What is the best Pico projector in 2018? Don’t worry, our experts have spent almost 35 hours to find out the best portable Pico projector that is currently available in the market. As per the research, Anker Nebula Capsule Smart Mini Projector is the recommended Pico Projector by our lab experts. All of our recommended pocket projectors are small, portable and cheap.
These can be your traveling companion no matter if you’re going for a business presentation or any other purpose out of the town. Generally, pico projectors enrich with recent technology and people love pocket projectors especially for their portability. You don’t have to worry about the space size of these mini projectors. These pocket-sized projectors are really good if you need to travel a lot but still want to enjoy movies with friends or want to submit a presentation from your smartphone.
If you are short in time let’s see our top 10 recommended pico Projectors:
Best Pico Projector 2018 Review
You already know what we have picked here in this review from the comparison table. We will now review these all projectors one by one and tell you how we choose the best portable mini projector from these 10.
1. Anker Nebula Capsule – A Smart Mini Projector
Anker Nebula Capsule mini projector is an ideal projector if you are looking something small and portable. You can easily use it in outdoor (indoor of course), in fact anywhere, anytime as long as you have your smartphone. Because it runs on Android 7.1. If you have a wireless connection (Wi-Fi) or mobile data, you can easily visit Netflix, YouTube etc. and enjoy cinema anywhere with friends.
If you don’t have net connections, still you need not be worried. You can project your local files from your smartphone. You don’t even need an HDMI connection to broadcast anything from the phone to projectors. You can easily project something with the help of Airplay and Miracast.
This small projector only weighs 15oz. The Nebula Capsule looks like a beer can. But it contains a lot of features and I am sure you would be amazed to know them. It has a 360-degree audio speaker. This omnidirectional speaker has the ability to emit sound in every direction. We can say that this is the highest quality speakers Anker has used in this mini projector if you compare to other mobile projectors. You won’t feel any need of external speakers when watching movies with the projector. You can also use the speakers to listen to music by connecting your music source via Bluetooth. Thanks to the Anker engineers!
It comes with a rechargeable battery. Anker claims that the batter can last for 4 hours when in video playback mood and can last up to 30 hours when it is in the music mood. But, to be honest, we never tried this for 4 hours. We were short in time actually. But no worries, you can easily watch a 2.5 hours movie.
It comes with a Capsule remote that allows you to control the pico projector. Nebula Capsule can project up to 100 in on the screen. You can use a portable screen for this. The resolution of the images is 854 x 480. The projector has 3 options to connect with your all devices, Mirror screening, HDMI, USB. You can connect laptop, mobile, tablet via screen mirroring. It has a USB port to connect your flash drivers. You can use HDMI port to connect any gaming console, Blue-ray player or streaming devices.
2. LG PH550 – Best Wireless Pico Projector from LG
Did you hear about LG’s projector? I guess yes. They have announced the arrival of PH550 before some months. If you are looking for something that can provide you more brightness, then you can think about LG PH550. But, this is not a “Pocket Projector”. I mean you cannot travel keeping this in your pocket like the previous one.
But it is a small projector and it can easily be adjusted in any handbag. It just weighs 1.43 lb and it has a dimension of 6.9″ x 1.7″ x 4.3″. If you don’t have any problem with the size, then it can be a good fit for you.
The lamp life of this pico projector is extremely good. LG claims that the LED lamp can last up to 30000 hours. If you compare it to other LED projectors, you can see that the lamp life is quite good. It has a high definition resolution of (1280 x 720) and a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 which means it can provide you with a clear image.
It has a wider range of projection area. The size of the DLP screen is 25″ ~ 100″. You will need a very good projector screen to watch a clearer image. It can provide a brightness of 550 lumens. Its aspect ratio is rated 16:9.
LG PH550 has a lot of connectivity option. You can connect even external speakers via Bluetooth. You can connect your Android phone to broadcast on the screen. It has a lot of input and output ports like AV, RGB, HDMI and TV tuner. TV tuner allows you to enjoy the TV shows directly from your projector. The mini projector comes with a built-in battery. The battery can last up to 2.5 hours in video mode.
Overall, this is a very good option if you are looking for a mini LED projector with good quality.
3. AAXA Technologies P300 – Another Good one from AAXA
When you look for suggestions of owning the best Pico projector, one model that you will find familiar in many expert’s lists is AAXA Technologies P300. It is a critically acclaimed 1080p Pico projector which is based on 1280 X 800 native resolution, and it assists the projector to result out an excellent visual quality.
Even though it has HD native resolution but still it allows you to play 1080p content with ease. Whether you want to play a movie in the outdoor or indoor area, you won’t have to worry about vividness because it gets the best-in-class 500 ANSI Lumens that delivers the required brightness.
