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Nebula Capsule 3 Series Portable LED Projector Review

Posted on March 29, 2024 by Philip Boyle
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The Nomadic Capsule 3 is the company's newest entry into their line of Capsule ultra-portable projectors.

The Nebula Capsule 3 is a Full HD projector (1,920 x 1,080p) with an LED light engine rated for up to 200 ANSI lumens of brightness. It can display an image up to 120 inches diagonally. Nebula has upgraded the projector's operating system to the latest Google TV OS and, unlike the previous Capsule 3 Laser, offers native support for Netflix. In addition, the Capsule 3 features Nebula's IEA3 (Intelligent Environment Adaptation 3.0) technology for easy setup and a built-in lithium-ion battery for up to 2.5 hours of on-the-go operation. The Capsule 3 sells for an MSRP of $549.99 and is available from authorized resellers nationwide.

The Capsule series of projectors are designed to be compact, lightweight, and easy to carry around, making them suitable for portable use. The Capsule series projectors are well-regarded for their image quality and affordability. They are a popular choice for consumers looking for a portable and convenient way to enjoy various entertainment content like movies, TV shows, capsule games, and even productivity applications on the go.

This projector runs on the latest Google TV operating system, providing users with an all-new curated streaming experience with native access to services, such as Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Apple TV, and Amazon Prime Video, directly from the projector. Google TV is the latest and most powerful operating system available from Google.

The Nebula Capsule 3 also has built-in Wi-Fi and support for the latest Bluetooth 5.1 protocol. In addition, to maximize portability, the Capsule 3 has a new built-in 45 Wh battery that is smaller and lighter than previous models but still delivers up to 2.5 hours of video playtime and up to 10 hours in Bluetooth speaker mode.

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Nebula Capsule 3 Specs
Price$549 MSRP
Displayed ResolutionFull HD (1,920 x 1,080)
Brightness (Manufacturer Claim200 ANSI Lumens
Light SourceLED
Zoom Lens Ratio1.1X
Sound System8 Watt Mono
Dimensions(WxH) 3.3" D x 6.6" H
Weight2.1 lbs.



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Ultra-Portable Cinema Experience: Transform any space into a movie theater.

The Capsule 3 is the fifth and newest addition to Nebula's "Capsule" line of compact ultra-portable projectors. Nebula touts the Capsule series of projectors as providing an ultra-portable cinema experience that the company says is designed to transform any space into a movie theater, even outdoors. The Capsule 3 is a pocket-sized design, 50% smaller than comparable models from various manufacturers. It is designed to make on-the-go projection look great and easy to set up.

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Dive into a universe of entertainment with this smart projector, offering licensed Netflix streaming and a variety of content at your fingertips.

The user interface is another Capsule series highpoint, with some models running on Android OS and the Capsule 3 running Google TV OS, providing access to many streaming apps directly from the projector. This seamless integration of smart features, quality build, and exceptional portability make Nebula projectors a compelling choice for those looking to blend entertainment and mobility.

Google TV OS is built on the foundation of Android TV but cranked up a notch, offering an intuitive, super easy-to-find interface for what you want to watch. Instead of digging through apps, Google TV presents you with recommendations across all your subscriptions.

Google is a company built on search, and with the Capsule 3 Google TV OS, the search capabilities are top-notch. You search for movies, shows, actors, and games with voice commands using Google Assistant. Then there's the integration with other Google services, such as Google Photos and Google Calendar, where you can get reminders on the big screen.

The huge Google TV app selection covers almost everything from streaming giants to niche channels. And with Chromecast built in, you can easily toss whatever you're watching on your phone or tablet onto the big screen. It's seamless and works. And the more you watch, the better Google learns to improve by tailoring the experience and content recommendations you receive to your tastes.

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You can experience an effortless setup with the Nebula Capsule 3's Intelligent Environment Adaptation Technology.

Nebula's Intelligent Environment Adaptation 3.0 (IEA3) technology is a cool piece of tech magic that makes Nebula projectors smart. IEA3 technology is like having a projectionist inside the Capsule 3, automatically adjusting a range of Capsule 3 settings.

Obstacle avoidance detects objects in its projection path and adjusts the image size and position to avoid them. So, if there's a vase or a picture frame in the way, IEA3 tech smartly reshapes or shifts the image, ensuring your viewing experience is unobstructed.

