Anker’s new Nebula 4K Android TV dongle makes a surprise debut on Amazon
Anker continues to expand its budget electronics offerings. The company already makes a series of projectors under its Nebula brand, and now it’s expanding into set-top boxes. The Nebula Android TV Dongle is a video streaming dongle that runs Android TV (aren’t you glad we’re here to cut through this technical jargon?). It’s shipping from Amazon today for $89.99.
That’s a surprising premium over, say, the Chromecast with Google TV, especially since Anker isn’t actually using Google TV — it has the vanilla Android TV interface. It’s especially pricey given that it’s using the same 8GB of storage for apps and games, with 2GB of RAM to keep them running smoothly.
Review Geek spotted the new gadget hanging out on an Amazon listing page; it’s nowhere to be found on the Nebula site, for some reason. The Anker dongle can handle 4K resolution at a maximum of 75Hz over its HDMI 2.1 connection. In terms of media it supports basic HDR and Dolby Digital Plus multi-channel audio. It’s packed with Bluetooth 5.0 and Wi-Fi with 5Ghz AC speed, which you’ll have to settle for, since there’s no way to add Ethernet. The dongle only has HDMI and MicroSD power slots.
The big draw for this dongle versus the Chromecast might just be the remote. With four dedicated buttons for YouTube TV, Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video, it’s hitting a lot of the primary services that Android TV users are likely to subscribe to (at least in the US). And those buttons can be programmed, giving a lot more instant-launch options than the remote for the Chromecast or even the SHIELD. It also includes dedicated buttons for live TV and channels up/down, input for your television, and a Google Assistant button with microphone.
If you use Android TV for live television, that more capable remote might be worth a few extra bucks. But with low storage and limited expansion options, it seems like a hard sell to pretty much everyone else.