Tom's Guide Verdict
The Xgimi Horizon Pro is a good all-around package for $1,179. Its picture and audio aren’t the best I’ve ever seen, but the simplicity of having one device that handles everything can’t be overstated for folks intimidated by serious home theater setups.
Bright and colorful for the price
Portable and quick to setup
Contrast is a little lacking
Sound isn’t cut out for serious home theaters
Why you can trust Tom's Guide
Screen size: 40-200 inches
Model: Horizon Pro
Resolution: 3,840 x 2,160
Projection: LED, 0.47" DLP
HDR: HDR10, HLG
Refresh Rate: 60Hz
Ports: 2x HDMI, 2x USB, 1x LAN
Smart TV Software: Android TV
Size: 8.6 x 8.2 x 5.4 inches
Weight: 6.4 lbs.
Xgimi may not have the clout of, say, Epson or Optoma, but it has rolled in with hit after hit, offering simple, all-in-one projectors that take some of the fuss out of setting up and enjoying a modest home theater. Case in point? The Xgimi Horizon Pro.
For a few years, the Xgimi Horizon Pro represented the projector maker’s flagship model next to the ultra-short-throw Xgimi Aura, though it has recently been superseded by the Horizon Ultra and has resulted in it seeing a price cut to $1,179.
At this price, the Xgimi Horizon Pro stands out as a great value for projector shoppers. It’s not flawless but it has a capable smart TV operating system, modest speakers, and a respectable image to make it a capable package without needing any other hardware.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Pricing and availability
The Xgimi Horizon Pro is available for $1,179 from Xgimi, though most retailers are still selling it at a higher price of around $1,499. This is down from the original $1,699 the projector launched at. With Xgimi’s introduction of the Horizon Ultra at $1,699, the company has lowered the price of the Pro model.
Xgimi also sells a non-Pro Horizon, with the key difference being the resolution. The Xgimi Horizon is a 1080p model, but has the same rated brightness level. If you’re not concerned about 4K resolution, it may be a viable alternative at a lower price, though I can’t guarantee its performance will otherwise be identical.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Design
The Xgimi Horizon Pro has a sleek and simple design. It’s chic with its perforated metal wrap that covers the front and sides. The rear meanwhile offers exhaust ventilation.
The top is largely undecorated plastic with just plus, minus, play, and power buttons. The little cube has rounded corners and is shockingly small for a 4K projector promising upwards of 2,000 lumens.
The squat little box has no adjustable legs for changing its angle, which could be an issue for some. The underside has a single thread for mounting onto a tripod, but the Horizon Pro is a bit beefy to just throw up onto any old tripod. The front of the projector has a small camera that enables a number of smart tricks Xgimi uses to better align the picture when the projector isn’t squared up perfectly with a screen. Like other projectors in this price range, the Xgimi Horizon Pro is another projector without a lens cover.
All of the ports neatly line up along the bottom edge of the rear, and it’s a considerable selection. Two HDMI ports and two USB ports let you easily get it set up with video sources. It also offers 3.5mm analog and optical audio outputs. If you’re not content to rely on Wi-Fi, the projector also has an Ethernet port, so you can hardwire its internet connection and enjoy more consistent connectivity on the Android TV operating system.
While the small projector may seem to lack some common features of projectors, it’s not missing speakers. The Horizon Pro includes a pair of 8-watt speakers.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Performance
The Horizon Pro is no super-bright projector, but it’s bright enough you’ll have a good experience most of the time. Even in a well-lit room with big windows in the middle of the day, bright scenes are clearly visible. That’s great news if you want to watch cartoons or sitcoms during the day. Darker scenes will be a bit washed out, making plenty of content hard to make out, but simply drawing the blinds and dimming the lights can clear that up in no time.
Impressively, the Xgimi Horizon Pro even outshined the Horizon Ultra in some scenarios. The opening scene of the eighth episode of The Boys sees Homelander rampaging through a drug warehouse at night. Much of the scene is dark, with few bright areas, and everything contrasted by Homelanders laser vision beaming across it. Much of the scene was crushed by the HDR handling of the Ultra, but the Horizon Pro kept more shadow detail and still had reasonably vivid lasers throughout the sequence. The Horizon Pro still flattens dark details to a degree, but it’s not atrocious.
HDR highlights aren’t always as searing as they could be. As Mount Doom erupts in The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power, the crashing balls of magma burst with a decent splash of bright red, but they lack poignance against the bright backdrop of the rest of the scene.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Test Results
The Horizon Pro has fairly strong test results. Measuring brightness by averaging the lux readings at nine points on a full white screen at the projector’s Bright setting, the Horizon Pro reached 1269.7 ANSI Lumens. That’s not quite the 2,200 advertised lumens, but projectors rarely meet those metrics, and over 1,200 is still a strong measure and plenty for dark rooms.
|Row 0 - Cell 0
|XGIMI Horizon Pro
|Xgimi Horizon Ultra
|JMGO N1 Ultra
|Dangbei Mars Pro 4K
|Epson Home Cinema 3800
|Brightness (ANSI lumens):
|Input lag (default):
|Input lag (gaming mode):
I took a quick measurement of black levels to compare with white levels and get a rough contrast ratio. The Horizon Pro hit 757:1. While this isn’t a great ratio, it surprisingly beats the new flagship Horizon Ultra by a wide margin, and it shows in the content I’ve watched on the projector.
