Samsung’s presence at CES has long been one characterized by its enormity. And we’re not just referring to the monumental assemblage of televisions they build each year to greet CES attendees – currently now delivered in 4K and 8K resolutions, and powered by MicroLEDs and Neo QLED display technologies – but also the vast breadth of products Samsung brings each January to flex their one-stop-shop home technologies muscles. Which makes it notable that while Samsung’s latest televisions continue to improve with remarkable specs across the board, it may be a small go-anywhere projector that might tempt consumers to invest in a specs regressive technology while enjoying streaming services, online content, and gaming anywhere throughout the home.
The Freestyle is marketed as a lifestyle device for 2022, and by all accounts its appearance, modest 1080p resolution, and all-in-one solution specs seems to be catering to a segment unattached to the notion of what a media output device should look like. The Freestyle looks neither like traditional stationary or portable projectors, nor the burgeoning category of short throw projectors. To be honest, it could be mistaken for a spotlight lamp, or perhaps even an oversized Apple iSight, if you were around for that barrel-shaped webcam ahead of its time.
Instead, The Freestyle is reflective of a generation used to taking and consuming content wherever they go. Typically this task is assigned to a phone or tablet, but even the streaming generation regularly enjoys watching content at dimensions beyond a tablet screen. Thus, Samsung has crammed in the aforementioned 1080p projection system and paired it with a built-in 360-degree dual passive radiator speaker as an all-in-one entertainment system. Partnered with an adjustable cradle stand, The Freestyle can display pictures, videos, video games, or simply be used as one pricey mood lamp with the near-simplicity of a desk lamp.
Even though The Freestyle is capable of projecting a picture up to 100 inches in size, it’s unlikely to replace a television in most households. But at under two pounds (1.83 lbs), it might temp those seeking a secondary complementary device to share photos, YouTube videos, TikTok, or even binge a few episodes of the series of the month across walls, ceilings, or any flat surface – one delivering a passable picture enlivened by the freedom of content anywhere. Emphasizing this angle toward the young lifestyle demographic, the portable projector simplifies setup with Auto Focus and Auto Leveling features that automatically align and convert content.
There’s even a USB-C portable battery so the unit can be used sans power cords, and the entire unit can also be attached to a standard E26 lightbulb socket to be aimed outward or upward. All in all, Samsung has designed an appealing argument that portability, versatility, and simplicity are an enticing proposition when everything else feels so complicated already.
The Freestyle is available now for pre-order for $899.99.
Gregory Han is Tech Editor of Design Milk. A Los Angeles native with a profound love and curiosity for design, hiking, tide pools, and road trips, a selection of his adventures and musings can be found at gregoryhan.com.