XGIMI H1 pico projector review

by Jane on February 17, 2017

Upon release of the XGIMI H1 pico projector we were skeptical but also very interested in learning more and maybe ultimately testing this 1080p resolution pico projector for ourselves.

Before going any further into this review let’s get back to why were felt a little skeptical when we first saw this model on the market, more than one reason existed.

First, a 1080p high definition resolution pico projector is sort the holy grail in the home movie industry but we had never heard of the XGIMI company.

Second, after researching the company name we found it was based in China. So never having heard of the company, in addition to the company being based in China we were a little hesitant to spending our money to buy this model.

See Amazon Customer Reviews and Price

However, with further research we learned XGIMI is one of the most popular pico projector companies in China and its partnership with the very trusted Harmon Kardon company for audio we felt a lot safer going ahead with our purchase of the XGIMI H1 pico projector for this review.

Then, we also came across this video showing the picture quality of this pico projector which further reinforced our belief that we needed to take this model serious.

The Specifications and Connectivity

Specifications

The dimensions and weight of this product: 7.9 x 7.9 x 4.7 inches and 4.6 lbs.

  • Native 1080p high definition resolution (supports content at 1080p, 2K and 4K resolutions)
  • Supports 2D and 3D movies and games
  • 900 Lumen ANSI brightness
  • Harmon Kardon Audio system 45mm dual subwoofer speakers
  • Android 5.1 Operating System
  • Contrast Ratio 10,000:1
  • Lens type High Light transmission coated lens
  • Optical Zoom 1.1x
  • 1.75 GHZ core processor
  • Mali-T760 MP4 mobile graphics chip
  • Mstar 6A928 TV chip
  • Cortex A17 structure
  • HEVC/H.265 form 60fps
  • 3 GB RAM
  • WIFI and HotSpot enabled connections
  • Bluetooth 4.0 BLE
  • Keystone correction vertical and horizontal

See Amazon Customer Reviews and Price

Inputs/Output

  • Power Jack
  • HDMI 1
  • HDMI 2
  • USB 2.0
  • USB 3.0
  • 3.5mm speaker jack
  • Ethernet port
  • Optical fiber port

Review and Performance Assessment

As you can see from the specifications and connectivity (inputs/outputs) there is a lot to review on the XGIMI pico projector. We will try keeping this review compact and mention what we think are the most important aspects of its perform.

First we want to say, the picture and sound quality is very good and are tempted to say this little pj would given even more much more expensive projectors a run for their money in picture and sound. However, this is not to say there are not things to be critical of.

Review of the XGIMI H1

It arrived at my doorstep in a nice company branded package. I only mention this because I initially had many doubts about buying this product  from an overseas company in China. I didn’t know what to expect. Upon opening the box the projector looked fantastic.

A good solid build. Light but a good balance weight in my hand and it was small. It fit nicely on 12 inch deep shelf in my basement with room to spare.

Before ever powering it up, I started clicking the buttons, there was a nice sound and feel as a clicked down on each button. Overall, I was impressed with the XGIMI H1 projector out of the box.

One slight negative we will mention. We were less than impressed with the remote control included. Since we are mostly always unimpressed with remote controls, you can take this negativity with a grain of salt. It felt cheap holding it, the buttons also seem a tad unresponsive.

Was it hard to set up

As we mentioned above, the small size makes it very portable. Easily moved or taken outside for movies. Small and lightweight are important if you plan to move a projector around a lot another important factor to consider is how easy is it to configure the image to the screen (some are easier) after you move it to another
room or take it outside for movies.

This XGIMI H1 pico projector provides both vertical and horizontal keystone correction to set up the image. To use these corrections you will need to go into the menu with the remote control.

While compared to the majority of people, I do probably have more experience configuring images to a screen or area, nonetheless, I do feel the vertical and  horizontal correction controls are fairly instinctive and easy to use.

However, one thing you should be aware of. If for some reason you plan to set the projector offset to the screen, while you will still be able to configure the image to the screen the outline of the entire image will not be a perfect rectangle as you would get if it was sitting head-on to the screen.

