Samsung announces Galaxy Beam smartphone with built-in projector
2 March 2012 by Olav Hellesø-Knutsen
During the Mobile World Congress this week, Samsung announced the Galaxy Beam 4 inch Android smartphone with a built-in projector
We have seen a couple of mini projectors here at Mobile World Congress during the last couple of years targeted at mobile phone users. These have often been marketed as extra accessories but the interest has not really taken off. Maybe consumers and business users will find a new usage areas when they have tested the new Galaxy Beam. This new Android smartphone in the Galaxy series has a mini projector built-in on top of the handset. The 15 lumens projector will beam anything you see on the display to a flat surface nearby. It has a minimum distance of approximately 2 meters and the maximum is limited by how large you want the projected area to be, and how dark it is in the room. The user can manually adjust the focus with the volume controls.
We have of course tested the Beam's projector function and found it quite good but we must admit that we don't miss it on our current handset. It requires a dark environment for optimal usage, but that's not something special with this model. The resolution on the wall is "almost VGA" according to the Samsung representative we spoke to.
Galaxy Beam has a dedicated app for the projector which can control the orientation, Visual Presenter, Quick pad and touch light. The orientation can be set to horizontal, vertical or automatic. And when the phone is held horizontally, the rectangular view area is also shown horizontal on the wall just like a normal projector or TV. This is nice for content such as movies or photo slide shows. But if you want to hold the Galaxy Beam horizontal and project the vertical Android user interface and interact with it at the same time the screen orientation is shown across the shortest side of the projector output. This might not be a big problem, but it's a reminder that not everything will be shown correctly by fill the entire projected area.
Another usage for the Galaxy Beam is to use it as an overhead projector. With a little help from the LED light, the camera can record paper or similar and project the content to a wall. We was told the battery will give the Galaxy Beam up to three hours projector time.
The light is projected through the top of the phone but we do not think the extra thickness added by the lamp will prevent consumers buying the model. Galaxy Beam is 12.5 mm thin.
If this device is to be used as a mini movie projector, sound quality is important. We have not been able to test the speakers on the device itself, but it is a new speaker accessory following the Galaxy Beam. A stereo speaker where it is possible to attach the Galaxy Beam on top in a way that the top of the phone can point at a vertical object such as a wall.
During a weekly brainstorming meeting at the Samsung Mobile head office, one smart engineer found out that the projector light could be used for other purposes as well. She came up with the great idea of adding a torch-light app with different colours and blinking durations. The Samsung Galaxy has got just that. Not a bad idea actually. The torch-light is working perfectly, with a much brighter light than any other smartphones we have seen.
Samsung Galaxy Beam highlights
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Apart from the beam function it is another Samsung with the same design. Again
Well done, Samsung.
I remember the Seabird concept with a built-in projector. Samsung made it come true.
Now, what's the battery like?
well actually this stuff isnt new, there is old galaxy beam already which could be purchased in USA i think. If they can make battery last 2hours with projector on and bulb can be changed, than sure why not it is welcome in my gadget arsenal
I was told it would last for up to three hours when used as a projector
Nice, this is perfect for showing pictures to friends and family