In an era where streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime have become part of our daily lives, it’s not uncommon for many of us to want to create a home cinema setup of our own. While heading to the cinema is great, let’s be honest – watching a movie in the comfort of your pyjama’s trumps driving to a shopping mall, finding a parking sport and paying for a movie ticket. And if you’re an introvert, being at home is truly a dream come true.
So how does one begin one’s journey to creating a home cinema? Well, Samsung Freestyle Projector could very well be the answer.
Look and Feel
Unlike traditional projectors that squarish, Samsung Freestyle Projector is cylindrical in shape. It’s also highly portable as it’s just slightly larger than the average adult’s palm and roughly about the size of a beer mug. This portability adds points to the projector’s versatility; you can practically set it up anywhere in your home.
At the front of the projector, you’ll find a touch-sensitive panel that includes the power, volume and remote pairing buttons, while on the left you’ll find the button to enable/disable the built-in microphone (more on this later), a mini-HDMI input, as well as a USB-C port which is used to connect to a power supply.
Towards the bottom, you’ll find the 5W integrated 360o speaker. For support, Samsung Freestyle Projector comes with a swivel stand for optimal vertical projection. It also comes with a replaceable “skin” that is available in white, pink and green.
Samsung Freestyle Projector comes with the following specification:
- Up to 20,000 hours light source life (LED)
- Up to 100-inch screen size
- 1920 x 1080 resolution
- 230 ANSI Lumens peak brightness
- Digital keystone correction
- Supports HDR10
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Bixby functionality
- Integrated Wi-Fi
In essence, Samsung Freestyle Projector is a projector that is targeted at those who want an above average home cinema set up, without much hassle. This device is incredibly easy to set up, as it comes integrated with everything you’d need, such as an integrated 360o speaker, automatic focus/keystone adjustment, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. At the core of it all is Samsung’s Tizen OS, which adds a certain flair when using the device.
The Tizen OS makes it easy to download and install the latest firmware via OTA updates, while the Bluetooth module lets you pair any Bluetooth speakers, which is a boon for those who have a passive speaker system that supports Bluetooth. The Wi-Fi on the other hand, lets you mirror content from your smartphone, or even a PC.
Further expanding on its functionality, Tizen OS also lets you download and use a multitude of apps, including Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney +, YouTube, Spotify, and much more. These are downloaded directly via the projector itself. The Tizen OS further adds Bixby functionality, which is Samsung’s own voice activated digital assistant akin to Siri and the Google Assistant. You activate Bixby using the built-in microphone on the projector and use your voice to have it perform numerous things, including turning it on, finding out the current weather and more.
In terms of image quality, there’s absolutely no complaint when viewing videos and movies. It’s sharp and crisp and the colours are excellent, thanks to HDR10 support. Naturally, it’s best to project unto a projector screen, or a white wall for more accurate colours, but if you don’t have any of these, you can easily tweak the colour options from the menu for a better viewing experience. Ghosting is also minimal, making for a superb viewing experience.
That being said, if you’re a PC gamer and have plans to use Samsung Freestyle Projector to project your games, it’s best to use a HDMI to Mini-HDMI cable, rather than the Wi-Fi mirroring option because there was a small amount of lag when we tried mirroring it via Wi-Fi. Another reason to avoid using The Freestyle for gaming in Wi-Fi mirrored mode, is because an annoying notification appears at the bottom right of the screen that cannot be hidden, and this degrades the immersion.
Last but not least, let’s talk about brightness. The peak brightness for Samsung Freestyle Projector is rated at 230 ANSI Lumens, which is on the good side for projectors with an LED light source. However, this level of brightness is much lower than traditional projectors that use lamps as a light source that generally output an average of 2,000 Lumens. What this essentially means is that you’ll need to ensure to use The Freestyle in a dark room for the best experience.
As for the integrated speaker, it’s loud enough to fill a small room, or even in the living room. Vocals can be easily heard, but understandably the bass needs a little more oomph. Thankfully, as mentioned above, there’s the ability to pair it to a Hi-Fi Bluetooth speaker system.
Another thing that we liked about this projector is the fact that it can be powered by a power bank, turning it into a portable projector while out and about. It is a little power hungry, with a peak power consumption rating of 50W, so it’s best to use a 20,000mAh power bank at least when powering it up. At home, this isn’t a worry because it’ll be plugged into a wall socket.
Wrapping up, Samsung Freestyle Projector is a superb all-in-one projector that provides above average performance in every aspect. One might say that it’s a little expensive at just under RM5,000, but if you consider the pricing of “cinema-grade” projectors, The Freestyle is actually fairly priced, considering its overall performance.
Vesper Opinion: There are some better projectors that comes with more built in for its price in comparison to The Freestyle you see here. And it doesn’t really stand a chance when those contenders offer more for less and has expertise in this area. So, a word of caution – while it is a cool projector, scout before you swipe your card. We think that the ViewSonic M1+_G2 deserves the podium.