Mis à jour le 8 September 2023.
The Xgimi Horizon Ultra is the most luxurious and powerful all-in-one projectors from the Chinese manufacturer. Premium finish, very large picture, Dolby Vision, dual laser and LED light source, Harman Kardon sound and automatic image adjustments: this compact projector’s goal is to simplify 4K projection and replace the TV in any room of the house. Sold for €1,899, does the Xgimi Horizon Ultra keep its promises, and can it compete with the excellent Hisense C1S?
Xgimi Horizon Ultra: accessories
The manufacturer sent the Asian version of the Xgimi Horizon Ultra, named Xgimi RS Pro 3, for this review. Apart from the name, the features are the same for both versions.
The Xgimi Horizon Ultra comes in a luxurious white and gold box, inside of which it is accompanied by a remote control (with batteries), the external power supply, its power cable and a user guide.
Xgimi Horizon Ultra: presentation
The Xgimi Ultra Horizon is situated at the top of the manufacturer’s projector range. It has a premium finish with an imitation leather covering and an elegant fabric sliding front panel. It can project a very large UHD 4K HDR image (Dolby Vision, HDR10) measuring up to 5 meters across. Its motorized zoom lets you adjust the dimensions of the picture according to the size of the screen or wall. Furthermore, all the picture settings are automated to simplify installation as much as possible. Therefore, the projector can be used in any room of the home, instead of a television.
The Xgimi Horizon Ultra stands out with its dual laser and LED light source. The smoothness of the LED lighting helps to soften the harshness of the laser, which covers a very wide color gamut. This way, it is possible to achieve very natural hues with a picture smoothness similar to that of a standard lamp projector. The brightness of 2,300 lumens allows you to project in low ambient light conditions, or even during the day. The lens of this projector is treated to guarantee high light transmission. It is protected from dust by a motorized fabric cover that slides across automatically when the device is turned on and off.
Soundwise, Xgimi has continued its partnership with Harman Kardon, who has designed the projector’s 2 x 12W Dolby Digital and DTS compatible audio section. As a result, the Horizon Ultra can play movie and series soundtracks, as well as those of video games, without having to connect a soundbar or a separate home theater system.
The Xgimi Horizon Ultra’s connectors include two HDMI ports, one of which is eARC compatible. They support video streams up to 4K 60Hz UHD. You can therefore connect a video game console and a Blu-ray player, for example. The two USB ports are compatible with audio files, photos and videos stored on a USB stick or external hard drive.
Finally, this Xgimi projector features Android TV, which allows it to access Prime Video and YouTube. Netflix is also available, but the picture definition, but with a limited image definition, due to the fact that the streaming service has not officially certified the projector. However, it should be possible to bypass this restriction by using the projector’s built-in Chromecast feature. It enables wireless streaming of video content from a computer (via the Chrome browser) or from an Android smartphone or tablet.
The included remote control is very elegant with its brushed metal finish. It is a shame that it doesn’t feature backlighting or direct access buttons for the picture modes.
Xgimi Horizon Ultra: key specifications
- LED + laser lamps
- Brightness of 2,300 lumens
- Automatic picture adjustments
- Dolby Vision, HDR10
- 4K 60Hz HDMI, USB, WiFi, Bluetooth
- Premium design, Harman Kardon sound
- Android TV
Xgimi Horizon Ultra: configuration
For our review, we paired the Xgimi Horizon Ultra with the Lumene Majestic HD 240C motorized projection screen. A Magnetar UDP800 4K Blu-ray player and a PlayStation 4 were our sources, connected to the projector using an Audioquest Cinnamon HDMI cable. We also connected an external hard drive to one of the projector’s two USB ports to play 4K HDR movies with DTS and Dolby audio tracks.
The Xgimi Horizon Ultra was connected to the local network via an Ethernet cable and the Netgear Orbi RBK852 system to maximize bandwidth for 4K UHD streaming.
