The Galaxy Beam is a quad-band GSM handset with quad-band 3G support. It also has Wi-Fi with hotspot capabilities and Wi-Fi Direct, GPS with A-GPS support, DLNA, external storage upto 32GB, Bluetooth v3.0. What’s missing is TV-out and NFC. Call reception has been handled pretty well and in our test call, the recipient could easily hear us even in a noisy area. The speaker is loud enough to help you out, if you’ve got a lot of background noise. The stock keyboard is good enough to get the job done, although SwiftKey will give you a better experience in my personal opinion.
Other than the muted colours, it's not too shabby for a phone
Samsung bundles a bunch of apps of its own like Social Hub, Music Hub, ChatOn, etc. There’s also a power saving mode that automatically switches off Wi-Fi and packet data transmission once the battery level reaches a certain point. Motion-based gestures like tilt zooming, panning, etc. that we first saw in the Galaxy S II are also present.
Other bundled apps include Google+, Polaris Office, Memo, Game Hub, Task Manager, Mini Diary, Photo Editor, Task and AllShare DLNA app.
Samsung has fitted the Galaxy Beam with a 5MP shooter and an LED flash. The image quality is actually pretty good, even for indoor shooting under ambient light. Tap-to-focus makes it very easy to get some good macro shots and the sensor is able to capture good levels of detail. The LED flash is quite powerful for objects within a couple of feet and will easily illuminate a small area.
The flash does a good job in total darkness
Video recording is limited to 720p but the captured video is relatively lag and stutter free. The best results are during the day time.
Samsung had to fit a meaty battery into the Beam for the phone to last through at least one full length movie with the projector on. We are happy to report that the 2000mAh battery will easily last for 4-hours and 50-minutes with the Beam projecting a movie under normal brightness. This is more than Samsung’s claimed 3-hours of continuous playback time, which is really good. We used an SD quality movie for the test, so HD quality video would drain the battery a little faster; however, it should still be around the 3-hour mark. For regular phone usage, the Galaxy Beam will easily last you for a day or even more.
A little chunky but still comfortable to hold
Verdict and Price in India
The Galaxy Beam is certainly a unique Android phone and will probably be the only one of its kind for a while since there's no news on anyone else working on something similar. Due to the lack of competition, Samsung has priced the Galaxy Beam at a slight premium of Rs. 28,900. The only reason one would pick this over other cheaper and equally powerful phones is if they really had a use for the projector, else it just seems like nothing more than a gimmick for the vast majority, just like 3D phones. The two major issues that many will face is the muted colours of the projected video or image and the fact that the phone cannot record or play video in 1080p, which is a big bummer, especially at an asking price of nearly Rs. 30,000. In the end, the Beam falls short on the phone as well as the projector front, making it a jack of all trades but the master of none. In this case, you're better off with 3M's MP180 handheld projector, if that's what you're really after and just get a cheaper and more capable phone like the Galaxy Nexus that's currently going for as little as Rs. 21,800.
Updated 23 May, 2013, 6:20 pm IST
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23 May, 2013, 06:20 PM
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