Samsung BEAT DJ Preview

Introduction and Design
A few words:

The first time we came across the Samsung BEAT DJ, we were like “Dude, this looks weird!” Later, when we got the chance to take a closer look at it, we actually quite liked the little musician. First of all, we would like to point out that Samsung has clearly decided to build upon and jazz up its existing music-oriented devices, which used to be less sophisticated than the one we’re holding right now. What the BEAT DJ adds to the line is a really nice touch-sensitive screen, unique appearance and a brand new DJ feature that would definitely keep the more creative music buffs entertained, while waiting for their turn at the dentist, for an instance… not that we wish such a dismal fate on anyone… however.


Okay, let´s get right to the brass tacks - it looks great and you cannot deny it. That is, of course, if that fresh and youthful appearance is your kind of thing. We needed just a few seconds to get used to it (because we are young and attractive, you know). It is really hard to describe it, so take a look at the images, they speak for themselves. Its front side has got a metal-like frame that proudly says: “Audio by Bang & Olufsen ICEpower”. The screen is where the BEAT DJ improves the most over previous devices of the series. It is touch-sensitive, measuring at 2.8 inches, which perfectly fits the overall style. The good news here is that Samsung has incorporated the AMOLED technology, which delivers incredible image quality no matter what angle you view it from, also thanks to the 16 million color support. Back at the MWC, the BEAT DJ left us rather cold, but now that we’ve got the chance to play with it for a greater while, we give you our word that the saturated and vivid colors will simply take your breath away. Let’s hope that the situation stays the same even when we take it outdoors, but we won’t test this until we review it. Note that the area below the screen is touch-sensitive and you can use it so as to browse through effects in the BeatDJ app, for an example. Frankly, the area above the screen is also touch-sensitive on our prototype, but we don´t have a clue about its purpose.

You can compare the Samsung BEAT DJ with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.

The three hardware keys are situated at the bottom, strictly following the rounded edge, which is a bit unhandy, since they are positioned too low for your thumb. It may sound a bit funny to you, but due to its unique form-factor, the handset does not have four distinct sides. They all merge into a harmonious shape, which by the way looks quite funky with its blue/violet color. Definitely a scene. Fortunately, the microSDHC slot has found its place on the right, so you will be able to hot-swap memory cards with ease. Again, Samsung has done a good job by incorporating a standard mircoUSB port. Of course, being a music phone, the BEAT DJ should offer sound that’s powerful enough so that you can fully enjoy your favorite songs. Fortunately, the prototype did really well. The stereo speakers sound great, so we hope that this remains unchanged. There are two speakers; one on the top side and another on the bottom. The 3.5mm jack (which is a must-have feature for every music phone these days) is right on top and is the only element that breaks the perfectly round curves.

The 3MP autofocus camera, along with the LED flash and the mirror are also designed in unison with the overall “funky” style of the phone.

Samsung BEAT DJ Video preview

Samsung BEAT DJ 360 Degrees View:


Now that you have a good idea of what the BEAT DJ has to offer in terms of appearance, it is about time to dive deep into its functionality. Actually, you already know what the interface looks like. How come? The new musician delivers the latest TouchWiz user experience, also found on the UltraTOUCH, which we have already written about. Once again, you are free to customize the home screen by placing various widgets. The manufacturer’s efforts have not been in vain. There are plenty of drag-and-drop mini apps, but there is one thing that gets to us. The special widget, used to download additional ones, is conspicuous by its absence. We sincerely hope that it is present when the phone finally hits the shelves, since it would greatly diversify your options. You can access your favorite contacts (which are “photo contacts” here) by sliding a finger to the right, while gliding it to your left takes you to the main menu. The other way to navigate to the menu is through the icons on the lower end of the screen. There are also icons that give you access to the phone book and the on-screen keypad.

There isn’t anything to make you do a double take when it comes to organizer functions, alarms and so on, so we will just get straight to… Wait! We remember now that the phone actually has a really cool voice recorder that deserves some attention! Okay, okay, let´s cut to the chase and to what the DJ is best at – music.

Music Features:

As we said, the stereo speakers pack quite a punch, but the software that utilizes them is quite important as well. So, we finally made it to the Music submenu. Once you have started the music player you will find yourself in the library. By default, you can filter your songs by: all tracks, playlists, albums, BeatDJ playlist, artists, genres and podcasts. However, you can add or remove filters from the settings menu. The other available options are composers, recently played, most played and recently added. Quite a lot of stuff right away. The interface of the player itself is really nice. Viewing the available albums calls up a screen with CDs representing your albums. What you have to do next is quite natural – pick a CD of your liking (by holding a finger on it) and guide it to the player (by sliding your finger). Of course, if you are not in the mood, you can just tap on the CD to load it into the player and then press play. The on-screen keys will allow quick access to functions like 5.1 channel sound effect, shuffle, repeat, settings and the phone’s key feature - the BeatDJ application. Through the settings submenu you can select a sound effect and an equalizer preset. Luckily, you can also define your own custom preset.

As we said, the Beat DJ application is the most distinctive feature of the phone. Basically, it gives users the opportunity to have a whale of a time as a DJ and in our view the manufacturer has done it up brown. The options that are present are numerous enough and provide a nice set of filters and samples you can use to create your breakthrough mix. In addition, you can get quite a kick out of scratching your tracks, which, however, calls for a better software performance, since it responded rather slowly to our sharp moves (you should really hear our chart-topping remixes). Sadly, there is no way to mix the scratches you have made with the original song and the only thing you can do is like stop the song, do some scratching then get on with playing. There are some really cool filters such as tempo change, pitch and reverb. These actually work pretty well and do make the grade. With the reverb effect you can make a song sound for all the world as if it is being played in a large room, while pitch, for example, can be used to transpose a song so that you can make a female artist sound like a man, for example (not that Samsung put the effect with this in mind…). The samples are a bunch of sounds that can be added to a song. There are kicks, hi-hats, voices and so on, but again, the software’s untimely response turns an otherwise funny feature into something more or less useless.

How often do you happen to hear a song and you just wish you knew its name or the artist who performs it? Samsung has prepared its Find Music tool for such occasions. So, the next time you hear an unfamiliar but great song, just record it with your BEAT DJ and then get it recognized  using Find Music. Another cool feature is Find Tag. This is also a very useful tool that automatically fixes you up with all missing song names and artists, so that you can organize your playlists the way they´re meant to be.


It is not every day that a leading manufacturer offers a uniquely-looking phone, especially when it comes to pepping up what has been, this far, referred to as its basic music series. Aside from an awesome overall look, the BEAT DJ also provides a rich functionality and a fancy touch-sensitive screen, giving it the potential to become a real milestone multimedia device. It seems that the only thing Samsung needs to do now is a great deal of optimization, since the DJ’s software feels way too sluggish, at least on our prototype. Thumbs up!

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