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Samsung Galaxy Beam successor spotted in China (updated)

Brad Molen
03.15.14
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At Mobile World Congress in 2012, Samsung announced a pico projector smartphone known as the Galaxy Beam. Although it was a cool concept, the phone's downfall was its middling specs, aging OS and large chassis. Two years later, it appears that Samsung's working on a successor to the Beam called the SM-G3858, according to China's government database. The Tenaa entry even comes with a few pictures, most of which offer an indication of a projector: there's clearly a bump on the upper back which opens up to a wide lens on the top, and we also saw an extra button that models after the original Beam -- in fact, the icon above the button looks eerily like the one seen here. Curiously, Samsung has shed the sporty misshapen look in favor of a sleek metal build, which certainly seems a better fit for professionals.

The database also gives us a glimpse at its specs, some of which are an improvement over the original Beam; the China Mobile-branded phone reportedly packs a 4.66-inch WVGA (800x480) display, Android 4.2.2, a quad-core 1.2GHz chipset with 1GB of RAM, microSD slot with up to 32GB external storage, as well as TD-SCDMA and GSM connectivity (no LTE on this model, although there's a chance this is simply a 3G-only variant of a global model). It's also 11.6mm thick, which is much thicker than most Samsung smartphones but still is nearly a full millimeter thinner than the original. It's still too early to determine whether this is going to be exclusive to China Mobile or available to a global market, but at least we know the phone exists for now; Samsung, we're hopeful, will provide us with the rest of the story at some point down the road.

Update: The more we look at the images, the less likely it seems that the G3858 actually uses a metal exterior. Rather, we'd guess that it simply has a plastic back cover that just happens to feature a glossy brushed metal finish.

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