There is something special about a product that can immediately turn you into a believer. Something that defies almost every opinion you have about a category of product. A product like the XGIMI Halo, a portable Android projector that meets and exceeds the expectations of a portable solution.
We don’t come across many portable options since many (in the past) have brought disappointment with them. Limited brightness and resolutions that defeat the purpose of trying to enjoy the pleasures of modern formats. Weak battery life that can’t get you through a full movie, or mediocre projection sizes that leave you wishing you’d just used a tablet instead. None of which are a limitation of this model.
Instead, the Halo projector turned our opinions around by providing an impressive brightness, noticeable image detail, accurate colors, and a handful of premium features.
The projector is light in weight, at just slightly over three and a half pounds. A perfect weight for bringing with you on a trip to the backyard or camping.
It features a brilliantly simple yet attractive design with a mesh grill pattern running around the front and sides, hiding a 5W speaker on each of the sides behind it. The speakers, designed by Harman Kardon, offer a noticeable range for how small they are, and comparable to a $100+ Bluetooth speaker. A feature this also supports, allowing you to, in fact, use it as a Bluetooth speaker when not using it for watching video content.
It can be used like any other projector, shooting forward to a screen like normal, while also being able to project against a rear-projection surface/screen (a mirrored image projected) or mounted upside-down from a ceiling space (via a threaded camera-like input at the bottom). Given, since this is a portable solution, you’ll likely be using it in normal front-projection mode most or all of the time.
It features just a few simple touch-sensitive controls on the top, including play/pause and two volume options (up and down). You don’t need anything else as the remote does all the rest.
The back-side of the projector contains the power button as well as an HDMI input, a USB 2.0 input (why they didn’t just go with USB 3.0 is interesting, but it seems to get the job done), a headphone jack, and a DC connection for power.
It can be powered from the wall for indefinite watching/listening, else the power adapter that it comes with will charge the battery for when you want to leave the power adapter behind (mobile use).
The battery inside will give you up to 4 hours of video content or up to 8 hours of music listening. So you won’t be watching movies all throughout a camping trip, but you will get at least one in or simply a lot of music listening.
The mentioned remote is a simple solution, similar to most Android TV (or similar) set-top boxes (ie, Roku, Amazon Fire, etc). Fits nicely in your hand and isn’t littered with a bunch of unneeded buttons. They are easy to familiarize yourself with and there is a small switch at the bottom that switches the bottom volume up/down toggle buttons to adjusting focus (in case you want to tweak the focus some).
Of course, you won’t be playing with the manual focus control much since it offers a 10,000 point auto-focus that kicks in the moment you turn the projector on. It has a special logo overlay that hits the screen as the sensor in the front automatically adjusts the focus to what normally ends up being a perfect focus every time.
It also offers a semi-automatic keystone as well, automatically adjusting the vertical for you. You may be able to achieve the horizontal manually by simply adjusting the position of the projector. Else, you may have to dig into the settings. In our use of the projector this last week, we didn’t have to visit any settings for this.
Just a few of the many features that help contribute to the impressive performance of this model.
Performance is where it is at. A nice crisp image with a noticeable brightness, even when we projected it to nearly 125-inches on one of our larger screens here. So it’s no surprise that it can deliver up to a 300-inch image if you take it far enough away from the surface you are projecting against.
The level of detail this little lens provides is quite notable. We put it up against various content from online streaming sources to media files on a USB drive. It was able to playback 4K and 8K (original format) media files from the USB drive without any noticeable lag caused by only having a USB 2.0 port (we had expected some skipping or latency issues, but there were none).
Since it runs on Android, you have the option of installing all of the most popular streaming solutions onto it (along with thousands of other apps and games within the Google Play Store). So as long as you have an internet connection, you’ll be able to tap into all of it directly from the projector’s user interface with nothing having to be connected (as long as you have a WiFi connection for it). Or you can connect your favorite player, computer, or console to it and use it like any other TV or projector.
