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XGIMI Horizon Pro Projector Review



XGIMI is a company laser-focused on developing the most feature-heavy and consumer-friendly projectors ever created. With four different series of projectors currently on the market, each with its own unique demographic in mind, XGIMI has something to offer everyone looking for a multimedia experience. The Horizon Pro is a 4K projector that aims to meet the needs of those looking for a cinematic experience. Packed to the brim with features, the Horizon Pro boasts a 2200 ANSI lumens lamp, dual 8W Harmon / Kardon sound system, and a fully functional Android TV experience. With so many features and hardware to work with the Horizon Pro is the flagship projector from XGIMI. And much like the Enterprise D, it pushes the limits on what we have come to expect from a home entertainment projection system. How well does it achieve this goal? Find out in our review of XGIMI’s Horizon Pro Projector review.     

Specifications

  • Current Price: $1699 USD (Amazon)
  • Display technique – DLP
  • Luminance – 2200 ANSI Lumens
  • Lamp Type – LED
  • Standard Resolution – 3840×2160 (4K) @60Hz
  • Lifetime Hours – 25,000 hours
  • Throw Ratio – 1.2:1
  • Image Size – 30”-300”
  • Auto Focus – Yes
  • Intelligent Screen Adaptation – Auto Keystone Correction, Quick Boot, Auto Screen Alignment, Obstacle Avoidance
  • Projection Method – Front, Rear, Ceiling Mount, Desktop
  • Ram – 2GB
  • Internal Storage – 32GB
  • Sound – 2x8W Harmon/Kardon Speakers
  • System – Android TV 10.0 with built-in Chromecast
  • I/O connection Ports – DC x1, HDMI 2.0 x2, USB 2.0 x2, LAN x1, Headphone (3.5mm) x1, OPTICAL x1
  • WiFi – Dual-band 2.4/5GHz, 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluethooth – 5.0
  • Size (HxWxD) – 208.4×218.4×136.2mm

Elite Look and Feel

The Horizon Pro is a beautiful-looking unit. From top to bottom the projector is a solid piece of technology. It looks quite clean and minimalistic while still managing to stand out in a crowd. The hard plastic finish on the top and bottom of the projector feels solid and durable. My only real complaint is that it’s a magnet for fingerprints. I spent more than a few minutes wiping smudges off the top of the unit. 

Three of the four sides are wrapped in a plastic grill that works both aesthetically as well as offering the needed space for acoustic vibrations to push out from each of the two side speakers. The back panel includes venting for heat build-up as well as all of the needed I/O to make it all function. 

Four buttons (power, volume, and play) accent the top of the projector allowing for quick access to basic functions while the included remote offers a host of advanced functionality. Speaking of the remote, the Pro comes equipped with a sleek-looking silver and black one. This isn’t some dainty afterthought either. The remote is build of what feels like aluminum and is a durable controller to use. It comes with all the buttons and functionality you’d expect from a media remote with the added bonus of Google assistant. With a built-in mic, one only needs to push a button and you can access many of the Pro’s many features and applications. 

Overall I’m impressed with the look and feel of the Horizon Pro. It looks and feels high-end in design and build quality. With the exception of the aforementioned smudging issue, I really do like every aspect of the design. Functionally the Horizon Pro can sit just about anywhere. Small rubberized shoes allow for desktop mounting while a small threaded socket located on the bottom of the unit allows for a tripod mount. With a throw distance as small as 30 inches and as long as 300 inches, the Horizon Pro really can be placed just about anywhere that there is a plug nearby.  

Features and Functions

The Horizon Pro isn’t just a pretty piece of tech either. This projector comes equipped with Android TV 10.0. It includes the Google Playstore which opens up all sorts of possibilities. With built-in Bluetooth, I was easily able to link up my PS4 controller and download some games onto the included 32 GB of storage. I was able to install some of my favorite streaming apps and finally sat down to watch ‘Only Murders In the Building’. I was also able to easily Chromecast from my phone to take advantage of some of the media apps I had there as well. Most importantly I could hear it all from the built-in speakers.

This is one area that the Horizon Pro really shines in: its versatility. No need for external speakers or smart devices or even Chromecasts, everything you need for a complete multimedia experience is self-contained inside the Pro. 

It’s easy to set up too. In fact, my android phone recognized and offered to set it up as soon as it was powered on. It’s also simple to use. Google assistant alone makes finding apps and navigation a breeze.

Finally, it’s compact. It’s about the same size footprint as a Mac Mini and stands roughly two and a half Mac Mini’s high. This might seem a little big but when you consider that it houses a 2200 Lumens LED lamp, two 8-watt speakers, and enough I/O to two consoles, two USB-powered storage drives, and output to a soundbar, its actually a pretty impressive feat. It’s a whole lot of power in a single package and it looks great while doing it.    

