projector review: The freestyle – Samsung | Tech reviews
The line of televisions and projectors with designs focused on the home (Lifestyle) is always fun to try, this is because Samsung always offers some feature that distances them from their conventional screens and that is what we will find out in one of these tech reviews.
Just as The Frame transforms the TV into a painting or The Premiere offers us a well-thought-out projector for the design of our house, we also have The Freestyle, a portable projector, loaded with interesting features that allows us to take a large image size anywhere.
The Freestyle offers us a Full HD image that can reach the size of a 100-inch TV, with the Tizen interface of many other Samsung televisions, but with a small limitation, its price.
- Manufacturer : Samsung
- Model: The Freestyle
- Dimensions : 104.2 x 172.8 x 95.2mm
- Weight : 0.8kg
- Projection : LED, Full HD (1920×1080), 30-100 inches, HDR10.
- Distance for 100″ : 2654mm
- Brightness : 550 lumens
- Connectivity: 1 micro HDMI (1.4), Bluetooth 5.2, HDMI-CEC, eARC, WiFi 5.
- Audio : Dolby Digital, Adaptive Sound, 360° Speaker, Bluetooth.
- Operating system : Tizen
- Services: Bixby, SmartThings.
Design and hardware
It is very noticeable that the design of The Freestyle is 100% designed for portability, since its design is not only very compact for what we are used to from projectors, but also its cylindrical shape allows us to take it and move it easily and safely.
Its weight is 800 grams, while its height is 171.4mm and its diameter is 95.2mm, so if we compare it with something, it would be the size of a small speaker.
The projector is made of white aluminum, on its side you can find the USB-C and micro HDMI 1.4 inputs, as well as a switch to turn off the integrated microphone.
A traditional USB port or another USB-C port is still missing to be able to connect external storage or a Chromecast, because the only port it has must be used to connect it to the current. The projector is still compatible with a USB Hub, but it is not ideal.
Not having a rechargeable battery, the Freestyle can be powered by an external battery compatible with 50W/20V charging and Power Delivery to make it 100% portable, while the micro HDMI port can be used to connect a computer or console without any problem. problem, although unfortunately the cable does not come in the box.
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On the front there is obviously the projector light and some capacitive buttons. This part has a glossy finish and is made of plastic, so it is very vulnerable to scratches, in fact, the unit I tested came with enough scratches that I was concerned that the image quality was not optimal.
The capacitive buttons are another of the negative points of its design, since we have to know perfectly the location of each one so as not to have to look at the projector to press them. Physical buttons would have been ideal, obviously.
On the other hand, the remote control is ideal, since it is super small and thin, it has a rechargeable battery via USB-C and its button configuration is simple and complete, as the company has already accustomed us on its televisions.
Image and Audio
The Freestyle is a device that does what it promises, that is, the projection with 1080p resolution, 60Hz, support for HDR10 and 550 lumens of brightness looks great, as long as we are in a place with little or no natural lighting or artificial.
At night it’s spectacular, but by day viewing the projection becomes disappointing as this level of brightness just doesn’t cut it. It is essential that there is little light in the place.
For example, the lumens of The Premiere, Samsung’s high-end projector, reach 2800, but we know that The Freestyle is focused on portability and therefore it is expected to be worse, but not that much worse.
The size of the image can vary between 30 and 100 inches, a size that is reached when being 2.7 meters from the wall and we can also vary the position of the projector by 180 degrees, even being able to point it towards the ceiling , which some people find it may seem convenient.
The image also has automatic trapezoidal correction , so if we move it up or down, the image will be adjusted so that it is not in the shape of a trapezoid, it also has autofocus, which can fail on occasion, especially if we project it on a rough wall , where the experience has not been the best.
As in any television from Samsung and other companies, there are several image modes, which change the contrast and hue of the colors to adjust them to the user’s convenience. We have standard mode, movie mode and dynamic mode.
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The Freestyle also includes a 5W speaker , quite competent, to be able to listen to the content we are playing, and although the ideal will be to use a larger Bluetooth speaker to watch movies, the integrated one is 360 degrees and does a good job even at high volumes. There’s support for Dolby Digital Plus and it can also be used as a smart speaker with Bixby (if anyone does that).
Software and features
As in any Samsung television, the operating system that moves the threads of The Freestyle is Tizen and the entire configuration process can be executed from the projector itself, or from the phone thanks to SmartThings.
Since I already have a Samsung TV in my house, all my settings have been automatically transferred to the projector very quickly, and in a few minutes I have already installed all the applications I need, such as Netflix, Disney +, Prime Video, Apple TV and Star+, with the exception of Crunchyroll, which is not available on the Samsung system.
And well, not much more can be said, The Freestyle works like a television in every way , that is, we can connect consoles through the HDMI cable , we can navigate through the interface with a remote control, we can connect it to Samsung DeX And of course, you can also use the ambient mode used in The Frame, to show us art or landscapes.
Spotify can also be used, through its app for Tizen, so that the projector works as a speaker, which, as we already know, will give us a very acceptable sound quality.
As for the rest of its functions, the projector has the ability to automatically connect with Samsung devices , so it can cast screen using a phone with OneUI and can seamlessly connect with a soundbar from the South Korean company. It also highlights the support for AirPlay 2 , to automatically connect an iPhone, iPad or Mac.
If I had Android TV , Freestyle would improve a lot and I regret that there is no Chromecast support because my ecosystem at home is based on this technology, but it is understandable that Samsung wants to promote the only platform left to use Tizen.
To finish, a small aesthetic detail, if we place the cover of the projector while it is on, The Freestyle works like a lamp since the light is refracted in 360°. Something that probably no one needs.
Is it worth it?
The idea of taking a projector everywhere is wonderful because no matter where we are, we can have a giant screen at our disposal for anything.
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I can think of very interesting uses at the entertainment level, such as connecting consoles or watching movies; at the office level to make presentations or project 3D models and can also be very useful for educational topics in classrooms or gyms.
And in that sense, it is a projector that works well, offering a competent image and sound experience, especially considering its size. But there are some things that do not convince me.
If we consider its price of 695.48 Euro and that the issue of its use in dark places is too necessary due to maximum brightness, it may be a better option to wait for a second generation, which should directly attack this problem, which ends up staining a good idea. by completely limiting use. And do check out more of our tech reviews here.