The Optoma UHZ50 is an entry-level all-in-one DLP 4K laser projector that aims to deliver a high-quality home cinema experience at an affordable price. With built-in streaming, HDR support, and integrated speakers, it offers a great package for those seeking a fuss-free solution.
But does its performance live up to the hype? Let’s dive deeper into the details to uncover its strengths and weaknesses.
Optoma UHZ50 Build & Features
The Optoma UHZ50 comes in a compact, solid plastic casing with easy-to-reach controls and a wealth of connectivity options. It features a selection of controls on top for power, volume, menu controls, and more, as well as physical zoom, focus, and vertical picture shifting controls near the lens.
The projector boasts a laser lamp system that promises a lifespan of 30,000 hours, and it reaches peak performance quickly after powering on. This means you can start watching or playing content on the projector without having to wait too long.
An excellent array of connections is also a highlight of the UHZ50, with three HDMI 2.0 sockets (one of which supports eARC and will accept 4K 60Hz content from gaming sources), as well as three USB sockets. In terms of audio, there is also a 3.5mm headphone jack and even an optical out.
The onboard Android operating system and app marketplace provide streaming options, though not all apps play content in 4K. The supplied remote handset is a simple, backlit design, but proves a little hit and miss when controlling the projector. Its erratic nature proves increasingly annoying over time, leaving the Optoma feeling sluggish and awkward in day-to-day use. Luckily, you can find alternative control options within Optoma’s companion apps.
The Optoma UHZ50 delivers a clean, crisp, and detailed 4K image with punchy colors that impress, especially with CGI-heavy content and gaming. The 3000 lumens of brightness that Optoma claims is entirely believable. The UHZ50 excels when it comes to CGI-heavy content, with Ready Player One’s intense race scene bursting off the screen thanks to the lively colors that the Optoma leans towards.
Motion is relatively smooth, with only slight juddering or flickering. This smooth motion is beneficial in both films and gaming, where fast-moving objects on the screen move fluidly without causing distraction due to jittery movement.
However, the projector’s color accuracy leaves something to be desired, with skin tones appearing reddish and oversaturated. This issue is particularly noticeable in the 4K Blu-ray of Inception, where characters appear almost sunburnt due to the overbearing reddish hue.
The UHZ50 also struggles with scenes featuring both bright and dark lighting conditions. Shadows come across as a glowing grey mass and darker clothing appears brown instead of black.
Compared to the Award-winning Epson EH-TW9400, the Optoma has a brighter, crisper image, but lacks the subtlety and natural colors of its competitor.
While the Optoma’s built-in speakers are convenient for a plug-and-play experience, they are not ideal for a true home cinema setup. The audio quality is thin, edgy, and lacking in dynamics. However, the eARC connection via HDMI makes connecting a soundbar or speaker system a simple solution for a more immersive audio experience.
Operating the Optoma UHZ50 is generally straightforward, but the sluggish and erratic remote control can be a hindrance. The built-in Android operating system provides a wide array of apps and streaming options, but the lack of 4K support in some apps is a significant drawback. Thankfully, the projector’s wealth of connectivity options allows for easy integration of external streaming devices to remedy this issue.
The manual controls for zoom, focus, and vertical picture shifting may not be as convenient as motorized adjustments offered by some rivals, but they are easy to identify and access. Fan noise is also not an issue, with the UHZ50 remaining relatively quiet during operation.
- Crisp and clean 4K image
- Punchy colors
- Built-in streaming
- Wide array of connectivity options
- Quick power-on to peak performance
- Low fan noise
- Picture lacks subtlety
- Struggles to convince in darker scenes
- Built-in apps not 4K
- Remote control can be sluggish and erratic
- Limited internal storage for apps and files
Who Should Buy Optoma UHZ50?
The Optoma UHZ50 is a great choice for those who want an affordable and feature-packed 4K laser projector with an emphasis on bold colors and crisp images. This projector is particularly well-suited for fans of CGI-heavy films, gamers, and users who prioritize a fuss-free, all-in-one solution for their home cinema setup.
Who Shouldn’t Buy Optoma UHZ50?
Those seeking a more natural and accurate picture, with better performance in darker scenes, may want to consider other options, such as the Epson EH-TW9400. The UHZ50 may not be the best choice for users who prioritize audio quality, as the built-in speakers are subpar and an external audio solution will likely be required.
Optoma UHZ50 vs BenQ x3000i: The Optoma UHZ50 and BenQ X3000i projectors have distinct differences: the Optoma offers a sharper, brighter image at a more affordable price, while the BenQ has more color saturation and convenient controls. However, the BenQ is heavier and produces a strange robotic noise during operation. Users should consider image quality, noise, weight, and overall performance when choosing between these two projectors.
Optoma UHZ50 vs Epson EH-TW9400: When comparing the Optoma UHZ50 and Epson EH-TW9400, the Optoma’s DLP technology delivers a sharper image with more vibrant colors, while the Epson offers superior blacks and a more film-like quality, thanks to its proven lamp technology. The occurrence of rainbow effects is less likely with modern projectors, and users have reported no rainbows with either model. The Epson is a dedicated home theater projector, while the Optoma serves as an entertainment projector.
The Optoma UHZ50 offers an attractive package for its price, with a crisp and punchy 4K image, built-in streaming, and plenty of connectivity options. However, it falls short in terms of color accuracy and performance in darker scenes.
If you’re looking for an affordable, feature-rich 4K projector and are willing to compromise on some aspects of picture quality, the Optoma UHZ50 is worth considering. Just be prepared to invest in an external audio solution and potentially a separate streaming device for the best experience.