Samsung DV5471AEP Review
Impressive features, size and style. Less impressive drying results.
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Samsung's has nearly everything you'd want in a high-end dryer: a large drum that can fit substantial loads, plenty of cycles that performed equally well in our testing, plus a fit and finish that would make a designer refrigerator jealous. Even though its $1299 MSRP is pretty high, we found it on sale for as low as $950—not bad for a high-capacity dryer with all the options.
Unfortunately for the , however, it tended to choke in all of our performance tests, getting clothes extremely close to dry before suddenly giving up. Despite its flaws, it's still not a bad choice if you need a big dryer and don't mind throwing a few damp garments back in for a couple minutes of supplemental tumbling.
Design & Usability
Buttons, buttons, everywhere
Samsung put a lot of effort into the exterior of the . A smoked glass door, a stainless exterior, and an easy-to-read control panel give this dryer a top-of-the-line feel. One drawback: since it's meant to be paired with a top-loading washer, it can't be stacked. Happily though, the door swings open and shut quite easily, and with such a large entryway, loading this machine is not difficult.
The has straightforward controls and it's easy to load, but cycles are a little clumsy when it comes to customization. There's a button for everything on the control panel, so depending on your perspective, that's either comforting (no hidden menus) or terrifying (too many buttons). Our only complaint is that cycles couldn't be changed mid-way through—even if the dryer itself was paused. Changing time or temperature required powering off and "rebooting" the cycle.
Performance & Features
So close, yet so damp
The 's features are definitely its main attraction. Count 'em: 13 drying cycles! There's something for everyone, whether you're wearing washable wool to play golf or need to sanitize your kid's filthy soccer uniform. You can also hook the up to a water connection, which allows for a steam cycle that Samsung claims will release wrinkles.
If Samsung's cycle choices aren't good enough for you, or your clothes require extra special attention, the lets you choose from five dry levels and five separate temperature settings too. That's more than most dryers we've tested. There are a few cool features in addition to the cycles on offer, most of which take advantage of steam to release wrinkles and "refresh" loads. The dryer also includes a plastic rack for items that cannot be tumbled.
Now, about its performance—across a wide variety of cycles, the displayed some of the most uniform drying ability we've ever seen. Generally, test loads that go through the Quick and Delicates cycles remain far more moist than if they'd undergone a Normal tumble dry, but that wasn't so with the Samsung, which was nice to see. Unfortunately though, the end result for each cycle we tested was just a tiny bit short of fully dry, casting a damper on the otherwise happy results.
"Almost" doesn't count
Samsung's has an impressive resume. It's got an unbeatable set of features, a high-end design matched with a high-capacity drum, and—when found on sale—a reasonable price tag for a dryer in its class. In our tests, it did a better job across a variety of cycles getting clothes uniformly almost-dry than any other dryer we've tested.
But as Brandy taught us back in the '90s, "almost" doesn't count. Despite its ability to get a light load nearly completely dry in just 30 minutes, a full-size load took nearly an hour to complete and ended up a little damp. Even its Delicates cycle initially seemed flawless until we saw the high temperatures it reached. None of these problems are deal-breakers, as the owner can easily reprogram cycles for optimal performance, but we were hoping such an advanced, expensive dryer would do that work for us.
Overall, we think the is still a good value, but only if you require lots of features and regularly dry extra-large loads. Otherwise, save some money and stick to something simpler.
With rarely seen consistency, every cycle we tested on this machine delivered nearly perfectly dry materials, but a closer look at the actual results lessened our enthusiasm. First of all, nearly dry isn't dry enough. Secondly, factors like excessive temperatures or unreasonable cycle durations must also be taken into account.
Some like it hot—but not this hot.
Testing temperature is an important step because users need to know which cycles can potentially damage their soft, brightly colored fabrics over time.
The main culprits on this machine were the Normal and Delicate cycles, which both ran on the hot side. For a go-to mode like the Normal cycle, we like to see temperatures about 10 to 15 degrees less than what this machine hit, so if you own this Samsung, consider manually lowering the heat setting for this preset, because it peaks at a toasty 150.9ºF.
Most delicate cycles we've tested are about as warm as a summer day in Arizona. Even Death Valley won't get as hot as this Delicate cycle, however, which may damage some fragile fabrics at 135.7ºF. Since this cycle is specifically meant for softer fabrics, be sure to lower the heat setting here, once again.
While Quick and Bulky cycles tend to see less use than staples like the Normal and Delicate cycles, temperatures is slightly less of a concern. However, this machine does run on the hot side, so just lower the heat setting whenever finespun fabrics are concerned.
Water Retention & Cycle Duration
How dry and how long?
With a standard 8 lb. load of laundry wet to 170 percent of its bone dry weight, the 's Normal cycle took anywhere between 48 and 56 minutes to complete. The longer the clothes stayed in, the more dry they got. On average, though, you'll probably end up with a sheet or a towel that's still a bit damp, because this cycle removes all but 1 percent of moisture from a load.
Staying true to the LED screen's promise of a 30 minute cycle, the Quick Dry was one of the best rapid cycles we've ever tested. Our 4 lb. test loads routinely emerged almost fully dry every time, reaching 94 percent of its original bone dry weight. We just wish it wasn't so hot, so be sure not to toss delicate items into this cycle.
Initially, we were pleasantly surprised at the Delicates cycle: about an hour to get clothes 97 percent dry. But as we already noted, the Delicate cycle wasn't that delicate, due to high heat.
Like the Normal cycle, the Heavy Duty cycle varied in how long it took to complete its task, despite the standardized loads we used for testing, but users can expect to wait for somewhere in the realm of about 1 hour. It also varied in how dry it got clothes, but on average, they still stayed pretty damp, returning loads to just 96 percent of their original dry weights.