Samsung Galaxy Beam review: Home cinema

GSMArena team, 24 July 2012.

Display

One of the important differences between the two generations of projector phones by Samsung is the screen size and technology. The original Beam had a 3.7" Super AMOLED screen. The one we're reviewing has grown to 4 inches but is a regular LCD unit.

The WVGA (480 x 800) resolution works out to a pixel density of around 233 ppi. It's a pretty good display, even if some way off the best on the market. Contrast is good and colors are OK for an LCD, while the viewing angles are surprisingly good.

Samsung Galaxy Beam
The Galaxy Beam screen

We put the Samsung Galaxy Beam through our usual display tests and we are now giving you its results. You can find more about the testing procedures here.

Display test 50% brightness 100% brightness
Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio Black, cd/m2 White, cd/m2 Contrast ratio
Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam 0.25 258 1026 0.48 508 1048
Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160 0.24 225 921 0.59 500 843
HTC Desire C 0.23 186 814 0.5 360 723
HTC One X 0.15 200 1375 0.39 550 1410
Sony Xperia U 0.35 287 831 0.55 515 930
Samsung S7500 Galaxy Ace Plus 0.27 239 873 0.6 528 888
Samsung Galaxy Pocket 0.31 238 774 0.62 468 753

The sunlight legibility is the Galaxy Beam's screen Achilles’ heel. As you can see from our measurements the Galaxy Beam is one of the worse performers we have subjected to this test.

Contrast ratio

  • Nokia 808 PureView
    4.698
  • Samsung I9300 Galaxy S III
    3.419
  • Samsung Omnia W
    3.301
  • Samsung Galaxy S
    3.155
  • Nokia N9
    3.069
  • Samsung Galaxy Note
    2.970
  • HTC One S
    2.901
  • Samsung Galaxy S II
    2.832
  • Huawei Ascend P1
    2.655
  • Nokia Lumia 900
    2.562
  • Apple iPhone 4S
    2.269
  • HTC One X
    2.158
  • Nokia N8
    2.144
  • Apple iPhone 4
    2.016
  • Sony Ericsson Xperia ray
    1.955
  • Sony Xperia U
    1.758
  • LG Optimus 4X HD
    1.691
  • HTC One V
    1.685
  • LG Optimus Vu
    1.680
  • Samsung Galaxy Ace 2 I8160
    1.566
  • LG Optimus 3D
    1.542
  • Nokia Asha 302
    1.537
  • Meizu MX 4-core
    1.462
  • Nokia Lumia 610
    1.432
  • Gigabyte GSmart G1355
    1.361
  • Samsung I8530 Galaxy Beam
    1.315
  • HTC Desire C
    1.300
  • LG Optimus L7
    1.269
  • Meizu MX
    1.221
  • Samsung Galaxy Pocket
    1.180
  • Samsung Galaxy mini 2
    1.114

We zoomed into the display using our digital microscope so you can get a better idea of how the pixels are arranged, and how big they are. As you can see the pixels are slightly larger than those on the Ace 2, which suggests slightly lower perceived sharpness.


The Galaxy Beam display pixels compared to those of the Galaxy Ace 2

Handling

The Samsung Galaxy Beam is not the slimmest phone out there, not by a long shot, but it's extremely well put together and reasonably ergonomic. It's comfortable and secure to hold, and fairly easy to operate with one hand. It seems that a stable stand will be most welcome in projector mode, and the one that comes in the box isn't the best solution. It does well to charge the extra battery though and that's a great option to have.

Samsung Galaxy Beam Samsung Galaxy Beam
The Samsung Galaxy Beam in hand

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