Until recently, most portable projectors either ran no software at all, relying on HDMI and USB for input, or offered a regular version of Android that wasn’t suited for TVs or navigation with a remote. Then Anker’s Nebula Capsule II launched with Android TV and the game changed drastically. It was the first projector to provide a seamless experience thanks to an optimized interface made specifically for TVs and official access to the Play Store.
XGIMI, a projector maker, is now dipping its toes in the same market with the new MoGo. With Android TV, Google Assistant, Harman Kardon audio, 210 ANSI Lumens, and an appealing price tag, the MoGo has everything going for it, but you should keep an eye open for a few quirks.
Hardware and design
If your definition of “portable” is something you can slip in a pocket, the MoGo won’t fit that bill. This is a chonky unit that you can only carry in a backpack or large bag. Compared to Anker’s Capsule II, you’re looking at the same height, but a larger square’ish shape, and a heavier (1.98lbs vs 1.5lbs) frame. The added weight might be explained by the Harman Kardon speaker setup and the larger battery. It also lasts longer, roughly 4 hours on a charge.
The unit is wrapped with a silver mesh grille, though the back is made of hard white plastic. That’s where you’ll find the vents, power button, headphone jack, HDMI and USB-A ports, and DC input. This last point is one of the biggest disappointments of the MoGo versus the Capsule II. No one wants to keep or lug around a specific charger for one of their devices, and USB-C would’ve been perfectly capable of powering and filling up the projector.
Left: Cam (for auto-focus) and projection lens. Right: Power button, ports, and ventilation.
On the top, you’ll find the play/pause button, volume controls, and an LED indicator for power and charging status. There’s no D-pad for on-device navigation, so you better not lose the remote or at least make sure you set up the Android TV remote app before. You can also plug a keyboard or mouse in the USB port, but that’s cumbersome.
The bottom has a rubber base and a tripod screw to help you position the projector on a flat surface or anywhere else you prefer. Since the ventilation happens from the back, you’ll find the unit gets warm when laying on a table/bed and projecting to the ceiling. A little tripod or stand to prop it up above the bed will be needed in that case to avoid overheating.
A few things are worth noting on the remote. First is the Assistant button that lets you talk to Google’s digital helper, ask general questions, control your smart home, and also launch apps and play videos on the projector. The input button comes handy when you want to switch to HDMI, and the settings button is there to quickly access image, sound, and projection options. If I didn’t check the manual, I would’ve missed the volume/focus switch at the bottom. It’s the only way you can adjust focus manually if you need to.
The remote uses two AAA batteries and goes to sleep when not in use. USB-C would have been nice here as well, but at least you don’t need to go looking for weird cell batteries when they’re empty.
In the box, you get the MoGo projector, remote, DC charger with three different types of cables (US, EU, UK), and the manual.
Projection, sound, and battery
210 ANSI Lumens don’t disappoint at all in real usage. In a dark room, the projection is bright and vivid. I had no trouble watching movies, YouTube videos, and listening to Spotify in my dark bedroom, with the image projected to the ceiling or an empty wall, or on the almost-dark balcony while using a flat white curtain as a screen. It’s like having a portable version of my Shield TV that I can take anywhere around the house. There was even a time when I watched a 40-minute highlight video of Nadal versus Medvedev’s epic US Open final on a 10ft-wide wall and it felt like the entire room morphed into a tennis court and the players were in front of me. Sure, the low resolution wasn’t ideal at such a large size, but it was still very immersive.
Taking a photo of a playing video projected on a wall is very difficult, so you’ll have to take my word when I say the image is much better than what you see here.
The MoGo automatically focuses each time you move it, so you don’t have to worry about manually adjusting an image. In my experience, it nailed the focus every single time. It also accounts for keystone correction on its own, probably thanks to a gyroscope, so when you tilt it up or down, the angles are automatically adjusted to give you as straight of an image as possible. There’s a side projection mode too, that lets you straighten the image even if you place the projector in the corner of a room. You can still manually fine-tune things, but I found that unnecessary most of the time.
