Projectors Tests Reviews
Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector : test / review
Published on: 30-07-2021 / Modified: 03-08-2021
Xiaomi is a very active brand in many areas and almost every time they manage to impose their products by offering the best for a price lower than the competition. They have imposed their smartphones with this strategy and they are also trying to apply the same strategy for the projectors. This Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector is the third Xiaomi projector that I have tested and although I did the trip upside down starting with the top of the range, I did not have any shocks while testing this projector within € 500.
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector is known by several names such as the Mi Youth or the MJJGTYDS02FM. Xiaomi has never been very easy to get along with with all the models sometimes having different names. Just know that I have tested the Mi Smart Compact Projector in its global version, so it supports the Play Store and is available in most languages. There is probably a Chinese version (often cheaper) that does not have access to the Play Store and is only available in English and Chinese, so you should check before you buy.
This projector was released in early 2020 and I'm testing it in mid 2021, why? I intended to test it when it was released but I found that its price was too high, so I waited and I was finally able to buy it for a little over 300 € and at that price, I don't think I could find better.
Manufacturer web site:
Site where I have bought the Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector: https://shrsl.com/33g04
Price Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact ProjectorThe list below shows the prices for the Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.
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Timeline07/28/2021 Purchase of the projector on Edwaybuy
07/30/2021 Reception of the projector, the test can begin
Why this projector?As I wrote above, I had wanted to test this projector for a long time because it brought together all the ingredients for a successful cocktail for a price lower than other projectors of the same type. The Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact runs on Android TV, so it is completely autonomous, it projects 1080p, it has built-in speakers and its low light will result in very limited consumption.
Usually I test products when they are marketed but this time it is not the case, so I was able to see the opinions of other sites before write mine, so I will try to provide some additional information so as not to just say what other people say. I will also try to compare this model with the Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector 2 Pro which I tested recently and for which I received a lot of questions about the differences with the Mi Smart Compact.
As its name suggests, this projector is quite small, so the box is not very big but is optimized to maximize the space with the necessary accessories. The box contains the projector protected below and above by a shock absorbing layer, a second box wedges the projector on the side and this box contains the remote control (without batteries) and the charger. A user manual and a warranty document are placed inside the box but I have never had to read this kind of document because this type of projector is so easy to use.
For those interested, I found some manuals from the following links:
https://fc.darty.com/notices/DOCUMENTATION/2020/11 /4779517_NOTCOMP.pdf (French)
https://i01.appmifile.com/webfile/globalimg/Global_UG/Mi_Ecosystem/Mi_Smart_Compact_Projector/Smart-Compact_Projector.pdf (multiple languages)
https fccid.io/2AO2D-M055MGN/User-Manual/Users-Manual-4546514 (English / Chinese)
First configurationThe configuration of this projector follows exactly the same principles as what I was able to test previously:
- pairing of the remote control with the projector
- connection to wifi
- download updates
- association with your Googe account
The configuration procedure is very simple but it was not without problems. Why? I suspect this projector to have a compatibility problem with the 5Ghz band in wifi. The projector is normally compatible with the 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz band, I was also able to choose the frequency at startup but with the 5Ghz band, I was each time disconnected after a few seconds when my router was 10cm away projector and that it works without problem in 5Ghz. I have a 5Ghz wifi repeater from another brand a little further, I tested it also and it was the same problem, so it is not related to the brand of my router. So 5Ghz does not seem to be working properly, why is this a problem? The 5Ghz offers a higher speed than the 2.4Ghz, if you are streaming in very high quality, the 2.4Ghz may be a bit limited.
I tested the streaming of a 4k file with a high bitrate and unsurprisingly I had buffering in 2.4Ghz. On the other hand, streaming in 1080p or streaming 4k on Youtube (lower / variable bitrate) does not pose any problem.
I haven't seen this problem on other sites that have tested this projector but I think it was important to point it out for those like me who want to stream at a bitrate raised. Besides that, there is a positive point that I must also point out, the wifi sensitivity of the Mi Smart Compact is very good because I manage to capture networks that I do not usually see on the projectors that I test. In particular, I have a router in my cellar which is about 15 meters from the projector and the router is therefore necessarily underground, the Mi Smart Compact manages to capture it!
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact is a projector with a sleek design, it broadly resumes the appearance of the Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro with a slightly different format. This format is a bit special because projectors most of the time have a horizontal format, this one has a vertical format and you cannot use it horizontally. The projector is made of quality plastic and its front panel is covered with a fabric that reminds me of a Swedish interior design design.
At the front we find the enormous optical unit which is exposed to the outside, there is no flap to protect it, it will therefore be necessary to be careful when handling it. Fingerprints aren't usually a problem for projection but I've always found it annoying to have fingerprints on the optical unit and guess I'm not the only one. This optical unit does not have a zoom, the projection distance will therefore determine the size of your image, I will come back to this point later.
