Best Outdoor Projector

Updated: Jan 29, 2024 7:14 AM
best outdoor projector featured image that shows the top three best projector models

To help you find and purchase the best outdoor projector, we spent multiple hours determining the top features to consider and analyzing hundreds of customer reviews. As you start your buying process, we recommend considering projectors that offer a high level of portability and connectivity. This way, you aren’t bringing out your entire home theater setup every time you want to watch a movie outside. We also recommend considering options that can work both in complete darkness or with moderate ambient light from the moon or stars. Finally, look for versatility in installation so you can get a precise picture, even from an angle.

With all of these features in mind, we selected the BenQ TK850i as our top-pick product for the best outdoor projector category. Keep reading about this, and our other top picks to learn more about the best projectors on the market today.

Top 10 Best Outdoor Projectors

 #1  BenQ TK850i Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: With 4K resolution, a compact design, and excellent integrated speakers, this projector is perfect for outdoor viewing. Plus, with 3,000 ANSI lumens of light output can be used during the late afternoons and early evenings without picture fading.

  • Sharp picture via crystal lens array
  • Incredibly detailed 4K resolution
  • Improved color reproduction with Dynamic Iris
  • No streaming capabilities
  • Slow response time isn’t good for gaming

The BenQ TK850i is the best outdoor projector featured here, for a wide variety of reasons. For starters, this UHD projector produces stunning picture quality with native 4K resolution. This means you’ll get the sharpest, most detailed picture possible on this projector. On top of that, the TK850 also produces incredibly vivid and accurate colors with HDR10 support and proprietary Dynamic Iris technology, which automatically adjusts brightness levels to match each individual scene. All these features are tied together through the TK850’s unique crystal lens array, which features 10 elements that increase color, brightness, and sharpness. Plus, with 3,000 ANSI lumens of brightness, you’ll be able to use this in most ambient light situations. If you need a leading projector for a classroom with accurate colors and high detail, then you need to read our best projector for artists guide.

This BenQ outdoor projector is also incredibly portable, and features a compact and lightweight design that’s easy to carry in and out of your house. Plus, you get a bunch of adjustable features here that make installation easier, which is of the utmost importance when watching movies outside. The projector features vertical lens shift functionality, keystone correction, and 1.3x optical zoom, so you can even install the projector at an angle and still get a square display. We were also impressed that BenQ included premium CinemaMaster Audio+2 speakers built into the projector itself. The built-in speaker system is good enough to use on its own, so you won’t need to connect an external audio solution like an extra external speaker to enjoy your outdoor viewing party. One downside is the lack of streaming capabilities like with a streaming app or streaming stick, so you can’t use that method with this projector for hours of movie watching.

 #2  BenQ HT2050A Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: With blazing-fast response time, 300-inch screen sizes, and excellent color accuracy, this is the best outdoor projector for gaming. It’s also easy to set up and features premium integrated speakers for a more comprehensive gaming solution.

  • Only 16ms of response time
  • Can project images up to 300 inches
  • Loud, clear CinemaMaster Audio+2 speakers
  • Only good for use at night
  • Bulb replacements can get pricey

The BenQ HT2050A is affordable and high-performing, including a ton of features and functionalities that work well for casual movie watchers and hardcore gamers alike. The BenQ really shines when it comes to its gaming performance. Whiles 16ms of input may seem way too high if you’re used to playing on a gaming monitor, it’s actually one of the lowest response times you’ll see on a projector. Plus, you can use the HT2050A to project your video games on projector screens up to 300 inches in size, corner to corner. This is perfect for local play with your friends and family. With such detail, it can be better than a TV vs a projector for a classroom setting.

Overall picture quality, performance, and build quality are great with this BenQ projector as well. It features full HD resolution and CinematicColor tech for a really vivid display, even at larger screen sizes. The HT2050A also features BenQ’s proprietary audio technology, with integrated 10W CinemaMaster Audio+2 speakers. You won’t need an external sound system to enjoy crystal-clear sound from this outdoor projector. When it comes to installation, you’ll be hard-pressed to find something easier than it is here. This outdoor projector features 1.3x optical zoom, 2D keystone correction, and vertical lens shift so you can position your picture in the most precise manner and distance possible. And if you’re looking for something a bit more budget-friendly, consider the best cheap projector.

