Wemax Nova 4K DLP Laser Projector
  • Performance
  • 3.5
  • Features
  • Ease of Use
  • Value
Pros
  • Accurate default SDR color
  • High native contrast
  • Compact chassis
  • Three HDMI inputs
  • Game and Monitor modes
Cons
  • Dark images and banding with HDR
  • Limited to Rec.709 color gamut
  • No calibration controls
  • Confusing menus
  • Audible coil whine
  • No 3D support
Our Take

The Wemax Nova is a $2,699 4K UST with relatively high native contrast and accurate, top-notch SDR color right out of the box. However, it has a few issues, most notably its poor handling of HDR.

Wemax Nova front

The Wemax Nova is a compact and comparatively affordable 4K UST projector. The brand is owned by Appotronics, which makes the ALPD 3.0 light source used in the Nova as well as the laser light engines for many competitors. The projector achieves a 3,000:1 native contrast ratio, which is quite good for a consumer DLP projector.

The high contrast directly translates to a deeper black level than I'm used to seeing from a DLP projector. That gives the Nova a leg up in image quality over some competing USTs, at least when the lights are out and we're talking about SDR content.

Budget-conscious AV enthusiasts will find the Nova offers a highly watchable, surprisingly accurate Movie mode right out of the box. It can also output a more than acceptable picture when running in its brightest settings. But as you'll read, limitations and issues with its handling of HDR content keep me from recommending it.

Features

The Nova is a 4K DLP ultra-short-throw projector with a 2,100 ANSI lumen rating. It uses Texas Instrument's 0.47-inch 1080p DMD with fast XPR pixel-shifting to achieve 4K resolution, while the lens has a 0.23:1 throw ratio. These are standard specs for a midrange 4K UST projector.

The ALPD 3.0 light engine is a blue laser/phosphor wheel design rated to last 25,000 hours. This type of laser light source is cost-effective and avoids the laser speckle of the RGB laser models, but it typically offers a more limited color gamut. Wemax only explicitly claims that the Nova achieves 100% of Rec.709, which is all you need to fully and properly play SDR material. And while the Nova's color saturation is somewhat muted compared to a RGB triple-laser UST, it compensates with its high contrast and color accuracy.

This UST has three HDMI 2.0 inputs and supports HDR10 source material like UHD Blu-rays, 4K HDR video games, and UHD streaming devices like my Apple TV 4K and Chromecast Ultra. Sadly, it does not support 3D.

The Nova has a headphone/audio aux out 3.5mm jack, but you have to choose between it or the built-in speakers; you can't run them concurrently. The same goes for the optical-digital output; to use it, you have to select it and doing so disables the other audio outputs. This limitation precludes adding an external subwoofer as an easy way to supplement the built-in sound.

Wemax Nova lifestyle1

There's also a USB jack for local analog audio playback and an Ethernet connection for wired networking. Plus, there's a 3.5mm composite video input for legacy sources.

This projector employs a lens with minimal geometric distortion, good uniformity, no visible chromatic aberration, and motorized focusing. This is supplemented by an 8-point keystone adjustment tool, which aids in getting the image to fit on uneven surfaces. However, for a permanent installation, it is preferable to use physical adjustments to fit the image to the screen to avoid image resampling.

The Nova's specs mention compatibility with 80- to 150-screen sizes. Current lenticular UST ALR screens are typically available in either 100-inch or 120-inch sizes, so hopefully we'll see larger options in the future. With UST projectors, a proper dedicated ALR screen is needed to achieve peak performance.

Android TV provides built-in streaming and an interface for adjusting settings and playing local media. But like many other projectors using this platform, it lacks a native Netflix app. The Nova has built-in Chromecast, but I found that Netflix was specifically unable to cast to it, while other apps on my PC and also my phones and iPad could. So unless you are willing to download the Aptoide Netflix app and watch in standard definition, you'll need an external player for Netflix.

Some apps did seem to work great, like Google Play and Amazon Prime. The image looks sharp, and I have little reason to believe it's not 4K. However, when I tried using the Vudu app, it was also restricted to SD. I did not check all the apps available through the projector to see what quality level they offer. But I typically recommend using an external streamer, and that's especially convenient here since you have three HDMI inputs to work with.

