Anker Nebula Solar Portable projector: More white dwarf than supernova

The Anker Nebula Solar Moveable is a 1080p projector with a constructed-in battery and Android Tv. It’s a full deal that allows you get pleasure from flicks and Tv with a massive image just about any place. You can even use it as a Bluetooth speaker. If this seems vaguely acquainted, it can be mainly because it can be similar to a further Nebula projector, the Mars II Pro, which we reviewed a handful of months ago. The Mars II Pro is our beloved moveable projector over-all and though the Solar has its (ahem) bright spots, it can be just not as superior.

Do not Like

  • Quite dim
  • Mediocre distinction
  • Android Tv is wonky

On paper, the Solar Moveable addresses two of the concerns we experienced with the Mars II Pro: resolution and its app shop. The II Pro is only 720p, and makes use of a “curated” Google working experience referred to as Aptoide. Unfortunately, fixing those two difficulties arrives with reduced gentle output. No projector this dimensions is particularly bright, but the Solar is about forty% dimmer than the Mars II. Android Tv beats Aptoide, but it nonetheless has some quirks that mean you may be greater off attaching a streaming stick in any case. Certainly, that flat style is special, but Anker’s have Mars II Pro is a greater alternative.

Simple specs

  • Native resolution: one,920×1,080 pixels
  • HDR-compatible: Certainly
  • 4K-compatible: Certainly
  • 3D-compatible: No
  • Lumens spec: 400 ANSI
  • Zoom: No
  • Lens change: No
  • Lamp daily life (Regular mode): thirty,000 several hours

The Solar accepts HDR10, but is not HDR. It accepts 4K, but is not a 4K projector. Considering that this projector is incapable of basically exhibiting these increased-resolution and large-dynamic-assortment signals, their inclusion appears to be additional like something to beef up a features record on a web page than everything else.

There’s no lens change or zoom on the Solar, but neither is anticipated in this price tag assortment. There’s autofocus, nonetheless, which performs fairly well. A pivoting foot on the bottom tilts the front of the projector upward for a bit additional adaptability in placement.

There’s a claimed a few several hours of daily life from the twenty,000-mAh battery. This is a bit odd given that the brighter Mars II Pro has a smaller battery and but the similar sum of play time.

Talking of brightness, Anker statements 400 lumens. I measured about fifty percent that. The Mars II Pro experienced a claimed five hundred, and I measured over three hundred. No projector in this dimensions and price tag assortment is quite bright, but facet by facet the Mars II Pro’s photo appears to be drastically brighter, which enables it to glance greater on greater screens.

You can use the Solar as a Bluetooth speaker. The two 3-watt speakers seem fairly superior, which is generally a bonus in a moveable projector. They are not as loud as the Mars II Pro’s twin ten-watters, nonetheless.

If you want to obtain some content to check out offline, you can find 8GB storage.


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Connectivity and advantage

  • HDMI inputs: one
  • Personal computer enter: No
  • USB ports: two
  • Audio enter and output: No
  • Digital audio output: No
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11a, b, g, n, ac
  • twelve-volt bring about: No
  • RS-232 distant port: No
  • MHL: No
  • Distant: Not backlit

The Solar’s HDMI enter is capable of accepting HDR and 4K, but given that the projector is neither, this is a 6-line freeway connecting two modest towns with no automobiles.

The USB-C connection is for charging, and integrated with the Solar is a fast-charger you could use for your phone or pill when you’re not applying or charging the projector. The other USB connection can settle for documents or charge a streaming stick. The ability ranking is just not specified, but I was ready to get a streaming stick managing on it, so it should really be more than enough.

I like the Android Tv app shop but regrettably some apps, like Vudu, would only send the typical-definition versions of their content. This is disappointing, to say the least. It helps make the resolution of the projector a lot less pertinent. Many others, like Disney Plus, Amazon Prime Movie and Hulu appeared wonderful, nonetheless. 

Then you can find Netflix, which involves quite a few methods to get installed on the Solar. You will need to set up the Nebula Manager app, which then enables you to obtain the cell variation of the Netflix app. To check out Netflix immediately after you set up it, you will need to go to the Manager app and then Netflix. Which, even immediately after all those methods, appears to be extremely tender. Mainly because it can be the cell variation, it also signifies it can be not built to get the job done with a conventional distant, so you will need to use the Nebula Join app on your phone to navigate. 

These concerns spoil the goodness of constructed-in Android Tv to a specified extent, but as I mentioned an straightforward solution is attaching an external streamer. 


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Photograph top quality comparisons

The Mars II Pro and the PH30N are both of those direct rivals to the Solar. To review the a few I ended up applying a mix of internal apps, external streaming sticks and a Monoprice 1×4 distribution amplifier owing to the distinct resolutions of the projectors, and the reality that the Solar accepts 4K (and for some disheartening rationale that grew to become the default when connected to the Monoprice). I viewed every thing on a 102-inch one.-acquire screen.

The most clear change was gentle output. The Mars II Pro was quickly the brightest, adopted by the Solar and the LG. Brightness is not the only significant element in a projector’s image top quality but it can be a massive component. Not only does it ascertain how compelling the image is over-all, but it also determines how substantial an image you can make that’s nonetheless watchable. This is a person of the explanations I favored the Mars II Pro: It’s quite bright for its dimensions and price tag. The Solar’s photo appears to be dim in comparison, and the LG’s is the dimmest of the a few. 


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET

Contrast ratio is inadequate throughout the board as opposed with something like the BenQ HT2050, but that’s par for the system. No inexpensive projector has a superior distinction ratio. The Solar is technically greater than the Mars II in this article, at 407:one as opposed with 354:one, but that’s also shut to see even facet by facet and is hardly outside the house the assortment of normal measurement error. This reduced distinction ratio is wonderful on the Mars II, as it can be rather bright, but on the Solar it signifies the image is flat. Not absolutely washed out, but it will not impress either. The LG is decrease nonetheless, but once more, it can be all in the similar ballpark.

With the extra distraction of its undefeatable cleaning soap opera effect, I set the LG apart and concentrated on the two Ankers.

Fan noise on the Solar is considerably quieter than the Mars II, which is welcome when you’re sitting shut.

When I welcome the switch to Android Tv over the troublesome Aptoide shop, you can find a obvious difficulty: Hd. With some apps the content you get is SD-only. So what then is the stage of the Solar’s 1080p resolution? This could be an Android/Google difficulty, but it will not genuinely make a difference where the challenge is, the consequence is that the most straightforward way to get content on the projector signifies having a hit in photo top quality. 

Making use of an external streaming stick the more element is evident. Immediately after you change down the sharpness control, that is, which is established exceptionally large out of the box (as usual, enormous quantities of edge enhancement mask actual element). Now it can be the Mars II Pro’s change to glance tender, missing wonderful element on points like hair and beards. Even so, the Solar’s better resolution, even when configured the right way, is not more than enough to acquire out over the Mars II Pro’s greater brightness.


Geoffrey Morrison/CNET


The adage goes “Two methods ahead, a person phase back again.” In this scenario, it can be additional like two methods ahead, two somewhat smaller methods back again. With their massive photos, projectors definitely see a major reward from better resolution, so the Solar’s 1080p should really be an clear improvement over the Mars II Pro’s 720p. But with SD internal apps, that improvement is negated. Worse, the decrease brightness signifies its image is considerably a lot less compelling. The greater battery appears to be superior on paper, but claimed viewing time is around the similar. Even the Solar’s speakers are a lot less impressive.

All that, mixed with a increased MSRP, and I’m not sure what the Solar has to give over the Mars II Pro. That projector is a very little gem, and the Solar is left to play catch-up.