This very fancy French door fridge boasts even more doors than usual. You'll notice the traditional double doors on top that open out to grant access to the fridge. At the very bottom you'll find a pull-out freezer drawer, also par for the course. Between them, however, is an additional pull-out drawer that serves as a separate storage compartment with its own independent thermostat.

Front Photo

The stainless steel finish looks very elegant, as one would hope for a high-end fridge such as this one. For all that, though, it still suffers from easily-visible fingerprints. If you've got a household with lots of small children or have a job that gets your hands dirty, you may find yourself needing to clean the front of the more often than you may like.

Fingerprints Photo

This particular model boasts a wi-fi enabled LCD screen that not only works to control your fridge, but also grants you access to a series of apps. It's essentially a built-in tablet (complete with speakers and an SD input) in the front of your fridge. The touch screen is bright and vivid, with an assortment of screen savers that you can set to remain active for anywhere from one minute to over half an hour.

Controls Photo
Samsung-RF4289HARS-controls-details.jpg

Nothing surprising here: the curved handles don't quite taper off completely, but are slim enough to not cramp the fridge's overall style. They're rounded and easy to grip, and aren't quite as sensitive to fingerprint smudging as the rest of the product's front.

Handle Photo
Handle Detail Photo

The ice and water dispenser is located under the LCD control panel on the exterior of the left fridge door. It has a cavity large and deep enough to hold almost any reasonably-sized drinking glass ; no gallon containers, please, unless you plan on holding them yourself.

Water/Ice Dispenser Photo

There are two separate paddles in the dispenser cavity. The slightly higher, more forward one is for ice, will the lower one will dispense water. You can use either paddle separately, or depress them at the same time to get simultaneous distribution of both water and ice.

Water/Ice Dispenser Controls Photo

When you look inside the , you'll notice cool, blue LED lighting that casts a clean and pleasing glow over everything. The fridge shelves are glass with stainless trim on the front; the freezer, however, uses entirely plastic storage.

Interior Photo

The interior of the CDWT980VSS.

The fridge interior offers up three half-width adjustable shelves that mount to hooks on the rear of the main cavity. There's a fourth adjustable shelf that is used to bridge the gap between the half-width shelf at the top and the large ice maker found in the upper left-hand corner. A full-width shelf that cannot be moved sits below all of those, with two crisper drawers at the very bottom.

Refrigerator Main 1 Image

While this product does have a separate drawer with its own temperature control, it's not actually found in the fridge proper. Instead of having an extra drawer underneath the crispers, as is often the case, has separated it into its own pull-out drawer. It opens like the freezer, and has two perpendicular wire dividers that can be adjusted both horizontally and vertically.

Refrigerator Main 2 Image

The drawer's temperature control is found on the upper portion of the door frame, and has four different settings. With the simple push of a button, you can set the drawer to the proper temperature for wine or party dishes (42 degrees Fahrenheit), deli items or snacks (37 degrees), cold drinks (33 degrees), or meats and fish (29 degrees).

Refrigerator Main 3 Image

The crowning feature of this product is very easy to use and doesn't take up much room.

The 's water filter is found inside the fridge, between the crisper drawers. It's quite unobtrusive, and its location means you don't have to worry about moving any food out of the way when you need to change it.

Water Filter Photo

The left fridge door has some very unusually shaped shelves. The three storage bins here are contorted to fit around the dispenser portion of the ice maker. Since they are designed to fit in a specific point in the fridge, none of these three shelves are adjustable.

Refrigerator Door 1-1 Image

The right-hand fridge door, however, is a little more flexible. Three fully-enclosed bucket shelves—there's no designated dairy bin here—can be moved up or down to suit your storage needs.

Refrigerator Door 2-1 Image

The door bins here are quite large, holding up to two gallons and four water bottles each.

For all of its unusual design elements in the refrigeration sections, the 's freezer is actually quite straightforward. You have an upper pull-out drawer, as well as a lower section that included a plastic divider. There's a small storage compartment just on the inside of the freezer door, as well; you can use it to hold small items, or open a small flap to create instant vertical pizza box storage.

Freezer Main 1 Image

In a rather mid-range design choice, has included a rather bulky ice maker with this model. It's located in the upper left-hand corner of the fridge cavity, and requires a bit of manhandling to take it out or put it back.

Ice Maker Photo

Nothing terribly exciting on the back; just a few water pipes and a power cable.

Back Photo

With grey matte siding, this fridge will remain a cohesive element in your kitchen whether or not the sides are visible.