Wemax equipped the Nova with a 30-watt audio system featuring an array of four speakers. It decodes Dolby and DTS-HD audio and features virtual surround sound processing. The projector's speaker system may also be used independently as a Bluetooth speaker—for example to play music from a phone. For connecting an outboard system, one of the HDMI ports supports ARC as a better alternative to the optical or analog audio outputs.

This UST comes in a dark gray, minimalist rectangular enclosure. The look is low-key plus modern. It is one of the most compact 4K USTs I have seen; the chassis measures roughly 18 x 12 x 3.75-inches (WDH). When installed, the rear of the projector sits around nine inches from a 100-inch screen, which puts the front of the projector 22 inches away from the screen, and 23 inches away from the rear wall. This is close enough to work with typical TV stands and credenzas with 16- to 20-inch depth, without needing to place the furniture excessively far from the wall.

Wemax Nova remote

Underneath the Nova are two adjustable feet for leveling. It also accommodates a ceiling mount and has rear projection settings for both under-screen and ceiling-mount configurations, so there is plenty of installation flexibility.

The Nova's remote connects via Bluetooth and is fairly basic, but includes a voice search function. I'd prefer to have direct access to more functions, especially a dedicated input button and a dedicated mute button, but it gets the job done.

I tested the Nova with a 100-inch, ALR, UST-specific lenticular screen rated at 0.6 gain (Epson SilverFlex Ultra). This screen material is a popular UST option that's widely available from different brands. Lenticular UST screens are preferred for their exceptional rejection of overhead light and impressive improvements in black levels plus contrast.

Performance

SDR Picture Modes. The Nova offers the same mix of picture modes for SDR and HDR: Standard, Movie, Vivid, Sports, Monitor, Game and User—at least if you are using an HDMI input and accessing the menu the usual way. But depending on how you navigate the menu, or if the projector thinks the internal apps are the source, the Monitor and Game modes are replaced by a mode called Child. How you wind up with one option or the other appears to be a confusing quirk of the menu structure.

When it comes to picking a picture mode, you don't have to overthink anything because each mode is effectively set in stone, so it either works for you or it doesn't. You may as well try them all, but know that Movie is the best choice for lights-out viewing (movies or TV) while Game mode is a great match for gaming consoles.

If the room is dark then use Movie mode. If you want what's on screen to look like a giant TV, whether you are streaming or watching cable, the Standard mode looks good. Need a brightness boost? Don't be afraid of Vivid—it's quite watchable. Sports mode is basically a dimmer Standard mode, I presume for basement man-cave setups. However, I feel it serves little purpose, I'd say skip it.

Using this UST with a PC? There's the dedicated Monitor mode, but be forewarned: it does not offer the lower latency of Game mode, and measures up same as the other modes such as Movie and Standard at around 90 milliseconds. Gamers get the dedicated Game mode with a slightly lower latency of 60 milliseconds, which is actually quite high and only useful for casual gaming, not for anything demanding fast reflexes or a feeling of being connected to the action.

Aside from lower latency, as compared to Monitor, Game mode appears to constrain the color gamut closer to Rec.709, so it has well balanced SDR color. One thing about Game mode though, is that it is a little bit dimmer than Standard or Vivid, but not as dim as Movie or Sports. But there is a workaround. You can use the Highlight Projector Brightness mode setting in conjunction with Game mode and enjoy the Nova's maximum brightness along with low latency, and it looks good.

Monitor mode is unconstrained in terms of color, and so it's a bit oversaturated-looking—especially in blues and magentas. This is because the blue laser offers a wide gamut blue primary; it is the phosphor wheel-derived red and green that limit the color gamut of this projector. But with a PC-based auto calibration using something like a SpiderX meter and its included software, you can quickly achieve high accuracy and even fine tune the image to your liking, so it's a useful enough mode for that niche application. However, PC users can also opt to use the Game mode for turnkey Rec.709 color with good accuracy plus the low latency.

