The new XGIMI Halo+ portable projector is a great unit for gaming or watching films on the go - which doesn’t compromise on picture quality, brightness, or battery life. This continues a strong trend and record in the projector market despite the company only releasing projectors since 2013.
But it's over the last couple of years that XGIMI has really emerged as a key brand to consider when browsing the best projector, particularly when looking at great digital projection at reasonable prices.
Design & Features
Like most of XGIMI’s units, the Halo+ is a tastefully sleek black and grey rounded cuboid. It’s slim and tall, weighs only 1.6kgs, and will easily slip into a rucksack or tote bag to be taken out wherever you want to use it - this could really be a genuine contender for best portable projector or best outdoor projector this year. The plastic housing feels hard-wearing, but it is a surprise that this portable projector doesn’t come with any kind of carry case, particularly at this price. A smart feature is a small stand built into the bottom of the unit, helping you to angle the projector correctly without having to carefully balance thin objects underneath it.
When turning on the unit auto-focusses and keystones with impressive speed, to give a well-positioned and square image - excellent for a portable unit - then gives user-friendly options to tweak the positioning. It’s a really handy feature, but if you don’t mind spending more time on this yourself you can save money by looking at the Halo (no plus) unit in the range which lacks the auto-keystone feature. There’s only one HDMI slot - typical of a portable projector - and one aux out, and one USB slot. The inbuilt Android OS runs well, occasionally being slow but not enough to be a major irritant.
The battery is impressive, giving close to three hours of playback on a single charge (although the low battery mode kicking in late on helped this, and it is frustrating that the interface doesn’t give an estimate of how long the remaining battery will last). The sound is provided by twin 5W Harman Kardon speakers which are pleasingly clear and loud, I never felt a need to plug into my home sound system while watching or gaming casually.
XGIMI claims the Halo+’s 900 ASI lumens make it the brightest projector in its class, and the initial impression is that it’s very bright, even on battery power. There are no issues watching during the day, although of course in darker conditions it can really shine. Picture quality is crisp, and while 1080p might not be the top standard anymore, in a portable projector of this brightness at this price it is impressive. There can be video noise issues with darker scenes, but the Halo+ will not be the first or last projector to suffer from this.
Game Mode Boost gives 26.5ms input lag and 60Hz refresh rate, putting it up among even the best projectors for PS5 (broadly speaking), and definitely great for quickfire party games like Mario Kart. But if you’re a competitive gamer who wants nothing less than the most lightning-fast available this won’t quite be enough for you. More annoying for the non-latency obsessed is that the auto-keystone feature isn’t available in gaming mode so you’ll need to do more manual work (and potentially projector re-positioning) to game on it.
As with most Android projectors, Netflix isn’t fully supported on the Halo+. This seems to be a wider complaint about Netflix giving permission to be used rather than an issue on XGIMI’s part so it’s hard to hold it against the projector, and you can drop in an Amazon or Roku stick - but it is still an annoyance.
Overall - should you buy it?
The XGIMI Halo+ projector is great for viewing or gaming on the go, which also does a more than decent job as a home unit. The brightness and battery life are genuinely impressive, and the speakers are a real standout. It’s not priced like a budget casual portable projector because it is much more than that.
Remember you'll need to team a projector with one of the best projector screens or best outdoor projector screens to ensure you're well set.