Loaded with smart TV features, Samsung The Freestyle could have been a fantastic portable projector. But it's hampered by its poor brightness, which makes it difficult to use in the day. At night though, it's a great way to watch your favourite Korean drama in bed.
- Can be powered with external battery (USB-PD and 65W/20V output)
- 30- to 100-inch screen, 1,920 x 1,080 pixels
- Remote control or app control
Unlike other Android TV based projectors such as the BenQ GV30, the Freestyle runs Tizen. It's similar to the interface on Samsung's smart TVs and monitors, such as the Samsung Smart Monitor M7. It's pretty easy to use, and right out of the box, comes with Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video apps. You can also use either the remote control or the SmartThings app to control the Freestyle. There's also a web browser.
The projector comes with auto keystone, auto leveling, and auto-focus. The design allows you to project content at a full 180 degrees. The stand seems to hold up fine even when at the projector is almost parallel to the ground. Connectivity-wise, you're looking at a mini-HDMI port, Apple AirPlay 2, and using the SmartThings app. There's no Chromecast. You can also use Bixby to tell it to do things.
The bad news is that you'll be mostly using it at night, or with blackout blinds drawn. It's rated at 550 LED lumens, or roughly 230 Ansi lumens, which isn't very bright. I had trouble even projecting it on the ceiling in the day, with one set of blinds closed. The auto keystone isn't very good, so I have set it to manual. Likewise, the auto-focus, which seems to choose a slightly blurred focus. At night though, the screen is clear, and I enjoyed watching my K-dramas. Audio clarity is good, but it still feels soft even at max volume.
At a whopping S$1,499, Samsung The Freestyle projector is a bit too expensive for what it offers. I do like its smart features and apps, but if I can only use it in truly-dim environments, that's not great. The BenQ GV30 on the other hand, is just slightly more than half the price, but is brighter as well. However, the Samsung offers a better UI and better experience. Get it from Shopee or Lazada.
Note: Review unit provided by Samsung.
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