The Child mode appears to be present in the menu when the built-in multimedia apps are selected as the source. This makes sense because you would not need a Game or Monitor mode for the streaming apps. Child is a lot like the Movie mode, it features a 6,500K color temperature. If I were to venture a guess, it probably uses a different (more aggressive) noise reduction setting versus Movie, is targeted at children watching television shows such as cartoons, and is meant to take it easy on their young eyes. But for some reason the Child mode showed up at other times when I did not expect to see it. It is one of the mysteries of the Nova.

User mode is the only mode that's not totally locked down in terms of settings, but there's still not much anyone can do to impact picture quality as compared to just about every other projector I've ever seen. The complete set of adjustments offered are: Brightness, Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, and Hue. That's it! There's no grayscale adjustment, no gamma setting, certainly no CMS. The only picture processing option is Digital Noise Reduction, with Low, Medium, High, and Auto settings.

Wemax Nova front top

These limitations stand in stark contrast to UST offerings from companies like Hisense, LG, Samsung, Optoma, Epson, and BenQ that all offer in-depth calibration controls.

The one image-related adjustment you can make, regardless of the picture mode, pertains to laser brightness. There are two Projector Brightness mode options—View Mode and Highlight Mode—which are independent of the Picture Mode menu. View Mode uses a preselected color temperature that's assigned to each picture mode, while Highlight Mode forces all picture modes to use the projector's brightest setting, or at least come very close to it. The catch is that it uses a relatively high fixed color temperature of around 8,500K, but fortunately, it looks and even measures surprisingly neutral, and is free of any obvious color cast.

I used Portrait Displays' Calman color calibration software to profile the various picture modes and found surprisingly good color accuracy, matching my subjective impression that the Nova puts out a good-looking picture with SDR regardless of picture mode. In any mode the gamma measured around 2.0, which is most suitable for viewing in a room with some ambient light, so if the manufacturer was going to just choose one gamma and not allow for adjustment then I suppose they could do worse than that.

Subjectively speaking, the projector's reproduction of mid-tones looked good whether the room was totally dark or there was some ambient light. It's not the same as you'd get with a calibrated projector, and being able to adjust settings is always better than not. Ultimately, the lack of gamma or grayscale adjustments is a notable limitation because it means you will always need to work around what the projector gives you, rather than being able to adjust the projector to suit your environment.

But at least in the context of unchangeable color mode presets, I cannot find much to criticize in terms of how Wemax approached the SDR color tuning on the Nova. It looks darned good, and for SDR specifically, I'd say better than the uncalibrated output of most USTs I've seen so far.

The reason it looks so good—and to be frank, the primary saving grace of the Nova—is that its (roughly) 3,000:1 native contrast provides for a compelling SDR picture. It looks especially awesome with the shades drawn—or after the sun sets—and with the lights off. Thanks to the black levels, regardless of picture mode, this projector looks better than your typical DLP and a lot like a giant TV. The only catch is that, as with all projectors, you need a genuinely dark room to maximize the black levels that it achieves, even with the dedicated UST ALR screen.

Wemax Nova lifestyle2

The Nova is perfectly capable of being a nice and bright SDR projector, too. Just turn on Highlight projector brightness mode in whatever picture mode you're in. Despite it measuring a 8,500K color temperature, it looks good. Many projectors with higher advertised ANSI lumen ratings only achieve that level of light output at a much higher color temperature, and only with an image that has a visible blue or green color cast. I've recently seen a few UST projectors that have this characteristic of offering a more optimized and useful color balance when operating at peak output. I want to highlight that because it is a positive quality.

HDR Picture Modes. As noted, the HDR picture modes on this projector carry identical names to the SDR picture modes. They appear to use essentially the same settings for color temperature as the analog counterpart, and when switching from SDR to HDR using test patterns, the color balance stays the same. But there are notable differences as well. For example the Sports, Game and Movie modes are a bit brighter in HDR than SDR, with Sports getting the biggest boost, from 1,254 SDR lumens to 1,705 HDR lumens.

In order to even get HDR working for the HDMI inputs, I had to manually turn on HDMI 2.0 compatibility. But doing so is no panacea because while the Nova accepts an HDR10 signal, it does a poor job of processing it.

The overarching issue I encountered is that the Nova behaves inconsistently with HDR content and it's difficult to tell exactly what's going on behind the scenes. There is no info display on the projector to indicate if video is SDR or HDR, it only shows the resolution and frame rate, so I had to rely on a VideoForge Pro test pattern generator and experimentation, plus observation, to gain an understanding of how the projector handles an HDR10 signal.

