Projectors Tests Reviews
Xgimi Horizon: test / review
Published on: 05-08-2021 / Modified: 16-11-2023
I bought my first projector in 2016 on Indiegogo, it was the Xgimi H1. At the time, Xgimi was still an unknown brand to the general public and buying the H1 carried the risk of receiving an experimental product. Xgimi got it right the first time, as the projector was a real success, and I kept it for 5 years. I then tested the Xgimi Mogo Pro and now I've bought the Xgimi Horizon. Since 2016, Xgimi has come a long way: it's no longer a small, unknown Chinese company, it's a world-renowned brand. They've managed to impose a rather unique type of projector on the market and they haven't made a misstep since the H1
The Xgimi Horizon and Xgimi Horizon Pro were launched at the same time, with quite a significant price differential. I'll do a Xgimi Horizon vs Xgimi Horizon Pro comparison later in this review to help you choose, but if you don't feel like waiting, I can already tell you that there's no noticeable difference in quality between the two, so the price difference isn't justified
The Xgimi Horizon is now available on many sites for purchase, so price competition will start to come into play, and that's a good thing, because the starting price was still significantly higher than the other Xgimi models previously launched
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Manufacturer web site:
Site where I have bought the Xgimi Horizon: https://www.xgimi.com
Price Xgimi HorizonThe list below shows the prices for the Xgimi Horizon from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.
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TimelineAugust 2, 2021: I bought the Xgimi Horizon from the official Xgimi website. I had received a promo code of 120 € by subscribing to their newsletter.
August 4, 2021: I received the Xgimi Horizon, so the test can start.
Why this projector?As I wrote above, I bought my first Xgimi in 2016, it was my first projector and I kept it for 5 years so much I appreciated this product. I sold it for more than 300 € after 5 years whereas I had bought it for a little over 400 €, which means that this kind of product does not lose too much value over time. The H1's big flaw (and it was probably the only one) was the OS that Xgimi ditched along the way, so I had to use my Nvidia Shield to drive the projector.
I did not buy the Xgimi H2 and H3 because they did not represent a big evolution in my eyes, the Xgimi Horizon comes with a bunch of new features and uses a DMD 0.47 chip that I 've also in another projector. This chip is capable of displaying 4k in XPR and a very clear image in 1080p. Xgimi has made some innovations in image processing and the whole thing runs on Android TV. The only thing that held me back a little before buying is the price because this Xgimi Horizon costs a lot more than the previous models. So I waited to see the price evolution and the first comments, I had received a promo code of 120 €, I finally decided to buy it.
Xgimi is a brand with a premium positioning and this can already be seen in the packaging. The design is quite clean and the use of white helps to highlight the product. This was already the case with previous products, only the H1 was packed in black packaging.
The box contains the projector, a manual, a remote control (without batteries), a power cable and a power supply.
The Xgimi Horizon runs on Android TV, so the configuration broadly follows what is found on other projectors of this type. You must first associate the remote control with the projector and then associate your Google account with the projector. The association can be done through a phone, so you don't have to type in an email address and password with your remote, it's very convenient. You then have a whole series of screens with the usual Google "medical questionnaire", the procedure takes a few minutes at most.
I encountered a small problem during startup, it's a detail but if you are in the same situation than me, you are going to have to find a solution. The Xgimi Horizon's power button is on the top of the projector and pops out slightly from the flat surface of the projector. This in itself is not a problem unless you decide to put the projector on its back as I usually do because by doing this the projector will turn off as it presses the power button. .
I noticed something else that was quite interesting. I always put my projectors upside down because it is the position that suits me best but for the first start, it is obviously not practical because the image is upside down ... except on this projector! The Xgimi Horizon directly detected that it was upside down and it adapted the image automatically, this is the first time I see this.
When I opened the box of my first Xgimi projector (the H1), I had a waw effect. The design of Xgimi products has not changed a lot in 5 years but I once again had a waw effect when I opened the box of the Xgimi Horizon. It is a very beautiful product with a mixture of plastic and metal, it is a design quite specific to Xgimi and the whole is really very successful.
