Nebula Cosmos Max 4k test, review and priceCategory: Tests / Reviews
I bought my first projector (a Xgimi H1) in crowdfunding in 2016 and 4 years after my purchase it still gives me complete satisfaction. [b][b]In 2019 I bought a portable projector in crowdfunding (a Xgimi Mogo Pro) and it was also a very good product.[b][b]In 2020, I wanted to test a 4k projector but the prices being still too high, I thought I would have to wait until I found the Nebula Cosmos Max sold for less than 1000 € in crowdfunding. I thought I'd give it a try![b][b][b][b][b]Manufacturer web site: https://www.seenebula.com/[b]
How are my tests different from others on the web?
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Price Nebula Cosmos MaxThe list below shows the prices for the Nebula Cosmos Max from more than 50 sites around the world. If you are not satisfied with any price, you can subscribe to a price alert to be the first to be notified when the price drops.[b]
[b] The above links are affiliate links from companies such as Amazon, Gearbest, Aliexpress,... If you appreciate my work, I would be grateful if you could purchase these products through these links. It costs you absolutely nothing but I get a small commission that allows me to buy the material I test. Thank you very much!
Anker Nebula Cosmos Max 4K UHD TV Home Theater/Entertainment Projector, 1,500 ANSI Lumens, Android T...
Anker Nebula Cosmos Max 4K UHD TV Home Theater/Entertainment Projector, Android TV 9.0 with 5000+ Ap...
Projecteur multimédia d'intérieur Anker Nebula Cosmos Max 4K, Android TV 9.0, Dolby Digital Plus...
Anker Nebula Cosmos Max 4K Beamer, Projektor mit 1500 ANSI Lumen (Lichtquelle), Android TV 9.0, Dolb...
TimelineJune 2020: the crowdfunding campaign ends and I missed the sale (by oversight). I contacted the Nebula support and the projector will not be available for sale before September.[b]October 2020: the projector is available on Amazon, I bought it with a 20% discount. Two days later, I have the projector at home and I can start the test.[b][b]
Why this projector?My blog is a hobby and when I test a product, I have to choose a type of product that I use frequently because I don't have enough time to test products that I never use. I usually test smartphones because I use this kind of product every day but I also use projectors a lot, I gave up television years ago.[b][b]I've been wanting to buy a 4k projector for a few months now but with prices over 2000 euros, it wasn't exactly in my budget. So I waited until I found the Nebula Cosmos Max on Indiegogo. It's the first portable projector in 4k.[b][b]Buying a product on Indiegogo is always a risk but you have to know that the Nebula projector is produced by a company (Anker) that has already produced good projectors and this company has a great way to bring a good product on the market. [b][b]If you want to take the risk, it is always possible to buy it at a preferential price on Indiegogo:[b][b][b][b][b][b]
Unpacking[b][b]When I received the box of the Nebula Cosmos Max 4k I was surprised by its weight, the projector weighs 3.4kg and it is also quite large (35cm by 25). The box barely fit in my studio to take the pictures.[b][b]My camera was running out of battery and I didn't want to wait to take pictures so I used my Samsung Galaxy S20 to take the pictures.[b][b]The projector is very well protected in its box, this partly explains the size and weight of the box. The Nebula is not the first projector produced by Anker and it shows. The packaging shows a certain maturity in product identity and the positioning is rather premium. [b][b]The box contains the projector, a remote control with 2 AAA batteries, a manual and the power cable. [b][b][b][b]
First configurationThe Nebula Cosmos Max 4k runs on Android TV, which means that the start-up procedure follows a similar process to all other devices running the same operating system.[b][b]The first step is to associate the remote control to the projector, I guess it is linked to the projector by a bluetooth link. The association is quick and hasn't caused me any problems.[b][b]The following screens are common to all machines using Android TV, you have to select your country and language, then you have to use a Google account to connect. As the projector does not come with a keyboard, the configuration procedure allows you to use an Android phone to configure the projector, this makes it easier to add an account on the projector with minimal intervention from the phone's keyboard. Next come the usual authorisation screens for Google services. The configuration procedure only takes a few minutes, it is well designed and will allow you to use the projector quickly.[b][b][b][b]
Finish[b][b]The Nebula Cosmos Max 4k projector is really beautiful, I know, it's subjective but it's probably one of the most beautiful projectors I've tested so far. Its format is a bit peculiar though because the projectors are often angular where the Nebula is elipse shaped. This choice is undoubtedly motivated by the desire to spread the sound all around the projector in a uniform manner.[b][b]The projector has a premium feel, the finish is impeccable, the materials are well assembled and the weight reinforces the impression of solidity. [b][b]At the front of the projector you will of course find the optical compartment, it is quite imposing but fits well into the structure of the projector. The outline of the projector is composed of a grid to diffuse the sound, there are two almost invisible outlets to let the heat out of the projector. [b][b][b][b]At the rear there is an ignition button, two HDMI ports, two USB ports and a digital output for sound. The connector for the power supply is next to the first HDMI port.[b][b]The top of the projector has a reflective surface that will light up in the form of small stars when the projector is switched on.[b][b]On the bottom of the projector there is the bracket needed to attach the projector to an arm or stand. [b][b][b][b]
Projection roomMy projection room is rectangular, 4.6m x 2.9m (height 2.2m). The projection wall is a normal wall on which I have applied white paint without any particular treatment. The walls on the side are darker (dark grey and red) to accentuate the contrast with the white wall and avoid too much light reflection.
