Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2: High Style, Low Brightness, High Price

It is the uncommon projector that crosses my path with an aesthetically stunning design. There are many cool projectors, some cute projectors and even some that might generously be referred to as “neat.” The Xiaomi Mi Sensible Projector 2 is as trendy as any projector I’ve seen, and would look proper at residence surrounded by Apple gadgets on an Eero Saarinen desk flanked by Corbusier chairs.

Like

  • Attractive design
  • Constructed-in Android TV
  • Seems to be like an Apple product

Do not Like

  • Not vibrant sufficient
  • No battery
  • Priced like an Apple product

Sadly it is comparatively costly and the image high quality and options do not fairly match the wonderful design. It isn’t very vibrant, the colours are a bit off, and its distinction is ample at finest. And in contrast to most actually moveable projectors, it lacks a built-in battery.

For much less cash the Anker Mars II Professional affords extra brightness, the identical distinction, and a battery that allows you to watch motion pictures anyplace. Total the Xiaomi Mi Sensible Projector 2 is a little bit of a miss, although simply by a (trendy) bit.

Specs and such

  • Native decision: 1,920×1,080 pixels
  • HDR-compatible: Sure
  • 4K-compatible: No
  • 3D-compatible: No
  • Lumens spec: 500
  • Zoom: None
  • Lens shift: None
  • Lamp life (Regular mode): Not listed

The Mi Sensible Projector 2 has what I think about normal specs for a projector of this value and measurement. Full HD (aka 1080p) decision is sweet, as many cheap projectors are 720p or much less. Whereas it’s HDR suitable, remember it would not have the distinction ratio to do something with excessive dynamic content material (however to be truthful, many projectors are unhealthy at HDR). 

The 500-lumen score is widespread for small moveable projectors. Nevertheless, I measured 162, decrease than most of its rivals. It is dimmer than the Anker Photo voltaic, Anker Mars II Professional and even the Samsung Freestyle, all of that are rated for near the identical lumens. Do not forget that increased brightness, along with bettering picture high quality, additionally permits a projector to create a bigger picture that also seems to be respectable.

As is normally the case with small projectors like this, there is not any lens shift or zoom. The one technique to change the dimensions of the picture is by transferring the projector. The autofocus works pretty quick, although, which is sweet.

Android TV, HDMI and Wi-Fi, however no battery

Projector, distant and a beverage.


Geoff Morrison/CNET

  • HDMI inputs: 1
  • USB port: 1
  • Audio output: Headphone output
  • Web: 802.11a/b/g/n 2.4GHz/5GHz
  • Distant: Not backlit

It is all the time nice to see a small projector with a full-size HDMI enter. You in all probability will not want to make use of it, although. Like a number of projectors we have seen currently, the Sensible PJ 2 has built-in Android TV, so that you get the total model of no matter streaming providers you need. Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime and so forth are preinstalled. Others, together with HBO Max, you’ll be able to set up through the included Google Play Retailer.

The sound is fairly good, thanks to 2 5-watt drivers. A bit an excessive amount of treble for my style, however extra bass than you’d count on for such a small field. Like something this measurement, it falls aside when you flip it up too loud. That restrict finally ends up being lots loud, although, and in a small room you’d have to lift your voice to speak over it.

The small, skinny distant has a devoted Netflix button. Not like a number of of the Sensible PJ 2’s rivals, nonetheless, there is not any devoted cellphone app.

My greatest gripe is that this small moveable projector lacks a battery. Most on this measurement and value vary do. People who do not, such because the Samsung Freestyle, usually have the power to run through a USB battery pack, however the Xiaomi cannot try this both. You will need to plug it into a typical energy outlet through the included energy adapter. It is the identical measurement as a big cellphone/pill charger, however connects to the projector through a small spherical DC energy connector hardly ever seen anymore in small gadgets like this. In the meantime, the USB connection on the Xiaomi can cost your system if the projector is plugged in, however cannot provide the projector itself with energy.

Image high quality comparisons

The Smart Projector 2 sits on a blue canvas.

The Sensible Projector 2’s picture is created utilizing LEDs and a DLP chip.


Geoff Morrison/CNET

The Mars II Professional is as near a direct comparability as you may get. It is virtually precisely the identical measurement, and is rated for a similar 500 lumens. The Anker is decrease decision and $50 cheaper. I linked them to a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and considered them side-by-side on a 102-inch 1.0-gain display screen.

Learn extra: How We Check Projectors

As you’d in all probability count on, these projectors are far nearer to 1 one other than not. Their distinction ratios are almost an identical. Nevertheless, the Anker lacks any image changes, so there are some elements to the picture which can be higher on the Xiaomi. Shadow particulars, for example, look way more grey and fewer reasonable on the Anker than with the Xiaomi. 

Colours usually are not very correct on both projector. Each are about equally flawed, and fairly cool or bluish in coloration temperature. On a house projector I might have an even bigger concern with this, however for a small moveable it is in all probability tremendous. Nothing seems to be overly unnatural, however every part seems to be a bit off.

The 1080p Xiaomi’s larger element was positively noticeable. The Anker regarded slightly smooth when considered side-by-side. That is not a deal-breaker by any stretch although, as a result of decision is only one facet of image high quality. If you did not have the 2 subsequent to 1 one other, it is uncertain you’d discover. 

Probably the most noticeable distinction is definitely the brightness. The Anker regarded fairly a bit brighter than the Xiaomi. I measured roughly 162 lumens out of the Xiaomi and 337 out of the Anker. So yeah, roughly twice as vibrant. It’s normal for producers to, let’s assume, fudge their brightness claims. Here is what meaning in observe. And earlier than you give Xiaomi flak for being a lot decrease, Samsung rated the $900 Freestyle at 550 lumens and it places out 197. The morale? Do not belief any producer’s lumen claims.

The Xiaomi has a mode that you just’d assume would enhance brightness, however as an alternative it simply makes the picture exceedingly inexperienced. Possibly you’d be capable of watch a projector mode that makes everybody appear like Kermit, however to me it is not straightforward being…


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Brightness apart, there’s not a transparent winner between the 2 when it comes to image high quality: the Xiaomi has higher element, the Anker larger mild output. If the Anker had image settings, that’d in all probability nudge the needle in its favor. However then, you are in all probability not shopping for both of those primarily based solely on image high quality.

There may be, nonetheless, one important, probably essential, distinction: The Anker has a battery. It may possibly undertaking a picture anyplace, whereas the Xiaomi wants an outlet. That is huge.

Fairly shut

I really like the Xiaomi’s design. It is only a fantastically stylish projector. For those who slapped an Apple badge on it, nobody would query it. 

The issue with the Mi Sensible Projector 2 is the Mars II Professional. It is barely cheaper, brighter, and it has a battery. It would not look almost as trendy, however that is a small unfavourable once we’re speaking about one thing smaller than a lunchbox. It isn’t like it’ll dominate your front room. If the subsequent model of the Xiaomi has a battery, or is 2 to a few occasions brighter, it might be an actual contender.

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