Amid the COVID-cut off CES 2022 show this year, with several Companies canceling their plans to attend the Las Vegas conference, featured a newly launched entertainment tech product: Samsung’s ultra-portable, versatile, Freestyle HD projector – priced at $ 900.
In recent years, the CES has often served as a platform for conceptual, futuristic technology that may or may not make it to market. This year’s candidate on that front: BMW’s iX Flow luxury car prototypethat is coated with e-ink so you can change the color and design with the push of a button. There was also the usual upgrade cycle for the latest HDTV models and this year’s show was no exception.
Among the expected product updates, Samsung announced the Freestyle this week. Besides being practical – and a real product to buy this year – it looks like … good fun.
The products Start video went viral, getting more than 1.2 million views on YouTube in two days. Freestyle’s debut comes as a surge in COVID keeps many people at home and the projector in particular comes with built-in support for Samsung’s full range of Smart TV streaming apps.
No, the Freestyle does not support 4K video like high-end projectors. But the 1080p HD projector delivers a sharp, brilliant image – up to 100 inches diagonal – on just about any flat surface, including walls, ceilings, tables or floors. It supports HDR10, 300: 1 native contrast and a “film mode”. The Freestyle has autofocus and auto-leveling features to adapt its screen to any surface at any angle. It also has a smart speaker with 360-degree sound radiation.
Unlike bulky traditional projectors, the Freestyle weighs around 1.8 pounds (including the cradle-style stand) and measures just 3.7 x 5.3 x 3.7 inches (excluding the stand). The device is compatible with external batteries that support USB-PD and 50W / 20V or more, so you can use it almost anywhere, as long as you have a surface to transfer the image to. Freestyle supports Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity and a micro HDMI port.
In addition, the freestyle is tricked with the smart TV capabilities of Samsung’s smart TVs with built-in streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus, Hulu, Amazons Prime Video, HBO Max and Peacock. In fact, Samsung claims it will be the first portable projector to be “certified by major global OTT partners.” The projector also supports mirroring and casting functions that are compatible with both Android and iOS mobile devices.
It’s also the industry’s first projector with far-field voice control, which allows owners to use voice commands (via Samsung’s Bixby or Amazon Alexa) to control the device hands-free. Another cool feature: when you’re not using the Freestyle to project video content, you can set it to run in an ambient and mood lighting mode by placing the included translucent lens cap over the lens.
And while you may or may not find this useful, the Freestyle is the first portable screen that can be powered by screwing it into a standard E262 lamp holder – no additional wiring required – to project onto a table or desk.
For $ 900, Samsung says the freestyle is aimed at Generation Z consumers and millennials. But to me it seems like the best choice for people of all ages who are looking for a portable, easy-to-use, and (relatively) affordable projector. In the US, the Freestyle can be pre-ordered on the Samsung website at this link.
Watch them Samsung Freestyle sizzle roll: