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XGIMI Horizon Ultra 4K Hybrid LED/Laser Projector Review

Posted on October 23, 2023 by Phil Jones
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The Dual Light source utilized in the XGIMI Horizon Ultra delivers class-leading color accuracy.

The XGIMI Horizon Ultra is a 4K DLP projector that retails for $1699. The XGIMI Horizon Ultra, which has a rated brightness of 2300 ISO lumens, utilizes a newly developed Hybrid laser source technology called Dual Light that combines the benefits of Laser and LED light sources into one compact package.

XGIMI has always been focused on expanding the projection market to include those users who don't typically seek out projectors. Since XGIMI's goal is to broaden the user base of projectors beyond the traditional market, projectors like the Horizon Ultra include all the features found in traditional flat-panel TVs, including Android TV and built-in sound systems. In addition, they are ultra-compact units that can be quickly set up in any room and projected onto a screen or a wall (even one painted a color).

XGIMI, due to its non-traditional approach to designing home entertainment projectors, is quickly becoming a leading projector manufacturer globally. The Horizon Ultra is XGIMI's new flagship home projector, so it included several technical firsts highlighting their engineering expertise. As a result, the Horizon Ultra delivers outstanding performance from a projector retailing for just $1699.

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XGIMI Horizon Ultra Specs
TechnologyDLP (0.47” DMD)
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160 Pixel Shifting
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)2300 ISO Lumens
Light SourceDual Light (RGBB LED+ Red laser)
ContrastNot listed
Zoom Lens Ratio1.15:1 (motorized)
Lens ShiftFixed
Sound System2 x 12-watt Harman/Kardon
Dimensions (H x W x D)

8.8” x 6.7” x 10.4”

(224 x 170 x 265 mm)

Weight11.5 lbs (5.2 kg)



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While the XGIMI Horizon Ultra retails for just $1699, it includes several advanced technologies that are currently not available on more expensive competitor's projectors. One of the most interesting technologies utilized in the Horizon Ultra is its newly developed light source. 

XGIMI stated that three factors impact picture quality in projectors: brightness, color accuracy, and color gamut. Bright projectors often struggle to reproduce accurate colors. While RGBB LED projectors can reproduce a vast array of colors accurately, they are usually not very bright. Tri-laser projectors can deliver high brightness and a wide range of colors but often produce noticeable color fringing and speckle.

The Dual-Light technology in the XGIMI Ultra combines an RGBB LED with a red laser to produce a bright, color-accurate image. The Horizon Ultra is XGIMI's brightest display to date. XGIMI states that the Horizon Ultra can deliver 2300 ISO Lumens, which is 77% brighter than its predecessor, the HORIZON Pro, while delivering class-leading color accuracy.

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The Dual Light system deliver bright accurate colors

Delta E, as a measurement of color accuracy and errors under 3, is considered 'Excellent' and imperceptible by the human eye. XGIMI says the color delta E of the Horizon Ultra is around 1, which is outstanding.

To simplify setup and picture quality in a wider variety of rooms, the XGIMI Horizon Ultra includes Intelligent Screen Adaption Technology 3.0 (ISA 3.0), which is a combination of upgraded software and optics.

In the Horizon Ultra, automatic optical zoom, autofocus, and keystone correction work together to deliver a perfectly aligned and distortion-free image without the hassle of manual adjustments. An all-new Wall Color Adaption feature automatically adjusts brightness and colors to optimize the image when projected on a colored wall.

The Horizon Ultra includes Android TV 11, giving you access to a wide range of streaming apps and games.XGIMI also didn’t overlook gamers to deliver fast refresh rates and low input lag. The Horizon Ultra includes an all-new gaming mode with low latency (18 ms).

The XGIMI Horizon Ultra includes picture-quality features usually reserved for more expensive home theater projectors. To maximize brightness in ambient light and contrast in a dark space, the Horizon Ultra includes a dynamic iris. It also includes a Color Filter to widen the projector’s color gamut coverage.

The Horizon Ultra supports HDR10 and HLG, and it is also the first standard throw 4K home projector to support Dolby Vision.

