Samsung, this year launched an unusual smartphone: the Galaxy Beam. What makes this device stand out? Well, it has something called a projector. Yes, those huge devices which are used to show slides to a group of people. Luckily it has been reduced in size to fit into a smartphone. So here is our take on the Galaxy Beam.
To be honest, the Galaxy Beam is not one of those good looking smartphones on the market. The front of the device is covered over by glass with slots for the speaker and the home button at the lower end. The home button is flanked on either side by capacitive keys which illuminated on being touched. The edge of the front glass is surrounded by a metallic rim. The sides are of a different colour compared to the rest of the device. At the top of the device, one can see the projector. The right side of the device has the power key, the projector key and a microSD slot. At the bottom is a microUSB port which doubles as the charging port. On to the left side, there is the 3.5mm audio jack, volume rocker and the SIM slot. The back panel has a rugged texture, which houses the removable battery. The cam of the device is a bit towards the centre of the device, with a single LED flash on to its side. Overall the design of the Galaxy beam is not something to look forward to.
The Galaxy Beam has a 4inch TFT display with a pixel density of 233ppi, which basically is not that great. Under its exterior it has a 1GHz Dual Core Cortex A9 processor with 768MB of RAM. It also has a 5MP cam, Bluetooth 3.0, HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and 8GB of internal storage space with a microSD slot which can support upto 32GB. It also has a 2000mAh battery which will last upto 3 hours with the projector on. To be frank Galaxy Beam is a Galaxy Advance with a projector.
The selling point of the device: the projector. The Galaxy Beam has a 15 Lumen DLP nHD pico projector. One can project movies and images upto 50 inches in size. And it can maintain clarity up to 6ft which is pretty good for a tiny handheld projector. Samsung have also provided options to control the brightness of the projector, which is really useful. The device has a dedicated projector app. The app has few useful features like flashlight mode, quick pad which lets you to take a screen shot and draw on it, and also an ambient mode which lets you watch slideshows with music playing in the background. The projector is pretty handy even if you are not a business guy. You can use to watch movies when there are lots of people around and your television feels small. The only drawback, the projector heats up.
The Galaxy Beam comes with Android 2.3 Ginger Bread. Yes, Ginger Bread. This is one of the low points of the device. At the time when the Beam was launched, many of the other devices used to come with Ice Cream Sandwich. So why did Samsung bring out the Beam with GB? Well, nobody knows. It also has Touchwiz 4.0, the same one found of Galaxy SII. The only good news, the Galaxy Beam does get an ICS update. But, what about Jelly Bean? Samsung has promised a Jelly Bean update, but failed to give an exact date for the update. Overall software is a real let down.
What we say
To be frank, the only thing that excited us (like everyone) about the Galaxy Beam is the projector. Other than that, the hardware or the software or the design does not give any reason to why one would buy the Galaxy Beam. Especially the software, which is a real let down and makes us think, why did Samsung use Ginger Bread instead of ICS. So our advice: Buy the Galaxy Beam only if you find any use for the projector.