If you're looking to purchase an iphone projector that docks directly into a case made for the iPhone 4/4s or iPod Touch its worth spending some time looking at the key features and how they compare.
As there are no retail shops that currently stock this type of gadget you can only purchase iphone projector cases online and so it can be quite difficult to compare the visual images side by side so we've pulled together the key features to consider when looking at the spec on a website.
The first thing to remember is to be careful not to just look at the headline stats such as brightness particularly for this type of phone docking case as there are many other factors to consider that often mean that what looks good on paper doesnt actually look as good as you think when you open the box. The classic example here is where brightness, measured in lumens, is higher on one projector yet the actual image quality is better on the projector with lower lumens.
When selecting an LED projector for your iphone dont just consider brightness, also consider contrast ratio, aspect ratio, battery life, resolution, optics and the overal technical design of the device.
Comparison of Pico Genie A100 v Alternative Projector Docks/Chargers for iPhone
Here's what to look for when buying an iPhone case with a built in projector and battery charger. The table shows the Pico Genie A100 as the original benchmark device:-
|Pico Genie A100||Alternative||Comments|
|Aspect ratio & image distortion||16:9||4:3||Most videos when projecting from a phone are now in 16:9 especially on Youtube so for ease of viewing 16:9 is the way forward.Watch out for projectors offering only 4:3 as they tend to really distort your images (see the screenshow below).|
|Contrast ratio||1000:1||100:1||A100's contrast ratio is 10 times higher which creates a noticeable difference in image quality by creating clear vivid images. Having a higher lumens rating makes a marginal difference but the contrast ratio brings the images to life and is far better for movies / photos|
|Lumens (Ainsi)||15||35||On paper products may appear brighter and have a higher lumens rating but suprisingly when put side by side the contrast ratio and other optical features mean the Pico Genie punches well above its weight and looks clear and just as bright as a much higher lumen projector|
|Battery||2100 mah||1800 mah||A100's higher battery capacity powers your projector for longer and this stops your phone battery from draining too quickly!|
|Resolution||640 x 360||640 x 480||No noticeable difference|
|Made For iPhone license (MFI)||Apple Approved License||Check carefully||Pico Genie has the crucially important 'Made For iPhone' license and is thus licensed for use by Apple.In some products without a license the iphone signal can be blocked so you cant make any calls from your phone.|
View a 16:9 (widescreen) image without distortion
Pico Genie A100 (on the right) has a significantly higher contrast ratio which gives deeper colour, meaning blacker blacks and more vivid images. The alternatives (left) significantly lose image quality when projecting and are in 4:3 format.
Pico Genie A100 is made for iPhone use
Pico Genie on the left leaves a clear space in the design to ensure no interference or blockage of iphone signal.
Offset projection for convenient viewing
The Pico Genie on the left has a 100% offset meaning that it can sit on a flat surface and project upwards making it much more user friendly with a much easier viewing angle.
Overall, when selecting an iphone projector docking solution dont just consider brightness as there are many other factors which affect image quality such as contrast ratio, aspect ratio as well as critical elements affecting the phone signal itself. Battery power is also critical as there is no point in draining your phone battery after each video projection. Finally look for "Made For iPhone" license which means it has been approved by Apple.