Table of Contents

What’s an ultra-short-throw projector, and why would you need one?

Because the identify suggests, an ultra-short-throw projector or UST wants little or no house between it and the projection floor to forged a big format picture. That is achieved by way of ultra-wide lenses and light-weight supply and lens association that may be fairly difficult to tug off, significantly in a small type issue. By some requirements, a projector must have a throw ratio of lower than 0.4:1 to qualify as UST.

This sort of setup is fascinating for numerous causes. First, there may be the query of house. With a conventional projector, you want a fairly large room to get an honest dimension picture. You should utilize this nifty calculator to get a tough concept. Most conventional projectors are inclined to have a 2:1 throw ratio – you should have the projector about 5 meters away from a floor to get a 100-inch picture. With its 0.23:1 ratio, the FENGMI R1 Nano can get a 100-inch picture whereas positioned simply 58 centimeters away from the projection floor.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

That enables you, amongst different issues, to have the projector in entrance of you and therefore make higher use of any onboard speaker system it might need whereas additionally conserving the noise from its cooling system as far-off as doable.

Additionally, a UST projector is often meant to forged up from a floor, like a desk or a media cupboard, whereas you sometimes wish to mount a typical projector on the ceiling to get the very best picture with the least quantity of keystone correction. Meaning set up is generally far simpler.

You’ll be able to see how all of those qualities are massively helpful for a conveyable projector. Which makes the topic of our evaluation right this moment, the FENGMI R1 Nano, significantly important. It has 1080p native decision and there are few if any actually moveable 1080p Laser UST projectors available on the market in any respect.

The FENGMI R1 Nano introduction

FENGMI is probably not a family identify in western markets, however the model is is a part of the huge Xiaomi/Mijia ecosystem and is effectively acquired in China. Total, you’ll be able to look forward to finding related projector {hardware} underneath the FENGMI and Wemax manufacturers, and a few fashions even find yourself with the Xiaomi badge. A few of these even get worldwide releases. It is a complete convoluted system that we can’t be moving into proper now. For anybody actually fascinated with researching, buying and modding the same unit, we are going to hyperlink this wonderful thread on the xda-developers discussion board.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Anyway, again to the FENGMI R1 Nano. It’s a distinctly Chinese language unit that we bought for ourselves since its specs sheet makes just a few spectacular guarantees. The R1 Nano is an extremely quick throw (UST) projector that makes use of ALDP expertise (Superior Laser Phosphor Show) – one of the crucial superior present fluorescent laser applied sciences and guarantees 1080p native decision. All of this in a compact and light-weight (comparatively talking) physique (1.44kg) and with an inexpensive (once more, relative phrases) price ticket of round $800.

FENGMI R1 Nano specs at a look:

  • Dimensions: 200x200x70mm, 1.44kg.
  • Optical parameters: ALDP (Superior Laser Phosphor Show) UST (extremely quick throw) DLP projector; 1080p (FHD) optical decision; 2000:1 distinction ratio; Glass & resin lens.
  • Projection parameters: 1200 ANSI lumens (marketed); 40~100-inch display diagonal; 0.23:1 throw ratio; 25,000 hours gentle supply life; 0.23″DMD show chip.
  • Optical adjustment: Computerized software program electrical focus; Omnidirectional automated keystone correction (8-point correction) and handbook keystone correction.
  • Audio: Two 5W Hello-Fi audio system; Audio output by way of 3.5mm jack (stereo) and multichannel ARC over HDMI; Dolby Audio and DTS HD audio decoding.
  • Internals: Amlogic T972 (12nm) (4xCortex-A55 @ 1.91 GHz); Mali-G31 GPU (OpenGL ES 3.2 and Vulkan 1.1); 3GB of RAM; 16GB eMMC storage.
  • {Hardware} video decoder: As much as 8K (7680×4320 pixels) video with 10bit YUV4:2:0 coloration depth help and dynamic HDR (HDR10 and HLG decoding, however no HDR projection help); Widevine restricted to L3 (SD streaming solely);
  • I/O: 1xUSB Sort-C port for energy (PD as much as 90W); 1xUSB 2.0 Sort-A; 1xHDMI 2.0 (full-sized with ARC and CEC help); 1×3.5mm stereo audio output jack; Far area microphone setup for voice assistant.
  • Wi-fi connectivity: Wi-Fi ac; Bluetooth 5.0.
  • Software program: FengOS on prime of Android TV 9; No Google companies.
  • Different options: Computerized human detection and dimming; Far-field voice management; Distant management in field; Wi-fi projection help (Miracast, Apple AirPlay, Huawei Solid+, XiaoMi Projection); Xiaomi Mi House integration; Bluetooth speaker mode.