This annoyance is not specific to the XGIMI H1 and occurs with all projectors using keystone correction for configuration.

Overall, setting the projector up for the first time was easy and fast.

Opinion on image quality

Resolution. The first time seeing this pico projector advertised from China as 1080p high defintion we had our doubts. After using it we can say without a doubt this is a 1080p native resolution pico projector.

Overall, the image quality was good and surpassed our expectations. We began projecting the image on colored wallpaper (light yellow), then onto a basement wall  painted white and finally onto a HD projector screen. As expected, the image quality improved as we went from wallpaper to the HD screen.

I don’t know what you plan to use as your screen. The image still did look good even when projected onto the colored wallpaper. We will say image quality improves and depends on the material you project the image onto. If you can not afford to buy a high quality screen or invest in specialized paint then we would recommend a wall painted with
non gloss eggshell white paint an inexpensive alternative.

Brightness. The XGIMI h1 is a projector with a LED light source. Compared to a traditional bulb the LED works completely different. We bring this up in case you have look at the specifications and seen this model only provides 900 lumens of brightness output. You may have looked at others projectors and seen they provide 2000 or more lumens of brightness.

Most of these higher lumen projectors will be using a traditional bulb as a light source, as mentioned above the newer LED light source works different this makes comparing lumen ratings of traditional bulb vs LED like comparing apples to oranges.

Overall, the XGIMI H1 provides a good level of brightness. While we wouldn’t recommend this model to a person who wants to view movies and other content during the daytime with light streaming in from windows but there are very few projectors we would recommend for this type of use. It will work well in a dimly light room and better in a dark room at night. If you want to use it during the daytime, pull the shades and turn off the room lights.

Colors. Out of the box using the factory settings the colors are a bit oversaturated. Who knows maybe you will like how the colors are set out of the box. If not, there is also the option to adjust the color settings within the menu.

Sound. Besides the 1080p resolution the sound is the best reason to buy the H1. The high quality of sound would be ideal for a person who wants a portable projector and won’t be able to rely on hooking up an external audio source.

The only negative we can say about the sound is it doesn’t allow bass and treble adjustments. The sound is a bit on the bassy side, if you stream music on sites like Spotify the quality is good, the quality and volume is good for home movies as well.

What we will say, if you are a person who plans to watch a lot of narratives, for example, documentaries the bass driven sound is not optimal for this.

Biggest complaint – NetFlix App

If you have read over the sales page at the XGIMI website it seems to promote the H1 projector as a wireless, plug and play experience. I loved the idea of taking this projector with me and being able to use the NetFlix app to view HD content. After all, this is a 1080p projector.

However, to my disappointment I was not able to stream content through the NetFlix app at 1080p resolution, instead it was played at the lower 720p resolution. I could find no solution to this. I tried connecting my my iPad that has Airplay 2 and I tried using my iPhone, both can play NetFlix at 1080p but no dice, the resolution projected was still 720p.

I was confused why I could not play Netflix at 1080p. After a little research, I realized since the XGIMI H1 runs off of an Android operating system this was the reason why I couldn’t stream 1080p through Netflix.

Don’t misunderstand, this is a 1080p projector, you could hook up a blu-ray play, a DVD, Apple TV etc and play content in 1080p resolution but you can not STREAM video in 1080p through the Netflix app.

But the let down to me, the need to plug these other devices into the projector in order to get 1080p completely cuts down on its portability. 720p resolution is not bad but the way I interpreted the advertising message of this projector is that I could take it on the road with me and view HD content through its onboard Netflix app.

The Verdict

If you want a small projector capable of producing 1080p resolution, at the time we wrote this review in 2017, in our opinion the XGIMI H1 pico projector is one of the top choices. Another suggestion would be the LG 1500. Its hard for us to say which one is the best choice, they are nearly equals in many categories but both models also prevail in other specifications.

The LG 1500 has slightly better colors, has better contrast but the XGIMI H1 has better sound quality it is also a faster projector, making it better for view sports, high action films and gaming.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Laurent February 27, 2017 at 7:31 am

Hi there!