At the bottom of the front panel there is a sensor which allows the projector to refine the sharpness of the image (the focus). The projector adjusts the focus and keystone correction automatically (up to a point), this focus works well enough but gets out of hand. This is where you're going to see the difference between a site that really tests the spotlight and one that just fiddles with it quickly. There is a problem with the focus or the image loses some of its sharpness without doing anything. I will come back to this later because I have a few ideas that I would like to experiment with to work around the problem.
The sides have a grille that allows the fans to do their job by removing heat, I imagine that also allows sound to propagate.
At the rear we find a minimalist configuration with a connector for the power supply, a headphone output, an HDMI port and a USB2 port. Too bad there is no Ethernet port, it would have helped to overcome the problem of wifi in 5Ghz but finding an Ethernet port on an entry-level projector is quite rare.
Overall I find that despite its somewhat strange side in vertical position, this projector has a fairly successful format, it takes up very little space, you could almost store it between two stacks of books or DVDs. The design is clean, the level of finish is excellent, the product exudes quality.
Projection roomMy projection room is rectangular, 4.6m x 2.9m (height 2.2m). The projection wall is a normal wall on which I have applied white paint without any particular treatment. The walls on the side are darker (dark grey and red) to accentuate the contrast with the white wall and avoid too much light reflection.
I have the possibility to place a projector at the back of the room at a distance of about 4m from the screen. I also have the option of placing a short-throw projector at the foot of the wall.
I don't have a dedicated installation for sound, I just use a sound bar from Xiaomi.
Battery autonomyDespite its compact size, this projector is not a portable projector, it does not have a battery. Its brightness is also too low to consider outdoor use except at night of course.
Xiaomi indicates in the specs that the projector consumes up to 65W, it is very little and in reality it is even better. I measured the consumption at the outlet while playing a video on YouTube and I obtained a maximum consumption of 50W, it is absolutely incredible. It is the least greedy projector that I have been able to test. With a projector of this type you get an image 3 to 4 times larger than a large TV but with a consumption 3 to 4 times less!
The projector is not very bright, that's why the consumption is so low but in a dark room, this brightness is more than enough to provide an excellent experience.
The Xiaomi Mi Smart Projector isn't the quietest projector I've tested but I can't say it's loud. With a measurement next to the projector, I get 45 to 50 dB. If the projector is not making any sound, you will hear it slightly, but if you attach it to the ceiling or away from your ears, you may not even hear it at all.
If I turn up the volume to 50%, I get a sound level of around 80 dB, which is really not bad for a projector of this size and at 50% I don't see any major problems with the sound quality.
With the volume at 75%, I get more than 90 dB and here on the other hand I start to hear the effects of saturation but at this volume there in a small room, the sound is already too powerful, I also found it difficult to stay so close to the projector. I did a 100% test but there the volume was unbearable for my ears, I briefly measured over 100 dB.
ConnectivityThe Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact Projector has the following connectivity: wifi in 2.4Ghz / 5Ghz, Bluetooth.
Image qualityI will update this paragraph as I progress through my test. So I will start with a little appetite with the following video:
You can compare with the original video here: https://youtu.be/1La4QzGeaaQ
The image quality produced by the Mi Smart Compact is really good. The sharpness is good, the brightness is good, the image smoothness is good, and the colors appear faithful to the original video. For this video I have not changed the basic settings of the projector, I will do other tests later.
I tested all the image modes and with a dE of 4.63 I have almost perfect colorimetry. I have shot 4 very different genre videos below to show the picture quality in different situations. I filmed in the projection axis, so there is a halo of light in the middle.
This small projector is capable of producing an excellent picture. The colors are correct (you have to compare with the original video and the sharpness is good. You can easily project an image of 2 meters in diameter without suffering a big loss of quality.
This projector does not have a motion compensation mechanism but unless I was very careful I didn't really have any problems. test video to analyze the movement of a black block on a white background, I can see that the white block tears a bit during the movements but it is the case for all projectors of this type.
I tested all the modes available in the projector and I also tried to improve the colorimetry manually but I broke my head for nothing because the default colorimetry is the best and in addition it is a very good level.
I get a dE of 4.63 in default mode with a blank at 6850K and outside the red which is at a dE of 7.7, the other colors vary between 3 and 4, so it is quite homogeneous. Here are the dEs for the other modes:
- Film mode dE 5.78 with a warmer image
- Monitor mode with a dE 5.91 and an image fairly close to the default image
- Football mode with a dE 7.38 and reinforcement on green but an almost perfect white
- Game mode with a dE 6.18 and reinforcement on blues and greens
- Vivid mode with a dE 5.13 and a very hot image (higher proportion of red)
As a reminder, the dE should ideally be below 3 for perfect colorimetry. I am sure that with a little time and patience it is probably possible to lower the dE a bit further, but the projector does not allow red, green and blue to be adjusted separately. This makes the calibration a bit more complicated.