The R1 Nano provides an auto keystone correction system, in addition to automated human detection and dimming to stop eye injury. It advertises a show dimension from 40 inches to 100 inches, which principally checks out and 1200 ANSI lumens of output, which is fairly liberal. However, we’ll get to that.

Additionally, on the record of {hardware} highlights – a 2x5W Hello-Fi speaker system, which sounds fairly spectacular in observe and an HDMI enter port, and a USB Sort-A port.

When it comes to “smarts”, the R1 Nano packs an Amlogic T972 chipset, which is able to as much as 8K video decoding, with HDR help. The R1 Nano itself may also deal with DTS HD and Dolby Audio decoding. It’s paired with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of onboard storage.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

It is a Chinese language mannequin, and it’s operating FengOS, which seems to be primarily based on Google’s Android TV 9 with some heavy customization and loads of bloatware on prime. Software program might be the most important woe the Chinese language FENGMI R1 Nano has, significantly for a western viewers, in no small half because of the lack of Widevine DRM certification.

Fortunately you’ll be able to tweak the OS to a usable state the place the very important settings are simply accessible after which use a third-party HDMI gadget to do the precise media playback or depend on wi-fi streaming, which is kind of fully-featured on the R1 Nano. We are going to cowl the OS aspect of issues in additional element in a bit.

Unboxing

Our FENGMI R1 Nano got here in a pleasant thick cardboard field with a handy carrying deal with and loads of padding on the within to cease the precise unit from shifting round. The field is a bit outsized for its contents, so it’s not precisely best for transportation.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

There are virtually no further equipment contained in the field. You get a two-piece AC adaptor with good thick cables that takes 100-240V @ 50/60Hz and does Energy Supply 3.0. It’s rated for as much as [email protected], [email protected], [email protected], [email protected] or [email protected] or a max of 90W. It could cost a bunch of your different devices with its USB-C cable, which we respect. Additionally, in a pinch, you’ll be able to energy the R1 Nano from one other PD charger in case you have a fairly beefy one.

The one different factor within the field is the proprietary distant management. Nothing else – no plastic packaging, no zip ties, not even a single piece of documentation.

{Hardware}, ports, sensors and distant

The FENGMI R1 Nano has a cool fashionable aesthetic going for it. At 1.44kg and measuring 200 x 200 x 70mm, it’s not large by any stretch of the creativeness, however nonetheless it feels strong and dense. Reassuring if you’ll. This, mixed with grippy ft, enable it to remain firmly in place on most surfaces and never skit about for those who occur to bump them.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

The R1 Nano has a thick mesh cloth materials operating over its aspect. It is much like what you’ll discover on a speaker and appears very pure as a part of a media cupboard setup. The highest is made from two forms of plastic. The outer brim is matte and appears effectively immune to mud and scratches. We’re not certain why FENGMI determined to make the interior plastic shiny. It’s liable to scratches, will get soiled simply and readily reveals its smudges.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Talking of prime aspect, as is the norm the optics of this UST projector level upwards. Nonetheless, in contrast to the standard setup with this stuff right here we no cowl to guard them on the R1 Nano, which is a particular minus. In any case a moveable projector is supposed to be carried round and having the lenses so readily uncovered is a legal responsibility. We might personally put money into a pleasant comfortable pouch of some type.

