Anker's Nebula Android TV Dongle has low specs and a very high price!

Mike Wheatley

Chinese electronics brand Anker, best known for its portable projectors, is getting into the set-top box market with the launch of its new Nebula Android TV Dongle.


As the name suggests, it runs Android TV, but some might consider it to be a bit misleading too, as the ‘Dongle’ is really just a miniature set-top box that plugs into the TV using a standard HDMI cable. But Anker insists on calling it a dongle nonetheless.

As if that wasn’t confusing enough, Anker has also opted to give its Dongle a very pricey price tag $89.99 on the U.S. Amazon portal, which is a huge premium over the Chromecast with Google TV dongle that costs just ‎$49.99.

So does that mean you can expect more high-end features and capabilities within this very unassuming little box of tricks? Well, sadly, that doesn’t appear to be the case. For one thing it runs Android TV as opposed to Google TV, and it packs just 8GB of storage for apps and games, with just 2GB of RAM to keep things ticking over – exactly the same specs as the Chromecast.

It does at least handle 4K resolution at a maximum of 75Hz over its HDMI 2.1 connection, but that’s no better than the Chromecast either. At the same time, it only supports basic HDR and Dolby Digital Plus multi-channel audio, meaning it lacks support for premium formats such as Dolby Vision, HDR10+ and Dolby Atmos, all of which are present on the Chromecast.

Connectivity wise, options include Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi with 5Ghz AC speed, which isn’t too bad, though that is the only option as there is no way to add Ethernet. The Dongle comes with HDMI and MicroSD power slots.


The chipset is faster than the Chromecast at least, but only just. Whereas the Chromecast is powered by a Quad Core A53 chipset that maxes out at 1.8 GHz, the Nebula Dongle claims to max out at 2GHz, so users might be able to squeeze a little higher performance out of it.

The biggest advantage the Nebula Android TV Dongle has over the Chromecast is probably the remote control, which is about as useful as it gets. It comes with four dedicated buttons for Amazon Prime Video, Disney+, Netflix and YouTube TV. By contrast, the Chromecast’s remote only has dedicated buttons for YouTube and Netflix, so the Nebula wins that contest. Further, those buttons are all programmable, so users have even more instant launch options at their fingertips. There’s also dedicated buttons for live TV and channels up/down, input for the TV and a Google Assistant button and built-in microphone. As far as remote controls go, it’s about as good as it gets.

So for those Android TV fans who watch lots of live TV and subscribe to multiple streaming services, the Nebula Android TV Dongle may not be such a bad bet after all. But the limited storage and lack of premium HDR and sound capabilities, combined with the high price tag, means it will be a tough sell to anyone else.