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Xgimi Halo Plus (Halo+) portable smart projector hands-on

Teaser
The Xgimi Halo Plus (Halo+) expertly balances portability with power. Despite some minor annoyances, the Halo Plus is an excellent all-around projector for use at home and on the go. Be prepared to shell out quite a bit of cash for the convenience.

Introduction

I've reviewed a few of Xgimi's portable projectors over the past year. While each had its pros and cons, compromises always dampened the overall experience.

Xgimi may have rectified these shortcomings with the Halo Plus (also stylized Halo+), one of its latest portable projectors. The Halo Plus balances portability with power to present an overall excellent package. The Halo Plus boasts the portability and battery of the MoGo Pro along with the bright LED backlight and excellent speaker setup of the Elfin miniature projector. Is this the best overall package?

I've used the Halo Plus (provided by Xgimi) over the past two months in both my home and in a classroom setting. Xgimi also sent the X-Desktop Stand Pro, a slick metal stand designed specifically for the company's projectors. I give my thoughts on both items below.

Design

The Halo Plus is essentially the MoGo Pro dressed in black (or dark gray, to be more accurate). The Halo Plus is a bit larger (113.2 x 144.8 x 171.5 mm, 4.46 x 5.70 x 6.75 in) and heavier (1.59 kg, 3.5 lbs) than the MoGo Pro, but it is still compact enough to throw in a bag or backpack. It feels significantly more solid than the MoGo Pro, which is robust in its own right. The dark color looks sleek and high-end, but the top plastic panel is easy to smudge with fingerprints. The projector lens is fairly fingerprint resistant and wipes clean with ease.

The Halo Plus shares the same port layout as the MoGo Pro (1x USB 2.0, 1x HDMI, 1x 3.5 mm audio jack, DC in), but the ports are horizontally aligned along the top of the back panel (as opposed to the MoGo Pro's vertical orientation). This allows more room for ventilation along the back. The improved ventilation results in a whisper-quiet fan that is only audible at less than 3 inches from the back grill.

Thankfully, the Halo Plus has capacitive buttons (volume up, play/pause, volume down) along the top panel. This allows users to control the device (albeit minimally) without the remote, which was a sore spot of the Elfin. The bottom has the same threaded hole on the bottom as Xgimi's other projectors, allowing it to be mounted with a standard tripod mount or the X-Desktop Stand Pro.

Speaking of the X-Desktop Stand Pro, it is a beautifully crafted riser built specifically for projectors. The mount allows users to tilt the projector +/-15 degrees in a sphere. Matched with the Halo Plus's good keystone correction (more on that below), this allows the projectors to get a perfectly levelled image on almost any surface. There's a handy cable management loop on the back of the arched arm. The brushed aluminum finish resists smudges and looks clean, even after two months of use and travel.

Lastly, the remote is the same as those of other Xgimi projectors. It's fairly ergonomic and has a good amount of inputs, but it feels thin and cheaply made. (As a note, all three of the remotes I've been sent are still scratch- and blemish-free, even after being roughed up by children and toddlers.)

Software and Features

The Halo Plus runs on Android TV. Thanks to WiFi (802.11ac), Bluetooth 5.0, and its built-in Chromecast, the Halo Plus is an all-in-one media machine. It can run any app compatible with Android TV, including media streaming services like Disney Plus or Netflix. Users can also stream media to it from another device via the projector's Chromecast. In my experience with the Halo Plus, connecting to the built-in Chromecast was a bit finicky and took several attempts.

Like Xgimi's other projectors, the Halo Plus is smooth and quick. Movies fired up right away, and navigating the UI was seamless. The Halo Plus outputs FHD (1080p) media. It can receive 4K media, but the output is limited to FHD. At 900 ANSI Lumens, the picture is vibrant and bright. I should note that the Halo Plus is noticeably dimmer when unplugged, but it can be forced to run at full brightness via the settings. The Halo Plus also supports HDR10 content.

The dual 5 Watt speakers (tuned by Harman Kardon) are excellent. Bass is full and gives body to the overall sound profile. The speakers also remain clear at full volume, which gets extremely loud.

Xgimi's excellent auto-keystone correction...
Xgimi's excellent auto-keystone correction...
...once again impresses with its accuracy and speed.
...once again impresses with its accuracy and speed.

Like Xgimi's other projectors, the Halo Plus features the same excellent auto-focus and auto-keystone correction features. Auto-focus takes a couple of seconds to tune the image, as does the automatic keystone correction. However, I noticed that the auto-keystone correction failed fairly often (roughly 60% of the time). This may be because the camera used for keystone correction sits at the bottom of the front of the unit, and it may be easy to obscure the camera because of its location.

The same can be said for the Halo Plus's intelligent screen alignment and obstacle avoidance, which attempt to frame the image within real-world boundaries (e.g., a window or picture frame). This feature feels gimmicky with the Halo Plus and doesn't work most of the time, instead aligning the image so that one or two borders line up with the real-world frame. This is something Xgimi still needs to work kinks out of.

Last to mention is the 59 Wh battery. I can eke about roughly 3.5-4 hours from the Halo Plus, which isn't shabby considering how bright the projector light gets and how loud the speakers are. Running at full volume and brightness, the battery lasts closer to 3 hours, which is still enough to get through an outdoor movie with some time to spare.

Drawbacks and Conclusion

The Halo Plus combines all the great parts of the MoGo Pro and the Elfin projectors and packs them into a single device. The biggest drawbacks are the device's bulk and weight (which can make it a bit cumbersome) and its price. The Halo Plus is quite pricey at US$849, but there's a lot to like in this portable projector.

If you need a portable projector that can deliver premium sound and images, the Halo Plus is perhaps the best all-around device on the market now. Be prepared to pay a pretty penny, but if you need a short-throw projector to travel with you, it may be worth every cent.

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Sam Medley
Sam Medley - Senior Tech Writer - 1171 articles published on Notebookcheck since 2016
I've been a computer geek my entire life. After graduating college with a degree in Mathematics, I worked in finance and banking a few years before taking a job as a database administrator. I started working with Notebookcheck in October of 2016 and have enjoyed writing news and reviews. I've also written for other outlets including UltrabookReview and GeeksWorldWide, focusing on consumer guidance and video gaming. My areas of interest include the business side of technology, retro gaming, Linux, and innovative gadgets. When I'm not writing on electronics or tinkering with a device, I'm either outside with my family, enjoying a decade-old video game, or playing drums or piano.
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Sam Medley, 2021-11- 5 (Update: 2021-11- 8)