XGIMI Horizon 4K Pro review: The Blockbuster Android TV projector

XGIMI Horizon 4K Pro review: The Blockbuster Android TV projector

Getting a high-quality 4K video projector is easier than it has been in recent years thanks to options like the Xgimi Horizon 4K Pro, which offers a full suite of features in a fairly compact package.

Input, accuracy and specification

It’s easy to recommend building your home entertainment system around an Android TV setup like the XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K unless you’re an AV geek. The maximum supported resolution is C4K (4096 x 2160) but the output resolution is 3840 x 2160 or consumer 4K UHD. This is absolutely perfect for almost all 16:9 content on the Internet or broadcast over the air or satellite. This is important to note since there are two HDMI 2.0 ports on the back for connecting other devices.

Along with these HDMI ports, you have access to two USB 2.0 ports, an optical out, and a headphone jack. There’s also a huge bonus of Chromecast built-in for streaming content from smartphones, laptops, or other compatible devices. This is also important if you’re using a particular video streaming service, but we’ll discuss this later. The only other notable addition is an Ethernet port for wired data connections.

For those wondering about the specs, the XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K comes with 2GB of RAM and 32GB of internal storage and uses a single DLP chip. It runs smoothly and smoothly with plenty of storage space to load any apps you may want or need. However, you won’t be able to store a lot of movies and TV shows in 4K or 1080p. Fortunately, plugging in a USB drive for extra storage instantly solves this, but it’s something I haven’t done at this point.

As for lamp life, it has been estimated at 25,000 hours. That equates to about 1042 days of continuous use, which will likely be more than enough for a long life without the stress of having to replace a projection lamp. Weighing in at 2.9kg, it’s a bulky unit to run, yet it’s sturdy and has a metal-and-plastic build that feels well-made, or “premium.”

Setup and remote process

xgimi horizon pro 4k remote control

As with almost any Android TV device, the setup process is easy — or at least it was, given my familiarity with the system. It’s running Android TV 10.0 and syncing your Google account with your Android phone is the quickest way to sign in. Complaints aside, the process is very quick and painless with detailed step-by-step information throughout all stages.

At first, the XGIMI Horizon Pro will take over the focus job after pointing the projector towards a wall or screen. There’s an integrated AI that adjusts and re-frames the projected image to ensure there are no obstructions to the image – think decorations, hangings, plants and things like that.

I experimented with placement in a few areas, but found that mounting to the top of the monopod meant I could put it behind my couch and get a “proper” cinematic setup of sorts. This is the biggest problem with various projectors, and is probably the reason why you should not consider one for your home entertainment needs. Finding the perfect fit without obstructions can be difficult, understandably so.

The only way to get the truly “perfect” or “perfect” image is to place the projector at a 90-degree angle to the wall or screen. You can’t really fight the physics, but the keystone correction will be as flat as you can get to about 45 degrees. This detrimentally affects the displayed image, so it’s something I’d personally suggest if you have nowhere else to put your Horizon Pro.

coming from small Chromecast with Google TVThe long XGIMI remote control is great for those with big hands. It’s just a nice, well-planned control that’s easy to figure out even for novice Android TV users. I like that the Google Assistant button is centrally placed because I don’t accidentally press it when picking it up or, as often happens, sit on it and activate unnecessary voice commands.

The buttons are a little mushy, but the brushed aluminum finish and weight make this a great remote. Although the rear “eject” button to access the battery slot can release the batteries and scatter them around. I’ve thought of putting tape over that button to prevent it from happening, and it kind of ruins the remote for me. It’s not awful, but it can be an annoyance.

Audiovisual experience

xgimi horizon pro 4k

In terms of image quality, it’s important to note that I didn’t use a dedicated projector screen. This means that my experience is a bit mixed and it has me considering getting a projector monitor setup to take advantage of what is still a solid 4K picture overall.

