It surely goes without saying that the full cinema experience is best enjoyed in a large auditorium with a giant screen to gaze upon – a privilege that has seldom felt so precious as it does now. The return to the cinema after the ordeals of Covid has been a welcome boon to cinephiles everywhere. 

Having said that, the experience of the pandemic has taught us all lessons about how to shape one’s home environment into a space to truly relax, recharge and be entertained. For film fans, however much they like to support their local cinema, that means also wanting the flexibility to enjoy an enthralling movie night at home, whenever the inclination is there. 

This demand has given the home cinema industry a fresh impulse with a small but impressive new wave of home projectors coming onto the market over the past year. We highlight five of the best examples currently giving true cineastes the tools to up their home cinema game – even if they are hoping for ‘blockbuster’ results while on a shoestring ‘indie’ budget.

The Samsung Freestyle

This 4K LED projector has gained a lot of attention since its launch, with customers especially attracted to its lightweight and compact design (marketing code for ‘small’) that makes it an eminently flexible and portable solution for people who want a screen for on the move as well as at home. Projecting an image of up to 100”, its sleek casing is now available in a variety of muted pastel shades, from Blossom Pink to Forest Green and Coyote Beige, as well as the standard white.

Aside from its affordable pricing, the highlight for us is The Freestyle’s swivel design, which brings a whole new meaning to the idea of ‘moving pictures’. Simply by tilting the body of the projector across 180°, users are able to beam its sharp image onto surfaces in front of, behind or even above the device. Gamers, meanwhile, will be excited by the news from this year’s CES in January, revealing that Samsung’s Gaming Hub will be integrated into new 2023 models of The Freestyle.

LG CineBeam HU710PW

If the cylindrical marvel of The Freestyle doesn’t move you, then you might be attracted by the more conventional aesthetic of LG’s popular CineBeam series that shows it’s still hip to be square. The range spans both laser and LED projectors, with entry-level options right up to sophisticated, more advanced models. The projector depicted is the LG HU710PW – a hybrid laser and LED model that is mid-range in terms of price, but well worth that extra investment for what is a bright and undeniably big-screen 4K cinematic experience up to 300”. Another attraction for many will be its relatively easy set-up and smart remote. Well done to LG for recognising that a passion for home cinema doesn’t mean all users are tech experts or eager to waste precious screen time on a complex set-up.

BenQ W1800

The more sharp-tongued projector pundit might pithily observe that this low- to mid-price model is the embodiment of office chic or wonder if it hasn’t already been sitting on a conference table for the past decade or so. Of course, we are far too generous to partake in such mean-spirited barbs. Instead, we will praise this popular Taiwanese brand for a 4K HDR model that delivers a more than solid entry-level home cinema experience with pretty outstanding all-round performance. Plus, did you catch a look at that elegant satin brown finish on the front panel? This is an ideal option for families or those wanting to take a dip into the home cinema waters without spending too much, while also seeking a very respectable quality level.


The XGIMI Halo+ is another lower-priced and ultra-portable option for the kind of film fan who isn’t glued to their sofa or, sorry, their state-of-the-art media room furniture. It’s the type of projector you could set up in any room of your home, or take out onto a balcony or into the backyard for an al fresco movie night. In fact, you could just as easily sling it into a backpack and take it with you to a friend’s place, a party or any kind of outdoor event. The built-in Harman Kardon speaker might only be 5W, but still packs a punch.

If you’re curious about this lesser-known China-based brand, but not quite sure about splashing out on a projector right away, then it might be worth waiting until the XGIMI MoGo2 Pro becomes available later this year. This is the eagerly awaited successor to the (you guessed it) XGIMI MoGo Pro, and the next model in the series has already generated a positive buzz in advance of its launch.

Leica Cine 1 Laser TV

Yes, you saw right: Leica. The German icon of cameras and photographic lenses is launching its very own short-throw laser projector. As surprising as this news might sound to many, it isn’t entirely unexpected and follows an announcement last year that the company would be partnering with Chinese brand Hisense to produce laser TVs.

The Leica Cine Laser is clearly the fruit of that new home entertainment partnership. It is expected to be available from the second quarter of 2023 and will be sold in separate fixed focus 100” and 120” models to remove any loss of quality if users were to adjust the focus themselves. Given Leica’s heritage, customers will be hoping for a new benchmark in quality and definition – and with an expected price tag speculated at close to USD 9,000, they will deserve nothing less. Some will say that such an amount could be invested in a lot of cinema tickets, and they would be right, but the most ardent cinephiles will argue that there is no price that can be put on absolute quality. Some movie masterpieces are worth every bit of their budget and more…

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