[Review] Samsung The Freestyle Projector Features and Performance
At first glance, I developed a slight liking for The Freestyle, Samsung’s portable projector. From its clean aesthetic to the vibrant colors of the image, I was impressed with the whole experience.
But maybe it was a honeymoon phase, I just dipped my toes in the spotlight. Will my feelings continue once I delve deeper into The Freestyle?
Let’s recap the highlights of The Freestyle.
The main thing that stands out is the 180 degree tilt which not only allows images to be projected onto any surface including the ceiling.
Another factor is portability. With its small footprint and manageable weight, moving the projector is hassle-free.
Since it’s a smart projector, apps like Netflix and YouTube are also easily accessible after connecting to Wi-Fi, which is great for those without an HDMI cable.
You can also connect your phone or tablet to it via Bluetooth to stream content not available on Samsung’s built-in Smart TV features.
The keystone and autofocus functions also make the viewing experience a pleasure, as I remember the days when you ended up looking at skewed footage with your head tilted because your teacher couldn’t adjust the settings properly. . (Just me?)
While the audio quality of the omnidirectional speaker won’t replace a full-fledged audio system anytime soon, it does its job quite well. The smart assistant feature that supports Bixby is also a welcome bonus for hands-free moments.
The Freestyle can project images from 30 inches to 100 inches. The maximum resolution is 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) and it only has 550 lumens of brightness, which surprised me.
Most projectors display over a thousand lumens. Given how buoyant The Freestyle projections are, I assumed it would be up there as well, so I’m all the more pleasantly surprised at its release.
Vibrant visuals but questionable quality
Indeed, the vibrant visuals that I can’t stop praising still hold up after repeated use of The Freestyle. The Movie picture mode, in particular, improved contrast and colors, which helped watching movies with darker moods.
As for moods, I also found the ambient modes to be a great addition. Samsung has a variety of images and videos you can upload to bring intrigue to your walls. From virtual windows to congratulatory messages, The Freestyle wants to be included on various occasions.
Despite the beautiful colors, on closer inspection the image quality isn’t that great. I may be too used to 4K resolution, but I love when videos are crisp.
I’d rather watch a clear video on my phone than a blurry video on the big screen. Honestly, I’d say it depends on how lights work in general, so it’s not a single flaw in The Freestyle itself.
Still, I sometimes found that the image quality dropped on The Freestyle, so I had to manually adjust the focus. Which brings me to controls.
Adjusting the settings manually is fairly easy, and that’s good because I ended up having issues not just with autofocus, but also with auto keystone, useful as that is.
But my problem comes from the remote control. As mentioned in my first impressions of The Freestyle, the controller is finicky to say the least.
I’ve mentioned before that the controller sometimes registers a single output as a dual output, but a more annoying issue is that it would hang completely, preventing us from changing anything on screen.
However, we have found a handy trick to solve this problem, which is to play with the volume rocker. Or just turn everything on and off. Modern problems, not so modern solutions.
If all else fails, the projector can also be connected to the SmartThings app so you can control it from your phone.
Win some, lose some
I was actually considering buying a projector last year, but realized I didn’t exactly have a lot of white space at home for it, which means my projected screen would have to be quite small . With The Freestyle there is always the possibility of using it on my ceiling.
However, my concerns on my first impressions turned out to be true – the hinges came loose due to the amount of 180 degree tilt I used.
But there is a simple solution. I literally threw money (in the form of coins) at the problem, and it worked. Specifically, I used a coin to tighten the screws. So ultimately no big deal.
Speaking of money, the Freestyle itself sells for RM4,999.
Just to give you an idea, a projector I was considering last year was the BenQ GV1. It is a portable and wireless mini projector with auto keystone and Smart TV elements.
Its 15-degree tilt loses out to The Freestyle, and it’s only capable of 200 lumens and 854×480 native resolution. But it sells for 1,688 RM and that might be a good trade-off for some. The wireless nature of this projector was also a positive.
While The Freestyle’s portability has been central to marketing the product, I find its wired nature defeats its purpose.
For those who really want to use it outdoors where outlets aren’t nearby, you can always plug it into a portable charger, but it’s an extra item to carry around.
Undoubtedly, The Freestyle’s high price might be a hindrance for some, but its many smart features might justify it for others.
The 180-degree recline is definitely a big selling point, and in terms of functionality, it gets the job done smoothly.
If an update from Samsung can fix the minor issues we’ve been facing with the remote and focus, The Freestyle promises a fun time for all occasions, whether it’s personal entertainment or group get-togethers. .
|Convenient 180 degree tilt that allows flexibility in setups||Keystone distortion and autofocus aren’t perfect|
|Vibrant display colors and crisp sound||The remote sometimes freezes|
|Compact size makes it easy to carry||Wired nature makes it less portable|
|Built-in apps such as Netflix and YouTube for easy connectivity|
- Learn more about Samsung The Freestyle here.
- For more on the vice presidents’ verdicts, click here.
VP Verdict is a series where we personally try and test products, services, modes and apps. Would you like to suggest something else to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.