BenQ GS50 Projector Review: Best Portable Projector For Home And Outdoor Use

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BenQ GS50 Projector Review

Rating:
4.0/5

BenQ GS50 is the company's latest portable projector for home and office use. The GS50 is marketed as the best portable projector for outdoor use, with a durable design, 500 ANSI Lumen brightness, a built-in 2.1 sound system, and a battery life of 2.5 hours. The ₹ 79,990 price tag might appear a bit steep at first, but once you start using this mini projector, you will realize how useful it can be in your daily routine.

 

Though BenQ ships the GS50 with a 4K TV stick, the portable projector can only produce a 1080p resolution image. We've been testing the GS50 portable projector for a while now, and it appears to be an excellent media companion for outdoor activities. Furthermore, we believe it could eventually replace your traditional 65" Smart Android TVs at home. Let's find out why.

BenQ GS50 Key Specifications

BenQ GS50 Key Specifications

• 7.32" wide x 6.06" height x 5.75" depth, 2.30Kgs
• 1080p Full HD Resolution & 500 ANSI Lumens
• 1GB RAM, 8GB ROM, Android 9
• IPX2 Splash Proof & 2.3ft Drop Proof
• 135° Projection Angle with Auto Focus & Side Projection
• 2.1 Channel Bluetooth Speaker with Extra Bass
• HDMI & USB- C Connectivity
• 98% Rec.709 wide color gamut for true color
• HDR10/HLG delivers high dynamic range effects

BenQ GS50 Design And Looks

BenQ GS50 Design And Looks

The GS50 is the nicest-looking portable projector out there. If the lens is not visible, anyone could mistake the projector for a small rugged wireless speaker. The green side panels are made of strong rubber, and the front, top, and back plastic panels have a premium white finish. The 2.1-channel speakers can be heard through the orange speaker grills on the sides.

BenQ GS50 Connectivity Ports And Buttons
 

BenQ GS50 Connectivity Ports And Buttons

The connection ports on the left are protected from water damage by a rubberized tab. Audio out, a USB-C display port, HDMI 2.0, Type A (USB reader), and a keypad lock are among the ports available. Wireless connectivity is also provided for the portable projector. You can use Airplay to stream to your projector from your iPhone, iPad, or Mac. You can also cast music and video content from your Android or iOS device, Mac or Windows computer, or Chromebook to your projector using the built-in Chromecast.

Both features come in handy if you don't have a TV stick. If you plan to use the wireless connectivity features, make sure your smartphone/laptop and projector are both connected to the same wireless network. Bluetooth connections are also supported by the projector.

Carry It Anywhere Design

Carry It Anywhere Design

The projector has the dimensions (7.32" x 6.06" x 5.75", 2.30Kgs) of a lunchbox, making it ideal for weekend trips, backyard parties, or family outings. The projector also has a leather strap that serves as a handlebar; however, BenQ states that it is intended to be used for short periods of time. For weekend trips, you can use the premium quality cloth carry bag that comes with the package.

The projector and charger both fit comfortably inside the carry bag, along with the remote controller and are ready to be carried anywhere you want to set up a movie theater. In fact, you can keep a pair of TWS earbuds, a power bank, or a handheld gaming console inside the carry bag.

How Durable Is BenQ GS50?

The GS50 is marketed by BenQ as an outdoor entertainment hub, which is understandable given its design. The projector has a tough body with a drop-proof outer resin enclosure that can withstand a 2.3ft drop. To protect against water splashes, the unit has a double-protected 1mm-thick waterproof TPU inner layer (IPX2 certified). The splash-proof film easily channels out light machine splashes but cannot protect against a heavy flow of water.

Overall, the GS50 is an ideal outdoor projector due to its rugged and portable design, as well as the supported wireless connectivity features.

How To Set Up BenQ GS50?

How To Set Up BenQ GS50?

It takes less than five minutes to set up the GS50. Simply connect the bundled TV stick (or any other stick) to the HDMI port located inside a plastic cover on the top of the projector unit. The removable plate is embossed with the model name. The physical buttons are also located near the plastic cover. There are power, Bluetooth, and volume controls. To get the best picture formation, the front of the unit has a 15-degree tilt adjustment stick.

To get the most out of this portable projector, you'll also need a flat surface to keep the projector unit and a projector screen or a clean white wall.

Picture Adjustment Tools

Picture Adjustment Tools

BenQ has attempted, and mostly succeeded, in simplifying the image adjustment process on the GS50. In addition to the 150-degree tilt adjustment stick, the portable projector has 2D Key Stone for corner fit for screen alignment and Autofocus for a clear image on any surface. The bundled remote controller has two dedicated keystone and focus adjustment buttons.

BenQ GS50 Picture Quality

BenQ GS50 Picture Quality

The GS50 has a 0.23" Pico DMD Texas Instruments DLP chipset. It produces an FHD (1080p) picture with 500 ANSI Lumens brightness, which might not sound too bright when compared to BenQ's larger projectors; however, it works just fine if you create the right environment for the image formation. By right environment I mean the 500 ANSI Lumens brightness aces the perfectly dark outdoors or indoors, and can even impress with some artificial light or some shade coming in from a room window.

