Best Smartphone Projectors in 2022

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Updated June 27, 2022

What are the features that make the best smartphone projector? These incredibly convenient and portable devices can go with you without needing a complicated setup to work. With a built-in battery, lightweight designs, and wireless connectivity, these are the best projectors for watching all your favorite movies and shows no matter where you are.

Whether you’re a student, traveler, or budget-conscious shopper, smartphone projectors, including the top iPhone projectors, can give you all the benefits of a projector without the complicated installation and high price tags. If you keep all of your media on your mobile devices, then you can’t go wrong with a smartphone projector.

Keep reading to learn more about the best smartphone projectors, their most important features, and how to find the right one to fit your needs.

Top Smartphone Projectors

 #1   AuKing M8-F Upgraded Portable Video Projector

Award: TOP PICK

WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for users who prioritize longevity due to its long lamp life. It allows for a wide variety of source connections and has stereo sound.

Pros
  • Very long lamp life
  • Built in speakers deliver stereo sound
  • Multiple connectivity options
Cons
  • Brightness may be low for some and cannot be adjusted

The Auking M8-F is a reliable mini projector with a 2000:1 contrast ratio for dark blacks and bright whites. It supports a 1080P Full HD resolution and can project pictures with varying projection sizes from 32-inches to 170-inches. Also, thanks to its built-in dual audio speakers, it outputs a clear and well-balanced sound. Its advanced fan cooling technology alongside other impressive design elements allows for a lengthy 55000-hour lamp life, which means that it can be used for up to 15 years for close to 5 hours a day without any issues. Unfortunately, some previous owners have complained that it does not get bright enough for their satisfaction and that its brightness cannot be adjusted. With that information, this may not be the best outdoor projector 2022, but it’s still an impressive model for a lot of tasks.

This top-rated mini projector can easily be connected to multiple devices through HDMI, VGA, USB, AV, and TF, making it possible for users to link it with their gaming consoles, DVD players, or USB drive. Those who need to connect their smartphones will have to get an extra HDMI adapter (iPhone) or a Micro USB/Type C (Android), but besides that, everything else is plug and play.

 #2   GooDee W18 2021 WiFi Projector

Award: HONORABLE MENTION

WHY WE LIKE IT: It allows for wired and wireless connections, and its cooling system has a very low noise output.

Pros
  • Advanced cooling system for quiet operation
  • Broad support for different connectivity technologies
  • Lightweight and portable
Cons
  • Problems with Bluetooth connectivity

Anyone who might not want to set up wired connections between their projector and other devices should take a serious look at the GooDee W18 Wifi Movie Projector. As its model name may suggest, it comes with support for WiFi connectivity so that users can connect to it and project media from their smartphones, tablets, or computers. The projector supports a decent 1080p resolution and has an advanced cooling system with very low noise output for minimal disruption. However, some users have reported problems with its Bluetooth connectivity.

With a 3000:1 contrast ratio, blacks and whites are reasonably well balanced, and since it features support for connectivity technologies such as WiFi, VGA, USB, HDMI, and AV, owners will be able to connect multiple devices to it. Weighing only 2.2 pounds, the projector is as compact as it is light, and it also comes with built-in speakers that offer decent sound quality.

 #3   Hompow 5500L Smartphone Portable Video Projector

Award: BEST FOR HOME MOVIES

WHY WE LIKE IT: It creates an immersive watching experience and has good enough brightness and contrast for problem-free viewing.

Pros
  • Wide range of connections
  • Built-in speakers for good audio
  • Decent image brightness
Cons
  • No support for wireless connections

The Hompow 5000 is a Full HD resolution mini projector with an image brightness of 5500 lux and a decent contrast ratio of 3000:1. The projector does not produce a lot of noise and comes with built-in speakers for good audio. Owners will be able to very quickly connect it to a smartphone or a tablet, though they will have to use either a lightning cable to HDMI adapter (for iPhones) or an Android to HDMI adapter (for Android). This is because the projector does not support any wireless connections.

With the ability to project an image that is up to 176 inches, users will be able to enjoy a broad, immersive viewing experience, and with compatibility for HDMI, VGA, USB, TV Box, and other connections, they will also not be limited in terms of how many connections they can make. The projector is pretty easy to use and can also be mounted on a tripod.

