We got our hands on what was, according to its serial number, the 38th to be sold in the US, and proceeded to run it through our full battery of scientific tests. Like Curt Schilling's foray into entrepreneurship, our time spent with this #38 left us disappointed: Performance-wise, it'll run with any other canister out there. But a few bizarre design choices saw us scratching our heads—and our wood floors.
In a sea of subjective opinions, it's the factual data that really makes waves. Take a look at how well the Samsung did in our tests and judge for yourself before taking the plunge at your local appliance store.
Two minor design changes would catapult this vacuum from average to excellent.
We call it beige, Samsung calls it Champagne. Either way, this is a traditional canister modernized with cyclonic suction and a bagless dirt holder. Like most canister vacuums, the is quite easy to handle, since one only has to push the power brush around instead of lifting the entire vacuum—a good thing, considering the whole machine weights 20 pounds. With that said, this vacuum has a major flaw: Stand the wand and brush upright, and it won't lock into place. Most vacuums have some sort of mechanism that keeps a vacuum standing upright, but this Samsung does not. For storage, the wand and brush hook into the cleaner itself, but it's useless when the cleaner is actually running.
Since the handle of a canister vacuum is—by design—detached from the motor, manufacturers often skip on-handle controls entirely, or run a power cord up the hose to connect fingertip controls. The , however, uses a totally different design. Even though there's a cord running through the hose to power the brush head, Samsung has installed a battery-powered remote control in the cleaner's handle. Press it, and it'll send a signal to the motor to turn the vacuum or brush head on or off. It also controls suction level. In our view, it's a bit of a kludge—though replacing batteries sure beats having no fingertip controls at all.
The dirt holder is another flaw on this vacuum. It releases from the cleaner easily enough, but emptying it requires you to pull a tab and remove an exterior cover. It's not hinged, so you have to find somewhere to put it, and it's also very difficult to fit back on when you've emptied all the dirt. Furthermore, around the inside of the dirt holder is a plastic ridge that traps debris.
A solid cleaner that's on par with most other canisters on the market, though it didn't do very well picking up large debris.
The powered brush head did moderately well when confronted by our tall carpet. It managed to suck up 36.4 percent of our debris, which is fine, but not quite as good as many of the other models we've tested. Generally speaking, we like to see at least 50 percent removed from the floor, and this one didn't quite cut it. It did manage to get 98.9 percent of the dirt and dust out of our short carpet, as well as 96.6 percent off of hard wood flooring. Both numbers promise high-quality, though you may want to make sure you use the parquet tool on smooth surfaces to prevent scratching.
One pass over carpet covered in pet hair proved to be insufficient. It got up a good portion of the fluff, but it's going to take at least two passes to get it all. There's a smaller pet tool that you can use for this, as well, which will also work on furniture and upholstery. Another hitch was with heavier items: it had no problem picking up nearly all the lighter debris (rice and macaroni elbows) we put down, but it had a real problem getting up heavier items, leaving behind all the pennies and dimes we use for testing. The bagless could hold about a third of a gallon of debris, which should be plenty for several days' worth of vacuuming.
Good overall, but not outstanding in any way.
There are a bunch of well-made cleaning tools on this machine. Unfortunately, they don't store on the vacuum itself, so you'll likely throw them in a bag in your closet where they'll languish for many years—a shame, since the different attachments all performed differently with our varied floor types. The vacuum boasts a 23 foot power cord that automatically retracts, as well as two filters: a HEPA prefilter and a HEPA exhaust filter. The hose gives this vacuum a very long reach, and the wand easily extends. It's great for cleaning high ceilings or killing spiders.
Vacuums with powered brush heads are supposed to do very well on deep pile carpet, which requires agitation to root out the dirt that says at the base of carpet fibers. When set to the second-lowest height setting, the did a decent job on our tall carpet test; it was better than many of the vacuums we've tested, but still not among the best. It had no problem on short carpet or hard wood floors, either. We'd recommend using the parquet tool if you've got mostly wood or tile, though, and the pet tool is best for upholstery or bedding. Heavy debris proved to be a bit of a bother, so keep that in mind if you're going to be picking up things heavier than your typical dust and dirt.
Not too loud, but turning that 15 inch power brush sure uses a lot of energy
While the just passes 72 decibels, it's not an unpleasant whine or growl. In fact, we'd be willing to bet that this Samsung won't even spook your dog. Despite its quiet nature, the pulled in 1240 watts. That's a lot, though somewhat expected for a vacuum with a motorized brush head.
If Samsung wants to dominate the realm of all things that plug in, they’ll have to beef this machine up first...then give us a toaster.
In Korea, you can drive a Samsung car from your Samsung job to your Samsung home filled with Samsung appliances and Samsung electronics. If you get sick, you can go to Samsung Medical Center and when you die, your Samsung life insurance will pay for your funeral. In the US, Samsung isn't that omnipresent, but the company has gained a foothold in nearly every electronics and appliance market—with the noticeable exception of vacuums.
That is, until now. The (MSRP $469) is the first cleaner the company's imported to the US. In our tests, the pricey vacuum proved good, but not great. If only Samsung's engineers had avoided a few design pitfalls, this could've been a world-class cleaner. In its current state, however, there are less expensive vacuums that are easier to use that give better results.
Meet the tester
Former Editor in Chief, Reviewed Home@itskeithbarry
Keith was the Editor in Chief of Reviewed's appliance and automotive sites. His work has appeared in publications such as Wired, Car & Driver, and CityLab.
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.Shoot us an email