Originally launched in January 2022, the Samsung Freestyle projector was shortlisted for CNN Underscored’s Best of CES 2022 awards and has since become popular for its compact size, attractive design and convenient portability.
While you can pick up a still-nice 2022 Freestyle for $800, $100 less than its original price, Samsung announced a new version at CES 2023. While there’s no date for when the updated projector will be available, here’s everything we know so far about the 2023 Freestyle.
On the surface, nothing has changed with Freestyle. The 2023 projector looks just like its predecessor. That means you still get a tube projector that weighs less than 2 pounds and can rotate up to 180 degrees. Point it and play it anywhere, from wall to ceiling to an outdoor screen, and the picture will be displayed in full 1080p up to 100 inches (unlike the acclaimed but expensive XGIMI Horizon Pro 4K projector, the new Freestyle still 4K will not be available).
But the difference is that it has access to the new Game Center on the built-in Tizen OS software. Game Hub, announced late last year, also works on all Samsung smart TVs, letting you play video games from partners like Xbox, Nvidia GeForce Now, Amazon Luna, and Utomik — all without downloads, storage limits, or a console.
So yes, this would count as an extra gaming device to carry around. Plus, it can help your kids put an end to nasty arguments about who has more time for the console. The 2023 version of Game Center will also include what Samsung calls a MiniMap sharing feature, allowing players to open and quickly view a game’s mini-map while playing a game.
While we saw the new Freestyle at CES, another interesting feature Samsung unveiled was something they called “Smart Edge Blending.” The gist is that the two projectors will automatically sync to provide a huge 21:9 configuration, with no alignment or manual adjustments of any kind required.
While it looks neat, and creating large projections seems simple, you’ll need two 2023 Freestyle projectors to do it.
Yes, Freestyle caused quite a stir when it was announced last year, and even achieved the enviable status of being one of Oprah’s favorite things. Along with other products with a near cult following, like the arts-forward Frame TV, this projector fits easily into Samsung’s lifestyle entertainment portfolio. But besides its portability and small footprint, it’s all those little extras that really make it stand out.
For example, the Freestyle can replace a lamp and comes with a lens cap that doubles as a filter for funky light shows—like lava lamps and starry nights. It can also function as a wireless speaker on its own, so you can play music without projecting. All perfect party favors.
Then there are accessories. Samsung offers a battery dock ($190) to help keep it charged while sitting outdoors, and a wacky screw-in outlet adapter ($80) that lets you attach the Freestyle to things like pendant lights, so You can then project on your desktop. While the Freestyle itself is only available in white, you can make it more colorful with a Samsung skin ($28), and the 2022 projector is available in forest green, floral pink, or coyote beige — though Samsung confirms we should expect more hues It will be available in 2023. You can even find out-of-the-box accessories like this waterproof foam-lined case ($49) to carry the Freestyle more securely.
The 2023 Freestyle doesn’t currently have a price or release date, but we expect it to arrive early this year for roughly the same price as its predecessor. We’ll have a full review of it once we get our hands on it, so stay tuned.