I have the possibility to place a projector at the back of the room at a distance of about 4m from the screen. I also have the option of placing a short-throw projector at the foot of the wall.
I don't have a dedicated installation for sound, I just use a sound bar from Xiaomi.
Battery autonomyThe Nebula Cosmos Max 4k does not have a battery, it runs on mains power only.[b][b]
Power consumptionOn the official Nebula website, the consumption of the Nebula Cosmos Max 4k should reach 180w. That's a lot for a projector of this type and it's one of the elements that almost dissuaded me from buying it. Fortunately the reality is different.[b][b]I measured the power consumption at the plug during the projector configuration procedure and I measured 105W. I then made another measurement by reading a YouTube video and got a consumption of around 90W. As my projection room is dark, I reduced the brightness to 50% as this was more than enough. With 50% brightness I got a power consumption of 65W. I have another LED projector in 1080p that I found energy efficient as I was getting a consumption of 75-80 Watts, the Nebula Cosmos Max 4k does even better and is also brighter.[b][b][b][b]
Operating noiseThe Nebula Cosmos Max 4k is equipped with two ventilation outlets facing the rear of the projector. The ventilation is quite noisy at start-up, the noise will then fluctuate depending on the use of the projector.[b][b]Nebula announces a maximum noise of 32db but in reality the projector is clearly louder, I measured about 50 db on average. The ventilation is therefore audible when the projector is not producing sound but I didn't find this problematic. My XGIMI H1 makes less noise. The Xiaomi laser that I also tested, on the other hand, was much noisier and its positioning at the front made the noise more problematic.[b][b]
ConnectivityWifi[b]The Nebula Cosmos Max does not have an Ethernet port and I was worried that this would affect performance but fortunately this is not the case. My projector is in the same room as my router so the distance cannot affect performance. I was able to play uncompressed 4k video files without any problems.[b][b][b]Bluetooth[b]I tested the Bluetooth connection of the projector with my Xiaomi sound bar, I did not encounter any problem to establish the connection but I noticed a slight delay in the sound (less than 1 second). This is a fairly common problem with projectors but the lag is small enough to ignore it, you really have to pay attention to it to see it.[b][b]It is also possible to turn the projector into a Bluetooth speaker by using the "Bluetooth Speaker Mode", in this case you can send sound to the projector which will turn into a speaker (without having to project an image).[b][b]
Image qualityTest 1 (projection on wall, diagonal 148 inches, 50% brightness)[b][b][b]The Nebula Cosmos Max 4k uses a DMD 0.47 chip from Texas Instrument, this chip is used in many other projectors of this type. It projects 4k resolution through upscaling. The use of this type of chip is intended to provide a 4k projector at an affordable price. [b][b]In the video above, I play videos on YouTube and the detected resolution is indeed a 4k resolution. I filmed this footage with the Poco F2 Pro and even though this phone produces good quality videos, the actual rendering is better than what I show in the video. The videos I have chosen are also very saturated in terms of colour, so they don't pay too much attention to the colorimetry which I will test with a probe later on.[b][b]As you can see the video quality is really good overall. The sharpness is good without being too pronounced because I had the opportunity to test a laser projector which had a more pronounced sharpness but this gave a less natural side to the image. [b][b]The movements in the video are fluid, I didn't encounter any jerks. The first video with the Lamborghini is a video where there is a lot of movement but the projector manages to keep up the pace. The telephone used to film causes a slight loss, so the fluidity of the image is better in real life as well.[b][b]My projector wall is almost 3m wide, so you have to be able to imagine this video on a very large surface, I have a diagonal of 3.3m in total which is equivalent to a 130 inch screen.[b][b]Test 2 (projection on canvas, diagonal 107 inches, brightness at 30%)[b][b][b]The image on canvas is brighter despite a 30% brightness setting. This gain is especially noticeable when standing close to the beam of the projector. The video even seems sometimes overexposed but this overexposure is not as pronounced in reality, the phone used for filming seeks its balance and does not always make the right choices. [b][b]The canvas also brings a gain in saturation, the colours are more vivid with sometimes even too much saturation. I bought this canvas for 22€ on Aliexpress and the gain in brightness is important, it is not necessarily useful for a projector of this type which offers a good basic brightness. I gain a little in power consumption but I lose fidelity on certain colours. So this projector does not need a canvas offering a gain in brightness, my white wall was more than enough.[b][b][b][b]