The lens is huge, much bigger than previous models. I have seen the same on all projectors using the DMD 0.47 chip but Xgimi has chosen to exhibit it in its entirety where others have encapsulated the lens in a semi-hidden location. The lens is not protected by a protective cover as on previous models.
The metal front is only interrupted by the lens and the depth sensor, this sensor allows you to focus automatically. The Xgimi Horizon adjusts the sharpness automatically but also the horizontal / vertical positioning of the image.
On the top we find the usual control buttons including the ignition button which will be a problem if you put the projector on its back. These buttons are only useful for the first switch-on and in case you run out of batteries for your remote control. Other than that, I never use them because the projector is not at hand anyway.
At the rear there is a fairly rich connection with a digital audio output (SPDIF), two USB 2.0 ports, two HDMIs (HDMI / HDMI / ARC), one ethernet port, an audio output jack and a connector for the power supply. These items are placed at the bottom when the projector is in the normal position.
Below the projector, there are 4 rubber feet to dampen vibrations as well as a tripod attachment system. I don't feel like the legs can be removed to attach a ceiling mount. On my previous Xgimi, the ceiling mount could be attached to the four corners of the projector.
What surprised me first with the remote control is its weight, it is significantly heavier than the other remote controls I have tested. Its metallic appearance is therefore not just an effect, it is actually covered with a metallic material. The remote gives a more premium feel than most plastic remote controls for other projectors. The remote control is not backlit, so you will have to find your way to the touch and get used to the positioning of the buttons. I find that placing the application access button in the middle is not a good idea, most manufacturers have created a habit of placing the "home" button there and the most commonly used buttons ("Home" and "Back") are not next to each other. I have the same remark for the volume buttons, these buttons are very far apart even though they are mainly used together and the relief of these two buttons is less important, so you have to search a little to find the volume.
br> The remote control needs 2 AAA batteries to work, the batteries are not included with the projector.
Projection roomMy projection room is rectangular, 4.6m x 2.9m (height 2.2m). The projection wall is a normal wall on which I have applied white paint without any particular treatment. The walls on the side are darker (dark grey and red) to accentuate the contrast with the white wall and avoid too much light reflection.
I have the possibility to place a projector at the back of the room at a distance of about 4m from the screen. I also have the option of placing a short-throw projector at the foot of the wall.
I don't have a dedicated installation for sound, I just use a sound bar from Xiaomi.
Battery autonomyThe Xgimi Horizon is not a portable projector, so it doesn't have a battery.
With the brightness at maximum (value: 10), I measured a consumption of 130 to 140W. It's pretty much the same as the Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro and the Nebula Cosmos Max 4k.
If I lower the brightness to the minimum (value: 1), I measure a consumption between 40 and 50W. You have to be in complete darkness to be able to use minimum brightness, but with my screen, this brightness is more than sufficient. The Xgimi Horizon offers here one of the best energy performances, between 40 and 50w for an image of more than 2 meters in 1080p, it is really impressive!
If I set the volume to 0% and measure the noise emitted by the projector, I get plus or minus 40dB right next to the projector. For this measurement, I had set the brightness to full but if I decrease the brightness, the noise also decreases. 40 dB is very little, the Xgimi Horizon clearly won't bother you.
If I turn up the volume to 50%, the decibels go up very quickly and very high. As you can see from the video, I get between 95 and 100 dB on average, the Harman Kardon speakers deliver enormous power for a projector of this size and the sound experiences very little saturation.
With the volume at 75%, I get a sound level between 100 and 105 dB, I also had to put on headphones protection to measure because the volume was really too powerful to be bearable. I did not try 100% because at 75% the volume is already more than enough. Xgimi has succeeded in integrating a quality audio system which can also deliver very powerful sound. This will never replace a dedicated installation, but if you don't want to invest in this kind of hardware, the Xgimi Horizon will be more than enough for a large majority of users.
ConnectivityThe Xgimi Horizon offers full connectivity with wifi and bluetooth, the connectivity is also complete with an SPDIF audio output, an audio jack output, two hdmi and two USB2.
As with most of my testing, I use the same videos to gauge image quality. I have set the projector to minimum brightness, the projected image is approximately 220cm (86 inches) diagonal. I would post more technical tests after a few days of testing.
