- Our top choice for the #1 Best Overall outdoor projector is the BenQ HT3550.
- This 9.8-pound projector comes with a 12-bit imaging processor, 10-bit HDR processor, 4K resolution, and 30,000:1 contrast ratio to give the best picture quality and reliable performance.
- The outdoor projectors featured in our list have every feature needed to deliver optimal viewing performance outdoors. They come with the required flexibility, brightness, weight, and connectivity options for outdoor usage.
- To pick the best outdoor projectors, consider the luminosity, source of light, imaging chips, resolution, and contrast ratio.
Summer provides the perfect opportunity to engage in exciting outdoor activities. Outdoor projectors help create an impressive open-air movie theatre during such times. If you love watching movies outdoors, owning this device should be your top priority this year. These projectors are light in weight, so they are highly portable. They also come with impressive lamps that depict clear images during the day and night.
Since these projectors are meant for outdoor viewing, they have robust speakers, smart TV OS, and rechargeable batteries to ensure you don’t miss any action. Like indoor projectors, they also have impressive image specs. In this article, we explore the 7 best outdoor projectors on earth today.
Let’s break down our top picks for outdoor projectors!
- Best Overall: BenQ HT3550
- Best Portable: Anker Nebula Solar
- Best for Daylight: Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector
- Best for Streaming: XGIMI MoGo2 Pro Mini Projector
- Best Budget-Friendly Option: GooDee Video Projector 2022
- Best HD: Epson Home Cinema 3800
- Best for Rooftops: Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12
#1 Best Overall Outdoor Projector: BenQ HT3550
The BenQ HT3550 weighs 9.8 pounds and has a 4K resolution, offering exceptional picture quality.
This projector has a genuine UHD DLP unit that provides impeccable brightness for outdoor use. Although its 30,000:1 contrast ratio isn’t the best in the market, it still covers the DCI-P3 color space and shows detailed, lush, and black colors.
Its powerful 12-bit imaging processor and 10-bit HDR processor with the dynamic iris make this device an outstanding performer above its competition. Its high-lumen lenses also boost the projector’s sharpness, brightness, and color. The 1.3 zoom lens also makes positioning this device easy for users.
The BenQ TK850 has audible speakers. You won’t need external speakers because it performs incredibly in small events. It also has a 10-watt in-built CinemaMaster, HDMI, and USB 3.0 ports for connecting computers, Roku TV stick, Blu-ray player, or a set-top streaming box. Check out the BenQ HT3550 on Amazon.
|4K resolution that delivers the best picture quality||Very expensive|
|Lightweight at 9.8 lbs for easy portability|
|Powerful 10-bit HDR processor|
Best Portable: Anker Nebula Solar
The Anker Nebula Solar is our pick for the best portable outdoor projector as it weighs only 3.1 pounds, comes with an in-built Android TV, and is battery-powered.
Its battery can run on standard mode for 1 hour 30 minutes when fully charged and 3 hours at a lower brightness level. This period is sufficient for watching a movie or several episodes of your must-watch series. You can access any major streaming service via its apps as long as you have a Google account and a stable Wi-Fi connection.
This projector has 3-watt built-in speakers that are quite audible. However, the sound quality is not that impressive. Despite this downside, the speakers can play Dolby Digital Plus encoded audio.
The Anker Nebula Solar also receives 4K signals and converts them to 1080p resolution before playing them. However, the 4K content will require contrast adjustment to enhance its appearance at 1080p. The colors are nuanced in HD mode, and shadows appear in darker scenes. Your priorities will determine if this projector is a suitable option for you. Choosing portability over color accuracy and a larger image is essential, or vice versa. If portability is your main priority, the Anker Nebula Solar will serve you adequately. Check out the Anker Nebula Solar on Amazon.
|It is a very light projector as it weighs only 3.1 pounds||Picture quality suffers in bright light|
|Battery life of up to 3 hours||Color accuracy is very low|
|Built-in Android TV with a wide variety of entertainment options|
|Receives and converts 4K content to 1080p resolution|
Best for Daylight: Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector
The Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector shows clear images in even the brightest environments, making it our choice for the best projector for daylight watching.
