ZTE Spro 2 with Android Touchscreen is a Surprising Pico Projector Standout

The ZTE Spro 2 is an Android-based pico projector with a built-in 5” touchscreen that, when paired with an activated Verizon SIM card, can serve as a wireless hot spot with 4G speeds. It has an internal speaker and battery as well, making it a great all-in-one solution for presentations on the go. The Spro 2 currently sells for $499.98.

Breaking the mold from conventional pico projectors, the ZTE Spro 2 has a built-in touchscreen tablet so that it’s easy to operate and can used with or without a separate media player. With Android 4.4 KitKat running, you’ve got access to the entire Google Play store for apps, music, movies, TV shows, books, games, and more. Dolphin browser and Chrome browser came pre-installed so you can surf the web right away. WPS Office also came pre-installed, so you can view, edit, or create new documents like word processing files, Powerpoint presentations, spreadsheets, or memos. There are also pre-installed media players as well, so it’s truly a plug and play experience.

The full specs for the ZTE Spro 2 are as follows:

Height 5.3″
Width 5.2″
Depth 1.2″
Weight 19.4 oz
Color Silver
Physical Size 5″
Technology: Height 720
Technology: Width 1280
Features HD Touch Screen
Ports Screen, HDMI, Miracast
Lumens 200 with AC connected (100 with no AV connected)
Display 14″ to 120″
Lamp Life 20,000 hours
OS Android 4.4 (KitKat)
Processor 2.0GHz Quad-Core
Compatibility Windows OS, Mac OS
Capacity 6300 mAh
Use Time Up to 2.5 hours of projection
Internal 2GB RAM + 16GB ROM
Expandable support for up to 64GB microSD™ card
Frequencies UMTS: 850/1900/2100MHz – LTE band 2/4/5/17
Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n 2.4GHz & 5GHz
Total Number of Connected Users 10
Mobile Hotspot Connectivity Up to 16 hours of connectivity
Bluetooth 4.0
Speaker Internal, with 3.5mm external jack and bluetooth audio support
Ports HDMI, USB
Accessories Carrying Case Included

As you can see above, there’s a lot to love about the ZTE Spro 2, from the relatively small size and weight, to the 720p resolution, to the 6300 mAh internal battery, or the expandable microSD memory. It has built-in WiFi if you don’t want to use cellular service, while it’s cellular hotspot connectivity allows up to 10 users to share the connection. It also has Bluetooth 4.0 connectivity, which allows for a separate keyboard so you can actually do work on the ZTE Spro 2. It also has an internal speaker as well with the option to use a 3.5mm external audio jack to plug into external speakers or headphones.

The ZTE Spro 2 also has an HDMI port if you want to connect an alternate media player and project through the Spro 2. The USB jack is perfect for a USB flash drive so you can keep all of your files safe on the flash drive and plug it into your projector when you need to present your work. The Spro 2 comes with a carrying case, which is convenient for travel, although you’ll have to carry the power cables separately as they won’t fit in the bag.

There’s a built-in kick stand on the bottom of the Spro 2 so that you can elevate the picture on the wall or screen. There’s also a SIM card slot and microSD card slot on the rear of the projector. On the side of the projector is a grill that allows the heat to escape with an internal exhaust fan that runs automatically. Unfortunately, depending on the volume of your media, the sound of the fan may interfere with your listening.

You’ll notice that the Spro 2 does not come with a physical remote. This is one of the disappointing things about this projector. You can, however, download an app that will allow you to remotely control your projector from your phone via Bluetooth. Sometimes, though, there is no replacing a physical remote, especially for professional presentations.

Now, let’s talk lumens. Lumens are a measure of visible light emitted by a source, and in this case, the source is the Spro 2 projector. Lumens measure exactly how much light a light bulb, LED diode, or in this case, projector puts out. Lumens are important to take into account when comparing projectors, as this determines how powerful the projector is, which will also determine how dark the room and how far back from the screen the projector needs to be in order for the viewer to clearly see the image projected on the screen. The Spro 2 puts out 200 lumens when the AC adapter is plugged in. As a comparison, some of the most popular home theater projectors can put out up to 3000+ lumens, so you can imagine that the Spro 2 isn’t targeted at people who are looking for a projector to replace their television for everyday TV or movie watching.

Looking at the 200 lumens vs. 3000 lumens gap, I did not have high hopes for the Spro 2. However, when I plugged it in and gave it a shot, I was blown away at how clear the picture was on my wall in a not-very-dark room. Check out the photos to see the full experience. Note that I had the Spro 2 plugged in and it was on the “high” brightness setting. The Spro 2 even has auto-focus and auto-keystone features so you don’t have to worry about manually fixing the display when you move around the projector.

The Android KitKat interface was extremely smooth and easy to use, especially understanding that I’m typically an iOS user. The touchscreen was snappy and responsive and I didn’t notice any lags or stutters when flipping through apps, videos, or settings. There are three touch buttons underneath the touchscreen, one for the “back” button, one for the “home” button and one for the “menu” button. There is no vibration feedback or anything like that, but the buttons work well as long as you make sure you’re hitting them properly.

When you pull the notification drawer down from the top of the screen, there are a number of quick control switches at the top, like a button to turn the projector on or off, changing the brightness, changing input types, turning WiFi on or off, and more. Despite my iOS leanings, I came away from this review with a very positive experience with Android 4.4 on this projector.

I’ve got to say, I came into this review with fairly low expectations…but the ZTE Spro 2 absolutely blew me away, making me wish I could hold onto it to use to watch children’s videos with my 16 month old daughter. Being able to use it in a fairly day-lit room was totally surprising, which was my biggest concern coming into the review. My only negative thoughts on the Spro 2 projector is the lack of physical remote and the not-so-powerful internal speaker, but they are minor concerns in the grand scheme of things. If you travel often and need to bring a projector with you for meetings or entertainment, you’d be hard pressed to find a better projector for your needs than the ZTE Spro 2.

You can purchase the ZTE Spro 2 directly from ZTE at their website!

Source: The ZTE Spro 2 Pico Projector was loaned to me by ZTE for this review.

What I Like: Plug and play; Light and easy to travel with; Sharp picture even in lit rooms; Snappy Android touchscreen makes it an all-in-one solution.

What Needs Improvement: Inclusion of a physical remote would be great for professional presentations; The internal speaker can be improved.

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About the Author

Perry Brauner
I'm an architect by trade, but the overarching theme of my life has always been trying to keep up with the newest, coolest technology. Ever since I picked up an NES controller, I've been hooked on the latest and greatest gadgets, gizmos, and toys. Whether it's gaming, mobile phones, and accessories, or PCs and Apple products, I'm interested. I use many Apple products in my daily life, such as the iPhone, iPad, and my MacBook Pro. I've also built a few PCs in my day, so I'd like to say that I'm a pretty well-rounded techie.

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