IEA3 can also automatically adjust the projector's keystone so that the projected image is perfectly rectangular, no matter the projection angle, providing a well-proportioned, squared picture so settings don't have to be tweaked manually.

Automatic focusing via IEA3 can quickly and accurately adjust the lens to ensure the image is sharp and clear from corner to corner. Auto-focusing is useful when moving the projector between different spaces, as it eliminates the need for manual focusing.

Lastly, screen fit ensures the projected image fits perfectly within the boundaries of your screen or projection area. IEA3 tech can automatically size and position the image using available space without overspilling. It's ideal for achieving a professional-looking setup with minimal effort.

It's worth noting that these auto modes are not exclusive to Nebula projectors. This kind of smart adaptation technology is often found in more expensive projectors.

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Nebula by Anker shows that this company can make more than just power banks and cables. Nebula projectors by Anker have carved out a notable niche in the portable projector market, blending convenience with performance in a way that's hard to ignore. The company is nailing it with these projectors. What sets Nebula apart is its focus on creating compact, versatile projectors balanced with quality. Whether for an impromptu movie night in the backyard or a presentation in a meeting room, there's a Nebula projector designed for the occasion.

Their lineup ranges from the pocket-sized Capsule, perfect for on-the-go entertainment, to more robust models like the Mars series, which offer higher brigs and more powerful speakers, making them ideal for indoor and outdoor use. Anker's extensive experience in battery technology shines through in the Nebula projectors, with long battery life ensuring you can get through a movie or presentation on a single charge.

Nebula has managed to squeeze quality, convenience, and tech into something you can throw in your bag and take anywhere.

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  • The LED light source can reproduce over 90% of the DCI-P3 color gamut
  • 200 ANSI Lumens manufacturer-rated brightness
  • Google TV OS, featuring Chromecast
  • Full HD (1920 x 1080p) displayed resolution
  • 400:1 contrast ratio
  • 30,000+ hours of light source life
  • Horizontal and vertical keystone adjustments
  • 2.5-hour built-in battery movie playtime & 10 hours in Bluetooth speaker mode
  • IEA3 automatically adjusts screen fit, keystone correction, autofocus, and obstacle avoidance
  • MEMC motion smoothing technology
  • Displays 40 to 120-inch 16x9 image diagonally
  • HDMI 2.0 w eARC support
  • 20 ms low input lag mode for gaming
  • Integrated 8-watt speaker with Bluetooth 5.1 technology


The projector is about the same size as a larger canned energy drink. Due to its compact size, the Capsule 3 Laser can quickly move from place to place.


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The dimensions of the Nebula Capsule 3 cylindrical chassis are 3.3" D x 6.6" H. The projector only weighs 2.1 pounds. Its cylindrical, compact size, and light weight make the Nebula Capsule 3 highly portable.

The front of the Capsule 3 contains the lens and sensors for Nebula's Intelligent Environment Adaptation 3.0 (IEA3) technology. The rear of the projector includes a single speaker, an AUX-out socket to connect to an external sound output device, an infrared receiver, a Mode button (press to switch between Bluetooth speaker mode and projector mode), a Power button, a USB-C port, and an HDMI 2.0 port. The bottom of the Capsule 3 has a ¼" tripod socket.

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On the projector's top are four navigation buttons, one at each compass point, with an Enter/Select button in the middle. On either side of the top Navigation button are two additional buttons for Volume Up and Volume Down and a Return button to the right of the bottom Navigation button.

In addition to the top controls, the rear center of the projector has an infrared receiver. Directly below the IR receiver is a Mode Select switch that turns the projector's Bluetooth functionality on or allows the user to select PROJECTOR mode.

Last and below the Mode switch is the projector's Power On/Off button, doubling as a PRESS TO WAKE and STANDBY mode control.

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All the projector's inputs and connections are located on the lower rear of the projector, where users will find a 3.5-inch AUX-out port, the projector's single HDMI 2.0 port, a USB Type-A port, and a USB Type-C connection.

