Philips Projection’s Screeneo UL5 Smart, a compact but powerful projector

By Bryan Hood 18 June, 2024

The Screeneo UL5 Smart is less than half the size of the company’s range-topping UST model

Philips Projection’s latest model is further proof that appearances can be deceiving.

The company has just launched an Indiegogo campaign for a new ultra-short-throw (UST) projector called the Screeneo UL5 Smart. Despite its compact size, the device is able to produce a crystal-clear image that can measure up to three metres diagonally.

The Screeneo UL5 is basically a pint-sized alternative to Philip’s range-topping Screeneo U5 UST home projector. The newer model isn’t as powerful as its older sibling, but it can do everything you want a UST model to do without taking up all that much space. That’s because the UL5 is small, measuring just 8.1 x 3.7 x 3.4 inches (the U5 measures 19 x 5.9 x 12.8 inches) and weighing 1 kilogram.

Philips has managed to pack a lot of power and capability into the UL5. The device has a 0.23:1 throw ratio, meaning it can produce a 120-inch image when positioned 24 inches from your display surface—though the brand recommends stopping at 100 inches (which requires a throw distance of 22 inches) for the best picture quality. That image will look great too, thanks to a 1080p resolution, AI-driven autofocus, and HDR10. Brightness tops out at 550 ANSI lumens, though, so you may want to use the device mainly for nighttime viewing sessions. Other features include built-in Dolby speakers (though Bluetooth allows pairing to other devices), dual-band Wi-Fi, and Philips’s LuminOS operating system, which comes pre-loaded with apps for your favourite streaming services.

Philips Screeneo UL5 Smart Projector. Photo by Philips Projection/Indiegogo

It may seem strange to see an established company like Philips launch a crowd-funding campaign, but it’s one of several electronic companies we’ve seen go this route in recent years. The strategy seems to be a way for the brand to properly gauge interest in a projector that is a little more niche than its other offerings. Regardless, the UL5 looks to be a safe bet to go into production. With 30 days left to go in the campaign, Philips has already exceeded its funding goal by 3,122 per cent.

The project may have already been funded, but there is still a benefit to contributing. Backers will be able to buy the UL5 for US$751, which is 46 per cent less than the US$1,396 it will cost when it goes on sale. Deliveries of the first projectors are slated to commence next month.

This story was first published on Robb Report USA