Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector

Last updated date: March 27, 2019

Review Melt Score
8.9

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We looked at the top 1 Mini Projectors and dug through the reviews from 8 of the most popular review sites including Tech Radar, CNET, Tech Advisor, The Gadgeteer, Android Central, New York Times Wirecutter, Tech Spot, Android Police and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Mini Projector you should buy.

Overall Take

You won't even need a device to use the Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector. It comes with an Android operating system built in. This projector is best for watching movies and gaming in extremely dark rooms, so it won't be the best choice for professional presentations in bright conference rooms. You can also use this projector as a Bluetooth speaker to stream music for up to 30 hours on a single charge. In our analysis of 44 expert reviews, the Anker Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector placed 3rd when we looked at the top 8 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note April 1, 2019:
Checkout The Best Mini Projector for a detailed review of all the top mini projectors.

Expert Summarized Score
9.2
8 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
184 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
That’s particularly handy given the projector can be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker too, where it’ll blast 30-odd hours of tunes on a single charge.
- Tech Radar
September 13, 2018 | Full review
The built-in Android OS allows you to run just about any streaming app (Amazon Video and Netflix come preloaded), and the companion Nebula app turns your phone or tablet into a much-needed remote for those apps.
- CNET
January 17, 2019 | Full review
When used in Bluetooth speaker mode the Mars II can keep going 30 hours before it needs a recharge.
- Tech Advisor
Like its predecessor, the Nebula Mars II is an Ultra-Portable Theater-Grade DLP projector, capable of producing high quality HD images and videos on virtually any flat surface. It projects images/videos up to 150″ diagonally with a 16:9 aspect ratio.
- The Gadgeteer
September 30, 2018 | Full review
Uses Android as an operating system, letting you plug in a USB drive or download apps directly
- Android Central
July 9, 2018 | Full review
The Mars II has a clean interface, a well-designed remote, and an optional iOS/Android control app—all of which make navigating between connected sources and built-in streaming video apps like Netflix and Amazon Video simple.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Just like the Nebula Capsule, the Mars II doubles as a Bluetooth speaker, The Mars II lasts around four hours on a single charge, or 30 hours in Bluetooth speaker mode, It runs full Android 7.1 Nougat
- Tech Spot
The Mars II lasts around four hours on a single charge, or 30 hours in Bluetooth speaker mode.
- Android Police
September 3, 2019 | Full review
What experts didn't like
It’s not bright enough for daytime use in any meaningful way, but when night falls, it’s a lovely bit of kit.
- Tech Radar
September 13, 2018 | Full review
You can plug any source into the projector's HDMI port, but obviously that source's power requirements may limit overall portability.
- CNET
January 17, 2019 | Full review
The Mars II is running Android Nougat 7.1, but it does not include the Google Play store.
- Tech Advisor
Needs a greater selection of streaming apps
- The Gadgeteer
September 30, 2018 | Full review
Not bright enough to use during the day, or in a conference room
- Android Central
July 9, 2018 | Full review
As we said before, the Anker Nebula Mars II doesn’t have the best image quality, objectively speaking, of the mini projectors that we tested.
- New York Times Wirecutter
There's no Google Play Store, most apps don't have a TV interface, and you have to use a remote control app on your phone in many situations, Having a touchpad on the physical remote would make using non-TV apps much easier
- Tech Spot
There's no Google Play Store, most apps don't have a TV interface, and you have to use a remote control app on your phone in many situations.
- Android Police
September 3, 2019 | Full review

From The Manufacturer

OS: Android 7.1 Working Modes: Projector Mode and Bluetooth Speaker Mode OTA: Supported App Store: Supported Movie Playtime: 4 hours in Battery Mode Music Playtime: 30 hours in Bluetooth Speaker Mode Charging time: 3 hours Video Formats: H.264 BP/MP/HP–up to 1080p; MPEG-4 SP/ASP–up to 1080p; DivX 4x/5x/6x –up to 1080p; H.263 P0 – WVGA; VP8 – 1080p; (HEVC) H.265 MP 8-bit – up to 1080p *Specifications and design are subject to change without notice. What's In The Box Nebula Mars II, power adapter, manual, remote, 12-month warranty, and our friendly customer service.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Optoma Portable LED Projector
Overall Score: 9.5
Expert Reviews: 6
2. DBPOWER Mini Portable Projector
Overall Score: 9.0
Expert Reviews: 3
3. Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 8
4. Anker Nebula Mars
Overall Score: 8.7
Expert Reviews: 4
5. Anker Nebula Mars Lite Portable Projector
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 1
6. Anker Nebula Capsule Mini Projector
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 6
7. AAXA Technologies Pico Projector
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 5
8. Magnasonic Mini Portable Projector
Overall Score: 7.3
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Mini Projectors

Businesses aren’t the only ones using projectors today. Consumers have realized the value of having a device around for streaming video, watching movies or gaming with friends. But whether you’re buying a projector for personal or professional use, a smaller, more portable version can open up opportunities.

