In yet another confessional episode, when I was told that I had the chance to review the XGIMI Halo+, I had to admit I had never come across XGIMI in my travels. I learnt they were founded in 2012 in China and over the years have been developing a smart, innovative range of digital projectors.
Projectors have become a more and more commonplace addition to the home entertainment experience, moving out of the office and into the living room. And in a bizarre coincidence, we had recently noticed that a few of our neighbours had been lighting up the street with movies projected in their front rooms and we were beginning to get slightly jealous. Let’s see if we can join in the fun!
Open the understated clean packaging and you’ll find the projector itself, a power adapter, a remote control, and a user manual. The projector is a very different device to ones to the flat beige projectors often found in office environments.
The Halo+ is a sleek, compact, elegant unit that has been designed to fit in with home consumer electronics and will happily slot right in amongst TVs, media players and sound bars with an unusual upright, rounded cornered cuboid form and a black and silver color scheme. On the front of the device you’ll find the 900 Lumen lens and to the rear you have the power, HDMI in, mini headphone jack and a USB socket. On the top surface you’ll find touch controls for volume up and down and play/pause.
But you probably won’t be using the touch controls as the remote it comes with covers all the options you’re going to need. As a fan of industrial design, I like the shape of the remote. The buttons work well, are easy to use and it fits well in the hand but I’d have preferred it to be in the same silver finish as the Halo+ itself with it being a slightly uninspiring white plastic.
The XGIMI Halo+ measures 4.7 x 4.7 x 6.5 inches and weighs only 2.1 pounds (around 1.5kg), making it one of the best portable projectors around. It is certainly compact enough to throw in your backpack, making it perfect to pick up and go but more on that in a minute.
It boasts a 1080p (1920 × 1080 pixels) resolution, a brightness of 900 ANSI lumens, and a contrast ratio of 100,000:1. The projector features a 1080p resolution and HDR10 support, which promises stunning visuals with accurate colors and deep blacks. This combination delivers a high-quality image that is perfect for movie nights or gaming sessions.
But that’s not all, If you’ve ever had to use a projector in the past you’ll remember having to spend way too much time messing with setting up some way of getting sound as well as the image. Well XGMI fixed this problem by building in a set of Harman Kardon speakers that deliver powerful audio that complements the visual experience via a grill of speaker holes that wrap around the device. Despite the small size of the device, the speakers are remarkably good with a full range of dynamic sound. However, if you need more immersive sound, you might want to connect external speakers or a soundbar for a more cinematic experience.
I mentioned that the Halo+ was great to grab and go but that was no mere play on words. You’re not just restricted to another room in the house. The Halo+ has a built-in 59.454Wh battery that provides up to 2 and a half hours of continuous use, which means this beast is portable! Do you want to set up the device in the garden? Or the park? Or go on a camping trip? Yeah, you can do that. Just find a white sheet or a white wall and off you go. When running on battery power, this portable projector does use a lower light setting but in real-world usage in a darkened environment, we didn’t notice it without doing a direct comparison by plugging in the power. If you’re having a movie night while on a camping trip, I don’t think it’s ever going to be an issue.
So what’s it like to use? This is a super easy question to answer. The Halo+ is so simple to set up that my daughter had it out of the box, switched it on, set it up and was watching a movie within a few minutes.
At the heart of the super-fast setup process, is a collection of intelligent automated settings. Switch it on and the Halo+ scans the screen you are projecting towards utilizing Intelligent Screen Adaption, Auto keystone and Intelligent screen Alignment in combination to fit the image within the object or space the device is pointing at. The auto-focus worked perfectly in our testing, even in brighter rooms. But avoid bumping the projector as it will have to pause and re-calibrate to get back to that perfect image.
On the theme of ease of use, one stand-out feature is top of the pile. The Halo+ comes with a Wifi and Bluetooth connection AND… AndroidTV built in.
If you’ve never used AndroidTV, you’re going to be impressed. Simply put, this hardware and software combination turns the Halo+ into a complete media centre. Sign into your Google account (or set one up then sign in) and you can access around 5000 apps directly. Install Disney+, HBO Max, or Prime Video and you’re all set. Right now there is an issue with Netflix, but apparently this is being worked on.
But you don’t have to restrict yourself to streaming apps, we installed the Puffin web browser and were fully online and browsing sites instantly. Even sites with embedded videos worked fine. Obviously using the remote to browse was a little awkward so, just to prove the Android install was fully working, I hooked up a keyboard and mouse and everything worked perfectly which certainly opens up a lot of possibilities.
Just to push the envelope further, I attached an external SSD drive to the USB port with a bunch of mp4 files on it. The system picked up the movie files immediately and we could play them perfectly.
Of course, if you already have an external device like an Amazon Fire Stick or AppleTV you can just connect them to the HDMI socket on the back and you’ll be up and running very quickly. This also works fine with a PC or games console – As long as you have HDMI out, you can project it through the Halo+ onto a big screen.
For those of you with the appropriate Blu-ray equipment, the Halo+ also supports 3D movies. Just select “3D Video Setup” and pick your 3d mode. When the image will blurs, just slip your 3D glasses on and you’ll be all set for a 3D movie experience!
The image quality of the Halo+ is outstanding. The Halo+ produces exceptionally crisp and sharp images even in brighter rooms. But in an optimal full dark viewing environment, the projector displays super clear, sharp colourful images, making everything more immersive.
In case you want to entertain all your friends, the Halo+ can project clear images on a large scale, up to 120 inches (just over 3 metres), although beyond that, the image quality can be a little fuzzy.
The XGIMI Halo+ portable projector offers a brilliant cinematic experience with impressive visuals and audio, thanks to its Harman Kardon speakers. There is something quite visceral about watching a movie or series at a huge size with projected light that is impossible to replicate on a standard tv setup.
So, in summary, the XGIMI Halo+ portable projector really stands out with its combination of excellent image quality, powerful Harman Kardon audio, and its also a complete media centre with the inclusion of AndroidTV. So, if you’ve been dreaming of an immersive entertainment solution, the XGIMI Halo+ should be at the top of your list. And you can take it with you!!
I can’t recommend it enough, In fact, the Halo+ has become the most popular piece of tech in our house!
You can check it out at XGIMI’s site here. Or grab one off XGMI’s Amazon store here…
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