With this device, you won’t strain your eyes trying to follow your favorite series, movies, or shows. It is also built for easier portability as it comes with a handle for easy transportation. This projector will give you a top-tier outdoor cinematic experience of any kind. Its 3,840 x 2,160p resolution and 1,840 ANSI lumens produce vivid and bright pictures regardless of the brighter sun. This model also comes in 4K and 1080p versions, allowing buyers to choose their preferred option.
The Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector has an intelligent tech feature that makes it adaptable to its environment for up to 150 inches. It has an impressive sound comprising 5-watt tweeters and 10-watt speakers. Its in-built Android TV10 is loaded with over 7,000 apps and 400,000 movies and streaming services for your endless entertainment. Check out the Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector on Amazon.
|Exceptional brightness rated at 1840 ANSI lumens||Expensive|
|Its 3840 x 2160 resolution produces the best picture quality|
|Built-in Android TV 10 with many movies, apps, and major streaming services|
|4K laser system|
Best for Streaming: XGIMI MoGo2 Pro Mini Projector
- 1080p resolution
- Wi-Fi and Bluetooth
- Android TV 11.0
- 400 ISO lumens
- 2 x 8W speakers
- Supports 4K
- Auto Focus
- Object avoidance
- Screen adaption
If you have a good internet connection, this projector will give you the best outdoor entertainment. This mini projector’s Android TV 11 has over 5,000 apps, including HBO Max and Paramount +. You can also access Netflix by contacting customer service or through a streaming device. Besides its extensive online entertainment, this projector is designed for easier movability. It is wireless, only weighs 4.6 pounds, and is powered by AAA batteries.
The XGIMI MoGo2 Pro Mini Projector adjusts its display automatically depending on the viewing space using its intelligent screen adaption technology and is 3D-ready. Its audio system comprises two incredible 8-watt speakers with Dolby Audio. Hence, it produces quality audio for an impressive outdoor movie experience. Check out the XGIMI MoGo2 Pro Mini on Amazon.
|Displays 1080p Full HD videos||Its brightness level is very low compared to other models|
|Built-in Android TV 11 offers premium streaming services with over 5,000 apps|
|Its 4.6-pound weight makes it portable|
Best Budget-Friendly Option: GooDee Video Projector 2022
- Native 1080p
- 230" supported home projector
- Compatible with Fire TV Stick, PS4, HDMI, VGA, AV, and USB
The GooDee Video Projector 2022 has some flaws, but its 1080p resolution and a broad range of inputs made it our top pick for the best budget outdoor projector.
This affordable projector has an upgraded 1080p resolution. Its 300-lumen LED doesn’t produce sufficient light to create clearer images. However, it can depict clear 200-inch pictures with great contrast and color accuracy due to its impeccable 3000:1 contrast ratio. Although its picture quality is nowhere near the best, based on its price, it is adequate for anyone needing an outdoor projector on a tight budget. If you’re buying lowly-priced projectors, you must make some compromises.
With the GooDee Video Projector 2022, you cannot watch movies while it’s sunny because it performs poorly in light due to its low brightness. Therefore, you must wait until the sun sets before watching your shows or movies. Since it lacks adjustment controls, you will have to move the projector either far or closer to the screen to increase or reduce the size of the picture. Irrespective of its downsides, this 5-pound projector has various connectivity options and two 3-watt speakers. Check out the GooDee Video Projector 2022 on Amazon.
|1080p HD resolution||Lacks adjustment controls for picture size|
|Comes with dual 3-watt speakers||Lacks wireless connectivity|
Best HD: Epson Home Cinema 3800
- 4K resolution
- 3-chip projector
- 3,000 lumens
- 18 Gbps HDMI 2. 0 support
The Epson Home Cinema 3800 displays quality pictures with deep black and brilliant colors, making it our pick for the best HD outdoor projector.
