This story is part of CES, where CNET covers the latest news on the most incredible tech coming soon.
Samsung TVs just got a lot more portable. At CES 2022 on Tuesday, the company added The Freestyle, an ultraportable smart TV projector, to its lineup.
The Freestyle weighs less than 2 pounds, comes with a 180-degree cradle stand and can project content onto walls, screens or anywhere else from 30 to 100 inches. It features 1080p resolution, as well as auto-focus and auto-leveling capabilities to automatically align its image to any surface. It can play music and includes 360-degree sound. Plus, it comes with access to Samsung’s smart TV platform, so yes, you will be able to stream Netflix and project it wherever you like. It will cost $899 in the US and is currently available for preorder on Samsung’s website.
Samsung is also offering various accessories to enhance the device. There are lens caps that can create mood lighting, a waterproofing case for outdoor use and a USB-C portable battery for outlet-free projecting. There’s even a base that will allow you to screw the projector into a light bulb socket.
Portable projectors, while cute and compact, historically come with some downsides. They tend to be relatively dim compared to standard TVs or even traditional home theater projectors. They also often have lower levels of image quality, which means they might not even reach 1080p, let alone 4K resolution. And while they’re portable, many still have to be plugged in. Some come with batteries or the ability to use a battery pack, but those tend to last just a few hours.
While Samsung’s The Freestyle does offer full HD resolution, it appears to lack an internal battery. You’ll have to spring for a USB-C portable battery if you want to use this projector away from a plug. The company has yet to specify the brightness levels of The Freestyle or the pricing and availability of its numerous accessories, which include a battery-filled base made especially for the device.
The Freestyle is part of Samsung’s Lifestyle brand, which is home to some of the TV-maker’s most ambitious and expensive products, including The Frame art TV and The Terrace TV, which is made especially for outdoor environments.
Our current picks for top portable projectors also have smart capabilities, but they lack auto-focusing features and the plethora of accessories that are available with Samsung’s newest offering. Those projectors currently hover around $600. Given its placement in the Lifestyle lineup, the $899 price seems to fit in line with Samsung’s other high-end products.
Samsung made numerous TV announcements alongside the Freestyle in advance of CES 2022, including its latest iteration of The Frame. Additionally, the company updated its Neo QLED and MicroLED models, added a gaming hub with access to cloud services and debuted a remote that harvests radio waves to recharge.