10 Best Smart Projectors Under $500 in 2023: Upgrade Your Viewing Experience

Table of Contents

Our Most Favorite

Second Best Option

Close Runner Up

Also Great

Also Great

ViewSonic M2e 1080p Portable Projector

Artlii Energon2 Outdoor Projector

KODAK Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector

AuKing Mini Projector

TMY Mini WiFi Projector

  • Full HD Resolution

  • 1000 LED Lumens

  • 125% Rec.709 color accuracy

  • 5G Wi Fi Connectivity

  • 4K Picture Quality Supported

  • 34 ANSI Lumens

  • Rechargeable Projector

  • 200 ANSI Lumens

  • DLP Technology Projector

  • 3125 ANSI Lumens

  • HD 1080P resolution

  • High Quality Images

  • Connectivity Technology 

  • 1080P Resolution

  • 3541 ANSI Lumens

Best Smart Projectors Under $500

Best projectors under $500


Introduction: What is a Smart Projector

Smart projectors are a great way to take your viewing experience to the next level. These devices not only offer high-quality images, but they also come equipped with a range of features that allow for greater flexibility and convenience. With smart projectors, you can enjoy your favorite movies, TV shows, and games on a large screen with excellent clarity and brightness. Some of the uses of smart projectors include presentations, movie nights, gaming, and educational purposes. The benefits of these devices include portability, ease of use, and the ability to connect to a variety of devices. Features such as voice control, wireless connectivity, and built-in speakers make these devices even more convenient to use. Whether you’re looking to enhance your entertainment experience or improve your work presentations, a smart projector is a must-have gadget for anyone who values quality and convenience. In this article, we review the best smart projectors under $500, so you can get the best experience without breaking the bank.

Our 10 Top Picks for Best Smart Projectors under $500


Best Smart Projector for Movie Nights: ViewSonic M2e 1080p Portable Projector

ViewSonic M2e 1080p highly portable, best for movie watching.

Buy it now on Amazon!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $499.99

  • Full HD resolution

  • 1000 LED Lumens

  • 125% Rec. 709 color accuracy

ViewSonic M2e portable projectors deliver an ultra-portable Full HD resolution with HD 1080p. This projector caters to 40″ inch or less image width in a room with ambient light and larger image up to 80″ in a dark room with its 1000 LED Lumens or 417 ANSI lumens. Considering the price, this projector’s input lag (66ms) is okay; but, if you’re looking for low input lag, then you might want to consider the other products on this list.

Considering the picture quality, watching movies will be an experience with its 125% Rec. 709 color accuracy and HDR content. It supports and produces lifelike colors for a fuller and more immersive viewing experience.

The audio in this projector is also commendable. There is no need for external speakers as it has a built-in speaker powered by Harman Kardon Bluetooth.

With its big screen projection, a shorter throw lens is needed. Its throw distance projects up to 100 inches from 8 feet and 9 inches projection. It provides more convenience with auto keystone correction, autofocus, and horizontal/vertical keystone correction.

ViewSonic M2e is a good home theater projector as it simplifies streaming. You can watch live stream events and binge shows on Netflix, Prime Video, and other on-demand applications. Watch movies from Netflix, Amazon Prime, and YouTube from the integrated Aptoide menu.

ViewSonic M2e DLP projector perfect audio output for movie marathon



  • Good brightness and contrast quality

  • Automatic focus

  • Streams via Wi Fi

  • Single HDMI port

  • Support 3D image (Buy 3D glasses that supports all DLP projectors)

  • Caters to multiple devices

  • Accurate colors

  • 1080P Projector


  • Input lag is not considered a tad high

  • No pause feature

Best Outdoor and Indoor Home Smart Projector: Artlii Energon2 Outdoor Projector

Artlii Energon2 Outdoor Projector with dlp technology

Buy now on Amazon!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $289.99

  • 5G Wi Fi Connectivity

  • 4K Picture Quality Supported

  • 340 ANSI Lumens

Artlii Energon2 is a perfect home projector. It caters to wireless connectivity options with impressive brightness, perfect for indoor and outdoor viewing. 

