We purchased our Samsung American Style Fridge Freezer the day we bought our house, in 2007, and it arrived the day we moved in. On that day we started what has been, at best, a rocky relationship which started with the delivery men turning up with the appliance in a large box, laughing at the width of our front door and promptly leaving muttering "you'd be surprised this happens all the time! No we can't unpack it outside - health and safety you see!". We should have known then that things were going to be "interesting" as we carried it ourselves, with the help of our two amenable removal men, around the back of the house and in through the patio doors.
The exact model we own is the RS21DGRS, purchased from co-op electrical for £669. Google that model number and you will establish two things; one that this fridge, though still available from some retailers, has now been superseded for later model numbers, but two that it has featured on Watchdog and, at time of writing is subject of a safety recall. I am writing this review really for the sake of anyone who owns this fridge, and also in the hope that some of the info I have to give may prove pertinent for anyone consider a Samsung American (side by side) fridge freezer. They are very popular, but I should say straight from the start that I personally think that they are a bit of liability, and we have had some problems with Samsung along the way.
Our fridge freezer is finished in Stainless Steel, the freezer is on the left and incorporates an ice and water dispenser. It is 176cm high, and 90.8cm wide with some 70cms depth - quite a beast, it does look quite nice with a silver finish and as if it should be a great fridge. It fits well in our kitchen, which does have the space for it, but it is, obviously a big appliance. This fridge freezer is frost free and energy rated A, and a fairly quiet appliance. I do find that despite the 2 freezer drawers and 3 shelves the freezer holds surprisingly little - the ice dispenser takes up quite a lot of space - if looking at a later model of this item it is something you really should take note of in store. The shelves are quite narrow and somehow hard to organise.
Talking of the ice dispenser, which is lockable and has a digital display above it which tells you the temperature, it works OK and does crush up ice fairly well, this comes out when you hold a glass under a lever (this is nice in Summer) but it is actually really noisy at times. The ice is made in a tray and tips into a holding area, when I first owned the appliance a couple of times at night I actually thought someone had broken in downstairs only to discover it was the sound of falling ice. If you are looking at a freezer from Samsung with one of these dispensers, another point to consider is that you will have to have it plumbed in (this took us over a year to organise), and also you have to change the filter pretty regularly. There is an indicator that tells you when to do this, it seems to flash red angrily about every six months, even shopping around (I favour pozzani.co.uk who will charge you about £30 a time for one of these as opposed to currys who charge £50) this is a hidden running cost. Admittedly the filtered water this fridge dispenses tastes nice, and is nice and cool, but it comes at a cost.
The fridge is pretty good, though has had its problems as I will explain later. There are good quality glass shelves and a good range of storage, the two veg crispers are copious and there is a drawer for meat too. The whole thing is well lit with a light in the back which runs all the way down the back of the inside. The 12.3 gross cubic feet capacity is generous, with a dairy compartment in the door and plenty of bottle space. The door alarm which functions on both fridge and freezer is quite handy, and certainly hard to ignore, and there are some other good features, such as a child lock on the water dispenser and a "super cool" button. The fridge and freezer do, at present, store our food at a constant temperature and all our food is easily accessed, the whole thing opens like a cupboard and all the contents can be easily seen.
To come to the crux of the matter, having used this fridge as mentioned from 2007 to now I have had to conclude that Samsung Fridge Freezers look nicer than they are. Though the price we paid is, on the scale of things, a lot for an appliance, I do not think that build quality and reliability are something that I have experienced with this fridge freezer, and therefore I would never buy a Samsung again.
Our first problem with this fridge freezer came in November 2008, it turned out that what we thought was a helicopter circling the house was in fact the sound of our fridge freezer. It didn't take us long to find out that our fridge had not only featured on "Watchdog" - great a celebrity fridge - but it had a "known fault", ergo said noise, which was due to a fan problem. We were shortly to experience Samsung customer service, which on this occasion, and in our dealings with the company since, objectively, was dire. Despite the appliance having a known fault it took several calls to very rude customer service agents, 2 entire days waiting in with a fractious toddler, for engineers who seemingly couldn't provide a time of arrival, before that fault was fixed. The first day was wasted as the engineer turned up at 4pm without the part for the known fault because, apparently, he needed to "assess" it first - I don't actually think the call centre had told him the problem I had called in, in any case he didn't have the part needed with him, even though as mentioned earlier, by this point Samsung knew there was an issue with this fridge, though they had failed to contact us, or indeed to acknowledge that they knew there was a problem when we called. Eventually the fan was, I believe, fitted with a modification to ensure that the bits of ice which had been forming and hitting it, which would eventually lead to its complete failure, were not able to do so.
