LG CineBeam PH30N Review – A Pico Projector Designed Primarily for Portability

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LG’s CineBeam PH30N pico projector has hit the market recently. It is primarily designed while emphasizing portability and compactness. The demand for these small-sized projectors has been gradually growing. Professionals who have to give presentations in the field or individuals who want to watch a movie while traveling or in the outdoors are the primary customers of these products. LG’s CineBeam PH30N pico projector targets this niche market segment.

LG CineBeam PH30N Pico Projector – Features and Hardware

LG CineBeam PH30N is a pico projector that measures 5.1”(W) x 5.1”(D) x 1.5”(H). It weighs 1.1lbs and is super portable. One of the biggest issues with such projectors is that it may be hard to fit high-end hardware in such a small form-factor. Let’s see what the device packs under its hood. While LG states that the CineBeam PH30N pico projector can display imagery in 1280x720p resolution, it is not the native resolution. The device makes use of a Texas Instruments 0.23-inch DLP DMD chip that has a native resolution of 960×540 pixels. It employs XPR technology, which is LG’s name for pixel-shifting, to project imagery. 

The projector does not project the whole image at once. It projects half of the pixels in one image and the remaining half in another image. However, as the shift between the two images is at an extremely fast rate, the viewers’ eyes see it as one image. So the effective resolution of the LG CineBeam PH30N projector is 2x960x540 pixels. The total number of pixels projected is slightly more than a native 720p projector (1 million vs. 0.92 million). Overall, the image quality is similar to a native 720p projector.

LG CineBeam PH30N makes use of an RGB LED light source rated at up to 30,000 hours. It has a brightness rating of up to 250 ANSI lumens, which is quite good for a pico projector. A built-in rechargeable battery allows you to use the projector on the go and provides a runtime of up to two hours. It can also be run on AC power for extended viewing. There is a screw hole at the bottom for mounting the projector on a tripod. LG CineBeam PH30N pico projector has an HDMI 1.4 port for connecting devices as well as a USB Type-A port. You can play media from a USB storage device.

LG CineBeam PH30N Pico Projector – Software

The user interface of the LG CineBeam PH30N pico projector is pretty standard. Viewers can choose from five different modes. Four of these provide only a single adjustment option. These include the Vivid, Standard, Cinema, and Game modes. Users can only change the Color Temperature, although altering it does not affect colors significantly. The default modes have decent color accuracy, and users won’t feel the need to adjust them. Brightness can vary considerably from one mode to another. The Game mode has the least brightness followed by the Cinema mode, while the Standard mode is the brightest.

The fifth mode is the Expert Mode, which is more of a custom mode. It allows users to adjust five different attributes – Brightness, Color, Contrast, Sharpness, and Tint. Users who want greater control over the imagery can use the Expert mode. LG CineBeam PH30N supports screen sharing via Miracast. People who may want to stream content through their phone or share their device screen will find the feature handy. 

LG CineBeam PH30N Pico Projector – Performance

The LG CineBeam PH30N pico projector yields decent performance but certainly not the best. A standard-sized, cheap home theater projector will always perform better. But the device is designed for portability, and these sacrifices are expected. LG CineBeam PH30N pico projector is suitable for watching movies in the dark and can be used for presentations as well. Make sure to set the brightness to the maximum for the latter. Also, limit the image size to under sixty inches. Its color accuracy is good but sometimes the imagery is green-heavy, depending on the scene. The contrast ratio is decent as well, allowing it to project vibrant imagery. Colors in images may appear slightly washed-out in the presence of ambient light. 

LG CineBeam PH30N has vertical auto keystone correction but no zoom. Image size will depend on how far the projector is placed from the screen. The brightness of the pico projector is lower on the battery as compared to when running it on AC power. There is a built-in 1W speaker but it is quite weak. It is better to use external speakers or headphones with the projector. LG CineBeam PH30N comes with a 3.5mm audio jack and can also be connected to speakers via Bluetooth. It even supports AV sync adjustment that allows you to delay the video if there is a delay in audio or vice versa when using Bluetooth speakers.

LG CineBeam PH30N Pico Projector – Pros & Cons

Before we assess the value of the LG CineBeam PH30N pico projector, let us take a look at its pros and cons.

Pros

  • Resolution similar to 720p projectors.
  • Small and highly portable.
  • RGB LED light source with 250 ANSI lumens brightness rating.
  • Decent image quality and color accuracy.
  • Built-in battery with up to a 2-hour runtime.
  • Supports Miracast screen sharing.
  • Bluetooth audio support.
  • HDMI, USB Type-A, and 3.5mm audio ports.
  • Vertical auto keystone correction.

Cons

  • Not native 720p, uses pixel-shifting.
  • Speaker is really weak.
  • Some images have a greenish tinge.
  • No zoom.

LG CineBeam PH30N Pico Projector – Is It Worth the Cost?

LG CineBeam PH30N is a pico projector designed primarily for portability. Its image quality is decent considering its small form-factor, but inferior to a cheap home theater projector. However, most users will find it acceptable. The device can be used for watching movies and giving business presentations. It also comes with a built-in battery. 

LG CineBeam PH30N is a suitable option for users who want a compact projector that they can use anywhere and anytime. The projector has a price tag of $399 but is currently selling for $359. If you have to give presentations in the field or travel a lot, then the LG CineBeam PH30N pico projector may be a worthy option for you. However, if you prioritize picture quality over portability, then there are better alternatives available in the market.

LG CineBeam PH30N on Amazon: https://amzn.to/38h0Dhl

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