Its price delivers impressive picture quality compared to more expensive projectors (considered to have excellent image quality). It supports 1080P resolution, has good throw distance, and connects to TV sticks to watch movies or series on apps like Netflix. Best for dark rooms and with ambient light with its 340 ANSI Lumens of brightness.

It also connects and synchronizes smoothly with smartphone screens by 2.4G and 5G Wi Fi. Streaming is smoother and lag-free with a 5G WiFi connection.

Additionally, it integrates Bluetooth connection for good sound quality for Bluetooth speakers and headphones. This projector offers built in speakers with excellent loudness without an external sound system.

This supports any device, including HDMI inputs, USB ports, VGA, AV, SD Card with audio output of 35mm, and is compatible with Bluetooth devices. It supports both wireless and wired connections. Easy setup for TV sticks, PCs, laptops, MacBooks, smartphones, and Blu-ray disc players.

Artlii Energon2 LCD projector wit integrated speaker and Dolby Digital audio


All in all, Artlii Energon2 Outdoor Projector is a good home theater projector. Its color gamut is up to 80% of NTSC and displays 100% RGB color signals for each image. Providing high contrast ratio and good image quality.


  • Portable projector for indoor and outdoor viewing

  • HD quality images (1080p projector)

  • Manual ± 15 ° keystone correction with customizable projection screen size from 60% to 100% by remote control or manually

  • Versatile digital connectivity options

  • Bluetooth connectivity


  • Could be a bit loud sometimes

  • Will not play gaming systems in 4K

Best Smart Short Use Projector: KODAK Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector

KODAK Luma 350 portable smart projector best for business presentations

Buy it now on Amazon!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $299.99

  • Rechargeable Projector

  • 200 ANSI Lumens

  • Display resolution: 854 x 480

  • DLP technology projector

KODAK Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector is a good projector to bring anywhere. If you’re looking for a business projector, this projector checks the needs for business presentations for its price.

It provides decent image quality for a 480p resolution. Although it will not be high quality images, this will suffice for presentations that do not need detailed images. Its portable feature allows using smartphones as a remote to adjust settings, open apps, and choose content.

This projector has an Android and iOS interface. You can download apps, browse the internet, and access content directly on the projector. Need to manually focus and horizontal and vertical lens shift.

For video presentations or projecting movies, best to connect to external speakers for an immersive sound quality.

KODAK Luma 350 Portable Smart Projector



  • Screen mirroring

  • Good for business presentations

  • Smooth Device Compatibility

  • Chargeable (battery powered)


  • Low resolution

  • Has no fixed lens

Best Smart Projector with High Brightness: AuKing Mini Projector

AuKing Mini Projector

Buy now on Amazon!!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $89.99

  • 3,125 ANSI Lumens

  • HD 1080P Resolution

If you’re looking for home and office use, AuKing Mini Projector is perfect. It brings you crisp images with 3125 ANSI Lumens and 1080p resolution (Full HD). A high quality projector that projects images with vibrant colors.

Additionally, the maximum brightness of this projector has excellent brightness levels for light and dark areas. With the latest 7500 Lumens and 1080p Full HD resolution supported, AuKing portable projector brings you clear and sharp detailed images.

Adopted the latest color reproduction technology, every screen detail is accurately restored to ensure a real and color-vibrant viewing effect. The projector’s lifespan is also commendable, with its lamp life extending to 55,000 hours.

It projects screen sizes from 30″ to 170″ screen size. On the other hand, its throw ratio is 3.2ft to 16.4ft projection distance. With a 170-inch large screen and short throw ratio, it is perfect for home theater and office use.

