Dangbei Mars Pro 4K Laser Projector Review: Premium experience in an affordable package


  • Stylish metal chassis with black piano finishes
  • Effective automatic keystone correction, focus and obstacle detection
  • Impressive picture quality and brightness
  • Wallet-friendly price compared to equivalent 4K projectors


  • The high housing design requires more vertical space
  • No USB-C port
  • No Google Play support




Packing high-end features in an attractive box with an enticing price tag, the Dangbei Mars Pro easily outshines its competitors in the 4K laser projector space.

While many people have ditched the cable from TV subscriptions, some have even eliminated the TV from their living rooms entirely. Of course, that doesn’t mean they’re no longer watching things on screens larger than their phones and laptops, but that instead they’ve opted for the more flexible and liberating setup of a home projector. Some compromises have to be made, particularly in terms of the brightness and the price of the projected image. As you might expect, the better the performance, the higher the price. However, there are exceptions to this rule, but it’s not easy to spot them at a glance. However, the Dangbei Mars Pro easily catches your eye, so we took it for a test drive to see if it really is worth more than its price tag suggests.

Designer: Dangbei


Even at first glance you could see that the Dangbei Mars Pro is no ordinary laser projector. Where even the most stylish of their kind come in short rectangular boxes, the Mars Pro arrives in a more cubic form. This means you have to consider height when setting it up, but that shouldn’t be too much of a problem as this isn’t a short-throw projector. You’ll most likely place it somewhere in the middle of the room, whether it’s on a table or hanging from the ceiling.

Despite its low price, the Mars Pro immediately impresses with its design and build quality. The box is mostly metal, with a portion of black piano glass on the top and front. Dangbei covers these surfaces with a plastic sheet for protection, but there are holes for the laser light and front sensors to have an unobstructed path. The sides and back of the projector are riddled with holes for both ventilation and speaker output. Ports are all neatly arranged on the back for easy access, eliminating unnecessary visual disruption to other sides.

All in all, the Dangbei Mars Pro is definitely in no way inferior to more expensive projectors when it comes to visual charm. The glossy finishes and small vents give it a classier flair compared to the typical fins and obvious plastic body of more expensive options. The Mars Pro is already winning in this department, but luckily it’s not just a pretty face either.


Unlike a mobile device or laptop, you won’t touch projectors directly that often. In fact, with the Mars Pro, you might not want to do that anyway, at least not on a regular basis. Weighing in at around 10 pounds, it’s not exactly the lightest of its group, so you’ll rarely want to carry it around the room. Its weight is also a critical factor to consider if you plan on hanging it from the ceiling or placing it on a tripod mount.

As mentioned, you won’t be interacting directly with the projector anyway. Aside from the ports on the back, the only other interactive element is the touch-sensitive power button on the top. This isn’t a typical push button, so you don’t have to press it hard. The area is clearly marked by a halo of light that gives it a futuristic feel. Also in the center of this circle is a sensor that detects the amount of ambient light in the room to automatically adjust the projector’s brightness.

All other controls for the projector are via the included remote, which is a bit mixed. It’s easy enough to use with very few buttons, although there are additional buttons for mouse mode and a quick menu on the side. However, the build quality is so-so. While the projector is mostly metal and glass, its remote control is an all-plastic affair. That might be for the best, considering how often you’re likely to drop it, but it’s in sharp contrast to the premium quality of the Mars Pro.


Where this Dangbei projector really, almost literally, shines is in its projected image. Using ALPD or Advanced Laser Phosphor Display technology, the projector boasts a brightness of 3200 ANSI lumens, which is a maximum brightness that only more expensive projectors can even promise. It also supports native 4K UHD resolution and HDR10+ as well as HLG, putting it on par with many TVs. The question is whether it can compete with a 4K TV in practice. The answer is a resounding yes and more.

