With all the summer sports events ahead, this compact Philips Screeneo S4 projector seems very attractive. You can easily take it with you to the friends, and it offers a lot of light so that a darkened environment is not a must. With Android TV on board, it also offers a lot of entertainment without the need for additional source devices. In this review we discuss all our experiences with the Philips Screeneo S4.
Philips Screeneo S4 – specifications
- What: Full HD DLP projector
- Setup: 1,920 x 1,080, light output 1,800 ANSI lumens, dynamic contrast 100,000: 1, projection ratio 1.2 (100 inch diagonal at 2.66 m)
- Connections: 1x HDMI (2.0, ARC), 2x USB (media player), 1x optical digital out, 1x ethernet
- Lamp life: LED lamp , up to 30,000 hours
- Extras: HDR10, 2x 5 Watt speakers, WiFi, Android OS, media player, screen mirroring, Bluetooth
- Dimensions: 192 x 192 x 110 mm
- Weight: 1.84 kg
- Recommended price : 1,199 euros
Philips Screeneo S4 – design
The Screeneo S4 perfectly illustrates that a projector does not necessarily have to be a huge box. No, it is not a Pico projector, it is a few sizes too big for that, but with a mere 19 cm x 19 cm surface and 11 cm high, it is really compact. The weight of only 1.84 kg makes it very easy to handle or move. The device therefore seems to us to be ideal to take with you on holiday, to family or friends.
It also looks very nice, in matte white with silver grids and a black front. At the top center you will find the illuminated on / off button. We see this Screeneo effortlessly getting a permanent place in the living room or bedroom.
The connections are at the back and give you enough options. An HDMI 2.0 connection, two USB for media, an Ethernet connection and a digital optical output. The micro-USB connection is for service purposes only.
This projector is also equipped with WiFi and Bluetooth (both to send audio to the projector and to connect an external speaker).
Philips Screeneo S4 – Placement
With its projection ratio of 1.2 you could just call this Screeneo S4 a short throw projector . Keep in mind that for a 100-inch image, it must still be a little more than 2.6 meters from the screen.
The projector is equipped with an automated focus. It works great, although you have a slightly better result if you set the focus manually. For this you do not have to turn a wheel on the projector, a few presses on the remote control is sufficient. Just stand right in front of the screen and set a perfect focus.
Lens shift and zoom are missing, so you don’t seem to have a lot of room to maneuver when setting up. But that is not too bad. There is a digital zoom that reduces the image up to 50%, and there is a decent keystone correction for any trapezoidal distortion. If you need to tilt the projector up or down a little (with the swivel feet), you can have the resulting distortion automatically corrected if desired. For that, it is best to calibrate the projector on a perfectly flat surface first.
But even if you do not place the projector horizontally perfectly centrally in front of the screen, and you have to projector a little to the left or right, you can you make another correction. By dragging four points to the desired place with the remote control, you can simultaneously eliminate horizontal and vertical trapezoidal distortion.
Because it is so light and compact, you can easily give it a somewhat unusual or temporary place. The projector has a screw connection for a tripod at the bottom, which is an option that you will not find on a classic projector. When you turn on the projector you have almost immediately full brightness, an advantage of the LED light source. We can definitely not call it silent, but the sound is certainly not unduly disturbing.
Philips Screeneo S4 – Ease of use
The menus of this projector are very simple, maybe just a bit too simple.
 The image settings that you reach via the settings, for example, hardly give you the opportunity to adjust anything. In the first place you will find the settings for keystone and focus. Furthermore, there is only “brightness” with which you adjust the lamp setting. There is a choice of three modes (from the lowest lamp position to the highest: Energy Saving, Normal and Presentation), but unfortunately they also affect the color temperature. There is a fourth mode, “Custom”, which you can adjust via RGB levels. There is no separate gray-scale control for the dark or bright shades and an advanced color management system is missing.
Is there really no further adjustment possible? Yes, but that is only possible if you play something, and then press the “source” button. In the menu that appears, you can then adjust the “Color” setting (which are actually image presets) (Vivid, Natural, Soft, User). If you choose the latter, you also have the option to adjust Brightness, Contrast, Color Temperature, Saturation and Sharpness. It is inconvenient (and easy to overlook) that all the settings are not together.
The small, white remote is just as rudimentary as the menus. In addition to the usual d-pad and keys such as inputs, option and volume, the only keys you get extra are those for the focus setting.
The small remote is light in the hand and the keys work handy. The only notable option is the pointer function. If you press the “arrow” key (to the right of Home), you will see a pointer on the screen that you move by moving the remote lightly. Quite handy in the Android environment, but now again not a big plus. The remote is not lit, but you will probably use this projector in some light.
Philips Screeneo S4 – features
This Full HD projector uses DLP technology . The projector does accept Ultra HD sources, but it downscales it to Full HD. HDR10 is also on the list of supported formats.
It is equipped with an LED light source that should be good for 1,800 lumens. A big advantage is the lifespan of the LED lamps, they last up to 30,000 hours. The projector also takes only a few seconds to start, unlike classic UHP lamps, they are almost immediately at full brightness.
The built-in speakers (2x 5 Watt) are relatively small, but nevertheless deliver a good result. Of course you can’t expect popping explosions and rolling basses, but even a chaotic battle like The Long Night from Game of Thrones came into its own relatively well. Also for some background music the result and volume is sufficient.
The projector can be connected via Bluetooth to an external speaker if desired. You can connect to your audio installation or soundbar via the digital optical output. Note that there is no ARC on the HDMI connection.
