The Formovie P1 is a 540p laser projector rated at 800 ANSI lumens. The laser-light source is rated to last up to 25,000 hours of light source life, giving you years of maintenance-free operation. Unfortunately, based on my testing, the projector does not come near 800 lumens, instead measuring 178 ANSI lumens at its brightest setting. From a perspective of brightness, the projector displays a very watchable picture with an ALR screen and some uncontrolled ambient light. The shot below shows my lab with the room lights off (Left) and room lights on (Right).
Colors were also off regardless of the mode I used or adjustments I made. However, I don't think this is going to be a big issue for travelers or kids. And while on the subject of kids, I like that the P1 has a diffused light mode reducing the impact on children or adults with sensitive eyes.
It is nice that the projector has a dynamic contrast control that can be completely turned off if wanted.
One of the things I really was impressed with about this little projector is how well it displayed content when the room lights are on. The shot above from Black Adam was captured with the lights in my testing space off and then on. Obviously the ALR screen helped, but how well the image retains color and contrast is impressive nonetheless.
Resolution is a whole other story. The P1 is a 540P qHD projector and this shows in the projected image. I projected a 40 inch diagonal image. This is the smallest screen size Formovie recommends. Even at 40 inches low resolution artifacts were visible in the projected image. In the same photo above look at the jagged edges around the Rock's head and the poles in the background. My camera shots actually look better than the image did in real life.
I'm not saying this projector does not have its place, it does. This thin transportable projector is fine for on-the-go entertainment or as a kid's bedroom projector.
Formovie makes a big deal about this projector being able to cast content from an Android or iOS device. However, I could not use premium streaming applications like Netflix, Amazon Prime, HBO Max, Hulu, Apple TV, or Paramount Plus to play content on the projector in my testing. This is a copy-protection issue since the only thing that would work was regular YouTube content, not even YouTube free premium movies. I recommend an HDMI media stick to avoid compatibility issues.
The Formovie P1 has decent but often inconsistent out-of-the-box color compared to other portable projectors I've reviewed. The P1 is not a home theater projector but offers valuable features, like adjusting the picture preset modes and holding onto those settings.
The projector's mono speaker is loud, but does not have much range, so I recommend using an externally powered speaker. The projector also does not have Bluetooth, so audio connections are via a 3.5 inch headphone cable.
The projector locked up several times when I was playing different types of content from an attached USB drive. Other than that, I had no file format compatibility issues.
The lack of remote control or even a remote option is a problem since the only way to control the projector is using the awkwardly laid out control panel. There are also no back light for the buttons.
You can get more features for your money with the AAXA P6X, which uses very bright Osram LEDs with a DLP imager. The P6X has a 4-hour lithium-ion battery that can produce 641 ANSI Lumens measured and will project images up to 160 inches in high definition (HD WXGA). The P6X sells for $359
If you are okay with stepping up another $88, the AAXA M7 is a Full High Definition (HD) 1920 x 1080 portable Digital Light Processing (DLP) projector. We measured the M7 brightness as 626 ANSI lumens which can last up to 30,000 hours in ECO mode. The AAXA M7 has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $488.00.
The projector is small and lightweight
It comes with a carrying case
Looks decent, even with some lights on
Contrast is ok for a portable projector
Easy to set up
Auto vertical keystone adjustment is a nice feature
The Mono speaker gets loud
It has a focus dial
Fan noise is minimal
All picture presets are adjustable
540P resolution is very low
316 ANSI lumens is not the brightest at this projectors price point
No remote or option for a remote on the on-device control panel
No internal battery
The control panel layout is awkward to use
Cannot cast premium content from streaming services