Hands-On: ZTE Grand X Max+ and SPRO 2
We also spent a few moments with ZTE's second-generation portable hotspot projector. ZTE sold the first iteration of this concept through Sprint in the US and apparently it did well enough to earn a sequel.
It is a compact projector that will easily slip into a briefcase or backpack. You can use the on-screen Android UI to access online content for playback, or send content to it from nearby smartphones, tablets, or laptops. The UI has been rewritten and given a bit of a skin that makes it easier to use. The first generation device used a raw Android UI, and it turns out people didn't like it too much. The new one has large buttons and a simplified menu structure for navigating the different features.
At 200 lumens it is twice as bright as last year's model, but I thought it struggled a bit in a sunlight room. I could see the images/video being shown, but it wasn't that easy. In a darkened room, the content looked much better. ZTE says the projector can display screens up to 120 inches across the diagonal at 720p resolution. They demonstrated the SPRO 2 on what I'd guess is a 40-inch screen and it looked decent, but not great (as far as the sharpness is concerned.)
Still it has autofocus, which means it can quickly adapt if you move it around, and it has auto keystoning to correct for the angle at which the image hits the wall. This means it squares up the edges, rather than leave them in a trapezoidal shape.
The mobile hotspot can run for 10 hours and support up to 10 devices, but the projector itself will only run for 3 hours on the battery. You can plug the device into a power outlet, of course, at any time to get around the battery life limits.
ZTE wouldn't name them, but said the SPRO 2 will be sold by the two largest carriers in the US (AT&T and Verizon Wireless) during the second quarter of the year. It seems like the SPRO 2 is a slam dunk for traveling salespeople or even families on vacation (think gaming). Pricing has not yet been revealed.
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