I have also bought the H1, I’ve been using it for more than 2 months now. I really share the same thought, premium package, nice picture quality, … etc … I’ve got a friend with a 2000 lumens projector and it doesn’t beat the H1 with its 900 lumens.

Did you manage to make the amazon prime app work? I can access the app but streaming doesn’t work.

I posted a test on my blog: http://www.laurentwillen.be/en/test-reviews/xgimi-h1-test-review-after-one-month/

Laurent

Reply

Jane February 28, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Hi Laurent, thanks for the comment and the link to your review. I have not tried the amazon prime app since I am no longer a prime member. I read the information you provided on your site on the H1. Good information, includes some things I didn’t cover. Thanks, hope we can speak again on related subjects.

Reply

Barry March 1, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Hi I have been doing some research on this projector as i plan to buy it in the future and this is what I have learned. Apparently the Chinese version which was the only one available at launch is not compatible with a lot of the apps like Netflix . However the international version is supposed to be compatible with all the Play store apps as well as having the right power cord if I am remembering correctly.

Reply

Jane March 2, 2017 at 12:02 pm

Thanks for that bit of information. If what you say is true, since I purchased my H1 projector in the first month it was on the market there is a good chance I have the Chinese. I need to check into this. Thank you.

Reply

rocklee March 19, 2017 at 10:12 am

Hi Jane,

Nice review. If you have the chinese version then you might have the 1000 lumens version with more contrast. The Netflix “bug” may have a fix here:

https://forum.xda-developers.com/android/apps-games/netflix-hd-ultrahd-ultrahd-dolby-5-1-l1-t3535349

Also, I’m not sure if the LG that you mentioned has better colors and contrast as test have shown that the H1 was better than either the PF1000 or the PF1000, despite the LG having supposedly better numbers on paper. Apparently XGIMI underrated the H1 spec-wise that it’s hard to believe that it’s only 900 lumens with only a 10,000:1 contrast ratio.

Reply

Jane March 19, 2017 at 11:13 pm

Hey Rocklee thanks! And thanks for the link to the NetFlix bug fix. That review took me so long to write. Another person also mentioned the XGIMI H1 had better colors. Maybe it’s just the room environment I had it in or my personal preference. Thanks again!

Reply

rocklee March 30, 2017 at 1:33 am

No problem, since you’re an owner you can also check out my review for hints and tips on the H1:

http://www.avsforum.com/forum/68-digital-projectors-under-3-000-usd-msrp/2787913-official-xgimi-owners-thread-h1-review-h1-cc-z4-aurora-etc.html

It might prove useful.

Reply

Jane March 30, 2017 at 1:13 pm

Great review on AVS, Rocklee. I am a member there, look forward to maybe talking to you on that forum in the future.

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James April 6, 2017 at 11:00 am

I also have the H1 and have spent a lot of time adjusting the picture to get it perfect. I used Disney’s WOW HD calibration Blu-ray to set a contrast, brightness and saturation reference point and this has made a big difference. The first thing that was apparent is that the output from my Blu-ray player was too bright to the point that the contrast bands on the calibration disc were completely white, whether I had the projector contrast and brightness set to 0 or 100. Once the output of the Blu-ray player was adjusted things looked much more natural. Interestingly, with KODI I can bypass the hardware overlay and I thought the natural picture looked fantastic. It’s a shame there is no way to do this for Blu-ray playback and other apps. On the topic of Netflix, the 720p limitation is imposed by Netflix themselves. The devices that will display 1080p are still severely limited. Netflix argue it is for compatibility reasons but in reality it is almost certainly for bandwidth management purposes.

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Jane April 6, 2017 at 10:17 pm

James thanks for the useful information.

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Sebastián June 28, 2017 at 2:53 pm

Hi, I’m interested in one of this new projector, I also so a new one, Aurora with 1000 lumens at Amazon, I pretend to but it when I travel to USA.

But I have a doubt, since it has bluetooth, is it possible to connect it to other bluetooth speakers to make a very nice sound system, like the bose speakers?

Reply

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