XGIMI Horizon Model Comparison
ModelHorizon UltraHorizon Pro
Imager TypeDLP (0.47” DMD with XPR)DLP (0.47” DMD with XPR)
Resolution3840 x 21603840 x 2160
Light SourceDual Light (RGBB + Red Laser)Blue Laser Phosphor
Brightness2300 ISO Lumens1500 ISO Lumens
HDR FormatsDolby Vision, HDR10, HLGHDR10, HLG
Optical ZoomYesNo
Adjustable IrisYesNo
Smart OSAndroid TV 11Android TV
Intelligent Screen Adaption VersionISA 3.02.0
Speakers2 x 12 watts Harman/Kardon2 X 8 watts Harman/Kardon
Dimensions8,8” x 6.7” x 10.4” (224 x 170 x 265 mm)(208 x 218 x 136 mm)
Weight5.2 kg2.9 kg
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You would be hard-pressed to find another solid-state light source-equipped projector under $2000 that can match the Horizon Ultra picture quality. The Horizon Ultra packed an impressive array of features/technologies into a compact package at an amazing price.


  • Dual Light Technology (RGBB LED + Red Laser light Source)
  • World’s First 4K Long-Throw Home Projector with Dolby Vision
  • 2300 ISO Lumens (2875 ANSI Lumens) of brightness
  • 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) displayed resolution.
  • 25,000+ hours of light source life
  • Motorized Optical Zoom Lens with Dynamic Iris
  • HDR10+ and HLG Support
  • Intelligent Screen Adaptation (ISA 3.0) simplifies setup and operation
  • Fully integrated Android TV 11 OS with a single remote control
  • Built-in 2 x12W Harmon/Karman sound system
  • enhanced Audio Return Channel (eARC)
  • Ultra-low game lag (18ms @ 4K/60P)



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While the Horizon Ultra is feature-packed, it is surprisingly compact. It measures approximately 9” high x 7” wide x 10 ½” deep and weighs 11.5 pounds. While the projector is small, be advised that it ships with a large external power supply. Since the power supply must be located within five feet of the projector, it must be considered when determining placement. 

The projector’s Intelligent Screen Adaption camera is next to the projector lens. A motorized lens cover slides up to protect the lens when the projector is powered off.  The Harman/Kardon speakers and air intake vent are also located on the front of the unit. 

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HDMI 2.0 (eARC)


HDMI 2.0


USB 2.0 Input




3.5mm Headphone Audio Output


LAN Input


DC Input


All the connections are also located on the back of the chassis below the air outlet vent. The unit includes two 18 Gbps HDMI 2.0b inputs, and one of the inputs supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel).

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The unit has no control panel, so you need the remote to operate the projector. The XGIMI Horizon Ultra remote is made of aluminum and feels great. The remote has the buttons needed for most everyday operations, including power on/off, settings shortcut, Google Assistant voice control, D-Pad, select, back, menu, home, and volume. The Google Assistant button is the only colored button on the remote. It is used for voice control of the projector and compatible 3rd party Internet of Things (IoT) devices via the Android TV and Google Assistant.


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The Horizon Ultra has a motorized optical zoom lens with a throw ratio of 1.2:1 to 1.5:1. The Horizon Ultra also includes a dynamic iris to enhance black levels in a dark room and a color filter that slides into the light path to widen the projector’s displayed color gamut. 

For more location flexibility, it is equipped with Intelligent Screen Adaption 3.0 (ISA 3.0) technology, a suite of features. First, the Horizon Ultra includes digital zoom, uninterrupted Horizontal and Vertical Auto Keystone Correction, and precise autofocus. If desired, you can override and manually focus the image.

The Intelligent Screen Alignment technology aligns Horizon Ultra's image vertically and horizontally to custom-fit walls or screens to an ideal aspect ratio at almost any angle. Another notable feature is intelligent Wall Color Adaption, which automatically adjusts the projector's white balance based on the wall color the image is being projected on.

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The Horizon Ultra is equipped with advanced optical component normally reserve for more expensive projectors

The optical system utilized in the Horizon Ultra is quite advanced for a projector that retails just $1699. It is also one on the reason why the unit delivers class-leading install flexibility and picture quality. 