 #4   CiBet 7500L Portable Home Theater Projector

Award: BEST FOR HIGH BRIGHTNESS

WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a long projector life and is also pretty bright. It delivers good picture quality and is also pretty quiet during operation. This projector may be a candidate for the best 3D projector.

Pros
  • Very high image brightness
  • Long projector life
  • Low noise production
Cons
  • No support for wireless connections

The CiBest LED portable movie projector is one of the brightest in its category, as it has an image brightness level of up to 7500 lumens. It supports a 1080p Full HD resolution for clear image quality and offers a 2000:1 contrast ratio for deep blacks and bright whites. It can be connected to a wide range of devices and can be used to project an image that is up to 80’’ large. It is also 80% brighter than other mini projectors, and since it comes equipped with an advanced cooling system, it doesn’t get very noisy. Unfortunately, users will not be able to make any wireless connections.

The projector has a lifetime of up to 50000 hours, and with support for HD picture quality, images appear sharp and clear. To connect a smartphone or tablet to it, users will have to rely on either an MHL adapter or lightning to HDMI adapter, and since it only weighs about 2.8 pounds, moving it around shouldn’t be difficult. Its projection size can range from 30 to 100 inches, so it can be easily adapted according to a user’s preference.

 #5   Elephas YG280 Portable Projector

Award: BEST FOR PORTABILITY

WHY WE LIKE IT: It is among the smallest-sized projectors in the market. It delivers a Full HD picture and supports a wide range of connections.

Pros
  • Very compact and lightweight
  • Supports a wide range of connections
  • Has easy to reach controls
Cons
  • Quite noisy

The Elephas YG280 portable projector offers a Full HD picture for sharp images and comes in a very compact size that makes it easy to store or carry around. It is designed with children in mind, as it has easy-to-reach buttons on its top and a focus knob on its right. Measuring about 5 inches wide and 2 inches high, the projector is pretty small in size, and with HDMI, USB, Audio, and Micro SD ports on its rear, it can be easily connected to a wide range of media devices. However, some have complained that it is pretty noisy.

Connecting the projector to a smartphone or a tablet will require the use of lightning to HDMI (iOS) or Micro USB/Type C to HDMI adapter (Android). Alternatively, owners can also elect to connect a WiFi adapter to the projector and link their smart devices through it to project content.

Speaking of projected content, certain projectors like the smartboard projectors or interactive projectors, are helpful for specific meetings, too. Both have different benefits and features. Depending on which one you choose, they can be great projectors for church or for conference room meetings.

 #6   TMY V28 Full HD Enhanced Portable Projector

Award: BEST FOR LONG LAMP LIFE

WHY WE LIKE IT: It has a long lamp life for extended use and support for wireless connections.

Pros
  • Great contrast ratio
  • Long lamp life
  • Support for WiFi connectivity
Cons
  • Fan might be noisy for some

The TMY V28 projector is a reasonably compact alternative that offers a sharp picture thanks to its 1080p Full HD resolution. Colors are also pretty well balanced, and with support for WiFi connectivity, users will be able to easily connect mirror and project content from their smartphones or tablets. On its top, it has both multi-directional and menu buttons, and with an LED lamp life of up to 60,000 hours, it can get through a long period of use. Unfortunately, some users have complained about its fan being noisy.

The V28 can project an image up to 270-inches in size, and since it comes with a very innovative cooling system, its fan noise is also pretty low. Sound quality is decent thanks to its built-in speakers, and with both an easy-to-adjust focus and a keystone correction, users will also be able to adapt the picture to their desired requirements. With a 4000:1 contrast ratio, the projector delivers a healthy balance between black and white pigments, and as an added bonus, the projector comes with a 100’’ projector screen for free.

Beginner’s Guide to the Best Smartphone Projector

What Are Smartphone Projectors?

A smartphone projector is a type of video projector that is made specifically for displaying media from a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet. The projector can connect to your smartphone through either a wired or wireless connection for the ultimate level of portability and flexibility.

Smartphone Projectors vs Traditional Projectors

Both smartphone projectors and standard video projectors offer the same essential experience in terms of functionality and user operation. They both feature similar designs and form factors, including a lens through which the image is magnified and display and built-in controls. Both types of projectors also include the same general internal components.

