Samsung The Freestyle Review: All-In-One Smart TV Replacement?

The world of Smart TVs didn’t just get smarter, it got smaller. And it’s all thanks to Samsung’s new portable projector – The Freestyle. 

Chances are, if you’re living in a HDB or a shoebox condominium unit, you’ve thought through just about every space saving alternative possible, including a projector. So, to give you a sense of its size, The Freestyle is about one and half toilet paper rolls stacked on top of each other.

Samsung The Freestyle in all its glory

The Freestyle’s small stature is packed with a large list of features and arguably, an equally big price tag. But if you’ve been on the hunt for a compact and powerful Smart TV + Projector + Audio System rolled up in one – The Freestyle might just be what you need.

SPECS
PRICE: $1,499
RESOLUTION: 1920 x 1080
BRIGHTNESS (LED Lumen): 550 LED Lumen (peak)
SCREEN SIZE: 30” – 100”
DISPLAY TYPE: DLP
PROJECTILE DISTANCE FOR 100”: 2654mm
AUDIO: Dolby Digital Plus, 360 Degrees
POWER SUPPLY: AC100-240V 50/60Hz
DIMENSION: 102.4W x 172.8H x 95.2D (in mm)
WEIGHT: 0.8KG

Watching Encanto on Disney+ in a dark room

With a promised image size of up to 100”, The Freestyle brings you one step closer to that home theatre dream. But in my tiny condominium unit, with a throw distance of 1.7m, movie night could only handle a 55” projected screen (still not bad la).

The projected screen was still slightly askew after Auto Levelling kicked in

Additionally, The Freestyle promises a 1080p full HD with PureColor and HDR viewing experience. For those looking to maximise your Netflix 4K plan or Disney+ subscription, sadly, you won’t be able to. 

As a first-time home projector user, the auto-focus and digital keystone correction were welcomed features. It even auto levels the image to ensure it appears straight. But there’s still a bit of manual correction that’s needed to ensure the perfect viewing experience.

With a 180˚ viewing angle, I had to try it in bed. I tried to set The Freestyle on the bed and tilt it up for ceiling projection but the cradle couldn’t hold the angle well without drooping and toppling over – so here’s a pro tip: Place The Freestyle on a firm pillow on the bed, and you’re good to go!

Spotify sounded pretty good, though you can’t tell from just a photo

The Freestyle doesn’t just project visuals, it also comes with a built-in 360 degree speaker for what Samsung claims is an immersive experience. It was sufficiently loud in both my video and music tests at a 60% volume and did a pretty decent job.

All your favourite entertainment apps pre-loaded in the home screen

Armed with Tizen OS, this is what puts the smart in Smart TV. The Freestyle comes packed with all the certified OTT apps such as Netflix, Disney+, Apple TV, YouTube and more. You can access the play store on The Freestyle’s Smart Hub system and download Spotify or any other entertainment app easily.

Downloading additional apps took us less than 1 minute

The remote control has shortcuts for Netflix and other apps, and makes it easy to navigate the system to download other apps.

A big plus has to be that you can also cast your shows on the projector via Samsung SmartThings or AirPlay (that’s right, Apple users).

USB Type-C power cable needs to be plugged in while using The Freestyle

Now, the one thing that’s not as freeing as I hoped The Freestyle could be was the need for it to always be connected to power via a USB-C cable. You can, however, connect it to an external battery pack for external usage and is compatible with external batteries that are USB-PD and 650W/20V output or above.

It’s still portable… just not as portable as some of the other projectors in its class.

FORAGAINST
• HD picture quality
• Easy to set up and navigate with Remote Control
• Popular OTT apps supported
• Light and portable
• 360 degree audio is good for tiny spaces
(aka your bedroom)
• Hefty price tag
• Heats up quickly but does not affect performance
• Cradle doesn’t support steep angles as projector tends to droop

Well, it’s only 2022, and the world of home projection is bound to get better. 

For what it’s worth (and that’s quite a hefty price tag), Samsung’s The Freestyle is a good solution for the average homeowner looking to lie down and enjoy a movie without the need for any additional drilling. 

The Freestyle does everything you need and more but it’s also a sign that the next few iterations will only get more amazing.

Check out The Freestyle here.

FEATURES: 8/10
DESIGN: 8/10
PERFORMANCE: 7/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 5/10
OVERALL: 7/10