Anker Nebula Mars

Last updated date: March 27, 2019

Review Melt Score

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We looked at the top 1 Mini Projectors and dug through the reviews from 4 of the most popular review sites including The Verge, New York Times Wirecutter, PG Magazine - SE Asia, CNET and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Mini Projector you should buy.

Overall Take

The crisp, clear video you'll get with the Anker Nebula Mars is thanks to 3,000 lumens and 800p definition. You'll pay for that quality, though, since this projector retails at a higher price than other mini projectors. With up to three hours of battery life and JBL speakers built in, this projector is for the most serious entertainment enthusiasts. In our analysis of 40 expert reviews, the Anker Anker Nebula Mars placed 4th 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
4 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
181 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The internal battery means you can take the Mars outside.
- The Verge
August 22, 2017 | Full review
The Nebula Mars offers the best overall image quality of any projector we tested for this update, and it has the same inputs, Android TV interface, remote design, and size and shape as its newer sibling.
- New York Times Wirecutter
As for power, it includes a 19,500mAh battery offering three hours of playback before a recharge is required.
- PG Magazine - SE Asia
July 26, 2017 | Full review
The Nebula has dual JBL speakers built into its chassis as well as a rechargeable battery that delivers up 3 hours of projection time.
What experts didn't like
Its biggest flaw is the outdated version of Android. Not only is KitKat now more than three years old, but the Mars comes with the the third-party Aptoide TV store, which is an alternative app marketplace to the Google Play Store.
- The Verge
August 22, 2017 | Full review
The Mars is not as user-friendly as the Mars II. Although it also offers the same set of inputs (HDMI and USB), screen-mirroring support, remote, auto focus and keystone system, and Android TV applications as the Mars II, the lack of support for a control app makes the Mars less intuitive to use on a daily basis.
- New York Times Wirecutter
There was little bit of softness that made you feel like you were watching something in between a DVD and a Blu-ray, especially at larger sizes.

From The Manufacturer

Mars Theater-grade Portable Cinema From Nebula-Delivering advanced visual and interactive experiences, anywhere. Next generation immersive display Innovative room-filling audio Intuitive connection and interaction Created by the same team as. Anker-renowned for exceptional quality and innovation Brilliantly Defined Picture A 3000 Lumens brightness and 800p definition deliver incredible contrast that takes your entertainment experience to the next level. Enjoy movies, TV shows, gaming, and music like never before. Room-Flooding Sound Dual 10W speakers equipped with JBLs advanced audio tech fill any room with Dolby digital audio quality. Extended Viewing Time Cutting-edge battery technology boosts your cinema to an unprecedented 3 hours of continuous play away from an outlet, for unrivaled pound-for-pound performance.

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.