This model is perfect for buyers needing a big movie-quality picture without the 4K resolution. It displays deep old and black colors on a 300-inch screen with its 10-bit HDR color processor and 100,000:1 contrast ratio.
Although the Epson 3800 has a 1,920 x 1,080p resolution, it can surprisingly display 4K images using its pixel-shifting technology. This technology covers the entire UHD frame by interpolating the unavailable pixels. However, its 4K image won’t be perfect, especially on large screens, since it will lose its sharpness. This projector weighs 14.1 pounds, although it is also portable. It also comes with two 10-watt speakers, HDMI 2.0 ports, USB ports, and Bluetooth connectivity. Check out the Epson Home Cinema 3800 on Amazon.
|High color accuracy||Quite heavy, weighing 14.1 pounds|
|Uses pixel shifting to display 4K images||Expensive|
|Adjustable settings are user-friendly|
|Comes with a broad range of inputs|
Best for Rooftops: Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12
- Stunning Picture Quality up to 150"
- Accepting content up to 4K
- Full-HD HDR
- Sound by Yamaha — Custom-designed audiophile speaker system offers a powerful performance
- Built-In Android TV
- Clean, compact, and modern design to beautifully fit within any décor
- Epson MicroLaser Array Technology
The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is our top choice for the best projector for rooftops due to its 4.7-pound weight, built-in Android TV for entertainment, and great picture quality.
This projector is designed to offer an incredible rooftop movie experience. Its in-built Android TV provides a wide variety of entertainment options, making the Blu-ray player unnecessary. Its built-in Yamaha Stereo 5-watt speakers also provide quality sound, so you won’t need external speakers. Moreover, its 1,000-lumen brightness also provides enough light even in the dark.
The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 also displays highly saturated colors due to its impressive 200,000:1 contrast ratio. Its 3-chip LCD technology also shows a 100% RGB color range. Apart from its in-built streaming functions, this projector has 2 HDMI ports for connecting external players. Check out the Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 on Amazon.
|Remarkable 1080p resolution||Lacks 3D support|
|Supports 4K content and converts it to HD|
|3-chip LCD technology prevents rainbow artifacts|
|Built-in Android TV for maximum entertainment|
|Exceptional Yamaha Stereo 5-watt speakers|
How to Pick the Best Outdoor Projector: Step-by-Step
Projectors reflect images as light to a surface, which rebounds back to our eyes. This device cannot display clear images if its light is reflected on a white wall or plain surface. Paint also tends to absorb light and tamper with color variation. So, you should consider purchasing a screen for the best viewing experience.
Apart from that, your choice of projector is also crucial in determining picture quality. Since many projector models are retailing in various stores, consider the following factors when selecting your outdoor projector.
- Light source
- Imaging chips
- Contrast ratio
Let’s explore each in more detail.
The brightness produced by the projector determines its performance, especially in an outdoor setting. Brightness is measured in ANSI lumens and reveals the amount of light this device produces. Projectors with higher ANSI lumens always display brighter and larger images. Remember, walls or curtains cannot protect outdoor projectors from sunlight or moonlight. Hence, they must produce enough brightness to display clear pictures despite the ambient light. The best projectors have brightness levels over 2,400 lumens.
Projectors display images by directing their light on an imaging chip, and the created picture is sent to the screen via the lens. The light sources used by the available projectors include LEDs, lasers, and Ultra High Pressure (UHP) lamps. Some high-end and mid-range projectors use UHP lamps because they’re premium light bulbs, which are very bright. These bulbs also produce excessive heat and can burn out after a while.
Swapping the UHP lamps isn’t cheap, although they last longer than other bulbs. Lasers and LEDs are more effective than UHP lamps and are integrated into high-end projector models.
Projectors create images on the imaging chips. The projectors come with any of these three chips: DLP (Digital Light Processing), LCD (Liquid Crystal Display), and LCoS (Liquid Crystal on Silicon).
