Pocket projectors: PIQO and Philips PicoPix Max


PowerGod

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Sounds like the AnyBeam would have another advantage there in the sense that it pretty much doesn’t have an OS, let alone Google limitations!

I can't understand the comparison, correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I understood, AnyBeam does need and external device to actually do something, by itself it can do nothing.

A device like that have no purpose for my use case.

And anyway the same thing can be done by the PIQO, because if I just connect an HDMI cable to it, Android is not anymore a limitation... but I consider this possibility just as a "plus", because the main function is to be a "stand alone" device.
 
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docbroke

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can PIQ0 work with powerbank when battery is dead ? is battery replaceable ?
I guess anybeam depends totally on power bank, which may be good thing for longevity as you can simply replace power bank when needed.
 

PowerGod

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can PIQ0 work with powerbank when battery is dead ? is battery replaceable ?

I still have to do some proper tests to check how much it can run with a full battery, anyway powerbanks works, I charged it with one of them yesterday.
Technically the battery is not replaceable just because you should not open the device at all... anyway it has screws, but I won't open it to have a look unless I really have to... so I don't know what battery it has and how it is connected.

Software side, I can't find any indication for the remaining battery play time... there is only the battery icon that shows somehow how full it is, so I'll have to do estimations by myself with a chronograph in my hand...

EDIT:
I was sure to have seen screws but there are none visible, and looking better at it I have no clue how it could be opened...

EDIT:
With "battery dead" I meant "totally discharged", but if you intended "not working anymore", then I'm not sure how it will behave with a powerbank...

I can say anyway that when the device is off, and you put it in charge, the device doesn't turn on, only a led is lit... maybe this could give some clues as how the circuit works...
 
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Phlyra

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I can't understand the comparison, correct me if I'm wrong, but as far as I understood, AnyBeam does need and external device to actually do something, by itself it can do nothing.

A device like that have no purpose for my use case.

And anyway the same thing can be done by the PIQO, because if I just connect an HDMI cable to it, Android is not anymore a limitation... but I consider this possibility just as a "plus", because the main function is to be a "stand alone" device.
Ah ok! So the PIQO has internal memory on which you can store videos? That’s pretty cool!
 

Phlyra

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can PIQ0 work with powerbank when battery is dead ? is battery replaceable ?
I guess anybeam depends totally on power bank, which may be good thing for longevity as you can simply replace power bank when needed.
Apparently with the next iteration (in probably a couple of years’ time) Nebra might use a USB C port so that with just one cable you can charge from the same device as that which also stores and sends the video. But I guess that’s only really useful if the host device is a PC or laptop plugged into the wall...
 

PowerGod

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Ah ok! So the PIQO has internal memory on which you can store videos? That’s pretty cool!
Yes, it has some free space internally, I'm not sure, but should be at least 16 GB, maybe more.
It works almost exactly as an Android smartphone does, and for example the APK i installed was downloaded directly from its browser, and saved in its internal download folder.
Personally I prefere to use the little USB stick it came with to store videos, it is 32 GB and physically is so little that when inserted is just 2 millimeters long.


@PowerGod
Do you have both? The PIQO and that laser projector?
Any comparison between the two?

I don't have AnyBeam, and except for my interest in its laser technology, I have no use for a "dumb" projector that requires external input to work.
It could be useful only for people that just needs a bigger monitor.

I can only compare the PicoPix Max and the PIQO, because both of them are Android devices that can do the work by themselves.

Both PIQO and AnyBeam are somehow pocketable, but while the PIQO "just works" after you extract it from the pocket and turn it on, AnyBeam will still require a PC (or another input device) and the respective cables.

About brightness and picture quality of AnyBean I only seen the videos linked in the other thread, but is really difficult to evaluate a projected image when you are not looking at it in first person, knowing every light sources in your surroundings.
They are speaking well about laser technology, so if it's really so less power consuming and precise, I hope that one day it will become the standard, we will see what happens.
 

Askarus

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I don't have AnyBeam, and except for my interest in its laser technology, I have no use for a "dumb" projector that requires external input to work.
It could be useful only for people that just needs a bigger monitor.

Ah, I see.
A "dumb" projector is exactly what I want. I don't want one with Android and Apps installed.
It's good that there are pico projectors for both sides then :)
 

PowerGod

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I don't want one with Android and Apps installed.

I just want to precise a thing, because I'm not a great "smart-stuff" lover.

