June 21, 2021


Connecting People

Anker Nebula Solar Portable projector: More white dwarf than supernova

The Anker Nebula Photo voltaic Moveable is a 1080p projector with a constructed-in battery and Android Tv. It really is a entire offer that lets you enjoy flicks and Tv with a huge image just about wherever. You can even use it as a Bluetooth speaker. If this sounds vaguely familiar, it truly is for the reason that it truly is related to a different Nebula projector, the Mars II Pro, which we reviewed a several months back. The Mars II Pro is our favored transportable projector overall and when the Photo voltaic has its (ahem) brilliant spots, it truly is just not as excellent.


  • Sleek, compact style
  • 1080p resolution
  • Constructed-in battery lasts three hrs

Never Like

  • Rather dim
  • Mediocre contrast
  • Android Tv is wonky

On paper, the Photo voltaic Moveable addresses two of the issues we had with the Mars II Pro: resolution and its app retailer. The II Pro is only 720p, and works by using a “curated” Google experience referred to as Aptoide. Sadly, fixing these two troubles arrives with diminished mild output. No projector this sizing is notably brilliant, but the Photo voltaic is about 40% dimmer than the Mars II. Android Tv beats Aptoide, but it nonetheless has some quirks that suggest you may well be better off attaching a streaming stick anyway. Certainly, that flat style is one of a kind, but Anker’s individual Mars II Pro is a better option.

Basic specs

  • Indigenous resolution: 1,920×1,080 pixels
  • HDR-suitable: Certainly
  • 4K-suitable: Certainly
  • 3D-suitable: No
  • Lumens spec: four hundred ANSI
  • Zoom: No
  • Lens change: No
  • Lamp existence (Normal mode): 30,000 hrs

The Photo voltaic accepts HDR10, but is not HDR. It accepts 4K, but is not a 4K projector. Due to the fact this projector is incapable of basically exhibiting these higher-resolution and superior-dynamic-selection alerts, their inclusion appears to be more like some thing to beef up a options list on a web site than anything else.

There’s no lens change or zoom on the Photo voltaic, but neither is envisioned in this rate selection. There’s autofocus, on the other hand, which works quite effectively. A pivoting foot on the base tilts the entrance of the projector upward for a bit more overall flexibility in placement.

There’s a claimed three hrs of existence from the twenty,000-mAh battery. This is a bit odd considering that the brighter Mars II Pro has a lesser battery and still the very same quantity of participate in time.

Talking of brightness, Anker claims four hundred lumens. I measured about 50 % that. The Mars II Pro had a claimed five hundred, and I measured above 300. No projector in this sizing and rate selection is pretty brilliant, but aspect by aspect the Mars II Pro’s photograph seems to be noticeably brighter, which enables it to look better on even bigger screens.

You can use the Photo voltaic as a Bluetooth speaker. The two three-watt speakers seem quite excellent, which is constantly a bonus in a transportable projector. They are not as loud as the Mars II Pro’s dual ten-watters, on the other hand.

If you want to down load some articles to check out offline, there is certainly 8GB storage.


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Connectivity and benefit

  • HDMI inputs: 1
  • Laptop enter: No
  • USB ports: 2
  • Audio enter and output: No
  • Electronic audio output: No
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a, b, g, n, ac
  • twelve-volt result in: No
  • RS-232 distant port: No
  • MHL: No
  • Distant: Not backlit

The Solar’s HDMI enter is able of accepting HDR and 4K, but considering that the projector is neither, this is a six-line freeway connecting two modest towns with no cars and trucks.

The USB-C relationship is for charging, and bundled with the Photo voltaic is a rapid-charger you could use for your cellular phone or tablet when you are not using or charging the projector. The other USB relationship can take documents or charge a streaming stick. The energy score isn’t really specified, but I was able to get a streaming stick operating on it, so it really should be ample.

I like the Android Tv app retailer but unfortunately some applications, like Vudu, would only ship the regular-definition variations of their articles. This is disappointing, to say the least. It would make the resolution of the projector fewer related. Others, like Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Video clip and Hulu seemed fantastic, on the other hand. 