This first video uses cool and dark colors, there is also quite a bit of lateral movement. The Xgimi Horizon is doing really well both in terms of colors and movements. The colors are fairly faithful to the original video and the movements are not jerky from doubt.
This second video is very different from the first, the colors are much warmer and saturated, there is also less movement which allows better appreciate the sharpness of the image. Here too the Xgimi Horizon is doing very well, the colors are bright and warm, the sharpness is good although the Nebula Cosmos Max 4k (identical chip) offers a little more sharpness but I still have to test the Xgimi with others settings.
I am using this video to rate the sharpness as this movie was shot in high resolution and some of the scenes are super detailed. There is a loss of quality linked to the recording method because filming with a smartphone hand-held is not an ideal scenario but it gives an idea of the result. The sharpness is good, the color saturation is strong but here the phone plays a role.
I often use this trailer for a test because it has a bit of everything, warm colors, cool colors and a lot of movement. Here too the Xgimi Horizon produces a good image with good sharpness and good colors. This is obviously a subjective impression, which is why I am also going to do a technical test with a probe to evaluate the colorimetry and the contrast.
When a video sends 24 frames per second, certain rapid movements cause stuttering in the frame and on a frame size like that of a projector, it can sometimes be seen very strongly. The Xgimi Horizon uses a compensation solution that helps smooth out this problem. Here is an illustrative video:
When compensation is deactivated, movements are more jerky and the image seems to be torn. With motion compensation, the image is smoothed out. This Xgimi is the first projector I have tested with this form of compensation, this kind of feature is especially useful for fast-paced scenes or sports. I just have a small problem, you must use an HDMI source to be able to control the motion compensation.
I measured the colorimetry of the Xgimi Horizon in its original configuration and got a dE of 7.8 without any optimization. For a default setting it's pretty good but this projector can do better. It is possible to adjust the color weighting but unfortunately this option does not seem active at the moment, I contacted Xgimi about this.
Until I can find the ideal configuration, I'll use what I have. White has a color temperature of 8252K, which means the color temperature is a little too cold. Blue hues dominate red hues, white is 118% blue and 81% red. To restore the balance it will therefore be necessary to reduce the blue a little. Green is 103%, I don't think a change is needed for this color.
The parameters to control the color temperature work with an HDMI source, I did some tests to obtain a dE of 4.66 and in particular a blank at 1.7 (temperature 6651K). It's a big improvement and with a little more time I'm sure it is possible to go a little lower still. To get such a result, I had to reduce the blue to 37, reduce the green to 45, increase the red to 65, decrease the contrast to 45 and decrease the saturation to 46. I used a non-reflective white surface for the test to ensure neutrality in the measurements.
If you use an HDMI source, you will be able to use the different modes offered by Xgimi and it is the "desktop" mode which offers the most efficient colorimetry with a dE between 5 and 6. So if you don't feel like messing around with settings to get better results, desktop mode should make your life easier.
I redid a series of videos with the calibration and the result is much better.
The Xgimi Horizon (and the Horizon Pro too) should in theory produce a brightness of 2200 ANSI lumens. I measured a brightness of around 2100 ANSI Lumens, it can fluctuate a bit depending on the chosen picture mode but I never got 2200 lumens. The brightness is often lower than what is announced but here the difference is not very great. With a brightness of this level you have more than enough light to watch your movies in a semi-dark room. In broad daylight, the image will be barely viewable but the contrasts will be very poor. You also have to keep in mind that the brightness decreases with the distance and at a distance of almost 3 meters, I measured a little less than 500 lux.
Xgimi does not communicate on its contrast ratio, it is actually not very good (like most projectors of this kind). In office mode (= mode with the best basic colorimetry) I measured a contrast of 413: 1. The contrast is sometimes a little higher in other modes but the maximum will be around 500: 1 at most. These values are similar on the Horizon Pro.
Important note, I think HDR mode is enabled by default and this mode tends to make the image very very dark, that's not the goal but unfortunately it's a reality. So I recommend turning it off instead.
