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Samsung Galaxy Beam shines brightly (pictures)

One of the most interesting Android smartphones to come our way in a long time, the Samsung Galaxy Beam is outfitted with a unique pico projector.

Jessica Dolcourt
Jessica Dolcourt is a passionate content strategist and veteran leader of CNET coverage. As Senior Director of Commerce & Content Operations, she leads a number of teams, including Commerce, How-To and Performance Optimization. Her CNET career began in 2006, testing desktop and mobile software for Download.com and CNET, including the first iPhone and Android apps and operating systems. She continued to review, report on and write a wide range of commentary and analysis on all things phones, with an emphasis on iPhone and Samsung. Jessica was one of the first people in the world to test, review and report on foldable phones and 5G wireless speeds. Jessica began leading CNET's How-To section for tips and FAQs in 2019, guiding coverage of topics ranging from personal finance to phones and home. She holds an MA with Distinction from the University of Warwick (UK).
Jessica Dolcourt
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Samsung Galaxy Beam steps into the light

The Samsung Galaxy Beam is a rugged-looking Android 2.3 Gingerbread smartphone, but with the press of a button it goes from sporty to business-sauve.
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2 of 12 Stephen Shankland/CNET

Beam, baby, beam

The contents of your phone look best projected in a darker atmosphere, and the closer you are to the projecting surface, the sharper your image. The Galaxy Beam projects at a 640x360-pixel resolution. Samsung says that the Galaxy Beam's larger 2,000mAh battery will keep movies and other content beaming for about 3 hours straight.
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A matter of perspective

In addition to sharing PowerPoint presentations, you can also play videos, music, and share photos from your gallery, in landscape or portrait modes.
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Now you're just projecting

The darker the room, the lighter the surface, the better your projection results.
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Control it

A built-in app helps you adjust the settings and call up annotating tools like pointers and pen tools for circling and drawing arrows. Unfortunately, giving a presentation didn't go as smoothly as I would have liked.
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Still a phone

Beyond the beaming, there's still a midrange Android smartphone underneath it all, and I don't mean midrange in a negative way.
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Specs

There's Android Gingerbread on the OS front, with Samsung's TouchWiz UI on top. The 4-inch Super AMOLED screen looks bright and beautiful as usual. A 1GHz dual-core processor handles performance like video playback.
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SIM card

The external SIM card slot helps keep the phone relatively slim.
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9 of 12 Josh Miller/CNET

MicroSD expansion

Up to 32GB of storage on a microSD card complements the Galaxy Beam's 8GB of internal storage.
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Back

Look closely and you can see the bulge of the projector. The 5-megapixel camera and flash sit below. The soft-touch finish is comfortable in the hand.
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In profile

A 0.5-inch-thick profile isn't bad for a handset that also packs in a projector.
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Good as gold

I love the sporty goldenrod color behind the back cover, which matches the phone's sides.

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