Everyone's been talking about this new smart refrigerator that Samsung recently released.
I know this because we just got one. And now every single time any of our friends come over, loud exclamations come from the kitchen. “OH MY GOD IS THAT THE NEW SMART REFRIGERATOR?!?!”
I wouldn't say our last refrigerator was dumb, but it certainly wasn't smart enough to keep up with our smart home. It knew how to keep stuff cold. Frankly, that's all I ever expected or wanted from a refrigerator. I never saw a need to upgrade until the thing crapped out coincidentally RIGHT before our friends over at Samsung asked if we'd review their latest-and-greatest smart refrigerator.
Clearly, it was fate.
At first, I expected the Samsung Family Hub Refrigerator to be basically a normal fridge with a giant tablet slapped on the front. That's how it seems at first glance: a big, beautiful, fingerprint-proof stainless steel appliance with a 21.5″ LCD touch screen to help us ditch the magnets and Post-It notes that Chelsea uses so liberally.
There's a doodle pad on there where the boys like to draw, a spot for the whole family to write notes to each other, photo album functionality, internet access with recipe apps and grocery-ordering capability, television-syncing and calendar updates. It's actually really nice having something that brings the boys into the kitchen before dinner and allows them to express their artistic side…before their hungry side.
My favorite feature is the ability to stream Kelly Clarkson on Pandora.
No. Wait. I mean…Metallica. Death metal. Grunge.
In all honesty, the fact that I don't need an extra device to play music while I power through dishes is awesome.
Also pretty smart? The fact that ice and water are accessible without pushing buttons repeatedly. One paddle for each.
Where this smart refrigerator really shines, however, is inside. There's plenty of storage space in the 28-cubic-foot full-depth model with four doors, complete with the bottom-right quarter serving as an adjustable “flex zone” that can go from custom refrigerator temperatures (with ideal settings for general use, cheese, veggies and meat) to standard freezer or soft freeze use. Both bottom sections have slide-out shelving for easy access. No more fumbling through inaccessible freezer bins.
Chelsea tells me that the wine rack section is going to see some serious use after this next baby is born.
Gallon door bins help keep the shelf space clear and open. And we drink a LOT of cow juice.
Best of all, three built-in cameras let us view inside and manage our refrigerator from a remote app. Happen into the grocery store and can't remember what you were running short on? Yeah. There's an app for that. Well, a fridge for that now at least.
In conjunction with all that smart refrigerator technology, the well-thought-out details really give Samsung a leg up in the industry. Common-sense things like being able to change the water filter from within the refrigerator. No more need to pry off a hidden compartment by the floorboard. I am 6'4″ and not meant to crawl down to cobwebs to get the clean water filter changed out.
For those worried that stainless steel means giving up the ability to magnetically display every ticket stub, wedding photo and other piece of memorabilia that crosses your desk…take heart. Chelsea's already tested and discovered the fact that the sides offer ALL the sticking power any pack rat could ever desire.
And after we've stood with the doors ajar ogling every feature in/on/around our smart refrigerator, this genius device kicks into “precise cooling” mode to quickly return our food to optimum temperature. It also beeps at us continually if one of the kids happens to walk away and leave the door open. If only they didn't love the sound of a beeping fridge.
A smart refrigerator that's intelligent enough to outfox a 5-year-old AND meet the demanding needs of a hungry family of six? That's a win in this house.
The reviewer has been compensated in the form of a Best Buy Gift Card and/or received the product/service at a reduced price or for free.