Small compact video projectors are becoming more and more common. They’re also cheap! Some are under $100 – just do a quick search on Amazon. Thing is, you get what you pay for. Samsung out with a new, unique micro projector that aims for the high-end side of things. It also brings with it, a high-end price tag to match. Is it worth it? I took the Samsung Freestyle video projector for a test in my home.
DEAL ALERT – this projector is on sale 4/13 for just $650 at woot.com
The first thing you’ll notice is the unique look of the Freestyle. It looks sleek – similar to an oversized can of beans albeit “Samsungfied!” It has a built-in stand so that it can rotate up and down. The shiny black face of projector includes the lens, a few sensors as well as some touch sensitive buttons including power on/off and some basic controls. These can be used in a pinch but you’ll be much better off using the included remote control for most functions.
The built-in speaker is pretty impressive for the size. It sounds decent and gets pretty loud. This is great ince many small projectors leave much to be desired when it comes to sound. That’s not the case with the Freestyle.
The built-in stand “clicks” as you move it up and down into pre-set positions. I found this limiting, since the spot I was trying to use sometimes seemed to be right in between click spots. Even when positioned into the “clicks” the projector didn’t always stay put. There appears to be a way to tighten it but it should be able to stick into those click positions out of the box.
Is it the brightest projector? No. Is it the best picture from a projector? No. Is it good enough for what it’s designed to do? I think so. Keep your expectations tempered with the Freestyle. It’s not aiming to replace those $2000 4k projectors. Instead, it’s designed to be a higher-end portable projector and the picture is exactly that. At 1080p and bright enough for most situations it does a solid job.
The auto keystone feature is pretty cool. No matter how you point the Freestyle, it’ll figure out what it needs to do to make the picture look square. Sometimes it wasn’t perfect but in most situations it did a great job. This takes a lot of the pain and confusion out of setting up an impromptu projector movie night.
Built-in smart stuff
The Freestyle runs on Samsung’s smart OS that you’ll recognize if you’ve ever used a recent Samsung TV. It has most smart apps built-in and works really well for most people. There are a few apps missing, which will be frustrating if those are your go-to apps. Worst case, you can use the HDMI port on the side to plug in a separate smart stick. The Samsung interface worked well although it was a bit sluggish in my testing. Perhaps a little more power under the hood from Samsung would give it that extra boost. At this price, you would expect it to be a smoother experience.
The Samsung Freestyle is cool… super cool. Samsung went big with a unique design, some cool auto-keystone features and managed to make a fun portable projector. Sure, there are a few quirks. The stand doesn’t seem as tight as it should be and the interface felt a bit sluggish. If you can look past those flaws, this is the perfect portable projector for a quick sleepover movie on the wall, game night on the back patio or pop-up video game session.
The Samsung Freestyle is available right now from most stores and directly from Samsung.com for $800.