Samsung Freestyle Is An Odd Portable Projector With Wireless Casting

One of Samsung's biggest displays of CES 2022 is also one of its most portable, but that's because the Freestyle is a compact projector rather than a traditional TV. Intended to go with you, rather than stay set up in your movie room at home, the Freestyle can create an image up to 100-inches and even screw into a regular lamp socket for maximum flexibility.

Portable projectors aren't new, of course, though they typically aren't known for their video quality. Samsung's is bigger than many of its ilk, and the barrel-shaped design is more unusual. It does make setup a little easier, however.

The cradle allows it to rotate up to 180-degrees, so you can project onto a nearby wall or up onto the ceiling. Alternatively, a base accessory adds a standard E26 lightbulb screw, so you can fit it into a lamp socket and have the Freestyle powered from that. It'll manage images as small as 30-inches, and as large as 100-inches.

Key is the auto-setup system. Samsung has baked in a time-of-flight (ToF) sensor, and a 3-axis accelerometer. The result is that – in just 1 second, the company claims – the Freestyle can automatically calibrate itself to whatever surface it's aimed at. That includes not only auto-keystone and auto-leveling, but focus too. It's possible to scale and move the projected section around, too, so as to avoid obstacles on walls, and the resulting image is Full HD 1080p resolution.

As for audio, there's a passive radiator for 360-degree projection. Or, you can connect external speakers. Power comes courtesy of USB-C, and Samsung will be offering a USB-C portable battery if you don't already have one capable of USB-PD and 50W/20A output for mobile use. Other accessories include a waterproof case.

In the box is a special lens cap, which works as a light prism. That synchronizes with a playlist on your phone, and creates a glowing, color-changing show. For more traditional entertainment, the Freestyle runs the same smart TV platform as Samsung's regular TVs, so you get native streaming apps for services like Netflix. It'll work with wireless casting from Android and iOS devices, and has far-field voice control for hands-free use with smartphone assistants.

Alternatively, there's a Micro HDMI input on the side, which can be used to plug the Freestyle into most media sources. You could, for instance, hook it up to your Xbox Series X or PlayStation 5 for some gaming, or to a laptop for an impromptu presentation.

Just how many people actually want to do that, remains to be seen. Samsung says the Freestyle will go up for preorder in the US today, priced at $899; it'll launch elsewhere in the world later in 2022.