The Samsung Galaxy Beam is one of the more interesting looking smartphones announced at Mobile World Congress this week. As opposed to being just another Android handset, this Galaxy variant features a pico projector. And, as demonstrated above by PocketLint, the Beam… beams presumably anything displayed on the phone onto a wall, table, ceiling, or palm. Which sounds pretty dang cool. Until you stop to consider that, while it can project an image up to 50″ large, the resolution is capped at 640×360 and a meager 15 lumens are output. So it’s safe to say a compelling projected display under typical conditions would be something significantly less than 50″ — meaning you’re not going to watch too much HBO GO in this manner.
It’s quite impressive to see this projection tech integrated into such a compact and attractive form, compared to Samsung’s first blocky go of it or the original dedicated pico projectors (that never took off) and I suppose a few business professionals might find sporadic use projecting charts in a conference room. But, ultimately, the Beam offers a party trick to showcase ones downsampled personal photos or video, and I can’t imagine that alone will move many units.
UPDATE: Engadget has reviewed the Samsung Beam.
The Galaxy Beam does well at what it claims to be good at (projecting media), but it’s otherwise mediocre at best. That’s not to say it’s a horrible phone, but the low-to-mid-range feature set makes it a tough sell at $430, especially when you can pay the same price for much nicer devices these days. The Beam is interesting as a proof of concept, but we don’t see it blossoming into anything more than that at the present time.