Top 6 Options If You’re Looking for a Portable Projector

Portable Projector Feature Image

You may be considering throwing a backyard gathering with friends and family. Listening to music while grilling is great, but you can also have epic movie nights. Instead of lugging a costly television outside, the best solution is a portable projector.

As the name implies, a portable projector is different in design than traditional projectors you’d typically find affixed to a ceiling that are designed to be used in one location. These six portable projectors are the best in key situations.

Tip: learn how to connect your Android phone to a projector wirelessly.

1. Best For Dim Environments: Anker Nebula Capsule

Anker has several Nebula projectors in its stable, but the Anker Nebula Capsule is one of the easiest to use and has plenty of connectivity options. It uses Anker’s IntelliBright algorithms to show a 480p-resolution video. It’s certainly not the highest resolution, but it gets the job done if quality isn’t that much of a concern. 

Anker Nebula Capsule


  • Projects images of up to 100 inches
  • Built-in 360-degree speaker
  • Multiple connectivity options
  • Built-in battery that lasts about four hours


  • 480p resolution
  • 100-lumen brightness requires a dimly-lit area

2. Best for Viewing On-The-Go: Kodak Luma 150

The pocket-sized Kodak Luma 150 projector gives you a 150-inch display at a 1080p resolution through an LED lamp. It comes with an HDMI cable to easily connect to a laptop and a micro USB cable for streaming content from an Android device.

Kodak Luma 150


  • Projects a 150-inch display
  • Maximum resolution of 1080p
  • Multiple connection sources
  • Built-in speaker
  • Rechargeable battery


  • Battery lasts only two hours
  • Expensive

Good to know: using a Linux device? Learn how to connect your projector to an Ubuntu computer.

3. Best for Indoors: Samsung Freestyle

The Samsung Freestyle is a sleek, cylindrical portable projector on a hinged, flat base. The hinge lets you swivel the projector 180 degrees vertically to watch content on a wall or ceiling. It automatically optimizes the screen size and auto-focus and levels the image.

Samsung Thefreestyle
Image source: Samsung


  • Provides 100 inches of visuals from 8.8 feet away
  • Projects 180 degrees vertically
  • Built-in 360-degree speaker
  • 1080p resolution


  • Battery pack is sold separately

4. Best for Quick Presentations: Philips PicoPix Max

The Philips PicoPix Max is an excellent option if you need a small projector with built-in speakers and a maximum resolution of 1080p. The Max also supports USB-C devices as an input and HDMI and microSD cards.

Philips Picopix Max


  • Maximum resolution of 1080p
  • Supports Bluetooth and Wi-Fi
  • Built-in battery and speakers
  • 16GB of internal storage


  • Battery lasts three hours
  • Expensive
  • Bulky

FYI: laser projectors and typical projectors don’t work quite the same way.

5. Best for Keeping Children Entertained: Cinemood Portable Movie Theater

If you are looking for an ultra-small option, the Cinemood Portable Movie Theater is an excellent choice. The 3-inch by 3-inch square weighs half a pound and has a built-in rechargeable battery.

Cinemood Projector


  • Projects 1080p images
  • Maximum display size equivalent to 60 inches
  • Built-in battery that lasts five hours
  • Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections


  • Laptop mirroring isn’t supported
  • Only 16GB of internal storage

6. Best for Outdoor Gatherings: Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K

The Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K portable projector uses Intelligent Environment Adaptation to analyze the room. It automatically adjusts the image to fit into the best space, avoiding furniture and wall decorations.

Nebula Cosmos Laser 4k


  • Projects a 150-inch image
  • Only requires a few feet of throwing distance
  • Brightness of 1,840 lumens
  • Built-in speakers with a 5-watt tweeter and 10-watt mid-range speaker on either side
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi compatible


  • Expensive
  • Bulky

Also helpful: if you want a solid media player to use with your projector, check out these Kodi alternatives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a portable projector require a battery?

Some portable projectors have built-in batteries that last several hours. However, more advanced projectors require a power source. These projectors often have built-in speakers and several connectivity options.

What do you need to see the projections?

In most cases, you only need a flat surface with a light color, such as a wall. Optionally, you can hang up a sheet or project it onto a ceiling. There are several portable screens for outdoor projectors that make this easy.

What can you play from a portable projector?

That largely depends on the model, but in most cases, they support standard video and music file formats that you can access through a USB port. You can stream content directly from your mobile phone or laptop if the projector supports a Bluetooth connection. Some high-end projectors connect to the Internet through Wi-Fi and operate on a special version of Android. This lets you download Android apps to the projector and stream them directly.

How do you keep a portable projector stable?

Out of the box, it will be a challenge to set up the projector so that it maintains its angle, distance, and focus. Depending on the model’s size, the best solution is to mount it on a camera tripod. This lets you easily change its position and angle the projection without digging through the settings.

Image credit: Unsplash

Charlie Fripp
Charlie Fripp

Charlie Fripp is a technology writer with a strong focus on consumer gadgets, video games, and cyber security. He holds an undergraduate degree in professional journalism and has worked as a journalist for over 15 years. In his spare time, he enjoys playing various musical instruments and gardening.

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