Regardless of the picture mode, I had trouble getting HDR to display properly, with issues ranging from a dark picture and dull colors when streaming with a Chromecast Ultra, to HDR with visible banding when playing a UHD Blu-ray. And no matter what I did, with HDR source material the highlights are clearly clipped instead of being properly tone-mapped to meet the display's capabilities.

Per my measurements using Calman, as well as what I saw with my own eyes, there are visible and measurable changes in behavior when the Nova receives an HDR10 signal. Unfortunately, some of these changes are not good, the worst offense being the introduction of visible banding, and also significant highlight clipping.

As with the SDR modes, only the HDR User mode offers any adjustments, so optimizing the projector is a matter of picking a mode that looks good to you, or else making what few adjustments are available in User. One thing that is interesting about User mode is that if you manually turn the contrast control all the way down to its lowest setting of zero, you can avoid clipping HDR signals. But doing so results in a rather dark image that you would not want to watch.

Once again, the Movie mode stands out for having an accurate color balance, but given the poor HDR handling it's essentially irrelevant.

SDR Viewing. My first week or so with the projector was largely spent watching basketball games and playing Grand Theft Auto in my spare time (a SDR title). I was not thinking about HDR at all and quite often I found myself impressed by the illusion of depth achieved by the Nova.

With SDR content, the Nova is a projector that can easily make the leap between home theater and giant-screen daytime TV used for watching sports or playing video games. It makes movies look fantastic, so long as you are watching SDR. My simple solution for that was to use an Apple TV 4K as my primary streaming source and forcing 4K/24p SDR resolution, which translates to excellent quality. With my Xbox Series X, I turned off HDR10 in the picture settings so that everything it outputs is in SDR, even though the console recognizes the Nova as an HDR10 compatible device.

Having set up the Xbox for 4K SDR, I played demo clips from the Spears & Munsil UHD Benchmark Ultra HD Blu-ray. I can confirm that there is no pragmatic visual difference between the native SDR Rec.709 version of the disc's demo reel and playing the HDR versions as SDR. But for typical discs that don't allow you to select the dynamic range of the content as UHD Benchmark does, the trick is having a player that lets you disable HDR.

The Batman was a perfect example of how the Wemax Nova is a budget SDR champion but a failure when it comes to HDR. With SDR Movie mode and the lights turned off, it's take on this dark, complex movie is compellingly cinematic. The overall picture is so good, I feel like you could probably fool someone into thinking they were watching a dedicated home theater projector, not a budget UST. Skin tones are spot-on. Blacks are deep enough that dark scenes don't look have the gray washed-out look that turns some cinephiles off to DLP, despite its other charms.

Wemax Nova Batman
The difference in performance quality between SDR and HDR on the Wemax were accentuated in The Batman. While SDR had good black depth, HDR had far less shadow detail. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

This wouldn't be a projector review without the classic Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part Two mountaintop scene with Voldemort and his army—the beginning of Chapter 12—which I played in SDR and HDR. And all I can really say is that in SDR, the Nova once again impressed because of the contrast it achieves and its overall image fidelity. There are incredible amounts of detail in the scene and I feel like it looks better overall than what any UST I've reviewed has managed to pull off with the same scene in HDR, and far superior to how this projector handled it In HDR.

Something I'd like to re-emphasize is that I needed to play the 4K HDR version, with the player forcing the output SDR, to get the maximum impact from the Nova. I tried playing the same scene back on standard Blu-ray, and while it had similar tonality, it's quite notable how much detail was lost compared to the UHD version. For anyone who thinks that pixel-shift 4K is not legit, a quick comparison of standard Blu-ray to UHD Blu-ray puts that delusion to rest. It's especially impressive how the 4K version authentically replicates the film grain.

For gaming, using the Game mode is a no-brainer since it offers the lowest latency and looks good, too. In fact, it looks straight-up fantastic with Xbox Series X Enhanced titles like the updated 4K Grand Theft Auto Online, or the visually enthralling NBA 2K22 that is a ridiculously visually realistic and highly kinetic experience. But for both these games I did wish for a bit better input lag.