The clarity and black depth offered by AAXA Technologies P300 is quite praiseworthy, and it is due to the inclusion of 2000:1 contrast ratio. Moreover, the color accuracy it manages to achieve using Vibrant Color technology is quite commendable, and it helps the projector to reproduce most of the colors in the content.
However, it only comes with a 16:10 aspect ratio option and the lack of options might cause an issue in tricky situations. You won’t have to worry about projection size and distance as it packs an image range of 10-120inches with short 1.38:1 throw ratio allowing you to pitch them anywhere you like.
Pico projectors are always known for their longevity, and AAXA Technologies P300 is no different because it gets a Triple RGB LEDs which offers a whopping 20000hour life. All thanks to its 60min rechargeable Li-ion battery that allows you switch on the device even if you don’t have a power supply. Many experts hail it for a large number of connectivity options as it manages to house HDMI, USB 2.0, VGA, Composite A/V, micro SD, and 3.5mm audio. This ultra mini projector for people who are always traveling and they won’t have any difficulty in carrying them as it only weighs 0.97lbs.
4.RIF6 CUBE – An affordable Mobile Projector
If you are looking for a good pocket projector for light use in an affordable price, that RIF6 CUBE can be the perfect choice for you. It is very small in size and light in weight. The dimension is only 2 x 2 x 1.9 in. Just think how small the projector is! There are many reviews of RIF6 CUBE available in online. Each of them will talk about its good side first. But, we would like to mention its biggest drawback first and that is this small projector doesn’t have enough projection quality. Personally, I didn’t like the idea of not having this feature. But, they may have to compromise it as they want it to keep very simple and portable.
The projector is a small one in a cheap price point. What about the screen quality then? Though many reviewers are saying that the quality of that tiny projector is good, we didn’t find anything like that. We are sorry but that’s true. The screen quality is okay but not the “Greatest”. If you are okay with a normal screen quality and want to give importance to the money rather than the projector, then this is a good choice for you. Never mind!
RIF6 CUBE is a complete package. The manufacturer provides everything you will need with a projector. This is a compact projector if you need to have a tiny projector in your pocket. It comes with a nice tripod stand, remote, charger. The tripod is bendable as well. Generally, the manufacturers of projectors don’t provide a tripod with projectors.
This mini projector has some connectivity option so that you can watch movies, play games directly from your library. It allows you to connect your flash drive or microSD card. But, this projector doesn’t have an option to connect from WIFI or Bluetooth which is another drawback of this projector.
This RIF6 projector comes with a built-in battery which can last unto 90 min in video mode. But while we were testing it by playing the “Titanic”, it only allowed us to watch the movie only 79 min. So, you should think about the battery life too.
5. Sony MP-CD1 – A Top End Mobile Projector
Sony MP-CD1 looks like an android phone. Did you ever see Sony’s Xperia mobile? This projector is similar in look like the Xperia phone. It only weighs only 9.9 oz. But the problem is this doesn’t provide enough brightness. If you need a pico projector with a good number of lumens, then we suggest not to buy this. If, 105 lumens is something work for you, then this can be an ideal portable projector for you. Moreover, it uses IntelliBright Technology which helps to bring more bright shape in the beam.
This MP-CD1 is extremely portable. This can be a very good option for a businessman or a person who wants to watch movies at outdoor with friends. It has a short throw distance of 3.77ft so that you don’t need any large space to set up the projector.
It has a contrast ratio of 400:1 and can cover a 100-inch projector screen easily. The display resolution is 854 × 480. It comes with a built-in battery and can last up to 2 hours. The most impressive thing is this projector can boot in just 5 secs. So quick, isn’t it?
What about connectivity option then?
Well, the Sony MP-CD1 offers wireless connectivity option. You can easily mirror your content from your smartphone. HDML dongles can help to to pull up any data from your device like laptops, tab, mobile phone etc.
What we didn’t like about this projector is:
- It doesn’t have any remote controller
- Poor in-built speakers
- The absence of the Bluetooth option
6. ASUS S1 – A Very Good Short Throw Projector
Asus S1 is another top player in the pico projector market and famous for providing some unique features. One of them is, you can use it as a power bank. Will talk more on this later. This is again one of the best portable projectors and you can easily take it with you while you are not at home.
The dimension of the mini projector is 4.3 x 4 x 1.2 inch and weight is only 0.75 lb. We should also mention the design of the projector. It is available in icicle gold color. Only this color is available. But the design seems unique.
The most impressive feature of this is it can be an alternative to your power bank. You can use it as a 6000mAh power bank. You can charge your mobile even if the projector is turned off. That means you don’t need to keep the projector on to charge your mobile. Isn’t it cool?