The DLP chips produce very nice colors and average contrast. LCD chips are common on mid-range and affordable projectors. Although they have a poor contrast ratio, their color accuracy and display are way better than the DLP projectors. On the other hand, LCoS chips are used in high-end and mid-range projectors. The LCoS chip is costly, but it produces high-quality images.
The contrast ratio, which is the difference between the white and black output, affects the picture quality displayed by projectors. The contrast ratio depicts two numbers separated by a colon, the first representing black and the second representing white. The projector will show more color variation if the difference between these two colors is higher. For instance, a picture produced by projectors with a 30,000:1 contrast ratio will be clearer and more detailed than images from a 3,500:1 contrast ratio.
Resolution refers to the number of pixels that create a digital image. An HD image is 1080p. A 4K image is twice as big at 3840p. If a projector’s resolution is high, it will produce sharper pictures at larger sizes.
Projectors displaying 4K images are the best. They can stream the latest series, movies, and shows in Ultra High Definition. Some projectors also use pixel-shifting technology to achieve a 4K display. Although pixel-shifted 4K isn’t impeccable, it’s hard to notice its flaws. It also offers buyers cheaper 4K projectors.
What to Know Before Buying Outdoor Projectors
First, check the features and capabilities of these devices. Factors such as versatility, portability, and brightness determine whether these projectors can function optimally outdoors. Look for models that provide the best image quality, resolution, contrast, and color accuracy despite the ambient light.
The price of projectors depends on the value they can offer. The high-end models are expensive due to their upgraded features and impressive reliability. They always provide the best outdoor movie experience. Spending more on such projectors to get more value is a great idea. These premium outdoor projectors also have a great build quality that guarantees higher durability.
Before purchasing outdoor projectors, consider the opinions of experts and users. Fortunately, the internet gives easy access to expert and user reviews for outdoor projectors. Reading multiple reviews will give you the point of view of others regarding these devices. Once you’re done, you can buy the outdoor projector with the best reviews and the one that fits your budget and needs.
Using the Best Outdoor Projector: What It’s Like
These projectors are making the outdoors more entertaining than before. You don’t have to sit in your living room or bedroom to watch your favorite TV shows or series. These devices let you consume entertainment on your lawn or under a tree. While going on adventures, you can carry these projectors because they are light in weight. Some models come with handles, which make them easier to carry.
These devices also have various connectivity options to link external players for ultimate entertainment. Others have in-built Android TVs with numerous apps, movies, and streaming services. Outdoor projectors are also designed to function in the presence of ambient light. They produce high-quality pictures with amazing color accuracy. Some come with rechargeable batteries to provide continuous entertainment, even in places without a power supply.
These devices are a must-have for anyone who enjoys cinema-standard movies outdoors, especially during the summer.
|BenQ HT3550||4K resolution, lightweight, powerful 10-bit HDR processor||Very expensive|
|Anker Nebula Solar||Lightweight, battery life up to 3 hours, built-in Android TV, converts 4K to 1080p||Picture quality suffers in bright light, low color accuracy|
|Anker Nebula Cosmos Laser 4K Projector||Exceptional brightness, 4K resolution, built-in Android TV 10, 4K laser system||Expensive|
|XGIMI MoGo2 Pro Mini Projector||1080p Full HD, built-in Android TV 11, portable||Low brightness level compared to other models|
|GooDee Video Projector 2022||1080p HD resolution, dual 3-watt speakers, affordable||Lacks adjustment controls, lacks wireless connectivity|
|Epson Home Cinema 3800||High color accuracy, pixel shifting for 4K display, user-friendly settings, various inputs||Heavy, expensive|
|Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12||1080p resolution, supports 4K content, 3-chip LCD technology, built-in Android TV, Yamaha Stereo speakers||Lacks 3D support|
The image featured at the top of this post is ©pkproject/Shutterstock.com.