I'm sure the phasers have different modes of operation. The Kelvin seems to have seperate emitters for pulsed and beam weapons. Its logical to assume that the Enterprise, being a next-generation ship, has phaser emitters with both these capabilities. It seems as though the phasers were being used as point-defense weapons in that shot, tearing into the fighters/missiles/drones from the Narada. It is entirely possibly that the Enterprise can and would switch over to beam mode when taking on a larger ship.
Wait and see.
Whose to say they don't have capability to choose
beam or pulse fire? Just because we're only seeing one sort here doesn't mean the other isn't present.
Montgomery Scott, ST 5 TFF: "How many time do I have to tell you? The right tool for the right job!
Yeah, it would seem odd to me not to have that ability either, esp. since we saw that already in TOS. I seem to recall Defiant being able to do it but I can't remember when.
As for pulse fire vs. beam fire, I've always thought that pulses were stronger but short range, whereas beams could be more accurate with farther range.