** Background **
As mentiond on my other reviews after being married we have moved into our own place and needed to buy *everything*. In October 2010 we paid £449.99 including delivery from Comet, we didn't bother with the additional £5 installation fee, just to plug it in!
** Setting up **
The fridge freezer was packed well for transit, thankfully all external packaging was taken with the delivery men. All interal shelves and bits and bobs were very secure. The instructions say to wait 3 hours before turning on though to let everything inside settle. It is worth noting just how big this fridge freezer is, I'm 6ft 4 and it is a fair bit taller than me! It is rather plain from the front with only the brand printed on the outside and no handle sticking out (to open grip the door in the middle between the fridge and freezer).
** Operating the Fridge Freezer **
Once it is up and running it basically runs itself without any hassle, which is what you want! It has an open door alarm, however we have noticed it will only sound if the door is more than a few cm open. Therefore if it is literally open ajar the alarm will not sound. Not perfect really so room for improvement there. Two good features which we use are 'Super Cool' and 'Super Freeze' which rapidly cool the fridge and freezer respectively. Ideal if you have just filled it with shopping. I'm not sure if this is supposed to turn itself off automatically after a while or not, either the wife is playing mind games with me or sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't (the manual doesn't make this clear either). There are also two knobs for adjusting the temperature in both the fridge and freezer, with a marker for 'i care' (optimal setting) and a holiday setting.
** Inside the Fridge & Freezer (Not literally mind you...) **
It's huge, and I love the warm light it exudes! Inside the door is large enough for a few cartons of milk and our water filter. Above this there are two compartments we use for various sauces and condiments. At the top is a closed section where we keep the cheeses, one thing with this is that sometimes we try to close the door with this compartment still open... oops. The shelves are solid and relatively adjustable and as such the height of each shelf varies. At the bottom of the fridge are two salad drawers, which are easily opened and closed and quite large. Ours also has the wine rack which we have left in for now, and use regularly.
The freezer has 4 drawers of differing sizes. The bottom one is a little smaller, possibly as the motor sits behind it. The one above this is huge though, and the other two are generous as well. It certainly is more than adequate for our needs. Another feature is that two of the drawers have a removable ice tray built into the handle. It is a bit of a gimmick, but does work if you fill it correctly. Getting ice from it can be more hassle than it is worth and because of the size we use normal ice trays instead / as well.
** Cleaning **
As I said it is easy enough to remove the shelves to clean but also has a no frost cooling system which circulates cold air continiously to prevent ice and frost forming. So far it has worked a treat. Inside really is easy to keep clean, a quick wipe with a damp cloth and any spillage comes right off.
** Summary **
As I said this thing is huge compared to our previous units and has to be seen to be believed. The colour and finish is good and best of all it is functional. So far it has proven to be very reliable and delivered all we have asked. If this meets your needs then I think you will be happy with it, we certainly are! I'm not giving it 5* though as I think there are better units available, but for the price this size and spec is very good.
Just as our family and, consequently, the weekly food shop was growing, our fridge freezer was (quite literally) cracking up under the pressure. Due to the age of our old fridge freezer, I wasn't able to find any replacement parts so we had to buy a new model and, as we have three children, needed quite a decent sized fridge freezer. As well as buying lots of chilled, fresh food, I do like to have a well-stocked freezer. I was quite surprised just how difficult it was to source a fridge freezer with a large freezer section without compromising on fridge capacity. Ideally, we were looking for an even split between fridge and freezer but wanted both of them to be generously proportioned. Eventually, after various online searches and viewing the options at both Curry's and Comet we settled on the Hotpoint FF200LP.
We paid £380.99 for this model from Electrical123.com in November 2010, inclusive of delivery, and paid an additional £9.99 for removal and disposal of our old model. The FF200LP is the sister model to the FF200LG (and this is where I was advised to post my review by Dooyoo). The only difference is the colour - our model is the traditional polar white whereas the LG is graphite (silver). All other sizes, features and specifications are the same.
===Appearance and Controls===
The fridge freezer itself is quite plain and traditional in appearance. It is quite a big model, standing two metres tall so looks quite imposing in our kitchen, although not quite as extravagant as those huge American style models! The controls are only visible at the very top of the fridge when the fridge door is opened. It was relatively straightforward to set up and adapt to our new appliance, simply following the delivery men's advice to allow this to stand for around four-five hours after delivery before switching it on. The fridge has a 'super cool' and the freezer 'super freeze' setting, designed to ensure that the fridge operates at the correct temperature, even when a whole load of shopping is placed inside. Operating these features is only a matter of pressing a single button on or off and, aside from this, the fridge freezer simply functions as any other model without any complicated settings or instructions to worry about. The model is A rated for energy usage, so is both environmentally friendly as well as being economical to run.
