A 1080p projector that’s about the size of a jar of spaghetti sauce! That’s the best way for me to describe the Samsung The Freestyle portable projector with gaming hub (2nd generation). It’s the newest portable projector from Samsung and I took it for a test in my home.
The swivel device is mounted on a solid metal base. Set the base on the floor and point the projector at a wall, screen or even the ceiling. The cool thing about The Freestyle is that it does the dirty work for you, figuring out angles and keystone adjustments by using sensors inside the projector. It couldn’t be any easier to use.
The image quality isn’t the brightest I’ve ever seen, I’d recommend a pretty dark room when using the Freestyle. The darker the better. Samsung rates the projector at 230 ANSI lumen. The image quality is great ,I saw a pretty clear, colorful image when I navigated the menu, watched streaming tv and played games. I tested it on my projector screen and also on my ceiling. As expected, it looked best on a proper projector screen.
The image will max out at a 100″ diagonal image size and the larger the picture, the dimmer the projection. So… you can get away with some room light at smaller sizes but when you push it to 100″, expect to close all of those curtains and shut down the lights.
I reviewed the original Freestyle projector in 2022 and really liked it. The 2nd Gen model looks identical but the biggest change is the power under the hood. Samsung upgraded the processor and added the Samsung Gaming hub. The menus and apps feel much snappier and faster than before. The Gaming Hub is something Samsung is adding to all of their newer TVs and it’s a PERFECT pairing for something like a portable projector.
Gaming Hub lets you pair a proper video game controller to The Freestyle (I tested it using an Xbox controller) and use streaming gaming services directly on the projector. No console needed! I tested it with the Xbox cloud gaming service and it worked great despite a few minor audio hiccups. The Freestyle also supports Amazon Luna, Nvidia GeForce Now and a few others. Keep in mind, you will need a very solid and fast wi-fi connection for any of these video game streaming services to work properly. I mentioned the few hiccups I had when streaming Xbox Cloud but this isn’t something I can pinpoint on the Samsung hardware, it’s likely a product of trying to stream HD gaming via my Wi-fi. I would recommend a Wi-Fi 6 router if you plan to use this for regular gaming.
I’m giving the Samsung The Freestyle (2nd Gen) a 4 out of 5 geeks! I really like The Freestyle. In fact, it’s the best portable projector I’ve tested. With that said, you could find a brighter or more capable projector for this price but what you’re really paying for is the portability and ease of use. Samsung knows how to create an “experience” and that’s exactly what they’re doing with The Freestyle. It’s plug and play. Turn it on, point it at the wall and the Freestyle handles the rest.
If you’re putting together a dedicated home theater room, this is NOT the projector for you. This the projector for the rest of us who want to be able to take it from the den, to the kid’s bedroom to the back patio without spending hours setting it up.
The Samsung The Freestyle (Gen 2) is available right now in stores and online at Samsung.com for $800.