Samsung has beamed in an interesting addition to the smartphone market at Mobile World Congress today in Barcelona. The Samsung Galaxy Beam is an attempt at creating a projector-smartphone hybrid, and it looks like Samsung hasn’t done too bad of a job of it.
The first concern over a projector phone would be thickness, but Samsung has managed to conquer that problem with a phone that is only 12.5 mm thick – a little thicker than most other high-end smartphones, but, for something that is packing a projector, is nonetheless impressive. The Galaxy Beam has a 15 lumens projector capable of producing as large as a 50” wide HD projection. A dedicated projector app links your smartphone’s media to the projector quickly and easily, making for an easy user experience.
The base specs of the phone look decidedly mid-range for 2012, with a 1.0 GHz dual-core processor and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, though Samsung has stated that an Ice Cream Sandwich update will be available for Beam owners in the future. Network speed will only be as good as 14.4 Mbps HSPA. The display is a 4.0” 480 x 800 resolution WVGA touchscreen. There is 8 GB of storage space, with a Micro SD card slot that can add as much as 32 GB. The press release states that the Beam has 6 GB of RAM, which is almost certainly an error. A 2000 mAh battery, a 5 MP camera, and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera round out the features.
The Beam can project content from the phone onto any flat surface, so Samsung is touting the social virtues of its new toy. The Beam should allow for some interesting moments of impromptu video and photo sharing. To some extent, you’re likely still going to need to have somewhat low-light conditions to get satisfactory performance out of the Beam, and audio performance without external speakers will probably thwart any attempts at wall-sized movie watching. That said, I’m sure Samsung and a few partners will happily have shiny new accessories for you to buy for your new Beam if you choose to take the new projector phone for a spin.
Pricing and availability for the Samsung Galaxy Beam are unknown at this time.
Chance Kinney contributed to this report.