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XGIMI Elfin in the test - compact 1080p projector without (many) compromises!

Test report created by Timo A. on May 10, 2022

The XGIMI Elfin is a midget among home projectors that has a few surprises in store with native FHD resolution, 800 ANSI lumens, Sound by Harman Kardon and Android TV OS. Square, practical, but also good? Let's find out in this test!

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8.8
Our rating
649 € amazon
Price Comparison
Specifications
Overview
Manufacturer

XGIMI

Model

XGIMI Elfin

Specifications

 General 
Type: DLP
Chip: 0.33" DMD 1080p

Light source technology: LED
Brightness: 600 - 800 ANSI lumens

MEMC: Yes
Keystone Correction: Automatic, Vertical and Horizontal
Focus: Auto Focus
3D support: Yes
HDR: HDR10

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Picture format: 16: 9 (4: 3)
Projection size: up to 200"
Projection Ratio: 1.2: 1
Contrast Ratio: 1000: 1

 Connections 
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB 2.0
1x 3.5mm audio
1x DC

 other 
Speakers: 2x 3W Harman Kardon
Audio: DOLBY, DTS
Smart TV: Android TV with Chromecast
WiFi: Yes (2.4/5GHz)
Bluetooth: Yes, (5.0)

Lamp life:> 30.000 hours
Power consumption: 65W
Size: 192.1 194.19 x x 48.31 mm
Weight: 0,9 kg

What's in the box

1x XGIMI Elfin
1x power adapter (19V 3.42A)
1x cold device cable
1x remote control
1x User's Guide

Review: XGIMI Elfin

Offer (May 10, 2022)

The XGIMI Elfin has reached a new milestone and celebrates 1 million copies sold. Appropriately, the compact Elfin projector is available on Amazon and only from May 09th to 15th at a greatly reduced price for only 534 euros.

Offer on Amazon

 Keep an eye out when buying a projector! The market for inexpensive models that promise outstanding image quality with brightness beyond the 100 lumen mark for just a few 5000 euros is literally crammed. The disillusionment comes as soon as you switch it on for the first time, because the picture is usually not as great as promised.

XGIMI Elfin front with lens and ToF sensor.

The XGIMI Elfin from the front.

On the other hand, the home cinema projectors from the Chinese company XGIMI, which has existed since 2013 and has now also arrived in Europe, have received a particularly positive response. XGIMI gained notoriety above all in the field of portable mini projectors such as the recently released XGIMI Elfin (RRP 649 euros).

Design, workmanship and delivery

When I first saw the XGIMI Elfin, I was very impressed by the form factor. Although I had already tested a few mini projectors, the Elfin was in a different league.

XGIMI packed all the hardware into a 192.1 x 194.19 x 48.31 mm plastic case. Due to the matt white color, the rounded corners of the housing and the lens hidden on the edge, the Elfin is more reminiscent of a chic streaming box than a projector.

Comparison of the XGIMI Elfin with the size of a DIN A4 sheet.

In a direct comparison with a DIN A4 sheet, the projector fits in without any problems. The height of less than 5 cm is also remarkable, because with many compact projectors it is usually the case that the loudspeakers and the projection hardware including cooling are built upwards. Due to the flat form factor and the light weight of 900g, the projector can be easily stowed in bags and backpacks.

The portable aspect also plays a decisive role with the XGIMI Elfin and enables a wide range of possible uses in addition to stationary home cinema projection. To show the grandparents the vacation photos, to take the projector to friends to play games or watch films, to give a presentation at university, school or at work or to watch a garden cinema on a cozy summer evening are just a few of the possibilities that the compact form factor offers to realize.

XGIMI Elfin connectivity options.

The connection options of the XGIMI Elfin are on the back.

The connection options are manageable, but are sufficient for those of a portable mini projector. There is an HDMI 2.0 input, a USB-A connection option for USB input devices or storage media, a 3.5 mm headphone output and a DC input for the power supply.

The XGIMI Elfin is equipped with a tripod thread on the underside. This is extremely practical, because the projector can be ideally aligned and balanced with a tripod or hung upside down on the appropriate bracket. However, a tripod or bracket is not necessary. You can also simply place the Elfin on a flat surface. Rubber feet ensure a secure footing. The Elfin masters focus and keystone correction fully automatically without any action. More on that later.

XGIMI Elfin underside with tripod thread.

There is a tripod thread in the middle on the underside.

There is nothing wrong with the processing quality. Despite all the plastic, it's great! In addition to the projector, the scope of delivery also includes the appropriate power supply unit (19V 3.42A) including an IEC cable, the remote control and the user manual. The two AAA batteries required for the remote control are missing. A matching transport bag would have been a desirable addition (considering the price).

XGIMI Elfin scope of delivery

This is the entire scope of delivery of the XGIMI Elfin.

Hardware

It continues to be exciting with the inner workings of the XGIMI Elfin. The projection technique is DLP with a 0,33″ DMD chip from Texas Instruments. The native resolution is 1080p, but extrapolated up to 4K are possible. The little elf also supports the display of 3D and HDR10 content.

