Time for an unscheduled video! As I’m writing this the Samsung Freestyle portable projector was announced 7 days ago, and the release video has over a million views here on YouTube. Samsung also sponsored a bunch of videos on popular tech channels to help promote their projector, but this is definitely not one of those videos and today on the hook up I’m going to show you exactly why the Samsung freestyle isn’t even remotely worth the $899 price tag and why you shouldn’t buy it at anywhere near that price.
First, I don’t have a Samsung freestyle in hand, and to my knowledge Samsung only sent out review units to channels who were doing sponsored content, meaning there are currently no unbiased review videos featuring the freestyle. However, I did just get back from CES 2022, so I’ve seen the freestyle in person not only on the show floor, but also in pop up events all along the las vegas strip. And having spent the entire month of November testing and reviewing portable projectors my eyes knew what to expect from that projector price point. Both in the show and on the strip, it was blatantly obvious that the freestyle is way too dim to be used as a home theater projector, and way to pricey to be in the “toy projector” category.
I’m not saying the freestyle is bad, I’m just saying that the specs don’t match up with the price. Let me show you by comparing it to some similar projectors I have tested.
For $100 less MSRP at $799 you can get the xGiMi Halo which has the same 1080p resolution, and the same auto focus and auto keystoning. However, with the Halo you’ll also get triple the brightness, a built in battery, dual 5 watt speakers instead of a single 5 watt speaker, and android TV 9.0 instead of the much more limited Samsung tizen OS. There’s literally not a single spec where the freestyle beats out the xGiMi halo, and the crazy thing is when I did my portable projector review video the halo wasn’t even my top recommendation.
For less than half the price of the freestyle you can get the Anker Mars II Pro which admittedly is only 720p and has the downside of running Android 7, but the mars 2 pro is over twice as bright, has a built in battery that lasts over 2 hours in high brightness mode, or 4 hours in eco mode which by the way is still 70 ANSI lumens brighter than the freestyle. If you’re in the market for good sound the Anker Mars Pro II has dual 10 watt speakers compared to the single 5 watt speaker on the freestyle, and the Mars Pro II can also be booted up in speaker only mode, giving you between 10 and 24 hours of battery powered listening depending on volume. And did I mention it costs less than half the price of the freestyle?
Maybe your argument is that Samsung is a more reputable brand than Anker and xGiMi and you are more comfortable buying from them. So what about BENQ, who’s been producing high quality projectors since the 1980s? The BENQ GV30 is priced at $599, so $300 less than the freestyle, yet it has 70 more ANSI lumens, Android TV 10.0, 3 speakers allowing it handle 2.1 channel audio, and it can do all the same party tricks as the freestyle allowing you to easily project onto the ground or the ceiling, all with auto keystone and auto focus, the same as the freestyle. And of course the GV30 also has a built in battery, which I honestly can’t believe the freestyle doesn’t have.
Again, I don’t think the freestyle is bad, it’s fine, seems kinda cool, I just can’t understand why it’s priced at $899. Is it because it’s got expensive parts in it? Or are they just making a huge profit on every unit sold?
Did they not do a market analysis before pricing it? Because as you can see it’s not a unique product and they didn’t introduce it at a competitive price.
What I can tell you is that for almost $900 its not a good deal at all and I hope it doesn’t give people a bad impression of projectors because believe me, the freestyle is not representative of the picture quality and brightness you should expect from a $900 projector.
This video obviously isn’t sponsored by anyone except my patrons at patreon, and hopefully it doesn’t get me completely blackballed by Samsung, but it needed to be made. Samsung is generally a great company, and I have a lot of their products, but this one is a mess. If you are interested in getting a good value projector for your money, and seeing how I evaluate them, check out my playlist on budget projectors and consider subscribing to my channel for future projector content, and as always, thanks for watching the hookup.