Samsung Galaxy Beam review

Samsung Galaxy Beam review

T3 3
  • The Samsung Galaxy Beam is an Android handset that features its very own built-in projector and a distinctive bright yellow shell.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam review

    Love

    • Cool projection effect
    • Cute design
    • Decent performance

    Hate

    • Projector needs dark setting
    • Chunkier than rivals
    • Screen is average

    Ever thought, “The thing this lovely smartphone could really use is a projector”? No, okay, but this is a cute phone with a surprisingly fun extra.

    The Samsung Galaxy Beam is certainly different from everything else around it: none of the other handsets in our Best Smartphones list have their own projector. Look at the front and it’s a decently styled Android phone with a bright, colourful screen and fetching yellow coloured edge band.

    But take a gander from the top edge and you’ll see a small housing for a projector. Press the dedicated shoulder button and a bright, bright light is blinding you (and don’t forget to turn it off after you’ve done).

    Sure, the projection feature is just a gimmick, and compared to a dedicated projector, it’s very weak. But the software Samsung’s included means it’s very easy to use. It shows whatever’s on the screen, so if you’re playing a movie you’ve just downloaded from Google Play, that’s what’s on the wall. It’s clever: place the phone flat and it knows which way up to show the image.

    You need a darkened room for this, and to place the phone exactly perpendicular to the wall to get a square-edged image. And you’ll be glad that Samsung thoughtfully included an extra battery – a bright light is a sure-fire way to burn through your energy. It even comes with a stand that doubles as a battery recharger.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Build

    Given the extra bulk and weight required by the built-in projector, this phone isn’t especially heavy or thick – though there are certainly slimmer and lighter handsets around.

    The mottled-finish back and glossy front don’t look high-end, but this is a decently constructed, fun handset. It feels reasonably rugged – though dropping something as delicate as a projector on a regular basis ain’t a good idea – and it fits the hand well.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Features

    Of course, there’s that projector. But beyond that, this is a highly usable smartphone, with all the joys of Android’s software. Note, though, that the phone comes with Gingerbread, not Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean. In other words, it’s far from the latest OS software.

    An Ice Cream Sandwich updage has been promised, though there’s no date for this. For now, it’s still a capable version of Android, with Samsung’s usual extra apps, like Music Hub for buying songs. Of course it has a camera.

    Using it requires a slightly different hand orientation than normal because the lens is positioned further down the back of the phone, to allow for the projector unit up top. It’s a 5MP model with flash, but decent rather than outstanding.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Screen

    Samsung is known for super-bright, richly detailed displays, but this 4in one lacks the Super AMOLED tech the company’s known for on its standout phones like the Samsung Galaxy S3.

    This one is sharp and attractive, but no match for really super-high resolution displays like the iPhone 4S. Still, it’s more than passable, though the ambient light sensor can make it look dim while it adjusts to light in the room.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Performance

    Although it doesn’t have the latest software or the fastest processor, the performance on the Galaxy Beam is good: its dual-core chip is fast enough and rarely drags, even when the projector software is working overtime to shine the screen’s contents on the wall. You’ll find faster, more powerful smarties for your money, and certainly slimmer ones, but this is more than adequate.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Battery

    This is two phones in one: a gimmicky projector phone that’s a fun way of playing YouTube videos on a bedroom wall in a dark room. And a regular smartphone with a slightly bulky top to it. If you use the projector sparingly, this phone has decent battery life. And if you want to watch Lord of the Rings on your wall, expect to swap the battery out.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Verdict

    The Samsung Galaxy Beam is a gimmicky but decidedly cool phone. It works well as a decent but not ground-breaking smartphone, and its magic trick, showing the screen’s content on a wall is fun and pleasing.

    But, please note before showing off down the pub, you need a darkened room for a good projection effect and the displayed image is not high resolution. Beyond that, this is a decent, competent phone with good battery life when you’re not shining stuff on walls.

    A fun phone with a unique feature. Do you need a projector in your phone? Of course not, but it’s kinda cool.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam availability: Available now

    Samsung Galaxy Beam price: £400

  • Samsung's Galaxy Beam is the South Korean firm's latest Android-toting handset, running on Gingerbread and featuring a built-in projector

    Samsung Galaxy Beam review

    Love

    • Cool projection effect
    • Cute design
    • Decent performance

    Hate

    • Projector needs dark setting
    • Chunkier than rivals
    • Screen is average

    Update:Samsung's Galaxy Beam has finally landed in the UK. The device, which is available to buy now, including from the Carphone Warehouse, is yet to be assigned a SIM-free price-point, however, it's being offered for free on a number of tarriffs. We'll soon be posting a full review of the handset - until then, read below for our first impressions.

    Remember Samsung’s world’s first projector phone from 2010? Well, it’s making a return in the form of the Samsung Galaxy Beam.

