A new spin on an old design

When Samsung set off to build the WA456DRHDSU, design seemed to have been a high priority. A retro-futuristic control panel and curved edges give it a streamlined look. You can get all that style for at least $100 less if you opt for a white machine (model number WA456DRHDWR) rather than one finished in Chrome Shadow, a color that sounds suspiciously like a cosmetics line for aging robots. The biggest design feature that this washer has was its bigness. Samsung described the 4.5 cubic foot capacity as King Sized, though you don't need a royal pedigree to use every inch. Can you machine wash an ermine stole?

Though its glass window obscures prying eyes, the Samsung's door has a no-slam hinge. Physical buttons help with usability, and when options are selected, they light up. Features turn on, features turn off, no miscommunication. Overall, the WA456DRHDSU is a breeze to use.

Stain removal is good, water use isn't great.

For a washing machine with an MSRP just north of a grand, the WA456DRHDSU was average when it came to cleaning. It outperformed many other top-loaders, but couldn't match the best machines in its price bracket. The Heavy Duty cycle was best, with a no-holds-barred approach to stain fighting that used 50 gallons of water. For everyday loads, we recommend the Normal cycle. It used only 16 gallons of water and was only marginally less effective than Heavy Duty.

the Normal cycle...used 16 gallons of water

We weren't thrilled that cycles retained quite a bit of water once they were finished. That means more work for the dryer, and more energy spent. This also proved to be one thirsty washer: If you use most of the cycles on offer, your annual water and electricity bills may be as high as $60. That's more than twice some other washers we've tested. We recommend you stick to the basic cycles, which use a little less water.
The Samsung WA456DRHDSU is ideal for a large family. It's got cleaning performance on par with other top-loaders, but doesn't wow us in any way. Looks-wise, it's austere but practical. And when it comes to efficiency, it could do a lot better. But with a 4.5 cu. ft. capacity, and a price that drops below $800 on sale if you're willing to go with a white finish, it may be just the thing for a large family.
Bend before the waves of heavy science! Every machine that comes through our doorway is subjected to standardized scientific testing. Cleaning performance and efficiency are what we are looking for. Hold onto your hats ladies and gentlemen, let's get this educational show on the road!
What's the point of a washing machine if it doesn't mechanically wash your laundry? In order to record any meaningful results, we use standardized stain strips. Each strip is coated in common household ails: wine, cocoa, sweat, oil, and blood. If blood is your main concern, stop reading this review and call for help.

After going through all the core cycles, and scanning the resulting stain strips under a photo-spectrometer, we determined that the Samsung WA456DRHDSU is an adequate performer. It had the best go at red wine and blood. It kind of floundered with everything else, especially sweat. So unless you're a butcher who works in a refrigerated meat locker and has a glass of cabernet for lunch, you may want to pre-treat.

All the water that ever will be, is. It's a humbling thought. This means that efficiency is important when considering a washing machine. We here at Reviewed.com, efficiency means what goes into the washer and what comes out.

Each washer is hooked up to a water meter when in operation. That's how we determine that the Heavy Duty cycle uses about 50 gallons of water. After going through all the cycles, we estimate that the average yearly running cost of the WA456DRHDSU to be $59.97. That's about double that of the average front-loading machine. Bear in mind that the 4.5 cubic foot capacity is greater than that of nearly all front-loading machines.

What comes out of a washer in important too. The wetter a load of laundry is, the more time it must spend in the dryer. Lots of time in the dryer means larger energy bills and that makes everyone sad, including Mother Earth. In this regard, the Samsung WA456DRHDSU is not with the program. Average test loads still help about 69 percent of their weight in water. We start marking papers with frowny faces after the 50 percent mark.

Meet the testers

Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Senior Lab Technician

@ReviewedHome

Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews
Jonathan Chan

Jonathan Chan

Senior Lab Technician

@ReviewedHome

Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Senior Lab Technician at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.

See all of Jonathan Chan's reviews

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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