Image size and projection distanceTest 1:[b]I placed the projector in the back right corner of my room, it is high up on a cupboard, so I had to place it on its back. The projector works without any problems when projecting from the side, the keystone correction allows the image to be adjusted quite precisely. [b][b]At a distance of 3.8m I have an image about 3m wide with a diagonal of almost 3.3m. I kept the zoom at 100% but I had to play with the trapezoid correction to match the position of the walls. The projector tolerates a deviation of about 40° from a front projection.[b][b]Test 2:[b]I recently installed a second projection surface in my room by placing a canvas on the left wall and installing the projector in front projection from the right wall. In this arrangement, I have a projection distance of approximately 290cm to obtain an image of 107 inches (271cm diagonal).[b][b]How do I calculate the screen diagonal from the projection distance?[b][b]You need to multiply the projection distance in cm by 0.37 to get the diagonal in inches. Here are a few examples:[b][b]Distance in cm / Diagonal in inches[b]398 cm / 150 inches[b]318 cm / 120 inches[b]266 cm / 100 inches[b]213 cm / 80 inches[b]160 cm / 60 inches[b][b]How to calculate the width of the image from the diagonal? [b][b]I often receive this kind of question when I test a projector, so I will detail the calculation that will allow you to calculate the width of the screen according to the projection distance. This calculation is only valid for a 16:9 image not modified by the trapezoidal correction.[b][b]A 16:9 image creates an angle of 60° between the diagonal and the bottom of the image. Based on the diagonal in cm and this angle it is possible to calculate the width of your image.[b][b]Image width = diagonal in cm * sin(60)[b][b]If I recapitulate the whole calculation for my second projection test, I get the following result:[b][b]Projection distance: 290cm[b]Diagonal: 107 inches so 271cm[b]Angle: 60°.[b][b]Image width = 271 * sin(60)[b]Width of the image = 234 cm[b][b]Colorimetry[b]To test the colorimetry, I use a probe. This is undoubtedly the best method to make the evaluation as objective as possible, but I must point out that the result will be influenced by my projection wall. The data is therefore not scientifically correct but it will give a good idea of the colour fidelity.[b][b][b]With the "normal" mode and a brightness of 50%, I obtain a colour difference of 8.75 dE. The human eye detects colour differences starting at a dE of 3. Deviations are visible but as I explained above, my wall influences the result and a projector will never be as faithful as a good amoled screen. The result is therefore satisfactory. I find that the most visible colour difference is blue because it tends towards purple and this is seen in scenes where the sky should be blue.[b][b]I also measured the colour temperature on the white and I obtained a temperature of 9414K, which is a significant deviation from the daylight temperature (6500K). The basic setting of the projector therefore projects a rather cold image.[b][b]If I increase the brightness to 100%, the problem becomes even worse, the image is even colder with a white at 10058K and the colour difference increases to a dE 9.7.[b][b]I then tested the "cold" mode at 50% without too much conviction because if with the normal mode the image was already too cold, the cold mode should make the problem worse. I measured a temperature of 10013K and a dE of 9.2. [b][b]After this first test, the conclusion is quite simple, the "cold" mode is not recommended, neither is 100% brightness because it cools down the image quite significantly.[b][b]If the base temperature is too low, the "warm" mode should therefore improve the situation.[b][b][b][b]The effect of this "hot" mode is directly visible on the image and the result of the probe is also quite clear. I obtained a dE of 6.3 and a white temperature of 7442K. Even if the white could have been a bit warmer, the dE of 6.3 is a good result.[b][b]The 50% "warm" mode therefore offers the best colorimetry among the different modes tested. The projector offers a lot of adjustment possibilities, so I will have to spend some time trying to find a better setting.[b][b]Brightness[b]The Nebula Cosmos Max offers a brightness of 1500 ANSI lumen. It is the brightest LED projector I have ever had the opportunity to test. My XGIMI H1 has a brightness of 900 lumen and I found it more than enough for a room without light. I even had to lower the brightness of the Nebula because it was too bright.[b][b]With 1500 lumen you can use the Nebula in a room with daylight as long as you don't have direct light on the screen. The picture quality will be less good but the image remains perfectly viewable.[b][b]I have tested the Nebula with a brightness gain fabric, it is perfectly useless on a projector of this type because I had to lower the brightness again. [b][b]
