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Friday, July 1, 2022

Philips draws its ultra-short-throw projector at a low price (but it won’t last)

Small projector, (very) big screen! After its noticed but way too expensive Screeneo U3 sold for nearly 2,000 euros, Philips is doing it again with its Screeneo U4. Launched on the platform of crowdfunding indiegogo where he collected nearly 1.9 million euros in orders, this video projector ultra-short focal length is still offered there at 599 euros, against 1,199 euros when it is in stores. A good deal ? “20 Minutes” was able to test it in preview.

2 meters diagonally 30 cm from the wall

Unpacked, the Screeneo U4 surprises with its very small size. Measuring 12.35 x 8.15 x 22.35 cm (for 1.4 kg), the device advances with a fairly sleek design. In addition to its discretion, this video projector is therefore ultra short focal length. This means that it is possible to place it very close to its screen or projection wall. Judge for yourself: it offers a screen diagonal of 15 inches (38 cm) at 19.5 cm away, and up to 2 m diagonally at 30.5 cm! This is a positive point that makes him a champion of discretion. But also equipment that can easily move from room to room.

Full HD, HDR10 accounting, they are rather well equipped to satisfy our ever more greedy desires for images. For this, it has two HDMI sockets (including one CEC) and a USB 2.0 socket. Its audio section is also rather well equipped, with, on board, a pair of 2x 15 watt speakers. Originality: the Screeneo U4 is also Dual Bluetooth. This means that you can connect two wireless speakers to it, but also headphones or headphones for stereo listening. A wired headset will also do the trick with a 3.5 mini-jack.

XXXL picture but XL brightness

We saw it during our test: the Screeno U4 is simplicity incarnate. Without having to make any adjustments (the camera focuses and corrects the keystone alone), it is ready to use. All you have to do is enter its Menu to adjust the brightness and select the desired audio output. Then, plug in a Blu-ray/DVD player, computer, USB key… and enjoy its content with the remote control in hand.

Philips draws its ultra-short-throw projector at a low price (but it won’t last)
The Screeneo U4 is an ultra short throw projector. -PHILIPS

If the “wow” effect is essential when the image is displayed very, very large and very clear, while the device is placed at the foot of our white wall, we however quickly had to draw the curtains of our living room to offer him a more conducive environment for the quality of his display. The reason ? With its brightness of 400 lumens, the projector is struggling in a room where the darkness is not made. Hence contrasts that really lack depth and blacks that are a little washed out. The Screeneo is therefore more suitable for a real film/series session in a room plunged into darkness, than for television use.

A true cinema experience

For its part, the audio quality offered is rather convincing, given the small size of the product. The fan noise of the device is perfectly covered. The combination of two Bluetooth speakers (as long as you have a pair and they are powerful) adds to the immersion of the user and makes it possible to broaden the sound spectrum by placing the speakers on either side. other from the picture. The result is a true cinematic experience.

The conection of the Philips Screeneo U4 video projector.
The conection of the Philips Screeneo U4 video projector. -PHILIPS

Compared to the Screeneo U4, the general impression is quite good. Otherwise its brightness which deserves to be reinforced, it finally lacks enough to repatriate content without the need to connect any reader. We would have frankly appreciated it being natively Android TV, just to further simplify its use. Instead, you will have to add a Google Chromecast key (69 euros), an Amazon FireStick (59 euros) or an Apple TV box (from 159 euros)…

Rather interesting for its exclusive launch on Indiegogo (599 euros, that’s a very good price for an ultra short-throw projector!), the Screeneo U4 risks becoming a little less exciting when it hits the market in August. , at 1,199 euros. He will then find himself faced with better equipped and less expensive projectors, such as the brand new The Freestyle from Samsung (a short-throw model sold for 819 euros). Even, faced with conventional projectors, but better connected and brighter, such as the W1800i from BenQ (1,290 euros). This Android TV model displays a brightness of 2,000 lumens. And is Ultra HD.

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