Samsung RF32FMQDBSR Refrigerator Review
Four doors and a flexible freezer
The Cold Hard Facts
The unusual design of the Samsung RF32FMQDBSR (MRSP $3,999) resulted in some pretty spectacular numbers at the end of our testing procedure. At the end of the day, we only found a few minor faults that failed to derail this impressive fridge.
”What are the three rules of refrigeration?” “Consistency, consistency, consistency…”
Large fridges tend to have problems with even temperature consistency. While that proved mostly false for this Samsung, the main fresh food compartment did exhibit a few small hiccups. From top to bottom, average temperatures clocked in at 38.88ºF at the top, 38.19ºF in the middle, and 39.36ºF at the bottom, roughly two degrees higher than the calibrated 37ºF setting. It’s an easy fix, especially since temperatures only fluctuated about 0.65ºF over time—fantastic for a fridge this size.
The freezer, on the other hand, blew us away. Unlike full-width pull-out drawers, each half-freezer gets its own compressor; that means each one can concentrate its efforts on cooling a smaller space. With average temperatures of -0.23ºF at the top and 0.07ºF at the bottom, there’s no question that the freezers get cold enough. What’s more, average fluctuation was lower than on any other full-sized model we’ve previously tested: With shifts of only 0.05ºF, unsteady temperatures (and the potential freezer burn) are virtually nonexistent.
The crisper drawers in the Samsung proved to be fantastic when it came to moisture retention. Over the course of 72 hours, our test materials lost an average of 0.1 grams of moisture per hour. That puts these drawers into the upper echelons of crisper performance, and means your fresh veggies from the farmers market should stay crisp and tasty for several days.
Freezing & Thawing
Small, but effective
The tiny half-freezers found on the bottom of the Samsung proved to be effective at chilling our test materials. In one hour and 38 minutes—just slightly faster than average—our food was officially frozen; that’s fast enough to avoid most the reduction in texture and flavor that comes from ineffective freezing, though there’s still room for improvement. Fortunately, the insulation proved to be just as good at keeping the cold temperatures in: after 36 hours without power, the internal temperature of our test food had reached a mere 26.59ºF.
The only issue we had with this freezer involved its lower drawers. Normally it takes food about 24 hours to reach an internal temperature consistent with the freezer’s thermostat. The internal temperature of food placed in the drawers as opposed to on the open top shelf, however, took 48 hours. While this shouldn’t have an impact on your food, it’s an unusual aberration that we weren’t anticipating.
Storage Space & Energy Efficiency
Echo, echo, echo…
The Samsung RF32FMQDBSR is one of the largest free-standing fridges on the market today. With four adjustable fridge shelves and a full-width one at the bottom set above two crispers, the actual layout is pretty typical; it’s the added depth that gives you the extra room. Bucket-like shelves found on the doors—three on each, with gallon storage on the right-hand side only—aren’t as customizable as we might like, but they’re roomy enough to store things without any hassle. All told, this fridge gives you a whopping 13.44 cubic feet of usable fridge space.
For the purposes of our measurements, we calculated both the permanent freezer and the adjustable lower-right compartment as combined freezer storage. They’re mirror images of each other, with a sliding shelf on top and two drawers—the bottom one being the shallower of the two—below that. Three shelves on each door add a little extra storage, but the shallow design means you won’t be able to put much here other than ice packs and ice cream sandwiches. Both sections total 8.94 cubic feet of usable space. Whether or not you decide to use it all as frozen storage is entirely your decision.
Despite its giant girth and ample storage, this Samsung is incredibly energy efficient. Even though it’s larger than most other models on the market, it should only require about $48.84 per year to run. We calculated that with the lower-right corner at its coldest setting, with the icemaker running, and with a fixed rate of $0.09 per kWh. If you don’t plan on using the icemaker, or plan on setting the flexible storage to a warmer degree, it may cost you even less. This all translates to 0.07 kWh per cubic foot, making this comparatively energy efficient even up against smaller models.
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