S1 comes with a built-in rechargeable battery which can last up to 3 hours. So, you can set up the projector any where in the house for 3 hours without having a power socket! I always do that thing. I have an old pico projector of LG. It lasts 1-1.5 hours maximum (I told old) and I always set this up near any electric socket so that I can power the projector whenever it needs. 😀
It comes with a DLP screen. Oh, it is one of the best mini short throw projectors available now in the market. It has a short throw ratio of 1:1. In case you don’t know what a short throw projector is and how does it work, you can check out this article.
Let’s talk about the brightness and contrast of ASUS S1. You will get a clear picture from this projector as it comes with a 200 lumens LED projection bulb. This bulb can last around 30,000 hours. That means, if you need the projector to perform 8 hours a day, it will take 10 years to replace the bulb.
This projector has another unique feature. You can switch off/on the projector instantly. Other projector takes 5-6 seconds to turned on. But this projector is quick enough. This S1 pico projector has HDMI and MHL connection port. You can integrate the projector with your laptop, tab through HDMI and your mobile through MHL. MHL means Mobile High Definition Link.
7. LG PH300 – with Built-in Digital TV Tuner
LG PH300 mini beam serves as a quintessential blend of portable and high-performance projector that is camouflaged under a classic rectangular box. It is a DLP projection technology-based device that with the help of 1280 X 720 native resolution dazzle your eyes with crisp and vibrant visuals.
Like most of the Pico models it also offers 1080p@60 as the maximum resolution support, but unlike others, it plays 1080p without causing any degradation. It may not be the brightest projector in the bunch, but its 300 ANSI lumens manages to keep the vividness optimum in almost every light condition.
To enhances the color output of PH300, LG Electronics has given a Triple XD engine which basically ensures that all the frames maintain the standard color saturation level. What set this Pico apart? It’s top of the line 100000:1 contrast ratio which blows most of Pico models out of the water in the black depth segment.
The screen size range it offers is quite wide, and it starts at 20inches and goes all the way up to 100inches. Placement won’t be an issue as it gets a 1.71:1 throw ratio which gives you the authority to throw a 50inch image from 3-4ft away.
LG PH300 is built using an RGB LED lamp which has a 30000hours of lamp longevity so you won’t think about lamp replacement cost for at least ten years. Moreover, it comes with a built-in battery that ensures you can your enjoy a movie for 2.5hours during a power cut or lack of power supply.
With this model, you won’t ever feel shortage entertainment content as it bags inbuilt TV tuner which supports most of the TV signals. This miniscule projector houses all the standard inputs, and it comprises HDMI, MHL, USB, and audio. Lastly, it treats you with a year warranty, and it covers most of the parts and labor charges.
8. Magnasonic LED – A Good Portable Projector for Business Presentations
Well, there is no doubt that Magnasonic PP60 projector is one of most excellent Pico models in the lot which not only satisfies you with performance but also price point. Even though it is a cheap Pico projector but it won’t give you in any room to question its visual quality, and it is due to DLP projection technology.
It even bags a 640 X 360 WVGA native resolution and maximum resolutions up to 1080p, but it often lags if you try to play Full HD videos of significant size. Sadly it would disappoint you with 25 lumens, and you will need complete darkness to get a vivid and razor-sharp clarity in visuals.
Magnasonic PP60 is accompanied by 1100:1 contrast ratio which makes sure that every visual maintains a proper balance between bright and dark areas. It’s 16.7m on-screen color support also puts up a decent color accuracy which ultimately aids to the quality of the frames. As it is a Pico device, so it doesn’t get a massive image size range, and it is bound to a max 60inch projection size.
Wherever you place this model, you will need a right amount of distance from the screen, and it is due to its 2.2:1 throw ratio. If there is any distortion after placement, then you can utilize its manual focus and keystone correction to rectify it.
Magnasonic PP60 is often considered as one of the finest Pico projectors, and it is partly due to its RGB LED lamp that has a 20000 lamp life. Not only that, its 2100mAh with 2hr battery backup also aids to the popularity of this model.
You won’t be able to hook a lot of external devices with this model as it only houses HDMI, audio and micro USB. But to make up downgrade, the manufacturer has tried to pamper the users with mini HDMI adapter, HDMI cable, tripod, and bag. A significant advantage of owning this projector is that it only weighs 0.28lbs and has a small form factor thus providing you the freedom to carry it in your pocket.
Miroir M45 is probably one of the tiniest and top Pico models available in the market that has never dissatisfied its customer in visual performance. Most of the users are quite satisfied with the detailed quality it oozes out and all the thanks to the combination of DLP projection along with 640 X 360 native resolution.