Image size and projection distanceThe Xgimi Horizon has a throw ratio of 1.2, this means that for every meter of distance between the projector and the projection wall the width will increase by 83 cm. Here are some examples:
- distance of 1 meter = width of 83 cm = 95 cm diagonal
- distance of 2 meters = width of 166 cm = 191 cm diagonal
My projector is placed on its back at the top of a cabinet that more or less corresponds to the height of my screen. The projector is about 255cm away, so I have a diagonal of 244cm (96 inches) and a width of 212cm. The videos in this article therefore show a 96-inch image. My screen can receive images 130 inches diagonally, to reach such an image size I would have to move the projector back more than a meter. The Xgimi is therefore not the champion of the throw ratio, the Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro is for the moment the best projector for the throw ratio because I get a diagonal of 265 cm for the same throw distance.
I had been positively surprised by the sound quality of my first Xgimi projector (5 years ago), I wondered if Xgimi was going to be able to do better with this new model. Xgimi has kept its partnership with Harman-Kardon and the projector format has changed very little in 5 years and yet the sound is much better. The Xgimi Horizon produces a very powerful sound (+ 100 db at 75%) and this sound is of good quality on all frequencies, the bass sounds are present and the treble sounds are not muffled. The voice also finds its place well, it is not muffled by the rest of the sound as is often the case. I have tested other projectors that produce good sound like the Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro or the Nebula Cosmos Max 4k but this Xgimi Horizon is a cut above.
Video gamesTo be able to play in good conditions with a projector, the input lag (= display delay) must be as low as possible. We can consider that an input lag below 30 ms is negligible and offers a good experience in game. I measured the input lag in normal mode and I obtained an input lag of more than 200ms, it is not clearly not good for the day. On the other hand, it is possible to activate the "game" mode from the projector settings, this game mode only works with an HDMI source. This "game" mode exists in two versions, a standard version with which I obtain an input lag of 60ms and a boost version with which I obtain an input lag of 0 !! I have never seen such a fast projector before. Here is a video where I show the two modes in action:
To measure the input lag, you have to pause the video and measure the time difference between the tablet and the coming image projector. The Xgimi Horizon is therefore perfect for games provided you use an HDMI source (eg: computer, tablet, Xbox or Playstation console, ...)
Operating systemXgimi projectors have evolved a lot since the first H1 / H2 because the projectors now run Android TV 9.0. This has the advantage of giving access to the Play Store (but with applications intended for this type of device) and the control interface is the same as on other projectors under Android TV. It's a simple and efficient experience that can be completely operated with a remote control. Xgimi has added some configuration menus specific to its projector but overall I find most of the menus found in other projectors.
Xgimi offers the possibility of configuring the image quality with adjustments such as sharpness, contrast, saturation or even the adjustment of individual colors. Although the Xgimi Horizon offers good image quality right out of the box, it is possible to obtain a better image by manipulating the various parameters. I have also suggested some values to help you improve your image a little earlier in this article. These values will also depend on your projection surface but it is very likely that you will have to decrease the importance of blue and increase the importance of red.
Encoutered bugs* I was unable to cast from my Android phone. The Xgimi appears in the list of available devices, I can connect, I can change the volume but I cannot project my phone screen on the projector. Under exactly the same conditions, I can display my smartphone screen on two other projectors (Xiaomi and Nebula), so I think this is a problem with the Xgimi.
Test / Review conclusionMy first projector was an Xgimi and when I think back on it, I think that time flies because I had bought this projector in ... 2016! I kept this projector until 2020 and I had no trouble finding a buyer for more than 300€. This kind of thing shows that Xgimi has succeeded in establishing itself and has gained credibility. It's completely deserved but I think that Xgimi was a bit slow for 2-3 years. I was looking forward to a model that could compete with other projectors like the Nebula Cosmos or the Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro, it is now done with the Horizon range.
The Xgimi Horizon and Horizon Pro are very similar projectors, so the conclusion of this test will be valid for both, this will allow you to avoid paying a few hundred euros more for the pro version without there being a fundamental difference with the normal version.
The Xgimi Horizon has the same design as the previous products (H1, H2, H3, ...) with its imposing cubic shape that integrates Harman-Kardon speakers. The optical block is however larger, this is also the case for other projectors using the same optical block as the Nebulas Cosmos or the Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro. It's a matter of taste but I like the design, the projector has a premium finish and can easily be placed in a living room. The connectivity is generous with 2 HDMI ports, 2 USB 2.0 ports, a jack output, a spdif output and an ethernet port. Even if the projector works very well in wifi, the presence of an ethernet port will give you the possibility to get more bandwidth with a better stability.