This projector has a theoretical brightness of 500 ANSI lumens, this indicates that this projector cannot be used in bright light because its brightness is too low. I took a few photos below to show you the difference between a bright room and a dark room. With daylight, the image is still visible but the contrasts are not good and the dark areas are no longer dark enough although the image is still quite visible. In the dark, 500 ANSI lumens are more than enough to provide a good home theater experience.
Image size and projection distanceThe Mi Smart Compact has a throw ratio of 1.2: 1, this figure allows you to get the size of your image depending on the distance. How to calculate the size of the image? It's very simple, you take the distance between your projector and your projection surface / screen and you divide it by 1.2 to get the diagonal of your image. Here are some examples:
- 1 meter distance = 83cm image = 32.6 inches
- 2 meter distance = 166cm image = 65.35 inches
- 3 meter distance = image of 250cm = 98.42 inches
To calculate the impact in terms of image width, you must apply a simple mathematical formula: Image width = diagonal in cm * sin (60) . I take my examples from the previous paragraph:
- distance of 1 meter = image of 83cm = 32.6 inches = 71 cm wide
- distance of 2 meters = image of 166cm = 65.35 inches = 143 cm wide
- 3 meter distance = 250cm image = 98.42inch = 216cm wide
As this projector does not have a zoom, this information is essential to see if this projector is suitable for your situation. This throw ratio is pretty good because you don't have to have a lot of perspective to get a big picture, the Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro does better with a 1: 1 ratio where from a distance of 3 meters you get a diagonal of 3 meters and therefore a width of 2.59 meters.
Important note, the bottom of the optical unit corresponds to the bottom of the projected image, you must either install the projector low enough or on the ceiling by turning it upside down. The projector is equipped with 4 anchor points for ceiling mounting. For my part, it sits on its head at the top of a shelf, it avoids having to drill my ceiling in a different way each time I test a projector.
I used two royalty free soundtracks to not be blocked by YouTube, these soundtracks are composed of a variety of high and low sounds to get an idea of the sound quality produced by the Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact. I was very surprised by the good sound quality produced by this small projector. The sound is not powerful enough to compete with projectors like the Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro but it offers a nice frequency coverage, the high frequencies are quite finely represented, the low frequencies are not deep enough but for a projector of this size, the sound is really nice.
Video gamesTo get a good experience with video games, the projector must not experience display latency. Display latency, also called input lag, is materialized by a delay between the starting image (eg the image from your console) and the image displayed by the projector. This is counted in ms but a delay of 200ms will be felt when you play, you may feel a lag between your actions and the result of them.
In standard mode I measured an input lag of 136ms and in game mode the lag goes down to 100ms. It takes ideally 30ms to play FPS type games, on the other hand for more static games where the reaction time is less important you should be able to play in good conditions with 100ms.
Pause this video at any time to measure the difference between the tablet and the projector.
Operating systemNot yet available / tested
Encoutered bugsNot yet available / tested
Test / Review conclusionI waited a long time to buy this projector, too long. I had not yet tested a projector in this price range, thinking that the result was not going to be interesting enough, I was wrong. This Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact is arguably the best projector in this price range. It produces excellent image quality that can compete with more expensive projectors, sharpness is good, colors are good without having to manipulate the settings. I was also surprised by the sound, this small projector certainly does not have a very powerful sound but it offers a good rendering especially in the treble.
Xiaomi designed a projector in a somewhat unusual format, this projector has a rather vertical format where other projectors have a more horizontal format. Its design (like that of the Mi Smart 2 Pro) reminds me of a Scandinavian design, so it can easily take center stage in a living room. Xiaomi reused a 0.33 DMD chip that is also found in other projectors without the image quality being extraordinary but Xiaomi has managed to exploit this chip so that the quality out of the box is good and does not require no user manipulation. This compact size and a brightness of 500 lumens also reduce energy consumption, this projector consumes less than 50W, which is less than a large lamp.
I have read on many sites that this projector has focus issues where the focus gets lost a bit after 20-30 minutes, this is unfortunately true but the loss of focus does not Fortunately, the image is not completely blurred. I still have to watch a few movies with this projector but I blocked the laser sensor for focusing with a piece of cardboard and I feel the focus remains stable. The downside to this sort of thing is that the projector might start up with a blurry image but after focusing the focus it seems to stay stable. To be confirmed therefore!
The wifi is another weakness of this projector, I failed to keep a stable connection in 5Ghz, the connection is established but the wifi disconnects every time. However, I have a very distinct SSID between 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz. I haven't had this projector for long enough to see if it's an item that has deteriorated after an update or if this issue was present from the start.
This Xiaomi Mi Smart Compact (or Youth Edition 2) is therefore a great success and if you are patient to find the best price, you may be able to buy it for around 300 € and at that price, you probably won't find anything better!
- image quality
- sound quality (especially treble)
- Android TV
- compact format
- daylight brightness
- loss of connection in 5 Ghz
- loss of focus (check with my box)
- periphery less clear than the center