 #3  GooDee YG600 Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: This sturdy outdoor projector features an excellent design through and through, with a stable base and whisper-quiet fan so you can enjoy your movie in peace. It’s also incredibly bright, with 6,000 lumens of light, making the projector ideal for daytime use.

  • Sturdy, durable design
  • 6,000 lumens of light output
  • Up to 230 inches of display size
  • Only offers 1280×768 resolution
  • Integrated speakers could be better

The GooDee outdoor movie projector is bright, sturdy, and extra versatile for a great outdoor cinema experience. One of its winning features is its overall design. While it isn’t as compact as other projectors, it’s incredibly stable and durable. You can place it pretty much wherever you need it, and it will stay put. On top of that, it features an incredibly bright lamp array. At 6,000 lumens of brightness, the GooDee YG600 is an excellent option for both daytime viewing and nighttime entertainment. You’ll even be able to create displays up to 230 inches. The onboard speakers could be a little better, but the projector features plenty of audio connection options to bring a set of external speakers.

The GooDee YG600 also produces a pretty good picture quality overall. To be upfront, the projector doesn’t produce full HD quality. Instead, it only creates standard HD at 1280 x 768 pixels. However, this is still fairly good at most display sizes, and the difference in quality is hardly noticeable, especially in outdoor applications. The GooDee’s high brightness output also helps improve picture quality and color accuracy. It also features a 3,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and good overall performance with black levels and dark scenes. A better model that we also recommend is the best 4k projector that features an awesome 1000,000:1 contrast ratio which keeps bright screens clear and dark screens detailed.

 #4  Jinhoo Wi-Fi Mini Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: If you are looking for portability and versatility via wireless connectivity, you can’t go wrong with this mini outdoor projector. With built-in Wi-Fi, you can effortlessly connect to your mobile devices, like a smartphone or laptop, with ease and play downloaded movies from those devices for a movie night.

  • Compact size is extra portable
  • Bright, 5,500 lumens bulb
  • Includes 100-inch projector screen
  • Disappointing contrast performance
  • Only 720p resolution

The Jinhoo Wi-Fi Mini projector is ultra-compact and incredibly versatile, perfect for an excellent outdoor movie-watching experience. Measuring at just 7.8 x 5.9 x 3.1 inches, this is one of the more compact options available in today’s market. However, it’s also sturdy enough to handle being used outdoors, and even includes a place for you to attach a tripod for even more portability. However, where the Jinhoo really shines is with its wireless connectivity options. Your projector, smartphone, or laptop can connect and display movies or slideshows from those mobile devices when connected to the same Wi-Fi network. Be aware that streaming from apps like Netflix and Hulu may not work due to copyright issues, so we recommend downloading digital movies to your devices and watching those instead of streaming.

The Jinhoo also performs fairly well overall when it comes to picture quality and brightness. It features a whopping 5,500 lumens of brightness, which is great for such a small projector. However, it only offers a native 720p resolution. It still supports 1080p content, but it just won’t be as sharp as it was intended. The Jinhoo mini projector also does well with overall color accuracy and reproduction. The colors are bright and look great on the included projector screen. Even though the projector screen is 100 inches diagonal, the Jinhoo can project images up to 173 inches in size for added versatility. Compare that to the versatility found on the best long throw projector.

 #5  Jifar Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: This powerful and compact outdoor projector offers a ton of functionality and picture quality at an extra-affordable price. Plus, it’s one of the brightest options your money can buy today, coming in at a grand total of 7,500 lumens of light output.

  • Excellent color accuracy
  • 100,000-hour bulb life
  • Includes protective carrying case
  • Weak 5w built-in speakers
  • Fan can get loud on brightest settings

The Jifar outdoor projector is another mini option that performs really well in outdoor settings. If you need brightness, the Jifar offers the highest amount in this buying guide, coming in at an impressive 7,500 lumens of brightness, which is 90 percent brighter than competing mini projectors. This makes it the best outdoor projector for daytime use that we researched. The display is bright and clear, even with ambient lighting present. Plus, with a total bulb life of 100,000 hours, you can feel confident that it will last you a long time in the brightest settings.

