Portable projectors are fast becoming popular thanks to their ability to display high-quality images on the go. From business presentations to outdoor movie nights, these compact devices are versatile tech investments. But with so many options available, knowing which one to buy is a daunting task. Whether you need a projector for work presentations, movie nights, or outdoor events, we’ve got you covered. Below, we narrow down some of the best portable projectors currently available.
Best Portable Projector Comparison Chart
Samsung The Freestyle
Best overall portable projector
Less than seven inches in height and four inches in diameter, Samsung’s The Freestyle is about the size of a can of dog food. Yet, it’s deceptively feature-packed. From voice assistant support to intelligent calibration, The Freestyle makes buying and owning a projector less intimidating.
Take its smart calibration, for instance. Samsung’s foray into projectors includes a technology that allows The Freestyle to optimize its projection based on the wall color. Its screen also automatically levels when the unit is on a filter surface. And as expected, users benefit from auto keystone and autofocus. No room for guesses here.
Ditch the USB and dongles, too. Samsung’s projector offers a built-in suite of apps, reminiscent of Samsung’s TV OS. It also supports screen mirroring and, when paired with a smartphone, requires only a single tap to access.
Lastly, Samsung doesn’t cut corners with picture and audio quality. With The Freestyle, you get full HD resolution. It also comes with an omnidirectional 5W speaker for 360-degree sound. But if you prefer a more immersive experience, don’t fret. Users can pair the projector to external speakers via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, optical, and HDMI.
Projection system: DLP | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Brightness: 550 lumens
Projection size: 30 to 100 in. | Battery Life: n/a
Best portable mini projector
If you’re on a budget and want something pocketable, consider the AAXA P8. The P8 is is so small it fits the palm of your hand. Roughly three inches wide and a little over an inch thick, it’s surprising how bright the projector can get. AAXA shares the P8 is rated for 430 lumens — even brighter than the likes of the Anker Capsule 2 and 3.
The truth is, you’ll find less expensive mini projectors compared with the P8. Some of these rival products offer a built-in battery, too. However, few match the reliability of the P8. Plus, it does offer a max resolution of 1080p.
While the image quality may not be exceptional, given its compact size, reasonable cost, and high luminosity, it’s challenging to find fault with it. And for $250, the P8 comes equipped with multiple input ports, including HDMI, USB, and microSD, making it compatible with a wide range of devices.
Projection system: DLP | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 | Brightness: 430 lumens
Projection size: 16 to 200 in. | Battery Life: n/a
Anker Nebula Mars II Pro
Best portable projector for outdoor movies
With built-in streaming and three hours of movie playtime, Anker’s Nebula Mars II Pro is an excellent companion for your outdoor cinematic experience. The projector also houses two 10W speakers, eliminating the need for external speakers.
Nonetheless, the main appeal of the Mars II Pro is its brightness. The projector pours out 500 ANSI lumens, which makes it possible to watch movies even in brightly lit outdoor environments. Clarity is also covered. With the Mars II Pro, you get autofocus for sharper image quality. If there’s a downside, it’s that the projector doesn’t support HD.
The Mars II Pro also boasts impressive connectivity options, including HDMI, USB, and Bluetooth. With this interface, you can connect to smartphones, laptops, and even streaming sticks. And since it runs on Android 7.1, you can install various apps, including Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube.
While it’s not the smallest projector, the Mars II Pro remains portable. The unit comes with an integrated handle and offers a durable build that’s resistant to scratches and minor bumps.
Projection system: DLP | Resolution: 1280 x 720 | Brightness: 500 lumens
Projection size: 40 to 100 in. | Battery Life: 3 hours (movies), 30 hours (speaker)
Kodak Luma 350
Best portable projector for smartphones
The Kodak Luma 350 is our pick for use with smartphones. Slim and compact, this palmtop projector pairs with both iOS and Android devices. It also features built-in speakers, although the audio output is average. But if you want better sound performance, you can connect the Luma 350 to headphones or external speakers via an audio out jack.
Despite its size, the projector comes with an internal rechargeable battery for up to two hours of viewing time. You can also plug it into an external power source for extended usage. Operating the Luma 350 is a breeze. Kodak includes a wireless remote with the unit and also offers mobile app compatibility.