One other factor the R1 Nano lacks is peak adjustment so you’ll be able to manually do some keystone work your self as a substitute of simply counting on the optics. It’s all the time greatest to bodily degree and place a projector as greatest as doable earlier than making use of every other picture fixes since these have a tendency to remove from high quality and sometimes result in some compromises. No less than there’s a customary quarter-inch mounting level on the underside of the unit.

FENGMI additionally provides an odd vertical-mounitng bracket that can be utilized to undertaking a picture on a desk. We could not consider a single use case for this, however perhaps a few of you’ll.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

The 2 massive grilles on both aspect of the unit are there principally for air flow. There may be not less than one fan on the within of the R1 Nano, which is surprisingly quiet. Even after extended use, it was barely audible.

However the 2 5W audio system sound fairly impressively given their dimension. The sound stage is wealthy, mids and highs sound nice, and there may be virtually no distortion even at full blast. There may be virtually no bass, although. There are fairly just a few audio modes to mess around with, which we are going to get to in a second.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

The R1 Nano has a moderately slim number of controls and I/O on it, however not less than the fundamentals are coated. There may be only a single energy button on the highest. The ports themselves are tucked away deep contained in the physique of the unit, with entry from the again (the aspect going through the projection floor). This does imply you can fully disguise one thing like a flash drive or ever an SSD there, however really attending to them could be very exhausting and inconvenient, significantly if the projector is already powered on since you must go in the best way of the projection, and you may simply blind your self (earlier than the automated human detection system kicks in). It might need been much less aesthetically pleasing, however it will have definitely contributed to usability if the ports have been on the opposide aspect.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

The R1 Nano has a single Sort-C port, which is supposed for energy and does not look like wired for information. No less than we did not handle to make it work with a Sort-C hub we had mendacity round. The USB A port seems to be a USB 2.0 one, although with the restricted Android TV software program now we have no dependable manner of testing that. It managed to energy an exterior SSD simply nice, in addition to a 2.5-inch exterior exhausting drive, so there may be that.

The total-sized HDMI port helps the two.0 spec. Not that it issues that a lot because the projector is proscribed to 1080p anyway. The port is well-equipped by way of further options and helps each ARC and CEC.

Final however not least, there’s a trusty outdated 3.5mm jack. There isn’t a optical audio interface, although, which is a little bit of a bummer, however HDMI ARC is a good various.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

The included distant is fairly minimal relating to controls. You solely get the fundamentals, which is sadly not sufficient for those who really plan on sideloading some lower than TV-optimized apps. We might have not less than appreciated some devoted playback controls. On the upside you’ll be able to connect most traditional Bluetooth keyboard and mice to the R1 Nano, which is nice. We are going to point out all that and button remapping within the software program part.

Why is ALPD the following main step?

Let’s get some fundamentals down for anybody not intimately acquainted with present well-liked projector tech. In quite simple phrases, there are a few major methods to generate the sunshine wanted to undertaking a picture. The easier answer of outdated is utilizing a bulb of some type. The commonest expertise out there may be primarily based on Steel halide and UHP (Extremely Excessive Efficiency) lamps – a expertise courting again to the Nineteen Sixties. Most of these projectors regularly require upkeep on issues like filters, and the lamp itself has a life expectancy of round 3,000 hours on common. An alternative choice to these lamps is utilizing an LED gentle supply, which lasts considerably longer – round 20,000 hours. After which there may be the very best presently out there gentle supply possibility – a laser.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Most projectors on the market are usually marketed as DLP, LED, LCD or Laser, just like the FENGMI R1 Nano. Barring some exceptions, most projectors merely branded DLP are lamp-based, require filters and have a light-weight span of round 2,000 – 3,000 hours. DLP itself stands for Digital Gentle Processing – a chip that makes use of a chip made from tiny microscopic mirrors and a spinning coloration wheel to create a picture. DLP chips are additionally utilized in different projector sorts, notably Laser ones.

