The Freestyle from Samsung is an ultra-portable smart projector that impressed us with performance, image rendering, practicality and a wealth of features. Presented at the beginning of the year, we tested it in the field during the summer holidays, taking it with us to the hotel, allowing us to project films, TV series or music videos on the wall of our room in the evening on an area of over 80 inches. Our test went really well and, apart from a few very small flaws, we believe that this is the most interesting smart projector around.
The main features
What you notice immediately when you turn on The Freestyle for the first time is the simplicity of installation and configuration: in practice you don’t have to do anything, it does everything by itself. It understands which portion of the wall is where we are going to project the images, adjusts the focus, the aspect ratio of the screen, centers the images. Thanks to its rotating base it is possible to orient The Freestyle towards the wall or towards the ceiling, to comfortably watch a movie lying on the bed. The viewing area is very large (up to 100 inches based on the distance of the device from the wall) and there is a very interesting function that calibrates the colors automatically if the wall is not perfectly white. The Freestyle is powered by a USB-C cable and supports charging via portable batteries (not all, only the most powerful ones): it is a pity that there is no built-in battery to use the projector without power (it exists, but must be purchased separately) . In the package there is a practical remote control but it is possible to use The Freestyle even only connected to the Samsung Smarthings app.
Apps, connections, audio
On The Freestyle it is possible to watch practically everything: the software is very similar to that of Samsung TVs, full of apps to be installed from the store (such as those of Now, Netflix, Disney Plus, Prime Video just to name the most used services); also present numerous free contents thanks to Samsung TV Plus. At The Freestyle it is then possible thanks to a Micro HDMI port (cable not included) to connect external video sources such as Sky Go, or console or smart pen. The operating system then allows you to connect to network servers or video servers present in the local network. In our opinion, the audio coming out of the integrated 5W speakers with 360 degree effect is very good. It is possible, of course, to connect Bluetooth speakers or headphones.
There are many “goodies” inside the software. We were very impressed by the simplicity of connection to smartphones (even iPhones, thanks to the support for AirPlay 2), computer or tablet, to view what we see on the screen in a big way. It is even possible to connect your Office account to show for example Powerpoint slides but we imagine that The Freestyle also looks very good in a meeting room for projections or video calls. There is also a game mode, there is the possibility to activate or deactivate subtitles or to watch your favorite programs in a second language. Finally, thanks to the Ambient mode it is possible to project on the wall your own photos, particular writings, nature scenes and so on.
Verdict, availability and pricing
As we said in our introduction, we really appreciated the ease of use and compactness of The Freestyle, which can be carried practically anywhere because it weighs less than a kilo. And compared to other smart portable projectors we tested, it felt very quiet. Excellent audio performance, very good brightness even in the absence of total darkness. In our tests a few times we had to manually change the focus, the automatic one on some occasions did not satisfy us 100%. At the moment The Freestyle is purchased in the white color for 899 euros while if you choose pink or green you have to calculate 34 euros more). Separately it is possible to buy a base that also acts as a battery and the case.
Pros and cons
- Ultra-portable smart projector
- Almost always perfect images thanks to automatic configuration
- The battery must be purchased separately
- Autofocus is not always 100% accurate