Whether you’re going on a camping trip, going over to friends’ for a movie night or showcasing a presentation at the office, a portable projector is an excellent no hassle option.
Wireless casting from smartphones and built-in smart TV software gives you access to all of the best streaming apps. While you won’t reach 4K quality with either of these portable options, but with external batteries possible in some cases, there are huge advantages to going portable.
Let’s see how the two models compare.
Video size and quality
The LG CineBeam Smart Portable Projector (PF510Q) offers display sizes ranging from 30-inches to 120-inches from the LED lens. There’s a full HD 1080p resolution resolution with HDR. 16:9 and 4:3 aspect radios are available. There’s a 150,000:1 contrast ratio too. LG’s projector also benefits from Auto Vertical Keystone tech, meaning the projector automatically adjusts the alignment so you won’t suffer from tilts and distortions.
As for Samsung, the Freestyle 2023 also offers a full HD resolution with a display size of 30-inches to 100-inches. The company is yet to fully reveal the specs yet, but we’re working on the assumption that Samsung is maintaining much of what brought the Freestyle to the dance. That means a 100,000:1 contrast ratio, support for HDR10, but that could be upgraded to HDR10+. The Samsung Freestyle (2022) model also supported the Hybrid Log Gamma HDR tech supported by the BBC iPlayer. Keystone correction is also on board to align the image correctly.
Samsung is also debuting a new Smart Edge feature, which allows for a 21:9 cinematic image, if combining two units. That image can also be stacked for a 16:15 projection. The max aspect ratio for a single device will be 16:9.
Smart TV and connectivity features
The big upgrade for the Samsung Freestyle 2023 is the presence of the company’s Smart TV operating system, meaning all the apps are built in for your convenience. Better still, that includes the Gaming Hub, which includes access to Xbox Cloud Gaming, Nvidia GeForce Now and others. So, you’ve got 100-inch gaming in your home without bothering the living room TV. It’s also possible Samsung could upgrade the currently available original with Gaming Hub.
There’s support for the SmartThings app for app casting and smart calibration of the brightness and lighting of the image. You can also mirror mobile to TV with DLNA. There’s support for the Bixby and Amazon’s Alexa for controlling content with your voice. Wi-Fi is on board, while Bluetooth 5.2 is also available for connecting accessories like speakers and headphones.
When it comes to the LG CineBeam Smart, it’s got the company’s excellent webOS smart TV ecosystem on board for all of your smart apps, including You Tube, Disney+, Prime Video, and Apple TV. There’s also support for content sharing with DLNA and Apple AirPlay 2. Naturally, there’s Bluetooth on board too. You can pair two devices like headphones or wireless speakers. Some of the more expensive LG projectors do support Alexa voice input, but not this one.
Design and speakers
Naturally, Samsung’s Freestyle 2023 has the advantage here because of the 180-degree hinge within the stand accessory that enables users to position the image from wall to ceiling. In terms of built-in speakers, there’s 360-degree sound directly from the Freestyle, but you’ll only get 5w of power. With the stand it’s, 4-inches wide, 6.8-inches high and has a depth of 3.7-inches. It weighs 1.80lbs with the stand attached.
There are a host of accessories for the Freestyle, which is a little more flexible than the LG counterpart. There’s a Battery Base accessory you can buy, which offers wire-free entertainment for up to 3 hours, while there is support for external battery packs too.
The LG model is much more static with any flexibility coming from adjusting the lens itself, rather than the angle of the device. It weighs 2.2lbs and measures just 5.8-inches across. The built-in speakers are also 5W. You will need to be plugged into the mains at all times though.
LG is charging $599 for the latest CineBeam Smart Portable Projector, which is available in the US from today. We’ve asked LG about the UK availability and LG has promised to get back to us. The Samsung Freestyle 2023 costs $799/£699 with availability to be confirmed.