While the Nebula Capsule 3 has an integrated audio system, some end-users may want to attach the projector to a sound bar or an AV Receiver to use high-quality sound with the Capsule 3 eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel). HDMI eARC is a feature of the HDMI standard that allows for two-way communication between an audio device, such as a soundbar and a projector. In addition to sending audio, HDMI ARC enables some audio device control using the projector remote control, including basic controls such as volume.

It is important to note that eARC is not the same as HDMI CEC (Consumer Electronics Control), another feature of the HDMI standard that allows for the control of multiple devices using a single remote. However, many devices that support HDMI ARC also support HDMI CEC, and the two features can work together to provide a seamless user experience.

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Based on our review of the previous model, the Capsule 3 Laser, Nebula has updated the remote control and added a backlight, which I found very useful because struggling to find the correct remote-control buttons in the dark can often be difficult. The addition of the backlight takes care of this issue.

The Capsule 3 includes a single remote to control the projector and access the unit's smart interface. The remote control comes with all the buttons you expect on a modern projector remote control. In addition, there's a built-in microphone on the remote for voice control systems with Google Assistant. Some of the things you can say to Google Assistant are "Open YouTube," "Show comedy movies," "What is Airport in Spanish?" and "What movie should I watch tonight?" for a list of popular movies and much more.

The remote also features two shortcut buttons for one-button access to the Netflix and Prime Video applications.


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Nebula states that Capsule 3 can project 40" to 120". I projected images as large as 100". The Capsule 3 lens has a 1.2:1 throw ratio, which means that at 3.47 ft from a projector screen or wall, the unit can project a 40-inch image and a 120-inch image from 8.67 feet away.

The Capsule 3 has a digital scaling feature controlled via the projector's menu. Once in the SCALING menu, I had to press the ZOOM option to zoom in or out of the projection image from 50% to 100%. Remember that digital adjustments like this zooming feature are very convenient but typically result in losing image quality. Features such as KEYSTONE adjustments also result in image quality loss. For this reason, we at Projector Reviews strongly recommend against using these features. Instead, we recommend manually doing everything you can to square the projected image.

I found the projector bright enough to produce a good image at 100" if used in my light-controlled space. However, a small amount of ambient light sneaking into the room caused an immediate loss in displayed color and contrast.


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The Capsule 3's menu system is well-organized and easy to navigate. The HOME button brings you directly to the projector's main menu screen. The menu images in this section represent only a small number of all the sub-menus available. I'm showing a handful of the more notable sections from the most used sub-menus (app store, image adjustments, sound adjustments, etc.).

The new Google TV OS on the Capsule 3 provides an excellent streaming experience. Nebula is stepping in to give users access to a native Netflix application that does not require any special setup or technical mumbo jumbo; it just works. The Capsule 3 also supports premium streaming services such as Disney+, Max, Hulu, and many more. Google TV also allows users to see live TV content and the on-demand streaming options available based on the user's subscriptions.

Additionally, Google TV gives users access to all the streaming, entertainment, and gaming content available on previous Android TV options while adding brand-new control functions, letting users make the projector a control hub for other connected devices in the home. This new Google TV OS allows users to connect to the entire range of Google and Google-compliant smart devices available today. Access home security cameras or a smart doorbell and view the feed on your big screen, for instance.



The out-of-the-box color on the Capsule 3 was very good except for the BRIGHT mode, which made everything blueish-green. Even though this projector is LED-powered, it appears to have a similar color tuning to the laser-powered Capsule model. The Capsule 3 is not a home theater projector. It's an ultra-portable projector, which compares incredibly well against other projectors in its class.

Going into PROJECTOR SETTINGS and clicking PICTURE, you will find user-selected picture modes: STANDARD, MOVIE, GAME, BRIGHT, and CUSTOM. The STANDARD mode provided a good balance between brightness and color reproduction. MOVIE mode was a warm reddish-brown hue on my matte white screen. BRIGHT mode gave everything a blueish-green cast and is not a mode that I would ever watch content in unless it were high contrast like cartoons.

The best overall OTB mode is the CUSTOM mode, which is designed to fine-tune the image to your preferences. It is the mode that, unadjusted, is the best factory preset mode, which has the following adjustments to tune your image to suit your viewing environment: Contrast, Saturation, Sharpness, Color Temperature, Wall Color, and Gamma.

