Tech Junkie Review: PIQS Q1 Home Theater HD Projector
The idea of having a video projector for backyard movies, the Broncos game on Sunday or just a fun way for the kids to watch a movie during a slumber party – is super cool.
Problem is, the reality of it isn’t all that cool. It involves trying to mount the projector on the ceiling. Setting the projector up, connecting it to your DVR/set-top box and tweaking the image to get it squared up on the wall or screen.
What if someone took all of that complication out of it? That’s exactly what the PIQS Q1 Home Theatre projector promises to do. I took it for a test in my home.
I've seen plenty of small form LED projectors over the years. Most of them are tiny and many of them don't exactly scream quality. To say that I wasn't expecting anything amazing from the PIQS would be an understatement.
I was surprised. Frankly, I was impressed. The projector has some weight to it and the finishes on the outside feel high end. The faux wood grain on the top and bottom looks nice and the white grill wrapped out the side gives it a clean look. On the front you'll find the projector lens as well as the camera lens. This camera is used to give the Q1 some pretty magical powers... I'll explain in a bit.
On the back you'll find power, HDMI and 2 USB ports for external storage. You can use these ports to load up videos, powerpoint or photos to display on the projector. I was also provided with a small stand that helps to set the projector up on an angle but do note that the stand will cost extra if you're buying the projector yourself.
The PIQS Q1 runs a custom version of Android. There are a few apps pre-installed for watching video files, displaying powerpoint files and browsing the web. You can install additional apps through the "APKPure" app that is pre-installed but there is no Google Play store on the Q1. I had no problem installing Netflix and Plex. Problem is, apps will recognize Android as a phone and won't automatically jump into their "remote control" mode. Some apps, like Plex, simply allow you to switch it manually. Other apps, like Netflix, seemed to be stuck in mobile device mode. This means you have to use the cursor on the remote to click on things. It works but it's not always elegant. I wish they used "Android TV" instead of just a standard build of Android.
This thing is smart
The coolest thing about the Q1 is that it auto focuses and uses a little camera to automatically adjust the keystone. If you've never used a projector, this typically is the biggest pain in the butt when setting up a projector. The keystone fixes the image to make it square when the projector is perfectly perpendicular to the wall or screen. The Q1 projects a pattern, the camera looks at that pattern and then figures out how to correct it. It works... really well. It's the perfect projector for backyard parties, temporary kids movie nights and any situation where you just want to quickly throw up a projector without too much hassle. This feature alone will sell this projector to a lot of people!
My Rating 4/5
The video quality is 720p and looks pretty good. Is it the best HD projector available? No. It's also not the most expensive. I'm very happy with the quality of video. The remote works like a Wii controller and I really like it. The device itself looks slick and the self focusing and self keystone feature is AWESOME. I really like this projector and would give it 5 geeks out of 5 if they ran Android TV and offered the Google Play store.
The PIQS Q1 sells for $600 (without the stand) but there's currently (Nov 30 2018) a 30% off coupon on Amazon that knocks the price down to $420! At that price, this is an awesome projector.