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Samsung H03 - Image and Audio Quality, Value and Verdict

Ardjuna Seghers

By Ardjuna Seghers

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Obviously you can't expect large projector quality or HD levels of sharpness from the H03, but nevertheless the image it produced was dynamic, engaging and detailed up to around 60 inches – and frankly had no right coming out of something this small and affordable.

In a darkened room, colours were vibrant but not too oversaturated, with fairly realistic skin tones and natural greens. A slight lack of sharpness due to the low resolution and relatively unsophisticated lens might even be considered to add to the cinematic feel. What's especially impressive is that, with lamp brightness set to normal and when projecting on a decent surface, blacks are black and dark detailing is surprisingly good, revealing detail that's lost on many TN-based LCD screens (like those you get on most laptops and cheap monitors). Just keep in mind that due to the H03's lack of optical zoom, you'll need a long throw distance to get a big picture.

Audio from the pico projector's tiny mono speaker was never going to be great but it's certainly adequate for presentations and – in a pinch – just about bearable for films. Of course you can always hook up external speakers using the headphone jack, and though in one instance it transmitted noise to a set of headphones we tested with, in general there were no problems.

The projector itself produces an audible hum as soon as you turn it on, which is slightly reduced in Eco mode. It's definitely noticeable in a quiet environment but is never intrusive enough to be annoying. After running at full brightness for a while, the H03 becomes warm but never hot to the touch.

One of the best things about this impressive little projector is its price, which at a mere £204 is considerably lower than its nearest rival, the Optoma PK301 (though this does offer HDMI out and a remote control). If you don't mind something considerably larger, the portable BenQ GP1 is also an option, but despite its superior specifications we feel the H03 is not only considerably cheaper but also more attractive and versatile. As long as you have access to a darkened room and a large, flat surface, you're essentially walking around with a 60in (albeit not HD ready) TV in your pocket.

Verdict

Samsung's tiny H03 pico projector offers appealing looks and great presentation combined with decent battery life, above-average performance and more features than you can shake a long stick at (including native document viewing and video playback). Its only real flaws are awkward controls and a lack of any digital video input, but its bargain price makes that easy to forgive.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Value 9
  • Image Quality 8
  • Sound Quality 5
  • Features 8
  • Design 9

Sam Sams

November 12, 2010, 3:00 pm

The much better specified 800 x 600, 75 Lumen Aaxa M1 Ultimate is even cheaper.

jimmytt

November 12, 2010, 7:51 pm

if I hooked up my sky hd box using component to the optional component in cable, would it work?

ffrankmccaffery

November 13, 2010, 12:54 pm

@jimmytt: It should do although you really should be looking at a full sized projector

Joseph Middleton

November 13, 2010, 10:52 pm

Most importantly, is there anyway I can hook this up to an iPhone or iPad and play the movies I have on them on this?





I'm a walking, talking cinema then baby!

TechVegan

November 15, 2010, 3:36 pm

@Sam Sams:


I can't actually find it cheaper anywhere?


Its lumen output is certainly more impressive (and its build and accessories also impress) but a battery is an optional extra, it only accepts SD cards up to 8GB (16GB on the Samsung) and the Samsung's widescreen aspect ratio is better suited to entertainment. Not that that's the primary market for these pico projectors, of course ;)





@jimmytt:


Yes, but you would need to get the optional component adapter cable (or a VGA - Component adapter).





@Joseph Middleton:


If you have adapter cables that will output composite or component from your Apple devices, then yes :)

dantheman

November 16, 2010, 5:25 pm

I bought this a couple of weeks ago but have since returned it. I could only manage to get one half of the screen in focus at any one time. This is probably due to the small lens size but it annoys me. I have since bought the acer k11 which is similar but sports hdmi input etc.





You guys should do a review of the k11, i would like that.

TechVegan

November 16, 2010, 5:42 pm

@dantheman:


I would guess you had a faulty unit, as this certainly wasn't a problem on our unit.





Funny you should mention that, actually, as that should be the very pico projector we're getting in next - review coming soon.

dantheman

November 16, 2010, 7:52 pm

Looking forward to reading it!

AlmostDone

November 17, 2010, 12:10 am

The Aaxa recommended by Sam does seem to be a lot better having looked at some youtube videos of both.

Goobald Tarale

March 21, 2013, 4:14 pm

Please do not Buy Samsung SP-H03 PICO Projector. This is really a very bad product. The product life is very short - within a few uses you will notice White/Black spots on screen and eventually complete screen will be filled with these dots and you will not be able to see image at all. Further the unit does not support most of the JPEG formats and MPEG formats. It also cannot read all USB/Micro SD cards. PLEASE DO NOT BUY. WASTE OF MONEY

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