Madrobots at IFA 2018. Part 2 - smart projectors: from XGIMI to Anker

    The projector is almost like a TV, only better. And an old “box” is no good for a smart projector. While Samsung and LG are struggling for primacy in the world of displays (microled against oled!), Other companies and startups have decided to take up an alternative category of electronics. At IFA 2018, we saw both prototypes and products already sold. We talk about those who managed to see and test.



    The most promising projector that we came across at the show was designed by a Chinese startup XGIMI. This is a laser ultrashort-focus projector with the laconic name TV T1 . The device is serious and heavy: its length is slightly less than a meter, its weight is 23 kilograms. The device must be placed on a pedestal under a special screen at a distance of 18 centimeters from the wall itself. It projects images with a diagonal of 120 inches (3 meters) and 4K resolution.

    XGIMI TV T1 and the founder of Madrobots Nikolay Belousov

    We were unable to distinguish individual pixels from close up, but, of course, we need to look at the projection from a distance. On the other hand, since the projector has to stand next to the wall, you can try connecting Kinect or Wii to it, and then boldly swing the controller right in front of the screen. With a long-focal projector, this will not work.

    Since the brightness of the device reaches 4000 ANSI-lumens, the projection looks no worse than the TV screen, even without dimming. T1 will cost almost $ 12,000, and should serve faithfully for 10 years. So far, it is sold only in China.

    XGIMI H2

    XGIMI, according to eastern custom, the company is hard-working and prolific, so she brought to IFA 2018 and other projectors. This includes the short-focus H2 : a new version of the XGIMI H1 model , whichcollected 1 million dollars on Indiegogo in 2016 . Like the unforgettable original, H2 is a full-fledged home theater, which combines the powerful acoustics of Harman Kardon with the ability to project a picture with a diagonal of up to 300 inches onto any surface. For example, on the ceiling. Consider, if your “screen” is uneven, every crack and tubercle will be clearly visible.

    The H2 brightness is 1350 lumens, so the device also does not require dimming for a good result. The native resolution is 1920 x 1080 pixels, and thanks to the HDR10 support, the device is able to reproduce all the colors of the latest 4K releases. In addition, the gadget is mounted on tripods and suspensions without an additional accessory-tray - for this there is a special mounting slot. At the moment, this is the best model that a Chinese startup has.

    XGIMI Aurora CC Dark Knight

    Another successful device XGIMI - Aurora CC Portable Short-Focus Projector, which its manufacturers call "screenless TV." What an exaggeration, since the TV tuner in the gadget is not provided. But it has an Android system installed that allows you to watch video content from YouTube, Netflix, and so on. Optical resolution is 720p, brightness - 350 lumens.

    Demonstration of the Aurora CC projector.

    There are built-in speakers made by JBL; If you turn off the screen, the gadget is able to work in a wireless speaker mode. The battery lasts for 8 hours of music playback and 4 hours of movie playback. Yes, the resolution is not enough, but such a projector can be taken with you on trips and moved around the room without risking a hernia (sorry, T1).

    XGIMI Z6 Polar

    Projector XGIMI Z6 Polar- a tribute to the fashion of minimalism. He won the 2018 Reddot Award for his successful design. The flat device is equipped with the same Harman Kardon acoustics as the H2 model. The sound of the built-in speaker is perceived as surround - it is not clear how it happened with the Chinese engineers. Brightness varies between 500 and 700 lumens, and the projection size reaches 180 inches.
    Brightness4000 ANSI lumens1350 ANSI lumens350 ANSI lumens500–700 ANSI lumens
    Resolution3840 × 21601920 × 10801280 × 7201920 × 1080
    Projection size120 ″40–300 ″40–180 ″180 ″
    Projection ratio0.189: 11.2: 11.1: 11.2: 1
    Projection distance0.1–1.8 m1–7 m1–3 m1–6 m
    OSAndroid 6.0Android 6.0.1Android 5.1.1Android 6.0
    BatteryNotNot8 hours of audio, 4 hours of videoNot
    Price~ $ 12,000~ 800-950 $~ $ 569~ $ 570


    Madrobots founder Nikolai Belousov and Polaroid projectors

    After two bankruptcies in a row, Polaroid seems to be a “dinosaur” of the technological world, if not fossil. A few years ago, the Impossible Project (now known as Polaroid Originals) revived the legendary instant cartridges and cameras. Nevertheless, the parent company continues to license its brand and produce various categories of goods under it, due to which it has lived for the last decade.

