The Freestyle color reproduction out-of-the-box was better than most portable LED projectors we have reviewed. Many portable projectors sacrifice accurate colors to maximize the overall brightness of their LED light sources. This often results in greenish skin tones. The Freestyle’s color reproduction was better than many bigger, brighter home entertainment projectors.
The Freestyle has four preset picture modes: DYNAMIC, STANDARD, MOVIE, and GAME. I thought the STANDARD mode delivered the best balance of brightness and color reproduction. Most of the picture modes delivered a cool (slightly bluish) image except for the MOVIE, which was overly warm.
While most portable projectors have limited color adjustment, the Freestyle has everything you need to fine-tune the unit’s picture quality. Since the projector’s Tizen OS is similar to the version used in Samsung’s latest flat panel TVs, the Freestyle includes a full suite of calibration controls, including 2-point, 10-point, and 20-point grayscale adjustments and gamma and CMS controls.
While users have all the tools to precisely calibrate the Freestyle, it is doubtful that most customers would spend the time and money to calibrate a sub-$700 portable projector. The out-of-the-box picture quality is definitely good enough to satisfy most customers looking at this type of projector.
Since most of the customers they are targeting with this unit don’t know or care about “ANSI Lumens,” Samsung doesn’t provide a brightness rate for the Freestyle on its website and literature. Since Samsung doesn’t provide an ANSI lumens rating, I took the time to measure it.
I took 3-4 readings about 15-20% out from the center of the lens, which usually gives a pretty good approximation of ANSI lumens. I measured the Freestyle in its brightest picture mode, DYNAMIC, and ensured the unit’s BRIGHTNESS was set to “100.”
The Samsung Freestyle measured 249 lumens.
The brightness of the DYNAMIC, STANDARD, and GAME modes was within a few lumens of each other. The dimmer MOVIE mode measured 195 lumens
While 249 lumens of brightness is not a lot, the Freestyle was bright enough to display content in a darkened room during the day. Samsung states that the Freestyle can be used for screen sizes up to 100 inches, but based on the projector’s light output, I think the Freestyle looks best on screens smaller than 75 inches. The Freestyle supports HDR10, but the Freestyle was bright enough for me to notice much difference compared to SDR.
The Freestyle includes a surprisingly good sound system for its compact size. The system’s single 5-watt speakers radiate sound 360 degrees for good performance whether the projector is positioned in front, beside, or behind you. The projector’s micro-HDMI input also supports eARC (enhanced Audio Return Channel) to send uncompressed multi-channel audio from the projector to a compatible external sound system.
The Freestyle is unique because it includes a Bluetooth receiver and a transmitter. You can use it as a Bluetooth speaker, but you can also transmit audio from an HDMI-connected source or the projector’s built-in streaming apps to Bluetooth headphones. This a great feature if you want to watch TV late at night without disturbing others.