Samsung Galaxy Beam – Android with Video Projector
Samsung has unveiled the Galaxy Beam at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Unlike other recent Samsung smartphone releases this offering is pretty unique as it comes with a built in projector.
It’s not the first time Samsung has launched a phone with a projector, nor the first time it’s called it the Samsung Galaxy Beam. Yet this is a new and upgraded version than the two year old predecessor, plus it runs a much newer version of Android.
The Galaxy Beam runs a dual core 1GHz processor and has a 2000 mAh battery which means it should last a little longer than some other Android phones currently on sale. In terms of design it is sleek and curved. The projector is at the top of the phone so unlike some models with a curved camera interfering with how the device feels in your hand, this shouldn’t be a problem. The handset is 12.5mm deep and has a nifty yellow stripe down the side making it stand out from the rest of the Galaxy range. There is 768MB of RAM and there is 8MB of on-board memory which can be expanded with a micro SD card. There’s a 5 megapixel camera on the back and 1.3 megapixel camera on the front.
So far the Galaxy Beam does not really stand out as anything special, but of course what makes this phone a lot more interesting is the projector. The Galaxy Beam can display HD images on surfaces up to 50 inches in size. A wall, flat surface or even a ceiling, the projector is 15 lumens which is fairly bright so it can even be used outside and shouldn’t need a darkened room just to operate.
The projector can display 720p videos in HD, play music tracks or be used for gaming. It can also be used to share documents or web pages so there’s obviously an eye to the business market here as well. No longer will you need to try and transfer a presentation from your phone to a work computer after brushing it up on your morning train journey, you can just project it straight from your phone. In this way the Galaxy Beam operates a bit like an overhead projector. It can be controlled via an app which allows you to configure the orientation and direction of the projected image.
Projectors on mobile phones aren’t new, and even Samsung had a go a few years back, but the idea never really took off. Why Samsung has returned to it remains to be seen. Two years ago the Galaxy range was not as popular as it is now, so perhaps Samsung thinks renewed interest in its brand and range will make it easier to sell the feature. Screen, video and projection technology has no doubt moved on a bit as well so that now Samsung is in a position to offer a much more usable system than it could 2 years ago. Based on the battery life the projector should last around three hours, more than enough time for a presentation or to have as a handy addition to a meeting.
The smartphone market has changed over the last two years and the Galaxy Beam seems like a good enough mid-range smartphone to stand on its own two feet even without the projector. With it is a fun feature that users might be keen to try out and play with. It is expected that Samsung Galaxy Beam UK phone deals will arrive in July with a starting price of around £385.