If you’re the nomadic type or someone who’s rarely within streaming distance of a TV, you’re probably consuming media on a portable rectangle with lousy speakers and a small, hard-to-share screen. I’m here to tell you that there is a better way.
Not only does Xgimi’s new MoGo 2 Pro smart projector run Android TV version 11.0 to stream all your favorite videos over a fast Wi-Fi connection, it also doubles as a Bluetooth speaker when you turn off the reasonably bright LED lamp (and the fan). It packs everything you need in a small, compact projector – everything except a battery which you have to supply separately for true portability.
I’ve been living with a MoGo 2 Pro for the past month, using the little guy in a motorhome across Europe, in a tiny off-grid house on a soggy lot, and in a surf shack buffeted by the winds of the North Sea. Either way, it’s proven to be an adaptable 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 when you start out and whenever you want to use it.
The MoGo 2 Pro supports Android Quick Start, which made it easy to copy my Google account and Wi-Fi settings from my Android phone. Android TV then made logging into each of my streaming services easier by offering QR codes that can be quickly authenticated by my Android phone without having to type in a bunch of passwords.
I’m glad the initial setup was quick as I had to factory reset the MoGo 2 Pro once after upgrading to firmware version 2.8.147. It takes about 10 minutes to go from factory settings to entering my credentials in six media services. Netflix must be installed via a workaround since the media giant does not officially supports a handful of spotlights. Although it’s relatively easy to perform the simple hack, most people won’t feel comfortable installing the app outside of the Google Play Store. There’s also the option to simply stream Netflix from your phone since the projector has Chromecast built in.
Xgimi’s little projector has also been perfectly stable, if laggy, as the UX often lags on Bluetooth remote presses. But it’s not often that I find a $500 projector with a speedy interface.
Under normal conditions, the MoGo 2 Pro will boot up in less than five seconds from sleep mode. But reattach the power source, and it boots from scratch to Android TV in about 50 seconds, then takes another 10 or so to do all the automated screen adjustments (which can be disabled if you want).
The MoGo 2 Pro has a built-in time-of-flight sensor that can find a flat, unobstructed surface to project the image onto. It then automatically focuses the image and corrects keystone distortion to create a properly aligned rectangle. It’s not perfect, but it usually finds the surface I’m aiming for, only with a smaller image than I want. Fortunately, Xgimi gives you the option to quickly switch to manual adjustment mode to fine-tune the display if you wish – no searching through menus.
Although Xgimi’s second generation screen adaptive technology is not as good as marketing promotions suggest, it is an improvement over the previous version. It was so useful on the MoGo 2 Pro that I checked the setting to automatically adjust the keystone every time the device was moved – and moved it a lot. This way, I was able to skip the tedious manual adjustments and just give the projector a nudge until it produced the desired results.
The projected image is what you’d expect at this price range: a modest 400 ANSI lumens spread across a 1920 x 1080 image that’s better at 30 inches (when all that light is focused) than at 200 inches. And while HDR10 is supported, it serves up more chip on a spec sheet than anything you’ll notice when viewing.
If you’re not too picky, you can casually watch YouTube videos in a room saturated with ambient light, but the MoGo 2 Pro is best seen in the darkest room possible. Only then will you be able to see the bright, rich and crisp image that Xgimi’s latest portable projector is capable of producing.
Here’s what it looks like in medium to low light:
For use as a Bluetooth speaker, it’s best to hold down the power button on the remote and select “Display Off” to turn off the lamp and fan. Then it silently waits for a Bluetooth connection to turn the projection box into a passable speaker for music with balanced sound from a pair of 8W side speakers.
For its size, the image projected and the sound produced are reasonably good. I was impressed.
The MoGo 2 Pro always starts in Eco mode (dimmer, quieter), which can be annoying if you’re always near a power outlet. When connected to a 10,000mAh (40Wh) battery, the MoGo 2 Pro was able to start the projector and play the first 40 minutes of Babylon when set to “bright” and “movie” presets. When connected to a power meter, I could see the average power draw was around 40W in Eco mode, which climbs to around 48W on average with Eco mode off. Xgimi lists the power requirement for the MoGo 2 Pro at 65W.
I find it strange that a projector designed for all-in-one portability has no built-in controls beyond a simple power button. More than once, I’ve misplaced the Bluetooth remote, requiring me to grab my Apple or Android device to launch the remote from the Google Home app. It worked well, but I usually sat so close to the MoGo 2 Pro that the built-in playback and volume controls would have been more convenient.
Photographer Chase Jarvis is credited with saying “the best camera is the one that’s with you”, a sentiment that can be applied to screens, speakers and media streamers. The MoGo 2 Pro might not be the brightest projector, the best Bluetooth speaker, or the most powerful media streamer, but it’s so small and compact you can easily throw it in your luggage or bag. backpack to take it wherever you go.
Yes, the MoGo 2 Pro ditched the internal battery of the original MoGo Pro in favor of a better speaker. But it can still be powered by a battery you may already have. 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.
Photograph by Thomas Ricker/The Verge