Updated: August 25, 2021 5:54:52 pm
My quest for a big screen television continues. My reviews of televisions over the past few months have given me a lot of choice, but I am not convinced yet. Where I like the price, there are some features I would love to be better and where the TV is perfect, the price is beyond me.
And then comes along a projector that puts a new doubt in my mind: Do I even need to but a television. The Halo projector from XGIMI is one such device.
The XGIMI Halo looks like anything but a projector. In fact, some at home though it was another one of those smart speakers. It has a neat tower-like design with the lens visible up front, control buttons on top and ports at the back — minimalist, yet functional. The Halo is not larger than an smart speakers and can be taken everywhere, even in your bag pack and comes with a battery that can last up to four hours of projection.
Once you switch on the projector you realise how much this segment has processed. All you need to do is use the remote to connect to Wi-Fi and you are ready to stream high definition content from the service of your choice. It took me less than a couple of minutes to get to my first video.
What I struggled with was finding a wall large enough to project. There would be something that comes in the way, or break the flow of the wall — no, I have not invested in a projector screen yet. But then I realised that the Halo does not essentially need to beam a large image. You could do a smaller 21-inch image on the kitchen wall as you cook your weekend biryani.
However, keep in mind that this is not a short-throw project and needs the space. The good thing is that you can keep it far away to get a really large image and then easily zoom in to exactly the size of your screen.
Also, you can literally take the Halo anywhere, within your home or outside. The portability of the Halo is assisted by the fact that the projector is smart enough to configure the image to be super sharp wherever you keep it. The issue I had, however, was with the surface you keep it on and invariable the image ended up being a bit tilted to one side — nothing you can’t adjust with a few coasters or cardboard pieces. So it is best to invest in a proper projector stand if you are buying this or any other projector.
The Halo has a 800 ANSI Lumens lens is bright enough for most of your uses, unless you are projecting in a room with all widows open. For night time watching, the lens is pretty powerful and even when projected on my entire living room wall — the closest I have been to a cinema experience in months — the images were crystal clear and detailed. Interestingly, Full HD Halo does not claim to be a 4K projector, but the image quality while streaming even 8K content from YouTube was stunning to say the least.
Another aspect that needs to be underlined is the audio quality. The Halo has two 5W speakers with Harman Kardon sound and these are good enough for you not to have external audio support. But given that I was projecting an image larger that 100 inches I wanted larger than life audio too, so I opted to beam sound via a larger speaker at home.
This meant I had a great set up for a binge watching session, but ended up introducing the James Bond series to my son. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed the experience and I was transported to the early 1980s when my dad showed me my first James Bond movies in a full theatre environment. The Halo is tailor made for the cinema experience.
This projector is powered by Android TV and can become a full-fledged TV replacement with access to all the apps you need. This also means you are at no point struggling to figure out how to stream content as there is no learning involved here.
The Halo does not heat up much, but does get warm on the rear after a few minutes. So where you keep it should factor in this aspect.
The projector can do 3D video too, provided you have the right goggles etc. But I did not test that out because it is not an experience I relish after the first few minutes.
The big screen experience at home. Projectors are becoming so cool even as they become cheaper. The Halo projector costs just Rs 90,000. Now why would anyone want a TV? pic.twitter.com/eK85JQaymp
— Nandagopal Rajan (@nandu79) August 24, 2021
Priced at Rs 90,500, the Halo is perfect for those who live the big screen experience and have a large dark space at home that you can transform into a home theatre in the literal sense. The portability is an added advantage but you are not sure what the environment will be wherever you take the Halo in your travels. So I would look at the Halo as a device that you bring out on special occasions for a family cinema night.
There are more affordable portable projectors with Android TV experience in the market, but if you need something that is durable you will have to opt for a product like this. Also, if portability and power back up are not features you are looking for, you will be able to get a 4K projector for less.