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Mostly Everything

Thoughts on the Samsung Galaxy Beam: Android Phone with Built-in Projector

Samsung Galaxy Beam Bangkok

I really want this phone to fly. Well, if not the phone, then at least the concept of adding a 15-lumen projector to a smartphone, in the same way that cameras and GPS are now built into your mobile, it doesn’t get highlighted as a main selling point, but as a staple in handheld devices. Imagine the following scenarios:

  • an artist (in this case an independent film maker) wants to show off his new movie via an impromptu screening in a public area. All you need is a wall and the requirement that the movie be no longer than 2 hours (that’s the battery life of the phone when you turn on the projector)
  • Protest rallies .. you can easily set up a multimedia hub
  • Impromptu statements, which, although highly controversial can really serve its purpose: “Eat here!” or “Don’t eat here — service really bad!”

Marketers have been consistently trying to find more ways to bring together the Internet and real-world behavior. With “social” and “sharing” becoming the buzz of the industry the past few years, how would retailers feel if you could literally write something on their store wall, and not just on Facebook?

Samsung Beam Demo

The Samsung Galaxy Beam boasts a decent spec sheet for a modern-day smartphone: ships with Android 2.3 Gingerbread, 4″ WVGA display, and runs on a 1GHz dual-core processor. The Beam is their first projector-enabled smartphone (640 x 360 at 50 inches maximum size) at 15 lumens. It doesn’t perform very well during daylight but at night, it can definitely grab your attention.

Samsung Beam

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Mostly Everything

Every mobile warrior’s dream: 3M Micro Professional Projector at P24,000

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EDIT: There is a discussion on my PLURK page where Fritz discusses the LED quality and lifespan. Check it out!

Though it looks like a cellphone, it certainly isn’t one. The 3M Micro Professional Projector (MPro 110) is by far the smallest handheld LED projector I’ve ever encountered, even smaller than Toshiba’s FF1 Ultralight, which I reviewed several months ago. The main difference is that the MPro 110 literally fits in your pocket, and has the same dimensions and weight as a typical mobile phone.

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Pictured above is the MPro side by side a Nokia 5800 XpressMusic (my reviews here and here) and a Samsung Pixon M8800. As you can see … well, yeah it could very well be mistaken for a cellphone!

Ultra Small and Ultra Simple!

There are three things to note about the MPro 110’s design. First, it comes with only two hardware buttons: a very simple on / off switch and a fine focus wheel located near the top of the unit. Second, the MPro 110 has two input slots – one for RCA and the other for VGA. Lastly, the bottom of the unit comes with the standard hole for attaching a tripod. Sadly, the unit doesn’t come shipped with one (but that’s OK – mini tripods are el cheapo today – Vivitar sells ’em for P99.00 in MegaMall).

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Out of the box is a simple package – the projector comes with a RCA and VGA cable and charger (2 hours to full charge).

Performance

I can blabber on about the MPro the whole day, but nothing beats an actual demonstration. Here we are at Sugi in Greenbelt 2 for a demo with the guys from 3M showing off how we can attach the unit to an iPod nano. Although it’s not shown here, I was also able to attach it to my Mac without any problem as well as project images from the TV out of a digital camera.

While the product was being demo’ed, I couldn’t help but think of all the times I WISH I had a projector with me for presentations, but didn’t. My lifestyle takes me away from the desk almost all the time, giving presentations here and there, and sometimes, faulty equipment (incompatible digital projectors) can usually ruin the momentum of any presentation! At least I now have a great backup!

The MPro can project between a screen between 5 inches to 50 inches. There is no zoom adjustment – you need to use your legs. You also can’t adjust the brightness but as seen from the demo, the image projected is decent. Another good thing is that the lithium ion battery, though it lasts for about 60 minutes on a full charge, is removable and swappable!

I mean, just imagine stepping into a Starbucks for your client meeting and not needing to have everyone huddle in to see your presentation. Now you won’t just have to save the couch seats, you’ll need to save seats near the wall! Of course this goes without saying that everyone else in Starbucks will see your company’s 2009 budget. But that’s besides the point!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€

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The 3M MPro 110 Micro Professional Projector will be available this first quarter of 2009 in your favorite Abenson’s and other retail branches where I assume you can find other 3M products like Scotch Brite, Post It, and Nexcare. ๐Ÿ™‚

Retail price? More or less the same as a cellphone between P22,000.00 to P24,000.00. I’ll be posting more “creative executions” with the projector. A portable screen you can flash anywhere attached to an imaging device leaves you with many interesting options (I can watch my Dr. Who and How I Met Your Mother projected from my laptop!) ๐Ÿ˜‰