It even supports 3D, although you will need active shutter 3D glasses (DLP-Link compatible) since it does not come with any. Kind of a common thing with anything 3D today since 3D has become less popular in recent years.
It is also quiet. If the room falls silent, you could hear the fans when you are close to the projector. However, once you sit at a normal distance away from it, this noise isn’t so easy to pick out. Making this another admirable feature as you don’t want audible distractions while you are enjoying your favorite movies.
Which makes it a good static projector if you decide to use it in a media/movie room in the house when it isn’t being used as a mobile solution. I mean, it is a fantastic projector, so you might as well get the most use out of it that you can. It’s also a bit pricey, so even more reason to use it every chance you get.
Which leads us to the price. The MSRP of the projector is $799, which can be a bit pricey for many. Not everyone is looking to spend that much on a projector. Just like they may not be looking to spend that much on a TV. However, when you consider what it is capable of, the price begins to make a little sense as it comes with a lot of power/features for something you can take on the go with you.
The built-in speakers, as mentioned, have a decent range to them. They are small, packed away inside, but provide enough sound that you will find yourself perfectly fine with using them as your only source of sound while using it as a wireless/mobile solution. You may even find it fine at home in certain situations. Given, during home-use you will likely make use of an external system for enhanced sound.
However, they do sound good and have a noticeable amount of low-end. Just enough to satisfy your ears with for how small everything is. Also making it an excellent Bluetooth speaker solution when you aren’t projecting anything.
So what do we not like about it? Really, our complaints are quite small/simple. For one, the remote doesn’t come with any batteries. As my colleague pointed out in the unboxing video below, they could have included, at least, a pair of generic batteries with the remote (for the price of everything). Instead, you are on your own for batteries.
Also, there is no lens cap to protect it while it isn’t in use. It would have been nice to have some kind of small lens over with a latching solution that allows you to easily pop it on and off while it is stored or traveling with you to its destination. That way nothing can reach in and scratch the glass. Especially, since it is a mobile solution.
Both of these complaints do not weigh heavily on the score. Cost and other things pick away slightly at the core, but even these other elements lead to minimal damage, allowing this projector to walk away with a reputable total.
In our experience, it compared well to a $400-$500 standard-size projector when it comes to resolution, color accuracies, clarity, and brightness. Now, factor in the fact that it is smaller in size (which usually brings the price up), has a high-capacity built-in battery to operate wirelessly with, is energy efficient enough to pull that off on a battery source, features some impressive options like the auto-focus, and of course, built-in speakers that resemble a $100+ quality Bluetooth speaker. When you add everything up, the price begins to make a lot of sense.
This projector is littered with features and an impressive performance worth bragging about. Making it one of our favorites yet, within the portable range or products we have seen and played with.
|Available at the following retailers:
| | | |
*Average price is based on the time this article was published
- Display: DLP
- 3D: Yes
- Brightness: 600-800 ANSI Lumens
- Display Chip: 0.33” DMD
- Resolution: 1920 X 1080 (1080P)
- Projection Ratio: 1.2:1 (76-INCH @2M)
- Keystone Correction:
- Vertical: +/-40 deg
- Horizontal: +/-40 deg (2D)
- Off-axis: 100%
- Projection Method
- CPU: Amlogic T950X2
- GPU: MALI-G31
- RAM: 2GB
- Storage: 16GB
- System: Android 9.0
- Mirroring Display: Chromecast
- Speakers: 2x 5W Built-in
- Input Ports:
- DC X 1
- HDMI X 1
- USB 2.0 X 1
- Output Port: Headphone
- WiFi: 2.4/5GHZ, 802.11A/B/G/N
- Bluetooth: 4.2 / 5.0
- Noise: < 30DB
- Power Dissipation: 90W
- Power: AC100-240V, 50/60HZ
- Size: 113.5X145X171.5MM
- Net Weight: 1.6KG (3.52lbs)
Co-Authors: James H.
Are you a manufacturer or distributor that would like us to test something out for review? Contact us and we can let you know where to send the product and we will try it out.
Don’t forget to subscribe for a chance to win cool prizes!