To achieve a 2.5m (100”) image, we installed the projector on a side table that was placed approximately 2.8m from the screen. It was slightly offset to the left of the screen, allowing us to test how effective the automatic image alignment process was.
Once the projector was switched on, it immediately made the necessary adjustments. It straightened the image contours and adjusts the size with the zoom to match the edges of the screen before focusing the picture. Clearly, Xgimi has mastered its craft, as the result was almost perfect. We only had to adjust the settings ever so slightly with the remote control, so that the image fit the screen to the millimeter.
Xgimi Horizon Ultra: impressions
As soon as we unboxed it, we were impressed by the aesthetics of the projector. The packaging is elegant, and the finish of the chassis, which combines fabric and vegan leather, gives the Horizon Ultra an exclusive premium appeal. The assembly and material quality are impeccable.
It is very impressive when the Xgimi Horizon Ultra is switched on and the motorized fabric cover slides open to reveal the lens.
Note that this projector is particularly quiet, with an average noise level of just 33 dB measured at a distance of less than a meter, which is virtually the same as the residual noise in our test room. It is therefore practically inaudible when watching a film.
Like most projectors on the market, the Xgimi Horizon Ultra offers several image presets you can choose depending on the program you’re watching. These include Cinema, Television, Football, Gaming and Custom modes. When Dolby Vision content is played, the projector also offers Dolby Vision Bright and Dolby Vision Dark modes, as well as a custom mode.
We preferred to use the Cinema mode when watching movies and series, both via streaming services and on discs. The Television mode was particularly well suited for documentaries, giving the picture intensity and smoothness. The Sport mode was also very smooth, but pushed the brightness and color saturation a little too far.
Those who want to can also customize numerous settings: brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, color temperature, primary color correction (hue, saturation, brightness), gamma…
This Xgimi projector is animated by the Android TV 11 operating system and features the Google TV interface, which is as intuitive as ever. Overall, navigation through the menus using the remote control is smooth, although we did experience a little latency on a handful of occasions.
Google TV and its app store (Google Play) need no introduction. Most competing operating systems draw a great deal of inspiration from Google TV, without matching its wealth of features. All the usual apps can be installed from Google Play, except for Netflix. The streaming giant has not yet granted an official license to the Chinese manufacturer. In the meantime, however, it is possible to install this service via an external app launcher. In this case, however, you’re limited to a very poor image quality (only 960 x 540 pixels).
The Chromecast feature should allow you to bypass this restriction, by wirelessly streaming Netflix content directly from the app on a smartphone or from the Chrome browser on a computer.
With The Report in 4K HDR on Prime Video, the Xgimi projector delivered an extremely precise and detailed images, with cool yet realistic tones.
On the Le Mans documentary, the picture was rich and the vivid colors of the cars stood out against the gray of the asphalt. Even with the ambient light in the room, the picture was still spectacular, albeit a little dulled by the loss of contrast and color intensity. As we’ve often said, for the best possible image quality in projection, it’s preferable to dim the lighting or make the room completely dark.
USB video playback
Our test model had some difficulty reading high capacity hard drives (2 to 4TB) containing lots of movies and series. It couldn’t display the files in the various folders, whether it was via the internal file navigator or with VLC. After a few minutes, the hard drives were even disconnected.
We didn’t have this problem with a lower capacity hard drive (1TB). The Xgimi Horizon Ultra could then read 4K HDR movies encoded in x.265/MKV with Dolby and DTS audio tracks without any difficulty. Provided we used VLC, however. The integrated media player seemed limited in its buffering management and generated image freezing and judder. With VLC, folder browsing was smooth and 4K movies launched almost instantaneously.
4K HDR Blu-ray movies
With 4K HDR Blu-ray movies, the Xgimi was in its element. The combination of the DLP chip, dual LED laser lamp and treated lens provided a very cinematographic 4K Dolby Vision image. The latter was perfectly defined, with crisp outlines. The colors were accurate, the contrast very satisfactory and the highlights nuanced. The black areas could have been a little more intense, but given its price point, the Xgimi projector did very well. More effective projectors are often a lot more expensive.
