Last year, Samsung introduced a new model in the projector category, namely the Samsung The Freestyle portable projector. We already had a review of this interesting device, and now the company has released an updated version – The Freestyle 2nd Generation.
Specifications of Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen
Power consumption (maximum)50 W
|1920 x 1080 dots
|Light source type
|Lamp life in normal mode
|30 thousand hours
|230 ANSI Lumen (peak), 550 LED Lumen (peak)
|Projection aspect ratio
|Diagonal of the image
|Micro-HDMI 1.4, Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.2, USB-C (power supply)
|Dimensions with stand (WxHxD)
|102,4 x 172,8 x 95,2 mm
|Scale with stand
|Recommended price in Ukraine
|32 999 UAH
Scope of delivery
The box also contains a remote control, power supply, USB cable, a clip for clamping the cable to the projector stand and a user manual. All in all, it’s quite a sufficient set to get started, although an additional HDMI cable would have been nice – like the previous model, The Freestyle 2nd generation is equipped with a Micro HDMI input, and such cables are not very common.
Optional accessories include a protective case for safe transportation, a colorful skin, and an original external removable battery that provides up to three hours of battery life.
Externally, the updated model does not differ from the previous one: The Freestyle 2nd generation is the same compact white cylinder, 13.5 cm long and 9.5 cm in diameter, which looks more like a small spotlight or other lighting equipment. It stands on a stand that can be rotated 180 degrees and allows you to direct it in any way you like – horizontally, vertically upwards, or at any other angle.
The top of the “cylinder” is covered with a translucent lid that protects the lens, which houses the touch-sensitive volume control and LIDAR sensors.
On the side, you’ll find a USB-C power connector (not for data transfer), a Micro HDMI video input, and a built-in microphone switch.
There is a perforation in the lower part of the case, behind which you can see a rather large 5 W speaker that provides 360° sound.
Unlike the original The Freestyle, the second generation of the portable projector is equipped with a SolarCell remote control. It is charged by light thanks to a solar panel on the back and is made of materials that are 24% recycled plastic.
The layout of the controls is traditional for Samsung remotes. If you need to recharge the remote quickly, you can do so via the USB Type-C connector.
Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen – LED projector with DLP (Digital Light Processing) projection technology. The lamp life in normal mode has been significantly increased – up to 30 thousand hours (the first model had 20 thousand hours). The resolution remained the same – 1920×1080 pixels, with a maximum luminous flux of 230 ANSI lumens.
The Wi-Fi 5 + Bluetooth 5.2 module is responsible for wireless communication, and the speaker system is a built-in 5 W speaker.
The projector turns on quickly and is ready to use almost immediately – the main menu appears on the screen just 5 seconds after pressing the power button. Image adjustment is automatic – The Freestyle 2nd Gen estimates the angle at which it is directed at the screen or wall in a few seconds and adjusts the “trapezoid” accordingly. And thanks to the built-in LIDAR scanner, it can even estimate the distance to the screen and adjust the image clarity independently. If you’re not satisfied with the automatic focus, you can manually adjust it in the system settings.
Automatic calibration is also useful when a non-white or gray wall section is used instead of the screen, as it effectively compensates for its shade. Samsung smartphones have an additional option to auto-calibrate the projector: using a special utility, the smartphone will perform this procedure on its own, just point its camera at the screen.
The screen size is regulated by the distance to the projected surface. According to official specifications, from a distance of 80 cm, you can get a 30″ screen, from 1.59 m – 60″. The maximum distance is 2.7 m, in which case the projector will create an image with a diagonal of 100 inches.
A new feature in The Freestyle 2nd Gen is the Panoramic View function: when using two projectors, it allows you to get an image up to 160 inches diagonally. “Panoramic View synchronizes images from two projectors to seamlessly transition between images and makes content available for streaming from your phone.
To do this, you need to use the SmartThings app, which will configure images from two projectors and “glue” them together into one picture – horizontal (28:9 aspect ratio, diagonal up to 160″) or vertical (16:15 and 120″, respectively), to choose from. On iOS or Android smartphones from other manufacturers, you can then broadcast images from the photo gallery to the big screen, and video streaming is also available for Galaxy smartphone owners. The manufacturer recommends using this feature for screens with a diagonal of 130 to 160 inches.