When it comes to picture quality, the Jifar projector doesn’t hold back. It offers full HD, 1080p resolution for a detailed image, but you can rest assured that movies from 4K sources are all supported here. The colors are accurate and vivid with the Jifar, as well. The Jifar can project images upwards of 400 inches in size, although be aware that screen sizes this large can cause some decrease in overall picture quality, since they may not be adequate for even the best projector for daylight viewing. But you may also love the top-rated 3D projector with the best incredibly detailed picture that offers both 4K ultra HD and 1080p resolution when in 3D mode.

 #6  Optoma CinemaX P1 Outdoor Project


WHY WE LIKE IT: From an innovative laser light source to a premium onboard audio system, this outdoor projector offers the best in terms of quality and design. It’s also got 4K resolution and amazing contrast performance for the best in picture quality.

  • Premium onboard audio quality
  • Voice assistant compatibility
  • Excellent 4K picture resolution
  • User interface is a little clunky
  • Slow remote control response time

The Optoma CinemaX P1 is an outdoor laser projector that pays attention to all the right details so you can get a completely immersive cinematic experience in your own backyard. This short throw projector requires a mere 15 inches between it and the projector screen. This makes it easier for installation and portability. Plus, the CinemaX P1 includes access to Optoma’s SmartFIT app, which allows you to calibrate your projector and adjust the overall picture straight from your smartphone.

This outdoor laser projector also performs really well in terms of picture quality due to a variety of different features. For starters, this is a 4K UHD projector, so you’ll always get amazingly sharp and detailed movies, as long as the video source is also in 4K resolution. It also offers excellent contrast performance with a 1,500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio and beautiful color accuracy with HDR10 support. However, the Optoma CinemaX P1 really stands out when it comes to its onboard audio. With an integrated, high-end NuForce soundbar, you’ll experience theater-like sound quality, which is perfect for outdoor use. And this model will even work better with the best projector screen that has the vinyl screen material that makes your colors shine in ways you never thought possible.

 #7  TMY Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: If you don’t want to spend an arm and a leg on your new outdoor projector, then you can’t go wrong with this option. Fortunately, it doesn’t sacrifice much in terms of functionality with its 5,500 lumens of brightness and includes a big screen for outdoor use.

  • Compact size is extra-portable
  • 5,500 lumens of brightness
  • Includes large, 100-inch projector screen
  • 720p resolution
  • Tinny onboard speakers

Similar to the TMY V08 720p native projector, this TMY projector is the best budget outdoor projector available today, offering affordable performance and durability for long-lasting performance. Yes, due to its budget price point, you may not get as many premium features with this projector as you would on some of the others we researched here. The biggest sacrifice is the 720p resolution that the TMY outdoor projector offers. This is still technically high definition and will work well on the included 100-inch projector screen. Noticing the difference in resolution is a little harder in outdoor settings, so this shouldn’t be too big of a problem.

The TMY outdoor projector also offers 5,500 lumens of brightness, making it an excellent choice for use at night or during the day. It also has a good black-level performance with a 4,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. This is an extra-portable outdoor projector. It’s small and compact, but it still offers a good amount of durability, so you won’t need to worry too much about it getting ruined with a bump or two. The onboard 5W speakers could be somewhat improved, but they work in a pinch if you don’t have anything else available. And if you’re looking for a good model for use at your workplace, consider the best business projector that offers a long-lasting performance that you can rely on in any business scenario.

 #8  Anker Nebula Mars II Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: With a super compact design, integrated carrying handle, and built-in, immersive stereo speakers, this outdoor projector is the best portable outdoor speaker your money can buy. Plus, it offers good picture quality and the ability to create screen sizes up to 150 inches.

  • Battery-powered or wired functionality
  • Built-in carrying handles
  • Good 10W speakers
  • Only features 720p resolution
  • Low brightness at 500 ANSI lumens

The Anker Nebula Mars II is a unique outdoor projector that is designed purely with portability and transportation in mind. It’s a small, lightweight projector that measures 7 x 5.24 x 4.8 inches in size. This is compact enough to carry around in most bags. However, if you don’t store it in a bag, the Mars II projector features a built-in carrying handle for added convenience and portability. It also features a tripod mounting hole on the bottom so you can use Anker’s tripod for ever greater versatility in where it can be placed outside. For better and more secure positioning if a wall isn’t an option, you’ll want to take a look at the top-rated projector stands.

