Many a manufacturer has tried to create a mobile with a gimmicky add-on feature, but the majority of these ill-fated handsets have fallen by the wayside as their functionality fails to match up to the competition. However, the new Samsung Galaxy Beam manages to do what no other gimmick-laden phone has so far – bridge the gap between fun and function.
Samsung Galaxy Beam
The handset is certainly sturdy and hardwearing, and although it feels well-built it’s not heavy in the hand. Aimed at both business and casual users, this quirky Smartphone provides multitasking like you wouldn’t believe, and although it isn’t the most glamorous of mobiles, beneath its sturdy yellow bezel adorned exterior lies a multitude of multimedia moves.
Mid-range multimedia mobile
A 1GHz processor lurks under the hood and is more powerful than the engines that usually feature in mobiles in a similar price range, and keeps things running smoothly with no lag, even when using the projector. In fact the responsiveness of the OS is more what you would expect from a high-end smartphone with a heftier processor in situ.
The Galaxy Beam runs Android Gingerbread out of the box, and although this isn’t the most recent iteration of Google’s mobile platform (Ice Cream Sandwich usurped that and now Jelly Bean has started rollout) performance is still great when navigating, using the camera and projector, and opening apps. To spruce up the user experience Samsung has added a sprinkling of its swanky TouchWiz UI, which offers the added bonus of homescreen customisation, a selection of widgets, and motion controls.
For a moderately priced phone, camera chops aren’t bad at all with a 5 megapixel camera on the back and 1.3 megapixel snapper on the front. The images captured by the rear camera are above average, and the front-facing camera means video calling is possible too. For tweaking your photos there’s a native Photo Editor application that allows users to crop and rotate pictures, change the colour saturation, brightness, and alter contrast, amongst other things.
Footage captured via the video recording function is sharp and clear and can be projected from the phone onto a flat surface to create your own mini cinema wherever you are.
Now onto the gimmicky side of the smartphone. The mobile has a 15 Lumens projector, whereas a top-notch standalone projector would have a rating of around 2000 Lumens, so obviously the standard of the projections is going to be basic. You can make adjustments to the focus to improve the projection quality though, and this makes it more than adequate for business presentations or streaming videos at home.
There are some swanky additional features to use alongside the projector such as the Quick Pad office assistant that allows you to deliver presentations using your mobile, and includes a digital annotator and pointer that you can use simply by touching the display with your finger. Also on board is what’s called Visual Presenter function, which projects the view from the phone’s camera in realtime.
The Galaxy Beam’s 8GB of internal memory is pretty impressive, but if you’re planning to shove even more stuff onto the smartphone the addition of a microSD card will boost storage to a hefty 32GB. Battery life is really good too and a full charge will last around a day and a half with moderate usage, however, if you are using the projector a lot this will drain it a lot faster.
Samsung Galaxy Beam Review
Robust, serviceable, and crammed full of multimedia chops (not to mention a handy projector), the Samsung Galaxy Beam exceeds expectations and is light years ahead of other handsets in its price range.
Written by Abbi Cox of Phones 4u.
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