A projector marketed as LED is often a DLP projector that swaps the lamp for an LED gentle supply that ought to final round 20,000 hours, consumes rather a lot much less energy and has nearly zero upkeep. It’s, on common dimmer than an LCD or DLP projector, but additionally a lot smaller enabling issues like pico projectors.

However, LCD projectors are inclined to require fixed filter upkeep. They don’t have a DLP chip, therefore fewer or no transferring elements. On common, they’re extra budget-friendly because of their easier one-chip implementation, although normally on the expense of picture distinction. You will get three-chip LCD projectors that handle a few of these points however are additionally costlier as some form of center floor. LCD models have a tendency to supply very sharp picture however sub-par distinction.

The FENGMI R1 Nano is an ALPD projector, which stands for Superior Laser Phosphor Show, which is without doubt one of the most superior fluorescent laser applied sciences. Laser projection mainly has all the advantages of LED projection – the sunshine supply is compact and power environment friendly and permits for simpler non-standard optical angles, which is exactly what the ultra-short-throw optics on the R1 Nano are. You additionally get the advantages of nearly zero upkeep and round 20,000 hours of life expectancy for the sunshine supply. One of many main advantages of laser projection over LED is the provision of considerably brighter gentle output (theoretically as much as 30,000 lumens).

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ALPD technology: V3 - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
ALPD technology: V4 - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

ALPD expertise: V1 • V2 • V3 • V4

ALPD has been by just a few attention-grabbing iterations throug the years. Sadly, FENGMI doesn’t supply any official info on the ALPD model the R1 Nano makes use of. Nonetheless they share the core precept of getting a laser as the first gentle supply, normally a blue laser, which then shines onto a yellow phosphor-coated spinning wheel, thrilling the phosphor-producing yellow gentle.

The yellow gentle is then separated utilizing dichroic coatings to create pink and inexperienced gentle, whereas the blue gentle element instantly passes by a diffusion phase within the phosphor wheel. The separated pink, inexperienced, and blue colours are then despatched to an imaging floor like a DLP chip, which in flip sends the sunshine by a lens and onto the projection floor.

So, technically, the FENGMI R1 Nano continues to be a DLP projector in a manner. The R1 Nano additionally appears to have an inner railing system for adjusting the optics in a number of instructions since it may possibly do scaling, panning, and all kinds of keystone corrections, each manually and mechanically.

Projection efficiency, options and settings

The R1 Nano delivers stunning efficiency for its small dimension. The primary impression will be fairly hanging if you have not skilled an ultra-short-throw projector earlier than. In the event you push the R1 Nano proper up towards a wall or different floor, you’ll be able to find yourself with a picture as small as 40 inches in diagonal. With a lens ratio of 0.23:1, you may get the utmost 100 inches marketed diagonal picture from the R1 Nano by inserting it round 58 centimeters away from the projection floor. That is fairly spectacular and customarily means you can virtually all the time have your projector as far-off from the place you might be sitting as doable, which is nice for stopping noise air pollution. Not that the R1 Nano generates a number of that. Its followers are surprisingly quiet even with extended use.

One other profit of getting the projector between you and the display is that sound can come from a pure route. As we already talked about, the 2 5W audio system on the R1 Nano supply a wealthy sound with virtually no distortion even at 100% loudness. And so they do get a lot loud. They only, comprehensible, are fully missing within the bass division.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

On to picture high quality and beginning with brightness. The R1 Nano is vivid sufficient to make use of in a dim room and actually shines in full darkness. It’s only usable at very small display diagonals through the day. Thoughts you, we did not use a projection display because the complete level of the R1 Nano is portability.

