Samsung’s tiny Freestyle projector is fun so get over it

Samsung’s new barrel-shaped Freestyle projector was just announced at CES. The 1080p projector goes up for preorder today for $899. What matters more than its spec sheet, according to Samsung, is that this highly portable and swiveling visual lightshow with integrated speaker and voice control is coming to support your carefree “lifestyle” and nomadic “experiences.”

Olds, in other words, need not apply.

How can I be certain of this? Because when I, a curmudgeonly old, showed the Freestyle to my 13-year-old daughter under strict embargo, her first reaction was, and I quote: “I want that. A fake window on my wall would be so pretty.” A sampling of one teen is surely correct.

Image: Samsung
Samsung Freestyle (front).

Image: Samsung
Samsung Freestyle (back).

The 1.83 pound (0.83kg) projector is capable of producing an auto-focused and auto-leveled image (of unknown brightness) at sizes from 30 to 100 inches. The translucent lens cap can be used to create “mood lighting” that can be synced with whatever audio is playing. It also features a 360-degree firing speaker, and a far-field mic array for voice control that looks like it can be toggled on and off via a switch. If you look closely at the images you’ll also see one HDMI and one USB-C jack, and what looks like touch controls for power, volume, and something else encircling the lens.

Optional accessories include a waterproof case, USB-C battery pack, and a base that allows the projector to be screwed into a standard E26 lightbulb socket for power.

Freestyle seems like an ideal companion to TikTok videos, and not so much your Blu-ray collection. If you care about banalities such as lumens, embedded OSes, supported streaming protocols, and other such minutia then this projector clearly isn’t meant for you.

Samsung says preorders for the projector will open in the US as of January 4th, with the Freestyle making its way to other markets “in the following months.”

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