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.
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||Black, cd/m2||White, cd/m2|
|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.
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
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.