The marketed 1200 ANSI lumens of brightness is kind of exaggerated. Granted, we do not have the right tools and setup to check projector brightness, however we did have an LG PH450UG ultra-short throw DLP projector at hand, rated at round 450 lumens to match to, and the R1 Nano was maybe only a bit brighter than that, not by a lot. We additionally in contrast the R1 Nano to a correctly tiny Philips PPX5110, RGB LED DLP pico projector rated at 100 lumens, and we predict that the R1 Nano most likely outputs proper round 500 lumens. Right here is the R1 Nano subsequent to the Philips PPX5110 simply to get an concept of the scale distinction between what’s an actual pocket-sized pico projector and the R1 Nano. For sure, the efficiency between the 2 isn’t even comparable.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Left: FENGMI R1 Nano • Proper: Philips PPX5110

We did make certain to undergo all the settings menus on the R1 Nano searching for extra brightness, however there are solely two related settings – “Workplace mode” and “View mode”. The latter goes a bit brighter, nevertheless it’s not a serious distinction by any stretch.


Brightness settings - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Brightness settings - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Brightness settings

Whereas the R1 Nano may not shine within the brightness division (pun supposed), it nonetheless delivers excellent image high quality. Distinction is nice and black ranges are spectacular. The R1 Nano has fairly just a few coloration profiles to choоse from, however most of them do not make a serious distinction. Fortunately, a Customized profile enables you to regulate particular person parameters as you see match.


Color profiles - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Color profiles - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Color profiles - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Coloration profiles

The R1 Nano has a complicated set of picture adjustment choices. As we already talked about, the R1 Nano could make a number of changes mechanically by itself. This consists of issues like auto concentrate on distance change and even automated keystone correction. In case you are after the very best visible high quality, you might be most likely higher off disabling these, although, together with varied motions smoothing and automated picture high quality adjustment options.


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Image adjustment settings - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Image adjustment settings - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Picture adjustment settings

The R1 Nano provides fairly handy focus and keystone correction menus. These are two separate interfaces, although they do overlap considerably of their performance. The latter could make finer changes on a nook per nook foundation.


Focus and keystone adjustments - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Focus and keystone adjustments - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Focus and keystone changes

The R1 Nano may also be configured to undertaking an upside-down picture and even do back-projection if that’s your setup. One significantly nifty perform is the power to “zoom” or moderately scale down the display after which freely shift it to the edges. That is significantly useful for fine-tuning a picture to a specific projection floor. Although, it must be famous that cutting down does hurt total sharpness because it wastes decision.

At its native 100% the R1 Nano is impressively sharp. Having a 1080p native decision is a giant plus for the R1 Nano.

Hooking the R1 Nano as much as a PC works effectively sufficient in 1080p mode. There may be sufficient decision to render nice textual content. It really works higher if you do not have chroma subsampling on and also you most likely wish to allow YCbCr coloration mode on the PC. You’ll be able to shortly change picture settings for the HDMI port from a handy context menu on the projector distant, together with issues like CEC help and coloration and show modes.

There’s a Recreation mode, however even it has manner too excessive latency to make gaming viable. Finest you’ll be able to hope for is to do textual content enhancing or a presentation on the R1 Nano. We discovered that “Show Mode” labored greatest for us whereas hooked as much as a PC for the sharpest doable picture.

Whereas we have been total fairly happy with the visible constancy of the R1 Nano, we should always be aware that our unit has a persistent and fairly annoying defect on the picture. The far-left nook has a definite yellow hue. It’s most likely a problem with the phosphorus layer or, extra seemingly, among the filters alongside the best way, significantly in that edge space. If we zoom down the picture to round 97% after which shift it to the proper, the problem isn’t seen, however that comes at the price of sharpness.

Shifting on to sound settings, there are fairly just a few out there. Dolby Sound works effectively for media consumption, though some profiles launched audio desync, which then needed to be compensated from different settings menus.

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Sound settings - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Sound settings

The vocal enhancement slider is especially helpful when utilizing the R1 Nano’s inner audio system. And your greatest wager for hooking up an exterior speaker system is HDMI ARC, which does help passthrough, in addition to PCM downsampling. The R1 Nano can decode DTS HD and Dolby Audio, which implies that with sufficient fiddling, you may get good high quality multi-channel audio to work with the inner software program. There may be additionally a stereo 3.5mm audio jack to connect some easy larger audio system in a pinch.