On both the devices I have, the installed Android seems pretty "open", I didn't see APPs "forced" in there that you can't uninstall, and I can access even the "developer" menus of Android.
On the PicoPix Max the main interface is a custom one, so to get to the real Android menus more passages are required, but them are explained on the official site, so nothing seems hidden.

Anyway no one of the producers takes responsibilities for your actions if you go wild in the Developer menus.

Also on both devices, were already present a file manager and an APK installer... I missed those, for me "essential", apps in many devices I have seen so far, like smart TV and even smartphones... so it's good to have them already there.
 

PowerGod

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I found with my extreme horror that in the PIQO is missing chromecast server... there is an alternate server called ESHARE that works like poo... video frames are updated like every 4 to 20 seconds, and only the sound seems synched :(

I'll have to find if it is possible to add chromecast to it, because it's almost the only thing that I'm really missing compared to what I used from the PicoPix Max.

I did in the mean time some tests of battery duration, and with both wifi and bluetooth active, it played youtube playlists for almost 3 hours (it's just a rough estimation because it wasn't really an intended test, I just started it but then listened while doing other things until it turned off).
 
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PowerGod

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For now I have some data to give some detailed comparison between PIQO and PicoPix Max, for some use cases.

I'll use this ":cool:" to show when I feel that one of them is superior to the other in a characteristic.

PIQOPhilips PicoPix Max
RemoteOnly IR, and the receiver is in the back of the device.
It has a pretty high reach even if not pointed directly to the sensor, and sometimes it works even in positions I was thinking impossible, like with the remote pointing at the ceiling while the PIQO was under it with the sensor in the opposite direction... I was impressed.
Anyway the device is so small that is really easy to cover the sensor, so when put down or plugged in the tongs of the tripod, it is better to check that the sensor is reachable.

It has a toggle for Mouse-mode to drive the cursor with the arrow keys.

The remote can turn off the device, but can't turn it on.
IR and Bluetooth (for Air-Mote).
The IR has a good reach, but only if the remote is pointing somehow in the direction of the sensor in the back of the device.
If the device is pointing at the ceiling from a surface, it is almost impossible to use the remote via IR.
If the Remote is paired as Air-Mote, at the boot of the device, you don't have to bother where the IR is pointing, it will work in every direction and position.

The Mouse-mode works only in Air-Mote, and you drive the cursor physically moving the remote.

The Remote can turn off the device both via Air-Mote and IR, but can turn it on only by IR.
Touch padIt is really small, but works well after some use, it can also "grab-scroll" in the same way as a PC touch pad.
The buttons for HOME, MENU and BACK are really small, and most of the time you have to look at them to put your finger in the right spot.

The only issue is always that the device is so small, that if you are holding it, to properly use the touch pad you'll have to use both hands, because with just one, grabbing it you will cover the air flow.

Software side, both devices have the same "issue"... because the Touch pad doesn't have arrow keys, but some APP requires them, so the use of the Remote could be necessary in some applications.
It's large, but not so comfortable to use, and I still have to find out if it's possible to scroll with it.

Also the device is so big that most of the time you'll have to place it far away from you, limiting a lot its use.

Software side, both devices have the same "issue"... because the Touch pad doesn't have arrow keys, but some APP requires them, so the use of the Remote could be necessary in some applications.

Focus

and

Keystone angle correction
The Focus is manual, the wheel is really little and could require some precision sometimes, but it's pretty fast to set it, like 1/2 seconds.
Even if you are holding it with the hand and so moving the device constantly, it doesn't easily go out of focus. :cool:

The Keystone angle correction is automatic, and actually, even if not perfect, it works most of the time in an acceptable way. :cool:
Even when the device is constantly moved, in 1 second it will correct the image to try to maintain the correct shape.
There is also a manual setting, but for now I didn't felt the need to use it.

In this case the advantage of the small dimensions is supreme, because you can put it almost anywhere, and it's easier to find the perfect spot to cast a good projection. :cool:
The Focus is automatic, requires 2/3 seconds, and works pretty well on a single background.
If the background is not perfectly plain or contains different materials, then the focus will struggle, and you'll have to act manually and it can be set only with the Remote.

The Keystone angle correction works automatically slowly and only vertically, and still in a bad way.
The developers are still working on this function, but for now I find it not useful.
You can correct manually the shape, but it is a very delicate and long setting with this device, because if you move it even a millimetre, the projected image will change shape exponentially.

This device is made to stay still... set it correctly and the image will be perfect, but then never touch it again !!
Image qualityThe perceived resolution during videos is good for movies, it is easier to see the imperfections of the surface you are projecting on than the fact that the resolution is lower that 1080p.