The portable projector offers a contrast ratio of 100,000:1 and is capable of producing 30 bits of colors (1.07 Billion colors).

Visually Appealing Cinematic Colors

Visually Appealing Cinematic Colors

For instance, the 50" to 55" image you see above is created in an indoor setup while one LED light lamp was switched on. And honestly, it's not doing justice to what our eyes were seeing in person. The picture quality looked pretty good to the eyes in person. A major reason for the impressive picture quality is the color reproduction, which is BenQ's strength.

The portable projector supports HDR10/HLG and creates the most visually appealing cinematic colors (98% Rec.709 wide color gamut for true color) if you create the right ambient lighting. If there's a situation when you can't control the ambient light, reducing the picture size improves the contrast and detail. An uncontrollable ambient light simply washes out the colors.

Choose Color Profiles Based On The Surroundings

Choose Color Profiles Based On The Surroundings

The GS50 makes no concessions when it comes to built-in picture settings. Color profiles include bright, living room, sports, game, cinema, daytime, and a campfire. To provide the best image possible, each profile creates a distinct color tone and luminosity effect. The cinema profile, for example, creates a theatrical image quality by providing realistic skin tones, enhanced details, and contrast in bright scenes. Other modes adjust color tones, contrast, highlights, and black levels to match the type of streaming content.

Further, the portable projector can also take up to a 4K resolution signal and makes the required adjustments to produce a fine-quality 1080p picture. We mostly streamed content within the 50-inch and 65-inch range and experienced sharp images with good contrast. Given the price point, the portable projector is downright impressive in terms of image quality. You can take the image size to up to 100-inch but at the loss of some sharpness and clarity.

Less Strain To Eyes As Compared To A Display

Less Strain To Eyes As Compared To A Display

A projector, unlike a Smart TV or a monitor, does not strain your eyes even after long periods of streaming. The light emitted by a projector is not direct. When compared to blue light emitted by TVs or monitors, it is reflected in nature and causes no or very little strain on the eyes. The projector unit also has an Eye-Protection Sensor, which automatically turns off the light when anyone approaches the output sensor.

BenQ GS50 Audio Performance

BenQ GS50 Audio Performance

The impressive picture quality is complemented by an equally good-sounding system. The portable projector has a 2.1 channel sound system in the 2x 5W + 10W woofer formation. The tuning is done by trevolo, which is BenQ's in-house electrostatic speaker technology with some bold claims of delivering best-in-class audio performance. While we haven't tested the original BenQ trevolo speaker, glimpses of its sound output can be experienced on the portable projector.

The sound is channelized via 5W left and right channels and a 10W woofer is placed at the backside that produces some likable bass. The overall audio delivery is surprisingly good for such as portable projector unit. The sound produced is decently loud and very balanced. The dialogues didn't sound muffled while watching movies and the audio system also did justice to soundtracks of most genres.

BenQ GS50 Hardware And Software Performance

BenQ GS50 Hardware And Software Performance

The GS50 comes with 1GB of RAM and 8GB of internal storage, which allows for smooth UI navigation, app loading, and media streaming. The included 4K TV stick runs Android 9 and functions similarly to any other Android smart TV. Except for Netflix, it supports most OTT apps, but there is a workaround. The steps are outlined below.

• Install Apps Manager from the Play Store.
• Search for the customized Aptoide v4.3.0 BenQ for the Netflix app.
• This OTT app version supports 960x540p @ 50/60.
• Although physical RC control is not supported, you can use the BenQ Smart Control app to navigate the Netflix UI and play movies and series.

Sound Only Mode And Bluetooth Connectivity

Sound Only Mode And Bluetooth Connectivity

If you're watching a movie outside and the sound isn't loud enough for a sporting event, you can always connect an external sound system via Bluetooth. Did we mention that the projector unit can also function as a standalone speaker and can wirelessly stream music via Bluetooth? Yes, it can and does a fantastic job in a mid-sized living room. The projector has a 3.5mm audio output jack and an ARC HDMI input (the Audio Return Channel).

BenQ GS50 Battery Life And Runtime

BenQ GS50 Battery Life And Runtime

This portable projector's battery life may surprise you. During our testing, the BenQ GS50 lasted 2 hours 36 minutes while in Eco mode, which is six minutes longer than the brand's promised 2.5 hours of battery life. And, while the runtime varies depending on the mode, you will still get at least two hours of media playback. The battery-powered playback time allows you to watch an entire movie or at least two episodes of your favorite OTT series on a single charge.

As far as the projector's overall lifetime is concerned, BenQ mentions that the LED lamp can last for 20,000 Hrs in the normal mode and 30,000 Hrs in the eco mode. In other words, the projector can last for 10~12 years.

Verdict

Verdict

The BenQ GS50 is best suited for users who travel frequently and don't want to miss out on the daily media streaming fun. It is an excellent companion for outdoor family gatherings and camping trips, where it can serve as a one-stop entertainment hub, allowing you to stream movies and music with minimal effort. There are few portable projectors in the same price range that can match the GS50's picture quality and sound delivery.

The GS50 is the answer if you want a portable projector with the convenience of battery-powered media streaming. The portable projector is currently priced at ₹ 79,990 in India.

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