Anirudh RegidiAugust 12, 2021 14:06:30 IST
Because I am not familiar with projector technology and have largely ignored the segment for years, I did not have high expectations for the Xgimi Halo portable projector, especially given my previous experience BenQ GS2. However, Halo proved surprisingly capable and impressed me with its image quality and features.
Design and features
Designed to be portable, the Halo is not large and has a handy carrying case with an internal padding that ensures there is no damage during transport.
The projector itself has a large angular, gray metal surface. It’s a simple design that looks good, and I don’t think it looks appropriate in the living room or bedroom. The inputs include HDMI and USB 2.0 connections, and the 3.5mm line-out can be used for headphones or speakers. Of course, I would have liked to see an optical audio output, but this is not meant to be used with great home theaters.
The built-in battery offers up to four hours of playback time, and a pair of five-watt speakers process the sound. The device has Android TV, so you can access tons of apps and all the popular streaming services without having to plug anything into the HDMI port. There’s also Chromecast support, which lets you stream content from your phone.
I was a little worried that 16GB of internal memory wasn’t enough, but I installed all the streaming apps I found without any problems. If you download a lot of videos, the space will run out soon, but you can only plug in a pen or portable hard drive instead.
Video resolution exceeds 1080p @ 60 Hz.
Installation was simple, and it only took one to start up the projector. Focusing and keystone correction were quick. With support for 40-degree vertical and horizontal keystone correction, you can place the projector next to the couch and still enjoy a flat screen.
The only part that took time was signing in to Android TV and personal signing in to my streaming apps.
Watching movies and playing games
To test the projector, I placed it five feet away from the screen (gray reflective if you’re thinking) and started watching movies through the built-in apps and HDMI via my MacBook. I also docked the Nintendo Switch to test the game’s performance.
Overall, the projector was impressive in size. The lamp has a rated wattage of 800 lumens (although I measured 60 lumens on the screen) and is almost bright enough for use in a dark room. When I streamed from my laptop, the blacks looked crushed and a little too deep. As it turns out, the projector seems to support the more limited 16-255 HDMI range, rather than the size 0-255 you would expect from a good TV or PC screen. Still, the color quality and sharpness were more than good enough for watching movies and TV shows.
The gaming experience was good and there was no noticeable flickering or tearing. I wouldn’t recommend playing with this projector, especially given the low brightness, but it’s a good experience for casual gamers.
When I calibrated with the i1Display Pro Plus, I noticed amazingly low black levels of 0.098 lumens, resulting in an equally impressive contrast ratio of 622: 1. I measured an average of △ E 5.3, which is pretty good for a portable projector. △ E indicates the color variation produced by the projector or monitor to what is expected from an ideal projector or monitor. Values below 2 are considered ideal because minor color changes are almost imperceptible to the human eye.
Basically, the color accuracy is good enough so you don’t feel the need to calibrate the monitor immediately.
And the speakers sounded great. The sounds tuned by Harman Kardon are loud enough to fill a small room and have enough bass and brightness for portable use.
Verdict: If you’re in the portable projector market, Halo is a great choice
Compared to same price BenQ GS2 I had checked earlier this year, Xgimi Halo is columns apart. It lacks the weatherproof features of the GS2, but doubles the resolution and offers significantly more powerful speakers. The battery life is also longer, the remote control is more sophisticated and the installation process is much simpler. AF and keystone correction systems are also faster and more responsive.
While I enjoy my time with Halo, it’s a price I apologize for. I’m still not convinced that it’s worth spending 90,000 rubles on a portable projector when you can simply put the money in one 12-inch iPad Pro, but if you’re looking for a portable projector, the Xgimi Halo is a great device and worth considering.