In terms of image quality, you get what you see with the Kodak Luma 350. It features a native resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, good enough for casual video viewing. The projector also has a brightness of 350 ANSI lumens, which is modest for most lighting conditions.
While videophiles may find it wanting, the Luma 350 should tick the boxes for most users. Plus, it comes with built-in Android 6.0 and has favorite apps like Netflix, Hulu, and YouTube preinstalled.
Projection system: DLP | Resolution: 854 x 480 | Brightness: 350 LED lumens
Projection size: Up to 250 in. | Battery Life: 2 hours
Best portable projector for business and entertainment
Looking for a portable projector for work and fun? Consider the LG PH550. LG’s “CineBeam” is a versatile device perfect for business and entertainment. It’s also a fairly small unit, measuring 6.85 x 4.31 x 1.75 inches and weighing just 1.43 pounds. Plus, you benefit from a built-in battery that provides up to 2.5 hours of usage.
One of the standout features of the LG PH550 is its menu of connectivity options. The projector has Bluetooth, USB, HDMI, and audio out connections. It also supports screen sharing and has RGB and Composite inputs. Given the interface, the projector seamlessly works with smartphones, laptops, and tablets.
For entertainment, LG has equipped the PH550 with a digital TV tuner. This allows users to receive over-the-air TV signals and enjoy real-time sports games and TV shows. It comes with speakers, too, although the audio output is decent.
In terms of image quality, however, the LG PH550 doesn’t disappoint. It features a native resolution of 1280×720 pixels and a brightness of 550 lumens, suitable for indoor and outdoor use. And last but not least, the projector offers a contrast ratio of 100,000:1, delivering vibrant and accurate colors.
Projection system: DLP | Resolution: 1280 x 720 | Brightness: 550 lumens
Projection size: 25 to 100 in. | Battery Life: 2.5 hours
Anker Nebula Apollo
Best portable projector for battery life
Portable projectors are supposed to offer convenience, but most offer only so much battery life. What’s the use of buying one if it can’t last a movie without the need to charge? Fortunately, the Anker Nebula Apollo has taken note of this.
Anker’s entry-level projector offers four hours of movie playtime on a single charge. If you’re using it only for music, you get an impressive 30 hours of battery life. You might ask, what music? Like the projectors on this list, the Nebula Apollo has a built-in speaker. You can also connect it to external devices via HDMI, USB, or Bluetooth.
Performance-wise, the Nebula Apollo belies its size. For a small projector, the Apollo delivers an above-average resolution of 854 x 480 pixels, perfect for streaming videos or delivering presentations. You don’t have to worry about adjustments, either. The Nebula Apollo features auto-vertical keystone correction.
Setting up the unit is a breeze, as is navigating it, thanks to intuitive touch buttons. You also get a wireless remote control with dedicated buttons for built-in apps. And since it runs on Android 7.1, you can install more apps, including cloud storage and streaming services.
Projection system: DLP | Resolution: 854 x 480 | Brightness: 200 lumens
Projection size: 40 to 100 in. | Battery Life: 4 hours
The best portable projectors are essentially entertainment systems on the go.
The best portable projectors offer a convenient and flexible way to enjoy high-quality content anywhere. Most also feature built-in speakers and smart TV operating systems. But while all the models in this list are top-rated, we found two as standouts.
Samsung The Freestyle is our pick for the best overall. With its versatile design and approachable operation, it’s easy to recommend to any user regardless of experience. It’s arguably the easiest projector to set up, thanks to several smart calibration systems.
For those who want something more portable, the Kodak Luma 350 is the slimmest projector on this list. While it’s not as adaptable as Samsung’s The Freestyle, the Luma 350 remains a capable device. If you simply need a projector you can pair with your smartphone, this is the model to get.
When looking for a portable projector, some key factors to consider include the brightness and resolution of the projector, its portability, and battery life. Other considerations include the availability of connectivity options, such as HDMI, USB, or Wi-Fi, and any additional features, such as built-in speakers or streaming capabilities.
Samsung’s The Freestyle projector comes with a one-year warranty.
Yes. Kodak includes an HDMI cable with the Luma 350 projector.
Portable projectors have become increasingly popular due to their convenience and versatility, allowing users to enjoy high-quality images and videos anywhere. They are lightweight, compact, and easy to transport, making them ideal for outdoor movie nights, presentations, or even gaming