A cheap projector android phone
VERDICT: Good as a
iBall has recently launched a phone with a built-in projector, this is an attempt to stand out in the crowded Android market. No, iBall is not the first brand to do so as Samsung has a similar phone which we reviewed last year — the Samsung Galaxy Beam.
A straight comparison reveals that the Beam is a bit lighter, 145.3gm in contrast with the 162gm of Andi 4a and a tad thinner, 12.5mm in contrast with Andi’s 13.98mm. But iBall has a 35lumens projector on this. With an all-black glossy piano finish, the Andi 4a resembles most similar-sized Android phones. Though there is a dedicated hardware key for the projector, all other functions are controlled by capacitative touch keys. Long pressing the projector button turns it on. The projector lens is on top, sharing the space with a power button and heat vent.
There is an 8 megapixel camera at the back with LED flash, and a 2 megapixel up front. The 3.5mm audio out is on the right, it is a bit fiddly slipping into a pocket while listening to music. On the left is a focus wheel.
The screen is a 4in 16M IPS display with 480×800 pixels of resolution and 233 pixels per inch density. We felt that 512 MB of RAM was slightly less for this configuration, at least 1 GB is required. Similarly, 4GB internal storage out of which around 2GB is usable, is on the lower side.
At it’s heart is a dual core MediaTek MT6577 1 GHz chipset with POWERVR SGX 531 graphics. The performance is adequate for day to day use, though the phone starts to lag while multitasking with multiple apps open.
To test the the projector, we mounted the phone on the supplied tripod. The projected image is in VGA 640×480 pixels resolution with a contrast ratio of 1200:1. For a perfect erformance, you need a dark room. Focus can be adjusted using the focussing wheel. We saw a few 720P HD clips, and were impressed with the performance. Surprisingly not much heat is dissipated when in use.
The battery is a bit of a let down, the phone packs a 1500mAh battery, this lasts less than a day of regular use. While using the projector continuously, the battery lasted 4 hours. The iBall Andi 4a is a good smartphone with a adequate projector. If a pocket projector is real utility for you, go for it. Otherwise, there are other options, including models from the Andi series.