FengOS, options

The FENGMI R1 Nano has a built-in good OS. We already talked about a few of its options and settings, nevertheless it’s now time to present it an intensive examination. The settings menu is decently translated in English, simple and usable. So for those who resolve towards preventing the uphill battle to get the built-in FengOS to cooperate and simply depend on it for the occasional settings change, try to be good.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

There may be actually not a lot information out there on-line concerning FengOS and fewer of it nonetheless is in English. It’s clearly primarily based on Google’s Android TV 9, which is each good to see since it’s a current model, but additionally not best since from what we managed to dig up, older variations of FengOS primarily based on Android 6 have been simpler to root after which modify closely to make extra usable. A root on this model of FengOS appears doable however fairly convoluted.


About screens on the R1 Nano - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
About screens on the R1 Nano - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
About screens on the R1 Nano - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

About screens on the R1 Nano

Why would you wish to root the R1 Nano, you would possibly ask? Properly, principally to do away with the tons Chinese language localizations that come out of the field. There appear to really be two launchers on the R1 Nano. Urgent the house button after it boots takes youto the Formovie Desktop. It has a Streaming-service model house display filled with content material to presumably watch on the Gitv platform, full with information and even trailers and previews for those who wait lengthy sufficient for the content material to be fetched all the best way from the Asian servers.


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Formovie Desktop launcher - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Formovie Desktop launcher - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Formovie Desktop launcher

On the plus aspect, this launcher does include a translated aspect menu with an enter selector in addition to handy shortcuts to varied settings and options. We can’t be going by all the options, however listed below are some highlights. You’ll be able to set the default power-on state of the projector after an influence outage, in addition to a default enter to mechanically play from. The automated human detection and dimming function is right here as effectively.


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Various settings and features - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Various settings and features - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Various settings and features - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Varied settings and options

The R1 Nano really has sturdy wi-fi casting help. It could apparently settle for Miracast, XiaomiMi Projection and Huawei Solid+ on the Android aspect, in addition to Apple’s AirPlay and even some proprietary app forged tech we’re not fully acquainted with.


Wireless casting capabilities - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Wireless casting capabilities - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Wi-fi casting capabilities

The Bluetooth gadget connection menu is a bit convoluted and complicated however does help you join any sort of customary HID gadget.


Bluetooth connections - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Bluetooth connections - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Bluetooth connections

Talking of Bluetooth, the R1 Nano can act as a Bluetooth speaker, which is a pleasant trick for when you do not want the massive display. It’s really a particular mode the R1 Nano can enter into and subsequently flip off its projection.


Bluetooth speaker mode - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Bluetooth speaker mode

Feng OS additionally provides integration with Xiaomi’s Mi House. You simply want to attach your Xiaomi account, after which you’ll be able to management your good gadgets by way of the R1 Nano if that’s one thing you are feeling like doing. The FengOS built-in voice assistant additionally appears to return courtesy of Xiaomi.


Xiaomi integration - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Xiaomi integration - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Xiaomi integration

The R1 Nano’s various launcher is known as Launch Board. It additionally has a devoted button on the default distant management and is far cleaner than the default one. There’s a lot much less Chinese language content material right here, and the entry to varied settings is extra handy. Sadly, there isn’t any technique to change the default launcher.


Launch Board launcher - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Launch Board launcher - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Launch Board launcher

Our R1 Nano unit did come preloaded with one significantly attention-grabbing app. referred to as ProjecTivy Instruments. It’s a well-known and fairly well-liked software on an Android TV projectors, providing just a few intriguing options, amongst which is a handy repository of third-party apps you can simply set up on the gadget after enabling unofficial sources in FengOS settings.


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ProjecTivy Instruments and third-party app installs

In case your unit occurs to be rooted, ProjecTivy Instruments may even attempt to sideload a set of Google Providers, together with the Play Retailer. Sadly, this wasn’t the case for our R1 Nano, however we did handle to put in the Aptoide TV retailer with one click on, which has a ton of superior TV apps to subsequently set up.

