Nebula Capsule – The Android TV™ Pocket Cinema

The Nebula Capsule II is a unique Android cinema device. In this review, we will discuss whether you should really spend money buying this new device.

What’s in the bag?

It contains a projector with 200 ANSI Lumens and 720p HD picture and projects images up to 100’’ large, an 8W speaker, and it’s powered with a USB-C cord. You can stream videos, music, and movies on it.

The campaign page for the Nebula Capsule II says you can use it to view Amazon Prime video, Hulu, Twitch, YouTube and more. You can also hook it up to your video game system and project your game. It even comes with its own gamepad to play Android games with, and it’s compatible with PlayStation, Xbox and Switch consoles.

It uses Google’s voice assistant, and Chromecast to stream. It sounds like a great buy, at face value. But, are there any drawbacks? 

The Review and Discussion – Is it really worth it?

The company advertises many programs for the device. However, there is only a handful that comes pre-loaded such as YouTube, Google Play, Google Play Music, and Google Play Games. Hulu is listed on the main page of the campaign, but not pre-loaded. And, there’s a glaring omission from their list of apps: Netflix. Netflix isn’t pre-loaded because they haven’t received certification to include it yet. So, what if you want to use an app that isn’t on the device? Well, you’ve got two options. You can either download the app from the Google Play Store, or you can download it, put it on a USB flash drive and then install it on the device. 

There are several other services that aren’t supported by the device. First of all, it will only support Google’s voice assistant. You can’t connect it to Amazon Echo devices, even though you can stream Amazon video on it, which is odd.

There’s also no Airplay support. Apple iPhone and iPad users will have to use Chromecast or download whatever they want to stream and use a USB drive. If it supported Airplay, they could just stream straight from their devices. Designing this product for only 50% of mobile device users seems short-sighted. 

There are a few issues regarding what the Nebula Capsule II is capable of. Its resolution will only go as high as 720p. It will play 1080p files, but it will convert them to 720p. It’s good that it will go ahead and play them, but 720p isn’t the best resolution quality anymore. Next, it will do keystone automatic picture correction, which is great. But it only does this for the vertical orientation, not the horizontal. There isn’t even a way to change horizontal orientation manually. Because of this, you may want to purchase a tripod. Also, the Capsule II doesn’t support 4G networks. It will connect to wi-fi and hotspots, but it won’t use 4G. So, don’t expect 4G speeds. 

And also…

The USB port is only used for charging the device, not to charge other devices. You can use an HDMI to USB cord to play movies and games from other devices through the port. But, make sure that the other device is plugged in if you do this. Using this function will drain the other device’s battery pretty quick. 

It’s not as bright as other similar products on the market. Other promising Android projectors boast 500 ANSI Lumens. The company states that if the Nebula Capsule II were to have more Lumens, the size of the product would need to be bigger to house the parts, which are larger to provide more Lumens. This may be true, but other companies are making it happen. However, the speakers on the Capsule II are better than other similar products on the market. So, if you’re comparison shopping, keep these things in mind. 

The Capsule II will charge fully in about 2.5 hours with the USB-C input. That sounds good, but it’s really not whenever you take into account how long it holds a charge. If you charge it for 2.5 hours, you only get 3 hours of charge. So, for every 3 hours you use it, it requires nearly 3 hours to charge it.

More importantly…

And, lastly, the storage on the device. It only has 8G storage. Anyone who’s ever had a cellphone that only had 8G of storage knows that 8G isn’t very much. Sure, you can run some games and apps. But, the company boasts on their campaign page that there are over 3600 apps available to use on the device, and you won’t be able to even scratch the surface of that with 8G. Some backers don’t like that you have to use a USB flash drive to get more storage, as it will awkwardly stick out from the side of the device. And, there’s no SD card support. That’s a shame because if there was, you could easily add 32-64G of storage pretty much instantaneously. 

In summary

So, although the Nebula Capsule II sounds like an excellent buy, there are a lot of potential drawbacks. Now that you know about them, you’ll be able to make an informed decision before you decide to buy. It may be worth waiting to see if they hold a 3rd campaign, introducing the Capsule III, because it will probably have more Lumens, higher resolution, and more storage if they do.