Samsung Galaxy Beam vs Samsung Galaxy S II | Speed, Performance and Features Reviewed | Full Specs Compared
Sometimes, all you need is an innovative concept to gain the market share. When the same core pattern is repeated over and over again with minor modifications, human nature is to get bored with that altogether. That’s more or less happening in the mobile phone industry today for the same core pattern is repeated with minor modifications and improvements like faster processors and better screen resolutions and faster connectivity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all in for faster processors and better screen resolutions and faster connectivity, but we have to ask the question whether there is any new feature that has been added to the mobile phone. At the start, the mobile phone was only a device you could use to make calls. Then came text messages, color displays, powerful cameras and touchscreen smartphones. Apart from those, what is the big change that is waiting to happen? The introduction of HD displays may well be considered as advancement in the display panel. The introduction of 3D smartphones may be the next big thing, but it doesn’t seem to gain much popularity among the general consumers either. So what is it going to be?
Well, we think we just might have the answer for that. With the announcement of Samsung Galaxy Beam, we have hope for the next big change. This smartphone is special because it has a LED pico projector built-in to the phone. If you have been using Apple devices, you may be familiar with the external pico projectors you can directly connect to your device. That is the closest simile we have for the Samsung Galaxy Beam for it has the projector on the top and you can easily project whatever you wish just as easily without any external equipment. How cool would that sound? The great news is that you won’t have to wait much to get your hands on this handset. We’ll talk about it and compare it against Samsung Galaxy S II to get an idea about the other hardware specs of the smartphone, as well.
Samsung Galaxy Beam
Apart from the built-in projector, Samsung Galaxy Beam is actually a mid-range smartphone with decent performance. We will talk about the smartphone first before moving on to the projector. It follows the unique ergonomic design of Samsung Galaxy family although it’s somewhat thick at 12.5mm. It comes in Black and has a Yellow strip around the edges. Beam has the same button setup as Galaxy S II, and it hosts the projector at the top. Due to this, it has become somewhat bulky at the top, but it’s a welcome cost I’m willing to pay. It has 4.0 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring 800 x 480 pixels at a pixel density of 233ppi. Galaxy Beam is powered by 1GHz Cortex A9 dual core processor with 768MB of RAM and runs on Android OS v2.3 Gingerbread. We don’t see any apparent upgrade to Android OS v4.0 ICS though which is somewhat disappointing. Nonetheless, the setup is similar to any mid-range Android device in the market.
Samsung Galaxy Beam has 5MP camera with autofocus and LED flash along with Geo tagging and the camcorder can capture 720p video @ 30 frames per second. The 1.3MP secondary camera is sufficient for video conferencing purposes. The connectivity is defined by HSDPA up to 14.4 Mbps, and Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n ensures continuous connectivity. Beam can also act as a wi-fi hotspot to share internet connection, and it also has DLNA that enables the user to stream rich media content to your Smart TV. It comes with 8GB of internal storage with the option to expand using a microSD card up to 32GB.
The interesting feature of Samsung Galaxy Beam is the inbuilt Pico projector. It features a native resolution of 640 x 360 pixels and is LED based which means that it won’t be limited with the life of the bulbs like normal projectors do. The projector is relatively dim, but we can’t blame Samsung for that, as they need to find the perfect balance that would give out good pictures and great battery life. It is rated at 15 lumens, which means you would need a dark room to get a clear projection. However, compared to the hassle of carrying around a projector, that is a small price to pay. The demo of the projector seemed great, and we appreciate what Samsung has done with Beam. There are still some points to be improved like the aspect ratio and the controls. For instance, controlling the projector is done using a button on the upper right corner and in the landscape mode; it’s pretty difficult to navigate. Apart from these apparent shortcomings, Beam is indeed a great device which enables the user to share any content anywhere regardless of the crowd. Samsung has come up with some wonderful scenarios to demonstrate that. It can be used as an overhead projector where the camera can take pictures and project them real time. This is idle for a small gathering of students to study and discuss their notes. Besides this scenario, Samsung indicates that this would be a party starter, light presenter, and an interactive gaming platform. Of course with a device like this, sky is the limit of things you can imagine doing with it. The best thing is, Samsung guarantees a straight 3 hour projection from one charge, which is awesome.