HD streaming and 1080p HD Blu-ray movies
UHD 4K projection means upscaling of lower-definition sources. The Xgimi Horizon Ultra does this very effectively, provided you don’t set the sharpness too high. Documentaries on Prime Video and Blu-ray movies alike benefited from an appreciable increase in detail, with no artifacts. The result was also impeccable with Star Wars and Inception on Blu-ray.
The projector provided a smooth gaming experience with Gran Turismo 7. Late braking on bends and overtaking on the Ste Croix circuit were seamless, with no lag or latency. The same goes for Hogwart’s Legacy, where combos were executed in perfect succession on the screen during battles. There was no delay between pressing the buttons on the controller and the on-screen action.
The sound delivered by the Xgimi Horizon Ultra was clear and detailed, ideal for hearing movie dialogue without any difficulty. The most dynamic soundtracks with reproduced with great verve. Despite the lack of woofers, we felt as if we were part of the action. As long as the projector was centered between the screen and the viewers. When placed behind us or to the side, the sound immersion wasn’t as effective. That said, the sound remained clear and intelligible. Ideally, it is best to pair the projector with a soundbar, a stereo or, better still, multi-channel audio system.
Xgimi Horizon Ultra: compared to…
Combining leather and metal, the ViewSonic X11-4K has a superb finish that is just as impressive as that of the Xgimi Horizon Ultra. Its retractable handle allows it to be easily carried from room to room. Its short throw means it can be installed more easily between the viewers and the screen, to better benefit from its audio section, which is also designed by Harman Kardon. However, the Xgimi Horizon Ultra has the upper hand regarding simple installation and picture quality. Projection in native 4K HDR as well as upscaled 1080p HD content produces images that are both more precise and detailed, with more realistic colors and very good HDR rendering in the highlights. What’s more, the Xgimi projector supports Dolby Vision.
The Xgimi Horizon Ultra’s main competitor, the Hisense C1 is equipped with a lens that incorporates some very high-quality glass elements, ensuring greater image sharpness. 4K upscaling, colorimetric richness (triple laser) and black intensity are also superior with the Hisense.
Brighter, the Xgimi model offers better HDR management in highlights with more nuance. Image smoothness is also superior, which is an advantage for both video games and sports. Lastly, the Xgimi’s motorized zoom gives the user greater freedom when installing the projector. Its automatic image adjustment system is also more effective and precise.
The sound and connected features of these two projectors are pretty much the same, with the exception of Netflix and USB playback on the Xgimi. The latter doesn’t natively integrate the streaming app, and management of high-capacity hard drives is problematic, unlike the Hisense C1.
Xgimi Horizon Ultra: who is it for?
The Xgimi Horizon Ultra will appeal to those who want to project a very large image easily in any room of the house, without the restrictions of a classic projector. The keystone adjustment and automatic image scaling within the limits of the projection screen are real strengths, as is its silent operation. It will delight 4K HDR movie fans with its detailed, color-accurate image and cinematic rendering. Gamers and sports fans will also appreciate the smooth picture.
Xgimi Horizon Ultra: conclusion
With its premium design, ease-of-use and superb 4K HDR Dolby Vision image quality, the Xgimi Horizon Ultra projector is sure to win you over. Its ultra-bright hybrid LED-Laser lighting system produces natural colors for a soft, realistic, cinematographic image. Its Dolby Vision and HDR10 compatibility, support for Dolby and DTS audio and extensive connectivity are also serious assets. With this projector, Xgimi once again demonstrates its expertise. The brand has now established itself as a key player in the field of compact all-in-one projectors.
- The gorgeous design
- The easy configuration
- The picture quality in native 4K
- The smoothness of the image
- How quiet it was
We would have liked
- More depth in the lows
- The official Netflix app
- Backlighting on the remote control
- Support for higher capacity hard drives