Samsung is adding a $899 portable projector to its Lifestyle TV collection. Announced during CES 2022, the projector is called The Freestyle and is available for preorder starting on January 4.
Projectors became an “it” item last year among those looking to turn their backyards or blank walls into entertainment centers. Knowing how to make a backyard movie theater turned you into the ultimate host and probably your child’s favorite parent. You didn’t need one of the best TVs to watch blockbusters at home. (Here's what it's like to opt for a projector instead of a TV.)
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Samsung’s Lifestyle TV lineup already included The Terrace outdoor QLED TV, so The Freestyle projector seems like a natural progression in the company’s non-traditional entertainment options. With an 180-degree cradle it’s as suitable for a makeshift projection screen in your yard as your indoor, bedroom ceiling.
The Freestyle can project a 1080p resolution screen with all the makes of Samsung’s smart TV platform, ranging in size from 30 to 100 inches. Though there are projectors in the same price range that support projections up to 150 inches, the market of truly-portable, high-quality options is rather limited. And you’d be hard-pressed to find a 4K projector under $1,000.
Samsung is emphasizing The Freestyle’s portability. Weighing just 1.83 pounds, it seems light enough to toss in a backpack and bring along for an adventure, and compact enough to be juggled with blankets and bowls of popcorn. With an optional waterproof case and USB-C portable battery for up to two hours of viewing, there are few situations where The Freestyle can’t be a capable companion.
Wherever you position it, the Freestyle’s Auto Focus and Auto Leveling should align and optimize projected content, taking the expected hassle out of setting up a projector. Samsung says The Freestyle is prepared to project “onto an unlimited number of surfaces,” so, again, securing the perfect empty wall isn’t the only way to enjoy this projector. Even placed lopsided on a log while camping or leaning up on top of your bed frame, Samsung suggests The Freestyle will emit an excellent picture.
How about sound? The Freestyle has 360-degree sound and far-field voice control. You can use it as a Bluetooth speaker, and cap the lens to create mood lighting to go along with your favorite tracks. I wouldn’t expect powerful sound out of such a compact device, especially not compared to the sound you’ll get from a surround system typically paired to a professional projection system. But for the price and portability, it’ll likely suffice.