Projectors have become popular of late to provide the theater experience at home, deliver presentations, or even watch movies and TV series from virtually anywhere, from the backyard to the campsite. They’re pretty simple to set up and you can typically connect a video source, whether it’s a set-top box, streaming stick, media player, or other device. But some of the coolest projectors come with software built-in so that all you need is a projector screen or even just a plain white wall to get going. There are a variety of projectors that come with Android built in, and the Anker Nebulla Apollo checks the boxes to be the best Android-powered projector, offering good bang for your buck with HD picture, seamless touch controls, long battery life, and decent built-in speakers.
Best Overall: Anker Nebulla Apollo WiFi Mini Projector
Along with the trusted brand name behind it, the Anker Nebulla Apollo offers the best bang for the buck, excelling in all of the core specs one would consider when choosing a decent projector for watching videos at home or on the go. The 200 ANSI lumens DLP projector can display an up to 100-inch 16:9 widescreen image at 854 x 480 resolution, which isn’t as crisp in terms of resolution as some of the others on this list, but decent enough to watch a movie with the kids.
With Android 7.1 built-in, you can download a variety of apps from the Google Play store, like YouTube, Netflix, and Hulu, and watch content without the need for a separate source device. Chromecast is not supported, but it does support Miracast, Airplay, and Bluetooth. The Bluetooth can also be used for pairing the projector with Bluetooth speaker for a more immersive sound experience. If you use it just as a portable Bluetooth speaker to listen to music while at a campsite, for example, you’ll get up to 30 hours of battery life per charge.
Along with the 6-watt speakers for a total of 45-watts, the projector boasts the best battery life of all the models on this list at four hours per charge, which means you can easily get through a long movie, two movies, sporting event, or several episodes of a TV show without having to worry about plugging in because of low battery. This could be a game-changer if you’re using the projector to watch the big game every weekend outside with your buds or want to use it for a movie marathon night with the kids.
The projector, which is also the sleekest looking of the models on this list with a transparent touch panel on the top for navigating menus, can be mounted on a tripod or simple sat atop a tabletop and comes with HDMI and USB inputs so you can connect a USB flash drive or other source device for content if desired. Everything can be seamlessly controlled using the Nebulla Connect app. At 1.65 lbs., it’s also pretty lightweight and measuring 2.56 x 2.56 x 5.26 inches, it’s pretty compact, too. If you find that the 480p resolution isn’t enough, the Anker Nebulla Capsule Max might be a better option with 720p resolution, though it’s also almost twice the price.
- Lightweight and compact for travel
- Longest battery life of all models
- Sleek look
- No Chromecast support
- Not HD resolution
- No remote included
Anker Nebulla Apollo WiFi Mini Projector
Sleek and sexy
It isn’t the highest resolution of the projectors on this list, but for an up to 100-inch image and four-hour battery life, it’s perfect for movie night.
Best for Gaming: BenQ TH685i Gaming Projector
While the name implies that this projector is exclusively for gamers, that isn’t the case. It has Android TV built-in for watching television shows, movies, live sporting events, and other videos, as well as accessing apps from the Google Play store, too. But it does have special features that gamers, in particular, will benefit from, including Game Mode with low latency of 8.3 ms response time at 1,080p/120Hz, providing low input lag for gaming so your on-screen action will mirror your controls quickly and efficiently, perfectly in sync. Further, the Game Sound Mode will fine-tune the audio to match the video on screen; and LumiExpert helps to prevent eye strain during extended periods of gaming.
The 1,080p projector supports 4K HDR content with an impressive 3,500 lumens of brightness and automatic keystone correction should the projector not be positioned at the perfect angle. Project an image at up to 100 inches from up to 8.2 feet away. Compatible with all major gaming consoles, including the new Sony PlayStation 5 and Xbox One X, as well as the popular Nintendo Switch, it’s the perfect way to enjoy a big gaming experience in the basement or games room.
