Few dryers can handle comforters and sheets as well as this Samsung, whose Bulky cycle made us do the Dance of Joy. Wait—that's not Bulky, that's Balki. Although no single cycle got our clothes completely dry, each one produced incredibly consistent nearly perfect results. That's great news for folks who like wrinkle-free clothes: a tiny bit of left-over moisture is ideal for easy ironing or letting clothes hang until they're smooth.
Big, bold, and unusually retro.
This Stainless Platinum (gray) dryer isn't any larger on the outside than its competitors, but it certainly feels like it is: the door, specifically, is unusually tall, even though the drum opening is just a bit larger than average.
We were split when it came to the control panel. On one hand, the cycle select knob was smooth to use, had some attractive blue indicator lights, and an orange border really made the panel pop. The main controls featured easy-to-read fonts, lots of clear indicator lights to show what features were active, and the ability to customize cycle timing in one- or ten-minute increments.
The downside? Most of the buttons don't actually depress. They look like they're actual buttons, but there's no give when you push down, which felt oddly unsatisfying. Fortunately, we got over it pretty quickly once we saw how responsive the non-buttons actually were.
The most irritating element of this dryer was actually the lint trap, which uses a small flap to keep lint in place. Unfortunately, that flap tended to catch when we put the trap back in its place and made cleaning a bit trickier. It's a small gripe compared to the overall package, but one worth noting.
Slightly imperfect, but consistently so.
One of the biggest gripes with have with sensor-based drying is inconsistency from one specialty cycle to the next. This Samsung, however, avoided that issue entirely: every cycle tested got clothes at least 91% dry, ready to iron or hang if not to wear. For the Bulky test, that's actually pretty darn amazing, as most machines never even come close to getting our large test comforter that dry.
Cycle lengths were consistent with the expected average, and peak temperatures were appropriate for each cycle. While the Normal cycle stayed a hair away from 100 percent dryness, a little bit of leftover moisture is actually ideal for folks who like to get wrinkles out of their garments, either through hanging or ironing.
As for features, there's a selection of 15 cycles to choose from—a generous number, indeed—with specialities in jeans, towels, sanitization, and more. Five dryness levels and five temperature settings, as well as manually adjustable range of 20 to 60 minutes, should please the laundry micromanagers out there. You can even save a customized cycle as a preset.
If you've got a load smaller than 7.4 cubic feet, Samsung says the Small Load Care will prevent your clothes from undergoing unnecessarily rough treatment due to all the interior space. The Samsung also comes with a slew of extra features, including several steam-based cycles, an anti-static option, wrinkle prevent, and a mixed load bell. What's more, if anything goes wrong with the dryer, you can download the Smart Care app to your smartphone for a diagnosis that should be quicker than waiting for a service call.
A darn good dryer, especially in another color.
Samsung's DV50F9A8EVP ($1,199) is the company's newest flagship dryer, a 7.4 cubic foot model that combines supremely accurate sensor-based cycles and enough customizability to meet the demands of the most persnickety launderer. If you need to dry comforters and sheets, it also has one of the best Bulky cycles we've ever tested.
The pricetag isn't bad, but you can do a lot better for the same machine. First, find it in a plain white finish (the model number changes to DV50F9A8EVW), which knocks the MSRP down another $100. Then, wait for a sale, and you should be able to find it for under $1000.
With the results that came just shy of perfect all around, this dryer makes for a consistent and effective machine, especially compared to lots of other models in its price bracket. Take a look at our test results and see for yourself.
Keeping it cool.
We were worried when we saw that the Samsung's Normal cycle only reached 98% dry. This basic workhorse cycle can almost always be counted upon to deliver perfect results even if the rest of a dryer flops. Temperatures stayed within a reasonable heat range, peaking at just 143.1ºF, with cycle lengths averaging 54 minutes each. That's standard in every way, despite that extra two percent of left over water. Clothes felt dry, though, and while that's a decidedly non-scientific measure, a mere two percent of water makes for easy wrinkle removal.
The Delicate cycle produced results that were a tad worse: clothes only got 91 percent dry. With that said, this Samsung finished in a slightly shorter amount of time than we usually expect. Its Delicate cycle only ran for for about 59 minutes, nearly half an hour shorter than most other machines, which means less tumbling stress on fragile fabrics. Don't need things ironed and just want 'em dry? Stick your clothes back in for a few minutes; since the Delicate cycle peaked at a cool 115ºF, you won't have to worry about over drying.
Better than we ever expected.
Where this machine really impressed, though, was in these two more specialized tests. The Quick Dry automatically set itself for 30 minutes, and we always use the default time when presented with one. While not as quick as some other rapid cycles that we've come across, this one got our clothes 91% dry even though it only peaked at 125.8ºF. Again, not perfect, but an excellent job despite that fact.
Our Bulky test is more or less designed to fail; we judge the merits of a machine based on how close it can get to perfect dryness, and most don't even come close. Not so with the Samsung: if we had doubts about this machine before, they were blown away when we saw that our test comforter also came out 91% dry. That's fantastic, likely a result of the larger interior and the 148.7ºF peak temperature. More room to flip around meant that sheets and comforters didn't get balled up, as they often do in other dryers. This may be why it took the cycle longer than average—it ran about one hour and 28 minutes—but we'd take an extra half hour of drying for those kind of results any day.
Meet the tester
Logistics Manager & Staff Writer@ReviewedHome
Matthew is a native of Brockton, MA and a graduate of Northeastern, where he earned a degree in English and Theatre. He has also studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and spends most of his free time pursuing a performance career in the greater Boston area.
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