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The Horizon Ultra includes Android TV 11, so you have access to a wide range of streaming apps and games. While the projector supports Netflix, it needs to be side loaded because it is not visible in the App Store. XGIMI provides simple and easy to follow installation instructions in the box and only took 5 minutes to get Netflix up and running.

However, the internal streaming version only supported 1080P SDR. If you desire to watch content in 4K or HDR probably need to resort to an external streaming player like at Apple TV. I will note that the apps for other popular services like Disney+ and Amazon Video support 4K, HDR as well as Dolby Vision.

Unlike several Android TV based projectors, the XGIMI includes several calibration adjustments including RGB balance, CMS and Gamma. However, these picture settings are only available when the Horizon Ultra is set to its CUSTOM preset picture mode.



I was impressed with the color accuracy of the Horizon Ultra as soon as I turned the unit on. Skin tones were natural looking and the projector’s color temperature looked spot on.

When measured most projectors, whether they are LED or RGB laser, tend to overemphasize blue and green resulting in an overly cool picture. This is because the red-light source does not have the same amount of light output. Reducing the blue and green light output will result in better RGB balance (grayscale) but you will sacrifice brightness.

The Horizon Ultra is equipped with XGIMI’s new Dual Light source. This hybrid RGBB LED + red laser light source delivers very good RGB balance compared to many LED projectors as well as single and try color laser projectors.

In addition, there is a High Color Accuracy feature where the projector will automatically adjust its brightness and color settings to try to maximize the Horizon Ultra’s color accuracy based on your room environment.

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With a retail price of $1699, it is doubtful that someone would spend hundreds of dollars to calibrate a Horizon Ultra, but we took the time to measure and calibrate it anyway. When I first measured the Horizon Ultra pre-firmware update, I was pleasantly surprised by its exceptional color accuracy and picture quality straight out of the box.

The skin tones appeared natural and not overly exaggerated, making it stand out in its price range. Although it may not be the brightest model available under $2000, the color reproduction accuracy puts it at the top of its class. None of the picture modes had a delta error higher than four, and the custom mode had an average Delta E of around 2, outperforming many calibrated projectors.

I was finalizing the review when XGIMI pushed a firmware update to the Horizon Ultra. The firmware update improved the projector’s User interface. I like that you don’t have to jump between two different menu systems to adjust picture quality. Due to the noticeable changes in color reproduction, I needed to remeasure the unit and update many of my impressions.

While the difference between preset picture modes is now more noticeable, this change greatly reduced the projector’s out-of-the-box color accuracy. I understand it’s difficult for a projector manufacturer like XGIMI to juggle color accuracy versus user preference.

The new picture modes have been adjusted to make colors appear more vivid, provide higher measured brightness, or “look” better to the average viewer in different lighting conditions. However, the changes implemented negatively impacted the projector’s color accuracy.

Delta error (Color Temperature)

Before Firmware Update

After Firmware Update


2.3 (6732K)

9.1 (9325K) Color Accuracy ON 2.2 ( 6663K)


2.3 (6734K)



2.4 (6730K)



3.4 (6718K)

3.2 (6839K)


3.6 (6724K)

8.2 (8976)



9.9 (9505K)

High Power


17.8 (5346K)



8.1 (8890K)



9.1 (9300K)

When properly configured (CUSTOM mode with High Color Accuracy engaged), the color reproduction of the Horizon Ultra is excellent. However, I did take the time to calibrate the unit. Since CUSTOM mode offers most picture adjustments, I used it as the baseline for measurement and calibration.

Since your room and screen material significantly impact the overall picture, we don't recommend using someone else's calibration adjustments. If your room is brighter/darker or your walls are a different color, your settings would probably be different. Also, the color characteristics of different individual projectors can vary. Therefore, copying someone else's results can be detrimental to the picture quality rather than improving it. However, I am including my specific room before and after calibration results.