Because of advanced noise reduction technology, the fan noise of this projector is reduced by 80%. It also comes with built in dual stereo speakers provide a loud and clear sound system. Connecting to an external sound system is also possible if you want.

AuKing Mini DLP Projector with high brightness

You have multiple connectivity options for playing videos, photo sharing, sports live streaming and other home entertainment activities. With its HDMI ports, VGA ports, AV, and USB interface, it provides a connection to multiple devices.

With its small size, it is highly portable for office use. This projector can transfer from one conference room to another without a problem.


  • Portable

  • Huge screen

  • USB connectivity

  • 1080p support

  • HDMI cable connectivity

  • Long life

  • Dual speaker

  • Low noise

  • Remote control


  • It plays 1080p content from a microSD card or USB drive, but the internal LCD is not 1920×1080 pixels in resolution.

Best Smart Home Theater Projector: TMY Mini WiFi Projector

TMY Mini Projector for home theater

Buy now on Amazon!!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $82.99

  • Connectivity technology: VGA, USB, HDMI ports

  • 1080p resolution

  • 3,541 ANSI Lumens

TMY Mini projectors are flexible for any set up for entertainment activities. Start your home theater journey with TMY Mini Projector. Best home theater projector in this list with 1080P Full HD technology. This projector provides a clear image even in bright rooms.

It claims to triple image clarity compared to other 720P LCD projectors. With outstanding color accuracy and a good contrast ratio, it projects a vibrant color projection quality picture and a high brightness lock feature.

This tiny projector easily synchronizes screens via V28 Wi Fi technology. This deivce also features multiple connectivity options, including HDMI, USB, TF Card, VGA port, and AV interface. Compatible with a wide range of devices like TV, Stick/Box, Game Consoles, PCs, smartphones and laptops, DVD players, TF cards, and USB Sticks. It comes with a dual built in speaker though it is also compatible with external speakers.

Home theaters are not only used for movie marathons. Home theater projectors can also be a gaming projectors. This projector easily connects with PS3, PS4, and X-Box One or Wii. These make TMY Mini Projector fit for playing games.

It has high brightness uniformity with 95% to ensure optimum visual experience. In addition, its extended LED lamp life runs up to 60,000 hours. Amazing work for its price range.

TMY Mini affordable projector


  • Compatible with different devices

  • Functions with Wi Fi

  • Wireless connection

  • Good sound quality

  • One of the great projectors for indoor and outdoor use

  • Good for well lit rooms


  • Lower contrast ratio

  • Might need external speakers for large outdoor gatherings

Best Smart Gaming Projector: Jifar Native 1080p Projector

Best Projectors under 500: Jifar Native 1080p Projector

Buy it now on Amazon!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $299.99

  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, Stereo Speaker, USB connectivity, HDMI connectivity, 4K support, Wi Fi

  • Full HD 1080p display native resolution

  • 1000 ANSI Lumens

Jifar Native 1080p Projector offers low input lag, perfect for playing games. One of the best projectors in the market with its lumens, making it one of the projectors with the highest brightness in this list. The brightness and contrast ratio projects sharp, detailed, and colorful images from HD content without downscaling or compressing – which most projectors in the same price range don’t have.

With its wireless connection, this provides a lag-free streaming experience for online gaming and seamless video streaming. It also supports wireless screen sharing, where you can watch entertainment content by streaming from iOS or Android devices.

With its built in Bluetooth, you can connect Bluetooth speakers anytime. It also has built in dual stereo speakers. The best projector to stream game nights. It connects Play Station PS3 and PS4, WII or XBox, and Android TV via HDMI port.

This projector also has up to 100,000 lamp life. This lamp life is longer than most projectors in the market ranging from 50,00 to 60,000 hours.

Its contrast ratio is 15000:1. Not a high contrast ratio to be considered the best. However, it compensates for its screen size with 1080P screen resolution with 450″ large screen display. On the other hand, its aspect ratio is 16:9/4:3.

