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Nebula Apollo Review Comparison Capsule Max Vs Capsule 2

Wednesday, May 06, 2020

Before splashing out on a bulky projector or large TV for a home cinema set-up, it's worth looking into a mobile projector such as the Apollo pico projector, which is the newest addition to the Nebula handheld projector lineup.
Not only is the Apollo pico projector perfect for small rooms, it is very portable, it's small (only 128mm tall) and integrates dual band 2.4GHz / 5GHz, making the Apollo projector ideal for transportation to a presentation, friend's house or outdoor gathering.
The Nebula Apollo projector is equipped with a 9,750 mAh Li-Polymer battery that recharges via fast charging 15V/3A DC input, taking just 2 hours to fully charge. Depending on the mode (i.e. battery mode, bluetooth speaker mode, auto mode, standard mode), you can get anywhere from 4 hours playtime (battery mode) up to 30 hours in Bluetooth speaker mode when setting volume at 50%.
Battery mode and Auto mode improve battery performance but reduces the image brightness down to 100 ANSI. Standard mode delivers the maximum 200 ANSI brightness but, it consumes more power (~20 watts) so, you can only get 3 hours of battery life.
In Auto mode, the projector automatically adjusts the brightness to achieve 4 hours of battery life, which is the same as Battery mode. The Apollo projector goes into standby/sleep mode automatically after 15 minutes of inactivity but only when not watching a movie.
There is not much difference between Auto and Battery mode, in terms of image quality, since brightness is greatly reduced to conserve power. Auto and Battery mode work best at night or in a dark room. If the room is partially lit up or there is ambient light, Auto and Battery mode work best when watching content with low-key lighting that contains mostly dark tones and colours.
There are two built-in speakers inside the Nebula Apollo, one of which is front-facing while the other speaker is located on the rear of the speaker, which means you can position the speaker in front or behind you. The ventilation outlet is located on the top right side of the Apollo speaker, which has a perforated metal outer shell.
The connectivity ports and control buttons are located on the rear of the Apollo speaker, including the infrared receiver for the included remote. There are a total of two physical buttons, one of which toggles between Bluetooth speaker mode and projector mode and, the other button turns the unit on and off. Both buttons integrate an led indicator, which light up blue according to the mode.
In projector mode, the power button lights up blue, while the top button will light up blue in Bluetooth speaker mode.
The audio performance of the Apollo projector is similar to the original Capsule, in terms of volume output, since the Apollo has a 6W total output; whereas the original Capsule has a 5W output. That said, the Apollo projector does a better job at distributing the sound across a room, thanks to back-to-back positioning of the twin speakers.
The connectivity ports are located along the rim edge of the bottom side of the Apollo speaker, which has a rubber base. Because of the location of the ports close to the ground, you will have to be mindful of where you place the speaker, especially outdoors to avoid dirt and water getting into the ports.
That said, the Apollo speaker does integrate a tripod thread on the base to raise the speaker higher off the ground, which also helps when wiring the Apollo projector to a computer, media player or games console via HDMI cable, which supports up to 1080p input via HDMI 1.4. This means, the Apollo projector does not support video signals higher than 1080p; hence you won't be able to playback 4K movies when connecting the Apollo projector to a blue-ray player.
When watching content off a USB flash drive or phone's micro SD card, you can do it via an OTG cable adapter (not included). You will have to format the USB flash drive or micro SD card to FAT32 since it's the only disk format supported by Apollo. FAT32 does limit files to 4GB so, larger movie files have to be split into parts.
While the Apollo projector does not integrate autofocus, it stands out from the Nebula capsule projectors by integrating a nifty touch sensitive control panel, which is located on top of the unit.
The touch control panel is made of tinted acrylic plastic with see-through finish, exposing a printed circuit board with red conductive tracks that connect the touch sensors electronic components.
The control panel is extremely responsive and precise at registering finger taps and swipes across left to right and top to bottom for toggling between menu options and keyboard characters.