The brightness is well paired with respectable color. Using a SpyderX Elite colorimeter with DataColor’s software to measure color gamut on a 1.1-gain projector screen, I measured 100% coverage of the sRGB and 83% of the DCI-P3 color spaces. These measurements are admirable for just about any display, though it’s not quite a match for what you’ll find from RGB laser projectors or QLED and OLED TVs.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Audio
The Xgimi Horizon Pro can shine a big picture, but it’s not blasting huge audio. It can pump it out with more than enough sound for a 100 square foot room or some casual viewing close from close to the projector. If you’re in a large room, say 300 square feet or more, you’ll likely want bigger sound than it’ll provide.
There’s definitely a sweet spot for listening to this projector since its speakers are packed in close together. Directly behind or in front of the projector, it can offer some sense of space. But sitting anywhere else can have sounds seem disconnected from their sources, especially voices.
The projector has a DTS Studio Sound mode enabled by default. Unfortunately, though, this comes with a bit of tinniness that’s unpleasant at higher volumes. I didn’t notice this mode actually providing a better spatial experience, but it does come with an appreciable boost in volume, especially in the vocal range, compared to running the projector with it disabled. But the audio is better rounded and more comfortable to listen to with this mode off if you’re in a quiet enough space.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Gaming
The Horizon Pro is nothing crazy for gaming, but it can certainly do the job. Its big and reasonably colorful 4K picture is ready to go with low latency in its game mode, but you’ll want to make sure you’re actually using that mode: Without game mode, I measured 144ms of latency comparing a timecode running on the built-in 90Hz OLED display of a laptop mirrored to the Horizon Pro. With the gaming mode turned on, that drops to an impressive 24ms.
Dashing about the wilderness and fighting robotic monstrosities in Horizon: Forbidden West, I never felt lag keeping me from getting out of the way of enemy attacks. My arrows flew true and my attacks landed just as timed. Did I occasionally screw up big time? Of course, but only because I wasn’t paying attention to my surroundings and not because my inputs weren’t registered in time.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Smart TV Interface
The Xgimi Horizon Pro runs Android TV, and it’s fairly quick to set up. The interface is convenient for finding streaming content and grabbing apps from the Play Store. Surprisingly, the operating system is also relatively spritely. Despite being the older machine, I found the Horizon Pro generally felt more responsive loading content and navigating menus than the new Horizon Ultra. Speed varies depending on what the processor inside is busy with, but I didn’t notice it frequently lagging for more than a second or two whereas I caught the Horizon Ultra often leaving me wondering if the remote had simply failed.
Settings for the Horizon Pro are a mixed bag. A few key settings, like picture mode, are easily accessed in the main settings screen, which is largely focused on the image and sound settings. But Xgimi fails to make things too easy by burning some settings within the All Settings menu, which also includes a bunch of operating-system-level settings.
And it occasionally nests settings within one another like little Petrushkas without any clear indication that you’ll get a new settings sub-menu to show up by making a selection. It also doesn’t help that the screen will black out any content when accessing the All Settings menu, so any visual changes you make will be without real-time feedback.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Remote control
The Xgimi Horizon Pro has a simple and elegant remote with a metal casing that feels great in the hand compared to the plasticky remotes I’m used to coming with every device under the sun. As the system runs Android TV, the remote has a fairly standard layout with a navigation circle flanked by back, home, and settings buttons as well as a Google Assistant button above. There’s a special button for accessing projector settings near the top of the remote and another near the bottom that has the projector run its automatic focus and picture adjustments.
The dark buttons and lack of backlighting can make it tough to see, but many of the controls are simple to use by feel alone. The remote uses Bluetooth to connect, so it doesn’t require line of sight with the projector.
Xgimi Horizon Pro review: Verdict
The Xgimi Horizon Pro is a complete package, and with its recently lowered retail price, it’s kind of a steal. For intimate viewing parties with a couple friends in a small room, it’s a stellar option that doesn’t need anything else beyond an internet connection or media on a thumb drive.
More critical home theater enthusiasts will find that the Xgimi Horizon Pro isn’t as bright and doesn’t have as high of contrast as some competitors, like the BenQ HT2060, but it finds other ways to come out ahead, like its 4K visuals and smart picture adjustment that make moving this projector from place to place a breeze.
In short, this is the projector for people who want a simple and effective option that just lets them dive right into their entertainment without much fuss.
Over the last several years, Mark has been tasked as a writer, an editor, and a manager, interacting with published content from all angles. He is intimately familiar with the editorial process from the inception of an article idea, through the iterative process, past publishing, and down the road into performance analysis.