Unfortunately, those luxuries don't make up for temperature issues in the fridge and a lack of an actual crisper drawer. Worse, sale prices are still high—the lowest we could find this for was $1,700. You can get more features and better performance for hundreds less, which makes this sleek Samsung a tough sell.
Bright lights, big fridge
This Samsung wins points for style. For instance, the stainless finish—with its subtle grain and matching handles—looks elegant and modern.
The control panel, made of reflective black plastic, may be a touch too modern, and might look out of place in more traditional kitchens. Given the small number of features—Power Freeze and Power Cool settings, as well as an energy saver mode and control lock—it’s hard to understand why a less conspicuous design couldn’t have been used.
The interior of the fridge is much more appealing, with lots of bright LED lights in both compartments. Fridge shelves can slide forward for easy access to the rear.
A neat perk is a temperature adjustable drawer with three distinct settings: The Fresh option works for produce, Thaw can defrost food based on a five or 10 hour time frame, and Quick Cool can chill items… well, quickly.
Not all is well in the state of Samsung, however. The two drawers at the bottom of the fridge—designated as the produce bins in the product manual—don’t have adjustable moisture controls. What’s more, the shelf customization in both compartments is incredibly limited, especially for a fridge this expensive.
A few too many fluctuations
We weren't thrilled by this pricey Samsung's performance. As far as the basics are concerned, we hoped for more from a fridge that costs this much.
In both freezer and fridge, temperature fluctuations were greater than we measured in competitive models. That can hurt delicate items in the fridge, and lead to freezer burn in the freezer.
As we mentioned, the crispers don’t have adjustable humidity controls—a pity, as the drawers didn’t do a very good job retaining moisture. Its innate design might be better for fruits, which typically prefer a less humid environment, but you might notice your vegetables going bad a little sooner than you might expect.
There’s no icing to put on this cake, unfortunately: Freezing times were somewhat slower than average, and energy efficiency wasn't anything special.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
Not a bad fridge, but not a good value
When you consider that retail prices for this Samsung hover around $1,700, it’s hard not to imagine a middleweight boxer stepping into the ring with some of the best heavyweights in the league. It does a decent job, but it’s simply outclassed by the competition.
If you could track down the RS25H5121SR for about $300-$400 less, it’d be a good deal, especially given the (mostly) high-quality design. Otherwise, you’d do well to keep shopping around. For the same price, you could snag a Kenmore 72013 stainless French door, or save $700 and buy the Whirlpool WRS325SDAM—another stainless side-by-side with better performance, albeit fewer frills.
There are certainly a few strong performance points attributable to the Samsung RS25H5121SR (MSRP $1,899). But for a fridge this expensive, we were surprised by how it faltered in some of our tests.
Chilly, but inconsistent
The fresh food side of this Samsung generally kept temperatures within a two to three degree range of the ideal 37ºF, but high levels of fluctuation kept it from truly hitting the mark. From top to bottom, average temperatures were recorded at 38.27ºF, 36.41ºF, and 38.72ºF. Temperature shifts of ±0.86ºF on average are more than three times what we record from the best fridges in this price range.
The freezer was a bit better in that it was sufficiently cold. While average temperatures of -2.99ºF at the top and -0.84ºF at the bottom aren’t exactly the 0ºF displayed on the external thermostat, it won’t make any different to your food. Average shifts of ±1.26ºF, however, means that a good portion of the freezer is going to be going above and below 0ºF on a regular basis; that means freezer burn, wasted food, and wasted money.
Some control would have been nice
One big problem with the two “crispers” in this Samsung is that they aren’t adjustable. The other big problem is that they’re not naturally all that great at retaining moisture. Over the course of three days, our test materials lost an average of 0.23 grams of moisture per hour. That’s well more than we see in the best fridges we test in this price range, and also above the ideal rate of moisture loss for optimal veggie storage.
Fine, but not fantastic
Even with such cold average temperatures in the Samsung’s freezer, actual freezing times weren’t that fast. It took this fridge one hour and 33 minutes to freeze our room temperature items down to 32ºF. That’s slightly slower than average, and it's a far cry from the "flash freeze" that professional chefs use to store meats and fish.
Fortunately, the freezer's contents should be fine in a power outage. We unplugged the Samsung and left it alone for 36 hours. At the end of that time, internal freezer temperatures had only risen to 28.63ºF.
Very roomy, but not very efficient
If there’s one thing this Samsung does well, it’s spatial management. Four shelves and three drawers make up the bulk of your fresh food storage, with an additional four shelves and a dairy bin on the door. All in all, it gives you 12.06 usable cubic feet of space.
The freezer, with four shelves and two drawers in the main compartment, is also quite roomy. The icemaker is relegated entirely to the top half of the door, with three small shelves underneath for some extra space. It provides 6.69 usable cubic feet. Altogether, this entire appliance is very roomy, especially for a side-by-side.
Unfortunately, those cubic feet of space require cooling, and that costs money. According to our calculations, this fridge uses 0.08 kWh of energy to cool each cubic foot. That’s not terrible, but many other fridges can get as low as 0.06 kWh. At a rate of $0.09 per kWh, this Samsung will cost you about $47.54 per year to run. That’s with the icemaker running, so if you don’t find yourself at a loss for cubes too often, it might cost you a bit less.
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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