We now have the power of portable TVs, and we’re not talking about those 10-inch clunkers with antennas that people used in the ‘90s. Samsung debuted The Freestyle, its mobile projector and entertainment device, which is being showcased as part of its CES 2022 lineup.
The Freestyle looks more like a miniature spotlight, but it’s designed as an on-the-go screen with a smart speaker and ambient lighting capabilities. Samsung pretty much stuffed all of its Smart TV features into The Freestyle, so you can project your Netflix shows, cast your phone, and use voice assistant commands.
That also means your empty living room wall is now a 100-inch screen, your ceiling can now be used to watch YouTube all day while you lay in bed, and you can watch movies on the side of your converter van on your next glamping adventure. You can even project a fake window onto a wall, even if that’s slightly more depressing than the other options. In any case, Samsung has clearly shown that they’re not shy when it comes to funky display ideas.
Samsung is trying to bill The Freestyle as more than a TV too since you can screw on the translucent lens cap for its mood lighting mode or jam out to music with its smart speaker which can project accompanying visual effects. Samsung also built The Freestyle’s speakers with a passive radiator, so you get that immersive movie theater vibe with the 360-degree sound.
Ultra-portable — As for how big the screen can get, The Freestyle can project a 30 to 100-inch display onto whatever surface you’re watching on. It’s also built into a cradle that allows the projector to rotate 180 degrees. With auto-level, auto-focus and auto-keystone capabilities, The Freestyle can adjust and make the picture feel flush to wherever you’re watching. Even if you don’t have a white wall to project onto, the Freestyle has smart calibration that can account for color through Samsung’s Smart Things app.
There are some downsides. Samsung’s portable projector can only hit 1080p HD quality so you won’t get that luscious 4K detail like your traditional TVs, but the Freestyle does try to make up for that lack of fidelity with portability. It weighs less than 2 pounds so you can easily carry it into any room or with you when you’re traveling. You can also power up The Freestyle using just a USB-C portable power bank. The Freestyle does plug into a traditional wall socket, but you can also turn your ceiling fan or desk lamp into a projector by screwing The Freestyle into an E26 light socket with the accompanying socket adapter accessory.
Available for pre-order — Samsung is showcasing the portable projector during CES 2022, but it’s already available for online pre-order in the U.S. and runs nearly $900. Samsung’s website says pre-orders will ship by February 2 but the company said it expects to make The Freestyle available to global markets in later months.
Samsung has also developed a bunch of accessories that are sure to bump up that price tag. The accessories, which are coming soon, include a battery base, the socket adapter that we mentioned earlier, skins that change The Freestyle into pink, green or gold, and a case.