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How to connect your phone to a projector

Smartphones are a lot more than a tool to talk to each other these days. Today's phones have more computational power than laptop models made several years ago. Which brings various applications and capabilities to these highly pocketable devices. Phones are commonly used for work and entertainment - people edit documents, watch YouTube and play video games on a device that fits in the palm of a hand. The ability to use a projector or an external display with a smartphone pushes usability of these gadgets even further.

How to find out if your phone can connect to a projector?

The most popular phones in the United States are Apple iPhone and Samsung-branded devices. All of the latest Apple iPhones are capable of mirroring an image through a projector. Before Apple rolled out the Type C port (iPhone 15 onwards), iPhone users had to use the Apple iPhone-to-HDMI adapter to connect to a projector. Now the standard adapter is a USB C to HDMI.

Apple iPhone Lightning to HDMI Adapter

For Samsung phones, you will want to refer to the list of features specific to your phone model. "External monitor" or "HDMI output" is something to look for.

Here's a list of Samsung smartphones supporting USB-C to HDMI output on the official Samsung website.

Starting from Samsung Galaxy S8 and implemented in later models, Samsung introduced a dedicated interface for their devices used with projectors and external displays. The goal of the interface called Samsung DeX is to adapt interface elements to a 'mobile-powered desktop computing experience'. Visit Samsung DeX official webpage for more details and a list of compatible phone models.

Can you still connect a phone to a projector if there is no HDMI output?

There are several WiFi-based technologies that let you transmit content from your phone to a projector. Chromecast, DLNA and other screen-mirroring technologies that use WiFi let you play the content from the phone using a projector. Say, YouTube app has a built-in Chromecast option. For this method to work, both your phone and Chromecast need to be within the same WiFi network.

What are the typical applications for using your phone with a projector?

The borders between personal computers and phones are fading with each and every year. There might be several reasons why you would want to connect your phone to a projector.

External display for work-related applications

In terms of computing and hardware logic, a projector is nothing else than an external display. Generally the process of getting an image from your phone to a projector is similar to connecting the phone to a standard display.

Both Apple and Samsung smartphones support external keyboard and mouse or trackpad connected via Bluetooth wirelessly. Adding a projector to this setup will result in a desktop-like working experience with multiple application windows opened on one large projected display.

Presentations on the go

Be it your office or a large conference room, there is a chance that it has a projector. And your phone could become a handy and highly mobile presentation tool.


These days many of us manage our streaming services subscriptions using a phone. The phone apps of these services often have an option to download content to your device's internal storage and view it later offline, without internet connection.

From Phone to Projector

For this reason, we as outdoor movie professionals usually keep a backup copy of the movie on our phones or tablets.

Mobile phone gaming using a projector

Modern phones with powerful processors and GPUs are ideal for gaming. Most of eligible devices are capable of connecting a gaming pad via Bluetooth and mirroring the image on a projector with an extremely low latency. There are even specialized projector models with an even lower latency and higher frame rate.


Almost everybody has a smartphone these days in their pockets. Manufacturers equipped these powerful devices with the ability to transfer image to much larger screens including a projected image with its variety of screen sizes and applications. Knowing your phone’s capabilities and limitations - be it a USB Type C to HDMI wired connection or Miracast wireless image mirroring - will significantly expand the usability of your gadgets.

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