- Our #1 best projector for daylight viewing is the Optoma UHD38.
- There are thousands of projectors on the market, but the best options offer 4K resolution, at least 3,000 lumens brightness, and plenty of ports to connect your favorite devices to them.
- We recommend sticking to a budget of under $3,500 for your first projector. More expensive options are usually for large spaces and require quite a bit of technology experience.
- Keep in mind that many projectors don’t come with their own screens. If that’s something you want or need, you’ll need to purchase it separately.
For movie, show, or game lovers, one of the best ways to get the movie theater experience at home is to invest in a projector. Not only are they becoming more affordable, but many offer options, like portability, that TVs just can’t compete with.
But if you’re trying to find the best projector for your needs, and don’t want to settle for lacking visuals or audio, we’ve created a list of the best projectors for daylight viewing. Based on our research, here are the five best options.
Just take a look at our roundup of the 5 best projectors for daylight viewing:
- #1 Best Overall: Optoma UHD38
- Best Budget Option: Epson Home Cinema 3200
- Best Mini Projector: Samsung The Freestyle Projector
- Best Projector with a Screen: FUDONI Projector
- Best 4K Projector: ViewSonic (PX748-4K)
#1 Best Overall Projector for Daylight Viewing: Optoma UHD38
- True 4K Ultra HD (8.3 million distinct on-screen pixels)
- 4.2ms response time at 1080p, and 16ms at 4K UHD
- 4,000 lumens of brightness
- UltraDetail technology (enhanced image sharpness with a higher frame rate)
The Optoma UHD38 is our overall pick for the best projector for daylight viewing for a few different reasons. First, it offers a whopping 4,000 lumens, which makes the projector incredibly bright. This allows users to view the projected videos and images both inside and outside.
Second, the projector offers 4K viewing, so you can watch videos and play games on it without any problems. It also offers a 240Hz refresh rate, meaning your games won’t lag while you’re playing.
The Optoma UHD38 offers 1.1x zoom and an 8-segment color wheel, so whatever you’re viewing will be saturated, realistic, and vivid. And, it comes with many different ports, including HDMI, VGA, USB, and more.
One of the only cons we’ve been able to find in our research is that the 3D support that the system boasts isn’t that great. It does tend to lag if set to 3D viewing.
|The projector has 4,000 lumens, so it’s suitable for inside and outside viewing.||The 3D option isn’t very clear or enjoyable.|
|This projector offers 4K resolution.|
|This projector offers over 4 different ports for connections.|
Check out the Optoma UHD38 on Amazon.
Best Budget Option: Epson Home Cinema 3200
- Pixel-shifting technology controls 3 high-definition LCD chips
- 10-bit HDR and 4K PRO-UHD
- Real-time, 12-bit analog-to-digital video processing
- 2,900 lumens of brightness
First, it’s important to note that the Epson Home Cinema 3200 is not the cheapest projector on the market, but it is the cheapest option on our list. It also offers unparalleled features, quality, and durability. It’s the perfect entry-level projector for new users that want the best for less.
Unlike other cheap projectors that offer 1080p viewing, the Epson 3200 offers 4K resolution, meaning images will be enhanced and high-quality. It also has 12-bit analog-to-digital processing to keep up with viewing, meaning transitions will be smooth and not lag.
While it does only offer 2,900 lumens, which is slightly lower than the recommended 4,000 lumens for daylight and outside viewing, it does have a contrast ratio of 40,000:1 which helps with brightness and color.
Unfortunately, it seems like the lamp life is rated at under 5,000 hours. This means that you’ll need to replace the lamps sooner than on some other projectors. However, if this isn’t a problem for you, this is a great affordable option.
|This projector is a great affordable option for newbies.||The lamp life is incredibly low, meaning you’ll have to replace it much faster than other projector lights.|
|This projector offers 4K resolution.|
|This projector has been rated highly by gamers.|
Check out the Epson Home Cinema 3200 on Amazon.
Best Mini Projector for Daylight Viewing: Samsung The Freestyle Projector
If you want to be able to travel with your projector, or plan on moving around a lot, try Samsung The Freestyle Projector. This compact projector can fit on a shelf or in any small storage space and can be purchased for under $1,000.
Not only is this projector cute and small, but it’s incredibly versatile. It comes on a cradle stand that can rotate so you can watch your videos wherever you want, including outside, inside, on the ceiling, on the floor, and more.
Another perk is that all you have to do is point your projector in the direction you want it, and it will adjust the image for you. So, this is perfect for people who don’t want to deal with too much technology.
The Freestyle has 360-degree high-quality audio, making it easy to hear wherever you are in the room. It also has bass enhancers if you enjoy playing music. For travel lovers, all you have to do is connect it to an external battery pack to charge it easily. You don’t even need to be near an outlet.
A small con some users noted about the projector is that it’s a bit expensive for what you get. While it’s cheaper than many projectors it does lack extra features and only streams in 1080p. So, if you’re looking for something higher-quality, you’ll want to pay more for a more robust projector.
|This projector has the best audio and speakers out of the others on this list.||This projector is expensive but lacks certain features compared to others in its price range.|
|This projector is easy to pack away or travel with.|
|This projector is great for beginners or those who don’t want too much fuss with setting it up.|
Check out the Samsung The Freestyle Projector on Amazon.
Best Projector with a Screen: FUDONI Projector
If you’re looking for an affordable projector that also comes with a screen, the FUDONI Projector is the best option for you. To be clear, it’s not the best projector on this list, and it comes with a few different cons that you should be aware of.