Our primary need was a decent sized fridge and freezer compartment and the LP has certainly met that need. The fridge came supplied with four sturdy glass shelves, each of which can be adjusted reasonably easily, as well as a removable wine rack. We immediately removed one of the shelves as having four meant that the gap between them was incredibly shallow and we would have struggled to fit any tall items into the fridge. Even with just three shelves in place, the gap between one of the shelves is still very shallow - being just slightly taller than a standard egg box. The net capacity of this fridge is supposedly 202 litres. In practice, this means that the fridge can easily fit a week's worth of chilled food for our family of five, even without one of the shelves.
We were in two minds whether to also remove the wine rack too (as we don't tend to drink wine at home) but decided to leave it in place. It is actually quite a useful addition as it has proven to be very strong and capable of holding our Christmas liquors and the kids' juice, as well as being deep and robust enough to fit a bottle of lemonade in there too without crashing down! I particularly like that the wine rack doesn't come out quite as far as the shelves do, so we have a little extra height for part of the way for the shelf underneath.
We got through lots of milk in our household so needed the fridge door to be wide and strong enough to support the six-pint cartons of milk that we buy. The lower fridge shelf is long and wide enough to comfortably fit either a six-pinter (as well as a couple of other bottles) or two four-pint cartons. The plastic is not as flimsy or brittle as other models that we viewed so I'm confident that this model will be durable enough to withstand this kind of treatment on a daily basis. As well as the large bottom shelf, the fridge came supplied with three other fridge shelves, one of which has a transparent lid, making it handy for things like butter and cheese. Again, we chose to remove one of the shelves to accommodate taller bottles and cartons, but it is nice to have this level of flexibility as each shelf can be re-positioned into one of the many slots available. All of the shelves feel quite thick and sturdy and can fit a surprisingly large number of jars and bottles in them.
At the base of the fridge, there are two small but quite deep salad drawers. Personally, I would have preferred one large single drawer but I have found that the drawers can fit in a reasonable amount of fresh produce and vegetables. They slide in and out easily although can be a little bit fiddly to remove completely for thorough cleaning, due to the position of the door.
===Ease of cleaning===
The main body of the fridge is fairly easy to maintain and keep clean, although it can be difficult to get the shelves back into the correct position after cleaning as the fridge door can't be pushed open particularly far. The inside of the fridge has supposedly been treated with an anti-bacterial lining though which should help to keep it reasonably hygienic and germ-free (although doesn't replace the need for regular cleaning, unfortunately!)
When we initially bought this, I quite liked the alarm which sounds if the fridge door is left open for any length of time. This is useful for us when the kids have raided the fridge and not bothered to close it properly! I do find it mildly irritating when I am filling the fridge up after shopping though and wish there was a way of temporarily switching this feature off. I have also found that the alarm will actually only sound if the fridge is left open by more than an inch or so. I have discovered the fridge door left ever so slightly ajar so that is was only visible when it came to opening it again. In those circumstances, the alarm doesn't actually activate which is a little disappointing, meaning that this feature isn't quite as valuable and reliable as it may sound.
The freezer section is very well designed with four generously sized compartments which hold a surprisingly large amount of frozen foods. One of the drawers is slightly deeper than the others but all of them slide in and out easily without sticking and the clear frontages makes it easy to spot what you are looking for without having to rummage through the entire contents of the freezer for those fish fingers that you know are in there somewhere! I find having four drawers makes it easier to organise the frozen food into categories too.
The kids were particularly impressed with the built-in ice making facility within the freezer. It is a clever use of space as the bottom two drawers have a little section which slides out and can be filled with water to make ice cubes. It is a bit of a gimmick and can be a little bit messy, as it is very easy to overfill and end up water spilling out into the freezer, but with a bit of practice it does actually work to produce ice cubes whenever we need them (which hasn't been all that often in recent weeks!)
Overall, I am very pleased with the build quality and design of this fridge freezer. It is a good size for a larger family and, with the number of shelves and drawers provided, offers a versatile storage solution for all our chilled and frozen food. Most importantly, the drawers and shelves feel reassuringly sturdy and robust and should withstand daily use from our hungry hoard for many years to come.
I would certainly recommend this model for any family looking for a fridge freezer that offers both a decent sized fridge section as well as a large freezer capacity, without comprising on build quality or blowing the budget.
As I have mentioned in other reviews over the last few months, well starting just before Christmas really, I had a bit of an appliance crisis. It proved a very expensive time and still is. Some appliance one can manage without, even if only for a few weeks, enabling thorough research, but when the household's fridge freezer packs up when full of food, you have to act fairly quickly.
