If I’m spending RM4,999 on a projector, I would want to make the most out of the device.
Typical projectors are usually used as a way to upsize monitors or TVs. But Samsung’s portable projector, The Freestyle, features smart entertainment and 360 sound, among other things, which should make it more useful than the average projector.
Having reviewed most of its core features, I set out to further test out the projector’s versatility, and here’s how it performed in several different scenarios.
1. For cosy movie nights
One of the most obvious uses for a projector is to watch movies on a wider screen. The Freestyle easily checks this box with its built-in Netflix application.
With its 550 LED lumens, it is able to show vivid images. The premium omnidirectional speaker also means you can place the projector anywhere in your room without worrying about sound quality.
There’s also what I call the star-gazing mode, whereby you can cosy up under the blankets and watch the projections on the ceiling. This is made possible by The Freestyle’s 180-degree tilt.
2. For YouTube videos or live streams
Since The Freestyle also carries the YouTube app, you can use it to watch videos from your favourite creators. YouTube Kids is also available for families with younger children.
I personally enjoy watching live streams on Twitch, one of the most popular streaming platforms. However, it isn’t available on the Tizen OS, which is what The Freestyle operates on.
A way to solve that dilemma is to use the Internet browser, but it’s also easy to connect my phone to the Samsung projector.
Since I own an iPhone, I was worried about compatibility, but AirPlay2 works seamlessly with The Freestyle. Needless to say, Samsung phones would pair without a hitch.
3. For music sessions
As a Spotify user, I was happy to find that the popular music streaming application was already installed on The Freestyle.
Samsung boasts that the speaker with 360 sound emits sound waves in every direction for a “deeply immersive and cinematic audio experience”.
The sound quality is great for a projector and would suit a jam out session just nice, but perhaps “cinematic audio” is a bit of a stretch.
4. For presentations and meetings
The Freestyle isn’t just for the home. Professionals can also bring this projector during work outings and use it as an on-the-go tool to present their slides.
Because of the point-and-play nature of this projector, you can easily display your work on the table or even on the ground if necessary.
I was able to use The Freestyle during a work meeting by using Samsung’s Easy Connection to Screen app, which forgoes the need for an HDMI cable.
However, I couldn’t figure out how to play the audio from just the projector instead of both the laptop and projector. Perhaps there’s a workaround for that, but ultimately we just muted the projector and relied on my laptop’s sound system.
5. For supersizing your gaming experience
Other than screen-sharing games from your phone or laptop to the projector, you can also hook up gaming consoles to the device using the micro HDMI port.
Like Samsung TVs, you can select “Game mode” in the Freestyle’s settings. By choosing this, the projector bypasses some of the video processors, meaning that it brings down the latency. While this means less lag, your game might look a little more pixelated than usual.
You can also download games on The Freestyle’s Tizen OS, but they’re admittedly not the most well-known games. Using the remote controller to play games also proved to be a bit of a challenge.
6. For ambient lighting and décor
The Freestyle can also be used to set the vibe of a space. By using the projector’s multifunctional translucent lens cap, I was able to diffuse the brightness and create some mood lighting.
This works best with bright, full-screen colours, so I looked for some such videos on YouTube.
The projector also comes with some pre-set imagery you can put on, such as virtual windows or even messages saying “Happy Birthday.”
Both of these functions are convenient ways to decorate a venue and make it feel more festive without spending extra bucks on lighting or LED signs.
The Freestyle stays true to its name in the sense that it can be used in a variety of ways. On top of the bright colours and premium sound quality, its built-in smart features make it user-friendly and versatile.
In all, it’s a modern projector for the modern consumer.