* Prices may differ from that shown
Me and my husband brought this fridge freezer when we moved into our new home in June 2009. Originally when we heard we were moving we thought yay new fridge (last one was on it's last legs!) and immediately wanted an american style fridge freezer with the side by side doors. Well when we saw the size of our new kitchen we immediantly felt disheartened, but hey ho we still needed a new fridge so off to Comet we trundled.
Now to be honest this wasn't our first choice of fridge/freezer as it's white as I said I wanted silver, but when we walked into our local comet this model was currently discontined from £429.99 and also had a couple of not very noticeable dents and was reduced down to just £215. So we had to have it! And to be honest I'm glad we took it. It is perfect for us.
The fridge is the top half and has 2 small drawers in the bottom for your fruit and veg (or as in my mother's fridge, chocolate!) then 4 safety glass shelves, 1 of which can be of 2 different heights. Then in the door are 3 clear plastic compartments and one of those has a plastic lid and plastic 6 egg holder.
The Freezer is frost free, and actually is, not like some claim to be but there you are with all your frozen food all over the kitchen trying to keep it cool and you willing the freezer to hurry up and melt! It has 4 white plastic drawers, with frosted plastic fronts. The top 2 state they are super freeze and the bottom 2 contain ice cube makers in the front, so you no longer have ice cube bags or trays taking up space in the freezer.
The Fridge/freezer is 55cm wide. The fridge is 88.3cm high and the freezer is 92cm.
The temperature controls are situated at the top of the fridge. With the door closed you can see the green on light through the plastic covering so you can easily see when the power is off. You can also see the lights showing when you turn the super cool and super freeze settings on. When you open the fridge door you can see 2 dials which set the temperatures of the fridge and freezer. Mine are always set directly in the middle and this keeps everything just right. Also by the 2 dials are 2 buttons to control the super cool and super freeze. I have now owned this fridge for 2 years and I have never needed either button but I suppose if the power ever went off for a long enough time or your kitchen is extra hot you might need these.
So all in all its everything you could want from a fridge freezer.
When I sold my house in 2008 my buyer requested that I leave the fridge freezer rather than scrap it. I had already planned to replace it when I moved as it really was on its last legs. My Gran had given it to me in 2001, and she had probably owned it for a good five years before that. Anyway, my completion date was rapidly approaching, so I needed to get a new fridge freezer ordered quickly so that it would be in place in the new house as soon as I moved in. I had a look online, and very quickly chose the fully frost free Hotpoint FF187E in 'Graphite'. I paid £309 on the Comet website, and that price included delivery.
~~ Aesthetics ~~
The main reason I was drawn to this model was its looks. I already had a Hotpoint washing machine in my kitchen in the same 'Graphite' shade, and ideally wanted to match this as well as I could. The slightly textured surface is best described as a dark grey with a matt sheen, and I find the darker grey far more appealing than the light silver colour you find on many appliances. The glittery specks in the even darker grey trim on this model only add to the appeal. This trim, which is around the top of the fridge door and on the handle of the freezer, has a shiny surface which contrasts well with the main surface of the fridge freezer. In comparison with the white version of this model (and white or lighter silver models in general) I would say that this colour, combined with the surface texture on the doors, is perfect for families with young children, as sticky smears and fingerprints will be a thing of the past.
The overall shape of the unit was another of its selling points for me personally. It seemed to have a far more chunky and rounded look to it, far more 'curvy' than any of its competitors. But with sharp edges and clean lines seeming to be the fashionable choice now, perhaps this design is a little dated. I actually prefer the softer look, and always wanted one of those retro Smeg models but couldn't quite stretch to the price tag.
The two doors are of almost equal size, with integrated handles in the bottom and top of the fridge and freezer doors respectively. I prefer this type of handle, although some people find them hard to keep clean, particularly in the freezer door which tends to collect bits of food and grime.
~~ Inside the fridge ~~
The net fridge capacity is 172 litres - a good size for most families, and certainly ample for the two of us. There are four safety glass shelves which have an anti-bacterial coating, and a removable chrome wine rack which holds 5 bottles. Two large pull out drawers for fruit and vegetables sit at the bottom of the fridge, each with a clear front panel so your tomatoes and lettuce etc. have a clear view of the kitchen each time the fridge door is opened. Two of the glass shelves can be repositioned, though only slightly as the additional slots are positioned very close to the original ones. To the rear of the fridge compartment are several air ducts for air circulation, and a small, dim light between two of the shelves. I would imagine that the extremely limited illumination of the fridge compartment is intended to save on energy consumption, but I'd personally prefer it to be just a little bit brighter.
The inside of the door has a flip-top dairy compartment with removable egg tray, and two large shelves. The bottom shelf is deep enough to hold 2-litre bottles of milk, and wide enough to hold 3 of these. The middle shelf is removable, and can be positioned lower down if you choose, which still allows enough room for the milk bottles in the bottom shelf.
The small control panel is only accessible when the fridge door is open, and is positioned on the top rim of the fridge compartment. This includes both fridge and freezer temperature knobs which can be easily turned without the need for a coin or screwdriver. I have never altered either of these, and they are permanently on the 'I Care' setting half way around the dial. This apparently provides the optimal temperature for energy saving levels. There is also a 'Super Cool' button for the fridge, and a 'Super Freeze' button for the freezer; each of these is intended for those times when you raise the temperature considerably in either of the compartments by adding lots of items at once, and so pressing the button will tell the unit to work a little harder for a bit.
~~ Inside the Freezer ~~
The freezer compartment has a net capacity of 84 litres. There are four deep drawers, each one having a clear panel to the front. The bottom 2 drawers each have an 'Ice Care' tray which slots into the front. This is a really nice space saving idea, but in reality they're a bit of a faff to use. The way it works is you fill each of the trays with water up to the line when they are vertical and close the end cap. When you position it horizontally into the front of the drawer, the water then fills each of the 12 small wells on the underside of the tray. I have tried this several times, making sure I didn't go over the line, but found each time I went to get some ice I had a real job getting it out of the end hole, and it felt like a bit of a waste of time and effort, with the already small pieces of ice being tiny by the time I managed to plop them into my drink.
Another problem I have had with the freezer is that the drawers slide all the way out if you're not careful. It seems that the little 'stoppers' on the freezer walls aren't quite long enough, but luckily I've managed to catch them in time on each of the occasions this has happened. I have read some other reviews where this has been a major problem for some people, as they have end up with a smashed drawer where it has fallen to the floor.
Despite the couple of problems I have mentioned, the freezer has always functioned perfectly well and maintained the perfect temperature, and I haven't once seen any sign of frost building up.
~~ The unit as a whole ~~
At 187 cm tall it seemed a little overbearing when it first arrived, but that was probably due to me being used to a much smaller model. Most fitted kitchens will easily accommodate its standard 60 cm width, but with a depth of 65.5 cm it does stick out further than most and is probably better suited to larger kitchens.
The FF187E has an 'A' energy efficiency grading, and its annual energy consumption is 347 kWHrs. This seems fairly average from what I have seen of other similar sized models, although there are a few A+ (and even A++) models out there, and according to ethicalconsumer.org, A+ models 'are at least 25% more efficient than standard A models and some A++ appliances are up to 60 % more'.
With regards to noise, this unit is fairly quite in general, but it does let out some rather strange noises occasionally. It seems to be every few days or so that it makes loud crackling sounds for a couple of minutes. I've heard other people say the same about theirs, so can only assume this is normal. But generally it has the usual low hum which is quieter than others I have witnessed.
Another useful little feature is the bleeping sound it makes if the door is left slightly open. This does get very irritating when you are putting your shopping away, but there have been a couple of occasions when I've been in a rush grabbing a snack or a drink from the fridge during TV ads and haven't quite closed the door properly. The bleeping is quite loud and so can be heard from quite a distance if you live in a larger property.
I have read a number of reviews for this product recently, and have been shocked to discover that most are extremely negative. Many people have complained that they have experienced ice building up in the freezer and puddles of water on the floor. However, I have personally never had any trouble whatsoever with this model, and I am wondering if this perhaps has something to do with the fact that I have never even come close to overstocking either of the compartments. There are only two of us in the house, and our weekly shop fits nicely into the fridge freezer with plenty of room left over. I think common sense allows most of us to assume that it is necessary to leave a reasonable amount of space for air to flow over and around the products we keep in the fridge or freezer if we want to get the best from it, and this is indeed an important recommendation stated in the user manual. It is specifically stated that you must not block the air ducts in the rear wall of either compartment, but I have seen a number of people's fridges/freezers packed tightly with food, especially in larger families, so can imagine that this is sometimes unavoidable.
Overall, based on our moderate usage and our fairly trouble free experience of the FF187E, I would recommend this fridge freezer. However, if my theory is correct about heavier usage within larger households causing major problems, I would be reluctant to recommend it to large families.
Whilst not as sexy as some higher end brands, this Hotpoint Fridge Freezer is good quality and excellent value for money.
The fridge in the top section was spacious enough to get us through Christmas (think small family with big appetites) which is no mean feat! It has 4 shelves, incl. a bottle rack which we find pretty useful (fits 5 wine/beer/soda bottles lying horizontally). Also 2 deep crisper drawers and the usual compartments in the door are a good size and are good and sturdy (I've had these snap off in the past).
The freezer has 4 deep drawers, that still feel sturdy when full and is spacious for a fridge/freezer combo. Also it is self defrosting which is fab, although we were a bit alarmed by the strange cracking noises that came from the back every so often, until we realised it was the freezer self-defrosting! Seems obvious now..
The addition I'd like to make would be a temperature readout on the face, so you can check it doesn't get too high, say when you've just filled it. That said, it's very rare I have to turn the dial above 2 or the 'we care' energy efficient setting. It seems very efficient at keeping everything cool.
Overall I am very happy with this purchase - it ticks all the boxes for space, efficiency ('A' energy rated'), ease to clean and quality at a good price. It also comes in graphite/silver I believe but non white always costs a bit more.
When we moved into our house we pretty much had nothing in the way of appliances to kit our new home except for the telly and hi-fi. As much as the idea of living off take away every day appealed to me, our budget wouldn't quite be able to stretch to that so we had you do some heavy duty shopping.
One of our major purchases for the kitchen was this Hotpoint FF187E fridge freezer. Well technically we bought the FF187EG - which is the exact same model only in graphite, rather than white (it is also available in satin aluminium, which is probably the colour you'd get if you were to mix white and graphite together).
When looking to buy our fridge freezer (FF) we noticed that a lot of the ones on the market seem to have larger fridge sections and smaller freezer ones. I don't know if this is because most people eat more fresh food, or if they have additional separate freezers to put more stuff into? I just know that we were looking for one that had at roughly half of the space given up for the freezer drawers due to our reliance on freezing food. The FF187 doesn't quite have a half fridge/half freezer set up, but it was the closest we could find in our price range and it copes easily with the demands we put on in (2 adults).
*** Fridge Section ***
There are 4 shelves provided in this section, along with 2 easily removable salad crisper compartments (don't worry, they are of a decent size and can be used for plenty of things other than salad!). There is also a wine/bottle rack (which can be removed if required to make more space), and an enclosed dairy compartment in the door. As you'd expect, there is also an interior light to help with those late night trips to the fridge.
The net fresh food storage volume is 180 litres.
*** Freezer Section ***
There are 4 drawers, all with clear fronts so you can easily see in to check what's at the bottom of the drawer without having to empty everything out.
The 2 bottom drawers come with a clever little ice cube maker build into the drawer when is a great space saving design.
We've had our freezer for over 14 months and there are no signs of any frost on it, yet it remains ice cold all the time.
The net frozen food storage volume is 84 litres.
Size wise it is quite big, the delivery man almost had to take it back because he couldn't fit it through our back door. But I think that says more about the smallness of our house rather than the massiveness of the FF. Its actual dimensions are (H)187, (W)60, (D)65.5cm.
The doors are fully reversible so you can arrange them to open whichever way suits the set up of your kitchen.
Also, it is an energy efficiency class 'A' model.
If you're working to a certain budget the price of the FF currently starts from around £300 depending on where you buy it. It's a fairly common item so you should have no problem with availability.
(This review is now also on Ciao)
Annual Energy Consumption