VAVA Chroma VA-SP003 4K Ultra-Short-Throw Triple Laser Projector Review - Summary

February 21, 2023
A Brand-New Design With Impressive Features - Projector Reviews - Image
A brand-new design with an impressive list of features

The VAVA Chroma is the company's second ultra-short-throw laser TV-style projector. 

The VAVA Chroma is a triple laser 4K DLP projector that sells for a recently reduced MSRP of $2,999. This reduced price point makes this projector one of the more affordable discrete RGB laser projectors available today. At its new MSRP, the VAVA Chroma is a direct competitor for the Formovie Theater and the Hisense PX1-PRO. The Chroma uses a single-chip DLP imager and Texas Instruments XPR technology to reproduce a perceived 4K UHD on-screen resolution.

Its laser light engine measured 2,391 ANSI lumens of brightness, which puts its brightness smack in the middle of the 2,200 or 2,500 lumens of brightness that VAVA rates it as capable of producing.

Vava Chroma Projector - Projector Reviews - Image

The VAVA Chroma offers potential buyers a range of advantages, including a new modern chassis design and the ability to place the projector 3.3 inches from the screen while projecting an 80-inch diagonal 16x9 image. This is almost an inch closer than the recently reviewed LG HU715Q.

VAVA lists the Chroma as capable of projecting an image up to 150 inches. While it may be bright enough to support a 150-inch screen size, the results of my testing on both VAVA's 100-inch Ambient Light Rejecting (ALR) screen and my 120-inch ALR screen leave me unwilling to recommend a 150-inch screen. This is due to a softer image and convergence issues in the upper-right portion of the screen. Stick with 120 inches, and everything should be fine.

The VAVA Chroma is built using Android 9 as its base, but the menu system is proprietary to VAVA and is not the standard Android TV menu system. While I found the menu easy to navigate, core features and flow are unique to this VAVA rather than being consistent with Android. This meant I had to learn where everything on the menu was again. 

VAVA allows the user to adjust RGB color values so the projector can be professionally calibrated, which is great!

Integrated with Alexa voice control - Projector Reviews - Image

VAVA has chosen to use Amazon Alexa in this projector. Once set up with an Echo or other Alexa hub, users can ask Alexa to perform multiple tasks. Alexa can play a movie, dim the lights, turn on the sound system, power up the projector, and more.

The Aptoide application market has again proven to be a letdown for me. Aptoide did not offer all the streaming applications that I typically use. There were no Hulu or HBO Max applications. Netflix, Disney+, and Paramount+ were available, but none worked. Amazon Prime worked but would only display an unwatchable picture. Even the YouTube app crashed when I attempted to enter my YouTube account information.

Harmon Kardon 60 Watt Sound - Projector Reviews - Image

The VAVA Chroma has a 60-watt (30-watts x 2) Dolby Digital sound system with Harmon Kardon speakers. The projector sound is very good for a built-in solution, and users can add a sub-woofer via the 3.5 audio out jack on the projector's rear. The sound system offers a decent volume, boom, and multiple preset sound modes with customized music, movies, and game equalization.

Setting up the VAVA Chroma is easy. The projector does come with keystone and corner correction. Still, as always, Projector Reviews highly recommend physically squaring the projector to the screen, as these tools can reduce brightness and introduce distortion.

25,000 Hour Lamp Life - Projector Reviews - Image

The laser light engine is rated to last 25,000 hours. The VAVA Chroma provides virtually maintenance-free performance due to the lengthy laser light source lifespan.

The images this UST projector produces are good out of the box. But, of course, it goes without saying professional calibration will undoubtedly get you the best-looking image. A dark room helps, but the VAVA Chroma produces bright images even in rooms with low amounts of uncontrolled ambient light.

The VAVA Chroma is the lowest-priced ALPD 4.0 triple laser projector for sale. It holds the spot for Indiegogo's most successful campaign, so many people have chosen to make the Chroma their projector. This projector significantly improved over VAVA's previous 4K UST model. The Chroma provides 2,391 lumens of measured brightness and a more colorful picture that covers 106% of the BT.2020 color gamut. This projector produces big sound from its Harmon Kardon and Dolby Digital onboard sound system. It's easy to set up and use and, most importantly, is a great value. Does it have some issues around smart capabilities? Yes, but those are easily addressed by plugging in an Apple TV 4K or FireStick 4K Max and bypassing the abysmal Aptoid app store.


Hisense PX1-PRO

Hisense PX1-PRO - Projector Reviews - Image

The Hisense PX1-PRO is a Tri-Chroma (Triple Laser) 4K Ultra-Short Throw (UST) projector that sells for $2,999 retail price. The Hisense offers an excellently integrated Android OS experience with onboard applications that come from the Google Play app store…and they work. The PX1-PRO can display the same range of colors as the VAVA, offers eARC, and fully supports Dolby Vision. The PX1-PRO offers great onboard sound and much more, including a built-in television tuner.

The PX1-PRO has a manufacturer's rated brightness of 2,200 ANSI lumens, but our review measured its brightness at 2,341 ANSI lumens. The Hisense comes with a 2-year warranty like the VAVA.

Hisense PX1

The Hisense PX1 provides 2,000 ANSI lumens of brightness and does not support Dolby Vision; instead, it supports HDR10 and HLG. Everything else except for the color and one accent is the same as its bigger brother, the PX1-PRO. The RGB triple laser light source is 107% coverage of the BT.2020 color gamut. Full Android integration, including the Google Play store. Big onboard sound, eARC, and a built-in television tuner. The Hisense PX1 sells for $2,499 at retail.

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