I do also have a chest freezer, so managed to transfer some frozen goods to this but, as I'd recently undertaken a big shop it was an annoying and wasteful time. I did a little research and decided on a Hotpoint fridge freezer. I believe there may be fancier means of refrigeration but I wanted a model that had similar sized fridge and freezer. I've seen some beautiful modern brands which would grace better kitchens than mine, but often when peering inside the fridge is large but the freezer is tiny. Alternatively, it may be the freezer is twice the size of the fridge. I was intent upon having four shelves in the freezer compartment which does narrow down the search.
Although my freezer had died and was a Hotpoint ( Mistral), it had lasted and performed well for many years. I think around thirteen years, This encouraged me to look at this brand for my next purchase.
The search for this new appliance unfortunately took place just after the January sales.
So armed with my sheet of paper containing my list of essentials that I deem necessary in a fridge freezer, I went, with my husband to Currys and Comet to see who could best fulfill my requirements with speed. I also wanted some type of interest free credit.
We decided on the Hotpoint FF200LG from Currys. The reasons we chose Currys was that they offered us twelve months interest free (Comet offered six) on this purchase and could deliver it in two days time. They were offering a free delivery service for a limited period but as this meant we would have to wait longer for the fridge freezer, we declined and paid around twenty pounds, which was added to the total bill. This delivery option offered a four hour time slot and unpacking of the appliance, plus removal of the old one.
We paid a little under £450 and had to pay 10% ten per cent of the purchase price and the rest would be due in twelve months time. I believe we could have got a better price from other stockists but owing to the necessity of having a freezer quickly and not having the time to research, we were content to go ahead with the purchase.
Now that this fridge freezer has stood in my kitchen for a few months, I feel qualified to give my opinion.
I'll start with the colour which, although, probably not the main point in choosing an appliance, never the less is something many people nowadays consider important. I wanted this graphite shade as it blends well with my other appliance. Also, this dull, silvery grey colour, with darker grey trim, is easy to keep looking clean. I find it the ideal colour for all appliances, if available.
This fridge freezer is very quiet in operation and mostly is completely silent. It can only be heard very occasionally.
There is plenty of room in the fridge, with four shelves on the door and four adjustable safety glass shelves in the fridge and two, fairly deep, pull out drawers for fruit and vegetables. It also has a holder for eggs. However, I do believe that for it's time the Hotpoint Mistral was better designed than this, offering very deep shelves on the door which could comfortably hold large milk or juice containers either way round. I also miss the delicatessen compartment that the Mistral had above the two drawers. I think these features should have been incorporated into this freezer to make it even nicer to use.
The fridge is larger than the freezer although both sections are of a good size. It hold an enormous ammount. I find it best to put little used products on the top shelf, or hubby's beer, as it is very high. The beat part about the fridge section is the amount of jars and bottles that can be stacked in the door shelves but, I admit to preferring the design overall of the Mistral.
The freezer is a good size, although I manage to fill it up quite easily. It has four compartments. The top drawer is very roomy and easy to open and close. I am not as happy with the other three as find them slightly fiddly to use. They could glide a little easier, in and out. This is not a major issue as they feel solid enough and hold a good amount of food. All drawers are made of clear plastic which is a great feature as it makes it easier to retrieve food without searching through every drawer.
Incorporated into the top of both of the bottom two freezer drawers is an ice making facility. This is slightly fiddly to open and fill but is a worthwhile feature.
This Hotpoint model has an alarm that beeps if you leave the fridge door open too long. I think this is a great idea even if it is annoying when it keeps beeping when loading the fridge after a shop. It would be a particularly good feature if you have a youngsters who tend to not be good at closing doors!
This fridge freezer has antibacterial linersinside that is said to keep it healthy and hygeinic and should discourage the growth of bacteria. This should also keep it smelling nicer.
This model has an internal capacity of 318 litres.
These are the technical details (obtained from www.currys.co.uk) of the Hotpoint FF200LG:
The FF200LG Fridge Freezer comes with a single thermostat.
Fridge gross capacity 205 litres / 6.2 cubic feet
Freezer gross capacity 113 litres / 3.9 cubic feet
Energy efficiency rating A
Colour / Finish Graphite
Fridge interior Number of shelves in fridge 4
Shelves Safety Glass
Storage features Bottle rack
Fridge storage capacity 202 litres / 6.1 cubic feet
Health features Anti-bacterial protection
Freezer interior Compartments Drawers
Clear drawer fronts
Freezer storage capacity 84 litres / 3 cubic feet
Freezer functions Freezing capacity 8 kg/24 hours
Power failure safe-storage time 12 hours
Controls External controls No
Environmental Annual energy consumption 361 kwh/year
Noise level 43 dba
Physical characteristics Flat back design
Total gross capacity 318 litres / 11.2 cubic feet
Total storage capacity 286 litres / 10 cubic feet
Dimensions 2000 x 600 x 655 mm
A similar review may be read on Ciao by AnneLorraine1