Samsung Galaxy S II
Samsung is the leading smartphone vendor in the world and they have actually gained much of their popularity though Galaxy family. It’s not just because Samsung Galaxy is superior in quality and uses cutting edge technology, but it’s because Samsung is also concerned about the usability aspect of the smartphone and make sure that has the due attention. Galaxy S II comes in either Black or White or Pink and has three buttons at the bottom. It also has the same curved smooth edges Samsung gives to Galaxy family with an expensive looking plastic cover. It is really light weighing 116g and ultra-thin too having a thickness of 8.5mm.
The renowned phone was released in April 2011 and comes with a 1.2GHz ARM Cortex A9 dual core processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset with Mali-400MP GPU. It also has 1GB of RAM. This was top notch configuration back in April and, even now, only a few smartphones surpass the configurations. The operating system is Android OS v2.3 Gingerbread, and luckily Samsung promises an upgrade to V4.0 IceCreamSandwich soon. Galaxy S II has two storage options, 16 / 32 GB with the ability to expand the storage using a microSD card up to 32 GB more. It comes with 4.3 inches Super AMOLED Plus Capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 480 x 800 pixels and a pixel density of 217ppi. While the panel is of superior quality, the pixel density could have been somewhat advanced, and it could have featured a better resolution. Nonetheless, this panel reproduces images in a great manner that would catch your eye. It has HSDPA connectivity, which is both fast and steady, along with Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n and it can also act as a wi-fi hotspot which is really attractive. With the DLNA functionality, you can stream rich media directly to your TV wirelessly.
Samsung Galaxy S II comes with 8MP camera with autofocus and LED flash and some advanced functionalities. It can record 1080p HD videos at 30 frames per second and has Geo-tagging with the support of A-GPS. For the purpose of video conferences, it also features a 2MP camera on the front bundled with Bluetooth v3.0. Besides the normal sensor, Galaxy S II comes with a gyro sensor and the generic android applications. It features Samsung TouchWiz UI v4.0 which gives a good user experience. It comes with 1650mAh battery, and Samsung promises a talk time of 18 hours in 2G networks, which is simply amazing.
A Brief Comparison of Samsung Galaxy Beam vs Samsung Galaxy S II
• Samsung Galaxy Beam is powered by 1GHz dual core processor with 768MB of RAM, while Samsung Galaxy S II is powered by 1.2GHz dual core processor on top of Samsung Exynos chipset with 1GB of RAM.
• Samsung Galaxy Beam has 4.0 inches Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution for 800 x 480 pixels, while Samsung Galaxy S II has 4.3 inches Super AMOLED Plus capacitive touchscreen featuring a resolution of 800 x 480 pixels.
• Samsung Galaxy Beam has 5MP camera that can record 720p videos, while Samsung Galaxy S II has 8MP camera that can record 1080p HD videos.
• Samsung Galaxy Beam is smaller, yet thicker and heavier (124 x 64.2mm / 12.5mm / 145.3g) than Samsung Galaxy S II (125.3 x 66.1mm / 8.5mm / 116g).
We won’t be able to conclude a specific smartphone as the best smartphone, and the other to be the second. This is because they serve different purposes. If we only take the aspect of phone, Samsung Galaxy S II is better than Samsung Galaxy Beam, as it has a faster processor, better display panel and resolution with a better camera. Samsung Galaxy Beam is intended to be a mid-range in any case, so that is not surprising. On the other hand, if we take conceptually, the Samsung Galaxy Beam excels Samsung Galaxy S II as the inbuilt projector is another step forward towards digital convergence. It would simply mean you can share anything anywhere from your smartphone just like we see in all these high end TV shows and movies. If you have ever imagined a phone that can project into thin air like me, you’d know that day won’t be too long. Thus, it all comes down to what you need from the mobile device when it is time to make the purchasing decision. However, we can assume that this product will have a huge effect, especially, on students and social media addicts. The only issue right now would be the price that is going to be rather high, although we don’t know how high. Give it sometime and in a couple of years, the projector phone will be a commodity like the camera phone.