MWC 2012: The Samsung Galaxy Beam is Back

There’s a feeling of deja vu on the Samsung stand at Mobile World Congress this year, as the company is showing off a device named the Galaxy Beam, which is an Android smartphone with a built-in projector.

Long-time Samsung fans will recognise the name, as it was also used back in 2010, when the company announced the i8520 during that year’s show. Samsung has either shown remarkable restraint by not naming its new version the Beam HD Plus II, or wants to forget it made the old model entirely.

So what’s new with the Beam? The screen now measures 4-inches and has an 800 x 480 pixel resolution, plus it’s driven by a NovaThor 1GHz dual-core processor and 768MB of RAM. On the rear is a 5 megapixel camera, while around the front is a video-call lens, and there’s a whole 8GB of internal memory.

Sadly, the Beam will ship with Android 2.3 Gingerbread rather than the latest Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich version.

That’s a standard Android feature list these days, but it’s the Beam’s built-in projector which makes it stand out. The 15-lumen, LED-powered projector can display an image up to 50-inches wide, and will show anything which is on the phone’s screen at the time – so from a game or video to the standard Android homescreen.

The brightness level means the Beam will still need a dark room for the image to look its best, but does improves on the i8520, however the reported 640 x 360 pixel resolution is lower than its predecessor’s WVGA spec.

Samsung has done a good job with keeping the Beam’s size down though, as the device measures an impressively lithe 12.5mm, but given the amount of tech squeezed inside and the 2000mAh battery, it’s no surprise the Beam is a weighty beast at 145 grams.

We’re still waiting for news on the new Galaxy Beam’s price, but Samsung has indicated it’ll go on sale in the UK in April.

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