Picture quality is pretty good with the Anker Nebula Mars II, especially considering its compact size. It only offers a 720p resolution, which is a little disappointing but should be more than enough for mid-sized viewing parties. You might notice the decrease in resolution at the maximum screen size of 150 inches, but it shouldn’t detract too much from your overall viewing experience. The Mars II projector also features 500 ANSI lumens of brightness. This is only good for use in the dark but provides excellent picture clarity in those dark environments. The Anker Nebula Mars II also offers a variety of native apps like YouTube and Netflix, so you can stream content directly from those sources when connected to the internet. And speaking of entertainment, gamers will also be interested in the best projector for gaming that offers a stunning 500,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio for better differentiation between lights and darks. However, you can also find a similar contrast ratio on the leading Samsung projectors.

 #9  DRJ Professional HI-04 Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: This mini outdoor projector is a rockstar in small spaces and for small viewing parties. With 100 inches of display size, lots of connectivity options, and easy installation, this projector creates a cozier outdoor theater experience for you and your closest friends.

  • Installation adjustability for precise picture
  • Versatile USB connectivity for downloaded movies
  • Smartphone compatibility
  • Not full HD resolution
  • Loud fan on brightest settings

The Dr. J Professional HI-04 is a versatile outdoor projector that works very well in tight spaces or for small movie-watching gatherings. It can project images up to 100 inches in size on your projector screen, but you will lose a little bit of quality the larger you go. The Dr. J projector also only offers 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness. This is plenty bright enough for watching movies at night, but Dr. J. will struggle with moderate light present. This mini projector also offers plenty of connectivity options, with HDMI cable inputs, VGA ports, and audio-video ports. Even better, the HI-04 offers USB connectivity, so you can watch downloaded movies directly from a flash drive.

We were also impressed with Dr. J Professional’s overall performance and picture quality. It doesn’t offer full HD, but its native 720p resolution is still perfect for watching movies in compact spaces. We were surprised by the HI-04’s color accuracy and color brightness. The projector creates vivid colors that really make your movies come alive. Installation is easy, too. The Dr. J projector has a variety of manual adjustability settings, including keystone correction and lens focus. With that said, it may just be below the performance of other models, including the APEMAN NM4 mini portable projector. And for cheaper and more affordable models, check out the best projectors under $1000.

 #10  Anker Nebula Capsule Outdoor Projector


WHY WE LIKE IT: Many projectors feature copyright blocks on streaming content, but this outdoor projector circumvents that by including native streaming apps like Netflix and Hulu within the user interface. Plus, it runs on battery for up to four hours and features 360-degree speakers.

  • Omni-directional audio capabilities
  • Four-hour battery life for long-lasting performance
  • Increased brightness with IntelliBright tech
  • Colors look a little off at times
  • Doesn’t include a lens cap

The Anker Nebula Capsule outdoor projector is super compact, measuring the same size as a soda can. This makes the projector very portable and incredibly versatile. Of course, this small size means there are some sacrifices to picture quality and brightness, but if you’re using the Capsule for personal use, these aren’t too big of a deal. The Anker Nebula Capsule features 480p native resolution and 100 lumens of brightness. This isn’t ideal for large viewing parties outside, but perfect for one or two people. Fortunately, the projector features a proprietary IntelliBright technology that enhances overall brightness through software. The rechargeable battery has a decent lifespan to fit in enough TV shows and a few movies on one charge.

The Anker Capsule also offers many connectivity options, so you can watch movies and TV shows from various sources. For starters, you can connect to the projector via Bluetooth, HDMI, and USB ports. Even better, though, is the fact that the Nebula Capsule has built-in streaming apps with Android TV that you can access directly from the user interface, as long as you are connected to a wireless network. This is super convenient for streaming lovers, especially considering that many smartphones are blocked from casting streaming content through projectors. And just in case you own an iPhone, you’ll definitely love the best iPhone projector that also includes a sturdy tripod, which you can use to set the projector up virtually anywhere with ease.

