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Samsung Galaxy Beam - The Dark Age of Smart Projector Phones
By Wong Casandra - on 08 Jul 2010, 6:21pm

Today, our team joined Samsung and Starhub for an exciting launch event for the Samsung Galaxy Beam. While we have marveled over how technology has allowed projectors to be incorporated into similar gadgets (flashback: the Nikon S1000pj) and squashed into smaller bodies (the 3M pico projector series for example), this afternoon's launch takes it to another level. The phone admittedly looks unassuming at first and to add on, a tad too bulky for our liking given the recent flood of slim smartphones. However, it does come with the usual smartphone heavyweight features like an Android 2.1 OS, a hefty 8-megapixel camera with auto focus and flash, HD video recording/playback, GPS and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n capabilities.

 The Samsung Beam might looking unsuspecting at first sight, but this Android smartphone houses a 3.7-inch WVGA SUPER AMOLED screen and a built-in Texas Instruments Pico projector with a projection screen size of 5 to 50-inches.

Seeing it from a heavy handphone user's point-of-view, the added incentive of having a portable projector might seem novel and at the same time, gimmicky; possibly viewed as a tool to be used occasionally. But for those looking for both, the incorporation of a projector suddenly becomes a little more exciting since it boasts of features like a touch screen allowing users to freely interact with their presentations. Additionally, it also has wireless connectivity, allowing users to pick and pull streaming content and project them almost immediately for both business and personal reasons. The phone and projection functions are so seamlessly combined on the Beam that it was certainly blurring the lines between these discrete products.

Samsung Beam at work - an exclusive with Starhub, the phone not only can project saved video clips, but can stream live videos from popular channels like National Geographic through a pre-installed Starhub's mobile TV app.

We were given a personal demonstration that left us pretty impressed with what the phone can do. However, we shall leave the nitty-gritty details to be covered in our upcoming review. For continuous projection, battery life is purported to last about three to four hours for playing stored videos, four hours for Powerpoint presentations and about two for playing streaming videos. The phone is backed up by a 1800mAh battery so while these sound obtainable, we will leave that for our battery tests before we can concur with the stated results.

A dedicated physical button on the right of the phone brings up a Quick Pad app that allows users to write, type or bring up a pointer to reinforce their presentations.

For those interested, the Samsung Galaxy Beam will be available at all Starhub shops and selected exclusive Partners' outlets from 17 July onwards, priced as low as $0 depending on chosen price plans.

Wong Casandra

Wong Casandra / Former Tech Writer

A regular self-confessed gamer, and consumer-tech geek. Also, an amateur photographer who currently shoots on a Nikon DSLR 90. BOOYAH!