XGIMI Halo Portable Projector Review

XGIMI Halo Portable Projector Review

One minute review

The XGIMI Halo is a specialist product and as a portable projector, it can be unmatched for the full set of features and capabilities it offers. The compact Halo features a sleek design, small enough enough to fit in a backpack and stylish enough to blend in with home decor, although it's best used outside the living room. At €799, this XGIMI Halo won't stand out as a budget product, although it's actually affordable for native 1080p projectors. There are a few other portable 1080p models on the market, but they pale in comparison to the Halo's 800-lumen peak brightness (which, admittedly, drops to 600 when running on battery). The XGIMI Halo raises the bar with movie-ready battery life, dual 5-watt speakers, and a capable Android TV operating system that's fast enough to get the job done, though it shows a little sluggishness and lacks native Android support. Netflix at this time. We don't see many portable projects that can stack, and that may be what allows XGIMI to have a relatively high price for a portable model. Meanwhile, for those on a tighter budget, the XGIMI Mogo Pro is very similar in spec, just slightly lower. That being said, the XGIMI Halo won't be the best choice for home theater systems. While it compares favorably to portable projectors like the Nebula Solar Portable and Nebula Capsule II, it doesn't compare well to the types of projectors that should stay in one place. Optoma's HD146X and HD28HDR, for example, cost less but can hit 3.600 lumens with a 1080p image, the latter even doubles as a gaming projector that can run at a 120Hz refresh rate for fast gaming. This puts the XGIMI Halo in a difficult situation. Viewers may not be happy with the Halo's brightness and image, especially due to annoying video noise on dark stages. Meanwhile, casual viewers who want a projector they can set up at home, in the backyard, or at a campsite might be just as happy with a slightly weaker, more affordable option. But, for anyone who needs flexibility and wants the best projector that can meet that need, the XGIMI Halo will prove to be a good choice.

Prices and availability

The XGIMI Halo is available now for €799 in the US, €729 in the UK and €1399AU in Australia. You can find it at XGIMI.com or Amazon. XGIMI Halo Projector (Image credit: Future) For more specific models, you might want to consider the XGIMI Horizon, an HD projector priced at $1,099/$1,099, or the Horizon Pro 4K projector for $1,699/$1,699.

Design and features

The XGIMI Halo is an elegant piece of technology. Even though it's built from hard plastic, the color scheme and shape could almost pass for something more upscale, especially with the mesh design that wraps around the front and sides of the device. However, there is a small downside to its simplicity. The projector itself only has four built-in controls: pause/play, volume up, volume down, and power on/off.. This means you'll have to keep track of your remote to handle everything else, like navigation, settings, and focus. The remote control is pretty typical for Android TV devices, and looks a lot like the one on the BenQ X1300i projector. XGIMI Halo Projector (Image credit: Future) The entire unit takes up an incredibly small footprint for something that packs so much. It measures just 113,5 x 145 x 171,5mm, which is about half the size of a typical shoebox. In this space, XGIMI installed a Full HD DLP projection system, an autofocus sensor, a pair of 5W Harman Kardon tuned speakers, a battery, and all the intelligence needed to run Android TV with it. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity. The entire device weighs just 1,6 kilograms, making it easily portable, though the external power supply is a bit larger and adds more weight if you carry it with you. The weight of the Halo can make setup a little tricky, but not impossible, on a smaller tripod, though it does have a little bracket on the bottom to help you find the right angle without a tripod. You also don't need any additional equipment to properly use the Halo. Just set it up with a Google account for Android TV and you can stream the content it pulls directly. The speakers pack a good punch and are loud enough to fill a small room. The cooling system is also nearly inaudible and easily overwhelmed by the speakers. With the Halo's internal battery, you don't even need to plug the XGIMI Halo into a power outlet to operate it. However, Android TV's XGIMI implementation isn't quite perfect. Netflix won't work on it, which could be a deal breaker for some. The same thing once happened with Amazon Prime Video, but XGIMI has since fixed this omission, showing that it's not just ignoring the problem. A second problem is that the Android operating system is a bit slow here. Ce n'est pas laborieux, mais comparé au dernier Chromecast de Google, le software de XGIMI n'est tout simply pas aussi vif et semble particulièrement lent lorsqu'il s'agit de Google Assistant, prenant plus d'une seconde pour commencing à hear. When you want to get out of the built-in streaming apps, the XGIMI Halo has an HDMI 2.0 port on the back, as well as a USB 2.0 port. You can also choose to use other speakers or headphones by connecting them to the rear 3,5mm jack or by pairing them via Bluetooth. XGIMI Halo Projector (Image credit: Future) The XGIMI Halo's battery is serious. In our tests, we were able to get over 2 hours of playback before the projector went into low battery mode, continuing to run for 2 hours and 48 minutes before shutting down. There's definitely enough juice for an out-of-the-box movie, but maybe not Avengers: Endgame. However, it is a bit annoying that the operating system does not clearly indicate the battery percentage.

