For those who don’t need a 4G LTE connection on their mobile projectors, the WiFi-only ZTE SPro is currently available as a followup into the $450 (Number305, AU$590) Sprint LivePro. At $400 (#270, AU$530), the LivePro ships with Google’s Android functioning system, a touchscreen to control the projector , speakers, and a built-in battery.
These attributes allow the travel professional to conduct impromptu presentations without requiring a bulky setup like a laptop, a larger and thicker mobile projector, and all of the cables and adapters needed to wire everything together.
As an all-purpose unit, you can pull your files from the cloud via programs like Google Slides, connect a Bluetooth mouse to control your presentation without needing to reach for your touchscreen, and wow your audience.
And if you have any downtime at home or back in the hotel, the complete Android OS allows you to download multimedia apps such as YouTube, Netflix, HuluPlus, or Sling TV, and project your movie to a wall. This produces the SPro a flexible tool that’s great for work and fun.
At just 14.1 oz (400 grams), the SPro is lighter – and smaller – than most mobile projectors on the market today. For contrast, the $599 (Number385, AU$738) Epson EX7235 Pro weighs 5.29 pounds (2.68 Kg) and measures 11.7 x 9.0 x 3.0 inches (297.2 X 228.6 X 76.2mm).
Weighing 1.1 lbs (490 grams), the $555 (#360, AU$708) Vivitek Qumi Q5-RD is closer in weight to your ZTE unit.
The Android feature of this SPro makes it similar to AAXA’s $555 (#360, AU$708) LED Android projector.
The S Pro is encased in an unassuming black box with ribbed plastic sides and a touchscreen on top. The plan is not unattractive, but it feels somewhat too buttoned-up, especially compared to silver Vivitek Qumi Q5-RD with red trim.
The front part of the device includes the ZTE emblem and contains the opening for the projector to shine through. On the left side, you own a silver wheel to concentrate the projector, a slot for a micro SD card slot, the power button, and also a button to activate the projector’s battery. After you activate this second button, the projector serves as a power bank and you can plug your smartphone or small gadget into the USB port on the back to control devices on the move.
ZTE Axon 7 Verizon Review, in addition to the USB port, you have a port for your charging cable to control the projector, a full-sized HDMI port, and a 3.5millimeter audio-out port. The ideal side of the device is clean, except for a concealed vent opening.
On the top panel is a 4-inch WVGA resolution (800 X 480-pixel) touchscreen along with capacitive touch Android navigation keys. The touchscreen allows you to use the projector as a handheld Android device without needing to turn on the battery-draining projector lamp.
Just below the Android navigation keys are capacitive buttons to browse the projector. There are volume buttons, a circular button to toggle the Android display on top, and a button to fire up the projector lamp.
Four rubber feet on the bottom of the projector let you place the device on a smooth surface without worrying about the unit sliding around. A small speaker is embedded on the bottom. There is also a pull-out plastic kickstand which permits you to angle the projector, and a tripod mount to get much better height control.
What distinguishes the SPro out of most other projectors on the market is that it ships with Google’s Android operating platform and has built in WiFi. If you are traveling to provide a presentation, this small unit may replace your laptop or tabletcomputer, a bigger mobile projector, and all your cable clutter.
The flexibility lets you capture documents, videos, photographs, and slides out of Google Drive or some other cloud storage service, similar to an Android smartphone. You can also plug in a memory card or USB flash drive to access your content.
The ZPro comes with a DLP lamp rated at 100 lumens with a 20,000-hour lamp life.
In contrast, the Epson EX7235 Guru is considerably wider with 3,000 lumens. In use, the general features of the SPro are similar to this AAXA LED Android projector. The SPro provides more versatility than the AAXA unit so you are able to use the ZTE device without needing to turn the projector on given its built-in touchscreen.
The SPro comes with 4GB of storage and 1GB of RAM. The Android 4.2.2 operating system on the device is powered by Qualcomm’s dual-core Snapdragon 400 processor clocked at 1.2 GHz, giving it plenty of power to drive movie, presentations and graphics. Given the size of the device, you likely wouldn’t use the projector as a handheld gaming device without using a Bluetooth game controller.
The built-in micro SD card slot and USB interface permit for growth. With the USB interface, you can plug-in a flash drive and use the pre-loaded file reader, or just download a document manager of your choice via the Google Play Store, and pull your documents easily.
The HDMI port allows you to connect a laptop if you would rather only forego Android and drive your presentation from your laptop.
When it comes to projector functionality, the SPro delivers mediocre picture quality. The projected image displays at a more conservative 854 X 480 resolution, so it does not quite match the greater 720p or 1080p output found on larger, expensive rivals.
For contrast, the compact Vivitek Qumi Q5-RD includes a brighter 500-lumen lamp that is capable of outputting video at a greater 720p resolution. But, Vivitek’s solution lacks WiFi and the native Android OS found on the SPro.
The SPro can project images to a screen size of between 10 inches to 10 ft (254mm to 3m). This makes it perfect for showing off HD movie, that are recorded in 16:9, or for displaying photos, which are often shot in 4:3.
Although its picture quality may suffice in a pinch, I discovered the SPro’s relatively meager 100 lumens of brightness output makes it more difficult to use in a room which is not dimmed. The brightness is less of an issue for smaller projections, however once I projected a 10-foot presentation, it was harder to find the image unless the ambient light was subdued low.
You’ll definitely need to turn the lights – if not entirely out – before you begin your “feature presentation.”
Additionally, with the HDMI interface, I can also connect a smartphone, laptop, or tablet computer to project material from these devices. I managed to connect my Windows laptop and an Android tablet computer to the projector using both a wired HDMI cable and wirelessly using Miracast.
Employing an iPhone using a Digital AV adapter , I was able to display some content – like photos and presentations – but not others. Copyright-protected movies purchased through iTunes wouldn’t play the projector through the HDMI connection.
The speaker delivers decent audio quality that’s surprisingly loud. The drawback, however, is that the fan on the SPro spins louder than the audio output and overpowers speaker.
The fan kicks in immediately as soon as the projector is switched on. To conquer fan sound when playing films, I connected a Bluetooth Jambox Mini. Speakers can connect to the SPro wirelessly using Bluetooth or via the audio-out jack.
The SPro is powered by a 5,000mAh battery. Even though the battery size seems robust considering most high-end Android telephones come with a capability under 3,000mAh, I just get about one hour and a half of movie playback. For still pictures and presentation slides, the whole run time comes closer to two hours on a single charge.
Because the SPro doesn’t charge through micro USB such as a standard phone, you’ll want to be near a wall charger if your sales pitch operates long.
The ZTE SPro is a special device in its category.
This results in the SPro’s more restricted niche appeal. If you’re a road warrior looking to shed the weight of a bulky gear bag or if you just like the novelty of an all-in-one projector and enjoy a nearly cable-free layout, the SPro is valuable.
With Android and built in WiFi, you are able to drive your presentation from Google Slides or Office for Android without requiring a notebook.