The Best Projectors to Buy for an At-Home Cinema Experience

best projectors
ILLUSTRATION War Espejo

(SPOT.ph) Movie fans rejoiced when cinemas in Metro Manila reopened in November 2021—the first time in almost two years—right in time to catch blockbuster flicks like Dune, No Time to DieSpider-Man: No Way Home, and more on the big screen. But while microcinemas and in-mall movie theaters continue to operate even as we crawl through the first month of 2022, many folks are still opting to stay home. There are several factors at play here: the looming threat of the omicron variant, for one, the widespread accessibility of films made possible by streaming, and of course, the fact that some people just turned into homebodies over the course of the pandemic.

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If you too prefer staying in to watch new movies, we’re all for it—it is the safer option these days—but we’re also of the opinion that just because you’re watching from your couch, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a cinematic experience. Instead of training your eyes on the tiny screen of your phone or laptop, you can upgrade your home-entertainment system with your very own projector, which allows you to enlarge the images on your personal devices and display them on the wall. That way, you get a wider view of all the important visual details and get to watch the film exactly as the director intended.

These are the best home projectors you can shop in Manila right now:

ViewSonic M1 Pocket Cinema Projector (P12,999)

Viewsonic m1 projector
PHOTO BY Viewsonic
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ViewSonic’s M1 projector lets you maximize your viewing experience with any device you have on hand—it’s compatible with USB Type A and USB-C cables and even has a slot for a MicroSD card. The metal stand makes it easy to adjust the projector to the perfect viewing angle without sacrificing stability on the floor or table—it can swivel at 360 degrees, so you can even choose to project onto the ceiling if you want to watch while lying down flat. Plus, the device comes with a remote control for easy settings adjustments and is built with Harman/Kardon speakers so you get high-quality, too.

Available on Lazada.

Wanbo Smart Projector (P8,420)

Wanbo smart projector
PHOTO BY Wanbo
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If you’re sick of watching movies and series on your itty-bitty smartphone, you can instead connect it to this nifty projector from Wanbo. The compact device (perfect for small spaces) can convert your phone screen’s display into a wall projection that’s up to 120 inches in size. It works by syncing with your phone screen and enlarging whatever’s displayed be it a Netflix show, a YouTube video, or even a video game.

Available on Lazada.

Nebula Capsule II (P33,995)

nebula projector
PHOTO BY Anker
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You’re probably familiar with Anker’s popular power banks and charging cables, but in case you don’t know, the electronics brand also has a home-entertainment arm called Nebula that specializes in smart projectors. Currently on our wish lists is their sleek Capsule II, which is made for enjoying films at home, on vacation, or even outdoors—its travel-friendly size and lightweight build makes it easy to pack. With 720p HD quality and quick auto-focus, you should get a crystal-clear projection every time.

Available on Lazada and Anker’s website.

Acer C202i Portable Pint-Sized Power Projector (P18,999)

Acer c202i projector
PHOTO BY Acer
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Don’t be fooled by its small frame—which is compact enough to lay on the palm of your hand—this cool projector from Acer promises vibrant wall projections up to 1600 x 1200 in resolution. You can connect it to your phone or laptop via USB or do away with messy cables entirely thanks to its wireless projection capability. It promises up to five hours of nonstop video playback on a full charge, so you have more than enough time to watch a full-length feature and more. Plus, it can also be used as a power bank—especially handy if you pack it in your suitcase on your next vacation.

Available on Shopee.

Canon MP250 Mini Projector (P28,899)

canon projector
PHOTO BY Canon
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You’ll want to use this Canon projector all over the house and on every out-of-town trip you go on—and with its portable size, 407-gram build, and rechargeable battery, it should be a piece of cake. You can turn any space into a mini theater just by connecting a device or micro SD card with video files to the projector, which can display your movies and series up to 93 inches in size.

Available on Shopee.

Lumos RAY Smart  Home Cinema Projector (P11,999)

Lumos projector
PHOTO BY Lumos
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In case you still want to be able to use your phone while streaming films and series—no judgment, we all do it—you’ll be glad to know this projector from Lumos has built-in apps like Netflix and Youtube, so you can play movies and shows straight from the device. But don’t worry, you still have the option to connect your smartphone via Bluetooth or use screencasting features like AirPlay. Either way, the projector promises 1080p resolution, projection up to 150 inches in size, and rich sound quality with Dolby Audio support.

Available online.

BlitzWolf BW-VP13 Wi-Fi Projector (P12,312)

BlitzWolf projector
PHOTO BY BlitzWolf
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You can wirelessly mirror your phone or laptop screen onto the wall with BlitzWolf’s cool home projector, which promises to display your fave movies and series at up to 180 inches. You can also connect a device via USB, VGA port, and AV port or load movies directly from an SD card or flash drive. Whichever you choose, you get sharp, brightly colored images and the ability to adjust the projection with a handy remote control.

Available on Lazada.

Tech Titan Apeman M4 Mini Pocket Projector (P17,595)

tech titan projector
PHOTO BY Tech Titan
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Who needs a television when you can stream movies, watch cable shows, play video games, and more with Tech Titan’s Apeman projector? Small enough to fit in the pocket of your backpack and as light as your mobile phone, this device can easily be positioned anywhere in your home and adjusted to display your movie of choice on any wall at up to 100 inches in size. You can connect the projector to a laptop, smartphone, tablet, TV box, DVD player, gaming console, and more, allowing you to use it for all kinds of home entertainment.

Available on Lazada.

Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2 (P27,999)

Xiaomi projector
PHOTO BY Xiaomi
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Not only can you connect a device to Xiaomi’s Mi Smart Projector via Bluetooth, but you can also access shows and movies through Android TV, which is built right into the device. You’ll get a projection up to 120 inches in size with 1080p resolution and auto-focus for crystal-clear images and videos every time. It’s also compatible with Google Assistant, so you can control the device with your voice and even connect it to other smart home devices.

Available online and at Mi stores and retailers nationwide.

Samsung The Freestyle (U.S. $899; roughly P46,149)

samsung the freestyle
PHOTO BY Samsung
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Samsung kicked off 2022 by introducing The Freestyle, a projector, smart speaker, and ambient lighting device all rolled into one! It  rotates up to 180 degrees, so you can easily project high-quality videos up to 100 inches in display size onto your floor, ceiling, and anywhere in between. And since it has a built-in speaker, you won’t have to connect an external speaker to the device to get that movie theater-like sound experience. It promises crisp, distortion-free, 360-degree sound so you can totally zone in when watching a blockbuster film or marathoning your favorite show. In case you're not in the mood to stream a series or watch a YouTube video, then you can also use The Freestyle as a Bluetooth speaker or as an ambient lighting device—it works by analyzing the music that’s playing and projecting visual effects to match the vibe of your fave tunes.

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As of writing, Samsung’s The Freestyle is not yet available in the Philippines. For now, you can purchase it online.

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