while all the other televisions in the house were being used. BBQ Party a few weekends back, I used my phone to project song lyrics (from internet browser) onto the wall while everyone was singing to a guitar player.

  • http://www.motoask.com/ motorola Atrix

    How big could you blow up the screen before it became ugly?

    • Tristan Mills

      I have the original Galaxy Beam for 1.5 years (Model I8520 singapore release only). The darker it is, the larger you can project. In a room with curtains drawn easily 40 – 50 inch. Complete darkness outside at night I can fill neighbouring wall on block of units!

  • meghu

     Samsung Galaxy Beam has launched projector phone and a newer version of Android.It is a handy addition for meeting.It has many features like runs a dual core 1GHz processor and has a 2000 mAh battery. For more details refer http://www.techiecop.com/cellphones/samsung-cellphones/samsung-galaxy-beam-android-with-video-projector.html

  • http://www.facebook.com/smaniel.L.jackson Daniel Smaniel

    i want to know if you can project whatever is on the screen or wether its just saved media… like could I use it to project my netflix app while im in bed or would i have to download something to play through an app

    • Tristan Mills

      I have the original Galaxy Beam for 1.5 years (Model I8520 singapore release only) and the projector will project anything that is on the screen. I stream media from my home PC over WiFi network and I can stream youtube vids.My original Galaxy Beam is stuck on android 2.1, so no flash, so I cant test netflix. But I can project ANYTHING that is on the screen. Its great! 

      • divya

        u r so prompt with answer. keep up the good work.