The XGIMI Horizon Pro is an Ultra HD DLP projector equipped with a powerful LED lighting, a 16W audio system signed Harman Kardon, and above all Android TV which gives it access to all streaming applications or almost.
The Horizon Pro projector features a Texas Instruments 0.47-inch DMD DLP chip (DLP470TE) displaying a native Ultra HD definition of 3840 x 2160 px. As a reminder, this generation uses wobulation (extremely fast display of multiple Full HD images offset from each other) at 240 Hz to display four Full HD images side by side to produce a 60 Hz Ultra HD image of 8.3 million real pixels. The chip is coupled with a LED light source of 2200 lumens. Good to know, the leds of the XGIMI Horizon Pro do not change and have a lifespan announced for 25,000 hours, three to four times more than a conventional lamp UHP (Ultra High Pressure). This projector also embeds an audio system composed of two speakers and a radiator signed Harman Kardon, with a total power of 16 W.
Another special feature (and not the least), the front camera gives this XGIMI model the possibility to focus by itself, to correct the keystone automatically - very practical when you often move the device and it is off axis -, and even to resize the image to avoid obstacles. An amazing and practical feature, even if you lose the native definition.
On the operating system side, we find Android TV 10 powered by a MediaTek MT55 Cortex-A9612 quad-core processor, a Mali-G52 GPU, 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage space. The projector also has wifi and Bluetooth. The latter is used to connect an external speaker, but also for the Horizon Pro to act as a speaker.
Displaying an Ultra HD definition, the XGIMI Horizon Pro is logically quite expensive, about 1700 €. There are few direct competitors. There is the ViewSonic X10-4K, also Ultra HD led, but it is a little less intelligent, as it lacks automatic settings and Android TV. We also identify the Vava 4K UST Laser Projector with its more powerful laser and ultra-short focal length, both more expensive and bright.
2D image quality
This projector is equipped with a fixed optic with a ratio of 1.2:1 and can project an image of 2.5 m base with a 3 m distance. With this model, our measurements are made at 2.5 m to obtain an image of 2 m base, as for other projectors. The Horizon Pro does not offer lens shift (an optical device that allows the projected image to be moved vertically or horizontally without distorting it or having to move the camera), but it is possible to modify the horizontal and vertical keystone to compensate for its possible tilt... at the cost of a slight loss of definition.
The Horizon Pro has an automatic focus and keystone system. Each time the projector starts up, it focuses to ensure sharpness. The keystone setting is found in the settings. The Horizon Pro displays white dots on the screen and adjusts the keystone according to the result of the photo captured by the front camera. The system can also adapt the image according to the obstacles. For example, if there is a painting in the projected image, it will be resized to stay on one side. We obviously lose in native definition, but the result is quite impressive.
To get the best image quality, we chose the custom mode by setting the temperature to Warm and then turning on Environmental Adaptation. Despite these settings, the color fidelity is far from being there. We measured an average delta E of 6.4. Knowing that the eye perceives a colorimetric drift when the delta E is higher than 3, the gap is notable here for a trained eye. This measurement is however less crazy than on the first models of the manufacturer, whose delta E exceeded 10.
The average gamma (1.8) is far from the reference value (2.2). The curve clearly lacks stability and the gray levels are all overexposed. This process is often used by projector manufacturers to artificially increase the perceived brightness, but at the expense of the accuracy of the gray levels.
The average temperature measured (6410 K) is in phase with the reference value of the video standard (6500 K). Moreover, the curve is perfectly stable over the entire spectrum. It is clearly a faultless on this point.
The models using the Texas Instruments DMD 0.47 inch chip are used to offer a rather low contrast, rarely exceeding 800:1. But the use of LEDs does not help. On our test pattern with 1% white, the contrast is measured at only 450:1 and even drops to 175:1 on our test pattern with 35% white, all with a brightness of 67 cd/m². That's a far cry from the 1340:1 contrast calculated on the Vava 4K UST Laser Projector, which features a 0.47-inch DLP DMD chip and laser, and even further from the Sony VW290ES, which peaks at 135 cd/m² with a native contrast of 2820:1. In practice, the Horizon Pro's low contrast results in fairly washed-out blacks, but has little impact on TV shows or sports viewing, for example.
XGIMI does not use a color wheel, but red, green and blue LEDs to quickly mix colors. The rainbow effect, visible on all projectors using a single DLP chip, is limited. This phenomenon more or less visible, or not at all depending on the person and the images, results in small rainbows around the luminous objects on a dark background.
As for the scaling engine, it is rather basic, but manages to display 1080p sources on the Ultra HD matrix without distorting the original image too much. However, we would have appreciated a mode that would allow the DLP chip to be disengaged so that it displays a native Full HD image with a source of the same type. A solution made possible by other manufacturers and which allows to improve the sharpness of a Full HD image, which then benefits from the precision of the DLP chip without the wobulation process.
This projector also has a powerful motion compensation engine, which improves the sharpness of moving objects, especially during travel. This reduces jerks at the cost of a slight camcorder effect.
