The Formovie V10 could BREAK the home projector marketJanuary 24, 2023
I saw quite a few new projectors at the Consumer Electronics Show this year, but one in particular stuck out from the rest. The V10 from Formovie won a CES2023 innovation award and not only claims impressive specs like a 2500 ANSI lumen LED light source, 4K resolution, HDMI 2.1, 12ms of input lag and a basically unheard of 240Hz refresh rate, but the Formovie rep at the booth said that when the V10 is released in the US later this year we can expect an MSRP between $800-1000, which if true would absolutely break the projector market since it would be essentially half the price of similarly spec’ed projectors currently on the market.
I was so intrigued by the V10 that when I got back to my hotel room, I immediately hopped on AliExpress to get the Chinese version, which was released in September, and in about a week the Chinese V10 arrived at my door. Even with the reseller’s fee, shipping and importing the Formovie V10 was still only $1173, which definitely gives me hope for the sub $1000 US release, but can the specs possibly be as good as Formovie claims?
Starting with brightness. The ANSI lumen is supposed to be a highly standardized way of measuring projector brightness so consumers can easily compare between brands and models, and to measure ANSI lumens you collect lux readings from 9 standard points, average those readings and multiply by the screen size in square meters.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to know the exact conditions and equipment that each manufacturer uses in their testing, so the best I can do is make sure my own methods stay standardized throughout all of my testing, and when I measured the Formovie V10’s brightness I came up with just 1391 ANSI lumens, which is only 55% of its advertised brightness.
For reference, here are the ANSI brightness measurements that I took when I reviewed similar projectors back in June of 2022 compared to their advertised ANSI lumens, and you can see that all of my measured values were less than the manufacturers, but the sub $1000 Formovie V10 fits in somewhere in between the XGIMI Horizon Pro, and the Nebula Laser 4K as far as brightness.
So next let’s look at the picture quality, resolution and refresh rate claims. Like 99% of 4K projectors on the market, the Formovie V10 uses a 1080p DLP chip with pixel shifting to create a 4K image by rapidly drawing 4 subpixels for each frame of video. That means that if you are watching content at 4K 60Hz each small mirror on the DLP chip needs to draw 240 pixels per second to generate the image, which I guess you could technically call 240Hz.
To test image quality, I projected a 120” screen in an ambient light controlled room and recorded it on my Sony A7 IV with these settings, and the image looked extremely good with crisp details, no screen door effect, and excellent focus uniformity. The contrast and black levels weren’t amazing, but were definitely not bad, and were easily the best I’ve seen at this price point.
As far as the refresh rate claims, I’m highly skeptical for a few reasons. First, the Formovie V10 uses a MediaTek M9669 Chipset, and even though that’s the current top of the line flagship SoC from MediaTek, it clearly lists a maximum refresh rate of 120Hz, and second in my testing even though I was able to set the resolution of the V10 to 1080p 240Hz using my graphics card, after recording the screen at 240 frames per second I couldn’t see any difference between the 1080p 120Hz and 1080p 240Hz signals, but I guess being able to accept and properly display a 240Hz signal is still impressive.
Moving onto the input lag claims, 12ms is extremely fast and would put the Formovie V10 near the very top of the gaming projector market. But unfortunately, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t replicate that 12ms number. I used the industry standard Leo Bodnar lag tester in every different resolution and refresh rate combination I could think of. I put the V10 into its specific gaming mode, I turned off every advanced picture setting, and even tried different HDMI versions, ports, and cables, but the fastest input lag measurements I could get were 34.7ms at 4K60 and 34.9ms at 1080p60. 1080p 120Hz where most gaming projectors have their lowest input lag was much worse at 51ms. Don’t get me wrong, 34.7ms is not bad at all, and would be more than acceptable for most games, but it’s still almost 3 times more than the 12ms claimed by Formovie and is the most disappointing thing about the V10.
But there’s still a lot to love about the Formovie, starting with the sound quality. The V10 has a 30 watt 2.1 channel sound system meaning separate 7.5 watt left and right speakers and a separate 15 watt subwoofer, and it is without a doubt the best sounding projector I’ve ever tested. These lifestyle projectors are meant to be able to be moved from room to room and no matter where you put the V10 you’re going to have plenty of volume and excellent sound quality, and I don’t see any reason why you would want to use a separate soundbar with this projector unless you were going to spend as much money on your sound system as you did on the projector.
Another thing I noticed was the lack of any ambient sounds from the V10. There was no fan noise, no power supply whine or color wheel sounds. Formovie claims the noise level is less than or equal to 28 decibels which is below the noise floor of every room in my house. This is a projector you could definitely put directly behind your head and forget that it was there.
I also like the look of the V10 which is just slightly larger than an Amazon Echo Studio and could easily be at home on a coffee or sofa table. Even though the downward firing subwoofer takes up most of the bottom of the projector it does still have 3 mounting holes for a traditional ceiling mount.
The V10 is running FengOS, which is built on Android 9, and includes time of flight auto focus, auto keystone, screen fit, and object avoidance. Although I can’t really comment on the final international software since this is obviously the Chinese version, you can probably expect similar compatibility to other FengOS devices like the Wemax Go when it comes to Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, and YouTubeTV, which is to say it won’t be great, and you’ll probably want to use a streaming stick like an Amazon FireTV Max.
It’s entirely possible that the US version of the Formovie V10 will have different firmware that will increase the refresh rate, lower the input lag and boost the brightness, but it is worth noting that the listing for the Chinese version makes all the same claims as the US version. Unfortunately, overall I think the Formovie over promises and under delivers on advertised specs, but the question is whether it would still be the best value in projectors even with the more realistic measured values paired with its sub $1000 MSRP, so here’s a chart with all the 4K projectors it will be directly competing with, and my personal tests of those units.
The overall performer in this category of LED and Laser projectors remains the Dangbei Mars Pro 4K which has over 2000 measured ANSI lumens, great picture quality, and a sleek look for a street price of around $1500, and for pure gaming performance nothing matches the BENQ X3000i’s sub 10ms response time at 1080p 120Hz.
But from a price verses performance standpoint, the Formovie V10 even with reduced real-world specifications seems to be poised to be the best value on the market when it is released in the US, assuming they are able to hit their sub $1000 price point.
I’ve got a link below to the seller I used to get my Chinese version, but I would absolutely recommend waiting for the official US release, not only for better pricing, but also hopefully better performance and the US version of FengOS. If you can’t wait and you need a projector now, I’ve also got Amazon Links for all the other projectors that I talked about in this video, and my current personal recommendation is still the Dangbei Mars Pro.
Like all the videos on my channel, this review is completely non-sponsored and unbiased, so if you appreciate the time, effort and money it takes me to make a video like this I’d appreciate if you could use those links since as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn a small commission on the sale at no cost to you.
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Formovie V10 (Chinese Version): https://s.click.aliexpress.com/e/_DnlIC5d
Other projectors in this video:
Dangbei Mars Pro: https://amzn.to/3GSyvCX
BENQ X3000i: https://amzn.to/3iT2Lpp
XGIMI Horizon Pro: https://amzn.to/3kwX0OM
Nebula Cosmos 4K Laser: https://amzn.to/3XCqR6k
**As an Amazon Affiliate I earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you**