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Samsung Galaxy Beam flaunts projector in hands-on pics

Check out our hands-on photos of the Samsung Galaxy Beam, an Android smart phone with a built-in projector.

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Luke Westaway
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Samsung's showing off a new toy at this year's Mobile World Congress, and it's a bit of a weird one, to tell the truth. The Galaxy Beam is an Android smart phone that contains a teeny-tiny projector, for digitally spraying your photos, videos and games onto nearby walls and ceilings.

I've gone hands-on with the Beam, so click through the photos above to examine this quirky device in exquisite detail.

The Beam's projector is triggered by pressing a little button on the side of the phone, rather than being an option that's available with specific apps. That means you'll be able to project anything you want, even if it's boring stuff like the Android home screen.

The projections this chunky little device blurted out were colourful and clear (I saw it demoed on the ceiling at a distance of perhaps 2 metres), though you'll definitely want to use it with the lights off -- once the lights in the room were turned on, it became very tough to make out the projected picture.

You'll also need to keep the phone perfectly still while you're projecting, or slight wobbles in your hands will make the picture shake distractingly. Samsung said it's working on accessories for the Beam, so fingers crossed these extra bits of kit make the phone a touch more useful.

Elsewhere specs are on the modest side. You'll get a 4-inch display, a 1GHz dual-core processor, a 5-megapixel camera and Android 2.3 Gingerbread, not Ice Cream Sandwich. Boo! For more of our first impressions on the Beam, I recommend heading over to my in-depth hands-on preview.

If you're dead excited to see what other weird smart phones and tablets your favourite companies are showing off at Mobile World Congress, keep your browsers trained to this page. Finally, let me know whether you think sticking a projector in a phone is a genius move or the daftest idea Samsung's had in a while, by sticking a message in the comments below, or over on our Facebook wall.

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Here's the front of the Galaxy Beam, looking inconspicuous and ordinary.
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But take a peek at the top, and you'll spy a projector. Gracious!
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The projector is triggered using this button on the side.
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I thought the projections looked good, but only in a darkened room. Light is not the Beam's friend.
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The phone itself is quite chunky, with modest specs. There's a 5-megapixel camera on the back...
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...and a 1GHz dual-core processor inside. You'll get 8GB of storage, which you can expand using a microSD card.
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Disappointingly, the Beam is running Android 2.3 Gingerbread rather than 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich, the very latest version.
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The screen measures 4 inches, and has a 480x800-pixel resolution.

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