If you want to make BRIGHTNESS, CONTRAST, and SHARPNESS adjustments to optimize your projector for your room, several free test patterns are available on Murideo’s  website and YouTube channel. Check out our YouTube video on utilizing several test patterns called Optimize The Image of a Projector or TV Using Free Murideo Test Patterns. Murideo also has written instructions located under the resource section of its website. We use Portrait Displays Calman color calibration software to test the projector's color accuracy.

Pre-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

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While the MOVIE mode was the most accurate mode out of the box, it can't be fully adjusted.  We used The CUSTOM Mode (with High Color Accuracy engaged) as the baseline for measurement and calibration. Out of the box, the white balance and color temperature were way off. Engaging the High Color Accuracy feature delivers a significant improvement in the picture.

After the setting was switched ON, the white balance was very good, and they delivered a color temperature close to our target of 6500K.

The projector’s projector gamma was around 2.0, which is brighter than my gamma target of 2.2. The XGIMI Horizon Ultra also did a very good job tracking colors.

  • Picture Mode: CUSTOM
  • Gamma: 1.96
  • Color Temperature: 688K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 1.7
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 4.57

Post-Calibration Color Tracking and Grayscale

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I choose to calibrate the projector’s CUSTOM mode and when the High Color Accuracy feature was ON, the color temperature measured very close to our target of 6500K. When set to CUSTOM mode, the Horizon Ultra offers RGB grayscale balance adjustments, however, the grayscale was so good that making fine adjustments delivered minimal visual improvement.

The Horizon Ultra offers Gamma adjustments, but I left the setting at its default of 2.2. I reduced the unit’s BRIGHTNESS a few clicks to get the Gamma closer to my target of 2.2.

While the projector's RGB balance was near perfect, the unit's color tracking can be improved. The Horizon Ultra includes CMS adjustments, which I used to improve the unit's color tracking. The adjustments were very precise, and the result was outstanding. The Horizon Ultra offers Gamma adjustments, but I left the setting at its default of 2.2.

  • Picture Mode: FILMMAKER
  • Gamma: 2.2
  • Color Temperature: 6573K
  • Average Grayscale dE: 1.1
  • Average Color Tracking dE: 1.45

Delta E measurement of 3 or less is considered ‘Excellent’ and imperceptible by the human eye.  Before calibration, the Horizon Ultra average grayscale dE measured just 1.7, so there really isn't any need to utilize the projector's RGB Balance adjustments. The average pre-calibration Color Tracking dE was just 3.3, which is also very good. After CMS adjustment, the average Color Tracking dE dropped to just 0.67, which is outstanding.

HDR Grayscale Measurement 

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Dolby Vision Before and After Grayscale Measurement 

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The projector offers several HDR preset picture modes, and like SDR, the most accurate is MOVIE. When set to the CUSTOM picture mode, there are several picture adjustment settings available but many of them are shared between SDR and HDR. I measured the HDR Grayscale in HDR CUSTOM mode with out making any additional adjustments. 

When viewing Dolby Vision, the two preset modes (DOLBY BRIGHT, DOLBY DARK) cannot be modified but there is a DOLBLY VISION CUSTOM picture mode that offers a single-point RGB grayscale adjustment. When I switched the Horizon Ultra to DOLBY VISION CUSTOM and made some minor adjustments to the RGB balance. I was able to achieve excellent white balance as well.


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The XGIMI Horizon Pro has a rated brightness of 2300 ISO lumens. ISO lumens and ANSI lumens are two different standards for measuring the brightness of projectors. The main difference between them is the testing methodologies. To make it easier to compare the brightness of competing projectors, we focus on ANSI lumens since it is the most common measurement standard. If 1 ANSI lumen is equal to 0.8 ISO lumens, the Horizon Ultra should be able to deliver 2875 ANSI lumens of brightness.

To measure the Horizon Ultra maximum light output, I switched the projector to its brightest picture mode which is HIGH POWER. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the screen.

XGIMI Horizon Ultra Brightness (HIGH POWER mode): 2335 Lumens

The Horizon Pro measured 2335 lumens which is in line with the projector's rated brightness of 2300 ISO lumens. While the HIGH POWER picture mode delivers the most brightness, it should only be utilized for a short period of time and its color accuracy is poor. To cool the unit, when set to High Power mode the fans run at high speed so they are quite noisy.  

