The RIF6 Cube ($269 on Amazon) is a portable DLP projector that’s super-small at only 2”x 2”. You can literally fit this projector in your pocket and then use it to project an image from your iPhone’s screen up to 120”.
The main thing that the RIF6 has going for it is its size, or lack thereof. It’s so incredibly tiny, that it’s hard to believe that it can project anything, let alone a 120” picture.
The small size, though, is both a blessing and a curse for the RIF6. Due to its small size, it’s sub-HD at an 854×480 resolution. It also packs a speaker that features barely audible sound quality.
But I’ve decided that both of these downsides are things that most people will be able to live with, because you’re buying this projector for the incredible sense of portability and flexibility that it brings, not because it packs the latest and greatest features in projector technology.
Watch our video review inside as I highlight the unboxing of the RIF6 Cube, and showcase the basic setup and display capabilities that this svelte little device possesses.
Inside the box
Unboxing a new RIF6 feels like you’ve hit the jackpot; there’s a ton of stuff included inside of the box. Here’s what you’ll find when you unbox yours:
- RIF6 Cube Projector
- Tripod head
- Power brick
- 5-pin MHL cable
- 11-pin MHL cable
- USB charging cable
- HDMI cable
All of the accessories are packaged and protected in a way that exudes confidence and quality in the product. The box itself is really cool in that it’s basically a mock version of the RIF6 Cube itself.
Setting it all up
The RIF6 comes with lots of cables, which can be confusing at first glance, but it basically boils down to this: you should only be concerned with the MHL cables if you’re connecting to an Android device.
iPhone owners will need the HDMI cable, and the USB charging cable. You’ll also need to pick up a Digital AV adapter, which allows you to connect an HDMI output source to the Lightning port on your iPhone. Make sure you pick up this adapter, or else you won’t be able to directly connect your iPhone to the projector.
An iPhone to RIF6 Cube projector setup works like this:
- iPhone → Digital AV → HDMI → RIF6 Cube
As long as your RIF6 is charged up, you can operate the projector independent of a power source for up to 90 minutes. You can also play content via the projector while the device is charging, which is handy for watching full length movies and for gaming marathons.
Once you have everything connected, place the RIF6 inside of the well-designed tripod solution, and aim it at the wall, ceiling, or anywhere else you wish to throw the image. The RIF6 is outstandingly flexible, and its small size makes it easy to fit into tight spaces.
As mentioned, the RIF6 isn’t HD, it’s 854×480, and that’s certainly noticeable in 2015. The further away you have the device from the projection destination (wall), the more noticeable the lack of HD quality will be. I’ve found that it’s best to stick to a 50” to 75” screen size to maintain the best quality.
You can use the little focus dial on the side to the device to adjust the focus on the fly and achieve a sharper picture. The focus dial is a little difficult to use, and requires tedious adjustments to get just right.
If you’re experienced with projectors, then throw out pretty much everything you know about modern projectors and the luxuries that they afford. With the RIF6 Cube, it’s the basics of the basics. There are a few low-level picture quality settings for things like contrast and brightness, but outside of that, there’s nothing that you can do to adjust the look or quality of the projected image outside of placement and the focus dial. Again, that’s to be expected given the device’s size and price.
Lastly, the sound quality is horrendous, but that should come as no surprise given that the RIF6 has to fit a speaker inside of a 2”x2” cube. There’s already tons of components shoehorned inside this tight space already, so compromises had to be made on the speaker. Fortunately, it’s easy to connect an external speaker via the headphone jack on the side of the device.
Overall build quality for the RIF6 cube itself feels solid and well designed. RIF6 says that the 50 Lumen DLP bulb will stay bright for 20,000 hours, which should lend peace of mind to would-be buyers. I don’t see any way to replace the bulb in the device, but with that sort of lifetime, it’s more likely that you’ll stop using the RIF6 or that another component will go before the bulb goes out.
Real world usage
Last night, my wife and I watched a couple of episodes of iCarly in bed ( don’t laugh, that show is still awesome). We don’t have a TV in our room, so it was a real treat to be able to do this on a whim. What was even better was that I was able to project the image directly on our ceiling, so we could lay back comfortably and watch. That, I have to admit, was pretty awesome.
It’s also great to be able to essentially pack around a 50”+ TV wherever you go. I could definitely see using the RIF6 Cube while camping, or while traveling and staying in a hotel.
- Excellent unboxing experience
- Lots of accessories, including tripod
- Extremely portable
- Up to 120” screen
- Great design and solid build quality
- Battery powered
- A wonderful iPhone companion
- Great for gaming
- Sub-HD picture quality
- Tin can speakers
- Fan can be loud in small spaces
The RIF6, despite its sub-HD picture quality and bad sound, is awesome. There’s just something about having the flexibility to project a 50”-100” image on a whim with minimal setup. This thing is extremely portable and small, and that’s its primary selling point, not its picture quality.
I definitely wouldn’t buy the RIF6 as my main source of video, or even as a primary projector, but it works great as a portable secondary projector, and it will definitely impress your friends.
The fact that this device is battery powered makes it even better. If you don’t have room for a TV, or if you travel a lot, the RIF6 can make a great mobile theater on the go. At $269 on Amazon, it’s not exactly an impulse buy, but it’s not so expensive that it’s out of the range of many iPhone owners, either. I recommend it.
What do you think about the RIF6?