TODO alt text

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

Projector aside, the Samsung Galaxy Beam is a decent phone. Decent, but not excellent. It runs a fairly dated version of the Android OS, which slows it down on occasion when the home screens are fully loaded with apps and a couple of them are running in the background.

We liked

The Samsung Galaxy Beam has great battery life and can run all the major networking apps and games with ease. The additional battery provided is also a plus.

There's 8GB internal storage with the MicroSD option of adding 32GB on top of that. The camera produces some good snaps, though it is only 5MP.

And despite the projector, the Galaxy Beam is a sturdy piece of kit and surprisingly light too.

We disliked

Admittedly it sounds potentially cool – a projector! On your phone! – but the novelty soon wears off when you have to wait for complete darkness and even then, the quality of the projection isn't high-def enough to particularly blow you away.

It runs fairly well but if you're looking for an Android upgrade for around the same money, surely you'd be sniffing around the Samsung Galaxy S3 with its quad-core processor, Ice Cream Sandwich OS and other enviable specs.

Verdict

All-in-all, we're a little pushed to find more than a couple of random things you might need a projector for. You could go old-school and make people sit through a literal slide show of your holiday snaps.

Or you could possibly be out in the middle of nowhere with nothing but a sheep to project a film onto the side of.

Or, of course, maybe you really do want to use it in-situ at a meeting. But other than that, what are you going to do with it? It needs a quiet, incredibly dark place to make the viewing possible…so, props to Samsung for running with this, but we don't see the hordes needing a middling smartphone with projector addendum just yet.

Big thanks to Expansys for sending us our review unit.

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