Best projectors under 500: Jifar Native 1080p Projector



  • Big screen size: 450″

  • Built in speaker

  • Wi Fi connection options

  • Connects multiple devices

  • Good for well lit room

  • two HDMI inputs

  • Supports Dolby digital


  • Poorly designed lens cap

Best Smart Portable Projector: Anker NEBULA Capsule Max

Best projector under 500 for being portable: Anker Nebula Capsule Max

Buy now from Amazon!


Specifications and Features:

  • Price: ‎$459.99

  • HD resolution with 720P native resolution

  • 200 ANSI Lumens

Anker Nebula Capsule Max is a great projector for camping or any activities requiring easy to bring projector. It’s the best projector under 500 for portable use. With its 720p resolution, you still achieve a liquid crystal display and captures home cinema set up despite being on the go.

Screen size can also go up to 100 inches. Not an ideal screen size for home theater, but a good deal for smart portable projectors. This projector is also ideal for low light environments.

It has auto keystone correction and autofocus technology. Ideal for binge-watching and streaming YouTube, Netflix, and other entertainment apps through your phone. It contains built in battery that powers up to 4 hours with a lamp life of up to 30,000 hours. Its contrast ratio is only 600:1.

Anker Nebula Capsule Max projector type: portable projector


  • Highly Portable

  • Connects multiple devices

  • Wi Fi connection

  • Compact size


  • Do not go well with bright rooms

  • short lamp life

  • It can drain the battery for 1.5 hours

  • Somewhat Dim, needs more light

  • Needs higher resolution if used for home cinema

Best Smart Projector for Kids: WiMiUS K1 Outdoor Video Projector

WiMiUS K1 Outdoor Video Projector

Buy it now on Amazon!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $269.99

  • 100%-60% zoom

  • Wi Fi and Bluetooth connectivity

  • 1000 ANSI Lumens

WiMiUS K1 Outdoor Video Projector has 1080p native resolution and a contrast ratio of 2000:1. Its color gamut gives accurate colors from a spinning color wheel perfect for binge-watching anime or cartoon series for your kids in your home cinema.

Home theater setup can be tricky for families, especially with kids in mind. This device will excite home theater enthusiasts because, for its affordable price, it has a higher contrast ratio and great picture quality than other projectors in the market.

Other features include USB, HDMI, and AV ports compatible with various devices like PC, ATVs, TV Stick, PS3, PS4, Chromecast, and other devices. It has Wi Fi connection for easy set up with smartphones and Windows 10 PC and Bluetooth for wireless speaker connectivity options.

This projector features a lamp life of up to 200,000 hours. Not all projectors advertise these users claim. They usually claim to have 50,000 to 60,000 hours.

Bringing this with you to act like other business projectors will also be feasible. It reads office documents like word, excel, and Powerpoint presentations directly from a USB stick. A flexible budget projector that fits your needs.

Other key features include:

  • Focus: Manual

  • Keystone correction: 4D ±50°digital

  • Zoom: 100%-60%

  • Aspect ratio: 16:9/4:3

  • Power consumption:140W

  • Voltage: AC100-240V/50-60Hz

  • Port: USB2.0×2, HDMI×2,AV×1, AUDIO out×1

  • Image format: JPG、PNG、BMP、JPEG

  • Video format: 3GP / AVI / FLV / MP4 / MPG / VOB / TS / M2TS / DAT / MKV

  • Audio format: MP3 / APE / AAC / FLAC / OGG / WAV / WMA / MID /DTS / M4A

 WiMiUS K1 Outdoor Video Projector (50-300 Inches screen size compatible with Android TV)



  • Best projector under 500 with contrast ratio

  • Bright picture quality

  • Good screen sizes options

  • Connects many devices


  • Not that handy for portable use

Best Smart Business Projector: Groview Smart Projector

Groview with Android TV with good image size and projects bright objects

Buy it now on Amazon!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $199.99

  • AndroidTV 9.0

  • APP Control,

  • 4D+4P Keystone Correction

  • 50% Zoom

  • 250-inch Screen Size Display

  • 1500 ANSI Lumens

Groview is the perfect projector under 500 for business. Its Android TV interface is easy to maneuver and can download apps directly to the projector from Play Store, including OfficeSuite.

