With COVID-19 keeping most of us locked away in our homes and apartments, many of us have been looking for ways to keep kids entertained and somewhat occupied. While backyard playtime is ideal and electronics are also a solution, sometimes kids just need something else that’s out of the ordinary. And that’s what CINEMOOD 360 was intended to be.
The CINEMOOD 360 is a small, hand-sized projector that has preloaded content, VR, as well as Wi-Fi streaming capabilities. The idea is to bring your kids’ favorite entertainment into their hands in a portable and fun package. But while the idea is a good one, this particular gadget misses the mark and charges too much for the experience.
The CINEMOOD 360 has the following features and specifications:
- Battery-powered and rechargeable
- No fan, no noise
- Auto-Off feature
- Networking: 2.4 GHz WIFI and Bluetooth 4.0 support
- Sound: Built-In Speaker and AUX port
- Apps included: Disney+, Netflix, Prime Videos, Youtube, Youtube 360, MOOLT, AmebaTV
- Pre-loaded content: 120 hours + interactive motion games
- Brightness: Soft 35 lumens (safe for kids eyes)
- Battery Life: Up to 5 hours
- Internal Storage: 32GB
- Weight: 9oz
What’s In The Box
- CINEMOOD 360
- Charging Cable
- Manuals and documentation
Let’s start with the good part of the CINEMOOD 360 design, it’s small and compact. I love that it’s small enough for young kids’ hands to handle and hold. The large buttons are also nice, and they are plainly labeled and easy for kids to manipulate. Its size makes it super portable and easy to carry around, throw in a bag or backpack and bring it over for a sleep over.
At the top is the large five-button control panel, which is nicely sized and gives plenty of tactile response. Along the left side is the VR button, AUX port, and charging port, and on the right side are the brightness and focus buttons. Along the back is the speaker. The front of the unit houses the lens and the bottom is bare.
The entire unit is made of plastic with the build quality being cheap-feeling. I felt the build was chintzy and cheap, considering this is a US$500 piece of equipment. I do not feel confident that this unit would stand up to a few drops on the floor, and we all know kids are prone to dropping things.
Initially, I thought I was being too harsh on the CINEMOOD 360 but given that the price is right up there with the cost of an iPad, I don’t think this is harsh at all. If the CINEMOOD 360 were priced at US$150 or below, I would probably be less critical of the build here.
Overall, I like the compact design, portability, and kid friendly buttons. I don’t like the build quality and lack of ruggedness for the price that is being asked for it.
Ease of Use
As I mentioned before, the large buttons on the top of the CINEMOOD 360 are great and they allow for easy manipulation. Setting up the CINEMOOD 360 was a bit of a pain in the butt. All navigation is done with the buttons on the top, including mousing and typing. Moving the mouse around is flaky and it takes a good amount of time to key in user names and passwords, especially when your password is lengthy.
Moving around the interface is fairly easy as it consists of large icons which are easy to select and engage. One of the fun things about the CINEMOOD 360 is being able to project on any wall or even the ceiling. So it was fun to lay on the floor and watch content on the ceiling.
Using the focus button was easy, and most of the time it focused itself properly without needing to manual focus. One of the more annoying problems with the CINEMOOD 360 was having to log in to Netflix every time the projector was turned on. It would be nice if you could stay logged in. The CINEMOOD 360 also has Disney+ on board, but we could never get it to work. By that I mean the app never even loaded to the point of login, so we couldn’t even attempt to use it. The same was true for Prime Video. Only Netflix worked and navigation through the Netflix app was painful.
Overall, the pre-installed content is easy enough to get through, but it’s when you have to connect to a network and start inputting information where it gets cumbersome. Not to mention that some apps just plain do not work at all.
Using the pre-installed apps and activities was fairly easy but the kids were not impressed with the content. There are a few things that I thought were fun, like PlanetPics 360 which is a docu-series type app where you can see the content in 360. The storytime app and the playtime app were somewhat fun for the kids but they quickly became bored with those. The performance was decent when it came to the pre-installed apps. It’s using third-party apps where things fall apart.
I do have to say that battery life is decent and you can get the advertised 5-hours of use. On another bright note, the battery doesn’t drain very much when the unit is turned off either.
As I mentioned before, Netflix worked but was very laggy, and navigating the Netflix interface was painful. Disney+ and Prime Video never even booted up. Typing anything on this is a chore and moving the cursor is a pain and becomes infuriating after a short while.
Picture quality is just okay and is everything you’d expect from something this size. But for the US$500 they ask for it, you should expect better. The brightness could be better, but I understand they wanted to keep it from hurting kids’ eyes should they shine it at each other. Sound quality is, again, what you’d expect for something this size, which is awful. Thank God there is an AUX port, but then you can only have one child use it, maybe two with a splitter.
Basically, anything that makes the CINEMOOD 360 worth buying either doesn’t work, or is laggy and nearly unusable. You’re almost paying exclusively for the pre-loaded content alone, and that’s not worth the asking price.
Overall, at this price point, the CINEMOOD 360 fails to deliver the performance. I know this is a pretty blunt opinion, but I’m just being honest here. I’d have an easier time defending the performance if the price tag wasn’t so astronomical.
The CINEMOOD 360 is US$499.99 and there is little to no value in this gadget at that price point.
I’m no fan of delivering reviews that are this scathing. I truly try and find the good in most products I review, and I try and be fair considering the audience and the price point the product is catering too. But the CINEMOOD 360 just does not have any redeeming qualities that make it worth my recommending this to anyone. At least not at US$500. I can see this being worth the investment at US$99.
The CINEMOOD 360 is a great idea, but I think it misses the mark in delivering performance, usability, build quality, price, and content delivery. That’s too many misses. Better to buy an iPad or two mid-range Android tablets instead.