BenQ TH685i

The BenQ TH685i made quite a stir in the gaming community when it was released in late 2020. Its impressively low input lag and high picture quality make it an incredible value at the price, especially considering it offers smart features like native streaming and voice control.

If you’re looking for a versatile, user-friendly projector for your media room or living room, the BenQ TH685i is definitely an option you’ll want to consider. Let’s take a look at the full features to help you decide if it’s the right fit for your home. (>>> Check current price on Amazon)

BenQ TH685i Review of Main Specs:

BenQ TH685i
Resolution 1920x1080
Brightness (Lumens) 3,500 ANSI
Contrast Ratio 10,000:1
Input Lag 8 ms
Throw Distance 3.2' - 24.6'
Screen size 30" - 300"
Speakers 5.0 Watts Mono
Price Check on Amazon

Design and Installation

The BenQ TH685i weighs less than 10 pounds and has rugged, compact housing. While it’s not necessarily built for traveling, it is relatively portable, and a great choice for those who want the option of using their projector for backyard movie nights. (Click here for our top portable projectors list) Its large maximum screen size is a plus here, too.

Installing the BenQ TH685i is a relatively quick process. The automatic keystone correction is especially helpful in this regard, adjusting the image geometry to keep the picture square. You’ll also get a 1.3x zoom and digital vertical lens shift for fine-tuning the alignment.

Picture Quality

The BenQ Th685i’s native resolution of 1080p is on-par with what we expect from projectors in this price-point, as are the contrast and color. It uses a DLP display with a 6-segment color wheel and 10-bit color processing, supporting roughly 95% of the Rec. 709 spectrum.

You’ll get the same sharp Full HD resolution for 3D content and gaming, too, making the BenQ TH685i a good all-around option for multi-use settings. Its powerful lamp is another plus from a picture quality standpoint. The colors are vibrant and saturated with good depth and texture, even when used in relatively well-lit rooms.

Pros

  • Sharp picture with good contrast and color accuracy
  • Supports 4K input and 3D content
  • Intuitive Android TV interface supports streaming
  • Powerful lamp suitable for lights-on viewing
  • Ultra-low input lag ideal for gamers
  • Supports content mirroring through AirPlay or Chromecast
  • Quick and easy to install

Cons

  • Color wheel may cause rainbow effect
  • Some major streaming apps aren’t available in projector’s app store

Gaming Performance

The BenQ TH685i was made with gamers in mind and is arguably the best gaming projector you can get for less than $1,000. This starts with its super low input lag, which measures down around 8.3ms. That’s as low a latency as you’ll find from a projector at any price. It’s also compatible with all the major gaming systems, including recent releases like the PS5.

This is supported by the BenQ TH685i’s high frame rate, operating at 120Hz in full HD. The gaming settings also include a Game Sound Mode that optimizes the audio signal for in-game sounds. You can game for hours at a stretch with the BenQ TH685i, too, thanks to the LumiExpert technology on the lamp, which limits eye strain during marathon gaming sessions.

Content and Navigation

BenQ TH685i connections

The BenQ TH685i uses an Android TV interface for navigation. It’s connected to the Google Play store, giving you access to more than 5,000 apps that you can download on the projector. This lets you stream content or play games without any external content sources. Most major streaming apps are supported in the Google Play store with a couple notable exceptions (Netflix being the main omission).

If your favorite streaming app isn’t directly supported by the BenQ TH685i, you still have plenty of ways to access it. For one thing, this projector supports both Chromecast and AirPlay for wirelessly mirroring from Android and iOS devices. It also has a robust connection panel, including dual HDMI ports for streaming sticks or gaming systems as well as USB and VGA.

Since the BenQ TH685i is Google-certified, it’s also compatible with Google Assistant. You can use voice commands to search for content or ask for other helpful info, though the playback commands are more limited than we’d prefer.

BenQ TH685i Review: The Verdict

If you’re looking for high-end features like 4K resolution, you might be disappointed by the picture quality of the BenQ TH685i. The picture quality is superior to what you’ll get from the typical HD TV, though, and the high brightness of the lamp makes sure it stays sharp and vibrant in all light levels. The bottom line is, gamers and smart home theater owners will both find a lot to love about the BenQ TH685i. (>>> Check on Amazon)

REFERENCES AND FURTHER READING: