* Prices may differ from that shown
My daughter wanted a small freezer for her university lodgings. We considered a second hand one from eBay, but we had had a bad experience with buying a fridge like that before, which suddenly broke a couple of months after we bought it, and the last thing we wanted to do was to have to travel mid-term to my daughter's university lodgings to replace the freezer. Looking around the freezer market, there are numerous models available for a range of prices, but we came across this Beko ZA95FW model which seemed fairly reasonable at £175 in Comet. We used to have a Beko fridge before which gave us many years of loyal service before we upgraded it for a bigger fridge, and hence considered it to be a reliable brand, as well as being a fairly cheap model to purchase. So we ended up buying this Beko under counter-freezer in late June, and my daughter decided to set it up in her bedroom to try it out before we moved it to her student lodgings in September.
A point to note at this point is that this freezer is available in both white and silver. The ZA95FW model stands for ZA95 Freezer White, whereas the ZA95FS model stands for ZA95 Freezer Silver. Both are exactly the same spec, but the outer casing colour is different.
So let's look at the specs of this 4 star A rated freezer. Size wise it is 84cm high by 54.5 cm wide by 59.5 deep. It has a gross capacity of 3.2 cu feet (90 litres), but a net capacity of 2.7 cu feet (76 litres). It is worth understanding the difference between these 2 figures. The gross capacity is basically how much capacity it has inside - effectively take everything out, lay it on it's back and fill it with 3.2 cu feet of fluid. The net capacity is what you can physically get into it once you include space for the shelves, drawers, doors, gaps to allow things to slide in and out etc, giving you a capacity of 2.7 cu feet to store your frozen food etc, which is perhaps towards the bottom end of capacities for under counter freezers.
It has 3 clear plastic drawers to hold any contents, and is frost free, which is always a bonus nowadays with any freezer to save you having to manually defrost it. It has a thermostatic control, claiming to freeze 10 kg of food in 24 hrs using the fast freeze facility.
In use, it works well and is reasonably quiet, where you can just hear the fan in operation. The thermostatic control takes a bit of practice to set up correctly to get a nice even freeze without a frosty build up, but about a level 2.5 seems to work for us. For a family, the capacity is very limited (unless you plan to shop every few days), but for a single person, it is ideal, making it a great choice for my daughter to use at her university lodgings.
Negative points? The only real bug bear we've found is that it is fairly narrow at 54.5 cm. Most of the openings in kitchens for dishwashers, washing machines etc are normally 60 cm wide, and since this is an under-counter freezer, you would expect to be able to slot it in to such a gap, which you can. But it then leaves a largish gap either side which looks unsightly. So if it was just a little bit wider, it would look better and perhaps increase the internal net capacity slightly. A further issue to note is that there is no warning buzzer on the freezer to warn you that the temperature is rising (door left open etc). Would be a nice to have, but this is a basic model freezer with no real 'bells and whistles'.
In summary, this is a basic model freezer at a reasonable price. Capacity wise, it is slightly on the small side, which I would think would be very limiting for a family to use. However, for a single person or a couple, this freezer would be ideal. Unfortunately it doesn't have an alarm, which is a bit of a annoyance, particularly in student accommodation where freezers may/can get left open (so our daughter tells us). So overall, a 4 star recommendation.
Also on Ciao under Randal1.
I have had this freezer for two years now and rue the day I bought it. It is extremely noisy and the inside is cracking up. The hinged flap at the top has completely broken and had to be thrown away and one of the plastic runners that holds the middle drawer has completely cracked so that the drawer does not run in and out properly. My previous freezers have lasted for many years but I am about to throw this one out after just two years.
Moved into a new flat and needed a freezer quick. Wanted something fairly inexpensive but not bottom of the range so went for this Beko which was on offer at the time. When it arrived it was just a case of plugging it in and it was ready to go very quickly and made almost no noise.
My use of the product has been for myself and my partner so we have rarely filled the freezer to the brim and cannot comment on performance in this situation, though I feel this product would have ample room for a small family. What I can say is that at around half full, food is frozen quickly, ice cubes are made in around 20 minutes as an example. The door has a real suction when you open it, meaning the cold is kept in effectively and hasn't needed defrosting in the year since I bought it.
All in all a quality freezer for a reasonable price.
This freezer has been the subject of much discussion since we first bought it.
It is a small model - only 3.2 cubic feet, which I think is right for us as there is only the two of us at home. My wife thinks we should have a big ugly American double fridge freezer - which to me would be just too big for our needs and would result in lots of wasted food.
Anyway, back to the Beko freezer. Beko is known as being a manufacturer of fairly cheap budget range white goods and this particular model was bought in Comet as a Manager's Special at only around £90. Absolute bargain in my view, because you switch the thing on, bung some stuff in it and it either stays frozen or gets frozen. It carries an A rating.
However, because the freezer is quite a small narrow one, there is now a gap between units and this does grate a bit. Folk tend to be careful to ensure that their chosen appliance will fit in - i.e is not too large, but if it's too small, that can be irritating too.
It has only three shelves, each accessible via a plastic door which you pull down when you open the main door. Within the first month, I had broken one of the plastic doors, because it's not very robust and as soon as you get any kind of ice build up at the front of the freezer, it affects the closing of this plastic door.
We spend too much of our time cramming things in and then taking all the things out to get at the thing which has magically worked its way round to the back and the bottom of the drawer. If my wife had some method to her storage system, it might help.
The biggest plus of this freezer is that it is small and cheap and if you are disciplined in your buying and regularly go to the shops, it's perfectly OK. Because it is small, you won't be tempted to buy huge quantities of special offer goods which you will eventually end up throwing out.
It has taken some experimentation to arrive at the right setting for the freezer. We now have it on No 2 which does seem to keep the stuff frozen, but it doesn't take log for the ice to build up and it's not a great job to be on your hand and knees with your hammer and chisel trying to get rid of it... and let's face it, it's not a great use of a hairdryer either.
This freezer has no fancy features - it doesn't need them and in this price range you wouldn't expect that.
Nothing wrong with the brand or this freezer - we just bought one that was too small for our needs. There, I've admitted it - I was wrong and she was right. I hate that, but I feel better for having said it - won't tell her though!
When Mrs SWSt and I were looking for a new freezer, our needs were not great. We tend to cook from fresh and not buy a great deal of frozen stuff, so didn't need a freezer with a massive storage capacity. As such, this nice, compact little freezer met our needs perfectly and didn't break the bank.
The Beko ZA95 is a fairly basic model and, as such, it won't be suitable for everyone. It's important to note that it's an under the counter model, measuring just 84cm (around 2 feet 9 inches) tall, 54cm (1 foot 9 inches) wide and 59.5cm (1 foot 9 inches) deep. This does mean that it is pretty easy to squeeze into relatively small spaces, so should fit in most kitchens, but, of course, it also means that its capacity is much more limited.
You also need to bear in mind that this is JUST a freezer, not a combined fridge freezer. Depending on how much room you have, this is either an advantage or disadvantage. When we bought it, we had just moved into a new, bigger house and for the first time had space for a separate fridge and freezer. Moreover, our old combined fridge-freezer had recently given up the ghost... or more accurately, the fridge part had. It was really annoying to have to chuck the whole thing out and fork out for a new fridge and freezer which, of course is one of the drawbacks to combined units. Now that we have a separate fridge and freezer, it means that if one breaks, we don't have to replace both, so now we've got more room, this seemed the sensible option.
If you do store a lot of things in your freezer, then this probably is not the model for you. Capacity was amongst the lowest of all the freezer models that we looked at. Although the headline figure gives it as a 3.2 cubic feet storage capacity, the reality is different. Due to the amount of insulation needed to keep the freezer cool the actual space you have available to store food is only 2.7 cubic feet. If you are thinking of buying it, I would definitely recommend going along to the shop to see it properly as it's difficult to judge the amount of storage space available just from pictures on the internet.
Thanks to this reduced storage space, the freezer comes with 3 just drawers which again, may, or may not be a problem, depending on how much food you store. True, the drawers are pretty deep, but they are not particularly big. Even with our limited freezer needs, you do sometimes feel you are doing a bit of a jigsaw puzzle, trying to arrange your food in the most efficient way to maximise the space available.
The drawers can also be a little fiddly to open and shut. If you don't pull them out quite far enough they tend to come off their runner and refuse to go back in. Pull them out too far, on the other hand, and they suddenly surge forward and fall out of the freezer completely, scattering your carefully arranged food everywhere! This is particularly true of the bottom drawer, which is a very tight fit and I often have battles with it to get it fitted back in. I usually win eventually, but not before the air around the freezer has been turned blue (and not because of the cold!)
Build quality on the external bits of the freezer feel very good, and there's no real noticeable difference from other, more expensive makes. It all feels sturdy enough and certainly, ours has not suffered any knocks or dings to date, despite my best efforts. The internal build quality is not quite as good as the drawers feel slightly cheap and plastic, as though they could break quite easily. Having said that, we have been using it for well over a year now and despite frequent visits to the floor (the result of the issue outlined above), none of them have yet chipped or broken in any way, so they are clearly a lot stronger than they look
The freezer is pretty good when it comes to energy consumption - getting an A rating - although bear in mind you will need to run a separate fridge too, so unless your old model was spectacularly inefficient, you're unlikely to make huge savings on your electricity bill. It's also easy to maintain, as it is frost free (a feature I would consider a must), so doesn't require you to do an impression of a polar explorer every few months while you defrost it manually.
Presumably thanks to its relatively low energy consumption, it's also fairly quiet. Inevitably, there is a constant background hum as the motor runs, and occasionally this gets slightly louder as the fan kicks in (or whatever it is freezers do - I'm not very well up on the technical gubbins, I'm afraid). However, I have come across far noisier models and unless you plan on keeping it in your lounge or bedroom (why?), it is not something which is going to annoy you.
Although a basic model, you can still do some slightly more "advanced" things like adjust the temperature to increase its efficiency and there is also a fast freeze facility for when you need to freeze something quickly. On the downside, as far as I can tell, it doesn't have any kind of early warning system (error display lights and the like) so theoretically, you could come in one day to find your freezer has turned itself into a swimming pool without any prior warning that this is likely to happen. Then again unless you're the type who monitors your freezer on a regular basis, this is true of most freezers.
For all its drawbacks, it has proved a very reliable little freezer so far demanding no attention whatsoever, which is all I really care about. On bringing it home, we simply plugged it in and then forgot about it - exactly what you want from this type of appliance. Already it has outlasted its predecessor (a more expensive branded model), which (typically) just made it out of its warranty period before dying.
At the time we bought it, the Beko ZA95 cost £199.99, although it seems to be a model that some shops regularly offer further discounts on, so it's well worth shopping around if you are thinking of buying.
If you don't need any bells and whistles on your freezer and don't have massive storage demands, then this budget range freezer could well be ideally suited to your needs. Efficient, compact and reliable, it keeps your food frozen. And at the end of the day, what more do you need from a freezer?
© Copyright SWSt 2010
Cooling Type / Short name: Beko ZA95FW