October 1, 2022

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Small and useful: We tested the “Freestyle” – test

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Small and handy: we tested the Freestyle

Samsung’s new portable projector.

The Samsung Freestyle is a small and compact projector that is not much taller and wider than a mobile phone.

One of the launches that got some attention during this year’s CES in Las Vegas was Samsung’s portable projector, The Freestyle – the latest product in the company’s Lifestyle series.

We’ve now had The Freestyle in testing for a while, and it’s gradually starting to get ready for sale on store shelves, and the first ones out early to pre-order are gradually getting copied.

This is the company’s first portable projector and will compete in a market where there are already a number of projectors to choose from.

At the same time, The Freestyle is priced at just under 10,000 kroner, which makes it natural to compare it to more traditional projectors.

Note: The version we tested is an early version, so changes or improvements to the final products may occur.

quotationA handy and efficient projector on the go

Benefits

  • check

    Quick to adjust the image and focus on it

  • check

    easy to use

  • check

    Same user interface as Samsung TVs

  • check

    Lightweight and portable

  • check

    Strong brightness and good image quality to be very portable

  • check

    Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

  • check

    It can easily swing from wall to ceiling

free samsung

Samsung The Freestyle is cylindrical and weighs around 800g, which is no bigger than what you can carry in your hand luggage if you are going on a flight.

The device itself is attached to a simple, elegant base, allowing you to swing the projector 180 degrees against the surface it’s standing on – so you can easily choose whether you want to watch movies on the wall or on the ceiling. After a tiring day, it can be tempting to watch the movie while you’re lying in bed or on the sofa.

On the side of the stand there is a screw that you can tighten if you want the projector to stand at a special angle. You also have some hard buttons that allow the monitor to lock, for example, 90 or 45 degrees.

The box comes with a small and handy remote control, as well as a USB-C cable and power supply, you can also charge your mobile phone with it.

You can also choose if you want to connect it to the mains or with a power bank. In that sense, it’s a bit silly not to have a battery built into the device, but the power bank gives you good freedom to set it up where you want it.

During testing, we used a 20,000mAh battery, and this held up well while watching a movie that lasted about two and a half hours.

It is said that Samsung will eventually offer a custom battery solution, but we don’t know what it will cost just yet.

One of the things that can be a bit of a problem with projectors is focus and the so-called “keystone” for getting a sharp, correct image even if the projector isn’t necessarily against the surface you want to view the image on.

Samsung solved this in a neat way, as the device itself adjusts the focus and straightens the image completely automatically. In particular, aberration adjustment is fast and accurate, so you can, for example, set the device lower than you want the image to be while still outputting the image correctly.

Focus also works well, but it has to be said that there will be more challenges on some surfaces, but then you also have options to set this manually in the menus. Simply hold down the home button on the remote control for a few seconds and tap the focus option that appears in the on-screen menu bar.

For the most part, we didn’t have to use the manual options, as automation fixed everything for us.

One of the things that sets this projector apart is that you get a complete user interface similar to what you find on Samsung TVs.

All you need is to connect your device to the wireless network to be able to use the apps. And as with TVs, you have the vast majority of apps available, so you don’t necessarily need to connect your monitor to an external product.

However, you also have the option of this in that the device has micro-HDMI next to the USB-C port on the side.

And since you have Wi-Fi and Bluetooth built in, mirroring content from any smartphone isn’t a problem either. If you have a Samsung phone, you will be able to connect it by clicking the phone to the device and easily connect.

We like that Samsung uses the same user platform as its TVs. This makes the product more independent from other tools and you only need a web to be able to see all kinds of content.

However, there is one thing we are not happy with. It is the remote control, or simply the communication between this and the device itself. Since it’s not as accurate as we’re used to, since, for example, the cursor rarely moves as many steps as we tap on the control.

One possible solution is to connect to the SmartThings app and use the mobile phone as a remote control instead. It works better.

Now it must be said that the device we tested is an early sample, and hopefully this will improve over time. Because it is annoying when the product is working fine.

When it comes to The Freestyle’s image quality, we’ve chosen to compare it to two slightly different models, but there are still competitors in their own way.

First, we tested the Nebula Capsule 1, a similar portable projector that now costs around 5,000 kronor in a new generation. Compared to this, Samsung The Freestyle is several better tricks in every way.

The first thing you notice is that the resolution is better, not least the brightness, so you can get away with some light in the room and still have a good picture to look at with the Samsung, while the Nebula opponent doesn’t lag either. At the same time, colors are much more accurate on Samsung, with the Nebula projector getting a distinct green tinge in colors.

Unfortunately we didn’t have other portable projectors on hand to compare with, but in return we had the Optima UHD30, which at one point cost the same price as The Freestyle — and where you get the next UHD35 in the same neighborhood.

Compared to this, the Freestyle is a little behind in brightness and resolution, although the control, accuracy, and color and contrast appear to be on the same level. First and foremost, we’re missing out on more brightness for The Freestyle to share and battle with similar fixed projectors at the same price.

Samsung has managed to cram a lot of technology into The Freestyle, and they haven’t forgotten about the sound either.

The device has what the company calls 360-degree audio, so you should be able to hear sound equally no matter where you’re sitting in relation to the projector. And we have to say Samsung keeps its word that you also hear audio everywhere.

On the other hand, the sound quality is very poor. The speech and sound dynamics are both perfectly fine, and it continues if you don’t have anything else on hand, but on movie night you should get some help. And you can get it by connecting bluetooth speakers to the projector easily, so you get more gunpowder in your movie experience.

Samsung sparks curiosity and interest with its The Freestyle, and if you have specific needs as a portable projector as a travel companion, the company does a lot right.

Because it is a small package that works well as you get automation to help you adjust the image properly. You rarely need to do anything other than turn the monitor on and point it where you want the image.

Meanwhile, it is convenient and easy for Samsung to use its same user interface on TVs. In other words, a simple and effective system where you only need to plug the projector into the mains to use a few applications – including all the Norwegian applications you could want.

So, as a purely portable projector, it’s the price first and foremost that keeps us from a bit of a storm of cheers – plus the remote is causing some headaches.

For 10,000 kroner it gives you a good number of options to choose from. If your Freestyle device ends up standing still, you’ll get better image quality by choosing a more traditional monitor, which often has better resolution and brightness.

But if you need flexibility and probably travel a lot, it will be much better, compared to our alternative, it is many times better, although also twice as expensive.

So we’re waiting to give The Freestyle a rating, until we bring in a few other competitors with roughly the same portability and cost. But to be the first attempt at a portable projector, Samsung still shows that it has made many good and reasonable choices with this model.

quotationA handy and efficient projector on the go

Benefits

  • check

    Quick to adjust the image and focus on it

  • check

    easy to use

  • check

    Same user interface as Samsung TVs

  • check

    Lightweight and portable

  • check

    Strong brightness and good image quality to be very portable

  • check

    Built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth

  • check

    It can easily swing from wall to ceiling

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