    Right before the start of the IFA 2018, Polaroid launched a line of Bluetooth speakers on the American Hot Topic network and Puma sneakers decorated with a rainbow. At the exhibition under the brand of the company brought three projectors, which we are interested.

    Polaroid VP04

    Portable Polaroid VP04- the smallest of the three. Outwardly, he looks like a domestic "Multikubik." The device projects a picture with a diagonal of 30-80 inches. If the room is flooded with light, then the projector will not have to wait for a special brightness, since its declared value is only 100 ANSI-lumens. Seeing the projection on the wall of a well-lit company stand was difficult. A single 6-watt Harman Kardon speaker is built into the device, so you can watch movies right away with sound.

    Polaroid VP07

    Polaroid VP07- This is another portable model in the same cubic case, but a couple of centimeters longer, taller and wider. The projector looks somewhat prettier because its case is covered with leather than it resembles the design of the company's old instant cameras. The acoustics in this case was provided by the manufacturer JBL, this is already two speakers for a total of 10 watts.

    The size of the projected image varies from 30 to 120 inches, resolution - 1280 x 720 (HD). The gadget automatically focuses the image, which is convenient. However, his 300 ANSI lumens were also not enough to “kill” the lighting: the picture seemed dull.

    Polaroid V7HC

    The last projector, the Polaroid V7HC, turned out to be more powerful: as many as 1000 ANSI lumens. That was just enough to work in conditions that were not ideal for such a device.

    The brightest and largest projection - models V7HC

    All three gadgets are for sale in France. They look like another experiment in the search for a product that could be named Polaroid with dignity. In Russia, these devices will not appear before 2019, as well as detailed specifications.
    TitlePolaroid VP04Polaroid VP07Polaroid V7HC
    Brightness100 ANSI lumens300 ANSI lumens1000 ANSI lumens
    Resolution854 × 4801280 × 7201920 × 1080
    Projection size30–80 ″30-120 ″Unknown
    Projection distance1–2.9 m1-2.9 mUnknown
    Price~ 300 €~ 500 €~ 800 €


    Installation LG OLED Canyon

    As mentioned at the very beginning of the article, for LG and Samsung, the main battlefield was, is and remains displays. Samsung brought to IFA its giant 146-inch The Wall TV, which was already shown at CES 2018. Like last time, the public was not allowed to get closer to the screen so that the seams between the individual microOLED panels were not visible to the pictures.

    LG built an installation of 246 OLED panels called “OLED Canyon”. This winding corridor was waiting for visitors at the entrance to the company's stands, and was an artistic rethinking of last year’s OLED tunnel of 216 screens.


    Projectors are fading on this shining background. We still found them: the Koreans showed nothing particularly new and revolutionary. On the thematic stand were iterations of well-known models, which are sold on the same Amazon and in large retail chains. Five small projectors: three short-focus, two ultra-short-focus. Two of them are portable, with batteries rated for 4 and 2.5 hours of video viewing. Good, reliable, but generally boring devices.

    Of particular interest was perhaps the detached laser projector LG HU80KG, similar to a trash can with a pen. It supports UHD / 4K resolution, has a brightness of 2500 lumens and projects a screen with a diagonal of 40-150 inches. The gadget is equipped with a built-in 14-watt audio system with support for Dolby Surround Audio.

