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Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen Projector Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Feb 13, 2024 at 10:37 am

The Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen is a 1080p HDR portable LED projector. It's small and light, tilts on its base, and has Auto Keystone correction, auto leveling, autofocus, and manual scale and image adjustments for an easy setup. It can even combine two Freestyle 2nd Gen projectors to create a massive viewing area. This projector comes with Samsung's Tizen OS smart interface, is compatible with the Bixby and Amazon Alexa voice assistants, and is fully cast capable through Samsung's SmartThings or Apple's AirPlay 2. It has an integrated 5W speaker, Wi-Fi 5, and Multi Bluetooth support, so you can pair two different sets of earbuds to the device.

Our Verdict

6.1 Movies

The Samsung Freestyle is passable for watching movies. It has a wide color gamut and decent contrast, so it looks fine in a pitch-black room. Unfortunately, the projector's brightness is extremely low, so it always looks dim, and it's just not bright enough to make its colors pop. Its color accuracy is decent out-of-the-box, but you can greatly improve it through the projector's extensive calibration options.

Pros
  • Projector is small and light, and tilts on its stand, making it easy to carry and install.
  • Impressive suite of smart features and calibration options.
Cons
  • The projector is dim all the time due to its extremely low peak brightness.
  • 6.1 Movies
  1. Updated Feb 13, 2024: Review published.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

We bought and tested the Samsung Freestyle 2. This product has no variants, although it did have a 1st generation model. The two models are nearly identical, with the only notable difference being more memory in the 2nd gen model and the addition of Samsung's Gaming Hub for cloud gaming.

Compared To Other Projectors

The Samsung Freestyle 2 is a fully featured smart projector, but its brightness isn't good enough. For a much lower price, you could get the comparable XGIMI MoGo 2; there's also the better and similarly priced XGIMI Elfin. If you don't need a super small projector, the Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 is much better at a lower cost. Go for these options unless you need a projector that can tilt on its stand.

XGIMI Halo+

The XGIMI Halo+ is better than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen. The XGIMI is much brighter and has better contrast than the Samsung, so it projects a much more vibrant image. The Samsung is, however, vastly more accurate than the XGIMI, so you might prefer it if you care about image accuracy.

XGIMI Elfin

The XGIMI Elfin is better than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen as the XGIMI is brighter and has better contrast. The Samsung does have a slightly wider color gamut, but it doesn't really matter, as it's just not bright enough to make colors pop.

BenQ GV30

The Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen is better than the BenQ GV30. The Samsung has better contrast and much better color accuracy, especially after calibration, so it offers superior image quality. Portability-wise, the BenQ has a battery, but the Samsung is smaller and has full auto keystone correction, making it even easier to carry around than the BenQ as long as you have access to an outlet or a portable battery pack.

Anker Nebula Capsule 3 Laser

The Anker Nebula Capsule 3 Laser and the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen deliver very similar picture quality, but the Nebula is a slightly better portable projector. It has a built-in battery that Nebula advertises to deliver up to 2.5 hours of movie-watching. It also supports USB-C data delivery, so you can project directly from your laptop or smartphone.

XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro

The XGIMI MoGo 2 Pro projects a more vibrant image than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen due to its higher peak brightness and better contrast, but unfortunately, the XGIMI is very inaccurate out-of-the-box, so its colors are off unless you calibrate it.

XGIMI MoGo 2

The Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen is a bit better than the XGIMI MoGo 2, but unfortunately, this is offset by how dim the Samsung is. The XGIMI is also very dim, but it's brighter than the Samsung. Still, the Samsung has better contrast and is the more accurate of the two projectors.

XGIMI HORIZON Ultra

The XGIMI HORIZON Ultra is much better than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen, but they're not in the same product class. The Samsung is a small portable projector with a tilting stand and full auto keystone image correction. The XGIMI is a much bigger product, although it's not huge and has auto keystone correction with object avoidance, so it's easy to move around. Otherwise, the XGIMI offers vastly superior image quality with better brightness, contrast, and a sharper picture due to its pixel-shifting technology.

Hisense C1

The Hisense C1 is much better than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen, but they're in different product classes. The Samsung The Freestyle 2nD Gen is a small portable projector with a nifty tilting stand that lets you adjust the projection angle. The Hisense is a bigger product, although it's not huge, and like the Samsung, it comes with a full suite of image correction features, so it's not too much of a hassle to move around. Otherwise, the Hisense offers much better image quality due to its higher peak brightness, better contrast, and sharper image due to its pixel-shifting technology.

Samsung The Premiere LSP7T

The Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen and the Samsung The Premiere LSP7T are very different products. The Freestyle 2nd Gen is a small portable projector with full auto keystone image correction and a tilting stand, letting you easily adjust the projection angle. The Premiere LSP7T is a huge Ultra Short Throw projector with no automatic image correction features, so it's not meant for you to move it around. The Premiere is also much brighter than The Freestyle, although The Freestyle is the more accurate product.

Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12

The Epson EpiqVision Mini EF12 is better than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen. The Samsung is much smaller and lighter, so it's much easier to carry around, but the Epson is also quite portable. The Epson is significantly brighter than the Samsung and is vastly more accurate pre-calibration, although both projectors are very similar post-calibration. The Samsung has a wider color gamut than the Epson, but it doesn't matter, as it's just not bright enough to make colors pop. Finally, the Epson has significantly better connectivity.

Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01

The Epson EpiqVision Flex CO-W01 and the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen are quite different, as the Samsung is a small and light portable projector, while the Epson, while not huge by any means, is not as portable. The Samsung also has more smart features than the Epson, which is pretty barebones in that regard. However, if you don't need smart features, go for the Epson, as it's much better due to its vastly superior brightness levels.

Epson Home Cinema 5050UB

The Epson Home Cinema 5050UB is much better than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen, but they're very different products. The Samsung is a small portable projector with a full suite of smart and wireless connectivity features. The Epson is a massive projector, lacks any smart features, and doesn't have any automatic image correction features like the Samsung has. Still, if you don't need to move your projector, the Epson offers vastly superior image quality, but you'll need to buy an external streaming dongle if you need smart features or wireless support.

BenQ X3000i

The BenQ X3000i is much better than the Samsung The Freestyle 2nd Gen, but they're very different. The Samsung is a small portable projector with a tilting stand and full auto keystone image correction. The BenQ is a bigger product, although it's not huge. It has auto keystone correction on the vertical axis, so you can move it if you wish, but it's not as portable as the Samsung. Otherwise, the BenQ offers vastly superior image quality with better brightness and contrast and projects a sharper image due to its pixel-shifting technology. It also offers more to gamers with its 1080p @ 240Hz capabilities.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
8.0
Design
Portability
Height 4.8" (12.3 cm)
Width 3.9" (10.0 cm)
Depth 5.4" (13.7 cm)
Weight
1.8 lbs (0.8 kg)

The Samsung Freestyle has a very compact design and weighs 1.8 pounds, making it easy to carry around, but it doesn't have an integrated battery, so you still need to have it plugged into an outlet. It has full auto keystone correction and autofocus, so it's easy to set up, and you can adjust the projection angle as the device tilts on its stand.

Design
Projector Technology
Imaging Technology
DLP
Light Source
LED
Resolution
1080p
Aspect Ratio
16 : 9
Minimum Throw Ratio
1.20
Maximum Throw Ratio
1.20

This 1080p DLP projector uses an LED bulb as its light source, so you likely won't ever have to worry about replacing it.

Picture Quality
3.5
Picture Quality
Brightness
White Light Output
174 lm
Color Light Output
160 lm
Brightness Uniformity
96%
Screen Brightness
19 cd/m²

Unfortunately, the brightness of the Samsung Freestyle 2nd Gen after calibration is very low. The brightness uniformity is fantastic, but on a 100" screen, it's not bright enough for an enjoyable movie-watching experience, even in a pitch-black environment.

7.2
Picture Quality
Contrast
Native Contrast
135 : 1

The Samsung Freestyle projector has decent contrast. Blacks are deep and look good in a dark room, but contrast is low as whites aren't very bright.

7.0
Picture Quality
Pre-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
3.50
Color dE
3.27
Gamma
2.14
Color Temperature
7,187 K
Picture Mode
Movie
Color Temp Setting
Warm1
Gamma Setting
0

Out-of-the-box, the Samsung The Freestyle projector has decent color accuracy. Colors are satisfactory but have frequent accuracy errors throughout the entire color range. White balance is okay; blues are overrepresented in brighter whites, while reds, in turn, are underrepresented, giving whites a noticeable blue hue. You can see this in the color temperature, which is mediocre at best, as it leans far too cold.

9.2
Picture Quality
Post-Calibration Color Accuracy
White Balance dE
0.29
Color dE
1.91
Gamma
2.16
Color Temperature
6,508 K
White Balance Calibration
10 point
Color Calibration
Yes
Picture Mode
Movie

The Samsung Freestyle projector has a full-color calibration mode and a 10-point white balance calibration. After calibration, the color accuracy is fantastic. Colors still have very minor accuracy errors throughout, but the white balance is very near perfect, and so is the color temperature.

8.5
Picture Quality
Color Gamut
Rec. 709 xy
99.43%
Rec. 709 uv
98.24%
Rec. 2020 xy
65.60%
Rec. 2020 uv
75.83%

The Samsung Freestyle Gen 2 has a wide color gamut. It pretty much covers all of the Rec. 709 color space used with SDR content. It even does a decent job with the wider Rec. 2020 color space.

Features
Features
Inputs & Connectivity
HDMI
1
ARC/eARC
Yes (eARC)
Wi-Fi Yes
USB Data Ports
0

You can only use the USB-C port to charge the device; it can't carry data. The device has Wi-Fi 5 and Bluetooth 5.2 support. The micro HDMI port doubles as an eARC port for audio passthrough when using the internal apps.

Features
Smart Features & Sound
Smart OS
Tizen
Cast Capable
Yes
Speaker(s)
Yes

The projector has Samsung's popular Tizen smart OS with full casting support through Samsung's SmartThings or Apple's AirPlay 2, so you can share your phone or laptop screen directly to the projector. The projector has a 5W speaker system.

Features
In The Box

  • Power supply
  • USB-C power cable
  • Remote
  • Lens cover
  • Documentation