A monolith of an appliance, with an odd color that may not match other stainless appliances.
The Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF is a classic side-by-side fridge, with a front-side that is slightly curved outward. It features contoured handles and a combination water and ice dispenser. The vertical-grain finish of the stainless steel exterior is darker than other fridges we’ve tested, so make sure it matches the appliances you already have. That darker stainless finish keeps fingerprints from showing up: Smudges and such aren’t as visible on this fridge as others with a similar finish.
The aforementioned water and ice dispenser is located on the left (freezer) door. You can choose whether water, crushed ice, or cubed ice comes from the dispenser. There’s also a child safety lock, a power switch, a light switch, and an indicator to remind you to change the water filter on this panel, not to mention temperature control for the fridge and freezer.
Inside, adjustable shelves hang from the interior of the fridge, and they’re roomy enough for large soda bottles. The water filter is found at the top of the refrigerator door and should be replaced twice a year at a cost of about $35.
The icemaker takes up most of the freezer’s top quarter, though there’s a tiny storage space above it. Below are wire shelves and a bin that’s handy for storing bagged vegetables. Four plastic walled shelves and a slot for ice to pass through make up the interior of the freezer door.
With ample space and moveable shelves, the Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF is quite easy to use.
Side-by-side fridges offer a compromise when it comes to ease of access: Some foods in both freezer and fridge will be at eye level, while others you’ll need to bend down to get. The Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF follows this formula. Shelves are somewhat difficult to move, as they’re heavy and have to be hooked into holders on the back of the fridge, rather than simply sliding into place.
All of the controls on this Frigidaire are external and built into the control panel that resides on top of the water and ice dispenser. All of the buttons are touch-sensitive and are both well-labeled and easy to use. Want to turn the temperature up or down? Just use the separate controls for fridge and freezer and watch the exterior temperature display show the real-time climate behind the doors.
The dispenser was just as easy to use as the controls were. We had no problem with spills or spray from the water dispenser. Should you need a large amount of ice at once, the ice maker is removable and accessible from inside the freezer.
The internal temperature of foods stored in the Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF varied more than we like to see.
The Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF had only a slight problem circulating cold air around its large fridge compartment. The top of the fridge consistently stayed a little warmer than the bottom shelves, and the temperature inside the fridge also fluctuated quite a bit over time. The latter problem could lead to premature food spoilage of the most temperature-sensitive items such as soft cheeses. Furthermore, the vegetable drawers did a horrible job of retaining moisture, which will adversely affect your fresh produce.
Likewise, the freezer temperature cycled up and down a little more than we’d like to see, but not enough that your frozen foods would be in danger of severe freezer burn. Temperatures were colder on the top shelf, which is next to not only the vent but the ice maker.
For such a big fridge, the Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF doesn’t use that much energy to keep cool. Assuming that electricity is sold in your area for $0.09 per kW-h, this fridge would cost about $51.63 annually to run, which is about average for a fridge this size.
A fridge that has its share of flaws, although for the right price, they can be forgiven.
With an MSRP of $1,499, the Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF is not the best value around, especially because of its inconsistent temperature performance. Since it can be found for well under its MSRP online, though, this Frigidaire becomes more appealing for budget consumers—which is why we've seen it as part of so many "builders packages." Storage space and energy efficiency are both decent in this model, as was its ease of use. If you can find it for less than a grand online, the Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF becomes a pretty good deal.
Temperatures in the fridge and freezer fluctuate a little, but are relatively consistent from the top shelves to the bottom. The vegetable drawer doesn’t do that great a job keeping fresh foods from drying out quickly. The cavernous Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF will swallow anything you can put into it, so long as it isn’t wider than the 17-inch fridge or 12.5-inch freezer compartments.
Fluctuating temperatures in the fridge can make food spoil quicker.
Over time, fridge temperatures fluctuated about 2 degrees. This is a sign of an imprecise thermostat, and could lead to premature food spoilage of the most temperature-sensitive items such as soft cheeses.
The freezer temperature also varied over time, although it wasn't as severe as the fridge's fluctuation. Temperature variance in a freezer can lead to freezer burn—something that shouldn't be a problem in the Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF.
Poor vegetable drawer performance.
The Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF didn’t do a very good job at keeping our simulated vegetable from drying out, losing 0.27 grams of water per hour. That’s a lot for any fridge—if you buy a lot of fresh produce, think twice before purchasing this Frigidaire.
Food takes entirely too long to freeze.
The Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF took 2 hours and 11 minutes to bring room-temperature foods up to freezing. That’s much longer than most fridges, and it means that ice crystals could form, changing the texture of the food you’re freezing.
If you’ve filled up the giant freezer on the Frigidaire Gallery and the power goes out, don't worry—this fridge is insulated enough to keep frozen foods from thawing for more than 48 hours, as long as you don’t open the door and let cold air out.
This is one big fridge.
Appliance manufacturers measure refrigerator interior space with all shelves removed—that’s like measuring a plane’s legroom without accounting for the seat in front of you. We measured the interior of the fridge and found it to be 11.45 cubic feet. That’s plenty, and the FGUS2642LF makes good use of its cavernous interior with adjustable shelves and big drawers. The largest item it can fit must be narrower than 17 inches, however.
Ice makers take up a lot of interior space, which is why the FGUS2642LF only has a 5.67 cubic foot freezer. Still, that’s larger than other similar fridges we’ve tested, and bigger than bottom freezer models. The extendable drawer is a nice touch for holding limp bags of peas and carrots, though as a side-by-side, no shelf is wider than 12.5 inches.
Comparing the energy cost of a fridge this big to smaller ones is like comparing the fuel economy of a moped and a pickup: they’re made for different purposes. Hence, we divided out the Frigidaire Gallery FGUS2642LF’s energy use per storage space, and found that it uses 0.09 kW-h to cool each cubic foot of fridge and freezer space. That’s below average among fridges, large and small.
Meet the tester
Former Editor in Chief, Reviewed Home@itskeithbarry
Keith was the Editor in Chief of Reviewed's appliance and automotive sites. His work has appeared in publications such as Wired, Car & Driver, and CityLab.
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