Just when you thought phones weren’t going to get any more converged, we suddenly see the Samsung Galaxy Beam, complete with integrated projector.
Well, that’s not entirely accurate, as this isn’t the first projector phone from Samsung, as two years ago we were subjected to a super chunky model – also called the Galaxy Beam.
However, there’s a lot more to like here on the new and upgraded version, as it’s thinner, sleeker and runs a much more advanced version of Android.
The screen is bright and vivid (although we were forced to play with it in near total darkness to fully get the effect of the projector) and the interface was slick under the finger.
The Samsung Galaxy Beam is running a dual-core 1GHz processor at its heart, which the Korean brand says will help maximise the 2000mAh battery when chugging out images from the top of the phone.
The Beam sits well in hand, with the projector module not getting in the way of day to day phone use, thanks to being packed away neatly at the top of the phone.
It’s also moulded into the chassis, so even if you do come across it when taking a picture or the like, you won’t find it hinders your operation.
The depth of 12.5mm is perfectly acceptable in our eyes for a phone of this quality, and we liked the yellow bezel to give it a more clean finish.
The headphone port is the only real change from the standard Samsung Galaxy lineup (such as the Samsung Galaxy Ace 2) as it’s had to be shoved from the top of the phone to make space for the projector.
But let’s get to the good stuff: how does the Samsung Galaxy Beam perform as a projector?
It’s designed for two things: media and document sharing. The latter is achieved by chucking in a whole host of Microsoft Office support, and the former is easily managed as the projector module will mimic whatever is on the phone screen at the time.
This is a little disconcerting when you forget about it – make sure you don’t accidentally fire up the Beam’s projector when browsing something a little dodgy on the internet.
The 15 lumens of brightness didn’t impress us though – we’re talking nearly double the output of the original Beam, but that still didn’t mean it would work very well in anything but the darkest room.
The beamed display looked a little washed out in real use, but not to the point of being unusable – we’d consider it acceptable rather than stellar.
The Samsung Galaxy Beam is a fun phone that makes use of a new and improved projector module from the Koreans to good effect.
It’s clear the technology is finally ready to be released to the masses, but whether many will feel a projector in their pocket is what they’ve been missing remains to be seen.
If this is only the second generation of projector phones, there’s a lot of hope for the segment in the future – make the output two or three times brighter, and you’ll have an entertaining feature on your hands.