XGIMI H1 Projector Review

For years, it has been a pet project of ours to make our own home theater with a projector. We did our research but living in the Philippines has huge downsides. Product availability, great choice, budget, room constraints and a slew of other issues have prevented us to bite the bullet until now. Just last week we bought the XGIMI H1 Projector. This projector impressively checked all of our prerequisites. It's an LED projector so maintenance is almost non- existent, it has a built-in Harman Kardon speaker so people on a tight budget don't need to invest in a full-blown audio set-up, it has Android OS so there's little need for another video device, it's designed to be portable so set-up is a breeze and most importantly, it has a local supplier with 1 year warranty. If you want to know how we found the XGIMI H1, read on.

Technical Specifications


Display Technique:0.47"DMD RGB-LED
Lens:High light transmission coated lens
Luminance (Brightness):900 Ansi Lumens
Standard resolution:Full HD (1920×1080)
Compatible resolution: 2K / 4K

Projection ratio:1.39 - 1.5:1
Optical zoom:1.1x
Keystone correction:Vertical: +-35 degree, horizontal: +-30 degree
Projection method:Forward/Backward/Hanging from ceiling

CPU:Mstar 6A928 Cortex-A17 Quadcore 1.7GHz
Storage:16GB eMMC
System:GUMI base on Android 5.1.1
Mirroring Display:Airplay/DLNA/Miracast

3.5mm speaker jack
USB 2.0
USB 3.0
Optical Fiber Port
Ethernet port
Power Jack
WiFi:2.4/5GHz, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac

Hardware and Packaging
First impressions are important and the guys at XGIMI did a pretty swell job in making sure that the H1 feels like a premium and durable device. The projector packaging deviates from the typical cardboard box of even the most expensive projectors or televisions out there. What you get is packaging that's more akin to unboxing a premium smartphone. Every item inside the box was separated, snuggly-secure and properly-labeled. The projector itself is beautifully designed looking more like a living room appliance than a projector that sorely sticks out in any room. The remote control is as simple as it gets. We like its heft but we wished it had added functionality as an air mouse.

For the following samples below, note that projected image size is at 106" diagonal projected on a flat cream-colored wall. Image, audio, and video captured using a mobile phone at 4K Quality. Room lights rated at 9W LED Warm White

Picture Quality

Picture quality is impressive when lights are turned off like any other projector. Colors are vibrant even though we were not projecting the H1 onto an ideal surface. When using any high-def source, the image pops out and details are distinct and clear. LED and DLP-based projectors are known to suffer from rainbow effect but we failed to notice any of it from the H1 so it won't probably affect you also. Input lag on games is there so gamers who play FPS-based or twitch-based games may want to avoid gaming on this projector if they want to be competitive. Unfortunately, the H1 struggles when it came to ambient light. As our samples show below, picture quality suffers heavily with any substantial amount of light:

Direct Light Indirect Light Lights off
*click photos for full-res view

Audio Quality
More than the picture quality, we were actually more impressed by the H1's built-in Harman Kardon speakers. To our ears, it was well-balanced with bass a little bit lacking. While it won't match a dedicated 5.1, 7.1 or Atmos set-up, it can handily beat any television speaker or even a basic dedicated soundbar. The only problem we noticed is that the speakers had trouble producing clear conversations on lower-voiced scenes. But for such a small-form-factor design, its output is nothing but extraordinary and nothing beats the ease of just turning on your projector and your audio system works out of the box at the same time. If you want to hear how its output sounds like, we have some short clips available on the next portion.

Video Samples

Well, sadly, if there was one area were the XGIMI H1 really disappointed us is in its implementation of the Android OS. Like any generic Android TV box out there, this is a half-baked installation of Android. When we say half-baked, it's lacking licenses or authorization from key applications. Out of the box, Youtube and the Chrome Web Browser are pre-installed. Both ran well with Youtube limited to 1080p video quality. Unfortunately, there's no Google Play Store replaced by the Aptoide store which we don't prefer to use. We tried to install the Google Play Store manually (via APK install) but for some reason, the app fails to load after installation. Crucially, there's no proper Netflix support with Netflix loading but unable to load videos (sound and subtitles only). There's a hack by using an older version of the Netflix app but that only worked for us once and limited to a maximum of 720p resolution. As for the remote control, it's great for basic use but some apps are not fully compatible with its D-Pad implementation (e.g. iflix). We recommend buying a separate remote with air mouse functionality to really appreciate the Android OS. Crucially, we were unable to make Miracast and DLNA to work at all so don't expect much from those features.

As a projector only, XGIMI H1 is simply a superb buy. It's a little more expensive than entry-level BenQ or Epson projectors but the impressive built-in speakers alone and smaller distance requirement to project a particular image size the scales towards the H1. This is an all-in-one projector that feels, looks and performs like a champ and screams premium in a not-so-expensive price tag. If you can forego the setbacks with its OS implementation then this is easily the best projector you can buy in the below USD1000 (approximately P50,000) range.

Rating: 4 reels

Why you should buy it:
- great picture and even more awesome audio
- this is literally easy to set-up

Why you shouldn't buy it:
- the Android OS implementation was half-baked
- proper Netflix integration is sorely missing
- Miracast and DLNA were touted as key features but failed to work even once