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ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector

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ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector
  • ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector
  • ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector
  • ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector
  • ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector
  • ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector
  • ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector
  • ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector
  • ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector

Summary

Hands-on: ZTE’s mini-projector looks awesome

Tablets attempting to double as home projectors aren’t all that new. For the past couple of years, Lenovo has been testing the hybrid water. However, despite the firm’s best efforts, devices such as the Yoga Tab 3 Pro have generally failed to deliver on the projector side of things, as a result on their focus being on tablets first.

Looking to solve this problem is Chinese firm ZTE, which has chosen to take an alternative approach, creating a mobile device that aims to be a projector first, tablet second.

This makes the Spro Plus Smart Projector one of the most interesting devices to arrive at MWC 2016.

Related: Best Tablets 2016

ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector

6 things you need to know about the ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector

1) Lasers are cool: For starters, unlike the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro, the Spro is completely bulb-free. Instead of the more common bulb and DLP projector solutions, the Spro uses laser projection tech.

ZTE claims this lets the Spro Plus project sharper and brighter images in a variety of lighting conditions, and will radically extend its shelf life by removing the need to change bulbs.

2) It’s pretty darn bright: When ZTE says bright, it means really bright. The spokesman on hand told me that the Spro has a massive 500 lumens maximum brightness. That’s twice the lumen count of its predecessor, the Spro 2, and 10 times as dazzling as the 50 lumen projector seen on the Lenovo Yoga Tab 3 Pro.

On paper, this means the Spro should have little problem playing movies at HD quality at sizes up to 80-inches across. That’s 10-inches more than the Yoga Tab Pro 3, which can beam images up to 70-inches across.

3) It's loud too: The Spro Plus is also set to be pretty loud by tablet standards, with ZTE having loaded it with Dual JBL, 4W Dolby Digital sound speakers. While these aren't a replacement for a full surround-sound system, having had a listen I can tell you that they’re more than good enough for bedroom viewing.

4) Data, data and more data: For those looking to consume content on the move, or stream while away from a Wi-Fi network, ZTE’s also made the Spro Plus LTE-ready. So long as you have a good data package, then, you should be able to use it to watch Netflix on the go.

5) Android Marshmallow from the off: The Spro Plus is powered by Google’s Android Marshmallow operating system. As a result, Spro Plus users should have access to all their favourite media services – such as Netflix, Amazon, BBC iPlayer, Sky Q and Crunchyroll. Be warned, however: it’s a pretty heavily skinned version of Marshmallow.

6) You’ll get at least half a season of Game of Thrones viewing from one charge: If you plan on binge-watching a series while away from the mains, the Spro should have you covered. A ZTE spokesman at the demo told me that the Spro’s 12,100mAh battery will offer “up to six hours of projection time” off a single charge. This means that you should be able to watch half a series' worth of content without worrying about running out of juice.

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ZTE Spro Plus Smart Project: In pictures

ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector

ZTE claims the Spro can play games, but declined to reveal the device's refresh rate

ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector

There’s also a custom volume rocker on its side

ZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector

The aluminium case houses HDMI, USB 3.0, HDMI and SD card inputsZTE Spro Plus Smart Projector

Plus, an 8.4-inch, 2K-quality AMOLED touchscreen

ZTE Spro Plus Smart Project: Opening impressions

The Spro Plus may sound like a weird device, but I can see it delivering on a number of fronts. It could be the ideal TV/home entertainment solution for students living in small accommodation, or for those who travel regularly.

Whether it will make good on this promise will largely be determined by one key detail that ZTE’s yet to announce, however – its price.

David Mason

February 22, 2016, 4:45 pm

People should be very, very skeptical of this device. Inexpensive and portable laser projectors will be a breakthrough, when they can support this kind of brightness. Until then all models from major manufacturers are stuck at less than 100 lumens, which is only useful under ideal conditions. It's very unlikely ZTE has jumped right ahead to 500 lumens. If they did, they could completely dominate the industry. They wouldn't bother adding a pointless tablet accessory (when everyone already has a powerful handset or notebook) either.

Kelly Tallariti

February 23, 2016, 7:42 am

I highly disagree with your comments as I had the Spro 2 which by the way was not cheap by any means at 600.00. The brightness and resolution delivered as promised at 200 Lumens. Amazing clarity brightness and resolution for a Pico projector even in daylight!. The larger ZTE SPro Plus tablet addition will allow users an even brighter 500 lumens, laser technology and a larger 8.4inch touch screen viewing area providing a comfortable screen from which to navigate through movies stream Netflix etc. A welcome change from the 5 inch viewing area.on the 2nd generation Spro 2 . Know this skeptical one, this 3rd generation projector from ZTE will outperform any Pico projector on the market and will hands down be worth every penny. It will deliver and dominate the marketplace for Smart Pico projectors.

David Mason

February 23, 2016, 2:50 pm

Your response has little to do with my main point, that this is not going to be a 500 lumen laser projector. If it is, I'll quite happily buy one. But I sincerely doubt it will be. It is much more likely to be vapourware, or underdeliver.

gabriol kirsten

March 11, 2016, 1:11 pm

I was at MWC and saw the Zte Spro Plus in person. I have to say it seemed to have the same brightness as my Optoma 750 projector, which is 700 lumens. Nobody their though would even give a rough estimate of what the retail price might be, i'm guessing really expensive. If it was the size as the Spro 2 but with a laser projector, i would buy one for sure. The Spro Plus was heavy and poor quality. The sliding cover for the lens was buckled and almost falling off, and the port cover had actually come away from all the devices bar one. Picture quality was great though, much crisper than i'm used to seeing. This is the first laser projector i've seen in person......will definitely be getting a laser projector in the future.

Steve Warda

March 11, 2016, 9:03 pm

I bought an Spro 2 last month and its amazing. 200 lumens but looks awesome in a dark room, image quality is great at 120 inches. Just a 3 hour battery though. I'll stick with it and see what the 2017 ZTE projectors look like, if (and when) ZTE can make an Spro Plus with 4K for less than 800 dollars, i'll buy. If not next year, then maybe within the next 5 years. Im still good with my Spro 2.

Elvis Kelechi

May 16, 2016, 2:34 pm

when will this device be available ? that is the only reason why i love apple; once the show you a device its ready for use! some of this useless companies will show you a device at one congress or another when they are still thinking about making one! that to me is stupid !

Elvis Kelechi

May 16, 2016, 2:37 pm

i don't care how much it cost, the point is, why will they wait till thy kingdom come before they can make it available to be purchased!!! is when one make an alternative choice!!/

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