The presentation can be done via a USB stick. Fit for conference presentations as it directly presents PowerPoint presentations, excel, word, and PDF files. With its Android TV system, you can edit files through an internet connection, unlike other cheap projectors that only support text format or needs a phone or laptop connection to display.

Added to the above advantages, it can also wirelessly connect multiple devices with Bluetooth connection for an external speaker system. This device also features keystone correction supporting 4 sides image adjustment with a zoom function that shrinks screen size from 100% to 50%.

Are you considering adding this to your home theater projectors list? It also directly plays videos from Netflix, YouTube, and Prime Video.

A few different ways to use Groview

Buy it now on Amazon!


  • Android TV interface

  • Higher contrast ratio compared to other projectors (1200:1)

  • Directly presents office apps


  • Sound quality could improve

Best 360 Degree Viewing Placement Smart Projector: ViewSonic M1+

ViewSonic M1+ with big image size

Buy now from Amazon!

Specifications and Features:

  • Price: $339.99

  • 480p Display Resolution

  • 125 ANSI Lumens

ViewSonic M1+ is compact with great features for its price. Its projection screen has a shorter throw distance of up to 100″ from 8.9ft. With its throw distance, it projects 480P screen resolution and streams entertainment events like sports, Netflix, or Amazon Prime. A good addition to your home theater projectors list with its built in dual speakers that deliver room-filling audio.

Its Dual Harman Kardon Bluetooth speakers provide crisp and bombastic sound for entertainment activities, while short throw distance displays large images in small spaces. Its connectivity options include a MicroSD card, HDMI, USB Type-A, and USB Type-C.

Although there are cheaper projectors in the market, its easy set up and control, advertised as plug-and-play projector type, makes the product unique. It can easily do various angle placements with its 360-degree set up. This smart stand also protects the screen as an additional lens cover.

Its lens automatically turns as it includes a safety auto-off feature that powers down the projector when objects are too close to the lens. In addition, it contains built in battery that provides up to six hours of power. Its lamp life can also work up to 30,000 hours.

ViewSonic M1+



  • Room-filling sound system

  • 360-degree smart stand

  • Wireless connection options

  • 3D Support


  • Low display resolution

  • May not be that bright for dim spaces

Advantages of Smart Projectors for Home Theater Set Up:

If you’re a movie buff or a gamer, having a home theater set up is the perfect way to indulge in your favorite entertainment in the comfort of your own home. Smart projectors are an excellent addition to any home theater setup as they offer a range of advantages over traditional TVs or projectors. One of the most significant advantages of smart projectors is that they can project large and high-quality images, giving you a cinematic experience right in your living room. In addition to this, smart projectors are portable, easy to set up, and offer a range of features that make them a versatile and convenient option.

Customized screen size

With smart projectors, you can adjust the screen size to your liking. Depending on the number of people watching, you can upsize or downsize your screen to accommodate the viewers.

Large Image Display Technology

Smart Projectors are not restricted by limited image display. Its image display expands to hundreds of inches depending on the throw distance. Projectors’ image display is greatly advantageous compared with televisions.

Factors to Consider When Buying Projectors:

Light Source

Proper lighting displays bright images. Consider looking at the Lumens of projectors in the market to avoid soft and blurry images, even in dark rooms. Projectors with 1,000 ANSI Lumens or higher are good for dim to bright spaces.

Display Resolution

Bot DLP and LCD projectors have a fixed number of pixels. The lowest display resolution for HD viewing is 720P. If you want HD viewing, buy projectors with higher display resolution.

