|Samsung kicks off with a Beam|
Monday, 27 February 2012 11:50
Samsung has come out swinging at the Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona, announcing a slew of new devices, including two Galaxy Tab 2 tablets and the Galaxy Beam – a smartphone/projector.
The electronics manufacturer claims the Galaxy Beam is the first mainstream smartphone to directly integrate projector technology into its hardware. The handset is fitted with a 15-lumen projector, which projects a 50-inch wide image or video onto any flat surface. Samsung claims the HD projector is also effective outdoors.
The Galaxy Beam is four inches wide, runs Android 2.3 and has a dual-core 1GHz CPU, as well as a 5MP rear camera, and a VGA front-facing camera. The handset measures 12.5mm thick, making it slightly chunkier than other current Galaxy smartphones – some of which are less than 8mm.
The Galaxy Beam is, however, not Samsung's first attempt at a projector/phone. Back in 2010, the manufacturer unveiled a handset by the same name. The company has said it believes the technology has matured to the extent that a new model was warranted. The projector is controlled by a dedicated application on the phone.
Samsung has also announced updates to its Galaxy Tab range, with both 10.1-inch and seven-inch models running the latest version of Android's OS, Ice Cream Sandwich.
Both tablets show subtle improvements on the original Galaxy Tabs and have 1GHz dual-core processors and two cameras. According to Samsung, the seven-inch tablet is designed for “on-the-go” use, while the 10-inch version is better suited to the home.
The larger tablet weighs 588g, and has a resolution of 1280-by-800 pixels and a 3MP rear camera, with full HD 1080p video recording. Compared to its predecessor (the Galaxy Tab 10.1) the Galaxy Tab 2 (10.1) has some slight design modifications, such as predominantly placed stereo speakers on the front of the tablet.
While the new seven-inch tablet was leaked last week already, it is for the most part very similar to the current Galaxy Tab 7.0. Additions include 1080p video recording and GLONASS navigation support.
Samsung is reportedly hoping to target a wider audience with the second-generation tablets and pricing will start in the region of $350 for the seven-inch version. The Galaxy Tab 2 tablets will be released in the UK first, and will be launched globally in March.
While Samsung is yet to release any official statements, a 10-inch version of the notoriously awkwardly-sized Galaxy Note is also expected at MWC this week. The Galaxy Note classifies itself as both a smartphone and a tablet, or a "phablet".
Billboards and adverts posted around Barcelona have let the new product out of the bag, stating: “Its 10.1-inches. It's a Galaxy Note!” and shows a person holding the large-screen tablet, as well as a stylus.
Last year, Samsung raced past both Nokia and Apple to sell more smartphones than any other manufacturer, shipping 97 million handsets (Apple shipped 93 million). According to Reuters, Samsung's mobile chief, JK Shin, has said the company is aiming to nearly double its smartphone sales in 2012.
Samsung has, however, said it will not be releasing the highly-anticipated follow-up to the Galaxy SII handset at MWC, and will instead unveil the new flagship smartphone at a separate event later in the year.
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