The Samsung Galaxy Beam was announced two years ago at the Mobile World Congress. It was touted as the phone to replace screens and projectors. Its defining feature, and possibly its only selling point is the in-built projector. The good thing about this projector is the ability to play 720px HD videos without any conversion. This phone has finally been released in UK and North America.
As it is an Android phone, features such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and GPS are built-in, with apps to operate them. The phone’s clear 3.7 inch Super AMOLED display that has WVGA resolution is a major plus, as is the 5MP camera, with multi angle shooting. The camera comes with an LED lens flash that helps you shoot under low light conditions. Other features include a 3.5 mm earphone jack, expandable memory, stereo FM radio and a front facing camera.
The projector does a great job in comparison to other handheld projectors. Also, the phone feels like a slim, modern smartphone and not a bulky older generation phone. One of the interesting features of the projector is the app called Visual Presenter, which projects what the back camera captures via the projector. Given the location of the projector at the top of the phone, this feature makes it the ideal device for projecting a document that you are viewing so that everyone can see it. The projector has a resolution of 800×600 which makes it perfect for use in small meetings. Another noteworthy point is the high powered speakers that come with the phone, making it suitable for playing videos in a small meeting room.
Unfortunately, as a smartphone, it disappoints. Out of the box, it comes preloaded with Android’s Gingerbread, which is pretty old. An update for Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich is being planned for this particular model. The phone feels sluggish and the Dual-core 1 GHz Cortex-A9 CPU does not deliver the performance that it is capable of.
A few details that reduce the comfort level while using this phone include the location of the headphone jack on the side of the phone which makes listening to music while the phone is in a pocket irritating. Placing the micro SD slot in the back panel means that you have to switch off the phone and open the panel casing to exchange memory cards. It would have been nice if the phone came with some kind of tripod along with the screen maker accessory that is provided.
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