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Samsung Galaxy Beam

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 Samsung Galaxy Beam Available now
26th February 2012

The Samsung Galaxy Beam is an Android smartphone that features a built-in digital projector, which allows users to "beam" a picture theoretically up to 50 inches (1.3 metres) wide.

It isn't the first handset of its type from Samsung, two years ago the I8520 was announced, confusingly also sold as the "Samsung Galaxy Beam". This was a similarly sized Android handset, but it made virtually zero impact in the market, and back in 2009 Samsung also presented the Windows-based i7410 which was then apparently cancelled.

Samsung say that the projector is rated at 15 lumens, and they claim that this is bright enough to be used outdoors. However, a bottom-of-the-range dedicated desktop video projector is capable of outputting 1500 lumens or more. Even so-called "pocket projectors" are capable of 30 lumens or more, so in our view the Galaxy Beam's projector isn't exactly going to turn your living room into a cinema.

So what exactly is the point of this phone? In our view.. there is no point at all in this technology. Even though it is technically very impressive, there is a fundamental problem in the design. If you are actually trying to demonstrate something using the  Samsung Galaxy Beam Galaxy Beam, then it is likely to be shaking and wobbling all over the place while you try to use it and project at the same time. You don't get this problem with a projector connected to a laptop, and you don't get this problem with a smartphone outputting to a digital TV via an HDMI cable, or any one of a number of other ways to get big screen output from a portable device.

The smartphone itself is pretty decently specified with a dual core 1GHz processor, an enormous 6GB of RAM with 8GB of on-board flash memory and a microSD slot. There's a 4" 480 x 800 pixel TFT display, and the Galaxy Beam has a modest 5 megapixel camera on the back and a 1.3 megapixel unit on the front for video calling.

 Samsung Galaxy Beam 3 All the usual Android features are here including 3.5G support, WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The Samsung Galaxy Beam runs Android 2.3 with some Samsung enhancements, but there is no mention of an upgrade path to Android 4.0 "Ice Cream Sandwich".

It's a bit thicker and heavier than the current crop of smartphones, at 124 x 64 x 12.5mm and 145 grams. Inside is a very large 2000 mAh battery to provide enough energy for both the power-hungry projector and operating system.

We don't know when the Galaxy Beam will be on sale, how much it will cost or which carriers will have it in their range. We suspect that the Galaxy Beam is not going to be a mainstream success though, because there are simply better ways of achieving the same thing.

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Samsung Galaxy Beam

Available:

2012

Network:

GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900

UMTS 850 / 900 / 1900 / 2100

Data:

GPRS + EDGE + UMTS (3G) + HSPA + WiFi

Screen:

4" 480 x 800 pixels

Camera:

5 megapixels (main)

1.3 megapixels (sub)

Size:

Medium/large tablet smartphone

124 x 64 x 13m / 145 grams

Bluetooth:

Yes

Memory card:

MicroSD (plus 8GB internal)

Infra-red:

No

Polyphonic:

Yes

Java:

Optional

GPS:

Yes

OS:

Android 2.3

Battery life:

Not specified (2000 mAh cell)

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