Audio qualityThe Nebula Cosmos Max 4k is equipped with 4 Dolby Digital Plus loudspeakers to broadcast sound all around the projector. The first thing that struck me with the sound is its power, the lowest volume remains perfectly audible and I never had to turn the sound up very loud. [b][b]If the projector had a jack output I could have put it through the same test as the smartphone, so my judgement of the sound quality will be a subjective judgement by ear. The sound is more powerful than what the Xgimi H1 or Mogo Pro are capable of producing but I am still one notch below the Xiaomi Mi Laser TV which was clearly too powerful for the size of my room. If I look at the frequencies, I feel that the frequency range is more limited than the Xgimi with its Harman-Kardon speakers. The sound is not bad but it sometimes lacks finesse and I have the impression that the sounds sometimes get blurred because I find it harder to distinguish the voices from the instruments when a scene is noisy. [b][b]To test the treble, I used a video by Adèle:[b][b][b]To test the bass, I used a video from BIllie Eilish[b][b][b]There is a good chance that YouTube will block these videos for copyright reasons, if that is the case, I would place a video in private mode.[b][b]I filmed these videos with the Xiaomi Mi 10T Pro and even though this phone is capable of producing good videos, the recording will always show a degradation compared to reality. [b][b]I don't have a dedicated hifi installation but I doubt that a projector can compete with this kind of installation. If you don't have an installation, the Cosmos will offer you a completely correct solution at no extra cost. The sound is more powerful than my 28W Xiaomi sound bar but it is probably less accurate because when many sounds are mixed together, the sound bar manages to better distinguish the types of sound. If you are a fan of Michael Bay movies where everything explodes all the time, the Cosmos Max speakers will show their limits. [b][b]
Video games[b][b]The Nebula Cosmos Max 4k is not a gaming oriented projector but it does rather well with an input lag (= display delay) of 50 ms. This is clearly not sufficient for games where fast reaction time is required such as FPS, but for games where the reaction time is less important, this should be sufficient. The video shows a game with Asphalt 8 where the lag caused me absolutely no problems.[b][b]
Operating systemThe Cosmos Max runs on Android TV, so it offers an experience designed for TV and remote control. As this is an official version, this ensures a longer lifetime for the projector as it will receive updates for a few years.[b][b]With Android TV you can also access a dedicated Play Store where you'll find most but not all of the common applications. Google has only kept the applications that can be used with a remote control. I don't have a Netflix subscription but I was able to test Amazon Prime and it works perfectly, the streaming offered is clearly in high definition.[b][b]I mainly use Kodi for video playback but you can easily play 4k videos on YouTube or access your Steam game library through Geforce Now. [b][b]The settings allow you to make many adjustments to the image and I'm not talking here about correcting the image size but also the brightness, zoom, colour saturation, the colour of your canvas, colour tones, ... It's the first time I've found so many settings for the image and it's clearly an advantage because you'll be able to adapt the image according to your tastes and also according to your context (e.g. canvas, wall, ...).[b][b]
Encoutered bugsNot yet available / tested[b][b]
Test / Review conclusionBuying a new product through crowdfunding always involves a form of risk, but Anker is a solid company that has already produced several video projectors, so the risk of this project not succeeding was quite low. I hesitated for a long time before buying this projector, mainly because of the price. Looking back a few months, I don't regret my purchase. [b][b]The Nebula Cosmos Max 4k produces a nice image with a good level of sharpness and fairly good colour reproduction. There aren't many 4k projectors on the market yet at an "affordable" price, the Cosmos Max is undoubtedly one of the first. I hadn't yet tested a 4k projector, I can clearly see a difference with the 1080p projectors I have tested even if it is a simulated 4k. [b][b]Beyond the image quality, I also appreciated the colour rendering and the numerous adjustment possibilities. The colour rendering is better than that of the Mi Laser TV which produced an image that was too cold and with a sharpness that was sometimes exaggerated to the point of degrading the image. [b][b]The brightness of the projector is also one of its strengths, I had to lower the brightness to 50% in the dark because the brightness was too high. By reducing the brightness, the consumption drops and I fall below 100W, it's an excellent performance.[b][b]The Cosmos Max is a beautiful projector, it can easily take pride of place in your living room or a dedicated room and as it can be used as a loudspeaker, it can also act as a sound diffuser. [b][b]Unfortunately, not everything is perfect. Its biggest flaw is probably the lack of contrast, I would add that the sound could be thinner and the fans are sometimes too noisy.[b][b]Price is an essential element that should determine your purchase. I bought this projector for less than 1000€. Even if it still represents a big budget, it is a fair price for this kind of projector and there is not much competition in this price range at the moment. [b][b][b][b]Strengths[b]Image quality[b]Resolution 4k[b]Reduced electricity consumption[b]Brightness[b]Android TV[b][b]Weaknesses[b]Contrast[b]Remote control not illuminated (difficult to find the right buttons in the dark)[b]Fans sometimes noisy[b]Accuracy of sound in noisy scenes[b][b][b]