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To say the Capsule 3 is not a bright projector is an understatement. The projector's very limited brightness is unfortunate because it limits the number of locations it can be used in and the maximum size of the image you can project. The projector offered passable brightness in my light-controlled space, but this all changed when I started introducing ambient light from a window or a lamp, causing the images to wash out. Movies and TV shows quickly became unwatchable with the introduction of light. High-contrast content like cartoons or presentations was watchable, but you must use it in a dark space to get the most out of this projector. The Capsule 3 is a great projector for a kid's bedroom or to display animation or casual games.

Nebula advertises the brightness of the Capsule 3 projector at 200 ANSI lumens. I measured the Capsule's brightness by setting the projector's PICTURE mode to BRIGHT, which provided the highest light output in my testing. I then took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens.

The LED light source of Capsule 3 measured 201 ANSI lumens, spot on with Nebula's published 200 ANSI lumens specification.

Be aware that brightness will automatically drop by about 40% when running the projector off the battery rather than plugging it into Power, which is significant and problematic if ambient light is in the area. I measured all four available picture modes while plugged into AC power; my measurements are below.

Nebula Capsule 3 Preset Mode's Brightness

Picture ModesBrightness Measured (ANSI Lumens)



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The photos above show various dark scenes, giving you an idea of the Capsule 3 projector's black-level performance. The Capsule 3 struggles to provide deep blacks with shadow details, which is especially noticeable when watching highly compressed content from services like Tubee, Crackle, and, in some cases, YouTube.

MOVIE mode increases the black levels, giving you more visible detail in your movies. However, this will make your blacks a lot more gray. As I noted in the COLOR section of this review, the CUSTOM mode was my preferred mode for watching movie and television content.



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Overall, the Capsule 3 displays a nice-looking 1080p image. Television content like live sports, shows, and games look good on this projector compared to many other projectors in its class.

Nebula even includes a motion-smoothing MEMC mode to help reduce the judder often found in lower frame rate content. The MEMC mode smooths out film and TV show choppiness and works well for watching fast-action content. I have to give Nebula credit for including MEMC on this projector because this is a feature whose benefit is demonstrable. Also, many other projectors in this class don't offer motion smoothing.

Does the Capsule 3 support HDR content? Surprisingly, yes. Does the Capsule 3 display HDR with improved black levels, improved dark and highlight area details, and enhanced color performance compared to SDR? No. Despite trying to see a visible difference between HDR and SDR content, I could not. Also, Nebula does not mention HDR compatibility for this model on the product website, the box, or the user manual.

Here's the bottom line. If you are in a light-controlled space, the Capsule 3 will display above-average video quality for all kinds of content, from movies, live sports, news, and high-contrast animated content like cartoons or games.


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The Capsule 3 features a dedicated GAMING mode as one of the projector's preset picture modes. The Capsule 3 is not a gaming projector, but based on my experience, games were quite playable on this little powerhouse.

I played several casual games and even loaded up some of my favorite FPS games to test it out. The casual games looked great on the 80-inch image I projected, and I even enjoyed a little Call of Duty, finding the mild input lag not to be an issue or get in the way of my enjoyment. The low lumens performance of the projector was more of an issue, making it harder for me to see enemies in the shadows.

This projector would be great for on-the-go casual gaming experiences.


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Regarding volume and tone, the sound system on the Capsule 3 is much better than the size of the projector would indicate. The speaker sounds similar to a smaller Bluetooth speaker, such as the JBL Go 3 or an entry-level Anker speaker. Sound comes predominantly from the right-ish side of the projector (looking from the rear). The imaging on the projector is non-existent, leading me to believe that this is a mono speaker. Nebula lists the projector as offering 360-degree sound, indicating that the sound is omnidirectional, but that's not the case. As mono sound systems go, this projector's sound is on par with most name-brand $30 mono Bluetooth speakers. It's loud and dynamic enough for on-the-go movies, games, and presentation content.

The projector can be a standalone Bluetooth speaker via the Capsule 3's integrated Bluetooth receiver and transmitter. You can also transmit audio from an HDMI-connected source or the projector's built-in streaming apps to Bluetooth headphones. This a very convenient feature if you want to watch a movie late at night without disturbing others.

