Excellent Smart Features
About the Opal Nugget Ice Maker 2.0
- Dimensions: 17.5” x 16.5” x 13.43” (D x H x W)
- Ice capacity: 3 pounds
- Ice per hour: Approximately 14 ounces
What is nugget ice?
Nugget ice is a type of chewable ice that was popularized by the fast-food chain Sonic. Basically, it’s ice that gets crushed or flaked and then compressed into pellets or nuggets.
Nugget ice has two advantages over traditional ice cubes. First, it’s chewable. People like to munch on ice chips for a variety of reasons and nugget ice has a pleasant mouthfeel. Second, having a bunch of small nuggets cools a drink faster than big, clunky ice cubes.
What we like
It makes a quality nugget ice
Ice from the Opal 2.0 tastes crisp and clean. We attribute the freshness to the water filter and the sanitizing UV light built into the unit.
The ice nuggets themselves have a good mouthfeel, crunchy without being hard. One good crunch and they instantly turn to water on your tongue.
The automatic refill works well
As the Opal 2.0’s ice nuggets melt, excess water drips back into the unit’s reservoir to be made back into ice. Pulling the bin out signals the Opal to make more ice. This is important for parties and gatherings where the need for ice comes in waves.
During testing, we left the Opal 2.0 on over the weekend and came back to find a full ice bin. We should point out that the ice it made was starting to clump after sitting there for 48 hours, and that you should replace the water every day, but it’s impressive nonetheless.
Smart features and the side tank are a bonus
The original Opal Nugget Ice Maker had its own app, but this time around, you can use the SmartHQ app, which interacts with all of GE and Haier’s current-generation smart appliances (Haier is GE and Opal’s parent company). From the app, you can check the machine’s filter status, schedule ice to be automatically made, and even turn the internal light on and off.
The Opal 2.0 also comes with a side tank to hold extra water, which was a separate purchase for the original. This extra water tank allows you to create up to three times as much ice. It magnetically sticks to the side of the unit and can be easily filled via the faucet.
What we don’t like
It’s very expensive
At the time of this review, the unit we tested retails for $600. This is a lot for an ice maker, and it’s certainly more expensive than Newair’s version, which produces more ice more quickly, but lacks the smart features or automatic refill.
It produces ice slowly
In the most ideal conditions, the Opal 2.0 makes ice at a rate of about one pound per hour. That’s slower than its competition. If you have plenty of prep time, you can make enough ice for a party, but the Opal’s speed is much more suited for personal or small family use.
What users are saying
Out of the 134 reviews available at the time of publication, the Opal Nugget Ice Maker 2.0 is getting 4.6 stars out of 5. Users cite how they like its easy setup and quiet operation. They dislike its slow rate of ice and its price.
Should you buy the new Opal Nugget Ice Maker?
Yes, if you want the most classy of all ice makers.
This machine’s biggest obstacle is its price. There are cheaper competitors and you can still purchase the original Opal. However, nugget ice fanatics will love its excellent chewable ice-making capabilities that taste crisp and clean, especially people who are serious about cooling their drinks and hydrating with ice chips.
Meet the tester
Senior Manager of Lab Operations@Jonfromthelab1
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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