Heyup Boxe Lite Projector review

Platform: Hardware
Manufacturer: Heyup

Would I really consider myself a projector aficionado? Yes and No. Lord knows I’ve been using them on and off since 2008, but despite all this I don’t actually have a home theater setup. The fact that I’ve amassed so much stuff that wall space is a premium and some questionable purchasing decisions in the form of an ill supported Switch Projector from YesOJO, and being scammed of my money on an Indiegogo campaign has made the home theater dream, just that…a dream. However, could the opportunity to review the Heyup Boxe Lite projector rekindle my desire to sit in a dark room to enjoy all my video entertainment?

Opening the box I couldn’t help marvel at the size of the Boxe Lite, the device’s footprint is actually smaller (4.8” x 5.6”) than a Blu-ray case laid flat. Powering on the projector I am greeted to a menu which shows a preview of the input (HDMI only) and a slew of pre-installed apps and a favorites menu which can be customized by the end user. While I should’ve been focused on the device’s projection capability I found myself delving through the device’s app store. The built in app store’s offerings were somewhat lacking, but the availability of the Google Play Store means any shortcomings of the built in app store will be mitigated by the largest mobile app marketplace (More of this to come).

I have to say the device worked pretty well. The resolution caps out at 1080p, but I didn’t notice any color bleeding that I’ve seen in some of the Pico projectors I’ve used in the past. The image is still relatively visible in a lit room, and the colors are quite sharp in a darkened room. The throw distance required for a sizable screen is somewhat reasonable (5ft~ for a 50 inch image), although I will recommend elevating the device to get an optimal image. Thankfully the bottom of the projector has a slot that should be compatible with most 1/4-20 UNC thread bolts.

What kept me occupied was the apps that came with and can be installed into the projector. The built in media player supports a wide breadth of file formats, but not .mkv which is a file format I encounter quite often. Thankfully grabbing VLC player from the play store resolved that issue. The unit also comes with 8gb of storage, but accessing it will require you to install some sort of file manager…again, not a problem thanks to the Android support. Another oddity was the devices inability to detect usb card readers, but I was pleasantly surprised that it could detect and use keyboard and mice (Something that would’ve been very helpful to know during initial setup, particularly during the Wifi setup). One app which will ensure the Boxe Lite will see plenty of use ironically isn’t a gaming app…but a media app. For you see in its native app store is an app called Jupiter Media, for whatever reason I downloaded and found it really fit my family’s needs (specifically my dad). Somehow this projector has access to a subscription free version of this streaming app (which mostly shows live streams of CCTV, the state media channels of China) whereas the app on iOS and Android require a monthly plan to use.

When I wasn’t playing with the built in apps, the other feature I spent the most time with was the casting feature. Out of the box it supports app based screen sharing and iOS screen sharing. Usage is pretty much a one press affair, almost akin to connecting to an Apple TV. It was pretty cool to play matches of Marvel Snap or do my dailies in Goddess of Victory: Nikke  on a 50 inch screen.

While it seems like I’m singing nothing but praise for the Boxe Lite, there was one thing about it which made me scratch my head and it might be the most banal thing. The remote control door…yes, you heard me, my biggest complaint is a piece of plastic that keeps the batteries of the remote protected. Hear me out, traditionally all battery doors usually are hinge or sliding (north/south) based, however this remote requires you to pry it open and needless to say upon opening the door once I’ve already damaged the door. Leading me to operate the remote without a door. However this is all rendered moot as the projector does have an app based controller…but sometimes you want that physical remote!

All and all with a price point of roughly $149.00, this is a great entry level projector for people looking to dabble in the home theater experience. Even if you graduate to something more, you’ll still have in your possession something that is extremely portable, but displays a solid image. With a phone or a fully loaded USB drive, you’ll have portable entertainment set up that only needs one cable. I know I’ll probably pick up a second one…cause I’m certainly not going to have my Dad monopolize my review unit!

The Heyup Boxe Lite Projector is available now direct from Heyup or via retail channels such as Amazon.

Note: Heyup provided us with a Boxe Lite Projector review purposes.