Move Over Smart TVs, There’s A Smart Projector In The House
One of the most discernible tech trends in a post-COVID world is the rise of the home projector. While TVs are easier to plug and play, home projector installations can be slightly more complex. We’re not just talking about the hardware set up and finding space in your living room. We’ve never checked out so many home projectors at MW like we have in 2021. Most often, the set up process and getting all our favourite apps working is a tedious process. It’s why the XGIMI Horizon Pro made a big impression as soon as we unboxed it.
Slinky, edgy design:
First up, this is a good looking projector. It might sound like a contradiction of sorts. Home projectors don’t usually look good alongside your designer furniture or artefacts. In many cases it’s something we put up with because of the large screen entertainment. This one’s a rare exception. It’s compact with an edgy, cuboid design in matte black. The slinky form allows it to blend in effortlessly into your living spaces. It weighs under 3 kg making it easy to cart around; just in case you want to shift the venue of your next wolfpack meet during a big game.
Set up is a breeze:
Set up is sheer joy. Especially for someone like me who has had to grapple with clunky user interfaces and complex picture set up modes on most projectors. It’s almost as if most projectors have existed in a parallel universe. This is where the Horizon Pro truly hits it out of the park. There are two elements in this mix. The first is Android TV, that is baked in, also offering you access to the Google App store. This means you can set it up with the ease of an Android smartphone. Chromecast is also built in allowing you to seamlessly cast apps and content. The second element is the super-fast start up; you get automatic focus and keystone correction and AI object detection.
It ticks the Picture quality box:
This 4K projector boasts of a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. You can stretch the size of the screen up to 300 inches. It also ticks some key boxes like a brightness of 2200 ANSI lumens. The Horizon Pro uses HDR10 technology, this translated to good contrast ratios even as the light in my room changed from daylight to night. With a lamp life of 25,000 hours, it is future proof too. Image quality is generally good, if I had to nit-pick it would be image quality in very dark scenes.
In-built speakers in projectors are becoming an industry standard. The Horizon Pro features dual 8W Harman Kardon speakers with DTD-HD & DTS Studio Sound Dolby. The set up in my den meant that I was seated fairly close to the projector. Sound was quite impressive from that distance, I could pick dialogues even at low decibel levels and the speakers didn’t jar when the music got loud. You also have the option of hooking it up with a soundbar via Bluetooth.
The XGIMI Horizon Pro is one of the best home projectors under Rs 2 lakh. There were just a couple of tiny bugs – I couldn’t get Netflix to work from the Android App store but I was able to add my Apple TV via one of the HDMI Ports. But these are minor cribs. The remote is elegantly designed and very intuitive while the form factor and design of the projector make it a great addition to your living room. But most of all it’s the ease of set up. While many rival projectors also offer quick set-up options, the blend of Android TV and the fast set-up gives the Horizon Pro an edge.
What we like: Design, In-built speakers, Android TV baked in
What can be better: No optical zoom
The XGIMI Horizon Pro costs Rs 1,87,500/-