Apollo's touch panel works similarly to a laptop's touchpad, which takes getting used to at first if you haven't used one before. Aside from toggling between options, you can also enable "mouse cursor" from the touch control panel, which enables a finger cursor icon for quicker navigation.
The touch control buttons glow white when pressed, making them easy to use in low light. The Nebula logo glows red in the center of the panel. Being touch control, the top panel is completely sealed off, preventing dust ingress. That said, the touch control panel is a dust magnet, attracting fine particles like hairs and dust fibers so, it requires regular cleaning.
The Nebula Apollo projector has the same 1.3 throw ratio as all other Capsule projectors so, the Apollo projector is able to project a clearly lit image to a projection surface as long as the distance is between 21 inches (minimum) and 121 inches (maximum).
The maximum projection image you can get is 100 inches and properly square, thanks to being able to manually correct the vertical and horizontal angle (up to 40 degrees), as well as the quadrilateral angle of the image. You can also set automatic keystone correction if you prefer the projector to automatically do the correction.
Keystone correction is accessed via the projector settings, which has the same easy to navigate user interface as previous Capsule projectors.
You can change the projection image (i.e. rear, front, inverted rear), adjust the image color temperature, as well as access other information such as general settings (i.e. time, date, screen mirroring, etc) available memory (1GB RAM) and available storage, which is 8GB (same as the Mars 2 Pro projector) and 8GB less storage than the Capsule Max 2 projector.
In terms of image resolution, the Apollo projector integrates a 5mm DLP chip with a 480p (852×480 pixels) native standard resolution, which is DVD quality and the same image resolution you get with the original Capsule projector.
For some people, the 480p resolution on the new Nebula Apollo projector might be a deal breaker, considering the similarly priced 720p native resolution of the Capsule Max 2, Capsule 2 and Mars 2 Pro, which is able to upscale to 1080p.
While 480p is a downgrade, in terms of image quality, there is not a huge difference between the 480p Apollo and 720p Capsule 2. The difference is mainly appreciated when viewing upclose. If your seating distance is going to be 3 meters or more from the projecting surface, you won't really notice any difference between 480p, 720p and even 1080p if the seating distance is 6 meters or more.
If you plan to use Apollo as a gaming projector, you should look to the Mars 2 Pro, which supports 1080p and 1000:1 contrast ratio (Apollo has 400:1). However, both Apollo and the Mars 2 Pro have the same quad core A7 CPU processor, which provides fast refresh rate and no lag time. If performance is what you're after though, you should look into the faster performing Capsule 2 projector, which uses a quad core A53 processor that performs better for web browsing and other tasks.
Apollo runs on Android 7.1, which is the tablet version of Android and not the official Android TV OS you get with the Capsule 2 projector, which supports Netflix HD and Chromecast, which is not supported on the Apollo projector.
Regarding screen casting/mirroring, you cannot mirror or screencast copyrighted content, including streaming apps. So, if you want to watch content from Hulu or Netflix, you will need to download and use the Hulu and Netflix apps directly through Apollo.
The Nebula Apollo projector has a similar footprint to the Capsule II pico projector but, instead of a round capsule design, the Nebula Apollo body has a square capsule frame (63mm x 63mm) with a square lens housing. At 580 grams, the Apollo projector is one of Nebula's lightest projector, second only to the original Capsule, which weighs 420 grams.
Unlike the previous capsule versions, namely Capsule Max 2 and Capsule 2, which have automatic focus, the Nebula Apollo projector doesn't. Instead, Nebula has brought back the same manual focus design found on the original Nebula Capsule. Both Autofocus and manual focus do the same job so, it comes down to preference. Manual control does give you more control and involvement and it's noise-free from the motor noise that would be generated by an autofocus.
Model Number D2410J11
Accessories included with the Nebula Apollo projector are a Nebula-branded wall power adapter (type DST451-150300W-K) with retractable flat 2-pin perfect for transportation. The wall adapter comes also with a UK 3-pin plug adapter that slides into position over the flat pins. The included Nebula-branded remote control uses two coin cell CR 2032 batteries, which are included. You can buy the Nebula Apollo projector on amazon

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