Review: Anker Nebula Mars II Pro – Portable Projector
The compact, award winning, beautifully designed Mars II Pro is anything but basic. This little device can project a razor-sharp image with a perfected auto-focus up to a 150 inch display using DLP IntelliBright technology. If you move the projector, it automatically adjusts the focus and keystone. Don’t think because it’s a 720p image, it somehow should be overlooked or pushed aside. The image quality is so gorgeous and bright that it surpasses some of the other well known brands that showcase 1080p when set at the same distance. The sharper image, brightness and clarity really delivers a superb video experience. This projector is meant to be portable, not to be compared to an in-house mounted projector, but a small and lightweight device with enough battery to last a full movie without issues, outside or even at a friends house.
How Does the Audio Quality Measure Up?
I wasn’t sure the audio coming out of its speakers would be good enough to enjoy the range of diversity starting with something like a musical and then going to the complete opposite spectrum, a full fledged action movie. But it honestly gave the highs and lows of both sound styles. The kids enjoyed singing along with the characters to their favorite new animated movie, while later on we enjoyed a Furiously Fast hard hitting movie as the screeching tires ripped through from left to right and the sound of deep explosions cracked and boomed all around us. It definitely offers a cinematic experience.
Even though the audio quality was enough for a family of four right through the internal speakers, most people will want to setup some sort of extra sound to really capture movies in depth for a crowd. Normally, having extra wires directly connected to the projector can make for so many ugly issues and possible tripping hazards. This could potentially knock over the projector itself while in the house or being used outdoors. Well not for the Mars II Pro. Since it has an easy and quick bluetooth search function, I was able to connect it wirelessly to our Amazon Echo Dot that was connected to a small speaker system directly. I setup the speakers on both sides of our projector screen including a sub in the center, and it became a full fledged surround sound.
What Does this Projector Offer?
The Nebula Mars II Pro comes with a basic remote which works great when standing mostly behind it, since its using infrared technology. You can physically see the sensor on the back, so as long as you are in range of the sensor it will work 100%. Most users will prefer the precise control that’s available when using the downloadable app for both IOS and Android.
To turn the projector on, you simply slide the lens cover down and immediately the Mars II Pro will boot up. It takes about 30 seconds to be completely up and ready to go from a fresh start. The menu structor is basic and universally easy to understand. Once connected to WIFI, downloading apps like Netflix, Hulu, Youtube and Plex are easy and mostly free. The Nebula Connect app allows you to control the menu with directional thumb flicks or you can turn on a mouse type interface to have more precision with your selections. The device has a standby mode which still uses some battery power, but will not completely shut it down and will allow you to quickly resume where you left off, if you are taking a break. Shutting it down is just as easy. After officially booting it down with the remote or app, just slide the cover back up into a closed position.
The back of the device has 4 ports. USB 2.0 Audio Out, HDMI and power. It also has a hard reset button and the infrared sensor directly in the middle. The top of the device replicates the remote control, having a directional pad with an OK button centered, a return to previous screen/back button, both volume controls (+ and -) and a single bluetooth button to turn off all video functions and use it has a speaker only. There is also a built in handle surrounding the top, which makes it perfect for easy carrying.
The claim of 3 hours on battery has definitely proven pretty accurate. Playing a movie connected directly to the Mars II Pro using only battery and the auto-suggested settings worked out great. It did lower the brightness to achieve up to 3 hours but the picture was still beautiful and sharp.
Setting up a tripod under this device was pretty easy since it has a built in thread at the bottom for this purpose. However since it has some bulk to it, be sure to use a slightly more hefty tripod to keep it completely still, if you plan on having it at an angle. Because the slight depth of where the tripod mounting screw starts, some users may have to use a small shim to keep it from wobbling side to side depending on the tripod itself.
- Beautiful and bright picture projected
- Great quality for the price
- Big sound from a small compact device
- Lightweight and easy to travel with
- Easy to setup and quickly turn on
- Very quiet fans
- The remote app for both iOS and Android is intuitive and receives updates regularly
- Remote uses infrared technology and can only be used when the sensor is in your line of sight.
- No SD Card Support
- Uses Android 7.1 OS
If you are looking for a compact, portable projector that is very sleek and easy to setup, then the Nebula Mars II Pro by Anker is the perfect choice. It is small enough to fit in a regular size backpack and projects a big, beautiful picture. One final detail that needs to be expressed is that Anker Innovations customer service is outstanding. Even when small issues arise, they make it their aim to give you a stress-free experience. Many customers have agreed and would recommenced them on this fact alone. Overall, I foresee many memorable movie nights, both in the house and in backyards thanks to The Nebula Mars ll Pro!
I give it a 4.5 out of 5 stars for its picture quality, intense sound and portability. The Nebula Mars II Pro sells for $549