The XGIMI Horizon Pro has an input lag of 34.4 ms in game mode. This translates into a delay of 2 frames compared to the source at 60 Hz, which greatly limits the latency between the action on the controller and its impact on the screen. We can therefore consider playing on this projector without any problem.
The HDR rendering is far from being stunning. With its low contrast, the Horizon Pro has trouble handling low light at the beginning of the curve, while the maximum brightness remains very limited. In the end, we end up with a rather reduced dynamic range of the image that does not allow HDR content to express itself fully. This is still acceptable, but the HDR level is very far from what we can have with more contrasted and bright projectors like the Vava 4K UST Laser or the Sony VW290ES mentioned above. To make matters worse, the colors are not respected at all.
3D Image Quality
The Horizon Pro is 3D compatible. In fact, unlike products with a 0.67-inch 4K UHD DLP chip from Texas Instruments, which does not support 3D, the 0.47-inch 4K UHD Texas Instruments present here supports 3D DLP-Link. Of course, 3D is only supported in Full HD. Also, this projector does not automatically detect 3D content and you have to go into the menu to manually enable it - and automatically switch to Full HD mode.
Thanks to the very fast oscillation of the micro-mirrors (144 times per second), the 3D DLP Link 144 Hz technology allows to display a very nice 3D image. The crosstalk (duplication of images) is almost invisible. The depth effect is very well rendered while the spurts are less impressive. Overall, the 3D experience is a success. XGIMI does not provide a pair of glasses with the projector, but there are many DLP Link compatible models (the BenQ DGD5 is a good value at about 60 €). As a reminder, the synchronization is done optically by inserting red flashes in the film, invisible to the eyes of the viewer.
Features and ergonomics
The cube format of the XGIMI Horizon Pro is quite imposing. It measures indeed 20.8 x 21.8 x 13.6 cm for a weight of about 2.9 kg. The device is a little more compact than a traditional projector such as BenQ W1050S or W1090, but it is also higher. This Ultra HD model also loses the protective cover with automatic opening of the XGIMI H2.
The lens used by the manufacturer is a little larger than on the Full HD models and you have to give credit to the 8.2 million pixels displayed on the screen. On the right, we find the sensors used to automatically adapt the image to the wall. This feature makes it possible to obtain an image that is always horizontal, with an almost perfect trapezoid, and even to avoid obstacles or to adjust the size of the image to that of the projection screen.
Underneath, there is a standard mounting hole for ceiling or tripod installation, for example. The four feet are adjustable to manage the projector's attitude, but they will only be used by those who are picky about image quality. The Horizon Pro has a very powerful automatic image adjustment system.
Connectivity consists of two HDMI 2.0b inputs, two USB 2.0 ports, a mini-jack analog audio output, an optical digital audio output (SPDIF) and an Ethernet port. This model does not have a 12V switch to automatically deploy a mechanical screen, for example. On the other hand, it has 802.11n wifi and Bluetooth 5.0. The projector can also be used as a Bluetooth speaker or, conversely, connect to a wireless headset or speaker.
With 2GB of RAM and 32GB of storage, the Horizon Pro packs Android 10 in its native version without an overlay. The system gives access to the full range of apps in the Google Play Store, but not all of them work. For example, Netflix - which has the audacity to ask for its installation at first startup - is not compatible with XGIMI's projector. Of course, the installation is done normally, it is possible to launch the app, log in and even access the catalog; but when content is launched, an error message appears.
Fortunately, there is a roundabout way to install Netflix through the DesktopManager app, but without the default Netflix interface. Most importantly, the content is limited to Ultra HD definition. Other well-known streaming apps (MyCanal, Amazon Prime, Disney+, OCS, Molotov, etc.) work without a problem, but again, 4K content is scarce. Only YouTube, Disney+ and Prime Video seem to work in Ultra HD, while myCanal is limited to Full HD. For the rest, we find all the features of Android TV, including the voice assistant and the Chromecast.
The remote control is light and pleasant to use. It allows you to easily navigate the system, change sources, adjust the volume and access the various settings. It also has a microphone for Google Assistant. The button placed at the bottom offers to focus automatically or manually. Finally, the keys are not backlit, but there are not enough of them for this not to be a problem.
Power consumption and noise level
This projector consumes 144 W in normal mode and only 68 W in adaptive mode. The noise level was measured at 36 dB (A) in normal mode and 33.5 dB (A) in adaptive mode. Noise pollution is therefore very limited, and in adaptive mode this projector is simply inaudible. In normal mode, the fan is very slightly heard, but much less than conventional projectors using a UHP (Ultra High Pressure) lamp. Finally, a big strength of this model, it starts instantly while consuming less than 1 W in standby.
The XGIMI Horizon Pro projector is a condensed technology. In terms of raw image quality, it remains behind the references of the category such as the Sony VW290ES or even the Vava 4K UST Laser, but it impresses with its features and automatic adjustment capabilities. The Horizon Pro has other significant strengths, such as its quiet operation, reduced display delay, instant wake-up and more. The only drawback is the partial support for Netflix, which can be bypassed with an external box, but then the all-in-one projector loses its appeal.