    Option LG HU80KG - LG HU80KSW. In what, and in the overly original approach to the names of LG products, it is difficult to blame the

    Previous version of this device, the HU80KA, demonstrated at the beginning of the year in Las Vegas at CES. We did not notice much difference between the two. However, the idea itself is not bad: it's great that the lamp is replaced by a laser, and it’s convenient that you don’t need to pick up a cabinet of the desired height. However, the projector is configured manually anyway.

    Anker - Nebula

    The Chinese company Anker Innovations, which they know and love for the banks, in 2017 launched its own brand of projectors, Nebula. The lineup has grown to four gadgets, of which three came to IFA 2018: Nebula Mars II, Nebula Capsule and Nebula Prizm.

    From left to right: Mars Nebula II, Nebula Prizm,

    Mars Nebula Capsule II - a portable projector with a resolution of 720p and a brightness of 300 ANSI-lumens. Projection size reaches 150 inches. Mars II autofocus, so there is no need to understand the settings: a smart system will do everything for you. It looks especially impressive if you take the projector in your hands and send it to the wall. With each movement, the geometry of the picture changes momentarily, and then is restored again.

    Nebula Capsule

    Capsule- pico-projector the size of a can of soda. Last year he became a hit on Indiegogo, where he collected 1.2 million dollars. The device is equipped with JBL omnidirectional (360-degree) acoustics. Due to the shape and sound, the gadget, from the consumer’s point of view, is similar to the result of the natural evolution of a Bluetooth speaker. In this mode, the device also works, that is, in conditions of excessive illumination (on the street during the day), it does not lose its functionality completely.

    The Capsule resolution is smaller than that of the Mars II - 854 x 480, the brightness is 100 ANSI lumens, the projection size is 20-100 inches. Both gadgets run on battery for 4 hours, connected to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. On board Android 7.1, there is HDMI and USB inputs.

    From left to right: two Nebula Prizm projectors, a Nebula Capsule and a Mars II Prizm projection.

    - the newest projector from the Nebula line. This is a large stationary gadget without Android on board and without batteries. With its minimalist design, it resembles the XGIMI Z6 Polar. He has his own "trick": covered with a soft cloth top, so that the device fits better into the home interior. Projector brightness is 100 ANSI-lumens, resolution - 800 × 480 pixels. There is a built-in speaker for 5 watts. Not the most impressive characteristics, but the gadget initially cost only $ 150, which is quite a bit for the projector. On such a device, you can show the children Pig Peppa for the night, and when they fall asleep, watch their favorite TV series or some old movie.
    TitleNebula Mars IINebula capsuleNebula prizm
    Brightness300 ANSI lumens100 ANSI lumens100 ANSI lumens
    Resolution1280 × 720854 × 480800 × 480
    Projection size30–150 ″20–100 ″40–100 ″
    Projection ratio1.2: 11.3: 11.4: 1
    Projection distance0.9–3 m0.5–3.08 m0.9–2.4 m
    OSAndroid 7.1Android 7.1-
    Battery4 hours of video4 hours of video, 30 hours of audioOnly from the network
    Price~ 500 $~ 350 $~ $ 149

    A separate category of smart projectors definitely had time to form, like a star in a nebula. We believe that she has a great future.

    Unfortunately, this is the case when it’s better to see once than to read ten times. For example, how does the Aurora portable projector turn on? You move the lid, and it immediately begins to project an image that focuses itself. Press the button a couple of times - and you watch your favorite YouTube channel. With good sound and a large, bright screen.

    Using a smart projector is no more difficult than the usual TV. It is suitable for video games, for movies, for any content. Portable versions give the opportunity to arrange spontaneous film shows in the open. Which TV or smartphone is capable of this?

    So far, the market is not rich in intelligent projectors, as companies are trying to understand how popular this format is to play content. Further all in this direction went the company XGIMI. In the near future, we plan to bring the brand's products to Russia, but for now we are accepting applications for pre-orders.

    How do you feel about projectors and are you ready to use them as an alternative way to watch videos?

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