If you are the nomadic type or someone who is rarely far from a television, then you probably consume media on a handheld rectangle with lousy speakers and a small screen that is difficult to share. I’m here to tell you there is a better way.
Not only does the new MoGo 2 Pro smart projector from Xgimi run Android TV version 11.0 to stream all your favorite videos over fast Wi-Fi but it also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker when you turn it off the reasonable LED light (and fan). It has everything you need inside a tiny little beamer – everything except a battery that you have to supply separately for real convenience.
I’ve been living with a MoGo 2 Pro for the past month, using the little guy in a campervan around Europe, in a tiny off-grid house in a swamp, and in a surf shack buffeted by the North Sea winds. In all cases, it has proven itself to be a versatile all-in-one source of shareable entertainment that rarely disappoints.
One of the best things about the MoGo 2 Pro is how easy it is to set up, both the first time and every time you want to use it.
The MoGo 2 Pro supports Android Quick Start, which makes it dead simple to copy my Google account and Wi-Fi settings from my Android phone. Android TV makes it easy to log into each of my streaming services by offering QR codes that can be easily verified on my Android phone without having to type in a bunch of passwords .
I’m glad the initial setup was easy because I had to factory reset the MoGo 2 Pro once after upgrading to firmware version 2.8.147. It took about 10 minutes to go from factory settings to entering my credentials into six media services. Netflix must be installed through a workaround because the media giant only officially support some projectors. While it is relatively easy to do the simple hack, most people are not comfortable installing the app from outside the Google Play Store. There is also the option to cast Netflix from your phone as the projector has Chromecast built-in.
Xgimi’s small projector is otherwise completely stable, when running, because the UX always sticks to the Bluetooth remote control. But it’s not often I find a $500-ish projector with a fast interface.
Under normal use, the MoGo 2 Pro starts up in less than five seconds from standby. But reattach the power source, and it boots from zero to Android TV in about 50 seconds, then takes another 10 seconds or so to do all the automated screen adjustments (which can be disabled if desired you).
The MoGo 2 Pro has a built-in time-of-flight sensor that can find a flat, unobstructed surface to project the image on. It then automatically focuses the image and corrects the keystone to create a properly aligned rectangle. It’s not perfect, but it usually finds the face I’m aiming for, with a smaller image than I’d like. Fortunately, Xgimi gives you the option to quickly jump into manual adjustment mode to fine-tune the display if you want – no hunting through menus.
While Xgimi’s second-generation screen adaptation tech isn’t as good as the marketing promotions suggest, it’s an improvement over the previous version. It was so useful on the MoGo 2 Pro that I ticked the setting to automatically adjust the keystone every time the device is moved – and I did. This way, I can avoid laborious manual adjustments and just give the beamer a nudge until it produces the desired results.
The projected image is about what you’d expect in this price range: a modest 400 ANSI lumens spread over a 1920 x 1080 image that looks better at 30 inches (if all that light is concentrated) than 200 inches. And while HDR10 is supported, it serves more as a bullet point on a spec sheet than anything else you’ll notice at a glance.
If you’re not too fussy, you can watch some casual YouTube videos in a room full of ambient light, but the MoGo The 2 Pro looks best in the darkest room possible. Only then will you see the bright, rich, and crisp image that Xgimi’s latest portable projector can produce.
Here’s how it looks in medium to low light:
To use as a Bluetooth speaker, it is better to first hold down the power button on the remote control and select “Display Off” to turn off the lamp and fan. Then, it sits quietly waiting for a Bluetooth connection to transform the projection box into a passable speaker for music with balanced sound from a pair of 8W side-firing speaker drivers.
For its size, the expected image and sound produced are quite good. I was impressed.
The MoGo 2 Pro always boots in Eco Mode (less bright, less power), which can be annoying if you’re always near a power socket. When connected to a 10,000mAh (40Wh) battery, the MoGo 2 Pro was able to boot up the projector and play for the first 40 minutes of BABYLON when set to “bright” and “movie” presets. When connected to a power meter, I found that the power draw averaged around 40W in Eco mode, rising to around 48W on average with Eco mode turned off. Xgimi lists the required power for the MoGo 2 Pro at 65W.
I find it strange that a projector designed for all-in-one portability doesn’t have any onboard controls beyond a simple power button. More than once, I’ve misplaced the Bluetooth remote, requiring me to pull out my Apple or Android device to launch the remote control in the Google Home app. It works well, but I’m usually sitting so close to the MoGo 2 Pro that the built-in playback and volume controls are easier.
Photographer Chase Jarvis is credited with saying “the best camera is the one you have,” a sentiment that can be applied to displays, speakers, and media streamers. The MoGo 2 Pro might not be the brightest video projector, best-sounding Bluetooth speaker, or most powerful media streamer, but it’s small and compact enough to slip into your luggage or backpack to take with you anywhere. you go
Yes, the MoGo 2 Pro ditches the internal battery from the original MoGo Pro in favor of a better speaker. But it can still be powered from a battery pack you may own. For most people, I think Xgimi made the right decision.
At $599 / €599, the Xgimi MoGo 2 Pro undercuts Samsung’s disappointing Freestyle portable projector by nearly $300. The original MoGo Pro was already one of the best portable projectors, and the MoGo 2 Pro is an improvement in almost every way.
Photo by Thomas Ricker / The Verge