Not many options for photo editing other than the Movie, Sports, Office, and Game presets are not offered. I had to disable MEMC smoothing in “Movie” mode because this ramps everything up to 60Hz which is frankly terrible. It gives a soap opera effect to everything you consume and isn’t exactly worth enabling.

XGIMI claims the Horizon Pro 4K has a maximum brightness of 2,200 ANSI lumens. Without being able to measure this directly, I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think it’s quite close to the suggested brightness level. It’s still fairly bright for a portable projector like this, but viewing in daylight is still something that’s hard to suggest and hard to enjoy.

Luckily, I have blackout curtains, or at least they were sold to me like that. Watching in a darkened room is fun. Colors really start to pop and some contrast issues disappear in bright or poor lighting. I like to watch such classics thingAnd the Blade Runner 2049or somewhat newer Dune On a big, cinema-like screen at home, and it does justice to someone who is (almost) too young to watch any movie in theaters.

There are some issues with excess noise or scenes in high-resolution images, but I found that custom noise reduction in Custom Picture mode helped clean things up marginally. Native 4K content streamed from services like Amazon Prime Video has proven to be much better. The extra sharpness and vibrancy of the picture this way really stacks above the admittedly limited set of Android TV projectors I’ve tried and tested before — most are limited to just 720p but do an impressive job given their delicate form factors.

It’s worth noting that even though this is a “4K” projector, the XGIMI Horizon Pro uses quadrupole pixel shifting to produce a 4K image. If this worries you, fear not. Even alongside a dedicated 4K TV, I couldn’t see any difference. Everything is as sharp as you would expect for crystal clear viewing.

Play the game that will end soon Google Stadia And the Nvidia GeForce Now, the 40ms input response time was a concern, but I found it acceptable. I’m not suggesting this monitor as a dedicated access point for cloud gaming, but when connected to a PS4, latency at least seemed to be less noticeable — not that it was immediately apparent even when playing Stadia or GeForce NOW to be of huge interest to casual gamers like myself.

The games proved fine for my limited playtime, but even though some of the marketing materials tout an Android TV with the Netflix logo prominent on the home screen, the app isn’t officially available on the XGIMI Horizon Pro. This proved particularly annoying and led to some frustrating but ultimately rewarding solutions using the popular Kodi streaming hub to enable Netflix streams. It’s not a convenient solution, but you can watch Netflix shows with a little work.

The built-in speaker is excellent since the whole package is no larger than most gaming consoles. The two built-in 8-watt Harman Kardon speakers put many cheap TV speakers I’ve used to shame. The sound is full and clear, which is great if you don’t have access to a dedicated surround sound system. I tried using a Bluetooth speaker on a few occasions and it was an equally pleasant experience. I can’t fault the onboard audio as there are obvious hardware and audio limitations based on size/cost here.

Final thoughts

Being able to shove the XGIMI Horizon Pro projector down and have a full 4K entertainment system with all the benefits of Android TV is attractive. I can’t expect to give up my 4K UHD OLED TV in favor of this tiny projector, but for quick entertainment, a 300-inch screen in your living room is something I really enjoy when trying to mimic the cinema experience.

Where it shines for me is live sports and when hosting family gatherings. I took the XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K to barbecues, propped it up on a tripod to play a garden music video, and even broadcast the final stages of last year’s postponed UEFA Euro 2020 tournament to the side of a garage wall – which proved to be quite an experience. Instead of being the entertainment center of my home, it has become the perfect bedroom display that takes up little to no space and gives a pleasing overall picture.

in $1699The XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K Projector hovers around the same price as many 55-inch + OLED TVs are exceptional. For this reason, it’s hard to suggest that anyone build their entire home entertainment system around a system unless you have the space or the option of a large screen. If you want a level of portability and an excellent Android TV-like experience with a few caveats, it’s a great package although it’s a bit pricey.

You can get the XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K projector from many online retailers including AmazonAnd the best buyAnd the targetingand more.

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