XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K DLP Projector Review

PRICE $1,699

Bright, detailed 4K image
Excellent auto-setup features
Potent built-in audio system
LED lamp provides 25,000 hours use
Limited contrast ratio
Non-backlit remote control
Picture adjustments reset to default after unplugging

XGMI's pricey portable delivers crisp, bright 4K images along with auto-setup features that make it incredibly easy to get up and running.

Even as TVs grow ever-larger, the projector category continues to be an active one, with more recent designs like ultra short throw models giving viewers an alternative to room-dominating hang- from-ceiling setups. And while we here at Sound & Vision typically advocate for high-performance, and accordingly high-priced, options, the reality is that much of the action in the global projector scene involves affordable lower- end models, many from brands you may have not heard of before.

XGIMI (pronounced "X-Jimmy") is a leading maker of home entertainment projectors in its native China. The bulk of the company's offerings are compact, portable HD-resolution models designed for quick-and-easy setup outdoors or in an interior space where you want a temporarily project a bigscreen image, usually on a wall. While you can find tons of similar products on Amazon.com, many at ridiculously low prices (and with highly suspect specifications), XGIMI products stand out from the crowd owing to their sleek industrial design and Harman Kardon-developed built-in audio systems.

The new Horizon Pro ($1,699) is the first 4K projector to emerge from XGIMI and, while still compact enough to be portable, it's being pitched as an option for more serious home theater viewing. Brightness for the projector's LED light source is spec'd at 2,200 ANSI lumens and lamp life at 25,000 hours. A 0.47-inch Texas Instruments DLP chip with XPR tech achieves 4K resolution via pixel- shifting and HDR10 and HLG high dynamic range are supported. The Horizon Pro uses a fixed lens with a 1.2:1 throw ratio, and it can beam images from 30 inches all the way up to 300 inches.

The Android TV 10.0 interface enables the XGIMI to stream video over dual-band Wi-Fi using its built- in apps. There's also Chromecast built-in for wirelessly "casting" programs directly to the projector from a computer, phone, or tablet, plus Google Assistant to help with program searches and hands-free commands. During initial setup of the projector, I noted there was literally no way to opt out of the Google sign-in process. This wasn't an issue for me since I have a Gmail account and Google already knows everything about me from my shoe size to my opinion on adding alfalfa sprouts to sandwiches (go for it). But this could be a showstopper for anyone who is intent on avoiding the Huge Ever Growing Pulsating Google-Brain.


Available apps on the Horizon Pro include Amazon Video, Hulu, Apple TV+, Peacock, YouTube, and many others. A Google Assistant search for "Netflix" also turned up a Netflix app, but after I downloaded this and entered my login credentials, the app wouldn't play any programs. Fortunately, I had an Apple TV 4K and Roku Streaming Stick+ on hand, both of which offer a superior user interface—and a working Netflix app.

As I mentioned above, XGIMI's products are distinguished by their sleek design, and the Horizon Pro is no exception. The cake-size projector features rounded corners and a black mesh case concealing its built-in 2 x 8-watt Harmon Kardon sound system. Basic controls are located on the top to power the unit on/off, play/pause streamed content, and adjust volume. Rear-panel connections include a pair of HDMI 2.0 inputs (one with ARC), optical digital audio and mini- jack headphone outputs, USB 2.0 type-A and LAN (Ethernet) ports, and a DC power input to connect the projector's brick- size (literally) power brick.


XGIMI bundles an equally striking aluminum-encased remote control with the Horizon Pro. Although it does break the first rule of projector remote ergonomics—no backlit keypad—the functions of the limited number of controls lining it surface are easy enough to memorize and it can be operated by feel alone.

I started my setup by connecting the Horizon Pro to a tripod (via the screw terminal located on its bottom surface), situating it approximately nine feet away from a 92-inch diagonal, 1.1 gain Stewart Filmscreen Cima screen, and aligning the lens with the screen's bottom edge. After following instructions in the included printed manual to pair the remote control with the projector via Bluetooth, I plugged in a USB drive loaded with the latest firmware (provided to me by XGIMI). This added a wide range of new picture adjustment features none of which are covered in-depth in the Horizon Pro's printed manual. And since there's no extended manual or additional setup info located in the support section of XGIMI's website, for the most part I was flying blind.

XGIMI makes a big deal of the Horizon Pro's automatic keystone correction and focus features, and after using them, I can confirm they are a big deal. If you end up regularly moving the projector from room to room, getting the image aligned and perfectly in focus will be a snap. Keystone correction—something you can configure to happen automatically upon power-up—analyzes the alignment of the projector's lens surface with the screen and then makes the adjustments to display a near-perfect rectangular image. This can then be manually tweaked to obtain even more precise geometry, and there's also an option for aligning it to fit perfectly within the boundaries of a projection screen. As for auto-focus, each time I moved the projector around and auto-set it up again, image focus was never less than perfectly crisp.


For picture adjustment, I selected the projector's Custom Image Mode and Custom Color Temperature. (The Warm Color Temperature option gave images a slightly reddish cast, while Standard made them look too blue.) While it was relatively easy to calibrate the projector's grayscale using the global red, green, and blue controls in the Custom Color Temperature menu, there were no gamma presets or a color management system menu to fine-tune its gamma tracking or color points (see Test Bench). Frustratingly, there was also no way to store separate Custom picture memories for HD/SDR and Ultra HD/HDR sources. Lastly, unplugging it resulted in a loss of stored picture adjustments (make a point of carefully writing yours down!), something that struck me as a serious oversight in a projector designed for portable use.


PawanKY's picture

Thanks for writing a detailed review on XGIMI Horizon Pro. I gathered a list of main features, please read:
1. 4K UHD resolution
2. HDR support
3. Built-in Harman Kardon speakers
4. 360° surround sound
5. Voice control compatibility
6. Auto keystone correction
7. Built-in Android TV
8. Smartphone mirroring
9. WiFi & Bluetooth connectivity
10. Cinema-grade image optimization
11. Long-lasting LED lamp life