When watching videos, you can cast content using Apple AirPlay or Chromecast, but note that there’s no native Netflix app, you will have to cast from that streaming service by connecting a laptop and using the Google Chrome browser, or connecting a source device via HDMI. Use the included remote to control playback.
Yes, this projector is full-sized and 9.3 lbs., making it the heaviest of the lot and not one to take with you. But for gamers, it’s a solid choice.
- HD resolution
- Automatic keystone correction
- Special features for gamers
- Larger, heavier than others
- No native Netflix app
- Needs to be connected to power supply
Best for Gaming
BenQ TH685i Gaming Projector
Awesome gaming experience
With special gaming modes and technology to help prevent eye strain, along with Android TV built in, the TH685i is a gamer’s dream.
Best for Group Movie Nights: * Xgimi Mogo Pro Mini Portable Projector *
Boasting Android 9.0, this 1,080p full HD projector offers 300 ANSI lumens and comes with improved audio through a pair of built-in 3-watt Harman Kardon speakers, providing a total of 144 watts of balanced sound.
Suitable for using both indoors and outdoors, and offering keystone correction, you can directly cast content from an Android or iOS device, Mac, or Windows computer using the Airscreen app, or connect devices via Bluetooth, HDMI, or USB. For private listening, connect a pair of headphones via Bluetooth or using a 3.5mm cable; you can also use the projector as a Bluetooth speaker just to listen to music. In addition to being able to access Google Play apps, you can also leverage Google Assistant for voice control.
While there’s no native support for Netflix, you can download and use the XTV manager app in Google Play or connect via HDMI to another device. At just under 2 lbs. (1.98 lbs. to be exact), this projector can be ceiling mounted for a more permanent installation but is easy to take with you, too. The up to two-hour battery life is just enough for most movies, but for marathons, you’ll have to take an intermission to recharge or keep it plugged in to power.
- Compact and lightweight
- Rechargeable battery for wireless use
- HD resolution
- Battery only lasts two hours
- No native Netflix support
Best for Group Movie Nights
Xgimi Mogo Pro Mini Portable Projector
Gather the fam jam
Set this projector up outside or in and enjoy big and bright HD resolution images paired with Harman Kardon sound.
Best for On-the-Go: AKASO WT50 Mini Projector
This super-compact mini projector is perfect for taking with you on the go thanks to its small size of just 5.71 x 3.15 x 0.79 inches and 1.81 lbs., but also thanks to the generous two-to-three-hour battery life that will easily last through a long movie or a sporting event.
With Android 7.1 built in, the pocket-sized 1,080p HD video DLP projector permits both wired and wireless multi-screen sharing via Apple AirPlay, Miracast, EShare, and DLNA. Plus, it has USB, HDMI, and 3.5mm Aux inputs, as well as a slot for inserting a microSD card and playing video content directly from that. Otherwise, just access the Google Play store to watch content from services like YouTube and Netflix directly, without the need for any other devices. Connect external Bluetooth speakers for improved audio if desired.
Additionally, the 1,000:1 contrast, 50 ANSI lumen projector offers keystone correction and touch-sensitive controls for easy operation. Project an image up to 120 inches in size, ideally from a 1-1.5-meter distance. The projector comes with a 360-degree rotatable bracket included.
- Super pocketable
- Decent battery life
- HD quality resolution
- Not very bright
Best for On-the-Go
AKASO WT50 Mini Projector
Bring this miniature projector along and set up your own theatre virtually anywhere via Android, USB, microSD, or separate source.
Best for Office Use: Kodak Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector
A nice option for the office, this projector works alongside the Kodak Luma app for control and comes with Android 6.0 onboard. Access streaming service apps, mirror content from other devices, use HDMI and USB to connect your smartphone, tablet, laptop, streaming stick (Chromecast not supported), or other device, and download apps from Google Play, and browse the web to call up content for a presentation.
You can display a widescreen image up to 854 x 480 in resolution at up to 200 inches in size, bright and bold thanks to the 350 lumens. Control playback via the app or the intuitive illuminated touch controls on the projector itself.