The Mars Pro’s output is bright, clear and vibrant, especially in dark environments. Admittedly there will be issues in direct sunlight, but that’s also on par with more expensive projectors. The projector supports a wealth of technologies and features that can be used for different types of content, like MEMC smoothing or even 3D, although the latter is a hit-or-miss thing. It also has a game mode that reduces latency to 20ms, but more demanding gamers might not be happy with actual performance. Bottom line, the projector performs admirably, especially under controlled lighting, which might come as a shock considering how much more affordable it is compared to equivalent 4K projectors.

The premium experience doesn’t stop at image quality, however. The Dangbei Mars Pro has a few smart features that make it work almost like magic, automatically adjusting its settings depending on the situation. Autofocus is pretty much a given these days, but auto keystone correction definitely enhances the experience, so you don’t have to worry about the projector’s angle to a wall or screen. There’s also obstacle avoidance, which shrinks the projected display to avoid lamps, vases, or other furniture. When it detects something is directly in front of or near the lens, the brightness will be reduced to avoid eye injury. All of this works automatically as if by magic, although you may need to do some fine-tuning if the focus or keystone correction is still a bit off for your liking.

Like any projector, the Mars Pro generates heat, so it has vents and fans to keep things cool. Cool air is drawn into the right side of the case while hot air is pushed out the left side, something you might want to keep in mind when considering where to place the projector. Thankfully, the Mars Pro’s fans never get loud during operation, and it definitely doesn’t overwhelm the built-in speakers. The only time the fans become very audible is when you turn on the automatic dust cleaning mode, where it runs at full blast to remove those particles.

The Mars Pro features dual 10W speakers with Dolby Digital Plus and DTS Studio Surround. That’s enough power to fill a small room, and the audio quality doesn’t get distorted, even at higher volumes. While the speakers are good enough for most cases, they lack some substance that audiophiles will be looking for. Fortunately, you can remedy this by hooking up your favorite sound system, but the built-in speakers do the trick in a pinch.

Things are a little less than optimal with the system running on the projector, which is a very old, customized version of Android 9. The Mars Pro definitely has the hardware to run more demanding software with its quad-core MT9669 CPU, 4GB RAM and 128GB internal storage, but Dangbei opted for a simplified user experience. While it does have the basic apps and streaming services preinstalled, you’ll have to scour the web for anything that isn’t available on Dangbei’s App Store. Of course, there’s no Google Play, although it might be possible to install it manually. Of course, you can plug in any other content source, including a Google TV dongle if you so choose. The only limitation when it comes to port choices is USB-C, which is a little disappointing at this time.


The Dangbei Mars Pro Projector is your typical consumer electronics product, which basically means it has your typical components that have a long-term impact on the environment. It performs a little better thanks to the use of a metal body instead of plastic. There are glass parts too, but the plastic cover on these negates that benefit.

In terms of longevity, Dangbei only offers a one-year warranty upfront, but you may have the option to purchase additional years depending on where you buy it. Laser projectors are admittedly short-lived products, even with advertised 25,000 hour lamp life. Unfortunately, they are also not trivial to fix, especially when the product is from another region of the world. Parts and services will be a big consideration for those who are a little more conscious of how much use they want to squeeze out of a projector.


In case it wasn’t so clear, the Dangbei Mars Pro 4K Projector is on par with other 4K projectors. The brightness of 3200 lumens, intelligent correction and configuration options, and overall performance set it apart as a premium product. The kicker is that it’s not that expensive, selling for just $1,699 (or $1,799 on Amazon).

Admittedly, that’s a large number, but only when viewed in isolation. A “normal” 4K laser projector with the same range of functions or the same performance easily costs almost twice as much. Conversely, projectors with this price tag often make too many compromises, especially when it comes to image quality. You also have to keep in mind that 4K UHD TVs cost the same, and you’ll have a hard time finding one that can cover the same 100-inch maximum space as this projector.


Choosing consumer electronics is often a case of compromise, be it performance, quality or price. Rarely will you find a gem that meets all three with very little compromise. When one pops up, it’s not hard to see why the internet is buzzing about something so rare and almost unbelievable. The Dangbei Mars Pro 4 Laser Projector is definitely one such rare creature. Not only does it do what it says on the tin, it looks good while doing it, making this price that much sweeter for anyone planning a TV-free home entertainment setup.

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