Enjoy a 42-inch screen with this phone’s built-in projector
> Price $399
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Do you enjoy watching videos on the go, but don’t like the feel of an oversized device in your pocket? The MagicOn Ayane QS4 offers an interesting alternative to tablets or phablets. The Ayane is only four inches long so is highly portable, but has an LED projector built in that can cast whatever is on the phone’s screen onto any fl at surface, up to 42 inches wide.
Portable projectors like this, also known as pico projectors, have been around for a few years but haven’t really caught on. However, combined with the power of an Android phone, with its huge range of apps, cellular radio and Wi-Fi, MagicOn is counting on the prospect of streaming full screen Netfl ix anywhere as a major selling point.
The projection quality is very good, with 480 x 640 resolution ensuring the picture was clear even if it wasn’t pin sharp. Though at only 42 Lumens, the brightness could be better. We were able to view colourful images and the paper white light of a word processor via projections in normal lighting, but we had to draw curtains to watch videos or distinguish dark tones.
However, no one is going to use the projector all the time – so how does the Ayane handle as a phone? An IPS screen makes up for the poor pixels per inch of the display, so even small text is easy to read and colours seem distinct. It also boasts a dual SIM, which is a nice touch, as is the replaceable battery. But the Ayane only runs Android 4.1.2, with no known upgrade plan.
The Ayane’s biggest fl aw however is a lack of memory. In real terms, the 4GB device only has 1.11GB. Though there is a micro SD to add an additional 32GB and you can use cloud services, this default internal storage isn’t enough to support a single feature-length film on its own. On the face of it then, it’s staggering that the Ayane could cost $399.
But compared to other portable projectors, including leading light the £330 AAXA P300 and, recent Kickstart success story, the $845 Dos Owls ODIN, the Ayane looks quite competitive. It’s smaller than either device and can even match the ODIN’s 1000:1 contrast ratio, though the ODIN is a lot brighter at 115 Lumens and has superior resolution.
The ODIN is also Android-based so it can run your favourite apps, but runs 4.4 KitKat and has 16GB storage. The MagicOn Ayane is an interesting experiment, but it works better as a projector than a phone.