The FUDONI projector offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections and allows you to synchronize your smartphone screen via 5G. You can also connect speakers, headphones, and other audio options via Bluetooth if you choose to do so.
While the projector claims it can support 4K resolution, it only really offers 1080p resolution, so don’t expect the clearest videos and images. However, it does offer a 50% zoom function to increase viewing options without having to move it physically.
One of the best parts about this projector is that you can install it anywhere and any way you want — including front, rear, or ceiling installs.
But it has its cons, too, including the fact that you can’t watch Hulu, Netflix, Prime, or Disney if you plan on screen mirroring. The hi-fi speakers are also lackluster, so you’ll most likely need external speakers to hear high-quality sound.
|This projector is easy to install in many different ways.||You can’t mirror certain apps like you can with other projectors.|
|You can connect many different devices to the projector via Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.||The speakers are a bit staticky and quiet.|
|This projector comes with a screen for an all-in-one price.|
Check out the FUDONI Projector on Amazon.
Best 4K Projector for Daylight Viewing: ViewSonic (PX748-4K)
- 4000 lumens of brightness
- 4K UHD (3840 x 2160 resolution)
- 1.3x optical zoom, anti-warping stabilization, and auto H/V keystone
- Decodes HDR video signals
If you won’t settle for a projector that offers less than 4K resolution, you need the ViewSonic (PX748-4K) projector. First, it boasts a 4,000 lumens brightness. This means it can be used outside and inside with perfect picture clarity and no glare. And the 4K resolution has four times the pixels of standard HD.
The projector also has a 240Hz refresh rate and 4.2ms response time, so it’s great for action movie lovers and gamers. However, the auto keystone features can be hit or miss, depending on whether you like making adjustments on your own or not.
It includes dual USB-C and HDMI ports, so you have different options to connect just about anything you need, from your gaming console to some external speakers. You can even connect your smartphone to the device.
Even though it offers auto keystone, the ViewSonic projector doesn’t have lens shift functionality. So, you’ll have to physically move it if you’re trying to adjust the images. Because it’s a bit more expensive, we expected better functionality.
|The projector has many different port options for connectivity.||The projector has to be moved to change viewing options.|
|This projector has 4K resolution.|
|This projector is incredibly bright at 4,000 lumens.|
Check out the ViewSonic (PX748-4K) on Amazon.
How to Pick the Best Projectors for Daylight Viewing: Step-by-Step
If you’re ready to dive in and purchase your first projector, keep these considerations in mind:
- Image Quality
- Connection Ports
Let’s discuss why these are so important.
Your projector’s potential brightness is critical if you want to use it during the day or outside. You’ll know the brightness based on its lumens.
Ideally, you want a projector with at least 1,500 lumens if viewing in your home or at night, and 3,000 lumens or more if daylight viewing or taking it outside. The brighter the better, as this ensures clarity.
Resolution is also important when looking for a projector, especially if the lumens are on the low end. The resolution of your projector will play a significant role in image sharpness and clarity. While HD (1080p) is nice, 4K is the best on the market right now.
While brightness and image quality are important, the better you get, the more you spend. 4K projectors aren’t cheap, especially when they’re made for daylight or outside viewing. So, you’ll want to have a budget in mind when looking for a new projector.
If your budget is on the smaller end, going with a 1080p and 1,500-lumen brightness projector isn’t bad, but you may want to prepare for lower-quality viewing.
If you can swing $1,500 or more for a projector, you can usually find many high-quality options around the $1,500 to $3,000 price range. Of course, we expect these prices to go down as projectors become more popular and catch up with technology.
Some users may want to connect external speakers, their phones, or other devices to their projectors. If you plan on connecting anything to yours, you’ll want to make sure it has enough ports that will help connect your devices.
Popular options are HDMI and USB-C ports, which can fit most devices. Of course, if you need something different, you’ll need to do some digging.
Last but not least, no one wants to watch a movie or show that has terrible audio quality. Unfortunately, many projectors have great visuals but terrible and staticky audio.
While you can always connect external speakers, try to find a projector with a decent built-in audio system. We recommend a wide frequency response range, usually between 70Hz to 20kHz.
What to Know Before Buying Projectors for Daylight Viewing
Let’s be honest, some projectors are better than others. Luckily, there are also a ton on the market that meet the criteria we’ve discussed and can make a great addition to your home entertainment setup.
Before buying a projector for daylight viewing, we suggest figuring out what your needs are. Would you like to game on the projector?
Do you want a portable option or one that’s easy to move in and out of your home? How much are you willing to spend? These questions can help you narrow down your choices.
While projectors are fairly new on the scene, their technology has caught up extremely fast, and many people prefer projectors over TVs. The best projector will be one that’s durable, in a decent price range, and with high-quality parts — including audio and visuals.
You’ll also want to look into the reviews for the projector you plan on purchasing, potential warranties, and customer service responses. No one wants to pay for something and then not get a refund when it breaks.
Using Projectors for Daylight Viewing: What It’s Like
Projectors are great options for parties, having fun with loved ones, or even just recreating a movie theater experience in the comfort of your own home.
While they aren’t a necessity, they’re a fun addition to a home entertainment system, and many are portable and easy to carry while traveling or on the go. If you’re looking for a projector for daylight viewing, the options we’ve listed are great, no matter your budget or needs.
|Best Overall||Optoma UHD38|
|Best Budget Option||Epson Home Cinema 3200|
|Best Mini Projector for Daylight Viewing||Samsung The Freestyle Projector|
|Best Projector with a Screen||FUDONI Projector|
|Best 4K Projector for Daylight Viewing||ViewSonic (PX748-4K)|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Pixel-Shot/Shutterstock.com.