In theory, a portable projector is the ultimate mobile display. Who cares about carrying big smartphones or even bigger tablets. Just get your hands on a tiny little device that can project up to a 100” display. At least, in theory. A theory that Samsung wants to turn into reality with their new projector, The Freestyle.
It’s a handsome little device. Small, cylindrical and relatively unassuming, this tiny product was clearly designed with lofty goals in mind. The unassuming look helps it blend into the background when you need it to, while the ability to change the exterior “skin” allows for a little personal expression.
What makes it a “Freestyle” though is what you can do with it. Yes, it’s a projector, but it has been thoughtfully designed to have a well articulated stand that allows you to point it in pretty much every direction you would want to.
But it doesn’t stop there. Samsung also envisions a world where the device can work with a whole ecosystem of products the way many of their other devices do. As a result, they’ve given The Freestyle options—ways that you can add modules and additional accessories directly onto the projector.
Accessories like adding a battery bank to it allow it to be free of cables and a power source. A carrying case that lets you just clip the device to your backpack or utility belt if you’re Batman. There’s even an accessory that lets you connect it to a light socket. With a system like this, who knows what could come next?
That being said, ambitions and theoretical applications are just that. Whether it actually works in the real world is another matter entirely. With projectors, how bright its projection is is probably the most important spec. And with The Freestyle, it clocks in at a claimed 550 lumens. Whether that’s enough for a projection of up to 100 inches…well let’s just say it’ll be very dependent on your environment.
The Freestyle does attempt to make up for, and add value to, the idea of a simple projector. For instance, The Freestyle comes with a pretty decent speaker onboard. It likely won’t win any major awards with audiophiles, but it is definitely better than most smartphone speakers in the market right now.
However, the piece de resistance has to be the fact that this projector comes equipped with Samsung’s Tizen OS—the same kind of system you’d find powering their smart televisions. It also features a remote, smart settings for audio and display, as well as automatic keystone and focus.
On top of that, Samsung says that you can also use the Freestyle as a mood light with the cap on, or to project scenery or photos, among others, to help set the mood and define the ambience of your room. Though, whether someone would want to spend any of the 20,000 quoted lifespan hours on that depends on your priorities.
What you get with The Freestyle is an idea. An iteration on what many probably thought was a stagnant industry. But then again Samsung aren’t strangers to that. They have pushed envelopes especially with their smartphones like the Galaxy Fold and Flip, as well as the original Note. Sure, they might not get everything right the first time, but the important thing is that they’re starting, and once they get rolling who knows where it could lead.