Two grand is way too much for a fridge that's on par with—or just below—many of the side-by-sides currently flooding the market. For instance, we recently reviewed a Frigidaire side-by-side that performed slightly better, was roughly the same size, and had a nearly identical design and layout. That fridge, however, cost nearly $500 less, making it a much more appropriately priced model for its size and quality.
A shining beacon of stainless.
Unobtrusive is not the first word that jumps to mind when describing this GE Profile. Sure, the overall finish places it in the upper end of the spectrum—aside from it's unusually strong weakness to fingerprints, even for a stainless product—but the slightly chunky handles and all-too-visible control panel deny this fridge the ability to blend into the background of your kitchen. The panel's glossy black plastic screen combined with the bright white indicator lights (at least one was always on) make this model pop, and not in a good way.
The inside, thankfully, is a little more polished, with lots of bright white plastic paired with clear LED lighting to create a very clean, illuminated interior. The little clips that hold the fridge shelves in place actually make it rather hard to take them out entirely, a potential pain in the event of a major spill. The fact that they slide out to grant easy access to the back somewhat makes up for this, and the single half-retractable shelf is a nice addition. The drawers, too, slide more or less smoothly open, though only one humidity-controlled crisper is a bit of a disappointment.
All in all, the layout of these shelves and drawers feels very cramped, even for a side-by-side. No matter which way we organized the interior, there was always at least one section that seemed unusually short. The water filter is tucked away in the back, a nice space-saving touch... until you take into account the fact that consumers who are short, have large hands, or like to keep a full fridge may have some trouble replacing it.
The freezer is definitely a mixed bag. With no ability to customize the shelf layout, the majority of the available storage is actually made up of pull-out drawers... that don't really pull out all that far. They seemed secure on the whole, but even so, didn't always feel terribly stable; folks who like a well-stocked freezer may find themselves sliding buckets and shelves in and out with more caution that usual. The little flap on the ice maker is a nice touch for easy access to bulk ice.
A consistent fridge compartment, but not so hot anywhere else.
On the whole, this is a predominantly consistent product that had some issues with temperature calibration. The fridge compartment on the whole was very reliable, with steady temperature output over time. It had one cool spot in the middle, and got a little warm on the top and bottom, but nonetheless held fast throughout our tests. The freezer, on the other hand, had equally varied temperatures, but in a more logical progression. From top to bottom, it progressed from cold to... well... slightly less cold, a normal and expected minor flaw in a mid-range product. That said, the internal temperature of our frozen test materials never reached the very necessary point of 0ºF, despite that number showing on the external display. Combine that with inconsistent temperatures, add some actual food, and you've got yourself a recipe for tasty, tasty freezer burn.
With only one vegetable drawer in this fridge—the other two are essentially glorified deli bins with no humidity control—it's all the more disappointing that it would perform at a below-average level. At its best, the crisper lost moisture at a rate that was slightly faster than we like to see. This means that fresh produce could start to wilt or dry out sooner than you might think. The fact that there's only one controllable drawer, though, should help restrict your shopping habits: don't buy more than it can hold, and you shouldn't have more than you can eat in a reasonable amount of time.
The GE did come with a few frills, but nothing too exciting: TurboCool—essentially a rapid fridge chill to help regulate the internal temperature, great for recovering from a power outage—and Quick Ice, which theoretically increases ice production 48 percent by activating a fan. Those features are useful, but not unique: many models have comparable counterpart functions, and as such, these features alone don't justify the high MSRP.
We'd be fine with this fridge, if only it cost less...
We test lots of fridges, ranging from top of the line to bargain basement budget models. By far the most frustrating ones are those that perform well but cost too much to easily recommend. Such is the case with the GE Profile PSHS6PGZSS stainless steel side-by-side. With a consistent refrigerator compartment, enough storage space to get by on, marginally under-average energy efficiency, and only slightly sub-par performance in the freezer, we'd have no qualms about this fridge if only it cost $400 to $600 less than it actually does. Its $1,999 MSRP will keep bargain buyers away, while its few performance and layout flaws will deter folks who can afford better. Even on sale, we couldn't justify the cost, as the lowest common retail prices were around $1,700. If you can find a good sale that takes another two to three hundred off, go for it; otherwise, keep shopping.