The Capsule 3's HDMI port supports eARC (Enhanced Audio Return Channel), sending higher-quality audio from the projector to an external audio device, such as a soundbar or home theater system.


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The Nebula Capsule 3 is an incredibly solid and feature-rich projector. This is an ultra-portable projector whose sleek, cylindrical design is eye-catching and incredibly convenient for on-the-go entertainment. The projector is about the size of a monster energy can, making it incredibly easy to toss in a jacket pocket, backpack, or purse. The built-in battery gives users over two hours of on-the-go video entertainment.

The latest Google TV OS featured on the Capsule 3 brings a range of enhancements and new features that elevate the streaming experience. Google TV uses a new interface compared to Android TV, which is very intuitive. The new OS offers a personalized approach that ensures users are constantly presented with content aligned with their tastes.

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One of the strongest features of Google TV is its ability to aggregate content from various streaming services. Users can now search for shows or movies and receive results across all their subscriptions, making it easier to find what they want to watch without switching between different apps.

Another big focus for Google TV is the integration of live TV services, which provides users with a comprehensive view of available programming, both live and streaming, without the need to navigate away from the platform.

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The Capsule 3 is incredibly easy to set and use with the company's IEA3 functionality, providing users with automatic keystone correction, focus, screen fit, and obstacle avoidance capabilities. IEA3 makes this projector about as plug-and-play as any novice user will find.

The Nebula Capsule 3 stands out in its category for offering many features at an attractive price point. However, it's worth noting that its brightness is capped at 200 ANSI lumens. This means that to see this projector shine, you'll need to use it in a room where you can manage the light levels. While it's possible to get an adequate picture in the presence of some ambient light, doing so leads to diminished contrast and less vibrant color quality. A darkened environment is recommended for optimal viewing to appreciate the Capsule 3's capabilities fully.

The Nebula Capsule 3 is an attractive blend of portability and performance in a compact form. It is very small so it's easy to take almost anywhere measuring just 3.3 inches in diameter and 6.7 inches in height, with a lightweight frame at only 2.1 pounds, making it quite convenient to carry. The projector impresses with its Full HD (1080 x 1280) for crisp images providing detailed visuals. Additionally, the built-in 52Wh battery is a significant feature, offering up to 2.5 hours of video playback, which is ample for most viewing sessions without the need for a continuous power supply.

This new Nebula Capsule projector offers competitive features, performance, and design. If you can live with the low brightness the Capsule 3 is one of the most compelling ultra-portable projectors available to buy so far in 2024.

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The Nebula Capsule 3 and the XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro are similar projectors in size, features, and price.

Both projectors display a maximum resolution 1080p and use an LED light source.

One big advantage the XGIMI has over the Nebula is that it offers almost double the brightness of the Nebula, with our testing showing the XGIMI providing over 400 ANSI lumens of tested brightness. This increased brightness will give the projector an edge in spaces with small amounts of uncontrolled ambient light.

The XGIMI and the Nebula offer users a full-featured smart OS experience with access to all the most popular streaming applications, casual games, and even productivity applications, including a native Netflix application.

The XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro is a portable projector encompassing nearly all vital functionalities desired of a portable smart projector. However, it does miss one key feature - the integrated battery, which gives a huge advantage to the Nebula Capsule 3.

The XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro excels in portability due to its compact design and low weight. It also provides good brightness for clear and vivid images in settings with controlled ambient lighting. This projector displays Full HD (1920x1080p) visuals for sharp, distinct images. Moreover, it offers connectivity to various devices through HDMI, Bluetooth, and Wi-Fi. It also includes built-in speakers and the option to connect external speakers for enhanced audio performance.

Furthermore, the MoGo 2 Pro features intelligent obstacle avoidance that automatically resizes the image to bypass obstructions like picture frames, plants, and wall sockets. Most importantly, It also incorporates XGIMI's unique ISA 2.0 technology for seamless automatic keystone correction and autofocus, ensuring a hassle-free viewing experience. The projector autonomously adjusts horizontal and vertical aspects of its multi-angle keystone correction and focus without user intervention, resulting in a precisely projected image displayed almost instantly.

The XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro offers direct access to numerous streaming services, such as Netflix, Apple TV, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and HBO Max, along with an integrated sound system, making it convenient for cable-free, big-screen entertainment on the go—although you'll need to connect it to a 65W+ power bank. It's ideal for military personnel, frequent travelers, recreational vehicle users, or students living in apartments or dormitories.

