Some people like watching movies on a big screen. Some want to take that big screen movie experience on-the-go. If that sounds like you, here’s some good news, LUMOS has got your back. Their new LUMOS ATOM portable projector lets you take that big screen movie watching experience anywhere a reality.
LUMOS is a home-grown Singaporean brand. I reviewed their first flagship product, the LUMOS AURO, two years ago. That was an impressive 6000 lumens Full-HD smart projector. After some product iterations, LUMOS has essentially shrunk down that AURO projector into a portable cylinder that is just 16 cm in height, and about 9 cm in diameter.
The LUMOS ATOM is portable not just because it is easy to carry around, but also because its built-in battery allows you to use it without even needing to connect to a power source! (Confession: I originally went about my review without realising the ATOM could be battery operated. I was mind-blown when I realised I could pull out the power cord while continuing to operate the projector.)
Despite its petite size, the LUMOS ATOM has all the important features you’d need and want in a consumer projector. These are:
- 1920×1080 Full-HD native resolution
- DLP technology
- 6000 lumens brightness
- Up to 300-inch projection
- Auto keystone correction
- Dolby audio speakers
- Runs Android, with preloaded apps like YouTube and Netflix
6000 lumens is plenty bright for a standard home projector that needs to run off an AC power supply, so on a portable projector like the LUMOS ATOM, this is might impressive. The photo below shows how the LUMOS ATOM performs in reasonable darkness on a 84-inch projection screen.
For comparison, the photo below (cropped but otherwise unedited) is shot with 6x down lights turned on at the near the back of the room, about 2.6 metres from the projection screen.
I think it suffices to say that the brightness is really good.
Apart from automatic focus, there is also automatic keystone correction, the feature that corrects the image distortion when the image is projected at an angle, rather than directly in front of the projector. This only appears to work for up/down corrections, at least for me. I needed to correct horizontal keystone manually. It is easy, and it is also quite impressive that the LUMOS ATOM is capable of achieving up to ±15° of vertical/horizontal correction.
The photo below is an uncorrected image. The left edge of the projected image is directly in front of the projector. In other words, the entire projected image is completely off to one side of the projector.
The next photo shows the correction.
These two photos are of the LUMOS ATOM performing in near darkness. As you can see, in these conditions, the image is very bright, sharp, and clear. The colours are also very vibrant.
Good to note, the last four photos were captured with the LUMOS ATOM operating from its built-in battery. It was not connected to an AC power supply. LUMOS rates the battery good for 2+ hours of runtime.
Sound from the LUMOS ATOM is surprisingly good given its compact size. It supports Dolby Audio, and audio still sound good with the volume pushed almost to the max. At that level, sounds are decently loud and goes well with a movie experience. However, given the small stature of the LUMOS ATOM, it is not going to give you punchy, deep, rumbling bass. You will need a dedicated speaker system if audio is that important to you.
The LUMOS ATOM’s portability makes it easy to use it in a variety of setting. Do you like watching movies while lying down cozily in bed? Try putting the LUMOS ATOM on its back and project a cool 100-inch image on your ceiling!
The smartness in the LUMOS ATOM comes from running Android, specifically version 7.1.3. The projector connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi. You can get additional apps from the Google Play Store, thus easily expanding the LUMOS ATOM’s capabilities. Preloaded out-of-the-box, the LUMOS ATOM already includes YouTube and NetFlix, arguably the most popular stream app most used by Singaporeans.
You can also use the preloaded web browser to display other Internet content. Or, playback media from a USB drive connected to the LUMOS ATOM. It supports AirPlay and WIFI Display.
I want to make a note that the Android runs smoothly and fluidly on the LUMOS ATOM. Some of us may have had poor experiences with low-end budget Android TV set-top boxes having lagging, stuttering, glitchy, user interfaces. The LUMOS ATOM is not anything like that. Navigating through the menus and apps feels not different from a decent, modern, Android tablet.
Let me get on with a quick physical tour of the LUMOS ATOM. All the ports are on the back. Starting from the bottom, there is the DC power barrel jack, HDMI port, 2x USB ports, a headphone jack, and the power button.
There are touch controls on the top of the unit.
There is tripod screw mount under the LUMOS ATOM, good to know if that’s something you are looking for. The projector, however, is not designed for ceiling mount; there is no feature to invert to invert the image.
A wireless remote control ships with the LUMOS ATOM. This has a few more buttons than the touch controls on the projector itself. A very cool feature of this wireless remote is that it has motion sensors so that it can operate like a pointing device, making it a joy to use to navigate menus and on-screen controls.
The LUMOS ATOM supports Bluetooth 5.0. It can be used to stream audio to a Bluetooth speaker. The projector itself can also operate as a Bluetooth speaker so that other source device can stream audio to it for playback.
Last, but certainly not the least, is that the LUMOS ATOM runs reasonably quiet. Some projectors have noisy fans to cope with the heat generated. The LUMOS ATOM, however, is quiet enough that the fan noise doesn’t become a distraction even during quiet parts of a movie.
The LUMOS ATOM is one smart portable projector that seems to check all the right boxes. I love its compactness, brightness, vivid colours, sharp image, and smart features that come with running Android. That it can actually run off its built-in battery is a really cool bonus. For those who want to bring their big-screen movie watching experience out, even outdoors on a nice cool night (as long as you can find a suitable wall to project on), you’ve got to check out this projector.
Included inside the retail box, the LUMOS ATOM comes with a remote control, power adapter, HDMI cable, and some printed instructions.
The LUMOS ATOM retails at $999 and comes with 1 year local warranty. You can purchase from the LUMOS online store.