The differences between a smartphone projector and a traditional projector typically come down to connectivity options and size. Since smartphone projectors are meant to connect to mobile devices as their primary media sources, they will typically offer wireless and Bluetooth connection options. Wireless connectivity like this is not a standard feature on most projectors.

In terms of size, smartphone projectors are often considered portable projectors. Most of these models offer an internal battery so you can take the device with you and still use it without a dedicated power outlet. Depending on the type of smartphone projector you purchase, you may even be able to pack it in your pocket.

This more compact size can result in some sacrifices when compared to traditional projectors, though. The smaller the projector, the lower the brightness and native resolution you’ll get. As such, these projectors are typically only suitable for use in smaller, darker spaces.

How Smartphone Projectors Work

Smartphone projectors don’t differ much from traditional projectors when it comes to functionality. They just do it in a more compact package overall. First, your mini projector will connect to your smartphone. Then, the internal electronics will process the visual signals coming from the smartphone and project them onto a flat surface. The lamp shines light through a series of mirrors and lenses to create the image, give it color, and then magnify it into your preferred size.

Do You Really Need a Smartphone Projector?

If you’re looking for a more portable projector to take with you on the go, then you can’t go wrong with a smartphone projector. They also work well if you need something with versatile connectivity. No matter your intended use for the device, a smartphone projector can be incredibly convenient without sacrificing too much picture quality.

Is a Smartphone Projector Worth Buying?

  • You Travel a Lot with Your Projector: If you frequently travel, whether for business or personal reasons, a smartphone projector that doubles as a great business projector can help you stay connected to all your favorite media services. Since they often run on batteries and can connect wirelessly to your mobile devices, these projectors allow you to watch your favorite movies or TV shows without needing much else.
  • You’re a Student: If you’re a student living in a dorm room, you may not have much room to install a full-sized projector. A portable smartphone projector can help solve this problem for you. They’re small enough to keep in your dorm without taking up a ton of room, and they’re much more affordable than other types of projectors.
  • You’re on a Budget: Smartphone projectors tend to be much more affordable than other types of projectors. If you’re on a tight budget but still need to purchase a new projector, you should consider a smartphone projector. Depending on the model you are buying, you should still get plenty of standard functionality.

Why a Smartphone Projector May Not Be For You

  • You Want a High-End Home Theater Projector: If you’re looking for the best projector with the highest image quality for your home theater, you should probably avoid smartphone projectors. While these devices offer plenty of functionality for on-the-go use in small spaces, they typically don’t provide any kind of 4K native resolution or high brightness output.
  • You’re a Gamer: Smartphone projectors aren’t made for use with gaming systems, although they can usually connect to gaming consoles. When you look at input lag, resolution, and image quality, you’d be better off considering a standard video projector over a smartphone projector for playing video games.
  • You’re Installing Your Projector in a Bright Room: Smartphone projectors don’t typically offer nearly as much brightness output as other types of projectors. In general, you can expect less than 1,000 lumens of brightness from one of these portable projectors. If you’re hoping to use your new projector in a bright room or outdoors during the day, you may want to consider the best projector for daylight viewing.

How Long Will a Smartphone Projector Last?

When it comes to a projector’s lifespan, you need to consider its lamp life. Most experts agree that you should expect to get at least 2,000 hours out of an LCD projector bulb and upwards of 15,000 hours out of an LED projector or laser projector. Of course, the exact lamp life you get will depend on the quality of the bulb, how often you use the projector, and how well you maintain your projector system.

Of course, your projector’s lamp life isn’t the only thing you need to consider when it comes to overall lifespan. As with other electronic devices, your projector needs proper maintenance and care, according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. One of the biggest downfalls for projectors is dust. You should dust your projector regularly to prevent dust and other debris from making their way into the device’s internal components.

How to Choose the Best Smartphone Projector

When you purchase a new smartphone projector, there are a few key considerations to make. Take a look at the following factors so you can choose the projector that fits your specific needs.

Smartphone Projector Key Factors to Consider

1. What type of smartphone projector is best for you?

There are a few different smartphone projectors to consider, each offering its own set of pros and cons. In general, the main differences between these different types are size and brightness. Keep reading to learn more about each type so you can decide which one best fits your requirements:

  • Pico or Mini Projector: These are the smallest projectors available on the market today, hence their name. Many of the leading pico projectors and mini projectors can both fit in the palm of your hand and can even be carried around in your pocket. These projectors typically don’t offer as much resolution or brightness as bigger potions, but they are much more flexible.
  • Portable Projector: Portable projectors are bigger than mini projectors. They offer more brightness, making them better for use in areas with a lot of ambient light. While they’re portable in the sense of being smaller than other projectors, they typically don’t offer built-in batteries like a mini or pico projector.

