As the nights draw in, the prospect of brightening those long dark evenings with a bit of home cinema magic can be tempting. However, the reality of firing up a portable projector for impromptu movie nights doesn't always live up to the reality, thanks to fussy focusing, short power cables and disappointing dynamic range.
But the Samsung Freestyle projector is something quite different to the rest of the market. It lives up to its name by allowing you to take it to places it’s never really been able to go before – its impressive auto keystone and focus make set-up a breeze. Even the usual power cable ‘tether’ doesn’t have to hold The Freestyle back from doing its thing in even the most inaccessible corners of your home. And what's more, this little gem of a projector is currently heavily discounted.
The Freestyle dropped to £400 in the Prime Day sale, saving you £600. That Amazon sale is now over (it ended at midnight), but the projector is still hanging around at £445 – still a truly excellent price for this marvellous machine that surely won't last much longer.
Samsung Freestyle projector
£1000 £445 at Amazon (save £600)
With a cute but practical design and impressive auto keystone/focus, the Freestyle brings a bit of fun back to home cinema. It produces bright, sharp, colourful pictures and decent sound. With flexible connectivity and app support, this little gem will let you enjoy your favourite films in any location.
Weighing only 830 grams and sporting a unique moving-light style design, the Freestyle has an intriguing white, barrel-shape, and sits in a cradle that allows for 180 degrees of rotation with auto-levelling, auto-keystone and auto-focus capabilities.
Offering 1080p resolution and rated for 550 lumens, the Freestyle can project image sizes from 30 to 100 inches. It features a 360-degree five-watt in-built speaker and a far-field mic array for Amazon Alexa or Bixby voice assistants.
Running the Tizen 6.5 operating system means there are plenty of onboard apps, including Netflix, Disney Plus and Prime Video. Meanwhile, there's an HDMI port for external connectivity, and content can also be mirrored from both Android and iOS mobile devices.
You can plug the Freestyle into hard power or – with the aid of an additional base accessory – any E26 lightbulb socket. This means that you can easily suspend the Freestyle from the ceiling and project onto the floor or put it in a lamp pointing at the ceiling. A diffusing lens cover is included, which is designed to be used with the projector's ambient mode that can produce automated mood lighting effects synced to your music.
It's worth noting that despite being portable, Freestyle's waterproof case is not included in the box. Neither is an internal battery, which is sold separately.
When we reviewed the Freestyle, we found its surprisingly impressive brightness backed up by engagingly punchy colours, maintaining fulsome saturations up even at peak levels. For casual viewing, it reproduces a decent level of shadow detail in dark areas, though those hoping for deep cinematic blacks might want to consider something more substantial.
But it's the sheer flexibility and delight of the Freestyle that we were most impressed by, giving it the potential to be your home’s new best friend. At its launch, this four-star projector was a little overpriced, at £600 off, it's a bargain.
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