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Android phone sports pico projector

Feb 17, 2010 — by Eric Brown — from the LinuxDevices Archive — 8 views

Samsung unveiled an Android 2.1 phone equipped with a built-in pico projector. The “I8250” Android phone offers a 3.7-inch WVGA “Super AMOLED” display, an eight-megapixel camera, and up to 16GB of internal memory, says Samsung.

Samsung's chief focus at Mobile World Congress this week appears to have been the introduction of the Wave, the first smartphone based on its Bada operating system. However, by most accounts, what consumers want most these days are Android phones. Judging from the inclusion of a projector device inside the Android 2.1-equipped I8250, the Android lovers include road warrior executives who need to show presentations from their mobile phones.

Although Samsung posted specs and photos for the I8250, which one report says was previously code-named the "Halo," the company did not offer a press release or product page. Neither did Samsung reveal the processor used by the I8250. Samsung did, however, post some rather confusing memory specs, stating that internal memory was "at least 2GB (4G ROM / 3Gb RAM + 16GB MoviNAND)."

In a hands-on look at the phone by Gordon Kelly in TrustedReviews, this is interpreted as being 16GB of internal memory, which would certainly be on the generous side. According to the mini-review, the phone, which is also called the "Beam," will launch across Europe and Asia in the third quarter.

Samsung I8250
(Click to enlarge)

The Samsung I8250 integrates a projector device that can project the screen's display on an external surface. Samsung refers to the feature as a "Specialized Projector," but provides no more details.

The I8250 reportedly uses Texas Instruments' DLP (digital light processing) projection technology, as does TI's Linux-ready Pico Projector Development Kit, which shipped a year ago. TI's recently sampling Cortex-A9-based OMAP4x SoCs is said to offer integrated pico projector support, using what appears to be a second generation technology, and its Linux- and Android-ready OMAP4x-based Blaze, built by SVTronics, offers a built-in pico projector.

The only other phone we know of with a DLP pico projector is a Windows Mobile model, the LG eXpo. According to our sister site, WindowsForDevices, the eXpo's detachable pico projector is an $180 extra, and adds depth to the phone, as well as 1.8 ounces of weight.

Samsung I8250, showing pico projector
(Click to enlarge)

According to the TrustedReviews story, the I8250's projector is nicely integrated, unlike the eXpo's "bulky add-on." Kelly did note, however, that the demo's image quality was washed up, but this was probably due to the excessive lighting on the MWC show floor, he added.

Super AMOLED and an eight-megapixel camera

Despite the inclusion of the projector and a large 3.7-inch WVGA touchscreen, the I8250 offers graspable dimensions, measuring 4.8 x 2.4 x 0.6 inches (123 x 59.8 x 14.9mm), according to Samsung. The display is equipped with new "Super AMOLED" technology, which also debuted this week on the Samsung Wave. The technology is said to be much brighter, clearer, and less reflective that Samsung's earlier AMOLED displays, which were already receiving rave reviews.

According to Samsung, the I8250 supports HSDPA 7.2Mbps, HSUPA 5.76Mbps, and UMTS (900/1900/2100), as well as EDGE/GPRS (850/900/1800/1900) cellular networks. Like the Wave, the phone also offers 802.11n WiFi, providing greater bandwidth and range than 802.11g, but it is listed with Bluetooth 2.1 instead of the Wave's Bluetooth 3.0 feature.

While TrustedReviews listed a five-megapixel camera, Samsung says the camera is rated at eight megapixels. The company also says it supports video capture with H.264, H.263, MPEG4, Divx/Xvid, and VC-1 formats, at 720p resolution and a 30fps frame rate. As this is the same video capability touted for the Wave, and several other features are similar, the I8250 may well use the same 1GHz mystery processor (which is possibly Samsung's 1GHz, 45nm-fabricated S5PC110), although Samsung does not list a clock rate in the case of the I8250.

Audio features include a music player, FM Radio with RDS, 3.5mm jack, and dual speakers with 3D sound effects, says Samsung. Other stated features include GPS, USB 2.0, and an 1800 mAh battery that supports up to 470 minutes in 3G mode, or 850 minutes with 2G. Standby time is rated at 530 hours (3G) or 630 hours (2G).

The I8250's software will include a "Specialized Projector UI," as well as hybrid widgets, IM, email, and a push messaging service, says Samsung. The phone is also said to support DLNA network discovery, and offer "Samsung Kies."

According to TrustedReviews' Kelly, the phone (sadly to his thinking) offers the same TouchWiz 3.0 UI as the Wave and most other Samsung phones. TouchWiz downgrades Android's user experience and wastes the phone's excellent display with its "ugly icons," writes Kelly.


According to TrustedReviews, the Samsung I8250 will launch across Europe and Asia in the third quarter. More information on the Android-based Samsung I8250 may be found at this Samsung PR page, here. The TrustedReviews story may be found here.

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