A fantastic accessory for watching or presenting videos on trips, but it needs more controls
640×360 resolution, 12 ANSI lumens, 20x64x120mm, 105g
Watching videos on your iPhone is fun, but can be hard on your eyes after a hard day’s work. Similarly, watching films when you’re tucked up in bed can be tiring on your arms, and painful if you fall asleep with your iPhone. Thankfully, the Go Baby Mobile iPhone Projector aims to solve these problems and make viewing the videos on your iPhone easy (it’s compatible with iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S, but not iPhone 5.
Possibly inspired by the Samsung Galaxy Beam, it’s a digital light processing (DLP) projector, which means it’s the same type of projection technology used in regular projectors. It has an LED lamp, which means it’ll last a long time and you don’t have to worry about installing replacement lamps. This is a good thing, because the projector is a sealed unit.
Your iPhone slides on to a 30-pin connector at the base of the projector, and it’s a snug fit. Even though the sides of the projector have only the slightest of lips it manages to keep hold of the iPhone, and no matter how much you shake the projector the iPhone, it won’t slip out.
Indeed, the projector is very well designed for use and portability. The two units become a cohesive whole when locked together, looking as if it’s one object instead of two. The few controls are within easy reach when the projector’s in your hand, and the rubbery texture of the projector means it doesn’t want to slip through your fingers at the slightest opportunity.
The portable design extends to the power switch, too. It’s hidden within a recess at the base of the projector and must be moved to the right and held in position for around four seconds to switch it on. This means it’s extremely difficult for the projector to switch on accidentally in your overnight or work bag.
As it’s a portable unit, the projector’s charged via micro USB, and a cable is included. This means you can easily charge it from a laptop or PC, but a mains adaptor would be a lot more convenient. Once charged, a neat feature of the projector is the ability to charge your iPhone as well as power itself, making it a handy tool even when you don’t want to view movies.
As for image quality, the projector has a maximum resolution of 640×380, so you won’t be able to watch any high-definition content. You’re limited in viewing material, too. Of the major catch-up TV apps, only ITV Player projected images; BBC iPlayer, Sky Go and 4oD didn’t. Strangely, we couldn’t view videos with the official YouTube app but we could project them when we used the YouTube website.
We had no problem viewing videos we’d purchased through the iTunes or shot with the iPhone’s camera. We watched Paul Calf’s Video Diaries and an episode of Flight of the Conchords, and after adjusting the focus the image looked suitably sharp. The colours were very well reproduced, too. The projector only has 12 Lumens of brightness, but we could make out details and colours, even in a lit room. This is impressive from a petite and mobile device. In a dark room the image quality looked better than that of our ageing LCD TV. Purchased video played smoothly, but video in the Camera Roll moved jerkily, so much so that it wasn’t pleasant to watch.
|Lamp brightness||12 ANSI lumens|
|Lamp life in economy mode||N/A|
|Max compressed resolution||N/A|
|Other aspect ratios||4:3|
|Max diagonal at 7ft||N/A|
|Projection distance||0.48m to 2.9m|
|Lens shift horizontal||N/A|
|Lens shift vertical||N/A|
|Special view modes||none|
|Others inputs/outputs||mini-USB input|
|Noise (in normal use)||N/A|
|Internal speakers||yes (2W)|
|Remote special features||N/A|
|Power consumption standby||N/A|
|Power consumption on||N/A|
|Lamp cost (inc VAT)||N/A|
|Lamp cost per hour of use||N/A|
|Lamp cost per hour of use (economy)||N/A|