Portable projectors are nothing new, but PIQO claims to be the new industry standard for its ultra-compact size, 1080p HD projection up to 240 inches, Hi-Fi speakers, and built-in operating system, the PIQO HD pocket mini projector.
PIQO recently generated nearly 2.5M on the crowdfunding site Indiegogo by over 6,000 backers, making it one of the most successful campaigns of all time for a portable projector.
But is it worth the hype?
In our full review, we’ll put PIQO’s features to the test and give you the info you need on its specification and pricing.
PIQO pocket mini projector specifications
Upon taking PIQO out of the box, one thing is clearly true. This projector is smaller than any we’ve seen before. Measuring just 2.25 inches on all sides, this techy cube really is small enough to fit in your pocket.
Next, we plugged it in and gave it an initial charge. We expected this to last a few hours (as most projectors require), but as claimed, the PIQO was ready to play 1 hour of the video after just a 15-minute charge (to be fair, PIQO only played for 56 minutes on a 15-minute charge, but we considered this to be close enough). If you charge the projector for a couple of hours, you will expect about 4.5-5 hours of continuous video playback with sound. That’s more than twice as long as other projectors can go on a single charge.
Watching movies and shows is a real pleasure on PIQO. Many projectors claim a 1080p HD experience but then slack on the brightness, which is really what counts in a projector. PIQO mini pocket projector combines 1080p HD video with 200 ANSI lumens of brightness to produce images that look like they come from an HD TV. 200 ANSI lumens produce an image twice as bright as most portable projectors and provide much better contrast and deeper blacks than we’ve seen in competing models.
PIQO functions as a Bluetooth speaker without simultaneously projecting. This is where the battery really shines. PIQO says that its battery lasts 50 hours for audio-only playback, and we have to agree. We left the projector playing music in the break room in our office and it didn’t stop for two solid days (playing non-stop day and night).
The sound quality is quite good, thanks to its Hi-Fi stereo speakers. Sure, they aren’t as good as an auxiliary speaker system, but the sound is much crisper and louder than other projector speakers. We’d say the sound is comparable to a mid-level portable Bluetooth speaker.
PIQO does a lot more than just play video and music. With a powerful Android operating system, 2 GB of RAM, a 16 GB hard drive, and WiFi connectivity, this tiny projector is a lot like a portable HD smart TV. Its industry-topping quad-core cortex-A53 processor explains a lot regarding how PIQO is able to do so much so smoothly.
You can surf the web and download apps from the Google Play store like Netflix, YouTube, and Switch directly to the projector. You can even download content from apps to the hard drive for offline access. If you run out of space on the internal hard drive, you can access your videos and music from the USB port or micro SD port.
If you don’t have WiFi, you can use Bluetooth 5.0 to cast virtually anything up to 240 inches. PIQO is universally compatible with all devices (we tested it with all the phones in our office – Apple, Android, Huawei, Windows, etc.) and it connects to gaming consoles too, which was particularly cool. Projecting Xbox One, PS4, and Switch at 180 inches of HD glory on our office wall was epic (and made us never want to work again).
PIQO does a lot, yet it’s quite simple to set up and navigate. The interface is similar to that of a smart TV, and the touch screen makes it easy to select a function or choose between apps and downloaded content.
When you select a video, an advanced keystone auto-correction adjusts the screen angle so you get a perfect image no matter the projection surface. It does this by using custom gravity sensors built into the projector.
If you decide to cast, the PIQO pocket mini projector connects seamlessly whether via Bluetooth 5.0 or WiFi, so you don’t have to deal with annoying step-by-step syncing directions or buttons.
This ease of use is a big perk, as many projectors force you to navigate endless drop-down menus that look straight out of Windows 98. PIQO has revamped that look on the back of its Android OS.
PIQO goes pretty much anywhere and plugs into pretty much anything. Along with seamless casting, you can also hook up any device to PIQO via its USB, HDMI, 3.5mm, and DC-5V ports.
But when we say it goes anywhere, you should be warned. This little projector can go indoors and out without a problem, but it needs to be treated with care. It’s about as durable as a smartphone, which means dropping it can lead to tragedy. While your smartphone will still work if you crack the screen, if you damage the sensitive projection glass in PIQO, you won’t be so lucky.
If you decide to drop $399.99 on this projector, we highly recommend that you pick up a protective case as well. PIQO and its accessories are available at thepiqoprojector.com.
Is PIQO the world’s most powerful pocket HD projector, as it claims to be? We tested PIQO for over a week, and we have to say that at its price point, it’s likely the most advanced projector you can get your hands on (and definitely worth a buy). The picture is striking and maintains its quality up to 240 inches (20 feet), it’s universally compatible, it has a battery life that destroys the competition, and it’s extremely easy to use.
We love that you can download apps directly to the projector, and Bluetooth 5.0 makes casting and mirroring easier than ever. With a powerful quad-core processor to keep everything moving seamlessly, you can be sure that this investment will last for years to come. Just be sure to protect it when you’re on the go.