Xgimi Horizon Ultra: Is It the Real Deal or Just Another Projector with Dolby Vision Hype?

Xgimi Horizon Ultra: Is It the Real Deal or Just Another Projector with Dolby Vision Hype?

Home projector enthusiasts, brace yourselves because Xgimi is making bold claims with its latest release, the Horizon Ultra. Marketed as the "world's first 4K long-throw projector with Dolby Vision," it certainly grabs attention. But before you get too excited, let's take a closer look at what this projector brings to the table.

First, the good news: the Horizon Ultra is priced at a wallet-friendly $1,699, making it an attractive option for those looking to upgrade their home theater setup without breaking the bank. It boasts a new "Dual Light" laser and LED hybrid light source that pumps out 2,300 ISO lumens. That's a significant 77 percent boost in brightness compared to Xgimi's previous Horizon Pro projector, which was already reasonably bright at 1,760 ISO lumens.

However, here's where the skepticism kicks in. While the Horizon Ultra's brightness might sound impressive on paper, it's crucial to remember that projector brightness measurements are taken at the bulb. In practical terms, the image brightness diminishes as you move the projector farther away to reach its suggested maximum display size of 200 inches. Additionally, projectors like the Horizon Ultra can't achieve true blacks because they lack the ability to turn off individual pixels. This limitation is precisely why we should approach HDR (High Dynamic Range) claims on projectors, especially in this price range, with caution.

But don't get me wrong; the Horizon Ultra is still a very bright home theater projector, particularly well-suited for average living rooms plagued by ambient light seeping in through windows. It's also quite the looker, especially when compared to projectors from established brands like Epson and BenQ.

Xgimi has equipped its flagship projector with Intelligent Screen Adaptation 3.0 technology, promising automatic optimization of various image parameters like brightness, contrast, color, focus, keystone, and zoom as you move the projector and as ambient light conditions change throughout the day and night. It can even adjust the image based on the wall's color, according to Xgimi. Plus, the company claims that the Horizon Ultra delivers its "best color accuracy to date."

As if that's not enough, Xgimi has thrown in a pair of 12W Harman/Kardon speakers, promising decent audio quality without the need for external speakers. Other notable specs include low operating noise, automatic eye protection, a Bluetooth remote, Wi-Fi 6 support, optical audio out, and two HDMI ports (one with eARC). Gamers will appreciate the 18ms latency in gaming mode, with support for 4K at 60Hz.

While the Xgimi Horizon Ultra certainly offers some intriguing features, the promises of Dolby Vision and HDR should be taken with a grain of salt. Projectors, especially those in this price range, have limitations that may not deliver the same HDR experience you'd get from a high-end TV. That said, if you're in the market for an affordable, bright, and versatile home projector, the Horizon Ultra is worth considering – just keep your expectations grounded in reality.