Whether you're camping, visiting friends or just want to have an impromptu movie session just about anywhere, the the Nebula Capsule 3 projector by Anker is your companion.

When does a single gripe stick out like a sore thumb? When it comes with an otherwise impeccable package.

For the Nebula Capsule 3 projector by Anker, that gripe is that its screen size is small at a short throw. With how marvellous the picture quality of this portable projector is when projected from a distance of around five feet, it’s simply criminal that the screen size that you get at that distance is only around 50 inches at the most.

That single feature — or lack thereof — put paid to my plans for a living room film festival. Here I was, salivating at the prospect of binge watching every series I could access on Amazon Prime, and every movie I had ever bought, after catching the first glimpse of the bright, vibrant, well-defined, richly detailed, true-to-life-coloured pictures that the Nebula Capsule 3 threw on my walls — when the screen size threw a spanner in the works.

You see, for those of us who can only afford small apartments, where just a few square floor tiles measure the distance between the two walls instead of a field of marble, there is no space to back up the 12-14 feet or so that it may take for the throw of the Capsule 3’s beam to measure out a 100-inch screen on the opposite wall.

Given how spectacular the picture quality of this projector is when its beam traces a 40-ish inch screen on the wall opposite from five feet or less, you instantly yearn for a screen at least twice that size at that same resolution. But that is not to be.

That’s because if you walk backwards with the Capsule 3 held in your hands, the light emanating from its laser projection system becomes as progressively dim as the screen size increases. With the result that when you get the cinema-hall-sized screen you were looking for, even switching off all the lights and closing the shutters does not make the room dark enough for the thrill you thought the device could deliver.

In this, the Capsule 3 flatters to deceive. With the vibrancy and detail of the projector’s image at a short throw burned in my memory, I’m still debating whether its lack of the same vibrancy at a larger screen size is over-expectation on my part or under-delivery on Anker’s.

This one gripe aside, the Nebula Capsule 3 is a winning package in almost all aspects — well, perhaps not the price, but we will come to that presently.

In the world of portable projectors, the Capsule 3 has created quite a buzz. With the promise of high-definition entertainment in the palm of your hand, it's hard not to be intrigued. The most obvious feature — and advantage — of this Anker is of course its size. A true pocket-sized marvel, it’s only slightly larger than a soda can, which means you can carry it anywhere with ease. Whether you're camping, visiting friends or just want to have an impromptu movie session just about anywhere, the Capsule 3 is your companion.

And just like a can of soda, it’s got a lot of fizz where the features are concerned. At its heart is a powerful laser engine that provides a full-HD 1080p image quality — and quality is the operative word here, if you like a small- to medium-sized screen.

Running on Android 11, the Capsule 3 provides seamless connectivity to all your devices where you can conceivably stream or play content from. Anker says it gives you access to more than 7,000 apps on the Android store that can be downloaded over wi-fi. And then there are the uncountable hours of movies, TV shows, web series, and various other forms of video content via streaming services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime and of course YouTube. The Capsule 3 also provides connectivity through Bluetooth, an HDMI port and screen mirroring from a smartphone using a built-in Chromecast function. The bottom line is you won’t be stressed looking for content to play through it.

And with all this content to play, the Capsule 3 provides you at least 2.5 hours of use time on a single charge of its 53Wh battery, says Anker. Keeping the sound part of the device either muted or on low volume, we actually got a smidgen over three hours, so kudos, Capsule 3!

Speaking of the sound, the Capsule 3 also sports a capable speaker at its base — an 8W Dolby Digital one delivering what Anker claims is Hi-Fi 360-degree Cinematic Sound. While it won’t give you any earth-shattering thumps when T-Rex makes its entry in Jurassic Park, the sound is actually passably good. It’s quite vivid in resolution and clear whether you are streaming movies or TV shows, playing games or using the device for presentations at home or on-the-go. You can even use it as a standalone Bluetooth speaker for music, quite apart from its display functions, and the sound quality compares favourably to some dedicated speakers of the same size.

The piece de resistance when it comes to the features, however, is the 300 ANSI Lumens of brightness. For such a small package, that is remarkably bright — and it shows. At short-throw distances of less than 10 feet, the Capsule 3 can hold a candle — quite literally — to projectors much bigger in size. Those 300 ANSI Lumens are of course not the 800 ANSI Lumens that most home cinema projectors come with. So, you instantly know that the Capsule 3 is meant for on-the-go use. But for what it is presumably meant for — take-it-anywhere viewing — this Anker really holds its own.

Anker has also done an excellent job with the user interface. Setting up the Capsule 3 is simplicity personified, and the on-screen menu is intuitive and straightforward, whether you’re using the touch control panel on top of the projector or the supplied remote control. You'll have it up and running within minutes, even if you're not tech-savvy, and even have an easy time with another sticking point of projector set-up: focussing.

The Capsule 3 simplifies that delicate task with its auto-focus and keystone correction features. These smart technologies ensure that your image is always sharp and perfectly aligned, regardless of the projection angle or distance. And while we did experience a loss of brightness with distance, it was never accompanied by a loss of sharpness or focus.

The Nebula Capsule 3 by Anker is nearly a game changer in the world of portable projectors. Why “nearly”, you ask? That’s because of two sticking points, one of which — the lack of a bright ultra-large screen size at short throw — we have already discussed. The other is the price.

At a retail price of Dh3,999, it’s not only not among the more attainable portable projectors of similar capabilities out there, but is also not among the most affordable of all projectors, period. Take away its portability and most of what it offers can be more than matched by regular projectors at around slightly more than half its price.

But that does not detract from the fact that the Nebula Capsule 3 by Anker is undoubtedly a game-changer in the world of portable projectors. Its compact size, impressive image quality and immersive sound make it an attractive choice for those looking to take their entertainment with them. Whether you love movies or gaming, or you’re simply someone who loves sharing content with friends and family, this projector is sure to meet your approval.

In conclusion, the Nebula Capsule 3 is a remarkable piece of technology that offers a compelling package of portability, image quality and sound. While it may not be the most budget-friendly option, it certainly delivers on several counts and is a worthy addition to any tech enthusiast's arsenal. Especially if hosting movie nights under the stars or giving business presentations on the fly is your thing, the Capsule 3 has got you covered.

We all go to the movies, but with the Anker Nebula Capsule 3, the movies go with you.

Anker Nebula Capsule 3 Portable Projector


- Vibrant colours and sharp pictures

- Brightness at short distances

- Portability


- Lack of large-screen capabilities

- A tad over-priced




3.5 stars

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