Sound is great. In a calm room, I had no issues listening to music and watching videos. The portable form factor means you don’t get the same effect as a proper speaker setup, but it’s more than enough considering the convenience.
According to the spec sheet, the MoGo should last 4 hours on a charge, more than the Capsule II’s 2.5-3 hours. In my testing, it managed a bit more than three and a half hours, so it should be enough to catch a very long movie, a few TV episodes, or go on a lengthy YouTube binge.
With Android TV 9.0 on board, the MoGo gets several side perks. It doubles as a Chromecast target — both audio and video — so you can easily cast anything to it from your phone or computer. It also has Google Assistant, allowing you to control playback, search for YouTube videos, view your Google Photos, control your smart home, and more. Besides, it also works as a Bluetooth speaker and an HDMI projector.
Android TV is the main appeal though. The interface will be familiar to anyone with an Nvidia Shield TV or Mi Box, with rows of channels and recommended videos. Your favorite apps are on top, with a full drawer accessible by long-pressing the home button. The MoGo comes preloaded with YouTube, several Google apps, a file browser, and you can get third-party apps from the Play Store. Plex, Spotify, MX Player, TED, and plenty of others are compatible — just like they are on any Android TV device. Amazon Prime Video wasn’t available on the Play Store in Lebanon, but I solved it by sideloading the Android TV version. It worked without a problem.
Homescreen, apps, settings, quick-access settings.
The only holdout is Netflix. I found it on the Play Store, downloaded it, but it wouldn’t open. Casting it from my phone didn’t work either, and Netflix blocks casting the entire phone screen (even if that would’ve been very janky). Remembering Corbin’s similar woes with Netflix on the Nebula II, I followed his steps to sideload the phone version of the app, installed Sideload Launcher to open it, and used a mouse to control it. It’s far from ideal, but it works.
Left: Netflix is available on the Store but doesn’t work. Right: You need to sideload the phone version.
Comparing the MoGo to the Nebula’s DRM certification with DRM Info showed that they both have the exact same levels of support, so there shouldn’t be an issue playing the same kind of content on both.
DRM certification details.
Should you buy it?
Maybe. Provided you have the cash and you want a portable projector, your two best choices right now are the XGIMI MoGo and the Anker Nebula Capsule II. From a software standpoint, very little is different between the two, since they both run stock Android TV 9.0 and don’t have official Netflix support. Both companies are also newcomers to the Android TV space, so we don’t have a previous track record to see how they’d handle future versions and updates.
Things only diverge between the two on the hardware front. The MoGo lasts longer on a charge, has double the storage, horizontal keystone correction, a slightly faster processor (1.9GHz cores versus 1.8GHz), and a slightly brighter projector (210 ANSI Lumens vs. 200). On the other hand, it’s heavier, has a lower resolution, and ventilates from the back. Unlike the Capsule II which has vents on the front, it won’t breathe properly if you plop it on a soft surface like a bed or couch and try to watch things on the ceiling, though that’s a limited use case and can be remedied with a tripod or stand.
These are all minute differences, though, and only matter for people who strongly care about one of them. That leaves USB-C and pricing as the two big differentiators between both products. If you can find the Capsule II for around $400 (like in this previous deal), it edges out the MoGo. If not, the $400 MoGo provides a similar value to the $580 Capsule II at MSRP, and I don’t think the higher resolution and USB-C are enough reasons to pay the additional $180.
You might also want to consider waiting for the MoGo Pro, which will come with the same form factor and specs, save for a better 1920×1080 resolution and 250 ANSI Lumens. It’ll be available toward the end of October for $550.
Buy it if
- You’ve always wished you could easily move your large TV and Shield around the house
- You want a good portable projector and don’t mind paying for better brightness and Android TV
Don’t buy it if
- USB-C and a high resolution are mandatory, price isn’t an issue, or you can find the Capsule II at a discount
- $400 is too much, you want to play demanding games, and you’d only use it in one room — get a TV instead
Where to buy
- Amazon $400 – use our code 10MoGoLaunch to get 10% off