Like its predecessor, the 2nd Gen Samsung The Freestyle has its own smart shell based on the proprietary Tizen OS. The main screen looks a bit like Google TV and similar systems: a vertical menu on the left and the contents of the selected section in the center. The menu includes a search box, installed applications in Media, activation of Ambient mode, a section with connected devices, and system settings.
According to the manufacturer, The Freestyle 2nd Gen now has 2 GB of RAM, which has allowed to optimize the software and speed up the interface by 22% and program launch by 59%.
You can set up the projector in the traditional way, using the remote control, or from your smartphone using the SmartThings utility. It can also be used as a virtual remote control.
The Ambient mode here is very similar to that of Samsung TVs – the user can display various images, static or dynamic, or showcase their own photos. An additional feature is the ability to create colored lighting in the room using a translucent lens cover.
As before, you can connect an external device to The Freestyle 2nd Generation via Micro HDMI only – the USB-C connector is used for power only. However, the projector has a wireless connection option in the Connected Devices menu: in the Workspace section, you can connect a PC or Mac, or a Samsung smartphone using the Samsung Dex function. In Windows, you need to download the Easy Connection to Screen utility to your computer and establish a connection with the projector. There is an input delay during operation, but it is insignificant – no more than 0.2-0.3 seconds. In this menu, you can also connect to a TV connected to the same Wi-Fi network, after which the projector will be able to duplicate its image.
As with the first model, the speaker system in The Freestyle 2nd Gen is a single built-in 5 W speaker that reproduces sound in 360°. Therefore, the sound quality here remains at the same high level: despite its seemingly small size and relatively low power, it has quite sufficient volume and surprisingly very high-quality sound – with clear high frequencies, natural “middle” and even good mid-range.
The frequency characteristics of the updated model also pleasantly surprise, as it was with the first generation: the sound volume remained unchanged up to ~125 Hz, then began to gradually decrease, unexpectedly increased slightly in the range of 80-90 Hz, after which the sound gradually faded again. At 60 Hz it was almost absent, but it was completely “silenced” only at the level of 40-45 Hz – in fact, it is a completely unexpected result for a built-in speaker of this size.
From the minimum recommended distance of 80 cm (30″ screen diagonal), the brightness of a normal white surface in Graphics mode is 220 cd/m², which is significantly higher than the recommended brightness of a desktop monitor in office use.
With this brightness, you can use the projector even in a room with fairly strong ambient light – the only thing is that the black color in the image will be light gray. More precisely, the color of the surface used as a screen – but subjectively, when viewing, this “black” seems darker than the screen in contrast to the bright areas of the image next to it. Therefore, it can be noted that for computer work, when you do not need a saturated image with deep blacks, Samsung The Freestyle 2nd generation is quite suitable even in the daytime or in typical office lighting.
From a distance of 2 meters, the screen diagonal is slightly more than 70″: in this case, the maximum brightness is ~45 cd/m², which is quite enough to create a bright “cinema” image in the dark.
The image quality is very good, with sharpness decreasing at the periphery, but not critically. Chromatic aberrations in the corners are also quite moderate. The color gamut is slightly larger than the standard sRGB space: there are two options in the settings, in “Local” it is maximum, in “Auto” it narrows to sRGB, which makes the colors a little more “calm”.
There are two modes for video signals received via HDMI: “Graphics and Entertainment. The former is better suited for watching movies and using the projector in general in the dark: it has a noticeably warmer image and balanced settings for movie nights. Entertainment mode is brighter and cooler, with higher contrast, so it’s better suited for use in a room with low background lighting, such as a computer.
The projector has three image modes for your own content (videos on YouTube or streaming services) and for wirelessly connected devices: “Standard, Dynamic, and Movie. The latter two are very similar to Entertain and Graphics, respectively, and Standard is the brightest, so it’s better suited for a moderately bright room.