Excellent smart features
Stable fridge temperatures
Tons of storage space
Few storage customization options
Inconsistent freezer temperatures
Like all Family Hub fridges, one of the most eye-catching features on the outside of the RS27T5561SR is its large display, which sits next to the through-the-door dispenser.
Opening up the right compartment will reveal a standard side-by-side layout: lots of shelves with two crisper drawers at the bottom.
The left compartment houses the ice maker, which takes up the majority of the door’s interior. The top shelf of the freezer can be adjusted down a few inches, but that’s the only customizability you’ll find in the RS27T5561SR.
About the Samsung RS27T5561SR side-by-side refrigerator
Dimensions: 70 1/16" x 35 7/8" x 33 1/2" (H x W x D)
Measured capacity: 13.47-cubic-foot refrigerator compartment; 5.93-cubic-foot freezer compartment
Finishes: Stainless steel, black stainless steel ($100 extra)
Dispensers: through-the-door water and ice (cubed and crushed)
User manual: Samsung RS27T5561SR side-by-side refrigerator manual
What we like
Family Hub helps you stay organized, plan meals, and automate tasks
One of the main reasons to buy this fridge is to get a relatively inexpensive Family Hub device. Family Hub is a control center for Samsung’s SmartThings platform, which also provides some innovative inventory-tracking software, allowing users to quickly plan meals, search for recipes, shop for any missing ingredients, and preheat your oven.
The smart platform also offers the standard smart appliance feature of getting notifications when there’s a malfunction, or when you accidentally left the door ajar. These features seem minor, but can help you prevent hundreds of dollars of food spoilage.
Thanks to Bixby—Samsung’s smart assistant, in the same vein as Alexa—the RS27T5561SR can accept voice commands and even automate tasks. With enough connected devices, you could say, “Bixby, it’s time to make dinner” and have it pull up the recipe you’ve pre-programmed for the night, turn the oven to the appropriate setting, dim the lights, and start playing music.
If you’re looking to buy into Samsung’s SmartThings platform, or simply want to try out a smart fridge, the RS27T5561SR is one of the more affordable options out there.
The refrigerator compartment has stable, steady temperatures
The RS27T5561SR responds quickly to any changes in temperature. Its average temperature is 36.92°F, which is within a tenth of a degree from the ideal 37°F. Temperatures are also remarkably consistent, only varying by a couple of degrees in either direction.
This performance is important, because it increases the shelf life of your food. If temperatures are allowed to get too warm, bacteria will proliferate significantly faster; if temperatures get too low, your food will freeze.
There’s plenty of room to store everything
The RS27T5561SR is one of the roomiest side-by-sides we’ve tested. We measured its refrigerator compartment at a spacious 13.47 cu. ft., which is a solid 2.55 cu. ft. larger than the average side-by-side. For context, a bulk bag of ice is about one cubic foot in volume—2.55 cu. ft. of additional space is a substantial improvement.
The freezer is also bigger than average, just not by as much. We measured the freezer at 5.93 cu. ft., which is 0.59 cu. ft. ahead of the curve. Side-by-sides can often have difficulty accommodating bulkier items, like frozen pizza boxes or platters, but the RS27T5561SR’s smart layout means you should have enough room for just about everything.
Of course, the potential downside here is that this isn’t a counter-depth model (though Samsung does offer one, for an extra $100). As such, this fridge might not be suitable for all kitchens: Make sure you can accommodate a fridge that’s 33.5” from front to back.
What we don’t like
Freezer temps spike during defrost cycles
Freezer temperatures need to consistently hover around 0°F, because temperature fluctuations can lead to freezer burn. On the whole, the RS27T5561SR’s freezer had remarkably steady temperatures, averaging -0.13°F and only wobbling by a degree or less on either side.
Unfortunately, during testing we saw a spike of about 6°F, which is likely part of the freezer’s defrost programming. Temperature spikes like this are relatively common and don’t represent a huge problem, but it does mean items in your freezer might get desiccated more quickly than in a fridge with more stable temperatures, like the Bosch B36CT80SNS.
Not enough clearance for taller items, like wine and soda bottles
Typically fridges have shelves that can be repositioned to better accommodate taller items, like wine bottles or two-liter sodas. That isn’t the case with the RS27T5561SR. Only one of its shelves can be repositioned, and it’s in the freezer. This means any item that requires 9 inches of clearance or more will need to be stored in the door bins or on its side.
If you tend to stock taller items, just be aware that the RS27T5561SR’s copious storage space might actually not be enough.
What owners are saying
Owners love the Samsung RS27T5561SR, awarding it an average of 4.5 out of 5 stars across major retailers. Many users love the Family Hub functionality, especially the ability to create shopping lists and leave notes. Other frequent points of praise include the spacious interior, storage customizability, and sleek design.
The most common negative criticisms revolved around the ice dispenser being slow to replenish and lack of repositioning options for shelves. We didn’t run into any issues with the ice maker during tests, and the ice reservoir can hold 4.4 lbs., which should be enough for most users. The shelf criticism is definitely something we can see being an issue, though.
Samsung's warranty covers parts and labor for one year. The sealed refrigeration system (compressor, evaporator, condenser, drier, and connecting tubing) is covered for up to five years, for both parts and labor. The digital inverter compressor is covered 10 years for parts and five years for labor.
Typically, warranties will only cover the first year, so we're happy to see Samsung guarantees selected parts further into the refrigerator’s lifespan. This is one of the better warranties in the business, so you can feel confident in your purchase.
Should you buy the Samsung RS27T5561SR refrigerator?
Yes, if you want one of the more affordable Family Hub fridges. If you put its smart features aside, the RS27T5561SR would be an expensive, above-average fridge. It has tons of storage space, it maintains even temperatures, and it has a through-the-door ice and water dispenser. It does have some issues, like the temperature spike in the freezer and crispers that aren’t the best at maintaining humidity, but these are relatively minor quirks.
Once you factor in the Family Hub, though, its price makes a lot more sense. Family Hub fridges often retail for $500–$1,000 more than the RS27T5561SR, and it’s one of the better smart platforms currently on the market. If you’re curious to try a smart fridge, this is the place to start. If you’re not interested in the smart features, though, you can get a lower price on a higher-performing fridge, like the LG LSXS26366S.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
Meet the testers
Mark Brezinski is a senior writer with seven years of experience reviewing consumer tech and home appliances.
Senior Manager of Lab Operations@ReviewedHome
Jonathan Chan currently serves as the Lab Manager at Reviewed. If you clean with it, it's likely that Jon oversees its testing. Since joining the Reviewed in 2012, Jon has helped launch the company's efforts in reviewing laptops, vacuums, and outdoor gear. He thinks he's a pretty big deal. In the pursuit of data, he's plunged his hands into freezing cold water, consented to be literally dragged through the mud, and watched paint dry. Jon demands you have a nice day.
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