If you have been searching for a home projector, Lumos Projector should have popped up in your browser ads very frequently. This Singapore brand approached me in August for an opportunity to review, among other of my peer tech reviewers including Zit Seng, Lester Chan, Techjio. And they all have given generally positive reviews. After months of clearing my backlog of review products, I finally agreed to review and got a sample unit – S$398 with built-in Android OS – from their PR agency, so that I can finally experience the attractively priced projector and see if it’s worth the hype. Unlike other reviewers, this is not a sponsored unit, so I hope this helps in providing a more neutral opinion.
Thanks to image search technology like Google Lens, it’s not difficult to find that LUMOS Auro is actually a white-label “OEM” product, where the design is done by a separate manufacturer and interested companies merely print their brand name on the product. There is nothing unethical about this, as companies often work with OEM to customise some features, functions, even firmware, as well as packaging. Additionally, companies take on marketing, promotion, distribution. Therefore, it would be unfair to compare the prices against the direct manufacturers who may also put their products on sale at Taobao or other wholesale websites.
The LUMOS Auro is rather bulky but lightweight. It’s definitely the largest projector I have reviewed so far, but I don’t review a lot of full-sized projectors, mostly portable ones. It’s a clean functional design without fanciful contours.
The project can be tilted with a screw of up to 2cm. The lens focus is adjusted from the front, and requires a lot of turns to get focus. Behind the lens focusing ring is to adjust vertical keystone. Further adjustments can be done from the OS.
Comprehensive Connectivity Ports
The LUMOS Auro Smart projector can take in almost all kinds of connectivity and playback sources, wired and wireless.
- 2x HDMI
- AV RCA adapter
- AirScreen/Miracast for Android and iOS
- SD Card
- 2x USB Type-A
- Wi-Fi 2.4 GHz
The included AC cable is too short. Generally the projector are placed quite a distance from the power point, for instance, in the middle of the room. The positioning of the AC connector is also oddly in the middle of the rear projector.
Built-in Android OS
The AURO Smart version comes with Android 6.0, which is very outdated, but is more user-friendly where you are greeted by an UI which you can navigate and select the connectivity inputs easily.
The pre-installed apps let you enjoy Netflix and YouTube without plugging in any external sources, but if you prefer to use the projector with external sources more often, then you should save S$100 and get the non-OS version.
Lumos recommends you not to update any of the apps installed as they are designed to work best with the projector. The remote control that comes with the projector can be frustrating to use as the apps require keyboard entries and Netflix is not remote-friendly. I find that the OS responds to mouse movements with some lag. For better experience, you might want to get an “Air Mouse” or wireless keyboard.
Projection Size and Quality
The Auro Smart projector requires minimum of 1.5 metres to get focus. I rotated the focus ring until the max and the glass protrudes out. The lens cap can only cover the lens when the lens is retracted.
At the minimum distance, I measured the edge-to-edge size is about 44-inch.
I have been using the Epson EB-W12 at home since 2012 and have replaced the bulb once. I bought the EB-W12 about S$800 during one of the IT trade shows, so the price segment is different from Auro.
I compared the image quality between the two and I find that the Epson projector is brighter and provides slightly larger projection size (46-inch) and with a shorter minimal focal distance (90cm). The EB-W12 has an option to mechanically expand the projection area, reaching up to 56-inch from the same distance.
In terms of visual experience, the Lumos Auro is worth the S$398, but not more. On Netflix, the refresh rate is not very high so the action sequences appear not super smooth. It might be due to the app, but I am not expecting the projector to match other branded models. I did enjoy the movie experience which delivers good brightness level and details enough to immerse myself and not lose any visual plot.
To me, keystone adjustment is important because I can only position my projector at the side of the room instead of directly in front. The LUMOS Auro projector is more difficult to get the right keystone adjustment compared to the Epson. After adjustment, I find that the corners are out of focus, which is understandable because the focal distance is different across the projection screen. However, it appears to be more prominent than the Epson.
The single speaker unit produces sufficiently loud sound with clean midrange and treble while bass is moderate with any boom substance. If you are just watching drama serials with primarily dialogue, that would suffice, but if you are watching shows with epic soundtrack, better plug in external speakers.
The LUMOS Auro projector is a simple functional Full-HD 1080p projector without much advanced technological specs you would come to expect from premium brands. I find my 8-year-old projector offers a little more innovation when it comes to design and optics, even though it only supports up to WXGA resolution. Personally, I would not replace my 8-year old EB-W12, which is more compact, requires shorter focus distance, and adjusts keystone easier. However, I paid almost 3 times the price, lower resolution, and it does not have built-in OS.
For just S$299 basic model, I think the LUMOS Auro projector offers a complete package with adequate functionality. Top up S$99 for the Smart model that I am reviewing offers even more benefits of a built-in Android OS which you can install apps. It’s amazing what you can get with S$398, even a mid-range Android tablet costs as much. Hopefully LUMOS can offer a mid-tier version to cater to consumers who wanted more premium features. I’m not sure how long more my aged projector would last!
- Built-in Android OS, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth to stream movies without any external device
- Outstanding price value to own a proper home projector
- Loud volume for good casual watching
- Good brightness and details
- 1-year local warranty with support
- Limited keystone adjustment for vertical and horizontal to make it perfect ratio, not recommended if you need to position the projector at steep angles
- Relatively long minimal focal distance of 1.5m, not recommended for small rooms.
Update 22 Nov 2020: After publishing this post, LUMOS informed me that I could keep the sample unit in appreciation of my time.