Image quality

Like the rest of the set, the XGIMI Halo's image quality is excellent, but it's not without its flaws. When plugged in, the projector's 800 lumens is plenty bright for a dark room while projecting an 80+-inch image, and we found it can even hold its own with 60W ceiling lights running across the room whenever we're looking at something with in mostly glossy images (like King of the Hill or Bob's Burgers) and stay under a 40-inch screen size. Offline, the projector drops to 600 lumens, which is still good for a large image in a dark room. It also works modestly outdoors, although streetlights can reduce visibility. The XGIMI Halo uses an LED-illuminated DLP system that produces a sharp, vibrant image. At 1080p, grain can start to show when stretching the image to larger sizes, but even when projecting beyond 75 inches it wasn't obvious. Colors really do show up in brighter scenes, like we saw in Bladerunner 2049, which definitely helps give the XGIMI Halo some spice for casual home theater decor. We also didn't notice extraneous artifacts in the brighter colors. XGIMI Halo Projector (Image credit: Future) It's when the scene goes dark that the XGIMI Halo, like many other projectors, struggles the most. The projector has some issues with shadow detail, and this is exacerbated by very noticeable dithering, i.e. when the projector rapidly switches between two colors or brightness levels in an attempt to reproduce a hue it cannot reproduce correctly. native way. It's the equivalent of turning a light switch on and off to achieve medium brightness, and here a pattern can appear to twist across the screen. This dithering is most noticeable in dark scenes when there are large areas of predominantly solid color. In movies and TV it's not too distracting as we normally focus on the highlighted areas of the shot, but that sense of movement created by dithering is much more distracting in games. This can also be a problem in shots with tons of detail, as rough edges and shadows in more complex shots cause jitter to occur everywhere on a smaller scale. This effect is also less noticeable when the image is smaller, say 55 inches or less. The XGIMI Halo is designed to help you get the best possible image, almost automatically. It comes with autofocus enabled out of the box, as well as a Dynamic Focal Length Compensation feature that is meant to adjust focus in response to how the lens moves as it moves. The projector also supports automatic vertical keystone adjustment, as well as manual control of horizontal and vertical keystone distortion, up to 40 degrees, and digital zoom to reduce the image. Throughout our testing, we never noticed any issues with manual focus shifting during use. However, the automatic features sometimes shift focus while we're looking, which is particularly annoying, and it doesn't always seem to land on a perfectly sharp image. The speakers can vibrate enough to make the camera think it needs to focus. However, keystone and zoom are digital, so the projector always lights dark gray where the image isn't.

Should I buy the XGIMI Horizon Pro projector?

XGIMI Halo Projector (Image credit: future)

Buy it if...

You want the best portable projector

There are many portable projectors on the market, but the XGIMI Halo offers images, sounds, and battery life to lead the pack. It may not be a pocket projector, but it is incredibly portable for what it offers.

You don't like a lot of cables

The only cable the XGIMI Halo needs is its power cord, and even that is optional! With Android TV, speakers, and a built-in battery, Halo has everything you need to deliver irresistible entertainment without a mess of cables coming and going.

You need a big image

The XGIMI Halo can reach 800 lumens when plugged in and 600 lumens on battery. This can...