The palm-sized projector weighs just 1.81 lbs. and comes with a wall mount and remote that can be used to turn the projector off (but oddly not on). One downside: the 7,500mAh battery reportedly only lasts for about an hour per charge, which is great for 30-45 minute presentations but not so great for watching movies unless you can take a break or keep it plugged in.
- Sleek and compact in design
- Easy to use controls and app
- Remote only turns off, not on
- Short battery life
- Older version of Android
- Chromecast not supported
Best for Office Use
Kodak Luma 350
Impress with presentations
While you can watch movies and play games using this tiny projector, the battery life makes it more suitable for presentations.
Best for Quick Setup: Anker Nebula Solar Portable Projector
You’ll pay a bit more than you would with the others, but with this portable projector, you can be up and running quickly, watching content in full HD glory accompanied by Dolby Digital Plus audio in no time. Autofocus will instantly adjust focus as soon as you turn it on while quadrilateral keystoning to adjust the image so it’s perfectly square, regardless of what surface you’re projecting on.
Enjoy up to three hours of viewing time per charge using the device, which can also double as a Bluetooth speaker with dual 3-watt speaker that provides powerful, room-filling sound. Project an image onto an up to 120-inch surface with HDR10 and 400 ANSI lumens of brightness for rich images and brilliant colors.
Equipped with Android TV 9, you can access favorite apps like YouTube and Hulu directly from the Google Play store and watch TV shows and movies without the need for a separate source device. You can also mirror content from a smartphone or other mobile device directly to the projector. It also has USB and HDMI inputs for connecting USB flash drives, streaming sticks, and other devices; and works with Airplay, Miracast, Bluetooth, and Chromecast.
A neat addition: the Nebula Solar comes with a built-in stand so you can adjust the angle by up to 13 degrees when placing it on a tabletop or other flat surface.
- HD resolution, high brightness
- Never version of Android OS
- Dual speakers for immersive sound
- Built-in stand for angling
- Chromecast support
Best for Quick Setup
Anker Nebula Solar Portable Projector
Quickly and easily get a high definition up to 120-inch display combined with booming sound to make any movie night a success.
What’s the advantage with an Android-powered projector?
Projectors range dramatically in size, capability, price, and purpose. Some are designed exclusively for delivering presentations in an office scenario while others are made for home entertainment use. And others, still, are designed to be so small that you can take them with you to deliver a movie experience from virtually anywhere with a flat surface on which you can project.
Android-powered projectors tend to fall into the latter category for good reason. The primary advantage with them is that you can get going right out of the box without the need to use another source device from which to get the content. Sure, many of them accept USB and HDMI devices, some even microSD memory cards; or can connect to other devices as well. But with Android built in, you can instantly access the Google Play store right from the projector’s remote, built-in controls, and/or mobile app, download the apps you want, sign in to your respective streaming service account, then begin watching without the need for anything else but a cozy blanket.
The highly-rated Anker Nebula Apollo WiFi Mini Projector might not have the highest resolution of the bunch but it boasts a sleek and sexy design and powerful speakers. The fact that it’s compact so you can bring it with you, and offers the best-rated battery life at up to four hours, make it the best Android-powered projector.
If you are dead set on getting HD quality resolution, the Anker Nebula Solar Portable Projector might be the better option, though it is almost double the price. You can also get HD resolution with the Xgimi Mogo Pro Mini Portable Projector, which employs a similar upright design to the Nebula Apollo and offers native 1,080p FHD 2K/4K input support along with Harman Kardon speakers.
For half the price, the AKASO WT50 Mini Projector also delivers 1,080p HD video though it isn’t quite as bright. But it does offer an up to 2-3-hour battery life, microSD slot, and comes with a 360-degree rotatable bracket, all worthwhile upgrades that might be worth the concessions.
Credits — The team that worked on this guide
Christine Persaud resides in Toronto, Ontario Canada and has binged enough television to justify buying 1,000 projectors. While she watches primarily on an OLED TV, however, she does set up backyard projector movie nights for friends and family during the summer months.
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