Review Price £201.24
Samsung H03 - Specifications, Connectivity and Controls
Technically the H03 is equally impressive. It uses Texas Instruments' highly-regarded DLP technology to provide a 1,000:1 native contrast ratio and sports a widescreen resolution of 854 x 480 (very similar to that found on today's high-end smartphones, and indeed Samsung has already matched the two with the i8520 Beam). This means no or reduced black bars on the majority of films, though it's arguably not the ideal aspect ratio for data presentation.
Though on larger projectors LED bulbs are still a rarity, typically found on £10,000-plus models such as the Vivitek H9080FD and SIM2 Grand Cinema MICO 50, on pico projectors these are a necessity rather than a luxury. This is for the simple reason that 'regular' bulbs would produce far too much heat and need to be far too large to produce an equivalent brightness output to this Samsung's incredible (for its size) 30 lumens. Its lamp is rated at 30,000 hours, so you shouldn't need to worry about replacements in the projector's viable lifetime.
Connectivity is extensive, especially considering the H03's size. Behind its little rear panel you'll find a 3.5mm jack that caters for composite video and stereo audio using the supplied adapter and a proprietary analogue connector that can be used either with the supplied VGA adapter or an optional component one. There's also a 3.5mm headphone jack and a mini-USB output, which can be used with the supplied female USB adapter cable to plug in any USB storage up to 16GB.
Not that that's the only way to get files onto this pico projector, as there's a micro-SD card slot just below the focus slider on the right side that will take cards up to 16GB (the same limitation as on USB sticks), and of course you can store data on the H03's relatively generous 1GB local memory.
The focus slider is small and slightly fiddly but not to the point of being frustrating, so long as you have a modicum of patience. A small push-button below the connectivity cover releases the battery.
Power and navigation controls are found at the projector's top, etched subtly into the brushed metal surface. After pressing the power 'button' for a few seconds, all controls become backlit in white, making them easy to see whether in darkness or bright daylight. There's a beeping sound to indicate a 'press', which can be set to loud, quiet or (thankfully) turned off altogether.
However, we still prefer physical buttons that offer tactile feedback and can be used without needing to look at the unit, especially as on several occasions, we accidentally 'pressed' the touch controls while attempting to adjust focus. Frankly, it's a clear case of style over substance. It's also a shame that Samsung doesn't include a remote as some of its competitors do, but then the H03 is considerably cheaper than its closest rivals.