XGIMI Elfin Hardware Specifications

The LED light source brings up to 800 ANSI lumens of brightness to the screen. A special blue light filter reduces exposure to blue light, which has been proven to damage the eyes. XGIMI specifies the lifespan of the LED as up to 30.000 hours. If you let the projector run for 8 hours every day, you would get a service life of more than 10 years.

The projector already has the "Smart TV" installed. Here XGIMI relies on an Android TV 10 user interface with integrated Chromecast technology. XGIMI does not provide any information about the processor. Only RAM and data storage are known with 2GB and 16GB. More on how smoothly the system runs below.

In addition to the wired connection options, wireless connections can be established with dual-band WiFi (AC) and Bluetooth 5.0 (BLE).

Commissioning and operation

commissioning

There is not that much to say about the "Startup" section, because the XGIMI Elfin is one of the most beginner-friendly devices that I have ever come across. Set up the projector, connect the power supply and switch it on. The elf does the rest on her own.

After each switch-on, the focus is automatically adjusted to the projection surface with the help of a depth sensor. This can be a screen or a conventional wall. The same applies to the keystone correction (horizontal and vertical), which automatically compensates for image distortions. 

XGIMI Elfin keystone correction.

Manual keystone correction is done at four points.

In the test, both worked largely reliably. The image was always sharp and I rarely had to manually correct the keystone, although the projector was also aligned with a slight misalignment. You should make sure that the elf is standing as straight as possible when you put it down. If there is an object in the picture, such as a light switch or a plant, then the XGIMI Elfin is smart enough to avoid the object by adjusting the picture size.

Worth mentioning is the tiny switch on the remote control, which can be used to change the volume buttons into manual focus buttons. With a projection ratio of 1.2:1, the following image sizes are possible by distance:

 distance (meters)   Projection size (inches) 
1,87 m 70"
2,10 m 80"
2,40 m 90"
2,67 m 100"
3,20 m 120"

According to XGIMI, the maximum image size is 200″. However, not much brightness then reaches the screen, which is why I recommend a maximum projection size of 120″. About 90″ is ideal.

Service

The projector itself has no control panel. All the settings and corrections you want to make are done via the Bluetooth remote control. The OSD (On-Screen-Display) sometimes looks a bit nested. Within the Android TV settings, for example, there is the "Projection settings" item, which includes setting options for brightness, keystone correction, image sharpness, projector placement and connections.

XGIMI Elfin remote control.

This is what the small Bluetooth remote control of the XGIMI Elfin looks like.

The so-called "link settings" can only be called up via the Settings button on the remote control. The settings for keystone correction are listed there again. However, there are also setting options for the picture mode, the sound and the 3D video setup.

The picture mode includes the preset profiles "Movie", "Football", "Office" and "Game". Under "Custom" you can make your own settings for the image. Brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, noise reduction and color temperature can be adjusted. The color temperature also has a user-defined mode in which red, green and blue values ​​can be set individually. In addition, there are advanced settings for local contrast, HDR and motion compensation.

Practical test: home cinema suitability

picture quality

One of the most important points is the image quality and here the XGIMI Elfin cuts a really good figure. In the test, I projected the Elfin onto a low-gain screen and a white wall.

XGIMI Elfin projection by day.

On the low-gain screen, the image impresses with rich colors and high contrast. As the name suggests, the "Movie" picture mode is ideal for watching movies. Colors look natural and warm. Local Contrast (Off, Low, Medium or Strong), HDR (Off or Auto) and Motion Compensation (Off, Low, Medium or Strong) are adjustable for fine tuning in this mode.

XGIMI Elfin Daytime image quality.

The brightness of the XGIMI Elfin is sufficient to project a viewable 90″ image even in daylight. The different brightness modes affect brightness and color. Performance mode is the brightest mode, with a measured 700 ANSI lumens hitting the screen. However, this mode also has a strong green cast. Eye protection mode is the weakest mode with 300 ANSI lumens of brightness. Here the image is particularly warm and characterized by a visibly increased red component. The "Bright" mode draws the image more bluish and "Standard" is the most natural mode. There is no ECO mode. 

XGIMI Elfin projection in the dark (1)

The image sharpness is pleasantly evenly distributed over the entire image and does not visibly decrease towards the edges. Small fonts are easy to read. A pixel grid cannot be seen from a normal seat distance. Irregularities in the brightness distribution were also not noticed.

XGIMI Elfin projection in the dark (2)

The MEMC (Motion Compensation) is also doing well. Artifacts and loss of detail can occur depending on the scene, but these are not serious. The Elfin gets along well with HDR10+ content. HDR content played in the test shows much crisper colors with a better depth effect and visibly more brightness nuances.

Audio

The "Sound by Harman Kardon" speaker system with the two 3 watt speakers delivers a sound that is comparable to a small Bluetooth speaker. The sound is clear and the volume reaches very high without becoming distorted or shrill. The sound is completely sufficient to watch a film with it.

What the sound is lacking are the depths. Don't expect rich bass here. External speakers or soundbars can be connected via a 3.5 mm jack or HDMI ARC.