Sides Photo

Olympus SZ-31MR iHS side views

Most large fridges are going to cost a fair amount to operate, and the is no exception. Using a standard rate of $0.09 per kW-h, you can expect this particular model to cost you about $63.39 per year. It's not a small number, objectively speaking, but in the context of models in this size, it's actually quite standard.

For every cubic foot of usable storage space, we determined that the requires 0.13 kW-h of energy. This isn't bad at all, but it's not the best we've seen. It's a fridge that utilizes the energy it consumes fairly well, especially for a model of its size, but it's not going to win any environmental awards.

The performance in this particular was strong, but no better than what we would expect for such an expensive fridge. Inside the fridge cavity, temperatures fluctuated a little more than half of a degree, an acceptable amount that won't cause any undue damage to food but isn't the strongest we've come across. There was a slight temperature increase from top to bottom (from about 37 degrees in the top and middle down to about 39 near the bottom); this is common, and the variation isn't so huge that the quality of the product is really called into question.

Fridge Temperature Image
Fridge Temperature Graph

The temperature controlled drawer is completely detached from the fridge proper. As such, we wanted to see how well it did: we inserted a fourth temperature sensor into the drawer and set it to the lowest setting used for meat and fish storage. Supposedly, this cools the internal temperature of the drawer to a chilly 29 degrees. Well, the air temperature may very well have been 29 degrees, but the internal temperature of our test materials (where we place the sensors) recorded an average reading of 31 degrees. It's not perfect, but the fact that there was hardly any fluctuation—we're talking a variance of 0.15 degrees over the course of three days worth of data—is indicative of solidly consistent performance.

If the fridge is a laid back student putting in the minimum amount of effort needed to maintain average marks, the freezer is an over-achieving bookworm. We set the thermostat to 0 degrees Fahrenheit; what we got was a freezer that averaged anywhere from 10 to 14 degrees below zero. It seems like overkill to us, but at least you'll never have to worry about your food thawing out. Temperature fluctuation over time did vary from top to bottom, with a higher rate of change—about three fifths of a degree—at the top. The lower you get, the less fluctuation there is; the overall point we're making, though, is that while this freezer may be overdoing it, it's going to keep food frozen and keep the risk of freezer burn fairly low.

Freezer Temperature Image

Our moisture retention test often provides two kinds of results: either mind-blowing performance that earns tons of praise, or lukewarm performance that just gets by. Unfortunately, the happened to fall in the latter category. With an average moisture loss rate of 0.23 grams per hour, this fridge falls on the slightly poorer side of average. Fresh fruit and vegetables will be fine here, as long as you don't let them sit for more than a few days. After that, you may notice that their quality will start to lessen.

Vegetable Drawer Photo
Vegetable Drawer Controls Photo

With a freezer that averages over 10 degrees below zero, we had no concerns about how well the would do in this test. After 36 hours without power, the internal temperature hadn't even cracked 25 degrees. This freezer will do just fine in a power outage, keeping food cold and well-preserved...for a couple of days, anyway.

Power Loss Graph

As cold as the freezer kept our test materials, it took a long time to bring them down from room temperature. After placing our sensors into the freezer, it took the one hour and 45 minutes to get them below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. This is a rather long time, long enough that the texture of thawed meats and fish may be effected.

Freezing Graph

Five shelves and two drawers make up the bulk of the 's storage options. Taking into account the space taken up by items such as the ice maker, the water filter, and any other space-consuming feature inside the main cavity, we've determined that the amount of usable storage space in the fridge totals 12.15 cubic feet. That makes it a fairly spacious fridge, but no more or less than similarly designed models. Also, it's worth mentioning that since temperature controlled drawers are often found in the fridge compartment, we've included the space found in the 's separate drawer with the main storage total.

Refrigerator Storage Graph
Samsung-RF4289HARS-temperature-drawer-storage.jpg

The left-hand door doesn't offer a great deal of space, since the three shelves are designed to accommodate the space taken up by the ice dispenser. There's not a lot of room, but it's still quite usable: it's perfect for storing loose items or short, small containers such as condiment bottles.

Refrigerator Door 1 Storage Graph

The right-hand provides three additional storage buckets, all of which are adjustable. There's no designated dairy bin here, so you have a little more flexibility than in some other models. All the door storage is included in the aforementioned fridge storage total.

Refrigerator Door 2 Storage Graph

Pull-out freezer drawers are usually quite straightforward, and this one is no exception. There's a full-width pull-out drawer on the top with a large bucket cavity on the bottom. This lower section is separated by a plastic divider into two sections which aren't the same size; the wider one is about twice as wide as the thinner part. Just on the inside of the door is a shallow shelf that is great for storing ice packs or other ice cream bars. There's a small flip-up compartment over the wider freezer bucket which, when open, allows you to store frozen pizzas upright and out of the way. Altogether, the 's freezer holds 5.6 cubic feet worth of goods. As was the case with the fridge, this is a fairly standard amount of space; it's not a ton, but it's no less than what we would hope to find.

