It’s no secret that the past few years have changed the way we socialize, with many of us choosing to participate in the safety of outdoor gatherings rather than risk the spread of Covid-19 in confined indoor spaces. .
Perhaps sensing that this trend would only gain popularity in the future, Samsung has cleverly delivered The Freestyle, a portable projector capable of producing admirable Full HD images up to 100 inches in size, perfect for movie nights. in back.
With The Freestyle, Samsung offers just about everything you need for an evening of entertainment, bringing the smart TV experience to any surface you turn to. It offers access to all your favorite streaming services, a powerful 360° built-in speaker with smart assistant support, and even mobile mirroring – all you need is a streaming source. power (either through a wall outlet or compatible power source) and Wi-Fi (or, alternatively, a mobile hotspot).
Accessibility is key to the widespread acceptance of any new product, and Samsung has achieved this with The Freestyle. Simply put, any projector ready to go minutes out of the box is a design and engineering triumph, and one to be celebrated.
The Samsung Freestyle certainly looks the part, with a cylindrical shape and an adjustable stand. It is both decorative and practical as it allows the angle of the projector to be moved from 90 to 180 degrees. You can also use it to carry the Freestyle on the go.
The matte white chassis isn’t just sleek, it’s also well built, ensuring the Freestyle is both portable and sturdy. Behind a series of holes is an integrated 360˚ speaker system, combined with a heat sink, an invisible fan and a spiral air duct for cooling with minimal noise.
At the top, where the lens is, you’ll find some basic touch controls for power on/off, volume, and streaming.
Further down the side is a switch to activate the built-in microphone, a USB-C port for power, and a Micro-HDMI port for external devices. The USB-C port is only for connecting the USB power adapter. The proximity of the Micro-HDMI input and the USB-C port means that space is limited, so it’s best to use a dedicated HDMI to Micro-HDMI cable, rather than an adapter.
In terms of wireless connectivity, there’s Wi-Fi 5 and Wi-Fi Direct, plus Bluetooth 5.2 and Apple AirPlay 2. Wi-Fi functionality isn’t just supported by the Tizen-powered smart platform projector, but also adds built-in Bixby and Amazon Alexa smart assistants.
The Samsung Freestyle comes with a remote control which is finished in white to match the projector. The zapper uses a simple design that is comfortable to hold and use, with an intuitive button layout that makes it easy to set up and control the Freestyle. There are also direct buttons for the main streaming apps.
As with most Samsung devices, the Freestyle is compatible with the SmartThings app (Android and iOS), which offers the same control options as the included remote and also adds voice interaction via Bixby and Amazon Alexa using USB. a built-in far-field microphone.
The Samsung Freestyle is very easy to set up, thanks to auto keystone, auto leveling and auto focus. Simply point the device at where you want to project and it will do the rest. It worked well in testing, but you can also manually adjust keystone and focus if needed.
The Tizen-powered smart platform offers key streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+ plus Samsung TV Plus and even a web browser. The homepage has a reasonable layout and all the features seem to work without a hitch.
You can mirror a smartphone screen using the SmartThings app or AirPlay 2, and if you have a compatible Samsung Galaxy phone, there’s Tap View too.
Compatible Samsung TVs offer TV Access, allowing users to stream live TV to the Freestyle in another room via Wi-Fi. When the TV is on, you can mirror content to the projector, and when the TV is off, you can control content on the TV from Freestyle.
he can enlarge or reduce the image between 30 and 100 inches diagonally, move the projector closer or further from the wall. You can project from any angle, even straight up if you want a ceiling image so you can watch your favorite show while lying in bed.
The Freestyle proved to be fairly quiet in operation, with a noise level of just 25dB from two feet away. It’s also easy to use, with an intuitive homepage and menu system to navigate, letting you make menu adjustments or choose from available streaming apps.
The projector uses a single-chip DLP with a 1920 x 1080 resolution and LED light source. It has a claimed brightness of 550 lumens and a lifespan of up to 20,000 hours.. Although reasonably bright, the Freestyle will struggle in daylight, so for best results close the curtains or use it at night.
Image quality is generally very good, with crisp, detailed images. Since the projector is limited to 1080p resolution, it can’t display 4K (3840 x 2160) natively, but content is effectively scaled down without introducing any noticeable artifacts.
The built-in speaker system sounds surprisingly good considering the compact size of the projector. The combination of 5W of amplification, a 360˚ speaker configuration and two passive woofers produces much more powerful sound than you’d expect given the dimensions of the Freestyle.
The audio spreads in all directions and is able to increase in volume without distorting or losing its composure. While it can’t compete with a soundbar, it’s suitable for most displays, and HDMI ARC means you can even send audio from built-in apps to an external sound system.
Freestyle supports HDR10 and HLG through its internals and HDMI, but the color space does not cover the full DCI-P3 color gamut and could be brighter. However, the tone mapping on the projector is good and it produces HDR images with a bit more punch compared to SDR.
Whether it’s SDR or HDR, images are crisp and motion handling is excellent thanks to the use of DLP. Unfortunately, this also means that Freestyle suffers from the usual DLP limitations, with poor blacks and contrast, and possible (rainbow) color fringing for some people.
With a setup process that gets you up and running in minutes, Samsung’s Freestyle projector offers truly extraordinary ease of use. Along with its built-in smart features and auto-leveling capability, the Freestyle also delivers impressive picture and audio quality. It’s clear that Samsung has its sights set on bringing portable projectors to the mainstream with The Freestyle, and we think it could be the device that finally breaks through the market.
Although limited to 1080p, the Samsung Freestyle is HDR compatible and the LED light source produces bright and punchy images. There are no noticeable processing artifacts, motion handling is excellent, and the smart calibration feature can produce accurate colors even on off-white surfaces.
This portable LED projector delivers big-screen enjoyment quickly and easily and works virtually anywhere. Images are bright and punchy, sound is surprisingly good, and the built-in apps offer plenty of streaming options.
The smart Tizen system offers a selection of streaming apps and smart assistants, input lag is low enough for most users, and sound quality is surprisingly good considering the size of the projector. All of this makes the Samsung Freestyle a fun and flexible big screen player.
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