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High Power mode delivers the most brightness, but it can only be used for a short time, and you sacrifice picture quality. 

Regardless, of the projector mode the projector produced more than enough light to view SDR content on a 120" or HDR content on a 100" screen in a dark room. We measured the brightness of all seven SDR preset picture modes as well as their color temperature. 

XGIMI Horizon Ultra Picture Mode Brightness
Color ModeANSI LumensColor Temperature
High Power23355346K


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The Horizon Ultra’s native contrast and black levels are comparable to other 4K DLP projectors that utilize a 0.47-inch DMD. However, the Horizon Ultra cannot match the native contrast and deep black levels of more expensive 3LCD & LCOS-based projectors. 

The Horizon Ultra is equipped with a Dynamic iris. Normally, a Dynamic Iris opens and closes based on the scene's brightness. However, the iris in this Horizon Ultra automatically adjusts based on the ambient light in the room. While closing the iris reduces the projector's light output, it improves black levels when viewed in a dark environment. Opening the IRS fully maximizes the projector's light output in rooms with ambient light where deep black levels are not as important.

The iris basically shifts the projector's contrast ratio up and down maximizing the projector's image quality in both bright and dark rooms. When the Environmental Adaption is engaged, the iris will adjust automatically, however, the iris can also be adjusted manually.


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Above are screenshots of a variety of videos and movies. Like all our photos, they remain unadjusted for color, so they do not look as good as what the projector actually produced. All of the HD and 4K images were taken with the Horizon. It is CUSTOM mode with High Color Accuracy setting engaged.

Since most live broadcasted content and TV shows will continue to be produced in HD for years to come, good 4K upscaling is still critical. The Horizon Ultra did a good job upscaling 720p or 1080p content to 4K.

The Horizon Ultra is equipped with MEMC frame interpolation technology.  During motion testing I saw motion artifacts any time the Horizon Ultra's Motion Compensation was set to MEDIUM or STRONG. However, leaving the Motion Compensation in OFF or WEAK allowed for a flutter-free image.

I did not have a pair of XGIMI's 3D glasses to test the unit's 3D performance. The Horizon Pro utilizes the DLP cinema-grade (active shutter 3D imaging) technology which should deliver a good with XGIMI's active shutter 3D glasses.


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When viewing HDR10 content, there are seven HDR preset picture modes. Like SDR, most these picture modes offer limited adjustability. However, the CUSTOM HDR picture mode offers the full suite of color adjustments including 2pt White balance and CMS.

The Horizon Ultra does not include Dynamic HDR Tone mapping, so it utilizes the same tone mapping curve when viewing all HDR10 material. While most HDR10 content looked good, sometime highlight details in brighter scenes were clipped or black level were elevated

The XGIMI Horizon Ultra is the first standard throw consumer projector that supports Dolby Vision. This format is designed to maximize the picture quality of HDR based on the display’s brightness range. While the onscreen brightness of a flat panel is consistent regardless of the room environment, a projector’s onscreen brightness can vary greatly based on the screen being utilized.

Since Dolby Vision needs to know how much on-screen brightness is available, there is a setting in the menu where you can select the size and gain of your screen. Once you input the screen information, the Horizon Ultra can use this info along with the dynamic metadata found in Dolby Vision content to properly tone map the HDR content to look best in your environment.

Since I had a couple of movies in both Dolby Vision and HDR10 I took the time to compare the differences. I compared scenes from the Meg and Aquaman. There was a noticeable improvement in highlight detail and black level when viewing the Dolby Vision version. The HDR10 looked fine but the Dolby Vision version just looked better.

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Dolby Vision

I am sure we will see more Dolby Vision equipped standard throw projectors in the future. However, the fact that XGIMI is the first projector manufacturer to offer Dolby Vision on a standard throw consumer projector really highlights their engineering capabilities. The fact that they included this feature on a projector that sells for less than $2000 makes this feat even more impressive.