The Xgimi produces an excellent image with very good sharpness. The colorimetry is quite good but can be improved by adjusting the image yourself. Those who have never had a projector or who bought one more than two years ago will probably be very impressed by the quality of the image because the progress compared to previous generations is really very visible. If you had the opportunity to use a Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro or a Nebula Cosmos Max, the gap in quality will be less striking.
Xgimi now has a few years of experience on the audio side, they have taken full advantage of their partnership with Harman-Kardon (since 2016) and that is a very good thing. The sound is really good and as amazing as it sounds, the Xgimi has a very powerful sound for a device of this size. I never had to turn the sound up above 70% as the volume was more than enough. Unless you are a sound purist, you don't need an external solution.
The Xgimi Horizon offers motion compensation to allow for a smoother display and this shows up very strongly in the image. I had not yet tested a projector with this kind of feature, I had a little trouble getting used to it at first because it gives a little weird effect at first but now I got used to it and I find it hard to do without especially when I switch to a projector that does not have compensation. This projector also has a "gaming" mode that allows you to connect a console and lower the input lag below 10ms, this is the best score I have obtained so far.
I hesitated for a long time before buying this projector but the reasons for my hesitation had nothing to do with the characteristics of the projector, it is especially the price that slowed me down because at 1099€ (launch price), I find that Xgimi was too greedy. There are very good projectors between 500 and 700€ (Xiaomi, Fengmi,...), they may not have all the qualities of the Xgimi but for such a price difference, I hesitated a long time. If I wasn't testing projectors, I probably would have stayed on a Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro. To help you choose, I've listed below arguments in favor of the Xgimi or the other projectors, including a comparison of the Horizon FHD and the Horizon Pro. I had the opportunity to use the Horizon Pro for a few hours, so I wasn't able to do a full test but I was able to compare the two projectors on some points.
Xgimi Horizon vs Xgimi Horizon Pro
Whatever Xgimi may say, know that there is no difference in image quality, none! The chip used is exactly the same, it is found in other projectors 1080p and 4k, the extra cost of the pro version is not justified at all. The FHD version delivers better colorimetry than the pro version and for those who want to connect the projector to a game console, the choice is very simple because the pro version does not have a boost mode for games. If you compare the technical specifications of the two projectors on the Xgimi website, you will see that apart from the resolution, there is absolutely no difference. The only doubt I have is the comparison of the image on a screen size larger than 150 inches because maybe beyond that size the difference could be visible but who has such a screen at home? So do not waste your money, the price difference is not justified.
Xgimi Horizon FHD/Pro vs Nebula Cosmos Max
The Xgimi is more powerful and you can feel it in use, the Xgimi is more responsive. The sound of the Xgimi is also much better because the Nebula tends to muffle the voices. For the image, it's almost the same thing, the Xgimi is maybe a little bit sharper. The Xgimi is brighter, offers motion compensation and has better input lag. So the Xgimi Horizon outperforms the Nebula in almost every aspect, the Nebula is also more expensive.
Xgimi Horizon FHD/Pro vs Xiaomi Mi Smart 2 Pro
The comparison with the Nebula was easy, the one with the Xiaomi is much less so because this projector costs 300 to 400€ less than the Xgimi. The image quality of the Xiaomi is excellent, the sharpness is also very good. The Xiaomi offers fewer adjustments to the image and produces a slightly colder image. The Xiaomi produces a good sound but of lower quality than the Xgimi. The Xgimi also does better in terms of input lag and motion compensation. Technically, the Xgimi does better but does it justify such a price difference?
I wondered if in 2023 this projector was still competitive and it is. There really isn't such a balanced and complete alternative in this price segment.
Image quality, color accuracy
Possibility of image adjustments
Excellent input lag
Powerful and good sound quality
Low operating noise
Low electricity consumption
Very low contrast
HDR too dark
No longer possible to use it on your back without pressing the power button
No support for Netflix
Some USB hard drives do not work