Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2: High style, low brightness, high price

It’s a rare projector that crosses my path with an aesthetically beautiful design. There are tons cool projectorssome cute projectors and even those that could be generously called “tidy“. The Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2 is as stylish as any other projector I have seen and would look like home surrounded by Apple devices on Eero Saarinen a table surrounded by Corbusier chairs.

Like

  • A great project
  • Built-in Android TV
  • It looks like an Apple product

I do not like

  • Not clear enough
  • No battery
  • Priced like an Apple product

Unfortunately, it’s relatively expensive and the image quality and features don’t quite match the perfect design. It’s not very bright, the colors are a bit different, and his contrast it is adequate at best. And unlike most truly portable projectorsthere is no built-in battery.

For less money Anker Mars II Pro offers more brightness, same contrast and battery that lets you watch movies anywhere. Overall, the Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2 is a bit hit and miss, if a bit (stylish).

Specs and stuff

  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • HDR compatible: Yes
  • 4K Compatible: No.
  • Compatible with 3D: No.
  • Lumen specification: 500
  • Magnification: None
  • Lens Shift: None
  • Lamp Life (Normal Mode): Not listed

The Mi Smart Projector 2 has what I consider to be the standard specs of a projector of this price and size. Full HD resolution (aka 1080p) is good because many inexpensive projectors have resolutions of 720p or less. Although it is HDR compatibleremember there is no contrast ratio to do anything with high dynamic content (but to be fair, many projectors are bad at HDR).

this 500 lumens rating is common to small portable projectors. However, I measured 162 less than most of its competitors. It is darker than Anker SolarAnker Mars II Pro and even Samsung Freestyleall of which are rated to be close to the same lumens. Remember that higher brightness, in addition to improving image quality, also allows the projector to create a larger image that still looks decent.

As is usual with such small projectors, there is no lens shift or zoom. The only way to change the size of an image is by moving the projector. Autofocus works pretty fast though, which is good.

Android TV, HDMI and Wi-Fi but no battery

The Mi Smart Projector 2 is positioned with a thin remote control next to the Irn-Bru soda can for scale-up.

Projector, remote control and drink.

Geoff Morrison / topwatchbest

  • HDMI inputs: 1
  • USB port: 1
  • Audio output: headphone output
  • Internet: 802.11a / b / g / n 2.4 GHz / 5 GHz
  • Remote control: not illuminated

It’s always great to see a small projector in full size HDMI Entry. However, you probably won’t need to use it. Like some projectors we saw recently, the Smart PJ 2 comes with Android TV built in, so you get the full version of everything streaming services you want. Netflix, Disney Plus, Amazon Prime and so on are pre-installed. Others, including HBO max.you can install via the included Google Play Store.

The sound is pretty good, thanks to the dual 5 watt drivers. A bit too much treble for my liking, but more bass than you would expect from such a small box. Like everything of its size, it falls apart if you crank it up too loud. However, this border is very loud, and in a small room you would have to raise your voice to speak it.

The tiny, slim remote has a dedicated Netflix button. However, unlike a few Smart PJ 2 competitors, there is no dedicated phone app.

My biggest problem is that this little portable projector has no batteries. Most at this size and price range do just that. Those that don’t, such as Samsung Freestyle, usually have the ability to run through a USB rechargeable battery, but Xiaomi can’t do it either. You need to plug it into a standard electrical outlet using the included power adapter. It is the same size as a large phone / tablet charger, but connects to the projector via a small circular DC power connector rarely found in such small devices. Meanwhile, the USB connection on Xiaomi can charge the device if the projector is plugged in, but cannot power the projector itself.

Image quality comparison

Smart Projector 2 is on a blue canvas.

Smart Projector 2 image is made by LEDs and DLP chip.

Geoff Morrison / topwatchbest

The Mars II Pro is as close to direct comparison as it gets. It’s almost exactly the same size and is rated the same 500 lumens. The Anker has a lower resolution and is $ 50 cheaper. I hooked them up to a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier and watched them side by side on a 102 ” 1.0 gain screen.

Read more: How we test projectors

As you’d expect, these projectors are much closer to each other than they are. Their contrast ratios they are almost identical. However, Anker doesn’t have any image adjustments, so there are some image aspects that are better on Xiaomi. For example, the shadow details look much grayer and less realistic on the Anker than on Xiaomi.

Colors are not very accurate on both projectors. Both are more or less equally flawed and pretty cool or bluish at color temperature. On a home projector, I’d have a bigger problem with that, but for a small portable device, it’s probably fine. Nothing looks overly unnatural, but everything looks a bit strange.

The greater detail of Xiaomi’s 1080p was definitely noticeable. Anker looked a little soft when viewed side by side. However, this is by no means a breakthrough, as resolution is only one aspect of image quality. If you didn’t have these two next to you, it’s doubtful you’ll notice.

The most noticeable difference is actually the brightness. Anker looked a bit brighter than Xiaomi. I measured about 162 lumens from Xiaomi and 337 from Anker. So yeah, about twice as bright. Manufacturers often falsify their claims of brightness. Here’s what it means in practice. And before giving Xiaomi’s criticism for being so much lower, Samsung rated it at $ 900 Freestyle at 550 lumens and sheds 197. Morale? Do not trust the manufacturer’s claims about lumens.

Xiaomi has a mode that could increase the brightness, but instead makes the image exceptionally green. Maybe you would be able to watch projector mode where everyone looks like Kermit, but to me it’s not easy to be


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Brightness aside, there is no clear winner between the two in terms of image quality: Xiaomi has better detail, Anker has more light output. If Anker had image settings, it would likely push the needle in his favor. But on the other hand, you probably aren’t buying any of them based solely on image quality.

However, there is one important, perhaps key difference: Anker has a battery. It can project the image anywhere, while Xiaomi needs an outlet. This is big.

Pretty close

I love the Xiaomi design. It is simply a fantastically elegant projector. If you hit an Apple badge on it, no one would question it.

The problem with Mi Smart Projector 2 is Mars II Pro. It’s a bit cheaper, brighter, and has a battery. It doesn’t look that stylish, but that’s a small minus when we’re talking about something smaller than a lunch box. It’s not like it will dominate your living room. If the next version of Xiaomi has a battery or is two to three times brighter, it would be a real contender.

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