Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector review: Pint-sized movie magic

Nebula Capsule II review
Bottom Line
The Nebula Capsule II is a remarkable portable projector that doesn't make any real compromises despite its small size.
Crisp & colorful 720p display
Abundant connectivity options
1-second auto-focus
2.5hr video playback time on battery power
Chromecast & Google Assitant capable
30,000 hour LED bulb lifespan
Up to 100-inch display
Mediocre speaker sound

Anker’s Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector is a very competitively priced, lightweight, and portable projector that is ideal for summer movie nights, impromptu office presentations, and giant screen sports viewings. We’ve been especially impressed with the crisp picture quality it offers coupled with its abundance of easy to use connectivity options.

So many features!

We reviewed the Nebula Mars II Projector awhile back and were extremely impressed with it, so we were very pleased to try out the Capsule II, a more portable and lightweight projector. At first glance, the most noticeable difference between the two is their size. The Capsule II is about the size of a pint of beer in a glass! Yet despite being pint-size, it offers a 720p HD picture at 200 ANSI lm. It can project a picture size between 20 inches all the way up to 100 inches using a one-second self-leveling auto-focus.

The projector comes preloaded with the Android TV 9.0 operating system. When it comes to connectivity options, it offers HDMI, USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and Chromecast. Battery life is capped out at 2.5 hours of playtime, and it can be powered by the included wall charger.

Set up

When you launch the device, Android TV is the home screen and you can navigate from there. If you prefer the ease of a touchscreen over the included remote control, you can download the Nebula Capsule Connect app and use that to navigate the projector using your smartphone. We recommend going with the app option since it is far more pleasant to type in sign-in credentials with the keyboard on your phone than using the remote control. In any case, from within the Android TV interface, you can install popular streaming apps. There are 3600 apps available including Hulu, YouTube, Amazon Prime, Twitch, and Netflix.

Anker has made the projector setup as smooth as butter. To get things up and running, you’ll need to physically set the projector at the height you want it to display at – without having to prop it up. Then, the 1-second auto-focus analyzes the projection surface and automatically adjusts the picture. This feature was super handy and effective to use. So there’s no more trying to find odd things to prop up your projector on and level it with. You just need the projector to be at the right vertical height, and the right distance away to fit your screen. From there the Capsule II levels out the picture automatically.

We connected the Capsule II to an Xbox, Nintendo Switch and a tablet. It makes for some very fun gaming with a 100-inch screen. It was also fun streaming the Oculus Quest to the Capsule II and watching Beat Saber play out on the big screen. With that said, while the Capsule II supports up to a 4k input, it can only display 720p on the screen.

Picture quality and sound

The Capsule II produces colors that are quite crisp and impressive for how pint-size this is. But like many smaller sized projectors, the smaller you go in screen size, the better the picture quality. That said, TV shows and films that are dark are going to look the least crisp (I’m looking at you Stranger Things) and shows that are super bright will look great (think Marie Kondo).

You can expect about a 40-inch clear picture while viewing in a bright environment and a 100-inch clear picture in a relatively dim environment. We’ve included a picture of a 100-inch display at midday noon, and again at 9 pm in the dark so you can get a feel for the difference in picture quality given various light environments.

Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector review: Pint-sized movie magic 2
Taken at noon with shades drawn
Nebula Capsule II Smart Mini Projector review: Pint-sized movie magic 3
Taken at 9 pm

The Capsule II can also be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker. The sound comes from an 8-watt built-in speaker inside of the projector. It’s not an impactful speaker but it gets the job done. I tend to use a better quality speaker and connect it to the Capsule II with an audio cable. Let’s just say that the speaker is good enough to be a “while-you-are-cooking background music” kind of a speaker.

Bottom line

The Capsule II’s LED lamp offers a lifespan of 30,000 hours which is remarkable for its size and certainly a reassurance that it won’t often require purchasing replacement bulbs the way many other projectors do. It also doubles as a standalone Bluetooth speaker, making it even more versatile. But really it’s its small size, rich feature set, solid battery life and great picture quality that make the Capsule II shine. Although we wouldn’t recommend it as a replacement for a serious home theater system projector, the Nebula Capsule II is a remarkable portable projector that doesn’t make any real compromises. 

The Nebula Capsule II retails for $579.99.

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