Don’t be appalled by its low resolution because you will be still able to play FHD contents from any external source as it has a maximum 1080p input support. Despite being a small portable projector, you will require an extremely dark environment to play your content because it only comes with 15 ANSI lumens.
Miroir M45 has a low lumens number, but it makes up with it’s 1100:1 contrast ratio which helps the projector to counter the low intensity and bring out a vibrant quality. This tiny device has the capability to project up to 50inch which is quite sufficient if you only intend to use it while traveling.
You won’t arrange an ample space for setting up this projector, and it is due to its 2.0:1 throw ratio which is acceptable at this price point. Surprisingly it even houses a 0.8-watt inbuilt speaker, but we would suggest you to use an external speaker for proper volume.
You won’t have much difficulty while connecting various type of devices to Miroir M45 because it gets HDMI, USB, audio and micro USB. Longevity is often a big issue with cheap Pico projector, but Miroir has managed to over it by offering a powerful LED lamp with 20000hour lifecycle. While you are on the go, you can utilize its inbuilt 2100mAh Li-ion battery to play your movie, and it will offer you a backup for two straight hours.
Philips PPX4010 is a next-gen-palm sized Pico projector that is loaded with all the required attributes to ensure all your entertainment requirement is fulfilled. Philips has configured DLP SmartEngine and 854 X 480 native resolution in such a way that it can project a brilliant image quality ever time you switch on the device.
The 100 ANSI lumens of brightness it gets offers a great amount of intensity in the visuals, but a little amount of ambient light would jeopardize the vividness. A good thing about this projector is that it can bring out a brilliant color reproduction in the visuals, so you find any faded image.
Philips PPX4010 delivers a decent amount of black depth as well as clarity in every image, and all the credit goes to its 1500:1 contrast ratio. While setting this projector, you should remember that it only comes with front projection mode so avoid placing them in the back. It treats you with a decent image size array which lies between the range of 15inch and 120inches.
To your surprise, you won’t have to arrange a broad area for its installation because it bags a 1.4:1 throw ratio. While watching a movie or TV series, you won’t be troubled by constant fan noise as it has a noise level below 28dBa.
Philips PPX4010 may not be a WiFi Pico projector, but still, it pampers you with mini HDMI, HDCP, VGA, micro USB, and audio. For convenience, Philips has also given micro USB to USB Y cable and mini HDMI to HDMI cable. Despite having a 2.68 X 2.60 X 0.87inch size, it holds the prowess to baffle you with its durability, and it is mainly due to its 30000hours of RGB LED lamp life. However, for image correction, it only gets manual focus adjustment which might be a deal breaker for some user.
Buying Guide of Pico Projectors from Our Experts
What is a Pico/Mini Projector?
Pico projectors are simply portable and small projectors which allow you to carry it in your pocket even if you are traveling in a train. These kinds of projectors are very lightweight and small in size. Different projector brands manufacture mini projectors every year. You just need to be careful while purchasing a tiny projector from the market. You can follow our research on the top to find a good pico projector. We have done all the test in the lab for you. So, you can be sure about the quality. We had also considered the price of these projectors to determine whether the quality and feature is enough or not.
Why Should You Buy a Pico Projector?
Well, if you are here to find out the best mini projector of 2018, you already know what the purpose of Pico projector is. If you are not here to buy any projectors, just reading the article to know what a Pico projector is and why should you use it, keep reading.
Pico projectors are very much portable and easy to carry with. Let’s say, you are outside of your home but want to watch a movie on a projector with your friends. What would you do? Would you carry your big size LED projector with you? Of course not. In this situation, you can use a projector which is very lightweight and you can carry it in your pocket.
Or let’s say you are a lecturer in a school. But that school doesn’t have any projectors in the school to show a digital multimedia. Your students now request you to show the working principle of a projector from YouTube. What will you do? Isn’t it better to show them through a projector? But your school doesn’t have any projectors. In that case, Pico projectors can help you. You just need to be connected to the internet from your phone. That’s it. You can then project any screen from your phone to that projector.
The mini projector can also come handy if you are trying to show a project presentation to your boss in your office. You can simply connect the projector to your device to show the presentation directly to your boss. Believe me, that will surely impress your boss.
If you still don’t know the differences between these models, check my guide on the differences among LED, LCD, and DLP projectors.
Andrew Wyatt is a Product Marketing Manager at Instart Logic. He completed graduation in marketing from the University of Arizona. He was a product manager at Kissmetrics. Previously he worked for some renowned companies like Insight Product Development, Wind River Corporation, Keyence Corporation. He conducted a lot of webinar as a guest speaker.