Samsung Smart Refrigerator 2016 - Ratings/Review/Comparison
Pushing the envelope in melding tech with appliance, this outlandish refrigerator falls flat with stratospheric pricing and so-so build quality.
Design & Styling8.5
Ease of Use8.5
Build Quality6
Value for Money2.5
Service and Parts Availability4
PROS
  • Futuristic styling
  • Impressive Family Hub user interface and seemless phone Samsung integration
CONS
  • Internal build-quality second rate
  • Priced in the stratosphere
  • Crush ice flys everywhere
5.9POOR
Reader Rating: (1 Vote)
2.4

samsung_refrigerator_reviewIn this Samsung Smart Refrigerator Review, we take a look at how mid-range, technically advanced home and kitchen appliances are fast becoming Samsung’s trademark. Recently, Samsung Appliances has been taking household appliances and upgrading them with modern technology to create ‘super powered’ appliances that get the job done, with the convenience of modern technology. Falling into this ‘super power’ appliance category is the newly released Samsung 4-Door Flex Refrigerator, model RF22K9581SG.

Samsung Smart Refrigerator Review

samsung_four_door_refrigeratorThis impressive refrigerator boasts a 22 cubic foot volume and the honor of being the first appliance to come with Samsung’s all new “Family Hub”. The Family Hub is branded as an integrated IOT (Internet of Things) control system that connects food, family and entertainment – all regulated by a 21.5″ wifi enabled, LED touch screen located on the front of the appliance. Equipped with internal cameras, the ability to stream music and even buy groceries –- this refrigerator seems like something straight out of the 1980s futuristic cartoon TV show The Jetson’s.

This model is built with a durable black stainless steel exterior, and its color perfectly compliments the already mentioned LED touch screen built into the top right door of the unit. The functions of the tablet-like touch screen are definitely the key talking points on this machine. Being one of the first truly “connected” refrigerators on the market, your smartphone can easily be paired to the Android system, which means that you can access the features right from your phone, wherever you happen to be.

A Smartphone and a Refrigerator, Rolled Into One

family_hub_tablet

A Large LED Touch Screen is Integrated on the Door

How practical is this connectivity? We’re not sure.

At this point no one is really thinking about what is in their fridge when they are at work, nor do they have the need to. We envision many Samsung commercials showing a person checking for what’s “in their fridge” while shopping at the grocery store. If you want to be on the bleeding edge of the “internet of things“, this unit may be worth the price bump to you.

Another “Smart” feature: a high tech labeling system, where you can “digitally” label your food age and keep track of how old certain foods inside your refrigerator are.

samsung_refrigerator_features
samsung_foodmanagment

 

All three sections of this fridge are equipped with their own cooling control, which are operated independently to ensure that the produce in each section is kept fresher, longer. This is a great feature, as the option to customize the interior based on the contents is obviously beneficial. This model also comes with FlexZones, which means that the bottom right section can be used as a fridge or a freezer. Not only can you decide between these two settings, there are 5 temperature settings in total – which means you can choose between those two options and anything in between.

Create a Shopping List or Just Buy the Groceries

On these new Samsung Refrigerators, the Groceries by Mastercard app connects your directly to FreshDirect or ShopRite online grocery shopping, you can look inside the refrigerator and then order exactly what you need, right to your door. This is the single most practical feature on the integrated tablet system in our opinion and will indeed be a great testing ground for whether the masses (and the distributors) are ready for direct-to-home grocery shopping.

Lights! Wine! Music?

Samsung certainly loves LEDs, as this fridge comes with an extensive layout of LED lights located throughout all three sections. Designed to ensure light hits every corner of the fridge, to be bright but not overpowering, the LED design is also more energy efficient and environment friendly than previous models.

inside_samsung_refrigerator

Flex Zone Racks can be shortened to allow tall item storage.

A convertible wine rack may be the icing on the cake of this modern day ‘future fridge’. The rack can be positioned in any of three positions, and if housed in the FlexZone, can be used to keep your wine the perfect temperature with the Beer and White Wine setting.

The Family Hub refrigerator now also sports speakers. Yes, you read that right: Internal Speakers. This model will stream music from Pandora or TuneIn Radio for playing in your Kitchen. Singularly one of the most surprising feature add-ons to this refrigerator line. But Samsung, where is our Spotify?

Lasting Impressions

samsung_refrigerator_bottom_rightAs with any product this “forward thinking”, there are some issues we’ve noted out of the gate. Some of our  customer note the seeming flimsiness of the plastic interior, and the poor utilization of space inside the fridge. Specifically drawers that fail to extend fully leaving utilization cumbersome.

The recessed handles, while stylish in look and feel, are very cumbersome to use. You wouldn’t think it at first – but with the handles being recessed, opening the freezers always requires two hands. Think about it, how often do you open your refrigerator with something in your hand? This is a big problem and why I think in subsequent versions we will see the reappearance of  a “handle” of some sort.

One last minor gripe: Crushed Ice. It goes everywhere but the glass. Why Samsung? Why? To catch the ice that comes out under “crushed” setting you practically need a bowl, which means if crushed ice is your thing be prepared to put a towel under the front of your fridge.

The price is where things go off the rails. Currently, this model is selling for $5,600. Considering the price difference between this model (the RF22K9581SG) and the previous (non Family Hub) version (the RF23J9011SG) is currently $2,700 (!), we have a real problem with this units pricing. The only difference we can see between this unit and the previous non-tablet unit is… the tablet.

No bueno.

Shae Jeffrey

About The Author

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Shae Jeffrey is a multi-talented appliance guru, freelance writer, and frequent contributor to Appliance Buyer's Guide.

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