Functionality

So here we are with an all and one multimedia package that promises the world. This all sounds good on paper but how does it function in the real world? Overall it does pretty well but there are few things to be aware of. 

Much like XGIMI’s Elfin series projector, all the apps worked exceptionally well off the hop. In fact, once I signed into my google account many were able to pull up my settings and simply continue functioning as they do on my other android devices. All except one. Like the Elfin, the Horizon Pro isn’t recognized as an official device by Netflix. 

As a result, Netflix doesn’t natively function. There are a couple of workarounds that can be found with a quick google search and some tech-savvy MacGyvering but it’s extra work. Alternatively, you can hook up a console or Chromecast (interestingly the internal Chromecast won’t accept a cast from Netflix) and run the app that way but it’s disappointing that it doesn’t work natively.

As previously mentioned navigating the menus and applications is a pretty simple and streamlined affair overall. However, the 2GB of internal ram has to work pretty hard to keep up with all that is happening. This can result in a bit of input lag from time to time while navigating the OS. It’s not terrible and only happened on occasion but it does make me wonder how much smoother the experience would be if it were 4GB of ram instead.  

The included two 8-watt Harman / Kardon speakers actually sound better than I expected. They are clean and fairly well balanced (not too warm or bright). Dialogue is easy to hear and musical scores sound clean and fairly balanced in the mix. They don’t offer the deep low-end boom that some people like out of their speaker systems but the Harman’s offer proportionally powerful bass when compared to the mids and highs. I prefer a flat mix and thus actually enjoyed the sound from the speakers. 

What did take a little getting used to though was the speaker placement. Although the Horizon Pro includes a virtualized surround sound experience, it feels lackluster. The problem lies in the speaker placement. The speakers are located on the sides of the projector which means that the sound is directionally pointed away from most viewers, assuming a viewer sits behind or in front of the unit. Functionally it means you’re never positioned in the best place to hear the sound properly. Unfortunately, even if you do choose to sit beside the speaker you still miss out on a balanced mix as you’ll be receiving the audio from the side. 

Thankfully the system is loud enough that you’ll have no problem hearing the audio it’s just odd that by design you never really get to experience the ideal sound setting. If it’s something that is a point of contention for you, the included Bluetooth 5.0 works exceptionally well with Bluetooth-enabled speakers. In my testing, I didn’t experience any noticeable lag when streaming to my external Bose speaker and linking the device was easy and quick.       

I Can See Clearly Now

I saved the visuals for last because this is where the Horizon Pro really shines. Boasting a 2200 lumens LED lamp with over 25,000 lifetime hours of use, the Pro is a powerful projector. With its 4K support and HDR capabilities, the projector throws a bright, sharp, and colorful image. I was actually thoroughly impressed at how sharp it was when compared to the Elfin and another projector I had here at the office. 

More impressive was that the Horizon Pro maintained that crisp, bright image no matter the distance from the screen. Even in a fully lit room, the image was clear and easy to see. This can be credited not only to the hardware but also to XGIMI’s built-in AI brightness software. Using a built-in optical sensor, the AI constantly adjusts the brightness of the screen to best suit the lighting conditions of the room. In theory, it sounds great. In practice, it looks great. I was blown away at how quickly the software could adjust to the constant button mashing of my light switch.  

In addition, I was equally impressed with the autofocus and auto keystone functionality of the Pro. The former is quick to register changes and adjusts without hesitation. The latter also had no problem keeping up to placement changes and on average only took three to four seconds to compensate for the change. On top of all of this, the Horizon Pro also has a screen adjustment feature. It can actually adjust the size of the image to better fit the screen you are projecting to automatically. This might sound like a gimmick but having seen it work in practice, I can testify to its validity and quality. XGIMI has knocked it out of the park with it comes to the actual projecting features on their 4K projector. 

Final Thoughts

The Horizon Pro from XGIMI attempts to provide a high-quality, all-in-one multimedia solution to consumers. Despite a few odd design choices and some software issues, I feel like the Horizon Pro fulfills that promise. It’s hands down the most powerful projector I’ve ever worked with. From picture quality to the sheer amount of automatic adjusting the projector can do on the fly, it outshines anything else I’ve used. If you’re looking for a quality 4K home projection system that also offers a smart TV and audio solution, the Horizon Pro from XGIMI is a strong contender. Priced at $1699.00 USD, this is a serious projector for series Media enthusiasts.    

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.
 

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