But when "Pixel perfect" things appears, like Text fonts or regular shapes of the interface, them are visibly not well defined.
This is mostly caused by the shape of the projector "pixels" that aren't squares but more like diamonds, changing the aspect and the borders of those elements.

I tried to see how my PC Desktop appeared via HDMI, and the smallest characters were unreadable, not because of the resolution, but the diamond shape of the pixels.

So if you need to watch 1080p movies, it could do the job without so much visible losses in details, but if you need a perfect 1080p image that matches the one of the PC resolution, then this is not the device for you.
Perfect. :cool:
BrightnessSufficient to see well the image in a shadowy area of a room lit by the sun.
In a dark room is perfect, and maybe it could be even turned down a bit.
It is really high and most probably you'll have to lower it down immediately.
Personally I'm happy using it in "energy save" mode, with 50% brightness, and maybe in a dark room is too much anyway. :cool:

This thing is powerful, really professional, I will never have the need to use it at full capacity.
Tripods and positioningIt came with 2 tripods and a wall hang. (all optionals)

One of the tripods is flexible, and is the real deal !! :cool:
It can be moved in every shape, so you can also hang it.

Every tripod has tongs to grab the device that can be screwed to the tripod both in vertical or horizontal.
The tongs don't have a strong grab, so it is better to not touch too much the device once it is fixed, but still is super easy to just grab it to take it away in the other room, and then just put it again in the tongs when you return. :cool:
These tongs can hold the device from 2 sides, and you can put it in almost every direction.
This is useful because those tongs will ALWAYS cover something, depending on how the device is grabbed...

So if you need to use the HDMI port, you'll have to make the tongs cover the USB port, if you need BOTH of them, you'll have to grab it higher, covering the IR sensor, and so on.

This limitation exist just because the device is so small that every part of it contain something that could be used, but because almost every port is in a different direction, you can always choose what is that you actually don't need in that moment.
The tripod that was included in the box is wonky... it is really difficult to put the device in a fixed position with it, and every time you take your hands away, it moves 1 or 2 millimetres away from the set position, changing the shape of the image...

Also, if you point it at the ceiling, it becomes difficult to access the ports because them are too near the floor.

Because the projector is screwed directly to the tripod, it is not made to be moved away so easily.
SoundMONO sound.
The speaker is not exceptional, but also not bad for its size.
For things like TV series I can't complain using it, but maybe to appreciate good movies should be better to use external speakers/earbuds (Bluetooth or Jack).
It is very loud in a room if set to the max, so middle range is ok, but if you turn it more down, like 1/4 of the volume, then the fan could cover the volume... it's better to use earbuds instead of lower down too much the volume.-
STEREO sound. :cool:
The speaker is not exceptional, but good for its size, and can deal with basses better than most little speakers.
The audio is good, but still to appreciate good movies should be better to use external speakers/earbuds (Bluetooth or Jack).
It is very loud in a room if set to the max, so middle range is ok, but if you turn it more down, like 1/4 of the volume, then the fan could cover the volume... unless the projector is set to "energy save", then the fan is a lot less noisy, anyway it's better to use earbuds instead of lower down too much the volume.
Other stuff included- Remote IR (without batteries)
- Wall plug (without EU adapter, they told me I'll have to get it by myself)
- Cable USB to charging plug

[optionals]

- Tripod
- Flexible Tripod
- Wall mount
- Cable HDMI to mini HDMI
- Cable USB to charging plug (another one)
- 32 GB USB stick (very small)
- Portable Projection Screen 120''
- Custom Carry Case
- Remote IR/BT (with batteries)
- Tripod (Not so great, but small)
- Wall plug to USB-C
- Cable USB-C to USB-C
- A simple but well made bag, that can contain everything included, even the remote and the tripod, and maybe more.
Display mirroring (Wireless stream receiver)
  • EShare: very slow for showing video streaming (2 to 10 seconds delay at every frame), but audio seems ok. It needs a client to be installed to the streaming device. Seems to use the same protocol of AirPlay, or at least they share the same service because if you disable AirPlay, this will not work too...
  • AirPlay: mainly used from Apple devices, for Windows there are only commercial programs, but all of them seems to require at least Windows 10 to work and I wasn't able to try.

