CES: Samsung Freestyle Projector Adds Game Hub, Features

Samsung is adding new features to its small Freestyle projector for 2023, with support for the Samsung Gaming Hub and image expansion using Smart Edge Blending, which lets viewers combine two of the devices to watch content in a 21:9 configuration with no manual lining up or adjusting. The Gaming Hub provides streaming apps from Xbox, Amazon Luna, Nvidia GeForce NOW and more. Subscribers to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate or other high-performance cloud gaming services can stream directly on the Freestyle so long as the Internet connection is robust enough.

Samsung announced the first iteration of the Freestyle short-throw projector at CES 2022, and it hit shelves in April for $899. Weighing less than 2 pounds, Samsung bills the Freestyle as “the ultimate flexible device, allowing consumers to watch whatever they want wherever they want.”

Configured with a 180-degree cradle stand, it projects content onto walls or screens “from 30 to 100 inches at up to 550 lumens of brightness,” notes CNET, detailing “1080p resolution, full access to Samsung’s smart TV platform, as well as auto-focus and auto-leveling capabilities to automatically align its image to any surface.”

The 2023 Freestyle “is also geared toward new use cases, including ‘real-world metaverse’ applications, though Samsung hasn’t said exactly what that means,” notes Digital Trends, observing that the dual-screen functionality “enables two Freestyles to synchronize their projections, while automatically performing keystone correction and adjusting the picture.”

With a top resolution of 1080p, the Freestyle “won’t work as a 4K TV replacement, but it could become a fun way to set up ad-hoc big-screen gaming sessions now that Samsung has added its new Gaming Hub to the Freestyle’s Tizen OS software,” continues Digital Trends.

CNET lamented the fact that the Freestyle doesn’t come with an auxiliary battery, while other “portable projectors that perform just as well come with an included battery for the same price or less.” For example, the XGIMI Halo Plus “costs about the same as the Freestyle, but is brighter and comes with a built-in battery that lasts around 2.5 hours.”

Samsung makes a $190 battery base that works with the original Freestyle but hasn’t indicated battery plans for the 2023 model.

“The original Freestyle and the Freestyle 2023 are 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 the outdoors,” CNET reports.

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