Frigidaire Professional FPGU19F8TF Refrigerator Review
Buying this fridge will either impress or alienate your friends
As you might guess from the headline, we had a very split reaction when we first unpacked the Frigidaire Professional FPGU19F8TF and set it up in our fridge lab.
Personally, my first thought was, "Nice design—but looks like it belongs in a florist's shop."
Indeed, the FPGU19F8TF has a stainless steel front dominated by a clear-glass panel that's intended to showcase whatever's inside. Also, let's be clear (ha) this is an all-fridge model: the freezer is a different stand-alone product that is sold separately.
The complete set—plus the trim kit that makes it all fit together—will set you back around $4,300. Is it worth it? That's a matter of perspective.
How can a $3,200 fridge be worth it?
There is something deeply luxurious about trading practicality for beauty: think about when you bought (or wanted to buy) a designer gown or diamond bracelet. Technically, the dress is clothing and the bracelet can be an investment, but there are definitely more effective (and practical) ways to meet your needs.
That's the situation you'll find yourself in with the FPGU19F8TF. The design is very reminiscent of the Sub Zero Pro 48, a model that also has a massive glass window on the fridge but is in another pricing bracket entirely—around $16,000.
With this Frigidaire, you're getting that ultra-premium aesthetic—clean stainless steel and a glass display area—for a fraction of the price. And this fridge is a looker: With the sun shinning on the exterior and the interior LEDs glimmering through the glass, the model reminds us of a modern skyscraper towering over your kitchen.
Better yet, this fridge would be perfect behind a home bar, the interior lights showing off your personal stock of white wines and beers, with herbs and garnishes in the crisper drawer.
Before you scoff at a fridge designed to show off what's on the inside, there is a practical use case for it. If you can constantly see what's inside your fridge, you're more likely to use what's in there before it goes bad, and you're more likely to keep the shelves clean. It's the dark and unseen corners of our homes that collect the most dirt.
We should also take this time to note that while you may spend more time cleaning the inside, the exterior is made of a stain resistant steel.
Why people might hate you for buying this fridge
We found in a price-to-performance ratio calculation that the 19F8 scores pretty low. When we set the fridge for 37°F—the ideal for food preservation—our sensors picked up temperatures as low as 33°F and as high as 39°F, so consistency isn't its strongest suit.
It did a little better with keeping in humidity in the crisper drawer, but nothing extraordinary. So if your peers value performance, you're going to draw their ire here.
Your thrifty friends may let on that their fridge delivers more storage space, a working freezer, and an ice maker for half what you paid. But if you're gaga for the glass-and-stainless exterior, you might be of the mind to dismiss such concerns with a wave of your embroidered handkerchief.
On the other hand, the FPGU19F8TF is still a Frigidaire. The adjectives associated with this brand tend towards affordability, entry-level, and work horse. This is not a Thermador, Viking, or Miele–these are the brands that are featured in photoshoots and lifestyle articles.
This Frigidaire matches the high-end brand look if you're standing ten yards away. As you walk closer, the cache falls away when you can make out the Frigidaire Professional badge in the corner. Design snobs may even turn their noses up at this fridge, even though it has good air filtration.
Those of you who don't plan on living with the FPGU19F8TF, but are looking to add value to your home by installing it in a soon-for-sale kitchen, should look elsewhere. It just doesn't have enough general appeal.
We think a proper analogy would be that a stainless steel French-door fridge is like painting the walls white or gray, while the FPGU19F8TF is like painting the walls purple. Someone out there will like it, but most people will just be confused.
What you need to know
For safety's sake, the first thing you should know that you can't just buy this fridge and plug it in. You have to bolt it to the wall because the door is so heavy that the whole until will tip over if you open it quickly.
Also, this fridge comes with no amenities. There is no ice maker or water dispenser.
The Great Gatsby of Food Preservation
Almost every issue of Architectural Digest we've ever read contained an article about inspirational kitchens. Half of the pictures show stainless steel appliances so large that you'd have to build an extra support column if you had them in your house.
Still, you wish you had something like that in your home because everything looks so good. The Frigidaire FPGU19F8TF gives the option to own something that looks like it came straight out of a magazine. Let's be clear though, it's not going to preserve food as well or be as useful as a regular fridge that costs half as much.
You need to purchase the $1,600 freezer separately, and the trim kit if you want it to go together. You also need to drill a bracket into the wall in order to make it safe. In the end, this fridge is like Gatsby and his West Egg house–it's as much of a burden as a dream come true.
However, if you're willing to live with this fridge's limitation, it's a real doozy—or should we say Daisy?
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