Except for AirPlay that I wasn't able to try, this device is really bad by default for this kind of thing. I'm trying to find some different solutions that could be used to at least stream movies in an acceptable way.
  • Miracast/Widevine: this requires Windows 10 and a wifi network card that has this functionality too, then you just ADD the projector as an external wireless monitor. To check if your network card supports this you can use "dxdiag" and search for "miracast" in the log. I wasn't able to try it out, but should be the best option if possible.
  • Chromecast: easiest option, works like a charm, you just need a Chromium-based brower to stream Desktop/Tab/File/Video to the projector. :cool:
  • AirPlay: mainly used from Apple devices, for Windows there are only commercial programs, but all of them seems to require at least Windows 10 to work and I wasn't able to try.
 
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PowerGod

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I contacted the support for the missing carry case, and they told they will send it to me.

A thing about the PIQO that still I can't understand, is that it was advertised to be able to play like 60 hours of music... but a thing like that could be possible only if the projector is turned off... and I see nothing software side to turn off the light...

I have seen anyway around the internet some PIQO images that instead of an HDMI port, there is a SWITCH there !! But I can't read what it does from those pictures...

While searching I found this unboxing video of a PIQO, I have no idea what the guy is telling, but seems happy to me, and it shows in a pretty straightforward way how the projector works.
 

PowerGod

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So, I'm trying different things on the PIQO:

1) Still trying to install Chromecast service... but I can't find too much info around how to do it (and if it's even possible)... for now seems like "Google Home" package is required, and also "Google service" running... the service was already there by default, but for now every version of "Google Home" I tried fails to install... I'm still not logged to Google, I'll leave the Play Store as the last resource, so I'm just getting APKs from other sources for now.

2) I had a movie with the wrong format in its properties, it was set as "16:9", but instead in really was "2.35:1", so while in a PC I can just force the right aspect with most of the Players (SMplayer, VLC, MPC, etc...), on Android I still found no players with this function !! The most advanced I found (Night Video Player and VLC) seems to manage "16:9" as the maximum aspect.
But I found this situation useful to finally try the "manual Keystone correction" on the PIQO, to force shrink the native high of 16:9 to a 2.35:1 aspect (using just my perception), and worked great, the setup was exactly like on the Philips projector.
After I finished watching the movie, I just reactivated the Auto Keystone correction, and everything returned at the right proportions.

3) I still can't understand how you should be able to listen to 50+ hours of music on this... The music player doesn't turn off the projector after some time, and I can't find options on it to do so... it's still a mistery.

4) I can't remove the sounds from the virtual keyboard... even when everything is muted, also system alarms, it still does make clicking sounds...

EDIT:

About "1)", seems like Google from the last year is forcing the login to setup Google Home (and so Chromecast too)... if an older version of the app that still didn't require login is installed, it will constantly search for updates... so if it is not locked in some way, at some point it will require the login anyway...

I wonder how Philips was able to include Chromecast (perfectly working and without login !!) in their projector without even had the permission to include all the Google environment (Play Store and all the normal Android stuff are not present there) !!

EDIT2:

So, I fell to the Google account stuff... I created a new account for the occasion, installed again the Google Home app, and started to configure it just to find out:

- It needs not only an account, but also the Location and the Bluetooth active, else it will not work at all !!
- It is able to add a physical "Chromecast"... but I just can't find any option to just start a Chromecast service...

Now I'm wondering if "Chromecast" servers are just dedicated hardware... and maybe the Philips projector includes one of them inside...

I can't find a clear response on the internet if it is possible to have a Chromecast server just as software... :mad:
 
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PowerGod

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The missing carry case for the PIQO just arrived, without a tracking number, I didn't even knew it was already been sent.

It's almost exactly like a little version of the DragonBox case for the Pandora.
 

PowerGod

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Philips announced that a firmware update for the Pico Pix Max is in closed beta test, it should enhance the Keystone correction and some other auto-things.

The PIQO doesn't seem to have updates at all about firmware, but it's also difficult to find out, because they didn't have a support forum... and internet searches only show old pages/reviews full of complaints and shouting for scam, that are absolutely not useful at all by now.
I'll have to ask info directly to the support by mail.
 
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PowerGod

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Philips released the promised update for the Pico Pix Max.

There are some enhancements for the GUI and APP management.
Also they added a level of precision in the manual keystone correction, so now you can not only move the 4 angles but also the central focus point, to adjust some possible distortion.


But the Auto-Keystone correction is still in development, with also many improvements for wireless casts services, like AirPlay and Google-Cast.
 