Fridge temperature consistency in this GE Profile is excellent, a testament to food preservation. Unfortunately, none of the other performance elements of this fridge live up to that initial high standard. Some elements only fall slightly short, while others raised an eyebrow or two. On the whole, it adds up to a decent, reliable mid-range product whose price point aspires to achievements beyond this fridge's reach.
Ice cream lovers, beware.
The fridge compartment of this GE Profile belongs on a better product... or everything else belongs on a cheaper one. There were definitely some calibration issues here: the top and bottom thirds averaged about 39.7 and 39.1 degrees Fahrenheit, respectively, while the middle clocked in at a chilly 35.85 degrees. That sort of thing is caused by the shelf layout, and can't be fixed by turning down the thermostat (which we had set to 37 degrees, for the record). That said, there was hardly any shift over time at all, ranging from 0.2 to 0.32 degrees. The weird calibration issue aside, temperatures this steady are great for food preservation. You can somewhat circumvent the other issue by not moving food items from one shelf to another; that keeps them exposed to only one average temperature and avoids an increase in the spoilage rate.
The freezer had similar problems, but to a noticeably larger degree. The temperature disparity from top to bottom was quite substantial, ranging from 1.69 to 7.29 degrees respectively. You'll notice that nowhere did the internal temperature of our test material hit the zero degree mark displayed on the external control panel. That said, temperature consistency here was almost as good, increasing as the temperatures cooled. Which an average flux of 0.54 at the top to 0.17 at the bottom, food stored here is unfortunately prone to the development of freezer burn.
For all its temperature issues from top to bottom, both compartments had strong consistency levels over time to fall back on. As such, the weakest element of this fridge is arguably its moisture retention rates. The fridge may have three drawers stacked on top of each other, but only one has an adjustable humidity control. Despite that singular level of attention, it averaged a loss of 0.2 grams of moisture per hour. That's below average, enough so that produce stored in the crisper runs the risk of wilting faster than expected. The good thing about having just one crisper means that consumers may be more inclined to buy less in a single trip to the supermarket, resulting in less food waste over time. Given the shopping habits of a typical family, though, that's a pretty slim proposition.
Effective insulation all around.
For all of its problems producing an accurate temperature, the GE's freezer was very good at creating a chill. In just one hour and 26 minutes, our test material had crossed the Fahrenheit threshold to formerly turn it into frozen food. A faster-than-average freezing speed, it means that food which is frozen should retain most of its nutritional and textural quality when thawed. If you manage to eat whatever you put in there (a cut of fish, for instance) before freezer burn sets in, it should be nearly as good as it was when fresh.
Similarly, the Profile passed our thawing test with flying colors. Leaving the freezer unopened and without power for 36 hours, internal temperatures had only reached 29.94 degrees. That may be getting close to officially thawing, but hopefully whatever electric provider you subscribe to will be efficient enough that 36 hours should be ample time to remedy an outage.
Ever so slightly cramped.
There are almost too many shelves in the fridge. With so much of the advertised storage being taken up by the bulbous light fixture, all the plastic shelves, and the numerous drawers, the storage capacity in the fresh food section is slightly under par compared to similar models. With four shelves and three drawers in the fridge proper, plus a dairy bin and four bins on the door (three of which are adjustable), the GE can hold up to 10.86 cubic feet of fresh food storage.
The freezer is somewhat less flexible and less spacious than the fridge, which almost the entire upper third being consumed by the ice maker. The main section is made up of two shelves, the upper of which doesn't extend the full depth of the freezer, with three pull-out buckets comprising the bulk of the frozen storage. Not many options for tall, thin items here; fans of frozen pizzas may need to stick to the personal sized variety. Three small shelves are also found on the door, but they're not very big at all, not even large enough to comfortably fit a pint of Ben & Jerry's. All together it adds up to just 4.56 cubic feet of usable space.
Given the tight quarters, we had hoped this would prove to be a fairly energy efficient fridge. It is... but only just barely. On one hand, the annual operating cost is par for the course for products of this size and style. Using an average price of $0.09 per kWh, we calculated that this fridge would run up an annual bill of $53.48. It's not great, but it's not bad; keep in mind that we turn the ice maker on, so if you prefer not to use it, you're going to see a much lower impact on your energy bill. The downside to this? Average energy consumption combined with sub-average storage makes for a less efficient fridge overall: each cubic foot of usable space requires 0.11 kWh, a hair more than average.
Meet the testers
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.See all of Matthew Zahnzinger's reviews
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