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Alastair Jennings

Paris Rhone SP005 True 4K Projector review

Paris Rhone SP005.

Paris Rhone SP005: 30-second review

The Paris Rhône SP005 True 4K Projector appears to be a promising offering, combining professional styling and potent projection capabilities at a reasonable price. Initial impressions are favourable, with decent build quality that, although plastic, is well-finished and designed.

The initial setup is straightforward, offering configurations for table, ceiling, rear ceiling, or rear projection, all manageable via an easy-to-use interface. Upon startup, the auto-focus and keystone correction engage, adapting to the projection area. While the focus is precise, with manual adjustment available, keystone correction often needs slight manual tweaking. Using a dedicated projection screen improves accuracy, but this projector ideally requires a central placement without any off-centre correction.

The Android TV integration initially seems well-conceived, and the quality of the projection, even at 600 ANSI Lumens, is adequate for a darkened room. However, issues arise with installed apps like iPlayer, Disney+, and Netflix. The integration becomes less user-friendly due to awkward cursor-style navigation and general instability.

Incorporating an HDMI Fire Stick or a similar device can alleviate these issues, transforming the projector experience. The projection quality is commendable, albeit slightly less intense than expected for a device of its size. While fan noise is noticeable, the powerful speakers effectively mask it.

We've tested out the best 4K projectors and the best business projectors, and overall, this model offers decent 4K resolution and sound, but it's advisable to consider an alternative to the built-in Android TV.

Paris Rhone SP005: Price and availability

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
  • How much does it cost? Starting from $699
  • When is it out? Available now
  • Where can you get it? You can get it directly from  Paris Rhone., and other online resellers

The Paris Rhone SP005 True 4K Projector has just gone on sale and can be purchased directly from the Paris Rhone website or for the early bird price of $699. Considering that this is a 4K projector, that price isn't at all bad and well below what you would usually expect to pay for a projector of this type. 

  • Value: 4 / 5

Paris Rhone SP005: Specifications

At the budget end of the market, the projector lacks cutting-edge technology, chips, or processors to boast about. However, offering 4K resolution at this price point is impressive. Its 600 ANSI Lumens fall short of many standard 4K projectors, and with Android TV 9.0 instead of the more up-to-date 11, it's clear that compromises were made to meet a budget.

Taking these limitations into account, along with the inclusion of two very respectable 25W built-in speakers, the price and features begin to seem more balanced. However, this does represent a compromise.

Paris Rhone SP005: Design

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
  • Premium Stylish Appearance
  • Practical Robust Build
  • Fabric-Covered Front Design

The Magnesium Alloy casing of the SP005 gives the projector an instantly premium feel. Its size and weight are reassuring, and if there were any doubts about the projector's prestige, the fabric-covered front around the large projection lens stylishly dispels them.

However, the Paris Rhône SP005 is at the budget end of the market. While the design and features impress upon unboxing, the specifications start to justify the low price tag.

That said, with a native 3840x2160 resolution, this projector firmly falls into the 4K category. There are few projectors currently available with this feature set that can match what's on offer. The 4K projection is further enhanced by HDR 10+ support and 600 ANSI lumens of brightness, making it more suitable for evening or curtain-closed environments for optimal viewing.

Even with 600 lumens of brightness, it's sufficient to project a 200" diagonal display comfortably. The integrated innovative blue light reduction technology ensures the projected images are clear and crisp.

One of the standout features, alongside the 4K resolution, is the dual 12W speakers. Paris Rhône emphasizes these and the audio quality of the projector, contributing to an immersive cinematic experience.

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

For ease of use, the projector includes automatic focus, keystone correction, and intelligent obstacle avoidance, allowing quick adaptation to the environment. Manual adjustments are also easily accessible for those who prefer them.

Preinstalled with Android TV 9.0, the projector offers access to a vast selection of apps, from Netflix to Amazon Prime. Ultra-fast WiFi-6 and Bluetooth 5.0 support for controller and Bluetooth connections, along with an array of ports including HDMI 2.1 and USB-C, expand its usability.

The design of the SP005 is stylish and looks the same. The features, though somewhat limited in bulb brightness, are acceptable for the price, especially for nighttime viewing.

  • Design: 4 / 5
(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Paris Rhone SP005: Performance

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
  • Effective Auto-Focus
  • Mixed Keystone Accuracy
  • Subpar Android Integration

Compared to the slick and stylish exterior, the actual use of the projector offers a contrast. The initial setup is straightforward, with an easy Wi-Fi network connection and quick overall navigation.

The bulb's brightness, compared to more expensive projectors, is instantly apparent, necessitating drawn curtains for a decent picture. Once light levels are sufficient, the quality of the 4K projection is good, despite some noticeable softening towards the edges of the projection area. It's important to position the projector squarely on the wall rather than at an angle.

Upon switching on, the auto-focus and keystone correction kick in. Generally, the focus is accurate, providing sharp images quickly, though with noticeable whirring sounds. Keystone correction was hit-and-miss, with manual adjustment of the four corner points often yielding the best results.

The object avoidance feature also had mixed success, leading to a preference for manual adjustment. A surprising aspect was the need to repeat the focus and projection setup each time the projector was turned on, though this could be turned off in the settings.

Installing apps is easy, but the implementation of Android 9.0 TV limits direct interaction with apps like Netflix to cursor navigation only, inhibiting browsing capability. Using an external device like a Firestick offers a more user-friendly experience.

HDMI connection simplifies usage significantly. Connecting an iPhone via USB-C works well for visuals but omits audio, which can be connected via Bluetooth 5.0 or, more effectively, through a traditional AUX 3.5mm cable. The Apple Multi Connector offers a better option for delivering both visuals and audio.

Overall, the performance of the SP005 doesn't fully meet expectations. The professional appearance isn't matched by usability, although the audio and projection quality are good. Noise levels are higher compared to other projectors like Sony, Epson, and XGIMI, but once a movie starts, it becomes less noticeable.

Considering its price as a straightforward 4K projector with numerous connection options, it offers great value. The attempt to enhance it with Android TV falls short, needing a firmware fix for improvement. However, using an external TV device via HDMI works well, and the 25W speakers are impressive, though a high-quality speaker set, ideally from our list of the best Dolby Atmos Speakers, is recommended.

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)
  • Performance: 2.5 / 5

Paris Rhone SP005: Verdict

Throughout the test period, this projector's price fluctuated from the full $699 to a more reasonable $499. The features and specifications seem to justify the higher price tag. However, the execution of Android TV is subpar, and numerous issues with Bluetooth connectivity and software glitches in the apps don't quite support the full smart projector price.

However, if you overlook the Android TV and other smart features, what remains is a very competent 4K projector with an excellent set of speakers. Connect your preferred media source, and you have a budget-friendly, well-built 4K projector.

If you're in the market for a smart 4K projector, investing a bit more for a more up-to-date and powerful model is advisable. But for occasional use with external media sources and a limited budget, this projector is an excellent choice.

Should you buy a Paris Rhone SP005?

(Image credit: Alastair Jennings)

Buy it if...

Don't buy it if...

How did I test

When it comes to projectors, at least five variables come into play to determine the viewing experience out of the box:

I employ a professional projection screen in lecture theatres and studios for photo and video workshops. At home, I utilize a wall painted specifically for evening viewing.

For my video viewing experience, I delved into a backlog of Edgar Wright movies and the excellent series "Lockwood & Co.", mixing action with special effects, challenging the projector's lamp and electronics. I also showcased the 2020 LG OLED video, a robust test of the projector's handling of black areas. The testing environments included:

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