The lack of a remote control option is a real issue for me, as it only leaves the control panel and the focus wheel on the left to control all the functions and settings of the projector. Control would be better if Formovie used a more traditional button layout with four directional buttons surrounding a select/enter button, like that typically found on home and other portable projectors. Formovies button layout and control scheme are not intuitive or easy to master. The same goes for the sliding lens cover/power on/off.
There is no tripod mount on the bottom of the projector and no rubber feet, so the projector moves very easily. The projector is so light that the slightest movement of the USB cable can skew the projector left or right. The projector does not correct for horizontal movement, only vertical.
The resolution on this projector is only 540. The low resolution is incredibly obvious when displaying anything with text, but it's pronounced in photos and documents.
The out-of-the-box color presets on the Formovie P1 are good but not the best I've seen in a portable projector in this unit's class. The images above give you a good idea of how the projector performs. This projector has four preset picture modes: STANDARD, MILD, PERSONAL, and DYNAMIC.
Each Mode can be adjusted to reflect the user's preferences, and changes to the settings are retained after powering down the projector. The P1 held onto my setting adjustments after being unplugged for more than 24 hours.
STANDARD Mode: This is bright picture mode out-of-the-box, with the overall color slightly above neutral, and was my most used preset mode. Depending on the content, colors could appear decent or oversaturated, as shown in the screenshots above from Ted Lasso, which looks good, and Black Adam, which is unnaturally orange.
MILD Mode: Reduces brightness and colors, displaying a softer image.
PERSONAL Mode: This is the projector's most neutral preset picture mode, with all settings set at about 50%. This mode is also the projector's single custom mode, so if you want to make changes to a preset, this is the only one that can be changed. For example, start changing the brightness of the STANDARD mode, and you will find the projector has defaulted to the PERSONAL mode.
DYNAMIC Mode: This is the second brightest mode offering increased contrast, making the picture pop, and is one of the cooler (bluest) modes.
The Formovie P1's ALPD laser provides a decently bright image. The projector is even watchable with room lights if necessary. However, it looks its best in a darker room where colors pop.
Formovie rates the brightness of the P1 at 800 lumens. Readers need to note that Formovie measures this projector using lumens rather than ANSI lumens. At Projector Reviews, we test all of the projectors we review to determine their ANSI lumens rating. For its part, Formovie rated the P1 as being capable of displaying up to 800 ANSI lumens of brightness on their website. Based on my testing, the projector came far from this brightness level. After a quick conversation with one of my Formovie contacts, they confirmed that they did not rate this projector in ANSI lumens and would remove the word ANSI from their product's webpage.To their credit, the website was updated the next day and, as they committed to doing that, have removed all the ANSI references. Incredible responsiveness on the part of the Formovie team.
To measure the brightness, I set the projector's power mode to Office and its picture mode to DYANAMIC, the projector's brightest Mode. I then took three to four readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.
The brightest ANSI lumens reading I could get on the Formovie P1 measured is 316 ANSI lumens. This required the contrast to be maxed out in the PERSONAL mode. The STANDARD mode was the brightest preset picture mode based on my readings. My measurements for all four out-of-the-box preset modes are below.
Preset Picture Mode
ANSI Lumens Measurement
BLACKS AND SHADOW DETAIL
The Formovie P1 does not display deep blacks, but I did not expect that it would. In order to get more details in the darker areas of the picture, the BRIGHTNESS has to be increased, which make the detailed areas even lighter gray (see the top two images above). In order to get the deepest blacks, users must reduce the brightness to the point that details in the darker areas of the image tend to get crushed (see the bigger image above).
The mono speaker on the Formovie P1 is loud enough for indoor use, but if you are using this with even a small group of people outdoors, you will want to connect the projector to an external speaker. An external speaker or headphones are the only way to hear a big difference in the preset sound modes. The P1 audio out is the only way a speaker can be connected to this device. The projector does not have Bluetooth.
The Formovie P1 is quiet even when the projector has been running for a while and heats up. The fan noise was noticeable when I got within two feet of the projector. I did not find the projector's fan noise distracting from an average viewing distance.
I ran several games on one of my console systems and off the phone on the P1. The Formovie P1 is an excellent casual gaming projector. While input lag was far better than expected on my first-person shooting games like Call of Duty, it was still noticeable.
I've asked my editor to run an input lag test and drop the results in this review once he has them.