At an MSRP of $569.00, the XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro is a versatile portable projector that should fulfill the needs of many consumers seeking an excellent viewing experience in a portable form factor.


The Wemax Dice is a 1080p Full HD 4LED projector rated 700 ANSI lumens. Android TV OS powers this remarkably sized mobile projector and supports the Google Play app store, unlike other Wemax projectors I've reviewed. The Dice supports popular streaming apps provided through the Google Play application store, such as Amazon Prime Video, HULU, HBO Max, AppleTV+, Paramount+, Peacock, and YouTube. I experienced no issues getting applications I downloaded to run on the projector.

As a bonus, Netflix can be side-loaded and installed from an apk file with zero issues.

The Capsule 3 and the Wemax Dice have decent out-of-the-box color accuracy compared to other portable projectors I've reviewed. The Dice is not a home theater projector but offers useful, out-of-the-box picture preset modes. I especially like the MOVIE and STANDARD presets. The Dice can reproduce 100% of the Rec.709 color gamut, displaying over 16.7 M distinct colors.

The projector's measured 685 ANSI lumens of brightness is more than enough when using it in a dark space, which lets it shine. However, the image will dim if you introduce even a small amount of light into the room. The Capsule 3's 200 ANSI lumens of brightness just does not come close.

Like the Capsule 3, The Dice does not produce much shadow detail, HDR does not help improve the projector's overall shadow details, and using it comes at a noticeable loss of brightness.

The Wemax Dice has a 10-watt (5 W x 2) sound system that is louder than any pico pico-based projectors I've reviewed. Truthfully, it is also better than many home theatre projectors I've reviewed. I also give the Dice the advantage in sound.

The projector's built-in battery provides an estimated 3 hours of runtime with video playback. Battery times will vary based on image settings and volume level. Wemax includes a power brick with the projector if you need more runtime.

The Wemax is priced at an MSRP of $699, but as of this review, the Dice is available at retail for only $50 more than the Nebula Capsule 3.

From a size perspective, the Nebula Capsule 3 is the clear winner. Also, Nebula makes a Mars series projector similar to the Dice in size, so there are better-specced projector options available from Nebula in the $500 price range.

Nebula features the newer Google TV OS compared to the Dice which comes with the older Android TV operating system.


  • 1080p resolution allows the projection of a 120-inch image
  • Google TV OS provides a better user experience with the ability to search across all applications.
  • LED light source provides excellent color quality.
  • 30,000-hour Laser light source lifespan will likely outlast the projector.
  • IEA3 Quick and precise auto focus and auto keystone correction simplify setup.
  • Game Picture Mode provides a manufacturer's rated 20 ms low input lag.
  • Built-in 8-watt speaker provides bigger sound than the size of the projector would indicate.
  • Small and portable cylindrical shape fits in a pocket, purse or backpack.
  • Includes a vast amount of streaming apps, including a native Netflix application.


  • Low ANSI lumens means a small amount of light can wash out the image.
  • Dark area details are often hard to see.


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Nebula Capsule 3 Full Specifications
Projector ModelCapsule 3
Price$549 MSRP
Imager TypeDLP (0.23″ DMD)
Displayed Resolution1,920 x 1,080 pixels (1080p)
Native Resolution1,920 x 1,080 pixels (1080p)
Brightness 200 ANSI Lumens
Light Source TypeLED
Light Source Life30,000 hours (Normal)
Contrast Ratio400:1 (Dynamic Iris)
Zoom Lens RatioFixed
Power Zoom/FocusYes - Focus
Lens ShiftNo
Interchangeable LensNo
Ultra-Short ThrowNo
Native Aspect Ratio16:9
Built-in Rechargeable BatteryYes
Blu-Ray 3DNo
Sound System8-watt mono speaker 
Noise Level (-dB) 
Low Lag GamingYes
Smart FunctionalityYes
Special FeaturesHDR10, eARC
Dimensions (HxWxD)3.3” D (Diameter) x 6.6” H (Height)
Weight2.1 lbs. (4.58 kg)
WarrantyLimited Two (2) Year


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