Samsung Galaxy Beam - Stay For The Projector (Part 3)

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Performance and battery life

If by any chance that you can see the silicon inside, you will now that the Beam does not intend to pleased high-end users. It packs a NovaThor U8500 dual-core 1GHz (Cortex-A9 45nm, 32bit processor) with 768MB Ram and GPU Mali-400. Samsung’s choice of processor here causes much curiosity, because the NovaThor brand of ST-Ericsson is not famous for high performance. Sony Xperia U and Xperia P both share the same chipset but again, we did not think that performance was a priority of this company. Everyone who is looking for a low-cost phone will be satisfied with it, but experienced users will desire for some more powerful things. We also recommend that you should not use the device when deciding to play a graphics-heavy game, although the phone still completes its task well with normal games. Here are the results:

Samsung Galaxy Beam

·         Quadrant (v2.0): 2,764

·         Vellamo (v2.0): 680

·         AnTuTu: 5,250

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 2,391

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 1080p Egypt Offscreen (fps): not available

·         CF-Bench: 5.138

Samsung Galaxy Beam

Samsung Galaxy Beam

Sony Xperia P

·         Quadrant (v2.0): 2,161

·         Vellamo (v2.0): N/A

·         AnTuTu: 4,965

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 3,010

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 1080p Egypt Offscreen (fps): N/A

·         CF-Bench: 4,855

Sony Xperia P

Sony Xperia P

Sony Xperia U

·         Quadrant (v2.0): 2,125

·         Vellamo (v2.0): N/A

·         AnTuTu: 5,348

·         SunSpider 0.9.1 (ms): 2,696

·         GLBenchmark 2.5 1080p Egypt Offscreen (fps): N/A

·         CF-Bench: 5,346

Sony Xperia U

Sony Xperia U

The removable 2000mAh battery of the Beam performs very well. Our standard battery test, including video-looping with the 50%-bright level screen, brings the result of 9 hours and 30 minutes duration before remaining 10% of battery (the video refused to play after that). In practical use, we have 1.5 days when moderately used it. But how does it perform when you use the projector? As you can expect, the battery life was hit seriously, but it still managed to last 4 hours with the projector running. Besides, we conducted a test with a similar slideshow which is circulated, so the battery would be used up much more quickly if you used the projector to present Netflix or running any similar graphics-heavy applications.

The 2000mAh battery

The 2000mAh battery

You will see the audio quality is above the average on the Beam when listening to music or watching movies. Before evaluating, one of the largest disappointments is how big the volume is when watching multimedia via the projector (not everybody will gather around the phone after all), but we can be confident to say the there is no notable concern unless you are in a crowded room; the external speakers exceed our expectation indeed, although the audio is not excellent with the plug-in Klipsch Image S4A earphone. However, you will not get the dynamic audio range and fullness of sound that you can in a luxury smartphone like Galaxy Note II – the bass sounded muddy and the voices were like at a far distance.

While the Beam’s HSPA+ radio is just able to reach the nominal limit of 14.4Mbps, it is really admirable according to its constraints. Our unit, which provided the quad-band 3G (850/900/1900/2100) and quad-band GSM/EDGE (850/900/1800/1900), usually could reach the average download speed in the range of 6Mbps to 7Mbps. Unfortunately, it will not access 3G in any AWS network. With loud and clear phone calls, we did not face any problems communicating because the Beam’s reception seemed to be reliable during the tests.

Pricing and availability

How much should the price of the phone accompanied by a projector be, especially when the rest components do not draw much attention? The Beam’s price varies in different markets, but at least in England, it is available with 270 pounds ($430), while Galaxy S Advance is 250 pound ($400). It is also available in France, Singapore, India and Brazil. American enthusiasts can also import the unlock models which is compatible 3G with AT&T. Samsung is still courting other markets, so it is possible that we will see the Beam widely available.


The Samsung Galaxy Beam

The Samsung Galaxy Beam

Of course there are some excitements in evaluating an abnormal device, but we still find it difficult to make the final conclusion. Galaxy Beam does well in what it is claimed to be good (presenting media), but in other aspects, it is mediocre.  We did not say that it is a terrible phone, but the features ranging from low to average turns it into a hard-to-sell product with the price of $430, especially when you can spend the same amount to have better devices. In this case, that means you must be fond of the projector enough to excuse for the high price, or this feature should be so essential for you work that you have to sacrifice other modern features to have it.

The Beam plays a very interesting role as a proof of concept, but we do not see it prospering into any other thing at the present. We did not mean this over-specific category does not have a bright future, but something unique like a projector will bring more success to a premium phone: it need to combine with more senior phone without bargaining other components, firmware or size. Only then it can exist as a universal device. Until then, it is still an interesting device to blur your friend’s eyes, but that is all it has.


·         Price: $430


·         The projector performs well

·         Excellent battery life

·         Solid and stable design


·         Operating on outdated Android version

·         Low specifications which do not meet the professional requirements


·         Unless you really need the Pico projector, there is no reason to waste your money for such low-spec device while you absolutely can spend that money on better place.

Samsung Galaxy Beam specifications

·         Dimension: 124x64.2x12.5 mm

·         Weight: 145.3g

·         Display: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 16M colors; 480x800 pixels, 4.0 inches; TouchWiz UI v4.0

·         Sound: Vibration; MP3, WAV ringtones

·         Network: HSPA 14.4/5.76 850/900/1900/1200; EDGE/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900

·         Processor: 1GHz dual-core

·         Platform: Android Gingerbread 2.3

·         Camera: 5MP with flash + 1.3MP

·         Video: MPEG4, H.263, WMV, DivX; recording/playback: 720p@30fps

·         Projector: 15 Lumen @ 1w, nHD resolution (640x360); Ambience Mode; OHP mode

·         Sensor: Accelerometer, Digital Compass, Proximity, Light Gyro

·         Memory: 6Gb RAM, 8GB iNAND (ROM + User Memory); microSD (up to 32GB)

·         Battery: 2000mAh


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