Pico projectors — pocket-sized projectors — made quite a splash a few years back, promising big results from a tiny package. Alas, most models were overpriced and underwhelming, with limited connectivity options, dim displays, and various other shortcomings.
So I’ll admit I didn’t expect much from the Favi Pico+ J6, a new entry into this fairly dormant category. And you know what? It’s actually pretty awesome.
About the size of a phablet smartphone, the Pico+ stands barely an inch tall. It’s perhaps a bit large for a pocket, but certainly an easy fit in any carry-on bag.
Along one side you’ll find an impressive array of inputs: HDMI, microSD, and USB, plus a microUSB port for charging the projector’s 5,000mAh battery. This last is good not only for about three hours of runtime (according to Favi), but also for charging a mobile device like a smartphone. Yep: the Pico+ doubles as a portable charger.
The HDMI port allows you to connect anything from a Blu-ray player to a Roku Streaming Stick, while the microSD and USB ports allow you to add mobile storage packed with movies, photos, and/or music. There’s a surprisingly loud speaker for listening to movies and a headphone jack if you want to keep the audio private.
But here’s where things get even more impressive: the Pico+ supports wireless connectivity as well, namely DLNA and Miracast. That means you can pair it with a smartphone or tablet to stream photos, videos, and whatnot.
Perhaps the most impressive spec of all: the DLP projection system can crank out a whopping 100 lumens. That’s amazingly bright for a projector of this size, especially considering that earlier models were lucky to manage 20 lumens.
Favi’s instruction guide is small and incomplete, and the process of switching between wireless modes can be confusing. Plus, menu navigation relies on a fairly unintuitive set of touch controls on top of the projector. Something as simple as pausing playback requires two taps of a button that doesn’t even light up until you tap it the first time.
But these are minor complaints. In my tests, the Pico+ far exceeded my expectations, offering a bright, crisp picture and surprisingly loud audio. It’s no substitute for a home-theater projector, but you could definitely use it in a kid’s bedroom for a movie-night sleepover, or just bas easily for a business presentation.
But mostly, it’s just fun to be able to project movies and photos on nearly any surface from almost any source. The Favi Pico+ P6 may seem pricey at $349, but it’s without question one of the best products in its class.
Photo credit: Favi Entertainment