Samsung Galaxy Beam Review
And here it is in our hands, one of the more notable handsets in recent memory, the pico projector-laden Samsung Galaxy Beam. We remember how excited we were in 2009 when we handled the first Samsung phone with built-in projector, the I7410, and the next year when the first Beam made its way to MWC 2010.
The original Beamer then crushed our hopes and dreams by never venturing outside of Singapore, except to entertain some trapped Chilean miners. Still, those two will stay forever in our hearts as the first phones with integrated projectors, unlike the LG eXpo, which had a pico unit as an accessory to tack on.
Announced at MWC 2012, the Samsung Galaxy Beam now sports a projector module of Samsung's own make, that shines with 15 lumen and nHD (640x360) resolution, supposedly enough to create a watchable experience in a low ambient light setting, which can be blown up to 50”.
Compare that to the 6 lumen that the pico projector inside its predecessor was capable of, and you will understand why we are excited to take the Galaxy Beam for a spin. Is it living up to our caged desires to watch CSI while camping in Shenandoah, and annoy the heck out of the wildlife there? Read on our review to find out...
In the box:
- Spare 2000mAh battery
- Battery charging dock
- In-ear stereo headphones
- MicroUSB cable
- Warranty and information leaflets
Graced with jolly bright orange sides, the Galaxy Beam is sure to attract attention as if it's your regular flashy teen-oriented phone for the color choice alone. It's chubby, with a sturdy build, but by no means overly thick at 0.49” (12.5mm), and not at all that heavy at 5.13oz (145g). In fact, it feels and handles very well in the hand, thanks to the ergonomic tapered back with patterned non-slippery back cover made of nice soft-touch plastic.
You can compare the Samsung Galaxy Beam with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The only thing that hints at the phone's extraordinary capabilities is the slight bulge above the circular lens of the 5MP camera on the back, which incorporates the 15 lumen pico projector.
There is an on/off switch for the projector above the power/lock key on the right. These two buttons, along with the volume rocker on the left, are tactile and easy to feel and press, as is the elongated physical home button underneath the screen. All slots are at the sides, covered with protective flaps, so you can easily swap your SIM or microSD card without prying off the back cover, which hides a 2000mAh battery beneath it.
The phone's 4” LCD screen is with 480x800 pixels of resolution. It sports shiny, vivid colors, and very good viewing angles, but could use a bit more anti-reflectance coating for easier sunlight legibility, despite that its 400 nits of brightness are above average. The 233ppi pixel density is quite good and ensures there are no nasty surprises with pixelation.