Freezer Storage Graph
Freezer Door Storage Graph

Below are the manufacturers own figures for capacity, and our own measurements for usable capacity. The manufacturers figures do not take account of the shelves, drawers and other removable features, but our measurements do account for the space these take up.

There's nothing terribly remarkable or disappoint about this fridge in terms of food accessibility. It's a large model, so cramming it full of items may result in a few groceries getting lost in the back. It's worth mentioning that there is one shelf in the fridge that has a retractable front; this will prove useful for consumers that often refrigerate tall items...or want to store a vase full of flowers for a nice, romantic surprise. Other than that, getting to any portion of the fridge isn't a problem. Some consumers may have issue with the freezer (stooping and bending is required) but that's an issue with any model that has a bottom freezer, not just this one.

Also, we took a closer look at 's grocery manager. This is an interesting little feature which allows you to keep track of the items in your fridge without having to actually open the doors. Join our appliance editor as he gives us a hands-on demonstration of this new refrigeration feature in the video below.

Ease of Access Photo

This particular model boasts a wi-fi enabled LCD screen that not only works to control your fridge, but also grants you access to a series of apps. It's essentially a built-in tablet (complete with speakers and an SD input) in the front of your fridge. The touch screen is bright and vivid, with an assortment of screen savers that you can set to remain active for anywhere from one minute to over half an hour.

Using the controls can be just a bit of a pain; the touch screen can be finicky, and you can only use one app at a time. Also, as of this writing, you can't access your fridge information (such as the grocery manager) from your wireless device. It's a step in the right direction, but it's not quite reached perfection yet. At the very least, connecting to the internet was a breeze; it only works with wireless, though, as there's no external port for a wired hookup. We explored the Smart Experience in-depth during our recent visit to the IFA conference in Berlin; for more information, check out that article, or enjoy a hands-on tour with our appliance editor in the video below.

Controls Photo
Samsung-RF4289HARS-controls-details.jpg
Despite its close proximity to the somewhat convoluted control panel, the ice and water dispenser is actually very easy to use. There's a cavity large enough to hold an average drinking glass, and the two paddles allow you to get ice or water without having to fiddle with the touch screen (unless you want to switch from crushed to cubed ice).
Water/Ice Dispenser Photo

In a rather mid-range design choice, has included a rather bulky ice maker with this model. It's located in the upper left-hand corner of the fridge cavity, and requires a bit of manhandling to take it out or put it back.

Ice Maker Photo

We've never been a fan of rear-mounted shelves (it's a design choice that can make dealing with spills, or just adjusting them in general, a little difficult). All things considered, though, this fridge is very easy to clean. Between the completely contained door shelves, the spill protection lip on the fridge shelves, and the wide open spaces throughout the product, getting to anything that leaks should involve very little damage control.

While the song selected by Pandora may not have always been exactly to our taste, the fridge itself never made any unusually jarring or loud noises. There's an ambient hum, of course, but that's normal for any large appliance. For what it's worth, the built in speaker on the control panel isn't the worst we've ever heard, either.

Energy Efficiency

The fridge manages to keep energy costs low for a product of its size, but not so low as to be preferable to the competition.

Performance

The freezer was freakishly cold, a particularly good sign for folks living in warm climates or consumers who like to shop in bulk. However, the tests pertaining to fridge temperature, moisture retention in the crispers, and freezing time all came back with mediocre results. Nothing was bad, but by the same token, nothing really seemed worth the $3699 price tag.

Storage Space

Storage space, as with many other attributes of this fridge, is just adequate. It looks roomy, but doesn't offer any more than you'd expect for models of a similar size and layout. While the fact that it hits its mark is generally worth some praise, adequacy feels just a little more disappointing when you're spending over $3100 on it.

Usability

The fridge feels fantastic...at least, the things we expect to find on a fridge felt fantastic. Even after recalibration, we had some issues with the control panel's sensitivity and responsiveness. The touch screen will definitely take some time to get used to.

Meet the testers

Matthew Zahnzinger

Matthew Zahnzinger

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

Checking our work.

We use standardized and scientific testing methods to scrutinize every product and provide you with objectively accurate results. If you’ve found different results in your own research, email us and we’ll compare notes. If it looks substantial, we’ll gladly re-test a product to try and reproduce these results. After all, peer reviews are a critical part of any scientific process.

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