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Samsung gets Android first with Galaxy Beam

Samsung's latest Galaxy handset offers a pico-projector. It should head to Singapore next month.

Samsung Beam

Samsung has been very busy lately pumping out a steady flow of Android handsets. Indeed, almost every time I open my RSS readers, I'm learning about another upcoming Galaxy model.

Tuesday was no exception as I read that the i8520 Galaxy Beam will head to Singapore next month. Formerly known as the "Halo," the Galaxy Beam will be the first Android handset to feature a pico-projector. Created by Texas Instruments, the projector has 6 lumens and can project images anywhere from 5 to 50 inches.

Aside from the projector, the Beam boasts impressive hardware. Powered by Android 2.1 and dressed in Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 interface, the phone offers a 3.7-inch Super AMOLED touch display and an 8-megapixel camera with autofocus and flash. Like other high-end Android phones, the handset also offers a front-facing VGA camera in addition to support for Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n), Bluetooth 3.0, and HSDPA 7.2 Mbps. And as with other Samsung smartphones, the company's added support for DivX and Xvid media formats. Combine that with DNLA connectivity and you get a multimedia powerhouse.

I'm really hoping to see handsets with pico-projectors arrive in the United States. I can already think of more than a few people who would love to show off their vacation pictures or birthday party videos this way. And for good reason...if you have an 8-megapixel camera in the same phone you'll have plenty of snaps to share. Look for the Galaxy Beam in Singapore next month, with European and Asian markets getting it in the third quarter.