The Xgimi Horizon Pro 4k is one of the best 4K projectors, and best projectors for gaming on paper: it has the great image of a dedicated UHD projector and the small size, loudspeakers, and automatic setup functions of the best portable projectors, too. With full Android TV 10.0 OS, a focus on streaming, and tolerable gaming input lag, it feels like a thoroughly modern unit. But does the setup hassle represent a drawback?
Design & Features
The Horizon Pro is part of a recent trend of projectors that are cube-ish in shape and smart-looking. Its shelf footprint is small, though it’s still taller than most projectors. A lack of screw-in adjustable feet or lens shifting means if the unit’s tilt isn’t right for your image placement you’ll have to start finding items to slide under it to angle it correctly for your viewing though.
The highly accurate autofocus and keystoning do make very quick work of changing setups, so it’s ideal for taking to other locations. It can even be set to sense any objects around the projection area and the size of the projector screen to display an appropriate image. However, if it’s on a table and nudged it can take an awkward few seconds to readjust even if minimal changes are required.
Logging on to the Android TV 10.0 OS is as speedy as I’ve experienced without a keyboard input, although annoyingly you can’t skip this to just run straight from an HDMI input. After initial set up, the unit boots in seconds, with no long wait for a bulb to warm up.
The speakers were designed with Harman Kardon and don’t disappoint. The mid-boosted Movies sound mode keeps dialogue clear and there’s plenty of volume from the twin 8-watt speakers. But for full bass response, an external speaker will be needed. Still, not bad for built-in speakers for sure.
The picture is excellently sharp, even when running off streaming rather than genuine UHD sources. Skin textures and other details shine through with pinpoint precision from 4K sources. The colour settings needed a tweak out of the box, with blues and greens quite oversaturated, but these can be easily corrected. The LED source is bright enough to be watched comfortably even with curtains wide open in the afternoon, although the image quality is of course better in darkness.
There are issues with some picture modes, and it’s worth spending time finding the right one for each usage. The movement in animation looks unsettlingly odd in movie mode but is quickly corrected by switching to other modes. You can switch off motion compensation and HDR in some modes and a flick around can be useful to get things set up how you want them.
It’s also a solidly good gaming projector, and with more than just excellent graphics. Input lag has been measured at around 35ms in game mode – so you may notice it if you’re used to one of the best gaming monitors, it’s not too much worse than the best gaming TVs, best TVs for PS5 and Xbox Series X, and the best 120Hz 4K TVs. But for most applications, it won’t factor in too much. For example, the carefully timed combat in Ghost of Tsushima certainly doesn’t suffer from any problems through this and this really does feel like a contender for best projector for PS5 and Xbox Series X.
When streaming direct, not all video modes are available, so if motion issues occur you may find yourself manually updating the user profile. There are the usual issues with smart projectors not being approved for use by some streaming apps – most notably Netflix. There are workarounds on this – streaming sticks or sideloading – if you feel up to delving into these solutions, or of course simply streaming on a console or laptop via HDMI, which feels like it somewhat defeats the point.
The remote control emphasises that this is a streaming projector by doing away with source buttons. To switch to an HDMI input you’ll need to go into home menus or switch the HDMI media source on. If you’re mostly running consoles into the projector, this can be annoyingly fiddly.
Overall – should you buy it?
Overall, the Horizon Pro provides a truly excellent 4K projector experience. The picture quality is awesome, the brightness, and colours are great, and it presents games in a pleasant, crisp, and beautiful way. It’s a bit of an investment, but it’s worth it.
It can be a bit annoying to live with when needing to flick through menus to set the input and the image to the ideal, once this has been sorted any irritation soon melts away and it provides fantastic 4K imagery and pictures to enjoy.
While we enjoy the remains of the summertime, there’s still a good chance to capitalise and go for one of the top portable projectors or best outdoor projectors to enjoy outdoor entertainment. Don’t forget one of the best outdoor projector screens too!
4 out of 5
Xgimi Horizon Pro 4K Projector
Great 4K image, once you’re done fiddling with settings.