Cardboard 2.0 Review: A Worthwhile Portable Smartphone Projector for Fun

Cardboard 2.0 review

Few days are left for the Christmas! All are started preparing to celebrate the day as per their plans. The occasion is related to presenting some gift to the kids on behalf of Santa. Are you also searching for the right gift for your known young ones but still confused? Well, I am having a suggestion for you. It is to choose Cardboard 2.0 portable DIY smartphone projector as a gift option. Recently I ordered it from an online store and reviewed it thoroughly. Hence, in this post, I am going to share my views regarding the same product.

By the way, Cardboard smartphone 2.0 projector can fit the budget of many people. It is because the device is available to buy on online stores at a discounted price. That too only around $10 to $15. It is best to compare the pricing and configurations of the different models of the same available from different brands.

Thus, when I saw the projector first time on an online store, I found mixed reviews from its users on the same. Hence, I decided to buy a 2.0 hardware and try to use it by myself. Also my aim is to share the performance of the device with others.

How is the Hardware Appearance of the 2.0 Smartphone Projector?

Cardboard portable smartphone 2.0 projector as the name indicates is made up of a cardboard material. It is a DIY model that can be assembled or disassembled when required by the user. By the way, some manufacturers are also offering ready to use assembly models. They can be used for the projection without a user need to assemble or disassemble the parts every time.

Now we will be having a brief look at the working methodology of Cardboard 2.0 smartphone projector model. It is just hardware that uses a lens to enlarge the display of a mobile screen. Hence it does not needs any external power supply source. After all, the device directly uses the brightness output of a mobile placed inside the hardware.

Smartphone 2.0 projector hardware can be assembled or disassembled quickly before using the same with a smartphone. A user might need/not need a double-sided tape or glue to get the projection assembly ready within minutes.

Let me share something about the hardware appearance of the projector. It has a brown leather print with some cream touch as the overall hardware design. The overall look of the device has been inspired by the leather hip flasks, rangefinder cameras, and Cuban cigar lounges.

What is the Convenience of using Cardboard 2.0 as a Projection Device?

The smartphone 2.0 projector assembly is not having any active internal parts. For example battery, CPU, lamp, etc. other than having only a big lens at the front. And yes the device is based on a delicate hardware body. So it is not having any Anti-scratch or Anti-shock features or so.

At the same time by considering the complete hardware of the projector as a machine, it is Compact, Light, and Portable. I can say it because of the two reasons! First, the overall dimensions of the smartphone 2.0 projector assembly measures to about 17-29 cm (L) x 18 cm (W) x 11 cm (H). Secondly, the net weight of the projector body is only 15.2 ounces.

It does not matter if a user is having an Android, iOS or any other operating system based mobile. All because the projector device is compatible with all types of smartphones. Off course why not, after all, there is no active part that is present inside the Cardboard 2.0 projector that can work with the mobile.

In simple words, the smartphone 2.0 projector assembly is not connected with the phone in any way. It is only giving proper grip to the hardware of the mobile. Hence, it helps to avoid any inconvenience while using the same with the projection device.

How to Install and Use the Projector?

Following are some official tips and tricks that have been shared by the manufacturers for their product users. They are helpful to get the best quality of display output from cardboard smartphone 2.0 projector hardware. The points have been divided into separate sections to get a clear idea regarding the same;

Before Installation of the Projection Hardware

  • There is a lens that has been installed inside a tube. It is to be in an upright manner with the concave side of the lens facing outwards. Also, the tube must be placed on the proper position inside the projector hardware.
  • After the proper position of lens and tube, the next step is to install the smartphone on the Cardboard 2.0 device. However, before that, you need to adjust the brightness level of your mobile to 100%. It is recommended otherwise you will not get the best quality of projected output display. Also, there are some Apps available at present both for Android and iOS devices. They can help to get most of the brightness output from their display screens.
  • Before placing the mobile inside the projector assembly, you need to take care of a critical thing about your smartphone. It is that the screen of your mobile must be free from dust, debris or any scratches. After all, a small disturbance in the way of projection can affect much in the output display screen.
  • A user needs to take care at the time of placing the smartphone inside the projector. It should get stuck on a silicon grip pad. It has been provided on the rear flap having a display screen of mobile facing towards the hardware assembly. Also, the back flap should be pushed upwards before started using the projector. So that finally the display screen of the phone will come in parallel to the output projection object.

After Installation of the Projection Hardware

  • After getting your projector assembly ready having the mobile phone in it now it is the time to prepare the right environment. So to get the best quality of projected pictures from Cardboard 2.0, it is recommended for a user to turn off surrounding lights as much as possible. Before that, you need to choose a proper place preferably flat surface to install the projector. That too should be facing toward a light-colored wall or a white projection screen.
  • As the manufacturers are saying that the projector is capable of enhancing the display size of the phone screen. That too about eight times that of its original look. However, it is suggested to set up the projector at a distance of approximately 1.5 m from the display screen. It is necessary to project a display screen having a diagonal size of 4’9’’ and get the best experience of quality output.
  • You can change the distance of positioning the 2.0 smartphone projector at various distances from the projection screen or a wall. It can help you to get different sizes cum quality of projected display screens. Also, you can expand or contract the product to get the same job done.
  • If you are still getting any problem with the display, then you need to check the quality of the output projection object. I mean to say if you are projecting the display screen either on a wall or a projector screen then they must be smooth and clear.