The Horizon Ultra supports DTS Studio and Dolby. The projector has dual 12W Harmon/Kardon speakers built in. The premium speakers are located on the front of the unit. The speakers provide excellent sound for such a small projector. The speakers are more than loud enough for an average-sized household room.

We do not measure audible noise, but XGIMI rates the audible noise at 28 dB. The fan noise does vary based on the picture mode. The Horizon Pro is a quiet projector. I could barely hear the fan in the Horizon Ultra in most modes. The MOVIE mode seemed to be the quietest but in HIGH POWER mode, the audible noise is quite high.


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When I first received the Horizon Ultra, I was incredibly impressed with its picture quality. While after the firmware update, the image still looked good, most of the picture modes were nowhere near as accurate.

I know that consumer research shows that the warm look of an accurate image (6500K) does not appeal to average consumers who often prefer cooler (blueish) looking images. However, one of the main selling features of the Horizon Ultra is that the Dual Light source can deliver amazing color accuracy.

The Dual Light source can deliver equal Red/Green and Blue light which is difficult/impossible to achieve with other RGB LED or RGB Laser projectors. However due to the firmware update, this picture quality benefit is no longer visible right out of the box.

You now must go into the menu and make a setting change (engage High Color Accuracy) to achieve the amazing picture quality that the Horizon Ultra is capable of. While is only take a few second, it is a hassle.

To satisfy video enthusiasts and reviewers, it would be great if XGIMI included one preset picture mode that delivers maximum color accuracy (CUSTOM with High Color Accuracy defaulted ON).

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While the Horizon Ultra offers outstanding picture quality for its price point, there are some reasons why you may step up and spend a little bit more money. More expensive home theater projectors offer dynamic tone mapping, which improves the picture quality of HDR content.

The Horizon Ultra is equipped with an automatic iris that improves the unit's black level when viewed in a darker environment while maximizing the projector’s brightness in rooms with ambient light when the black level is not as important. However, the Horizon Ultra cannot match the native contrast and deep black levels of more expensive 3LCD & LCOS-based projectors.

The Horizon Ultra is the best projector I have reviewed from XGIMI. It is feature-packed (optical zoom, Iris, Hybrid Laser-LED light source) so it is an amazing value. I believe that the Horizon Ultra is arguably the best sub-$2000 projector on the market today.


  • Dual light (RGBB LED + red laser) source delivers a bright image with accurate color.
  • First standard throw Home Theater to support Dolby Vision
  • High Color Accuracy feature delivers class leading color reproduction.
  • 2300 ISO Lumens of brightness
  • Optical Lens Zoom
  • Dynamic Iris maximizes the projector’s contrast in bright and dark rooms.
  • ISA 3.0 Wall Color adaption automatically adjusts color reproduction based on wall color
  • Quick and effective auto keystone and autofocus
  • Android TV 11 supports voice control and the most popular streaming services.
  • Low game lag (18ms @ 4K60fps)
  • Good built-in sound system
  • Compact and stylish design


  • Side Loaded Netflix app only supports up to 1080p SDR
  • The remote control is not backlit


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Full Specifications
Projector ModelHorizon Ultra
Imager TypeDLP (0.47” DMD) with XPR
Displayed Resolution3840 x 2160 pixels (4K e-shift)
Native Resolution1920 x 1080 pixels
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim)2300 ISO lumens
Light Source TypeDual Light (RGBB LED + red laser)
Light Source Life25,000 hours (ECO)
Contrast Rationot listed
Zoom Lens Ratio1.25:1 
Power Zoom/FocusYes
Lens ShiftNo
Interchangeable LensNo
Ultra-Short ThrowYes
Native Aspect Ratio16x9
Blu-Ray 3DYes
Speakers2 x 12 watts Harmon Kardon
Noise Level (-dB)28 dB (Eco)
Low Lag GamingYes
Smart FunctionalityYes
Special FeaturesDolby Vision, Dynamic Iris, Auto keystone/focus
Dimensions (HxWxD)8.8” x 6.7” x 10.4” (265 x 224 x 170mm)
Weight11.5 (5.2kg)
Warranty1 years

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