One other nifty trick ProjecTivy Instruments can do is open just a few completely different settings menus which might be more likely to nonetheless exist in your modified Android TV or FengOS ROM however aren’t out there anyplace within the UI.


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Hidden settings menus

ProjecTivy Instruments enables you to set any app you wish to launch on gadget startup. We used that along side Button Mapper for Android TV, which means that you can remap all the buttons on the included FENGMI distant, even the devoted Launch Board button. It’s also possible to set actions for double clicks and lengthy presses. As soon as we set the house button to additionally launch Launch Board, we successfully managed to swap the launcher on the R1 Nano, and the identical will be achieved with any third-party launcher as effectively, just like the ATV launcher. Altering the default Chinese language on-screen keyboard was additionally fairly simple.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

So successfully, after doing all this, the R1 Nano is completely usable, similar to every other Android TV gadget regardless of having FengOS, proper? Sadly not. A few of the points we bumped into embrace no official YouTube app, since that requires Google Providers and no HBO Max app. Aptoide TV has just a few, however not a single one needed to really work on the R1 Nano.

Netflix can also be cracking down on much less safe gadgets utilizing its app. We solely managed to discover a single Netflix APK that really works, and it’s not fully TV-optimized and nonetheless requires a mouse. Even then, you might be restricted to SD streaming because the R1 Nano solely has Google Widevine L3 certification.


Widevine L3 - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Widevine L3

Whereas principally usable, particularly after some tweaking, FengOS on the R1 Nano lacks some very important DRM and app help to make it a correct and practical streaming and multimedia consumption software. Going for the Chinese language R1 Nano as a western consumer sort of necessitates grabbing some HDMI streaming stick or field to associate with the R1 Nano.

Chipset, efficiency and video decoding and playback

The FENGMI R1 Nano isn’t a powerhouse by way of {hardware}, which is true for many Android TV gadgets on the market. For the reason that OS itself is way more light-weight than a full-fat Android set up, it requires rather a lot fewer sources to run easily.

FengOS is snappy with little to no precise stutters or slowdowns whereas searching menus and apps.

The Amlogic T972 chipset contained in the R1 Nano has a complete of 4 Cortex-A55 CPU cores, clocked at as much as 1.9 GHz and a Mali-G31 GPU that helps OpenGL ES 3.1 and Vulkan 1.1. An honest all-around enchancment over the earlier technology Amlogic T962 chip. The brand new Amlogic T972 is constructed on the 12nm FinFet expertise. This considerably will increase working pace whereas lowering energy consumption by 55% in comparison with the earlier technology historical 28nm chipsets. The R1 Nano pairs the chip with 3GB of RAM and 16GB of storage. Each are sufficient to energy streaming apps and deal with on-device cache.


R1 Nano hardware info - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
R1 Nano hardware info - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

R1 Nano {hardware} information

Only for the enjoyable of it, we ran GeekBench 5 in addition to GFXBench on the R1 Nano. You’ll be able to see the laughable outcomes beneath.


Benchmarking the R1 Nano - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Benchmarking the R1 Nano - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review
Benchmarking the R1 Nano - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

Benchmarking the R1 Nano

The Amlogic T972 does, nonetheless excel in a single explicit space that really issues for a multimedia consumption gadget – {hardware} video decoding. The T972 efficiently decodes as much as 8K (7680×4320 pixels) video with 10bit YUV4:2:0 coloration depth help and dynamic HDR. Whereas the projector itself cannot show HDR content material, the silicon is able to decoding HDR10 and HLG, which might then be tone mapped by the participant and nonetheless displayed in SDR.


HDR decoding capabilities - FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

HDR decoding capabilities

When it comes to audio, the R1 Nano can deal with Dolby Audio and DTS HD. In actual fact, the Amlogic T972 additionally powers a few of Xiaomi’s Mi TV Professional good TV gadgets, which is a reasonably good commercial for its capabilities.

