MP-CL1A Mobile Mini Projector from Sony Review


With the MP-CL1A pocket projector from Sony you can shine your favorite videos and images onto any surface on-the-go!

We’ve previously written about the DJI Spark, the drone the size of your phone. It’s awesome that technology has shrunk so much! The same goes for the MP-CL1A mobile mini projector from Sony. It lets you project your beautiful HD films, images and videos onto any surface using propriety laser technology. This ensures laser-crisp images without the need for an even surface. Best of all, it fits in your pocket!

MP-CL1A Sony Mini Projector

True gadget-nerds would love to have one of these! The MP-CL1A mobile mini projector from Sony is incredibly sharp and the size of your smartphone! Read our review at:

Publicerat av The Gadget Site den 11 augusti 2017

The screen size is adjusted automatically according to distance. You can go from a 40-inch (101.6cm) image, up to a 120-inch (304.8cm) wide screen (16:1) image, just by stepping back. At a 1920×720 resolution, you basically have a home theater in your pocket. With the ability to connect wirelessly to a smartphone, projecting funny YouTube clips or 9GAG memes onto just about anything easily becomes addictive! Also, HDMI and Bluetooth connectivity lets you hook up your game console or Hi-Fi system to the device, making the MP-CL1A mobile mini projector extremely versatile.


Trying out the MP-CL1A

So, how does it perform? Well, Sony’s mini projector is a compact, 210g piece that despite its size is as impressively sharp as Sony makes it out to be. Finding focus with a normal projector usually takes forever and once you’ve got it, you don’t want it to move one inch. Many projectors still look dull when you look close enough at the surface onto which it is projected to. That’s why you’ll most probably invest in a projector screen. What’s the point of a projector if you need a screen for it to project onto, really? We would rather just go with an OLED TV instead. However, the MP-CL1A is quite different!

While Sony’s pocket projector isn’t anywhere near 4K output, the images are crisp with a wide color gamut. Thanks to the laser-technology powering the device, the images don’t need refocusing and always stay sharp at distances from 1.15 to 3.5 meters. Each individual pixel is projected by its own laser diode and the projector doesn’t need a traditional lens. Sony claims full color reproducibility (16,770,000 colors) and its incredible contrast ratio of 80,000:1 ensures great contrast with any image or video. What’s more, the projector can shine images onto uneven or curved surfaces without losing an inch of sharpness.

PS4 with Sony's Mini Projector


The MP-CL1A mobile mini projector comes in two stylish colors; grey and gold. The device is about the same dimensions as your standard smartphone and is just 13 millimeters thin! It feels just as nice to hold, and comes with a conveniently extendable stand that doubles as lens-cover. Somehow, the stand feels pretty feeble and it’s not always easy to direct the projector in the angle you intend to. Sony should really have put more effort into this. You’ll find a multitude of ports on one side, including a 3.5mm audio jack, HDMI-port, USB-out and a micro-USB port for charging.

Sony Mini Projector


Whereas setting up the projector with a PC or game console is straight forward using an HDMI cable, it’s a bit trickier to set up with a smartphone. If you own a Sony-branded Android device, setting it up using screen mirroring is a breeze. Most Android phones should work but some may not be compatible. (Make sure to have the latest OS-updates). iOS-devices are unfortunately another chapter entirely as they will need a lightning-to-HDMI adapter to work with the device. Most of us wouldn’t bother buying an extra adapter just for this, so you better make sure to have a compatible Android device before purchasing.

Sony Mini Projector


The mini projector measures 77×149.5×13 millimeters. It boasts Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g/n) and Bluetooth (version 3.0) wireless connectivity. The output resolution is 1920×720 at 60Hz and audio is pushed through the 3.5mm audio jack. The device is also fitted with a 1W speaker which is not really usable unless the room is really quiet, but still nice. HDMI output connects the projector to most TVs, PCs and game consoles without a hitch. Brightness is rated at 32 lumens so you’ll need rather dark conditions for optimal image. The 3400 mAh battery gives you approximately 120 minutes of continuous playback from a full charge. We recommend using a pocket mobile phone charger to extend playback time on-the-go. It takes roughly 3.3 hours to charge it from 0-100% using USB-3.0 ports.

Sony Mini Projector

In summary

At USD $399, the Sony MP-CL1A is a bargain. You basically get a wide screen HD projector that fits in your pocket. It suits your living room just as well as on a road-trip, letting you project chick flicks onto the back of a truck with your girlfriend wrapped under your arm. This projector is so incredibly cool that we really can’t shake off the fact. It’s really addictive to point it to a wall and projecting whatever goofy stuff is on your phone. The sharpness and contrast is great, given a dark enough environment. The battery life which is short of 2 hours is really the only downside, meaning you won’t see the end of Titanic on your date. This is of course alleviated by a mobile battery pack, though we’d rather see we could go without.

If we could ask Sony to change one thing, then the MP-CL1A mobile mini projector would have 1080p. Calling it “HD” or whatever is fine, but standard nowadays is at least 1920×1080. 4K televisions are becoming mainstream so being stuck at 720p seems like a miss. To be fair though, Sony’s mobile mini projector is in in terms of the tech-world a bit old and hasn’t seen a refresh since early 2016. The mini projector is hard to come by, with limited supply and gadget-geeks sweeping the shelves of well-sorted electronics stores everywhere. If you’re lucky, you can grab one off Amazon, though we wouldn’t recommend getting a used one. Sony may be renowned for their quality products with a legacy stretching back to the original Walkman; however, the laser-diode array’s 10,000 hours lifetime rating equals roughly a year of continuous playback. If the projector has been used as a TV-replacement it could easily have been powered on for 5,000 hours or more…

So, what do you guys think? Ready to buy one or hoping that Sony releases next iteration soon? Let us know in the comments below!