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Samsung Galaxy Beam review

A projecting piece of kit: but will it leave you beaming?

Our Verdict

If you're looking for something niche and different to show off, the projector does the trick, but the specs just aren't up to scratch otherwise for a phone of this cost.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 20 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 800

View full specification

For

  • Good battery life
  • Projector capability
  • Decent camera quality
  • Additional battery

Against

  • High cost
  • Projector needs darkness
  • Screen terrible in sunlight
  • Niche market appeal

5MP isn't much these days for a high-end priced phone. The Samsung Galaxy S3 carries an 8MP primary cam, as does the Apple iPhone 4S.

Samsung Galaxy Beam review

More megapixels doesn't necessarily guarantee better images, but while the camera is perfectly adequate, there is a noticeable difference in image quality between the Galaxy Beam and the iPhone 4S.

Scenic modes for shooting still images include: portrait, landscape, night, sports, party/indoor, beach/snow, sunset, dawn, fall colour, firework, candlelight, backlight and 'text'.

Additionally there are plenty of settings for the enthusiastic amateur to get their teeth into: when shooting without a chosen scenic mode the exposure, white balance, ISO and focus are all available to alter manually, and easily reached inside shooting mode via the little cog menu icon.

You can tap to autofocus, though sometimes it loses the focus of the image before you have a chance to take the picture, and the macro mode does a good job of creating a nice bit of depth in the image anyway.

Samsung Galaxy Beam review
Taken in sports mode to capture the movement of the dog, the image retains shadow and light and colours are vivid in bright sunlight.

Samsung Galaxy Beam review
Taken without flash and in normal shooting mode, the camera autofocused on the balcony, rendering most of the shot blurry in the distance. Lit only where headlights and streetlights are.

Samsung Galaxy Beam
Taken in night mode which negates the use of flash, the scene is much better lit, though light-coloured parts of the image become blown out. The scene is much clearer, though the over-compensation for light means some colours are saturated and the actual light sources produce striations across the image.

Samsung Galaxy Beam
Taken in normal mode and macro shooting, the image creates good depth perception between the coaster and the camera. Colours are a little muted in the darker indoors light.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value0.28 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyGalaxy Beam
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 850, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1900, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported2
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemAndroid
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time20 Hour
Screen Size10.2 cm (4")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)148 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerST Ericsson
Operating System VersionAndroid 2.3.6 Gingerbread
Messaging TypeMMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service)
RealtoneYes
Radio Tuner TypeFM
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density233 ppi
Height123.9 mm
Width64.2 mm
Depth12.6 mm
Radio TunerYes
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameGalaxy Beam
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeNovaThor
Product LineGalaxy Beam
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeGyro Sensor, Digital Compass, Accelerometer, Proximity Sensor
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-I8530BAABTU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/
Marketing Information

Discover the freedom to share content - almost anywhere. The Samsung Galaxy Beam features a powerful built-in beam projector, offering great definition and a picture as large as a TV. You can capture amusing photos and videos with Galaxy Beam's camera, and then use the projector to show them to friends instantly. You can also beam images or video to decorate your surroundings, or magnify and project physical notes, pictures and more. And, with high battery capacity, great video streaming and lots of storage space, you'll be able to share everything you want.

Limited Warranty2 Year