The 8 Best Portable Projectors for a Mini Movie Night

The 8 Best Portable Projectors for a Mini Movie Night
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If the cost of living has you missing out on watching movies in the cinema or stopping you from going all out with building your own home theatre, we have the next best thing. A portable projector is a piece of entertainment tech that you didn’t know you needed in your life.

Mini projectors are great for watching your favourite films and TV shows anywhere, at any time. There are heaps of different ways to use them – whether you want to watch a movie on your ceiling while in the comfort of your bed or on the side of your shed for a backyard screening, the possibilities are endless.

There’s a large variety of portable projectors available, with some that are more suitable depending on what you’re planning on using them for. These include gaming projectors, camping projectors and even projectors that are suitable for young children to use.

However, there are a few factors you should consider when choosing the best portable projector for you – especially if you’re on a budget. Things like resolution, throw distance, brightness, weight, ports, speakers and battery life.

From Bluetooth to camping, we’ve rounded up some of the best portable projectors you can buy in Australia.

Best overall — Nebula Capsule Smart Mini Projector

Nebula projector
Image: Nebula

Aside from its fire colour, the Nebula Capsule is a mid-range portable projector that kind of resembles an Ultimate Ears speaker. Sitting at about the size of a can of Coke, it comes built-in with a 360-degree speaker, which is ideal for large gatherings. With its advanced IntelliBright algorithms, you’ll be able to enjoy a remarkably bright and clear picture up to 100-inches big.

For such an expensive speaker, you might be concerned that it could be easily damaged but thankfully it’s built from aluminium, which ensures better protection against bumps and accidental drops.

  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Throw distance: 3.9 Meters
  • Weight: 862 g
  • Ports: Bluetooth, USB, Wi-Fi
  • Speakers: Built-in 360 speaker
  • Battery life: 4 hours run time
  • Additional features: Remote control included

Where to buy:

Best for camping – Wanderer projector

Camping Projector
Image: Wanderer/BCF

If you’re after a portable projector that you can take camping, then this Wanderer projector pack that includes its own soft screen is your best bet. Thanks to its small size, lightweight and affordable price, it’s great for quick camping trips. It also features a built-in rechargeable battery with a 1.5-hour run time, so it’ll work no matter where you’ve set up your tent. The projector has a variety of input options so you can also connect your own speaker, USB or Micro SD Card.

But the best part? The full Wanderer camping projector package comes with a mini tripod stand so you can avoid setting it up on the ground, and a remote control so you don’t even need to leave your sleeping bag to adjust the volume.

  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Connectivity: USB, Micro SD, HDMI, AV, Micro USB
  • Speakers: Yes
  • Battery Life: 1.5 hours run time
  • Additional features: Comes with a foldable screen and remote control

Where to buy:

Best for outdoor screenings — ELEPHAS Mini Projector

ELEPHAS mini projector

This budget-friendly portable projector is perfect if you want a good quality one but don’t want to spend $500+. It’s compatible with a range of streaming devices, including the Fire TV Stick, Roku, Chromecast, PS4 and more.

If you’re interested in hosting a few casual movie nights outside, this projector is a great choice. It’s 80 per cent brighter than most mini projectors and comes with built-in hi-fi speakers. This means you won’t have to lug a bunch of equipment outside and it’ll be plenty bright enough for outside screenings.

And the best thing about this particular portable projector? It’s often on sale.

  • Native resolution: 800 x 480
  • Throw distance: 70cms
  • Weight: 1.25 kg
  • Ports: MHL, VGA, SD, AV, USB, HDMI
  • Speakers: Built-in Hi-Fi speakers

Where to buy:

Best budget-friendly choice — Clokowe Mini Portable Projector

clokowe portable projector
Image: Clokowe

This very affordable projector is a good pick if you want to show off precious memories at the next milestone birthday party, or run through a presentation in the office.

You can wirelessly screen share videos, photos or music to this mini projector via your smartphone or tablet.

It’s also very easy to set-up, since all you need to do is turn it on, connect it to Wi-Fi and either select “Screen Mirroring” on your device if you’re casting wirelessly or select “Trust” when a pop-up window appears when you connect your the lightning cable.

A major bonus is that it also comes with a huge 100-inch projector screen.

  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Throw distance: 3ft
  • Weight: 1.72kg
  • Ports: USB, HDMI
  • Speakers: 2.0
  • Additional features: 100-inch projector screen included

Where to buy:

Best for at-home watching parties — Anker Nebula Apollo Bluetooth projector

Image: Nebula

Anker is among the best brands to turn to if you’re in the market for a portable projector. The Anker Nebula Apollo is one of the most popular projector choices, thanks to its Nebula Connect app. This app allows to you wirelessly cast your shows onto the big screen for an elevated movie experience.

But its most unique feature is the touch controls that allow you to adjust volume or pause what you’re watching with a swipe of your finger. You can even switch into “mouse mode” for pixel-precise control.

