Samsung's projector phone up for pre-order for Rs 29,900; Mercury expands Tablet range with mTab Rio

2 Jul, 2012

First announced at the Mobile World Congress in April this year, Samsung has now made its projector phone Galaxy Beam available for pre-order from its eStore in India. The smartphone currently runs on the Android Gingerbread operating system and from the look of things, there are strong chances that it will not be upgraded to Ice Cream Sandwich in the near future.
Kobian Pte Ltd's Mercury brand has also expanded its Tablet range in India by launching an Android-based Tablet called mTab Rio. The company already has a number of Tablets in the market including mTab, mTab Neo and mTab Neo 2. Now, let us have a look at the devices.The highlight of Samsung Galaxy Beam is the in-built projector that can project 50 inch-wide high definition images.
The mobile phone has a 4 inch Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen (480×800 pixel resolution) display and runs on the Android 2.3 Gingerbread OS (with TouchWiz user interface v4.0 but no Ice Cream Sandwich). It is powered by a 1 GHz Cortex-A9 processor, has 768 MB of RAM and the internal memory of the device is 8 GB, expandable up to 32 GB with a microSD card.
It has a 5 MP rear camera with LED flash that can record HD videos (720p) at 30 fps and a 1.3 MP front-facing camera for video calling. On the connectivity front, the device comes with Bluetooth v3.0, Wi-Fi (Wi-Fi hotspot) and 3G, and it also has a micro USB 2.0 port.
The phone measures 124mm x 64.2mm x 12.5mm and weighs 145.3 gm. It has a 2,000 mAh battery that the company claims will provide up to 20 hours of talk time and 760 hours of standby time. The device also comes with A-GPS support and is available in black. You can pre-order it at Samsung India's eStore for Rs 29,900.
The other projector phones available in the Indian market include Spice Popkorn M-9000 (for Rs 3,970) and Micromax X40 (for Rs 4,765). However, these are cheap variants and unlike Beam, they do not come with touchscreens or have the Android operating system (basically, these are not smartphones). It is also safe to say that the quality of projection made by Beam would be much better than its counterparts.
But will consumers pay such a hefty price (around Rs 10,000 extra) just for a projector, considering the fact that all other specs offered by Beam are available in most of the smartphone models priced between Rs 15,000 and Rs 20,000?
Mercury mTab Rio for Rs 11,999
Rio has a 9.7 inch IPS LCD touchscreen display (an improvement from the earlier displays) and runs on the Android Ice Cream Sandwich OS (out of the box). It is powered by a 1.2 GHz processor and has 1 GB of RAM. Users can opt for an 8 GB a 16 GB model and the internal memory is also expandable by an additional 32 GB (with the help of a microSD card).
The device also features a 2 MP rear camera and a 0.3 MP front-facing camera for video calling. On the connectivity front, the Tablet has Wi-Fi and 3G (with an external USB dongle), and it comes with a microSD card slot and an HDMI port (which means it can stream full HD videos 1080p).

The Tablet supports Adobe Flash 11, weighs 480 gm and offers up to 8 hours of battery life (or so the company claims). It also comes with a one-year warranty and you can buy it from mid-July.

Considering its under-Rs 12,000 pricing, the device will compete with Tablets like HCL ME Tab U1 (Rs 7,999), Zync Z-990 (Rs 8,500), iBerry Auxus AX02 (Rs 9,900), Beetel Teletech's Beetel Magiq II (Rs 9,799), Micromax Funbook (Rs 6,499) and Mercury's own mTab (Rs 9,499) and mTab Neo 2 (Rs.14,999).

(Edited by Sanghamitra Mandal)