The R1 Nano has a default video participant which is pretty well-rounded by way of UI and choices. Screenshots inside it are forbidden causes, so you will simply need to belief us once we say that almost all core settings are there, in addition to help for subtitles. The participant even means that you can shortly regulate among the projection settings.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

We went all out when it got here to testing format help on the participant and R1 Nano and have been fairly pleasantly shocked. Mainly each check clip we threw at it from this wonderful record, maintained by the KODI crew, performed with no points. This consists of virtually each audio check, whereas by way of uncooked decoder efficiency, not even the insane 400 Mbps HECV Principal 10 MKV Jellyfish pattern managed to choke the R1 Nano. It performed it again with no lag or stutter. For some context, HD Blue-ray discs prime out at round 40Mbps, 4K ones with 10-bit HEVC at as much as 128Mbps. Apple TV, which is without doubt one of the larger bitrate choices, can go as much as about 40Mbps, whereas Netflix now does per-shot encoding at as much as about 18Mbps.

Most film rips out there on-line are normally beneath 30 Mbps, even at prime 4K high quality with HDR. The R1 Nano is greater than succesful by way of decoding. We should always, nonetheless, be aware that some direct play 4K movies in Plex stuttered a bit at round 25 Mbps. The bulk performed again easily, although, so we’re inclined accountable it on the shotty Plex app for Android TV, sideloaded to FengOS.

Remaining ideas

The FENGMI R1 Nano is an attention-grabbing piece of {hardware}, little question about that. It is really what enticed us to import one from China within the first place. Whereas some elements of its official specs sheet, notably the marketed 1200 ANSI lumens of output, are exaggerated, the efficiency and options the R1 Nano manages to supply are nonetheless practically not possible to beat in its explicit moveable type issue. In the event you have portability excessive up in your record of necessities the R1 Nano might be value contemplating.

With an MSRP of underneath $1,000 (earlier than transport and import taxes), an ultra-short-throw ALPD laser projector with 1080p native decision, wonderful image high quality, strong audio and succesful, if not precisely Western-friendly good options, is an efficient worth proposition in itself. Nonetheless for those who do not feel like spending just a few days determining its idiosyncrasies and like stuff that simply works you might be greatest suggested to maintain away.

FENGMI R1 Nano UST Laser Projector review

We are able to solely hope the R1 Nano will get a correct worldwide launch. Most of its points are associated to the truth that it’s a Chinese language unit we’re importing into Europe and they’re critical sufficient to show off all however probably the most enthusiastic geeks.

Execs

  • Very compact and light-weight for a 1080p UST ALDP projector.
  • Strong construct high quality, with a premium appear and feel.
  • Nice 2x5W speaker setup. DTS HD and Dolby Audio decoding.
  • Computerized focus, keystone correction and presence detection all work nice. So do handbook changes.
  • First rate number of ports. The HDMI 2.0 port, particularly has each ARC and CEC.
  • Excellent image high quality – nice distinction, deep black ranges and colours. Nice sharpness with 1080p decision.
  • Zooming and panning in software program are nice to have. The R1 Nano is chuck-full of nice picture and audio adjustment choices.
  • The Amlogic T972 isn’t a CPU or GPU powerhouse, however nonetheless runs FengOS easily. It has nice {hardware} decoding – as much as 8K (7680×4320 pixels) video with 10bit YUV4:2:0 coloration depth help and dynamic HDR (HDR10 and HLG).

Cons

  • Minimal accent bundle.
  • No lens safety from mud and different components.
  • No handbook angle adjustment.
  • Distant management is fairly minimal relating to controls.
  • Not practically as vivid as marketed and never vivid sufficient to make use of through the day.
  • Very excessive enter latency making it unusable for gaming, no matter image and sound mode.
  • Our unit has an optical defect.
  • FengOS is predicated on Android TV 9, however isn’t actually usable by a western viewers – loads of Chinese language apps, Widevine restricted to L3 and SD streaming. No Google companies and therefore no first-party YouTube app. No correctly working Netflix app or HBO Max app.

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