Samsung TVs are a lot more portable right now. At CES 2022 on Tuesday, the company added The Freestyle, an ultraportable smart TV projector, to its lineup.
The Freestyle weighs less than 2 pounds, comes with a 180-degree cradle stand and can project content on walls, screens or anywhere else 30 by 100 inches at a brightness of 550 lumens. It has 1080p resolution, as well as auto-focus and auto-leveling capabilities to automatically align your image to any surface. It can play music and includes 360-degree sound. Plus, it comes with access to Samsung’s Smart TV platform, so yes, you’ll be able to stream Netflix and project it wherever you want. It will cost $899 in the US and is currently available for pre-order on Samsung’s website.
Samsung is also offering various accessories to make the device better. There are lens caps that can house mood lighting, a waterproofing case for outdoor use, and a USB-C portable battery for outlet-free projecting. There’s even a base that will allow you to screw the projector into the light bulb socket.
Portable projectors, while beautiful and compact, have historically come with some downsides. They tend to be relatively dim compared to standard TVs or even traditional home theater projectors. They often have low levels of image quality, which means they can’t even reach 1080p, let alone 4K resolution. And while they are portable, many still have to be plugged in. Some come with a battery or the ability to use a battery pack, but they only last a few hours.
While Samsung’s Freestyle offers Full HD resolution, it seems to lack an internal battery. If you want to use this projector away from the plug, you’ll need to spring for the USB-C portable battery. Samsung is yet to specify the price and availability of many of its accessories, including the battery-filled base made specifically for the device.
The Freestyle is part of Samsung’s Lifestyle brand, which is home to some of the TV maker’s most ambitious and expensive products, including The Frame Art TV and The Terrace TV, built specifically for outdoor environments.
Our current picks for top portable projectors also have smart capabilities, but they lack the auto-focusing features and plethora of accessories available with Samsung’s latest offering. Those projectors currently hover around $600. Given its placement in the lifestyle lineup, the $899 price seems in line with Samsung’s other high-end products.
Samsung made several TV announcements with the Freestyle ahead of CES 2022, including the latest iteration of The Frame. Additionally, the company updated its Neo QLED and MicroLED models, added a gaming hub with access to cloud services and introduced a remote that harvests radio waves for recharge.
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