    This time, it comes running on Android 2.3 Gingerbread and beaming your videos, pics and digital content up to 50-inches in size courtesy of a built-in ultra-bright 15 lumens projector.

    Launched at MWC 2012, alongside the Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 tablet, the Galaxy Beam was one of the more unusual products at the show. We went hands-on...

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Build

    As you'd expect from a phone that houses its own projector, the Samsung Galaxy Beam is a little on the chunky side, with a 12.5mm profile (compared to the slimline 8.49 of the Samsung Galaxy S2), while it weighs in at 145.3g.

    The bright yellow finish is certainly distinctive and actually quite attractive although it does rather remind us of the Wasp T12 Speechtool from Nathan Barley.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Features

    Not only does it look very slightly similar to Barley's preposterous Wasp T12, the Galaxy Beam also has a built-in projector in common with Barley's phone.

    However, while Barley used his to project rude words onto people's foreheads in restaurants, the idea with the Beam is to, er, beam video (or websites) onto the wall.

    The phone supports MPEG4, H.264, WMV, Xvid and DivX files, so you're fairly well covered when it comes to video.

    The tiny built-in bulb, which beams out of the top end of the handset offers 15 lumens of brightness. Images can be projected up to 50in, although naturally the quality isn't comparable to the picture you'd get from a home cinema projector on the same size area.

    The focus can be adjusted by using the phone's volume control, located on the edge of the handset. The projector function worked well in our demo, although it really needs a dark room to get the best effect.

    The phone also features a 5-megapixel rear-mounted camera with integrated flash on board, complete with video recording capabilities, along with a 1.3-megapixel snapper on the front.

    Although we didn't really try out the cameras as we were more concerned with the projector capabilities. We'll take a closer look in our full review.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Screen

    The Galaxy Beam sports a fairly average 4-inch TFT LCD screen with a WVGA resolution of 800x480 pixels. The picture was clear enough, but not really in the same league as top-tier smartphones like the Apple iPhone 4S.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Performance

    There's no sign of Ice Cream Sandwich here as the Samsung Galaxy Beam runs Android 2.3 Gingerbread on a relatively standard 1GHz dual-core processor.

    We didn't experience any lag or problems with the UI but that's something we'll be looking at more closely in our full review. The phone also offers 8GB of internal storage, which is expandable to 32GB via microSD card.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Battery

     

    The onboard 2000mAh battery is said to offer three hours of projecting time, but that's something we'll be testing out in our full review.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam: Verdict

    The Samsung Galaxy Beam may be a little quirky, but it's colourful design and projector skills certainly made it stand out from the crowd at MWC.

    Many will struggle to find a scenario where they'd need to project a video onto a wall using their phone, but it's a interesting idea and we look forward to testing it in more detail.

    Samsung Galaxy Beam availability: Out now

    Samsung Galaxy Beam price: Contract (various), SIM-free (TBC)

     

    Hands-on review by Libby Plummer

    • Samsung Galaxy Beam First Look video
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_SamsungGalaxyBeam_lead2_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_SamsungGalaxyBeam_13_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_SamsungGalaxyBeam_10_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_SamsungGalaxyBeam_11_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_SamsungGalaxyBeam_12_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_samsung-galaxy-beam-624-1.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_SamsungGalaxyBeam_14_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_lead_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_1_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_2_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_4_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_3_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_5_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_6_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_7_624.jpg
    • http://media.t3.com/img/resized/sa/xs_Samsung_galaxy_beam_8_624.jpg
  • Samsung Galaxy Beam

    Best deals

Comments

Be the first to comment…

Back to top
Close
T3 Newsletter
Sign up to recieve the T3 newsletters by entering your details below

Your Details

As you're registering with us. we'd like to think that you'd enjoy receiving the following emails; if you'd rather not receive them, please untick the boxes:

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and it's group companies containing news, special offers and product information
I agree to the terms of use and privacy policy and confirm that I am over 16 years of age *
Close
Log in or Join

By clicking below you agree to our terms and conditions and our privacy policy

Log in to T3.com with your preferred social network

Log in with your T3.com account

CloseJoinPlease complete these additional details

Join T3.com with your preferred social network

OR

Join T3.com

Please tick this box to confirm you are 16 years old or over

Just so we know you're human

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Close Edit your profile

Change your password

Newsletters

I would like to receive T3 email newsletters, packed full of the latest tech news, competitions and exclusive offers.

I would like to receive other emails from T3, Future Publishing Limited and its group companies containing news, special offers and product information.

I would like to receive offers from carefully selected third Parties. We will not share your data with the third party.

Social networks

You have authorised these social networks to interact with your T3.com account.

Please ensure you deactivate or revoke access to this website from within your social networks settings to ensure all permissions are removed.

Close Forgotten your password

Forgotten your password?

Please enter the email address that you used to sign up and we'll send you a new password

Close
Forgotten password
Don't have a T3 Account? Join now