XGIMI Elfin projection in the dark (3)

Settings for the sound are possible. Here you can choose from the sound profiles "Movie", "Music" and "Sport", select DTS Studio Sound and activate the volume balance. By the way, the XGIMI Elfin is compatible with DTS and Dolby Audio!

Operation Volume

The operating volume varies depending on the operating mode. In "Movie" mode and "Standard" brightness, the volume that can be measured from 2 meters is almost 30 dB. You can hear a slight humming from the fan, but that doesn't distract you when watching a film and you quickly fade it out. The fan turns a bit louder at the highest brightness level. Here the Elfin reaches about 37 dB, which I did not find disturbing.

Android TV 10

With Android TV 10, the XGIMI Elfin actually offers one of the best smart TV interfaces on the market. However, the emphasis is on the word "actually" because there is a problem.

XGIMI Elfin Android TV 10 user interface

YouTube with 4K and HDR, Amazon Prime Video and many other streaming apps run smoothly on the Elfin's Android TV. The Chromecast integration also works well so far and allows streaming from desktop and mobile devices directly to the Elfin.

However, what did not want to work in the test is Netflix. As soon as you start the app, the warning "This device is not optimized for Netflix (-14)" appears. After confirming with "OK", Netflix starts and you can also log in with your account without any problems. The previews load, but if you want to start a film or series, you get the error "Sorry, your account cannot be used on this device." Running Netflix via the Chromecast integration also fails.

XGIMI Elfin Widevine L1 DRM review.

 Workarounds to still be able to install Netflix and run it can be found online. Alternatively, you can also connect a Netflix-compatible streaming stick. However, it would be better if XGIMI got the Netflix problem under control. After all, the projector already has a reasonably smoothly running Android TV installed. A look at the DRM compatibility also reveals that the Elfin supports the Widevine DRM required for Netflix even in L1 (FHD, 4K) without any problems.

Gaming and 3D

The XGIMI Elfin has its own gaming mode, which can only be activated when the source is connected. You have the choice between "Standard" and "Boost". The latter is supposed to significantly reduce the input lag in games, but it also deactivates functions such as the automatic keystone correction.

XGIMI Elfin lens

For the gaming test, friends and I grabbed a PS5 and played a round of Fifa in 4K60 via the projector. Neither experienced a significant input lag that would make it impossible to use the Elfin for gaming. Highly recommended as a compact gaming projector for on the go!

The XGIMI Elfin also supports the playback of 3D content. Compatible active shutter glasses are available in the XGIMI shop for just under €30 (Link) available.

Price Comparison

iconGerman warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
649,00€
iconEuropean warehouse
iconDelivery time 2-5 business days
649,00€
Rating
Positive

Very compact design
Good workmanship
Flexible positioning
Easy commissioning
Automatic keystone correction and focus
Long lamp life
Color rendering, brightness, image sharpness
Quiet operation
Good speaker system
Android TV with Chromecast

Negative

Few accessories included (carrying bag?)
Manageable connection options
No control panel
Netflix only works with a workaround

Summary

If you are looking for a compact projector to show your grandparents your holiday photos on a large screen, or to watch football with friends in the garden on a warm summer evening, the XGIMI Elfin is the right choice.

The projector is not a bargain in terms of price, but it is very easy to use thanks to automatic focus and automatic keystone correction, really good image quality with native 1080p resolution, high brightness and HDR, as well as an integrated Android TV streaming box with Chromecast function gives a point of criticism.

Unfortunately, Netflix is ​​not natively supported on the Elfin. Other streaming apps, on the other hand, work without any problems. If you still want to run Netflix on the projector's Android TV, you have to try one of the workarounds on the internet. Alternatively, a separate streaming source can be connected via HDMI. But there is only one HDMI input!

8.8
Our rating
author

Launched the website techreviewer.de in 2016 and has been an active editor of news and test reports in all areas of technology ever since.

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Overview
Manufacturer

XGIMI

Model

XGIMI Elfin

Specifications

 General 
Type: DLP
Chip: 0.33" DMD 1080p

Light source technology: LED
Brightness: 600 - 800 ANSI lumens

MEMC: Yes
Keystone Correction: Automatic, Vertical and Horizontal
Focus: Auto Focus
3D support: Yes
HDR: HDR10

Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
Picture format: 16: 9 (4: 3)
Projection size: up to 200"
Projection Ratio: 1.2: 1
Contrast Ratio: 1000: 1

 Connections 
1x HDMI 2.0
1x USB 2.0
1x 3.5mm audio
1x DC

 other 
Speakers: 2x 3W Harman Kardon
Audio: DOLBY, DTS
Smart TV: Android TV with Chromecast
WiFi: Yes (2.4/5GHz)
Bluetooth: Yes, (5.0)

Lamp life:> 30.000 hours
Power consumption: 65W
Size: 192.1 194.19 x x 48.31 mm
Weight: 0,9 kg

What's in the box

1x XGIMI Elfin
1x power adapter (19V 3.42A)
1x cold device cable
1x remote control
1x User's Guide

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