This is the fourth and final projector review (at least for now). It’s interesting how much one can learn in a short period of time. When I first started down this road, I knew just the basics about projectors. Now, I’m no expert, but I know a lot more now than I did a few short weeks ago. I think I can now make a more informed decision when it comes to buying a projector.
This review is on the Wowoto A5 smart projector. I wanted a mini projector with wifi and Bluetooth. Having the right media input slots was also important. The Wowoto has an HDMI, 2 USB, mini SD, and the headphone jack. What I like about the way the slots are arranged is that they are in a straight line. I’ve used projectors where the slots were in two rows. That’s convenient, but placing the HDMI slot right above the SD card slot prevented me from inserting a mini SD card when the HDMI slot is in use.
With the Wowoto smart projector, you get an HDMI cord, a small carrying case (the case is too small for the projector or the remote so I assume it’s for the tripod and power cord), and an instruction manual.
Working with the Wowoto
After unboxing it, I was anxious to see what it could do. I plugged it in and powered it up. It initially displayed the manufacturer’s WOWOTO and Smart Projector splash screen then shows the Home page.
After marveling at the clarity and vibrancy of the Home page display (there’s a Focus wheel on the side of the device that makes things very clear), the next thing I did was connect it to the wifi. The process was. Just click the Wifi icon, locate the right connection, and insert password. I also connected my Bluetooth Bose speaker, which was just as easy as connecting to wifi.
Once the wifi and Bluetooth were connected I wanted to see what the WOWOTO projector had to offer in the form of apps, so I clicked the Apps icon. The default apps are Aptoide (to download compatible apps), Chrome, Clear Memory (this comes in handy) iMirror, MX Player, Play Store, UShare, Video, WPS Projector, and YouTube.
You can modify the Home screen to add the most frequently used apps by clicking the Add button and selecting the desired app.
Navigation with Remote vs Device
With the remote, you can adjust volume, return to the previous screen, access menu options (although it doesn’t work on all programs), return to Home screen, navigate left, right, up, and down. You can also select a media input source, access internal or external files, adjust keystone, access settings, switch keyboard/mouse, mute the sound and of course, turn it on or off.
The device itself has a neat little mousepad that allows you to access most of the functions. There’s also the volume up/down buttons along with Home, return to previous and Menu options.
What I’ve found is navigating with the remote is much easier in most instances than using the device itself. While the mousepad is a nice feature, it’s very sensitive. Unless you’re sitting right next to the device while it’s displaying a movie, the remote is the better option (in my opinion).
Note: Inserting the batteries was a mini exercise in frustration.
Downloading and Using Apps
Just for grins, I decided to download my most frequently used apps which are Netflix, Amazon Video, Disney +, and Hulu. Mind you, I have all of these apps on the Amazon Fire TV stick, but I wanted to test the difference between using the Fire Stick (which requires its own power source) and the device’s built-in app library.
Note: Although I downloaded Amazon Prime Video, I was unable to access it through the Apps interface. To watch Prime Video, I had to go through the Aptoid app each time to Open and run the app. I think this might be an Android vs.Amazon thing.
Navigating the downloaded apps proved to be interesting. Some apps required mouse input while other apps required remote control input only. There was also the need to frequently switch between the default keyboard mode and mouse mode to navigate the apps. It got to be frustrating.
In addition to the frustration of navigating the apps, I found the Menu button didn’t work while using the on-device apps. For example, I wanted to modify the color display while watching a movie so I depressed the Menu button on the remote. Nothing happened. I then pressed the Menu button on the device still nothing happened. To modify the display color/contrast/brightness, I had to go into Settings – Projector Settings – Image Setting to make changes.
When you go into Settings not only does it shut off the movie, but you’ve got to make display adjustments on a default image that looks nothing like the scene in the movie you’re watching.
I adjusted the default photo, hoping I made the proper adjustments. When I was done, I had to go back to the app, find the movie I was watching and start it over again. Unfortunately, the modifications I had made to the settings didn’t improve things the way I wanted, so I had to go through the process again. Not a good feature.
Using the Amazon Fire TV Stick
After testing the on-board apps, I then accessed the same apps through the Amazon Fire TV stick. The difference was big. The image display through the Fire Stick was much clearer. Additionally, pressing the Menu button while using the Fire Stick invokes the menus I was hoping to access when I used the in-device apps.
In essence, if you have an Amazon Fire TV stick, it’s best to use that instead of downloading the apps to the Wowoto device. In a pinch, the downloaded apps can come in handy, but using the Fire Stick gives you a clearer picture with fewer frustrations
One Caveat: The controls on the top of the device do not work with the Amazon Fire TV stick. You must use the remote.
Fortunately, this device is Bluetooth compatible. It also has a jack for headphones/speakers. That’s a good thing because I found the on-board speaker to be inadequate. Connecting an external speaker/headphone is the way to go to enhance your movie listening pleasure.
For the price, this is a nice projector. However, I found it to be somewhat frustrating to operate. The display picture is good. You won’t be disappointed, but the picture display improves if you use an Amazon Fire TV stick.
I’ve performed a side-by-side picture display comparison using the Wowoto against a few other projectors. While this device has a nice display, the other devices seemed to have the upper edge.