PowerGod

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Some observations on both projectors:

PIQO:
This thing still amaze me, I had no place where to put it to project on the wall, the only table was too little and had an LCD monitor screwed on it that was covering the light... so I took the flexible tripod, shaped it like a claw, and appended it over the monitor, the projector is so light that the monitor didn't even felt the weight !! :cool:
Then I only had to plug in an audio jack to use some good external speakers.
The movie was longer than 2 hours, and before the end the projector complained to be almost out of battery... never happened before, I suppose it could have been related to the codecs/acceleration needed by the movie... but when I plugged in the USB charging cable I found something not good at all... when in charge, the audio jack receives a white noise.
I actually didn't noticed the noise during the movie, but when it finished, and so without any other sounds, I heard it clearly... it was the first time I used the audio jack during charge, so I tried with the earbuds too, and with those the noise is really high.
So the best thing when in charge is to use bluetooth speakers/earbuds.

Philips Pico Pix Max:
I still didn't tried if the charging noise on audio jack is present even here, but considering how I placed it, it's really difficult to plug in a jack, and also the less I move it, the better it is... i never even seriously tried to use it without the charger plugged in for the same reason...
I'm not so happy about the updates... the last one broke Chromecast, for me and many others, seems like that now it requires Miracast to work... the issue is that I don't have Miracast, that's why I was using Chromecast !! o_O
Some people told that before they where able to use Chromecast even from the Pixel, but now they can't, and the answer from the developers was that it shouldn't have worked even before for the Pixel devices... but the fact it that it was working...
Also they are delaying many promised function updates... the general impression is that they are already moving to newer projects and are giving less and less time for this one...
They also specified a thing that let down many people, the overlay menu is not possible in this projector because it lacks the hardware to manage different applications at the same time, and this thing will be added only on newer projectors.
Right now to change brightness, shape, and things like that while watching a movie, you have to return to the desktop, go to the settings, change the things and return to the movie app... this is another reason why this projector seems made to be placed and set up in a place and to not be touched again.
 
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PowerGod

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So, some more tests for streaming stuff to the projector...

PIQO:
First of all, with EShare (the included app) I obtained some random almost acceptable results... I reduced the resolution of my PC to 720p and tried stuff with the AirPlay server parameters of software acceleration/resolution, etc... I obtained a perfect sound stream and a video that was almost 1 second late and with very very few lags... so it was still not good for movies, but for a desktop use it was very near to a TeamViewer connection.
I also tried it on an Android smartphone, but video was slow even from there.

Then I tried to use AirPlay protocol directly with some trial software (with all of them I tried different options, lowering resolution, limiting framerate, optimising bandwidth, etc... ):
  • AirParrot 2: It was connecting with audio/video for a second just to make a black screen on the projector, just before disconnecting again... the connection was stable with sound only, but there was no sound... it was also stable with streaming files... but them were not starting...
  • AirParrot 3: It was (most of the time) having a stable audio/video connection... but there was only a black screen and sound screeches... and many times it just crashed... for sound only and media streaming it had the same results of AirParrot 2
  • AirMyPC: It was connecting with audio/video for a second just to make a black screen on the projector, just before disconnecting again... for sound only and media streaming it had the same results of AirParrot 2

EDIT:
Some trials with other protocols:
  • ApowerMirror: the Phone APP interface is too large to fit the projector display, so many buttons are unreachable and I was unable to start a connection because of that... (There is also the AndroidTV APP version that could be better, but I didn't found the APK for the right architecture)
  • VLC to access SMB share: I used the Pandora to share a folder with SMB, VLC found it, and I was able to start a video, but was slow and laggish, but I'm not sure if the issue was caused by Pandora WiFi or the Projector. I wasn't able to try with the PC because I was never able to make a visible shared folder with it...


I was able to use the Pandora as a Mouse+Keyboard for the projector, but only from USB, from Bluetooth can be paired but only to share files.
Also some keys are strange... Enter is mouse click, and Space is to confirm selection... also in some text boxes I have no idea how to confirm with the keyboard, and I have to use the mouse pointer to click on the "Send" button of the virtual keyboard.

EDIT:
I was finally able to make some visible SMB shares from the PC, but streaming content directly from there is slow, despite the device used... maybe it's just my old router that can't stand too many stuff connected when eager of bandwidth.
 
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PowerGod

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This could be the end of my PIQO adventure... it fell down to the floor from 2 meters high... the impact was huge... it had no visible signs outside, but now it acts weird... sometimes the light stays off, and I have to shake it to make it show something... sometimes it seems working but doesn't receive input both from remote and touchpad... and sometimes when "working" it just reboots or starts showing a double/misaligned/weird colored image...

I tried to open it, but after removing 4 screws I wasn't able to extract anything from the case, it's too solid and tight...

I'll try to still use it for a bit to see if something changes, but I have not so much hope. :'(
 
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