2. How much battery life should your smartphone projector offer?

Many portable projectors that connect to your smartphone use battery power instead of plugging a power cord into a wall. However, as you might expect in such a small package, you likely won’t get long battery life. So, just how much battery life is good enough for a smartphone projector?

Ultimately, the answer depends on your preferences. At the very least, you should get enough battery life to watch a movie in its entirety before needing to recharge the projector. Fortunately, most mini projectors offer more battery life than this. The best smartphone projectors typically provide 5 to 8 hours of battery life. In general, the bigger the projector, the more battery life it will offer.

3. What image quality and resolution should you expect from a smartphone projector?

As mentioned above, smartphone projectors typically don’t offer the highest native resolution or best image quality. Their compact sizes limit manufacturers in this department. Just like with battery life, the bigger the projector, the more image quality it will offer. In general, though, the best projectors in this category offer at least a 720p HD resolution.

However, many budget options offer lower resolution than this. If you’re looking to save some money, purchasing a smartphone projector with lower resolution can still work. You should just expect a blurrier picture than other options.

4. What kind of connection options does your smartphone projector offer?

The most important thing to consider is that your projector connects to your specific mobile devices when it comes to connectivity. Most portable projectors offer some kind of wireless connectivity, whether through Bluetooth or Wi-Fi Direct. However, you should also consider a projector that allows you to create a wired connection with your device. At a minimum, you should get a projector with an HDMI port and a USB port. These are the two most common connection ports that you can use to hook up a mobile device.

You should also consider how you will charge your portable projector once it runs out of battery. Most options will include a USB or micro USB connection for charging. If you’re planning on using a power bank to charge your projector, make sure both the power bank and projector are compatible when it comes to connectivity.

5. Does your smartphone projector feature audio capabilities?

Another important consideration to make with your smartphone projector is audio capabilities. While most home theater projectors will connect to a dedicated sound system, you most likely won’t do the same with your portable projector. If you want sound while using your smartphone projector, then you’ll need to consider an option with audio functionality or compatibility.

The most convenient option is to purchase a projector with built-in speakers. Many pico projectors and mini projectors focus on this approach. They often pack as much sound quality into those internal speakers as possible. Larger projectors typically have speakers, as well, but they often don’t sound as good.

If you want better audio quality, you should consider a projector that can connect to an external speaker. The best scenario is purchasing an option with Bluetooth functionality, which can connect to Bluetooth speakers. This way, you’ll still get a portable projector experience while getting the best audio quality possible while on the go. Speaking of sound, if you want a projector with great sound options, but isn’t noisy while running, you’ll probably want to look at the best quiet projectors.

Best Smartphone Projector FAQs

Should you buy a smartphone projector or a TV?

If you’re on the fence between a smartphone projector and a TV for your entertainment needs, you’re not alone. In general, smartphone projectors are perfect for quick or portable use. They don’t offer as high quality as most televisions or as much brightness. However, they can be more affordable and flexible than a TV. If you’re planning on creating a dedicated home theater experience or need a projector for large spaces, we’d recommend sticking with a television or a bigger projector, like the best projector for church.

Are mini projectors worth it?

Yes, mini projectors can certainly be worth it for many circumstances. If you need something compact and portable for your RV or dorm room, a mini projector can give you everything you need to watch movies in small spaces. However, it’s important to recognize that these projectors won’t give you as much in native resolution or brightness, especially when compared to full-sized projectors.

Can you play Netflix through a projector?

Yes, you can play Netflix through a projector in several different ways. If you’ve connected your laptop or smartphone to your projector through an HDMI cable, you’ll be able to mirror whatever is on your device to the projector screen. Many smartphone projectors also offer built-in streaming functionality through apps like Android TV.

Does the Nebula Capsule work with the iPhone?

Yes, the Nebula Capsule does work with iPhones. All you need to do is download the iPhone app and connect to the device through the app. Once you’re up and running, the projector will mirror anything on your iPhone screen.
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