Then there is certainly Netflix, which necessitates a number of actions to get mounted on the Photo voltaic. You have to have to install the Nebula Supervisor app, which then enables you to down load the cell version of the Netflix app. To check out Netflix immediately after you install it, you have to have to go to the Supervisor app and then Netflix. Which, even immediately after all these actions, seems to be exceptionally gentle. For the reason that it truly is the cell version, it also means it truly is not developed to function with a regular distant, so you have to have to use the Nebula Join app on your cellular phone to navigate. 

These issues spoil the goodness of constructed-in Android Tv to a specified extent, but as I pointed out an effortless resolution is attaching an exterior streamer. 


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Photograph high-quality comparisons

The Mars II Pro and the PH30N are both direct rivals to the Photo voltaic. To compare the three I finished up using a combine of internal applications, exterior streaming sticks and a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier thanks to the unique resolutions of the projectors, and the simple fact that the Photo voltaic accepts 4K (and for some frustrating cause that grew to become the default when connected to the Monoprice). I seen everything on a 102-inch 1.-gain display.

The most evident variance was mild output. The Mars II Pro was quickly the brightest, adopted by the Photo voltaic and the LG. Brightness is not the only critical aspect in a projector’s image high-quality but it truly is a huge part. Not only does it identify how compelling the image is overall, but it also decides how significant an image you can build which is nonetheless watchable. This is 1 of the good reasons I preferred the Mars II Pro: It really is pretty brilliant for its sizing and rate. The Solar’s photograph seems to be dim in comparison, and the LG’s is the dimmest of the three. 


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Distinction ratio is bad across the board compared with some thing like the BenQ HT2050, but which is par for the class. No reasonably priced projector has a excellent contrast ratio. The Photo voltaic is technically better than the Mars II right here, at 407:1 compared with 354:1, but which is much too close to see even aspect by aspect and is scarcely outside the selection of regular measurement mistake. This reduced contrast ratio is fantastic on the Mars II, as it truly is reasonably brilliant, but on the Photo voltaic it means the image is flat. Not fully washed out, but it will not impress either. The LG is reduce nonetheless, but all over again, it truly is all in the very same ballpark.

With the added distraction of its undefeatable cleaning soap opera influence, I put the LG apart and concentrated on the two Ankers.

Enthusiast noise on the Photo voltaic is considerably quieter than the Mars II, which is welcome when you are sitting close.

When I welcome the switch to Android Tv above the troublesome Aptoide retailer, there is certainly a glaring situation: High definition. With some applications the articles you get is SD-only. So what then is the level of the Solar’s 1080p resolution? This could be an Android/Google situation, but it will not seriously issue the place the challenge is, the consequence is that the best way to get articles on the projector means having a hit in photograph high-quality. 

Employing an exterior streaming stick the more depth is obvious. Following you change down the sharpness manage, that is, which is established really superior out of the box (as usual, massive quantities of edge enhancement mask genuine depth). Now it truly is the Mars II Pro’s change to look gentle, missing fantastic depth on issues like hair and beards. However, the Solar’s greater resolution, even when configured appropriately, is not ample to get out above the Mars II Pro’s better brightness.


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The adage goes “Two actions ahead, 1 stage again.” In this situation, it truly is more like two actions ahead, two somewhat lesser actions again. With their huge visuals, projectors absolutely see a major advantage from greater resolution, so the Solar’s 1080p really should be an evident advancement above the Mars II Pro’s 720p. But with SD internal applications, that advancement is negated. Even worse, the reduce brightness means its image is considerably fewer compelling. The even bigger battery appears to be excellent on paper, but claimed viewing time is approximately the very same. Even the Solar’s speakers are fewer impressive.

All that, put together with a higher MSRP, and I am not positive what the Photo voltaic has to offer you above the Mars II Pro. That projector is a minor gem, and the Photo voltaic is remaining to participate in catch-up.