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BenQ HT4550i Projector Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Feb 20, 2024 at 09:51 am

The BenQ HT4550i is a 4k HDR10+/HLG 4LED projector primarily meant for watching movies. It projects a 100" image at a distance of 8.3 to 10.8 feet, 120" at a distance of 10 to 13 feet, and a very large 150" at a distance of 12.5 to 16.3 feet. The projector has a 1.3x optical zoom to help adjust the projection size without moving the unit. The projector comes with auto vertical keystone technology to eliminate trapezoid effects when installed at an angle. It includes a lens shift feature of up to 60% on the vertical axis and 15% on the horizontal axis. There are three HDMI 2.0 ports; one is reserved for the included QS02 HDMI Media Streaming dongle, and another doubles as the eARC port for advanced audio passthrough. The dongle also supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 5.0, as well as Android TV 11.0. The projector can do up to 4k @ 60Hz or 1080p @ 240Hz with very low input lag when gaming. Finally, the projector has one 5W speaker.

Our Verdict

8.0 Movies

The BenQ HT4550i is great for watching movies. Its native contrast is very good, and its brightness is excellent, leading to deep blacks and a very bright image when watched in a dark room. The projector is bright enough to handle moderately lit rooms, so you can watch movies with a few lights on. The projector has a very wide color gamut and is bright enough to make some colors pop. The projector's color accuracy before calibration is good, but you can improve it further with the unit's extensive calibration options.

Pros
  • Very good contrast for a pleasant viewing experience in dark rooms.
  • Very wide color gamut.
  • Excellent peak brightness.
  • Good pre-calibration accuracy that can be improved even more with calibration.
Cons
  • 8.0 Movies
  1. Updated Feb 20, 2024: Review published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the BenQ HT4550i. The projector is a high-end product within BenQ's Dark Room Home Cinema Series, with only the BenQ HT5550 and BenQ HT8060 sitting above it. It doesn't have any variants.

Compared To Other Projectors

The BenQ HT4550i is a great higher-tier 4k HDR10+ projector for watching movies due to its very good contrast, excellent brightness, and very wide color gamut. It's also a good gaming projector with 1080p @ 240Hz support with low input lag. However, as good as it is, it's expensive for what it offers; if you're only interested in a pure home theater experience, then the Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is a bit better for a similar price. Otherwise, the BenQ X3000i and Epson Home Cinema 3800 are just as good as the BenQ HT4550i for a much lower price, and the X3000i, in particular, also matches the HT4550i for gaming features.

Epson Home Cinema 5050UB

The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is better than the BenQ HT4550i for watching movies, but the BenQ has the edge in gaming and smart features. The Epson has slightly better contrast, so it looks better in dark rooms and is more accurate out-of-the-box than the BenQ. The BenQ, however, has an included Android TV 11 smart dongle with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, while the Epson has no smart or wireless features. The BenQ is also better for gamers with its 1080p @ 240Hz with low input lag capabilities.

XGIMI HORIZON Ultra

The BenQ HT4550i is better than the XGIMI HORIZON Ultra, but it's competitive. They both have good accuracy out-of-the-box, but the XGIMI can't be improved through calibration, while the BenQ has extensive calibration tools and looks fantastic post-calibration. The BenQ also has a wider color gamut than the XGIMI, making it the more colorful of the two projectors. The XGIMI does have slightly better features, with Bluetooth 5.2 and Dolby Vision support, while the BenQ is limited to Bluetooth 5.0 and the less common HDR10+ format. Still, the BenQ has the edge in gaming as it supports both 4k @ 60Hz and 1080p @ 240Hz with low input lag, while the XGIMI is limited to 4k @ 60Hz.

Epson Home Cinema 3800

The Epson Home Cinema 3800 and BenQ HT4550i are nearly equivalent when it comes to watching movies, but the BenQ is the more modern device with its smart features and better gaming capabilities. The BenQ has a much wider color gamut, but the Epson, in turn, is the more accurate of the two projectors out of the box. The BenQ comes with an Android TV 11 smart dongle with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support, while the Epson doesn't have any smart features, although it does have Bluetooth with aptX support. Finally, the BenQ is also much better for gamers due to its 1080p @ 240Hz with low input lag capabilities.

Hisense C1

The BenQ HT4550i is better than the Hisense C1. It gets significantly brighter and displays more accurate colors, though both projectors have good contrast. The optical zoom on the BenQ gives you more flexibility with placement, and ports like a 12V trigger make it more suitable for a dedicated home theater setup. That said, the Hisense may be a better-value entry-level option for those who just want an all-in-one solution.

BenQ X3000i

The BenQ X3000i and BenQ HT4550i are marketed for different uses, with the X3000i meant for video games and the HT4550i for home theaters, but they're similar, with the HT4550i having a very slight edge overall. The HT4550i has better peak brightness and a wider color gamut, although the X3000i is the more accurate of the two out-of-the-box. They're a match for gaming, both having 4k @ 60Hz or 1080p @ 240Hz support with low input lag. They both come with Android smart dongles, but the HT4550i comes with the better dongle, which has Android TV 11 and Bluetooth 5.0, versus Android TV 10 and Bluetooth 4.2 on the X3000i.

Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01

The BenQ HT4550i is much better than the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01. The BenQ has a much better contrast, is the more accurate projector of the two pre and post-calibration, and has a wider color gamut. The Epson is also limited to projecting an 800p resolution, while the BenQ projects up to 4k with pixel shifting. Finally, the Epson has no smart features or wireless connectivity out of the box, while the BenQ comes with the QS02 HDMI Media Streaming dongle with Android TV 11.0, Bluetooth 5.0, and Wi-Fi.

Optoma UHZ50

The BenQ HT4550i is better overall than the Optoma UHZ50. Although its native contrast ratio isn't quite as good, it gets noticeably brighter, making for a more pleasant viewing experience, especially when watching in a room with ambient light. It also has more accurate colors and a wider color gamut for HDR content.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
4.0
Design
Portability
Height 5.2" (13.2 cm)
Width 16.5" (42.0 cm)
Depth 12.1" (30.8 cm)
Weight
13.7 lbs (6.2 kg)

This projector isn't meant to be portable as it's a big device without an integrated battery, so you need to plug it in. It has auto keystone correction, but only on the vertical axis, so you still need to center it horizontally to avoid a crooked image. It doesn't have autofocus, so you must manually adjust that to get the clearest image possible. You can adjust the projector's feet slightly, but there's no adjustable stand. There's one 5W chambered speaker.

Design
Projector Technology
Imaging Technology
DLP
Light Source
LED
Resolution
Pixel Shift 4k
Aspect Ratio
16 : 9
Minimum Throw Ratio
1.15
Maximum Throw Ratio
1.50

This DLP projector uses an LED bulb as its light source, and it's rated to last anywhere from 20,000 to 30,000 hours by the manufacturer, so you likely won't ever have to worry about replacing it. It has a 1.3x optical zoom, allowing you to adjust the projection distance without moving the projector. It's not a true 4k projector, as it uses pixel shifting to create a higher-resolution image. This offers better quality than a pure 1080p projector but isn't as good as a native 4k projector. The manufacturer claims that the projector downscales 4k @ 120Hz signals to 1080p @ 120Hz, but it doesn't accept 4k @ 120Hz signals at the moment. 4k @ 60Hz, 1080p @ 120Hz and 1080p @ 240Hz signals work fine.

Picture Quality
8.1
Picture Quality
Brightness
White Light Output
1,711 lm
Color Light Output
1,694 lm
Brightness Uniformity
92%
Screen Brightness
193 cd/m²

This BenQ HT4550i's peak brightness is excellent. It's bright enough for a pleasant viewing experience in moderately-lit rooms, and it looks fantastic when the lights are dimmed or off. Its brightness uniformity is amazing. It's bright enough to make some colors pop, especially when the lights are dimmed.

7.9
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
191 : 1

The BenQ HT4550i has very good native contrast, leading to a pleasant viewing experience in dark rooms, even if it doesn't have very deep blacks.

7.6
Picture Quality
Pre-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
3.62
Color dE
2.03
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6,096 K
Picture Mode
Cinema
Color Temp Setting
Normal
Gamma Setting
2.2

This projector has good pre-calibration accuracy. Its color temperature is great but is noticeably warm, giving images a red hue. The projector's color accuracy is also great, although its whites lean red and yellow. You can see this in the unit's white balance, which shows a significant number of accuracy errors, with blues being underrepresented in most shades of white. If pre-calibration accuracy matters, check out the much more accurate BenQ X3000i.

9.5
Picture Quality
Post-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
0.51
Color dE
1.06
Gamma
2.19
Color Temperature
6,488 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Picture Mode
Cinema

The BenQ HT4550i's post-calibration accuracy is fantastic. Blues are still underrepresented in the brightest whites, but aside from that, the whites and colors are fantastic, and its color temperature is now exactly on target.

8.7
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Rec. 709 xy
97.31%
Rec. 709 uv
96.52%
Rec. 2020 xy
75.74%
Rec. 2020 uv
80.78%

The BenQ HT4550i has an excellent color gamut. It does a fantastic job with the Rec. 709 color space used with SDR content and even does a very good job with the wider Rec. 2020 color space.

Features
Features
Inputs & Connectivity
HDMI
2
ARC/eARC
Yes (eARC)
Wi-Fi Yes
USB Data Ports
1

The projector has three HDMI 2.0 ports, although one is hidden behind the BenQ cover on the back and is meant for the included QS02 HDMI Media Streaming dongle. The projector has a 12v trigger out port to connect your screen to it; this allows you to signal the screen to unfold when the unit powers on and inversely retract the screen when it's powered off. The projector supports Bluetooth 5.0 through its dongle.

Features
Smart Features & Sound
Smart OS
Android
Cast Capable
Yes
Speaker(s)
Yes

The BenQ HT4550i runs the Android TV 11 smart interface on its included QS02 HDMI Media Streaming dongle, which is also cast capable through Apple AirPlay and Google Cast. The projector also has an integrated 5W speaker.

Features
In The Box

  • Power cable
  • Projector remote control
  • Android dongle remote control
  • 2x AAA batteries
  • User documentation