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As well as being a mid range Android device, the Beam boasts an integrated projector
that Samsung say is perfect for business and casual use.
But, theories aside, is it just another gimmick, or can it finally bridge the gap between functionality and nifty feature.
As you would expect, the main focus of the Beam is of course the projector.And at just fifteen Lumens - as opposed to the 2000 lumens found on purpose built devices- the little fella is never gonna quite stack up,but considering it makes a very good account of itself.With a dedicated button on the side of the phone and a handy icon installed on the homescreen,getting to grips with this nifty new feature is surprisingly easy.
Users can project anything and everything including the phones homescreen,and it makes for a handy way to display your images and screenshots.
Movie playback is also surprisingly impressive, meaning you can turn any room into a home cinema in an instant.
For both business and casual users, Quick Pad will no doubt be a big attraction.
Allowing for basic annotation of the screen's contents, it can be use in conjunction with presentation software or just for mucking around.Yet despite its wide appeal the projector function does have a few pointless features.The inclusion of the downright bizarre Ambience mode is also a bit of a head scratcher.Apparently an attempt to add some pizzazz to the average homemade slideshow,it's merely a collection of odd animations and stock music that's more laughable than helpful.
Although obviously targeted at parents with young children as a nighttime aid,
it's hard to see it actually being used on a regular basis.The Beam claims to be able to stand up to other smartphones when it comes to multimedia, and it's telling the truth.
With a 5MP camera and 1.3MP front facer image capture is definitely a highlight,and you'll find the Beam produces pictures well worthy of a higher end device.
Images are crisp and bright, with even the front facing camera capable of some neat results.
For those wanting to get a bit creative with their images, there's the very handy Photo Editor.
Although not quite as advanced as dedicated software,this neat bit of kit far outshines most photo editing tools found on your average smartphone.
But the jewel in the camera crown is without doubt the video capture function.
Recording in impressive 720p quality, each video is sharp and highly detailed, even under varying light conditions.
In terms of design, Samsung has taken the safe and sturdy approach to the Beam.
At 145g it's hefty for a relatively small device, and feels weighty in hand without ever being cumbersome.
A garish yellow bezel outlines the phone and lends an outdoorsy feel similar to the iconic JCB phone,whilst plastic the back cover, although flimsy by itself, contributes to Beam's solid nature and feels robust when in position.
The projector is also well protected, hiding deep below a layer of strong plastic at the top of the device.
For all their gadgets and gizmos, smartphones often suffer from disappointing battery life.
Luckily the Beam manages steers well clear of this pitfall, and treads the thin line between performance and functionality.
With a purported 700 hours standby time whilst on a 3G connection, the Beam really can endure some heavy usage.
Thanks to its large 2000mAh battery you can make the most of the Android Gingerbread operating system and all the apps without making much of a dent in the charge,and even with some really heavy usage we found you won't have to charge it every day like most smartphones.
Samsung reckon you can get three hours continued video projection out of the the Beam before its needs a charge and to be fair to them they can't be that far off with that prediction.
4We charged the phone and left it projecting for four hours and, even with constant usage,
there was still over a quarter of the battery remaining.
Whilst this may vary depending on the tasks you carrying out, it certainly does makes a welcome change.
Despite a negative legacy looming large over its head, the Samsung Galaxy Beam manages
to shake this off and start a new trend for the feature phone.
Rather than just a throw away gimmick loosely crowbarred into an average phone,
Samsung have put together a device that works impressively well on all levels.
Despite some frustrating foibles over the projection feature and while it remains to be seen how long its appeal will last,the Beam does more than enough to convince you of its merit as a smartphone and as gadget.
For those of you looking for something that little bit different but not wishing to compromising on performance, here’s your answer.