Samsung's Galaxy Beam, a hybrid smartphone/projector, has finally gone on sale in the UK, with SIM-free pricing hovering around the £400-mark, and Carphone Warehouse offering some 60-plus tariffs on Orange and T-Mobile.
Packages start at £31 a month for a two-year contract featuring 600 anytime minutes, unlimited texts, and a fairly meagre 250MB of data on Orange. A more realistic deal offering 1GB of data ups the ante slightly, clocking in at £36 a month on the same network. T-Mobile's free-phone tariffs start at £41.
The pricey little number is most notable for featuring a built-in, 15-lumen projector that can throw images as large as 50in, theoretically enabling users to instantly beam films or games onto blank surfaces if a room is dark enough.
Simon Stanford, Samsung's VP of Telecommunications and Networks Division for the UK and Ireland, ventured that the projector was a unique selling point for the Galaxy Beam, adding that the device had been well received since it was first announced at Mobile World Congress back in February.
"It's the kind of device you won't find anywhere else - a high definition projector within a standard sized smartphone - and is great for people who want to watch movies, show photos to friends or need to give a presentation while they're out and about," he said.
Less impressively, the device only runs Android 2.3 Ginger at present - no word on potential upgrades to Ice Cream Sandwich or Jelly Bean yet - and has an average-sized 4in touch screen. It also features a 1GHz dual-core processor and 8GB of internal storage – upgradable via the microSD card slot.
The Galaxy Beam measures 124 x 64.2 x 12.5mm - considerably more chunky than the Galaxy S3, which is a mere 8.6mm thick - with the extra size partly due to a soft rubberised feel designed to give the device better grip for 'beaming.'
The media-focused Beam handset is also notable for supporting most codecs, including MPEG4, H.264, WMV, Xvid, and DivX, in addition to supporting HSPA+ connectivity.
Originally, the Beam was meant to make its UK and European debut in June.