The Samsung Galaxy Beam may look like your average Galaxy smartphone running Android 2.3 Gingerbread (this will change, by the way), but the ace up its sleeve is the pico projector situated at the top of the phone–and capable of beaming photos, videos, presentations, and anything else you want, onto surfaces.
The contents of your phone look best projected in darker atmospheres, and the closer you are to the projecting surface, the sharper your image. The Galaxy Beam projects at a 640 x 360-pixel resolution. Samsung says that the Galaxy Beam’s larger 2,000mAh battery will keep movies and other content projecting for about 3 hours straight.
Another thing you should know is that the projecting module offsets your phone by 90 degrees, which means that initially, orientation is a little wonky. Samsung is working on accessories like stands and cases to help keep beamed images steady.
Samsung boasts that its Beam projects at a brightness level of 15 lumens, whereas other projector phones in the past have topped out at 10 lumens. Projections–including video playback–looked great in our first demo, which took place in a dark room. The LED bulb itself has a life span of about 20,000 hours, so don’t expect to have to replace it soon.
Beyond the projector, the phone itself sports a 4-inch WVGA TFT touch screen, a 5-megapixel rear-facing camera and 1.3-megapixel front-facing camera, and a 1GHz dual-core processor. Built-in projectors tend to add a lot of bulk, but the Galaxy Beam measures just 12.5 millimeters (just under 0.5-inch) thick, the typical depth of your average phone.
Daring you to drop it, the Galaxy Beam looks less delicate and more rugged, thanks to its comfortable soft-touch finish and bright yellow trim.
The Galaxy Beam should be available globally sometime in Q2.