While watching movies and videos on a smartphone is quick and convenient, there are times when a larger image is desired. Phone projectors, often called mini projectors, are the ideal solution for occasions when you prefer the big-screen experience.
The Anker Nebula Capsule, Smart Wi-Fi Mini Projector is a pocket-sized projector that allows you to bring the movie theater with you no matter where you go. Whether you’re streaming your favorite content or giving a presentation at work, this model is the best phone projector, thanks to its portability and ease of use.
With so many models of smartphones and tablets available, it's important to ensure that the projector you select is compatible with what you plan to use. Some devices may not work at all, while others may require specific adapters or cables to connect. Be sure to carefully read the manufacturer’s compatibility requirements.
A major upside to phone projectors is their small size. A device that is too big will be inconvenient to transport and will therefore not be as easy to use. Select a projector that is small enough to still be sensible but large enough to project a quality image.
Many mini projectors are designed with portability in mind. As a result, they can often be powered via USB or with a power bank. Some also include a rechargeable battery. If having a larger viewing experience while traveling is your priority, be sure to select a model that will allow you to power it without needing a wall outlet.
For the best image quality, select a phone projector that throws a crisp, colorful picture. Selecting the brightest projector you can find will also provide you with a sharper, more brilliant image.
Choose a projector that is quiet enough to not disturb your viewing experience. This is especially important if you don’t plan to use headphones and instead will rely on your phone’s speaker or one that may be built into the projector itself.
Select a projector that connects to your device easily and features an app interface that is reliable and simple. Since convenience and portability are the main selling points of mini projectors, choose a model that you can quickly set up.
Some mini projectors feature a basic operating system that allows them to stream content directly from YouTube, Netflix and more without needing to be connected to an external video source.
Some phone projectors require connection via cables and adapters, while others also allow for connection over Wi-Fi. Generally, cable connections are more consistent and reliable, but the convenience of Wi-Fi is compelling for those who will only be using their projector in situations where they know they will have stable service.
Some phone projector models can be purchased for as little as $70, while premium brand units featuring the best in 4K imagery and portability can cost $1,000 or more. Most users will be able to find a projector that suits their needs for $200-$400.
A. In most cases, yes. However, depending on the model of your projector and the content you wish to share, you may need an adapter or two to connect the devices.
A. Yes. Mini projectors that throw a 4K image are available. These models, however, are very expensive.
A. Some projectors include an operating system that allows you to stream content directly from the unit. Keep in mind that copyrighted material from Netflix, Hulu and other sources cannot be screen shared from your mobile device and will require either a wired connection or a projector with smart capabilities.
What you need to know: This tiny projector allows you to download streaming apps to its operating system.
What you’ll love: This projector runs on an Android operating system, which allows you to stream copyrighted content directly from the device. Includes a built-in speaker and lasts for up to four hours on a single charge.
What you should consider: This model requires a dongle to connect via USB and its remote control can be unreliable.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: While marketed as a device for kids, at less than $100, this projector is an excellent value.
What you’ll love: This projector throws a bright, sharp image and is compatible with PCs, iPhones and Android devices. Small and lightweight, it can be run with a portable power supply.
What you should consider: This projector cannot connect over Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, and it has no HD output.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
What you need to know: This mini projector is small enough to fit in your pocket.
What you’ll love: This phone projector from Kodak can be mounted on a tripod. It includes a built-in speaker and rechargeable battery. It allows for wireless screen sharing via AirPlay or Miracast.
What you should consider: The battery in this unit has a short life and some users report that it doesn’t last long enough to play an entire movie.
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.