Real basketball looks great on this projector and the Standard mode is a good choice for watching. Having seen NBA games on a wide variety of TVs and projectors, I can attest that not every display does a good job with broadcast sports. Some make the players look flat and washed out, almost cartoonish. Other displays are disastrous at dealing with the different patterns on the wood floor, or introduce too much motion blur. But the Nova presents a natural looking image with minimal artifacts and good motion, and it is perfectly watchable in the daytime (with shades drawn). For example, a 2 p.m. Saturday NBA playoff game in Toronto—that the Sixers should have won—appeared as if it was playing on a giant TV.

Ultimately, as long as you are working with SDR, the Wemax Nova's picture quality is genuinely impressive over a wide variety of content types and under various lighting conditions. AV enthusiasts will likely balk at the lack of controls and adjustability, but your typical TV viewer who watches an occasional movie and doesn't like to "mess with the controls" won't know what they are missing anyhow, but they will surely be impressed with what they see using the presets.

Furthermore, something I did not see during my time with this projector was any sign of the dreaded RBE (rainbow effect). Even if I try, it seems this projector is highly resistant to it. Because different folks have varying thresholds for seeing RBE, it's possible someone else would see it where I cannot. But I've been able to spot it with ease on many other DLPs so I feel confident in saying that's not a major issue here.

HDR Viewing. Because of its limited color gamut, even at its best the Wemax Nova's take on HDR is not much different than watching the SDR version of the same content. However, as reported earlier, it does not handle HDR in a consistent manner. During the review, I encountered picture quality issues with HDR from both streaming sources and Ultra HD Blu-ray.

With app-based HDR streaming, in particular with an external device like a Roku, Chromecast Ultra, AppleTV 4K, FireTV 4K, gaming console, etc., it's hard to be sure that the Nova is translating HDR properly, or even playing HDR at all versus just streaming 4K SDR.

The situation was better with some of the projector's preinstalled apps. These seemed to work great, including Google Play, YouTube and Amazon Prime. I can't tell for sure if what I'm seeing is HDR or 4K SDR, but UHD playback looks good so I'll take it. As mentioned, however, other apps are not authorized or optimized for HD, which much to my chagrin included the Vudu app, which was limited to SD playback only.

Between the lack of onscreen info about the video format being displayed, and the fact that projected HDR looks just like SDR in the absence of wide color gamut, it's all a guessing game.

When HDR is not working properly one effect is the image can look dull and dark. This happened with both streaming and some UHD Blu-rays, but it was not the only issue I encountered. Figuring out the root causes of the HDR mishandling is beyond the scope of this review because it is a straight-up rabbit hole. I can only report that I put in due diligence to ensure the results I report here are not the result of some oversight. That includes performing a full reset on the unit, buying a brand-new hardware test pattern generator that does 4K HDR, and setting up a reference HDR display to compare the Nova to, in this case a Samsung QN900A 8K Neo QLED TV.

I also set up another UST that I know handles HDR properly, the Hisense PX1-PRO tri-laser. No matter what I tried, I could not find a way to properly make this UST tone-map HDR or produce banding-free 10-bit HDR.

When I tried watching the unadulterated HDR version of Chapter 12 from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, the scene was dismally dim. It just did not work, and that was the case with whether it played from the Xbox or my Sony UHD Blu-ray player.

The one context where I got HDR to look decent (at times) is gaming. The reason is that you can calibrate and adjust the gaming console to deliver HDR that fits the capabilities of the display, so you can avoid highlight clipping. Most PC monitors are not nearly as HDR capable as today's premium HDR TVs, they have considerably lower peak luminance. When you calibrate console HDR for the projector it fits the output within the projector's capabilities and the resulting image looks fantastic, it's better than the "before" example, which has clipped highlights.

Wemax Nova Harry Potter
The mountaintop scene in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 was dismally dim in HDR on the Wemax Nova. (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Is it perfect? No... far from it. It's still 8-bit "HDR" and there's plenty of banding to be seen, especially in skies. What you do get out of it is a brighter and more vivid Game mode, but it's not real HDR. Instead, I suggest playing games in SDR, and for extra brightness, using the Highlight Projector Brightness mode.

