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Samsung Galaxy Beam review

Samsung Galaxy Beam review
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Retail Price: RM 1,149
AP Price: RM 1,224 - 1,254
Samsung just unveiled a mid-range samsung Galaxy Beam Android phone with a twist it comes with an integrated HD projector
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Review On : Samsung Galaxy Beam

by Lim Pei Hao


 

Summary and Introduction
 
+ Built-in projector
+ Light and portable
+ Excellent battery life
- Runs on Android 2.3.6 Gingerbread
- Awkward audio jack position
 
In the box:
 
- Handset
- Power adaptor
- microUSB cable
- Spare 2000 mAh battery
- Standalone charger
 
18 August 2012 – What happen if you combine a phone and a projector together? You will get yourself a portable cinema. Announced at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2012, the Samsung Galaxy Beam is an Android phone with an integrated projector.
 
Exterior and Design
 
 
 
 
 
On the surface, the Galaxy Beam has a striking yellow band that is sandwiched in between the display and the back cover. It carries a 4-inch TFT LCD display with 480 x 800 resolution pixels. The display has a goodgood sunlight legibility as I found no difficulties reading under the direct sunlight.
On top of the display, you can spot the regular earpiece and a front facing camera located on the left corner of the phone. The common Menu, Home and Back keys are placed below the display. Samsung still favors on placing a physical Home button rather than a capacitive one as be found on any other Android handsets.
 
 
 
 
 
There is a 3.5mm audio jack, a volume rocker and a SIM card slot on the left side of the phone. Listening music by using the audio jack is a taunting task if you are wearing jeans as you might finding a hard time to get your phone in or out from the fitting pocket when the protruding headphone plug. 
Otherwise, the projector and power button are on the right, together with a microSD card slot. The projector’s ultra-bright 15 lumens bulb is strategically placed on top of the phone, which makes it pretty convenient to output your content to a blank space. It is even possible to watch a movie on a bed while projecting a video on the ceiling. We leave it to your imagination of the many things you can do with this.
 
 
 
 
 
Internals
 
Under the hood, the Galaxy Beam is powered by 1GHz NovaThor dual-core processor that is developed by ST-Ericsson. Storage-wise, it has an 8GB internal storage, but only 4GB is user accessible. Alternatively, you can expand your storage options up to 32GB with a microSD card.
The Galaxy Beam supports all the essential connectivity options, including HSDPA 14.4Mbps, WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, GPS and a microUSB port for charging and data transfer purposes.
 
The Projector
 
 
According to Samsung, this tiny projector is able to output a display up to 190.4cm. The 15 lumens bulb is excellent on a low light environment. Colors reproduction looks vivid when it is projected about half of the maximum distance. There are several modes to toggle around with the projector. By default, it projects what is on the phone’s screen, you can add some scribble on the screen under Quick Pad or project a physical slides under Visual Presenter. Additionally, the projector’s bulb can be your handy torchlight when you needed it.
 
 
Software
 
 
The projector phone is runs on Android  version 2.3.6 (Gingerbread ) with TouchWiz user interface and is upgradeable to Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) in the future. Galaxy Beam’s TouchWiz user experience is no different as compared to other Samsung mid-range phones. However, I do appreciate Samsung’s lockscreen design which tells you in a glance whether you have any missed calls or incoming messages. Plus, you can contact the person immediately by touching and sliding the red bubble. Its intuitive motion sensor that mutes incoming call or sound when you flip the phone facing down. The stock browser works fine, but I still miss Chrome browser.
 
 
Camera
 
 
 
There is nothing to shout about its 5-megapixel camera. It also comes with a LED flash and is capable of recording video up to 720p. Outdoor photos taken by this camera tend to be overexposed and the colors look pale. Snapping indoors with low light condition is not recommended unless you turn the flash on. Autofocus and shutter speed is not as instantaneous as the Galaxy Nexus. It will take about one or two seconds before it captures the photo. 
 
 
Multimedia
 
HD 720p video could be played smoothly without any lags, but the phone struggles when you run a 1080p full HD video. The Galaxy Beam’s integrated speakers are loud and clear, so external speakers are not required if you are planning to watch a movie with your friends and family.
 
Performance
 
 
The overall performance of the Galaxy Beam is excellent when performing day-to-day applications. Call quality is excellent , even on the loudspeaker  as both ends could be heard clearly. Unfortunately, the same experience does not apply for gaming. Although Fruit Ninja is able to run without a glitch, but somehow the display are not able to register our touches to slice the fruit. The same issue is also spotted in Temple Run, as the character will not turn even after swiping the screen.Battery life of the phone is surprisingly pretty impressive. The phone which is connected to an active WiFi still has juice to spare even after about two hours of projecting videos. I suspect this is mainly contributed by the energy efficient NovaThor processor, which is also found in Sony’s Xperia Go.
 
Verdict
 
Selling at RM 1599, the Galaxy Beam is a handy projector-phone hybrid. It fills in the niche for those who wants a portable cinema, as well as a handy presentation kit. Even the phone is not entirely power hungry, it is thoughtful of Samsung to provide a spare battery and a standalone charger to keep your phone running.
 


Editor's rating:
Good


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