Contrast Ratio

Alongside brightness, contrast ratio is important when looking for projectors in the market. Contrast ratio refers to the ratio of projected black and white portions of the image. A higher contrast ratio means whiter whites and blacker blacks. The brightness and contrast ratio needs to balance so the image will not be washed out or completely black if they override. The decent contrast ratio starts at least 1500:1, but excellent options are at 2,000:1 or higher.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs):

FAQ #1: What is the difference between DLP and LCD projectors?

DLP and LCD are two different technologies used in projectors to create images. Here’s a brief explanation of the differences between them:

DLP, which stands for Digital Light Processing, is a technology developed by Texas Instruments that uses a chip with tiny mirrors to reflect light onto the screen. Each mirror represents a single pixel, and they move rapidly to create the image. DLP projectors generally have higher contrast ratios than LCD projectors, which means they can create darker blacks and brighter whites. They are also known for their smooth video playback and 3D capabilities.

On the other hand, LCD projectors, which stands for Liquid Crystal Display, use a lamp to project light onto three separate LCD panels. These panels create the red, green, and blue colors that make up the image. LCD projectors are known for their bright and vibrant colors and are often preferred for presentations or applications where color accuracy is important.

In terms of cost, DLP projectors tend to be less expensive than LCD projectors of similar brightness levels. However, DLP projectors may produce a “rainbow effect,” where viewers can see flashes of red, green, and blue, particularly when they move their eyes quickly across the screen. LCD projectors are not prone to this effect.

Ultimately, the choice between a DLP or LCD projector will depend on your specific needs and preferences. Both technologies have their strengths and weaknesses, so it’s essential to consider factors like image quality, color accuracy, price, and the intended use of the projector when making a decision.

FAQ #2: Advantages of smart projectors

Aside from being portable and easy connection, smart projectors possess several advantages.

LED Light Source

Smart projectors come with the latest DLP display technology, providing a longer lifespan. They also avoid usual projector issues of dimming through time, estimated to provide service for up to 30,000 hours. Added to that, projectors run much cooler than bulb-based projectors which means less fan noise and eco friendly (because there’s no mercury).


Image quality is the first factor these smart projectors negotiate. You need to understand how you use the projector to decide what resolution you need. For example, for any outdoor and campfire-like entertainment activities, a lower resolution works.

Lumens of brightness

It measures the light output of a projector. Smart projectors offer a range of lumens. To know how many lumens you need, assess the purpose of the projector. You need more lumens the brighter the room is. Working with darker rooms allows you to focus on other factors, such as contrast ratio when choosing a projector. ANSI lumens are typically the measure of brightness on projectors.

Wide range of ports and connections

Smart projectors offer better support for HDMI, USB connection, and home network; some offer Bluetooth connection. This supports different devices such as phones, laptops, and android tv.

FAQ #3: How long do projectors last?

Projectors usually last for a long time. Bulb type dictates the lamp life of projectors. Halide bulb lasts only 3,000 hours, while efficient LED bulbs last up to 60,000 hours. External factors like projector care and environment also affect the projector’s lifespan.

FAQ #4: Why use projectors instead of TVs?

Projectors reflect light contrast televisions that emit light. This makes the viewing experience more comfortable for your eyes. The reflected light is less straining and more comfortable to look at.

Viewers often experience eye strain when focusing on images small enough for your eyes to comfortably look at. Projectors customize screen sizes to avoid compact image size and prevent eyestrain.

Conclusion: Best Smart Projectors under 500

Smart projectors give immersive entertainment with easy set up and multiple connectivity options. The market now offers wide options of smart projectors for affordable prices. The market is wider than just Epson Home Cinema.

Identify your needs to know the best smart projector for you. Most importantly, inspect how you will use it to negotiate the build quality of the projector.

All in all, whatever smart projector you buy depends on your budget; its lifespan will depend on how you take care of it.

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