The one nice thing that I can say about the Nova's fatally-flawed HDR is that when the image is not dark and dull, it is at least color accurate. But without wide color gamut coverage, and when considering the brightness limitations of projection generally, even if HDR had worked properly the Nova will never really exceed the picture quality it achieves with SDR. This is worth keeping in mind as you read the following tales of woe regarding my HDR viewing.

I tried watching The Batman via Vudu streaming through a Chromecast Ultra, and the picture looked extremely dark. At first, I wondered if this was an artistic decision, an ultra-gritty film noir look (which is what the movie's director actually went for). However, when I switched the stream to HDX (which is 1080p SDR) the picture looked a lot better, aside from being a bit softer. There was a lot more shadow detail, midtones were the right brightness, and I saw more vibrant colors when appropriate, like the neon lights of Gotham at night.

With HDR, either the image looked too dark, or else it suffered from visible banding. Why it does what it does is a mystery to me, but I know that with the Spears & Munsil disc the HDR had the right brightness and color saturation but suffered clipping and banding. And when I used a pattern generator—where the attributes of the source signal are a fully known quantity—I confirmed both the banding and the clipping are intrinsic to how this projector processes HDR.

The overall positive experience I had with the picture quality of the Wemax Nova with SDR content makes it rather disappointing that it can't pull off the same for HDR. But ultimately, what I have to recommend is that if you buy the Wemax Nova, do so with the specific intention of using it as a 4K SDR display, not for its HDR capabilities.

Audio. Much like other ultra-short throw projectors I reviewed, the built-in sound of the Nova is similar to what you get from a basic soundbar, and arguably better than what most TVs can muster, thanks to the simple fact that the speakers face forward.

Wemax Nova accessories

You get more than just simple stereo from this system. The four speakers have a combined output of 30 watts and work in concert to create an immersive listening experience using beamforming technology. The result is surround-sound without the need for extra speakers and it does achieve the effect of an expended soundstage, far wider than the spacing between the actual speakers.

If the goal is to use the Nova as a giant TV, then perhaps the built-in sound is all one needs. It's certainly good enough for a temporary setup, if you perhaps brought the projector to a friend's house. But the lack of a subwoofer is a huge limiting factor, even compared to affordable soundbar systems.

ARC worked properly and as expected, whether the sound came from built-in apps or an HDMI-connected source. No complaints about how this essential feature functioned.

On the other hand, while we are talking about sound coming from the projector, one thing that rubbed me the wrong way was the Nova's audible coil whine. Technically speaking it is quiet and so high-pitched some people won't hear it, and it's easily masked by TV or movie sound. Nonetheless I found it to be a distraction beyond what I would personally be able to tolerate long-term. For me, it fell into the "once you hear it you can't unhear it" category. Having said that, my wife only ever noticed the sound when I pointed it out, so please take my comments with a grain of salt.

Conclusion

Rarely have I encountered a projector that produced such conflicting feelings. On the one hand, it has SDR dialed in so well that you can legitimately say it offers some of the best picture quality I have seen coming from a UST, be it live TV or gaming or 4K streaming.

Because it offers a compelling SDR picture—one that can look like a high-quality 100-inch TV—the Wemax has an undeniable appeal as an entry-level 4K UST. Despite limited adjustability, it produces a picture on screen that my jaded eyes recognize as properly tuned and genuinely cinematic.

Thanks to the native contrast performance, the Nova's SDR picture quality often looked as good or better as what I've seen coming from other DLP projectors, whether UST, short-throw or long-throw. However, the way it handles HDR is discouraging. You are actually much better off sticking with all SDR source material.

Crucially, the Nova's deeper than usual DLP blacks are legit, and poor black levels are the biggest complaint home theater enthusiasts have about DLP. Given its performance in this key area, when combined with the price there are usage scenarios where the projector's shortcomings are ignorable or forgivable. For example if the main use is watching sports in a basement man cave, I can scarcely think of a better solution for the money.

It would be easier to unconditionally recommend the Wemax Nova if it offered more control over picture modes, supported 3D, handled HDR consistently, and did not suffer from audible coil whine. That's a lot of caveats, and yet I need to stress, none of those are absolute deal-breakers. Why? Because SDR color accuracy and legit 3,000:1 native contrast are such a strong one-two punch. That's the dichotomy of the Nova. My take is that it's a promising projector, but with significant limitations that unfortunately keep it from achieving greatness.