How We Decided

Our first point of discussion when identifying the best outdoor projectors was to measure each option’s brightness output. While the exact brightness you need – measured in ANSI lumens – depends on the ambient light you’re expecting while you watch movies outside, we still gave preference to projectors with higher light output, preferably at least 3,000 lumens. However, that being said, we did still include projectors on our list with lower brightness ratings because they still offer a lot of value when used in dark situations. They simply scored fewer points in this category.

Next, we looked at portability and user-friendliness. Since you won’t be leaving your projector outside once you’re done using it, you’ll want an option that is easily transported back and forth between your house and your backyard. We preferred projectors with slim profiles and lightweight designs and awarded bonus points for additional portability features like carrying handles or cases. We also awarded more points to projectors that offered wireless connectivity options for more convenience.

Finally, we scored each projector based on its overall picture quality. This score was a composite of the resolution, color accuracy, and contrast ratio. All three of these features work together to create image quality. We gave the most points to full HD and 4K outdoor projectors, but still included options with 720p resolution above. We preferred accurate, true-to-life color reproduction and gave more points to projectors with a higher contrast ratio for better black-level performance.

1080p vs 4K projector comparison table.

Best Outdoor Projector Buyer’s Guide

The Most Important Features to Consider

  1. Brightness
    As you search for the best outdoor projector in 2024, keep in mind that you don’t want a great projector for outdoor movies to watch only at night. You might want to watch movies in the daytime. Or, you may have more ambient light in your particular location. This means you’ll want to find outdoor projectors that work in daylight. Therefore, focusing on project brightness is important as your read through our many outdoor projector reviews.
    • Your projector’s brightness is one of the key aspects to consider if you’re looking for the best outdoor movie projector. It’s highly likely that some ambient light will be noticeable when watching movies on your outdoor projector, even at night.
    • Whether it comes from the sun, moon, stars, or streetlights, this ambient light can overpower weaker projectors and cause the picture to fade. Thus, finding the best outdoor projector for daylight will help with this issue.
    • Moreover, you’ll also want a great inflatable screen to use outside. For more info on these screen types, read our guide on how does an inflatable movie screen work.
    • If you’re planning on watching movies on a large projector screen, you’ll want a top rated outdoor projector that produces at least 2,500 ANSI lumens of light output for nighttime use and one that produces at least 3,500 ANSI lumens for daytime viewing. A great projector that fits this profile is the Goodee projector for outdoors.
    • But, avoid projectors like the one in our Epson EF-100 review, as its brightness is too low.
    • Mini projectors often produce much less brightness than this, but they are still good for individual use on smaller screen sizes.
  2. Picture Quality
    Of course, you’ll also want to consider the picture quality your projector produces. Consider each option’s resolution, color accuracy, and contrast performance. These features can vary greatly between individual outdoor projectors, and many manufacturers include proprietary technology and software to improve their overall picture quality. We recommend purchasing a projector with at least a 720p resolution for outdoor viewing. However, the best projectors for outdoor use will offer 1080p or even 4K native resolutions. Make sure you’re projecting the display onto a clean surface like a white wall. Even if you get the most high-quality and bright image out of your projector, if the foundation is not clean and consistent, your watching experience will not be ideal.
  3. Portability
    Since outdoor projectors are not meant to stay permanently outside, it’s important to purchase one of the more portable projectors available so you can easily transport it in and out of your home. Look for options that are slim, lightweight, and compact. Some projectors even include carrying handles or tripods for more versatility.
  4. Wireless Connectivity
    Most outdoor projectors offer standard connection ports, so you can connect your Blu-ray players and video game consoles via HDMI cable for hours of playtime and movies. However, when you’re watching movies outside, you may not want to have such a complicated setup. This is where you’d consider an outdoor projector with wireless connectivity or native apps built in to help you stream content from platforms like Netflix and Hulu. If wireless isn’t an option and you have to deal with power cords, and distance is a concern, invest in some extension cords so you can place your projector in the best area and at the proper throw distance.
  5. Projector Screen
    It’s important to consider purchasing a projector screen to go along with your outdoor projector. The best outdoor projector screen provides a reliable and consistent viewing experience, so you don’t have to worry about distorted image quality. Some outdoor projectors include a projector screen with their purchase for added convenience.

Best Outdoor Projector Questions (FAQ)

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