Life carried on with our fridge freezer, until about 2 months ago when we had another visit from an engineer, this time as Samsung did actually write to us saying there was a safety issue where there "could" be sparking with the appliance, the world's most surly engineer visited and did "something" to the appliance, which now is, I assume, fully safe. I did ask him what he did, in between trying unsuccessfully to ply him with tea but he grunted in something which may or may not have been English - maybe he had a lot of fridge freezers to see?
If all this is sounding a bit chequered, I am writing it for a few reasons - firstly if you have this appliance and haven't had this problem do contact Samsung. On the plus side they did lengthen our warranty, I would, actually probably have looked into whether the fridge freezer were "fit for purpose" after the initial problem, had I not been flummoxed as to how to actually get the fridge freezer out of my kitchen again - something that is a bit of a worry the day it dies. However, I would have to say that my experience of Samsung customer service has given me a very very poor opinion of the company. During my calls to them I have been variously hung up on, patronised and asked in a sarcastic manner "but are you a fridge engineer madam?" - all when I was being my very nicest and most polite - honest!
Having worked in appliance factories before, I know that new appliances often share lots of the bare bones of the previous models, though this fridge is now not widely available I would imagine that its successors share some of the same "genes", and I personally would avoid. Sure the other American Fridge Freezers you may see in places such as John Lewis may be even more eye-wateringly expensive, but frankly I don't think Samsung fridge freezers are well made if my experience is anything to go by. They may have course ironed out some of the issues I've had with this fridge by now - but I won't be finding out in the future if that is so, that's for sure. I've had two major faults and don't imagine that this fridge freezer will last the years I hoped it would.
I hope that some of the information I have given will be useful to anyone considering any Samsung fridge. If you do buy one, make sure it will get delivered into your kitchen, be aware of running costs and most of all be aware that there have been problems with these appliances in the past, and should your shiny new fridge freezer develop any problems, dealing with this company will be at best annoying. I couldn't in all good consciousness recommend this fridge and would suggest that you don't get lured by the idea without looking into it further. I was seduced, but it hasn't been a great relationship thus far, the issues I have made have really affected how reliable this fridge is, and I don't enjoy owning it. On that basis I don't really feel I can recommend this fridge freezer.
I find myself in the unusual position of reviewing a product that I didn't actually go out and buy, because I didn't want one. I actually won this fridge freezer in an instant win scratchcard competition at Blockbuster Video last year. Yes, I know I'm a lucky sod and you're all jealous... *wide grin*.
Having now had the product installed in my kitchen for a year, I feel that I've gained enough experience to give you a good insight into this awesome silver beast.
Make no mistake, this fridge freezer is BIG in way that only Rik Waller's suit fully understands. Measuring 91cm (36 inches) wide, 66cm (26 inches) deep, and 176cm (69 inches) tall, it could easily house a couple of dismembered bodies. It's advisable to measure your door frames before ordering this fridge, because - wait for it - it's made even bigger by the fact it comes in an oversized box, and is enveloped by huge slabs of moulded polystyrene (a flagrant example of unnecessary packaging if ever I saw one). The packaging alone required a trip to the local tip, and totally filled my car boot and back seat. Besides the size, there's the weight. Even the two big strapping delivery men had a struggle getting this in my kitchen. So if you live up a flight of stairs this appliance is almost certainly a no-no, I'm afraid.
Even though I've got quite a small kitchen, the fridge doesn't look like an out-of-place monstrosity and manages to blend in surprisingly well. This is in no small part due to its sleek matt silver colour. The doors are metal with a brushed finish while the sides are silver coloured plastic. The finish of the materials is very tough and scuff-resistant.
The machine is laid out 'wardrobe' fashion, with a freezer on the left and fridge on the right. The freezer capacity is significantly smaller than the fridge, accounting for about one third of the total capacity. This is greatly reduced, though, by the ice making equipment which takes up a sizeable chunk of the freezer area. For the needs of a single person or a couple, the freezer volume is perfectly adequate, but larger families or cooks who stock lots of frozen food may struggle. Through some kind of miracle of science, this freezer is entirely frost free. It's a claim which I didn't believe until I saw it for myself. Truly fantastic.
The fridge area is huge and has massive storage potential. If you've got limited cupboard space you can stash everything in there: jars, tins, stockpiles of alcohol if you enjoy booze cruises to France! The fridge door in itself will hold at least 12 of those 2-litre soft drink bottles, or alternatively 16 bottles of wine (yes, I've tried!). There are five shelves in the door, two very big crisper compartments in the bottom of the fridge, two main shelves, one sliding shelf and a pull-out drawer compartment which is ideal for things like cheese if you want to stop it going hard. Every shelf and compartment is removable and adjustable; the storage combinations are infinite. The interior is brightly illuminated and has no areas that are particularly hard to clean.