Measurements

Brightness. The Wemax Nova 4K measured a maximum of 1,705 lumens with an HDR signal in its HDR Game and Sports modes. In its more usable SDR modes, the brightest measured output was in Standard mode with 1,685 lumens. Both numbers hover around the 20% tolerance accepted for ISO21118 brightness specs.

Wemax Nova 4K ANSI Lumens

SDR ANSI lumens
Standard 1,685
Movie 1,332
Vivid 1,646
Sports 1,254
Monitor 1,666
Game 1,391
User 1,626
HDR
Standard 1,685
Movie 1,470
Vivid 1,646
Sports 1,705
Monitor 1,666
Game 1,705
User 1,666

Brightness Uniformity: 77%

Fan Noise. In my room, with a 34 dB noise floor (all appliances and fans turned off), the fan noise is just barely apparent when standing close to the projector, but otherwise inaudible. My meter fluctuated between 36 and 37 dB when measuring 1 meter away from the front of the projector.

There is a separate coil whine sound that emanates from the projector, a higher pitched sound than what comes from the fan, but it does not register as any louder according to my mic. However, it is clearly audible as a separate tone and unlike the fan, I can hear it from my seat, or from anywhere in the room for that matter.

Input Lag. I measured 61.6 ms lag in 4K/60p mode, which is not so great but works in a pinch for casual gaming. In 1080p/60 mode, it offers 60.3 ms latency.

Connections

Wemax Nova Connections
  • HDMI 2.0 (x3, one with ARC)
  • Composite video in (3.5 mm)
  • Optical Audio Out
  • Analog audio out (3.5 mm)
  • Network (RJ-45)
  • RF Antenna
  • USB (2 x 2.0)
  • Wireless Networking
  • Bluetooth

Calibrated Settings

It is not possible to calibrate this projector. All I can suggest is to stick with SDR content, use the preset modes that work best for your setting, and for the most cinematic experience, give the Movie mode a try with the lights turned out.

For more detailed specifications and connections, check out our Wemax Nova projector page.

To buy this projector, use Where to Buy online, or get a price quote by email direct from Projector Central authorized dealers using our E-Z Quote tool.

 
Comments (6) Post a Comment
Harrison Posted May 16, 2022 12:26 PM PST
Thanks for your detailed review! I see you have the price listed around $2,200. My understanding is that this 4K UST often goes on sale for around $1,500 (street price). I am aware of this projector's shortcomings (thanks to your review), but does your opinion change if one can snag one for around $1,500? We'd be watching streaming content at night (dark room) in bed, and certainly are not videophiles. In fact, I'm not even sure that YouTube TV, Amazon Prime or Netflix are currently streaming in 4K--thanks!
Mark Henninger Posted May 17, 2022 12:41 PM PST
With those qualifiers, it sounds like it could be a good choice for you. In a darkened room with SDR content, it's impressive.
James Posted May 20, 2022 6:32 PM PST
This went on sale for $1200, is it good value at that price?
Cryplander Posted May 22, 2022 1:51 AM PST
Please review the Xiaomi laser cinema 2 and compare it with the wemax :)
Jimmy Posted May 27, 2022 1:17 PM PST
For $1200 it's a steal! and there ALR screen for $350, all tax shipping included. You cant get better deal for this price. I got mine today upgrade from Wemax one, huge improvement.
Steven Baur Posted May 29, 2022 8:53 AM PST
Very detail review and I have this projector. Now I understand why dark scene in UltraHD 4K looked so bad. Otherwise this projector is quite clear and accurate color compared to my IPad Pro’s. I saw bad HDR pictures in Indiana Jone’s Crystal Skull and Tomb Raider’s 3 movies. No problem in 1080P picture. The color and sharpness are much better than my old Mitsubishi 1080P projector. Only one thing I had distorted picture because of my screen’s uneven flatness for UST projector. I think it will be the same as other UST’s. Long throw projector has no distortion to my screen. But I am happy what I have now for lower budget’s laser UST 4K projector.

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