The Screeneo runs on Android, but it uses an alternative app store “Aptoide”. The underlying Android version is 5.0 (Lollipop), which unfortunately means that the system is already a few versions behind. The combination is sometimes a bit limp. Some apps are offered but cannot be installed (a certain version of Amazon Prime for example). The installation of an app sometimes goes wrong. And for some apps you don’t get the default app. For YouTube, you get an alternative version called S YouTube, and the Netflix app looks suspiciously like the mobile app, not the TV app. Both are installed by default, but although the projector supports HDR10, we only saw SDR versions on both services. We could also install Amazon Prime Video, and although the app starts and we can log in with our account and browse through the offer, playing a video turned out to be unfortunately impossible.
The media player VLC and the media library Kodi are also included as standard. . They worked fine and you immediately know that you can play almost all media formats.
Philips Screeneo S4 – Image quality
The Screeneo S4 menus did not show too many options for editing the image, and that is noticeable we also during the image processing tests. Deinterlacing is excellent, but the projector has difficulty detecting less common movie and video frame rates. Therefore, please provide progressive video (720p, 1080p, 2160p) to avoid kicking and combing effects.
The Full HD image lacks the finest vertical resolution, and in the built-in image presets the sharpness is a bit too high, so you can there sees false detail. Because the projector has no options to eliminate noise, that excessive sharpness can also accentuate noise. Therefore choose the “User” image preset and then limit “Sharpness” to about 30.
The motion sharpness is moderate, as expected from this type of projector. There is also a little bit of judder on a lot of videos, but that is especially visible in fast pan images.
The LED light source of the Screeneo S4 provides a lot of light, but the maximum in our measurements is 975 lumens. That is with the lamp in “Presentation” mode, which gives a much too green tint. The “Normal” mode reduces the light output to 747 lumens (78%) and the “Energy Saving” mode to 571 lumens (59%). We prefer the ‘Normal’ mode for the most pleasant image, which still offers enough light for a fine 100 inch image with blackout and about 70 inch with ambient light.
Dynamic contrast modes or an iris are missing, and it own contrast is modest (590: 1), but is sufficient for use. Stay away from the ‘Soft’ image preset, which not only strongly reduces the light output (456 lumens with lamp in ‘Normal’, but also the contrast (367: 1).
We got the best results in ‘Normal’ lamp mode and the ‘Natural’ image preset. The color temperature is still much too cool (cyan overtone). The preset has (like the other image presets) a very low gamma value, making the image very bright in the midtones. color reproduction is striking that most colors are too intense, especially red and blue (and therefore magenta) are pronounced too strong.
All these deviations clearly indicate that the projector is optimized for to show the best possible image in ambient light Intense colors and too bright midtones counteract the dilution of the image by ambient light and the high color temperature makes the most of the lamp, as we also notice when we try to calibrate the projector. By adjusting the gray scale you can achieve a correct color temperature (6500 K), but the maximum brightness then drops to 500 lumens. With that you can fill up to 80 inches diagonally when darkened, but in ambient light it is best to stay around 60 inches.
When darkened, the intense colors sometimes stand out, but the Screeneo S4 left a strong impression when we just put it in the living room. The image exceeds our expectations, the small projector can put quite a bit of image on the screen. Gamers have to take into account a response time of about 92 ms, which is too much for shooters and action games.
Somewhat surprisingly, the Screeneo also supports HDR10 (but no other HDR formats ) . Since we already noted in SDR that red and blue are extremely intense, the projector does have enough potential color gamut to give a solid HDR impression.
In practice, however, the HDR display seems to us not optimal. For starters, the light output and contrast are not such that they do HDR credit. We also notice that the projector displays the images a little too dark. All white detail above 1,000 nits is also hidden regardless of the metadata. This means that in images with very high clear content and that are also mastered with high metadata, you lose a lot of image quality.
But the color reproduction can also be disturbing at times. With 85% DCI-P3 color range, it does indeed have a lot of potential, but it is quite lavish. Red and blue shades are clearly too saturated, which means that the colors can be unnaturally intense. Unfortunately, this also has an impact on skin tones that have an orange-red glow in some images.
The excessive color means that you can still see an HDR effect in some ambient light, but without better calibration, unfortunately not achievable by Due to the limited settings, HDR does not seem to be the best choice for this projector.
For the lag measurement, we use a Leo Bodnar Display lag meter. For all other measurements, we rely on a Spectracal C6 HDR2000 Colorimeter, Xrite i1 Pro spectrophotometer, a VideoForge Pro pattern generator, and the Spectracal Calman for Business software. To analyze any HDR problems we use an HDFury Vertex.
Philips Screeneo S4 – Conclusion
Do good things come in a small size? The Screeneo S4 has great assets, but the finish leaves much to be desired. The combination of an older Android TV version and the Aptoide app store certainly does not provide a problem-free user experience, although the problems are rarely a deal breaker. The clunky menu layout and limited image settings limit the maximum image quality you get from the projector. Yes, the projector supports HDR, but the colors are not always a good choice because of the intense colors. You don’t get perfect Full HD = detail, presumably due to a mediocre lens. Finally, there is a lot of competition in this segment and therefore the price seems a bit too high for us.
However, the projector still has a lot to offer. It is compact and robust, and an excellent choice if you want to take it with you to friends or families. Despite the problems of the operating system, the built-in media players and streaming services are good value. The LED light source provides a generous portion of light, the projector has a solid contrast and the image is optimized for use in ambient light. A large white wall is all you need to create an intense image.