I’ve gotten something of a rep as the projector guy here at MTT, and I’m totally fine with that, I really do use projectors daily, and I love using them, so when I was approached to review the Rif6 Cube, I snatched it up before anyone else on the team could, but to be honest, I think I should have passed.
Disclaimer: This product was provided to us free of charge to use for this review. No money has exchanged hands either way and no one is reviewing this content before this review goes live. All Opinions expressed are that of the writer (Dom) after 2 weeks with the Cube.
Speeds and Feeds (Specs)
RGB LED light source (not a Lamp)
DLP projection system (not LCD)
50 Lumens peak brightness
854×480 native sensor resolution
1.99:1 throw ratio
Rated “lamp” life of 20,000 hours
Mini HDMI slot
MicroUSB port for charging
Battery life of 90 minutes
For a more complete spec list, head on over to the Rif6 page for the cube.
As the name implies, the Rif6 Cube is, well, a cube. It’s a small metal cube with a metal ring covering 4 out of the 6 faces of the Cube, the two plastic sides are where all your I/O is. From the front (front being where the “lens” is) there is the lens and ventilation grille. On the left side of the unit is the focus dial which is far too jumpy, below that is an MHL capable MiniHDMI port and next to that is a MicroSD card slot. On the back we have nothing but a speaker grille for the woefully underpowered speaker.On the Right hand side of the unit is the MicroUSB charging port, Reset Pin, a power button and blue indicator LED and a headphone jack, above all of this is another ventilation grille.the top and bottom are bare from ports, the top has the Rif6 logo and the bottom has all the regulatory information.
You might notice that nowhere in that Paragraph did I mention a tripod mount, because, in their infinite wisdom, Rif6 decided not to include on the projector, but instead include a small bracket with a tripod threading in it, as well as a mini tripod in the box, but come on guys, how much space does it really take up inside.
Aside from all that, though, the Cube is a nice looking product, if slightly more form than function. Functionally, an elongated rectangle would have made more sense, more like a smartphone for easy transport, the cube as is, is hard to transport not because of its size, but because of its shape. It being so small and light invites you to take it with you, but there is just no comfortable place to put it. The lack of an integrated tripod thread also limits what you can do because unless you want to project at the exact level of a table or something, you’re kind of out of luck.
Well, now we’ve had a look at the hardware, what’s the projection like? Unfortunately, worse. I’m fine with lower resolutions as long as there is a tangible benefit, but the cube doesn’t have one. Sure, it has LEDs instead of a Lamp, and that’s great, lower heat output, brighter, longer life etc, but they only produce 50 Lumens, and I know 50 LED lumens go further than an old LCD Lamp based projector, but 50 is just too damn low. Pair that with a subpar DLP chip, you’re in for a bad time.
As I said before, I’m fine with a lower resolution as long as it is balanced out. For example, I didn’t care that the ML750st from Optoma was only 800 lumens, because everything was crisp enough, it was perfectly colour calibrated and it worked effortlessly. The cube, on the other hand isn’t. It’s almost like it’s permanently set in “Dynamic” mode, or it has been colour corrected by a teen who thinks the perfect calibration is to set everything to 100, this gets compounded by the fact that it’s only 854×480.
At this point, you really shouldn’t be selling a projector unless it’s native resolution is 720p or higher, same as the fact you shouldn’t be selling a TV unless it’s 1080p or higher. “Resolution doesn’t matter” only rings true to a certain point, and the Cube is just that little bit too low for me.
Circling back around to light output, not only is 50 lumens, woefully low, because there is so little to work with, the further you move the projector back the dimmer it becomes at such an insane rate that the 120” image they claim on the box and site seems unlikely unless the room you’re watching it in is covered in VantaBlack.
So Poor that there might as well not even be a speaker inside of the unit, seriously it is that bad. It is quiet, and tinny and honestly the speaker in your smartphone is easily 10x better than this, headphones or speakers are a must, which once again kind of limits how useful this is in the field.
Save your ears the trouble of even attempting to use it, you will be disappointed, and you have been warned.
The battery is rated at around 90 minutes or so of usage, and that is okay if you’re watching a TV show or something like that, but you’d be surprised at how many films are longer than 90 minutes, hint, most of them. The Cube Charges via MicroUSB, which is okay, I’d have preferred USB-C but I’d always have preferred USB-C. It doesn’t take all that long to charge, and can be operated whilst charging, but the Cube doesn’t seem to boost output when it is plugged in at all which is, odd to say the least.
So unless you are completely oblivious to context or reading the title of posts, the Rif6 Cube is not worth the money, $299/£290 is too much for this , If it were closer to £100 I’d have felt more comfortable recommending it as a gag or as a cool “look at this” toy, but it is far too expensive for what it offers, which is, as I have stated multiple times, is not enough.
I do not dislike small projectors, just bad ones. DLP and LEDs don’t necessarily make a projector a great buy, take the cube as an example.