  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 1.6kg
  • Connection: ‎Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI
  • Speakers: 6W speaker
  • Battery life: ‎4 hours run time
  • Additional features: Touch controls

Where to buy:

Best for travelling — ViewSonic M1 Mini Plus Bluetooth Pocket Projector

Image: Viewsonic

This mini projector is the epitome of portability. Not only is it the lightest projector on this list, but at 4×4 inches it also happens to fit perfectly into your back pocket, so you can take it with you anywhere.

It features an integrated smart TV interface, so you can turn on Netflix, YouTube or your streaming platform of choice. This portable projector will mirror what’s on your phone through Wi-Fi screen monitoring and its built-in stand is handy if you’re the type who prefers to watch TV in bed. Simply adjust its 180-degree stand so you can aim it at your ceiling and fall asleep on your back.

  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 280g
  • Connectivity: ‎Bluetooth, USB, HDMI
  • Speakers: Built-in JBL speaker
  • Battery life: 2.5 hours run time
  • Additional features: Comes with a stand so you can project at the ceiling

Where to buy:

Best for young children — Anker Nebula Astro Mini Bluetooth Portable Projector

Anker Nebula Astro Mini portable projectors
Image: Anker

The perfect choice for the little ones, this Astro portable projector is fitted with eye guard tech that will protect the eyes of the most inquisitive of children from the projector’s bright light. If anyone gets too close to its internal bulb, it will switch itself off automatically. However, keep in mind that it does have a lower resolution so it may not have the crystal clear quality that you might appreciate, though the little ones probably won’t notice.

It even comes with parental controls that allows you to easily manage what your kids are watching so they don’t stumble across anything they shouldn’t. All adult-only movies and TV shows can be secured with a password of your choosing.

  • Native resolution: 854 x 480
  • Throw distance:
  • Weight: 369g
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth, HDMI, USB-C
  • Speakers: 3W speaker
  • Battery life: 2.5 hours run time
  • Additional features: Parental controls

Where to buy:

Best for console gaming — XGIMI Halo+ Bluetooth portable projector

Portable mini projector
Image: XGIMI

With no bright lamp to distract you from missions, an easy set-up for quick battle royale drop-ins and HDMI to USB-C compatibility, this XGIMI portable projector was literally made for on-the-go gaming. Featuring what’s called a “Game Boost Mode”, this mini gaming projector sports decent refresh rates and a 26.5ms low latency that can handle most graphics-intensive games.

With its Bluetooth and dual-band Wi-Fi compatibility, you can enlarge any mobile game you’re playing so you don’t have to squint down at your phone and increase your risk of neck strain.

  • Native resolution: 1920 x 1080
  • Weight: 3.2kg
  • Connectivity:Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, HDMI
  • Speakers: Yes
  • Battery life: 2.5 hours run time
  • Additional features: Compatible with most gaming consoles

Where to buy:

What’s the difference between mini projectors and normal projectors?

Image: iStock/seanfboggs

The obvious thing to note is the size and portability of a mini projector. Compact and rarely weighing over two kilograms, mini projectors are designed to be carried around, so you can watch movies on the go.

From a user standpoint, the biggest difference ultimately lies in the projector’s image quality. A full-blown projector will allow you to experience the highest quality picture with the largest throwing distance possible, while you’ll find that a portable projector can only throw at a shorter distance, while the image will be duller, grainier and not as detailed in comparison.

That doesn’t mean you’ll have a poor experience using a mini projector, in fact, most do a great job at creating the ultimate movie night experience. But if you want something that’s more reminiscent of a cinema experience, you’ll have to go to the trouble of investing a lot more money into a dedicated theatre room.

This is because a full-sized projector possesses a larger body, so it often has more room to fit better and more high-quality technology. However, this type of quality tends to use more power than what a portable projector needs, so it can’t be thrown into your backpack to take to your mate’s BBQ. That, paired with its bulky nature, requires it to be permanently stationed in your home, so it can be connected to a power socket. Meanwhile, mini projectors often feature a built-in rechargeable battery that can last anywhere from two to four hours.

What to look for in a portable mini projector

Image: Anker/XGIMI


The easiest way to measure a mini projector’s brightness is by taking a look at its lumens. Ideally, you’ll want one between the 2,000 to 4,000 range so it’s more visible when cast against a projection screen or wall.

Image quality

Good image quality is dependent on the brightness of your projector, but a second thing to take into consideration is the projector’s advertised resolution. Very few portable projectors offer anything less than 720p, but most now offer 1080p (also known as full HD). As a rule of thumb, the higher the resolution, the more pixels it’ll depict and therefore the better picture you’ll enjoy.


Look before you buy. Ask yourself any of the following questions: Does this projector come with built-in speakers? Will you need to connect additional speakers for better audio? Does it require a Bluetooth or wired connection to cast movies? How long is its battery life? These questions will help you plan the logistics for your upcoming movie night, like whether you need to pack some speakers or some additional power banks to keep the good times rolling.


Obviously, the most important thing to consider when buying a mini projector is its price. Portable projectors can vary in cost from as little as $50 to as much as $1,000. It goes without saying that the cheaper the mini projector, the lower the resolution and the duller the lamp.