Situated in a console on the freezer door is the filtered water dispenser and ice maker. I must make you aware, at this point, that the machine requires plumbing in to your cold water supply. All the fixtures and fittings are supplied, including a large thin water hose of 5 metres in length which means if you've got a big house you can locate the fridge quite a distance away from your water supply. However, you'll need to fit a water outlet tap somewhere under your sink - similar to the one your washing machine feeds off - and most houses only have one of these which is already in use to supply the washing machine. An honest plumber should charge no more than £50 for fitting another tap, or alternatively you can buy a clever device called a 'self-cutting tap' - mine cost £7.49 from Focus DIY. You simply place it on a cold water pipe and turn a few screws. It comes with instructions, is reasonably easy for any idiot to fit, and doesn't even require you to turn off your water while you fit it. Just make sure you don't fit it to the hot water pipe!
The appliance also comes with a water filter which is a cylinder about the size of three cans of Coke stacked end to end - which needs attaching to the water supply hose. The filter is an external part that isn't accommodated within the appliance itself, but it doesn't really matter where it goes as long as it stands upright. The most logical thing is to clip the filter to the inside of your kitchen sink cupboard with the clips and cable ties provided. Don't connect the appliance to the mains water supply without the filter, as the limescale and impurities in your tap water will eventually clog the delicate mechanisms in the water dispenser.
The filter needs replacing every so often, and an indicator on the electronic console unit warns you when its lifespan is running out. A new filter can be ordered from a major electrical shop like Currys or Comet, but costs a shocking £50. I've been unable to find them any cheaper online. Still, I've made moderate use of the water and ice features for nearly twelve months and the filter warning light still hasn't come on. £50 for a year of delicious, cold, purified water is probably not an unreasonable price to pay.
So, what of these wonderful ice and water dispensers? Well, they're both dispensed by pushing your glass against a lever, McDonalds style. The water is pretty straightforward - you get a thin but powerful jet of clean tasting water that's slightly colder than tap water but not cold enough to hurt your mouth. The area under the dispenser is big enough to place a large glass, but not big enough to fill a jug or large bottle unless you place it at a very awkward angle.
There's a ice making factory inside the freezer, which basically fills a conventional ice tray with water, freezes it, then tips the contents into a bucket until the bucket is full. This means you've always got a large volume of ice (probably more than you'll ever need) on standby. A button lets you choose between cubed ice or crushed ice. The latter is crushed 'on demand' rather messily by a metal blade, with pieces of various sizes being dispensed. When the ice bucket reservoir falls below a certain level, the machine decides to manufacture some more ice. If you're in the house on your own this sudden noise can give you one heck of a shock but you quickly get used to it.
It's all extremely clever and has enduring appeal beyond its initial novelty value. The crushed ice feature is marvellous if you enjoy making cocktails or entertaining in your home. My only minor niggle with the ice function is that you need to push your glass right up to the roof so that the tap is inside it, as the ice tends to ferociously spray out in a variety of directions.
This appliance is stunning to look at, and the ice machine is a guaranteed talking point for any visitors to your house. The modern aesthetics are finished off perfectly by the control unit which has a green LED temperature display, silver temperature control buttons, a Child Lock to prevent the buttons being tampered with, and Power Freeze and Power Cool buttons which give a surge of power to the respective compartments if you want things to get cold in a hurry! If you accidentally leave one of the doors ajar (we've all done it), a progressively loud bleeping noise alerts you to it. In terms of economy, this appliance is A rated and since having it in place of my smaller fridge freezer I've only noticed a small change to my electricity bill which I put down to Powergen's price rises!
Since these American-style fridge freezes became mainstream a couple of years ago, their price has plummeted dramatically. When I won this model it was retailing at £999 in Currys, but I've since seen it on special offer for £699. At this price I'd say it's good value and I'd highly recommend it.
Make mine a frozen margarita.
Have you ever seen those huge fridges on American television shows and thought to yourself I want one. I know I have, especially as I have a largish family and struggled to fit enough food in a standard fridge/freezer to last more than a couple of days. Well about six months ago, our old freezer broke and needed replacing, so I hunted everywhere on-line to find a reasonable price for an American style fridge/freezer, and I came up with this mighty beast the Samsung RS21DCSV at Argos for the sale price of £850 including delivery and installation.
~~~Hang on don't Samsung Make TVs~~~
Well yes they do, and I have a couple of televisions in this house made by Samsung, and I must admit I'd never thought that they also produce household appliances. Personally, I've found all the products from Samsung to be of high quality and very reliable, and that includes this fridge.
