Samsung Freestyle review – portable quality that redefines projectors

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  • VERDICT

The Samsung Freestyle projector takes everything you love about a Samsung TV and puts it in this fun and portable form factor so you can enjoy your content anywhere and in high quality.

Samsung has redefined the projector with the new Freestyle – a projector that’s portable and easy to set up and use so you can enjoy your content on a larger scale wherever you want.

Users can watch their content in full high definition with a picture up to a size of 100-inches.

Home theatre projectors are normally large, expensive and need lots of adjustment before they’re ready to watch.

And most people who go to this trouble, view their projector as a permanent set-up so they can only watch their content on it in the room where it’s been set up.

Samsung Freestyle approaches it from a different way.

The full high-definition device is designed to be taken wherever you want to watch your streaming services or mirror content from your phone whether that’s on the wall or the ceiling in a room, in the backyard for a movie party or on the move like on a camping trip or a drive up or down the coast.

Samsung has also included its excellent Tizen operating system – the same OS that can be found on Samsung’s TVs, so you’ve got all the popular streaming services at your fingertips.

DESIGN

The Samsung has a unique design and looks nothing like your typical projector.

In fact, when we first saw it at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, we thought, with its cylindrical shape, looked more like a spotlight than a projector.

It’s quite compact – it’s small enough to fit in your hand – and it has a 180-degree stand which makes it easy to aim at the wall or at the ceiling.

On the back panel is a 5W RMS 360-speaker so you can hear as well as see your content.

SET UP

The appealing thing about the Samsung Freestyle is the ease in which it can be turned on, aimed at a wall or ceiling before you’re watching your content.

Most other projectors require fine adjustments to make the picture straight and level and to find the right focus.

The brilliant thing with the Freestyle is that all of that is done for you.

A projected image doesn’t always appear straight with the edges normally at an angle.

What’s required with this is keystone correction to make the image square again.

The Freestyle projector can do this automatically – aim it at a wall and a few seconds later, the image snaps into a square shape.

Same thing with the focus – it’s like your camera – the autofocus looks after it in a second.

What you’re left with – and with no effort from yourself – is a straight, sharp and focused image.

PICTURE QUALITY

The Samsung Freestyle delivers 1920 x 1080 resolution – full high definition – and can reach a size of 100-inches when the projector is positioned 2.7m away from the wall or screen.

And the closer you bring the projector to the wall the smaller the image becomes.

You can simply choose to aim the Samsung Freestyle to the wall, or you can beam it up on a screen.

Naturally a screen – whether it’s fixed it a portable retractable screen – provides a better-quality picture in terms of brightness and sharpness.

But that’s not to say it doesn’t look good when it’s aimed at a wall.

Even putting a sheet over the clothesline for a backyard movie party also provides surprisingly good quality.

It has 550 lumens brightness which looks great in the dark – but can also be seen pretty well during the day or with the lights on.

Even at 100-inches the full HD picture looks great.

No, you’re not getting 4K, but it still offers respectable quality.

And not everyone will opt for a 100-inch image so the full HD resolution will look even better at those smaller screen sizes.

CONNECTIVITY

The Samsung Freestyle has built-in wi-fi so once it’s connected you can link to all your favourite services.

Users can hotspot their smartphone outside their wi-fi networks so you can still access your content.

Users can also mirror their smartphone to the device as well so you can watch your own content on a grander scale but also the apps from your phone as well including Netflix and YouTube.

There is also AirPlay onboard so you can connect and mirror your iPhone quite easily.

The Freestyle also has Bluetooth, and this can be used to connect either a pair of headphones if you don’t want to disturb anyone or a Bluetooth speaker to improve the sound quality.

For our review we connected the JBL Charge 5 speaker.

But the speaker quality on the Freestyle is actually not too bad and can be turned up quite loud.

As for connectivity via the ports – there is a micro-HDMI port so you can connect a source like a Blu-ray player or a gaming console.

The Samsung Freestyle can be controlled with the included compact remote control or with the Smart Things app or using your voice with Bixby.

POWER

The Samsung Freestyle comes with a USB-C cable and a power adaptor so if there’s a power point nearby – you’ve got no worries.

But what about if you’re camping or in the backyard and a power point isn’t close by?

The good news is the Samsung Freestyle can be powered by a portable power bank.

And not just any old power bank. The smaller batteries that can charge your smartphone won’t provide enough power.

The Freestyle requires 50W power input to operate and you can reach that with larger and powerful portable batteries that are also able to charge your laptop.

We had a large battery that can output 60W to power Freestyle anywhere even when you have no access to a power point.

This makes the Samsung Freestyle an even better portable proposition.

TIZEN

The Tizen OS on the projector is the same one you’ll find on Samsung’s TV with access to all your streaming and catch-up apps including Netflix, Stan, Apple TV+, Prime Video, 9Now ABC iView, SBS On Demand and much, much more.

And when all your services and accounts are connected and active, you’ll see the personalised suggestions and links to the shows you’ve been watching.

There’s also Samsung TV Plus – a selection of hundreds of streaming channels – that can also be viewed as if they were live channels via your wi-fi connection.

In the same way, users can watch live TV on the free-to-air catch up apps like 9Now and 7Plus if you have that wi-fi connection.

PRICE
The Samsung Freestyle was initially priced at $1,499 when it was announced in January, but we see on the Samsung website the price is $1,299.

You can probably buy a 65-inch TV at that price, but not only will it stay the same size – it will stay in the same room.

The Samsung Freestyle offers portability, flexibility and quality that can be enjoyed anywhere.

VERDICT

The Samsung Freestyle projector takes everything you love about a Samsung TV and puts it in this fun and portable form factor so you can enjoy your content anywhere and in high quality.

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