XGIMI is a rising brand in the projector category, and the Chinese manufacturer has a decent selection of products across various price tiers. These include portable projectors with a built-in battery, high-end 4K projectors, and more recently, ultra short throw (UST) options.
I used the Horizon Pro 4K and the portable Halo+ last year, but it is the Aura UST projector that I continue to use on a daily basis. XGIMI is focused on North America and Europe as that's where most of the action is in this segment, but the brand has an official presence in India, and I interacted with Sushil Motwani, XGIMI's official India representative, to get a better sense of its strategy and broader goals for the country.
Motwani started off by talking about the inherent changes in this category over the last two years, with customers more inclined to buy projectors that don't require much in the way of installation. "People are no longer interested in the cumbersome process of putting the projector on the ceiling, fixing the wiring, especially when simpler, plug-and-play options are available." He also noted that there's a distinct preference for LED projectors over their "boxy, heavy predecessors."
Motwani points to 2022 as being a landmark year for XGIMI not just in India but also globally, and that's understandable considering the portfolio of devices the brand has launched over the last 18 months. As for the India journey, Motwani said, "We have grown enormously despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. During the lockdown, we reached out to people via social media and because they could not enjoy the big screen experience, they connected instantly with our messaging."
"Apart from being able to enjoy an immersive movie experience at home, they also really appreciated the convenience offered by our products. They loved that now they could just switch on the projector, connect it to the Wi-Fi, download the application, log into the account and start watching videos on a 100-inch screen in less than 2 minutes. This has, as I said before, revolutionized the way people watch television and consume OTT content."
XGIMI isn't the largest player in the projector segment in India; that honor goes to Epson, which has a market share of over 25%. With XGIMI focused on the direct-to-consumer category, Motwani says that the brand is going to build flagship stores in key cities to drive sales interest. "We are working on a plan to launch multiple, smart flagship stores and kiosks (in malls) to help boost sales all across India. We are eagerly looking forward to rolling out these plans once the current surge in the pandemic subsides. Our target markets will be Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Delhi, Chennai, and cities in Kerala."
As for product differentiation, Motwani says that XGIMI is set to introduce a portable laser projector with 4K and Android TV. The brand's latest launch in this category — Halo+ — goes up to 1080p, and while Motwani didn't share any further details about the upcoming product, it will be interesting to see how the brand handles battery life on a portable 4K projector.
It's not just the portable projector category the brand is focusing on in India. The flagship Aura UST projector went on sale in the country a few months ago for ₹350,000 ($4,475), and Motwani says that there's a growing interest in UST projectors from consumers looking to set up a home theater as an alternative to the best Android TVs. "Today, if buyers are given an option of choosing between a big-screen television or an Ultra Short Throw with an ALR screen, they will opt for the latter if it costs almost as much as the former."
XGIMI is ideally poised in the Indian market, and while the portable projector category will be a key area of focus for the brand, it's good to see that the manufacturer isn't shying away from introducing its flagship products. There's a distinct lack of UST projectors — Motwani notes that there are only five brands in this segment — and it's good to see the Aura officially available in the country.
With 900 lumen brightness, auto keystone correction, and powerful onboard sound, the Halo ticks all the right boxes. Throw in Android TV and a built-in battery that lasts over two hours, and it is a great all-round option.
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Harish Jonnalagadda is a Senior Editor overseeing Asia at Android Central. He leads the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, contributing to reviews, features, and buying guides. He also writes about storage servers, audio products, and the semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.