How is the Design of Cardboard Portable 2.0 Projector?

As I already shared with you, all the fact that the outer body of 2.0 is made from cardboard having a glass lens and everything comes pre-assembled. The hardware got a soft matt laminate finish with silver foil accents. A silicon grip pad is there to fix a smartphone at a position.

The Cardboard 2.0 projector assembly consists of two major sections, an outer section having a lens at the front middle side. The second section is an inner box that is half inside the first outer box, and the rest half is towards outside.

Also in the inner box at the back portion, there is a silicon flap. It has been provided to fix the mobile phone at one place that can be pushed back and front while taking out the phone or putting it back. However, at the time of using the projector, the smartphone should be fixed inside the second box. That too in the proper place so that the mobile screen should face directly towards the projection screen or a wall.

To make it simple, a user needs to lock the silicone flap having mobile in it. It can be done using the second section of the cardboard smartphone 2.0 assembly before starting projecting using the same. The lens has been providing at the front face and on the first section of the projector assembly. It can enhance the display output of a smartphone to 8X times on a significant projected screen.

What are the Hardware Specifications of Cardboard Smartphone 2.0 Projector?

A user should know one important thing regarding using a smartphone with a Cardboard 2.0 projector. It is the device compatible with phones of size up to 8 cm x 14.5 cm or 3.2 inches x 5.7 inches and not more than that. The box packaging of Cardboard smartphone 2.0 portable projector comprises of many components. It includes a silicon pad, two rubber rings, four paper rings, an amplifier, one paper cylinder, and the main unit.

To be specific regarding the measure of outer box packaging of the smartphone 2.0 projector, it sizes to around 19.5cm(W) x 11cm(H) x 18cm(D). Total weight of the package having the main unit and including all the accessories related to the projector assembly in it is about 0.43 kg.

The outer packaging box of the projector is having photos of the device imprinted on the front and sides. All in all by looking to the packaging one thing is sure. It is that anyone can come to know how the machine will be, about its working and the box also consist of some necessary details.

How is the Display Performance of the Cardboard Portable 2.0 Projector Device?

Before sharing my views about the quality of projected display output from the device, I would like to remind you of one fact regarding the same. It is that smartphone 2.0 portable projector is just a screen magnifier and we cannot expect much from that cardboard box. It cannot be used for high level of home entertainment or any professional use.

Again as I already said the truth of the projector is the maximum brightness of the projected screen depends on the brightness of the mobile in use. If you have options, then it is good to prefer to project the images or videos that are rich in color details and brightness. As a result, you will get more detailed reproduced pictures on the output display screen with subtle colors.

A user can project inverted pictures on the Cardboard 2.0 projection device. It is possible by downloading and installing a smartphone App. There are many applications to choose from like ultimate rotation control and screen rotation control.

Also, it is recommended to use the device in a completely dark room. Or at least under minimum surrounding ambient light. It is because there is not any powerful lamp inside the hardware that can power up the output display screen of the projector. A third important thing is there that needs to be kept in mind and can be helpful for a user to get quality projected output. It is to use the device assembly with a light colored projection screen or a wall preferably white.


Before concluding my review in this section about Cardboard smartphone portable 2.0 projector, I want to clear one thing about the same. There are many online reviews those were negative about the performance of the product that may misguide some people. But as per my review experience, it is not too bad to say that it is not worth for money product!

My main intention is not to support or promote the Cardboard 2.0 in front of others. But to get people aware of about something that can be helpful for them up to a certain extent. That too without losing many forms the pockets anyone can buy the device. Well, I can clearly understand the fact that we are humans and our expectations will never be going to be in limits!

I found that all the text that is present in videos or photos appeared in reverse. Also the pictures those have been recorded in portrait mode will not be played in landscape mode under full-screen mode. You need to agree with one more limitation of the projector. Total output display brightness of 2.0 projector assembly is directly proportional to the brightness level of a mobile.

It is suggested by the manufacturers as well to keep the brightness of the mobile phone screens at high intensity. and it is necessary while using the smartphone with the cardboard DIY portable 2.0 projector. It can result in getting a clear projected output display screen. Hence, it is helpful for projecting some videos with friends or family anytime.

Whether you should Buy the Product?

If you are interested in a Cardboard 2.0 projector, then you may find many options to buy. That too from different manufacturers in the local market or on e-commerce stores. However, do not get confused or think much about which brand is the best to buy the projector assembly since they are almost similar!

As per what I saw in the device there is nothing much to look for regarding the quality of the smartphone 2.0 portable projector hardware or so on. It is because the hardware is made up of just cardboard with a lens inside. But yes before ordering one it is best if you can check the list of accessories or packaging contents of the device. The list may vary concerning the price from a manufacturer or seller for a particular projector model.

It would be not right to compare the performance aspects of the projector with other commercially available models in the market. After all, the 2.0 smartphone portable projector does not belong to any particular brand. Hence, to make my review fair I am only focusing on the money that a user needs to pay for the device and its worth of use in our daily life.

At last, I would say the Cardboard 2.0 can be a fun gift to others. At least it can be a quick option to be used as a projection machine during a house party. The best part is kids can use the smartphone 2.0 projector to play and learn by projecting some educational content on the device.

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