~~~How is it delivered/installed?~~~
The fridge/freezer was delivered by two very nice gentlemen who were employed by Samsung. Now this is a very large fridge, it wouldn't actually fit through the front door complete, something you may need to think about. But the helpful deliverymen, removed the doors and just about managed to squeeze it through. Once they'd positioned it in the kitchen they re-attached the doors and connected all the electrics. Now they were willing to also plumb it in for us, but as we didn't have a connector attached to a pipe yet, they explained how we should do it and prepared everything ready for us.
If you want them to plumb it in for you, make sure you have a washing machine tap available within about one metre of where you want the fridge to go. We simply used a self cutting tap and it was very easy to connect everything together.
~~~What does it look like?~~~
Fantastic, it really does become the focal point of the kitchen. It has a very stylish silver finish and looks very modern and expensive. The majority of visitors to the house comment on it, and ask where we got it and how much it cost. It's truly a fridge to be proud of.
~~~So how big is it?~~~
As I said this is a big fridge/freezer so you will need to check that you have room for it. The actual dimensions are : 908mm x 1760mm x 714mm including the doors.
The fridge section is massive, there is more than enough room for all the drinks, milk, salad and meats. The official specifications put the size at 346 litres, compare this to a top range standard fridge that offers approximately 241 litres of space.
In reality the actual fridge section is about the same size as a standard combined fridge/freezer.
I found the room in the freezer a little disappointing, I was actually hoping that there would be enough room in there to store a weeks food for a family of six. Unfortunately there isn't quite, but there is still a lot of room and I like the way even the doors are used to store food.
Officially there is 186 litres of space, which compares favourably with the standard of upto to approx. 104 litres.
~~~I'd want more than that for my money?~~~
Too right, so would I. And you get much more than just a large fridge/freezer as you're about to find out.
The fridge comes complete with an automatic ice maker and dispenser. As soon as its plumbed in, you can set the freezer to start making ice cubes. It will make and store about 20 ice cubes an hour. And then you can simply dispense them straight into your cup, either cubed or crushed.
This feature is a favourite with children of all ages, and I'm amazed at how much water visitors are getting through simply because they want more ice.
Ah another way to get your children to get your child to drink water, let them dispense their own drinks. Unfortunately, the water does not actually come out particularly cold, but it is filtered and tastes nicer than you would get from the tap.
^^Digital Display/control panel^^
You can set the temperatures for the fridge and freezer though the digital display, on the front of the freezer. Once you've set the temperatures, you can then lock them, so that no helpful child can decide to defrost the freezer. Also on this panel you have a control that lets you set power freeze (which cools the fridge/and freezer down very fast), and what type of ice you want dispensed, along with a L.E.D. that displays the state of the filter.
We've had the fridge for over six months now, and there is literally no frost in either the fridge or the freezer sections. And that is without being defrosted even once!!! It makes me wonder how I lived with the regular defrosting my last freezer required.
If you're like me, you are probably wondering what Nano Technology is, well simply it is similar to Sainsbury's Actiban. It's a chemical impregnated into the interior surfaces of the fridge that helps to kill bacteria, sterilise and deodorise. A little bit of piece of mind if you ask me.
~~~How easy is it to clean?~~~
Cleaning is very simple. As there is no frost, you don't need to defrost first. The shelves are easy to remove and clean, and a wipe down is all the interior needs.
The outside benefits from a little baby oil on a soft cloth, to help keep that stylish finish.
~~~Is it efficient~~~
As its in the highest efficiency banding of A, I would say yes it's very energy efficient. The official statistics state that it uses 520kWh per year, whatever that means.
~~~Is there anything you don't like?~~~
I do have a couple of niggles, firstly when the ice cube tray empties it makes rather a loud noise, followed by the sound of water running as it fills back up. Even after six months it still makes me jump when the house is quiet.
The second problem, is that we live in a hard water area, and the water filter indicator is already protesting that it needs changing, but I haven't found anywhere that sells the cartridges. However, the water is stilling coming out crystal clear, so go figure.
~~~I want more info~~~
More information including detailed specification and where to buy can be found at
www.Samsung.co.uk just search for RS21D.
~~~Where can I get one?~~~
Argos are selling these for £999 including delivery and installation, if you prefer white Comet are selling them for £599 + £69.95 delivery and installation
~~~So are you recommending it?~~~
I would recommend this fridge/freezer, for large families who need extra storage space for their food and have a space big enough for it to fit.
It is an expensive purchase, but for my family well worth it. Not only does it look extremely good, but the added space and features are something that we now could not do without.