Close-up of the Samsung Freestyle 2 projector lamp

Alison Murray/ZeDnet

There’s a saying: “Don’t fix what’s not broken.” I firmly believe that – especially when it comes to tech products and their sometimes pointless updates.

However, after trying out the recently upgraded generation of Samsung FreeStyle 2This portable projector is probably the winner of the best tech gadget I’ve tried so far in 2023.

review: Samsung The Freestyle: an all-in-one monitor inside and out

But first, what are the changes? There aren’t many major differences between the original model and the second-generation projector, but here are some worth noting: Smart Edge Blending which allows you to use two Freestyle projectors to create one huge image while supporting widescreen content on one side Up to a 29.3:9 ratio , a solar-powered remote control instead of a battery-powered one, increased memory for faster performance, and the most notable difference is the Samsung Gaming Hub.

Although I don’t play games, my husband is a casual person, so I tested him out to try out this feature. What’s so great about the Samsung Gaming Hub is that you don’t need an actual console to play a game, you just need a Freestyle 2, internet access, and a game console.

also: The best outdoor projectors for epic movie nights

You’ll have to subscribe to cloud streaming like Xbox, GeForce Now, Luna, and others, but there are also free games you can play right away.

A white Samsung Freestyle 2 monitor on the battery base next to a pink Xbox controller

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Samsung FreeStyle 2

The Samsung Freestyle 2 projector features upgrades like Smart Edge Blending and Samsung Gaming Hub integration making it a worthwhile upgrade over the previous generation.

My husband was able to play Rocket League With a free GeForce Now membership, and other free games like fortnite It was also available. The overall gaming experience will depend on your Wi-Fi connection, but the graphics were crystal clear, and the Freestyle 2 loaded games quickly with almost no glitches.

It was a unique experience to be able to play games outside or throw them up on the ceiling while lying down without being restricted to a specific room or gaming console.

Samsung Gaming Hub display displayed on a sloping ceiling

Alison Murray/ZeDnet

Now, aside from the gaming aspect, the Samsung Freestyle 2 is a really high-quality projector. It’s very easy to set up and get started – all you need is a Wi-Fi connection. And you won’t need to carry an extension cord because its portable battery easily connects to the device, allowing you to use it almost anywhere (which was perfect for our backyard).

It comes pre-loaded with several streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Prime Video, and more, so you can quickly log into your accounts and start streaming.

Also: Best Netflix alternatives

By far, what impressed me most is the sound: it comes from a built-in 5-watt 360-degree speaker, and for such a small speaker, it’s plenty powerful. While streaming a very windy night movie outdoors, we could hear the sound clear and loud, as if we were indoors and the sound was all around us.

The Samsung Freestyle 2 impressed me with its image quality, autofocus ability—whether projected onto a slanted ceiling or a projector screen—and the overall setup and streaming experience. To me, technology should make things faster and easier, and this device does that – especially in terms of portability.

ZDNET Buying Advice

If you’re a gamer and want the ability to play a variety of games without a controller, the Samsung Freestyle 2 is a great option that lets you play games while camping, outdoors, anywhere.

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However, if you are purchasing a Samsung Freestyle for the movie experience, First generation The specifications are similar enough to this New model That you can save a few hundred dollars while getting the best projector.

Whichever model you choose, if you are looking for a portable or outdoor projector, this is in my opinion the best on the market.

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