Mini projectors are designed to be portable enough to carry around while also packing the same punch as a much larger model. You’ll get bright, crisp colors and long battery life in some mini projectors, making them great whether you’re presenting in a conference room or enjoying movie night at a friend’s house.

One thing to consider as you shop for a projector is mobile connectivity. Some projectors connect up to your favorite smartphone or tablet to let you access your files or stream from your favorite apps. It’s important to look at compatibility if you’re choosing a projector to work with your existing mobile device, especially if you don’t have iOS or Android operating systems.

Then there are the mini projectors that don’t require you to connect to anything at all. These projectors have their own operating systems that let you access your own files and even use built-in apps. If you’re going to be streaming, you’ll need to make sure you can connect to wireless where you’ll be using it.

For audiophiles, sound is essential. Unfortunately, not all projectors come with good speakers, and you’ll probably find that applies to miniature projectors, as well. Some projectors come with great speakers built in, which means you’ll get high-quality sound when you’re streaming or gaming. You can even use some projectors as a Bluetooth speaker to listen to your favorite music.

Power is also a consideration with miniature projectors. Despite being portable, some projectors don’t run on battery power, so you’ll have to consistently find somewhere to plug in your adaptor. Even those that do run on batteries have limited runtime, which is something you’ll have to consider every time you fire your projector up.

Review Melt Fun Fact

Projectors have come a long way in recent years, as consumers have discovered the benefits of beaming an image onto a large surface. At one time, in-home projectors were reserved for the ultra-wealthy, with professionals installing the equipment as part of a full-scale home theater. But a growing demand for home theaters among all demographics continues to push sales upward. On one side, there’s the growing popularity of streaming services and, on the other, the affordability of home entertainment products. Instead of leaving the house to see a movie in the theater, a family can stay home and watch a great movie or TV show with a display that rivals what they’d get on the big screen.

The Mini Projector Buying Guide

  • If you’re buying a projector for portability, chances are you want to be able to travel without the burden of extra equipment. With some mini projectors, you’ll be able to link up to a smartphone or tablet, which means you can conduct a presentation or show a movie directly from the device you have with you. The Optoma Portable LED Projector is compatible with iOS and Android devices, letting you grab documents, photos and videos from your phone.
  • With some mini projectors, you won’t even need the mobile device. The Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector has Android built in, which means you can plug in a USB drive or download apps through the Mars II. It also comes preloaded with Amazon Video and Netflix. With these projectors, you won’t even have to install anything to start watching your favorite TV shows. The older Anker Nebula Mars has many of the same features as its newer counterpart, but it runs an outdated version of Android that could affect the features you’ll be able to enjoy.
  • You’ll likely want to factor in size and weight when choosing a portable projector, especially if you’re hauling it around the country. The Optoma Portable LED Projector is by far the most lightweight, weighing in at only 0.8 ounces. The DBPOWER Mini Portable Projector comes in second at only 2.18 pounds. As for dimensions, the Optoma Portable LED Projector wins here, too, with a size of only 4.1 x 4.2 x 1.5 in. For portability, the Optoma Portable LED Projector is the best all around.
  • You’ll probably see the term “lumens” when you’re researching projectors. They’re directly connected to the brightness and quality of the image you’ll get. With the Anker Nebula Mars, you’ll get 3,000 lumens and 800p definition for clear, crisp video. The Optoma Portable LED Projector features 700 lumens, which is still impressive.
  • The best projector can depend heavily on what you’ll be using it to do. If you plan to use it in daylight for activities, like presentations in office conference rooms, the Optoma Portable LED Projector is a better choice. For use in extremely dark rooms, though, you’ll probably find the Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector is the best option.
  • Overall, you’ll get the best picture quality from the Anker Nebula Mars, which is ideal for gaming. On the other hand, the DBPOWER Mini Portable Projector offers crisp, clear video but is not suitable for gaming or streaming high-resolution video.
  • If you’re looking for an inexpensive mini projector with decent image quality, the DBPOWER Mini Portable Projector will probably top your list. With a retail price below $100, it’s fairly budget-friendly. The Optoma Portable LED Projector and Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector aren’t inexpensive. but still retail below $500. However, for the Anker Nebula Mars, you’ll need to prepare to spend more than $700.
  • One issue you’ll run into with a mini projector is sound. If audio is a priority, take a look at the Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector, which can even be used as a standalone Bluetooth speaker to play up to 30 hours of music on a single charge. The Anker Nebula Mars comes with two JBL speakers built in for crisp, clear sound.
  • To be truly portable, you’ll need your mini projector to be able to run on batteries. As convenient in size as the Optoma Portable LED Projector is, it surprisingly requires a power adaptor to run. The Anker Nebula Mars uses a 19,500mAh battery that gives up to three hours of use. You’ll get up to four hours on the Anker Nebula Mars II Mini Projector’s battery or 30 hours if you’re in Bluetooth speaker mode.