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A smart refrigerator isn’t an essential appliance, but it can substantially modernize your kitchen by introducing cool features like being able to look at what’s inside the fridge without opening its door. Most of these smart features boil down to connecting your refrigerator to your home’s WiFi network and monitoring statistics—like how cool it is inside, for example—from your phone. Some have very advanced features, like touchscreens powered by its own mobile operating system so that you can stream music or videos from its front door. The best smart refrigerators won’t introduce too much technical complexity to your life while offering features that enhance it.
Our smart refrigerators recommendations are based on research, with specific emphasis being placed on their size, breadth of smart features, and the presence of a built-in water dispenser. The result is a collection of smart fridges that’ll fit in any-sized kitchen, and run the gamut from WiFi-enabled to full-on futuristic. Be mindful of the fact that the smarter the fridge, the more complex it’ll be to use for less tech-savvy members of your home. The most advanced models will allow you to stream videos and send messages from your fridge door, which certainly wasn’t possible a few years ago.
A smart fridge will become the network-connected hub of your kitchen, and if you’re ready to take the leap and add one to your smart home, there’s no turning back.
A mix of practical and smart features has earned LG’s LMXS28596S the top slot in this story. From a design perspective this smart fridge is unique because of its see-through window—not to be confused with a screen—which allows you to see what’s inside the shelves behind it. You have the option to open the right door partially, so you can grab drinks on the outside shelves without opening the door completely. This is handy as you won’t let as much cold air escape from your fridge when you need a quick drink.
A pair of freezers beneath the fridge doors allow you to separate your frozen foods by type—dairy and pre-prepared meals, for example—while a water dispenser and ice maker built into the left door will satisfy some needs without opening a single door. By connecting the LMXS28596S to your home WiFi network, you’ll be able to get alerts when the fridge’s water filter needs to be changed or a door is left open. You’ll also be able to see and change the fridge’s current temperature from wherever you are.
While these smart features are on the modest side, they’re all practical, and don’t impact the physical appearance of the fridge. It’s this subtlety, combined with the LMXS28596S’ physical features that make this smart fridge stand out.
Samsung’s RF29A9771SR is the quinnisental smart appliance, offering features that would have been impossible only a handful of years ago. As a fridge, the RF29A9771SR is a dream for the organizationally minded. It has four doors, so you can separate your perishable and frozen foods into several segments to make them easier to find. The freezer on the lower right-hand side of the refrigerator can be adjust to temperatures above freezing and act like extra fridge space instead. A water dispenser is built into an inside compartment of the left fridge door, so it doesn’t marr the fridge’s aesthetics. This is a nice design touch for a totally stainless steel appliance.
This fridge’s big smart feature is the tall touchscreen, which Samsung calls the Family Hub, built into its right door. This display allows those with a Samsung account to control smart-home accessories, watch live video feeds from a Ring doorbell, stream audio and video from services like Spotify and YouTube, and browse social media feeds on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and more. The Family Hub is essentially a giant tablet built into the front of your fridge, which is convenient as it’s a large area in a central part of your home.
There’s even an app that allows you to search for recipes based on the contents of your fridge, which can help make dinner decisions a little easier. These futuristic features certainly set the RF29A9771SR apart, but they may make it a little more difficult to operate if most of the folks in your home aren’t as tech savvy. It also inflates the price of an already expensive appliance. Still, this is it if you want the smartest of the smart fridges.
Samsung’s RF30BB69006M is essentially a pared-down version of the ultra-luxe RF29A9771SR we mentioned earlier. It retains the “Family Hub,” which means it has the same smart features, but the display is smaller, which means you won’t be able to see as much information on it at once. This is a three-door fridge with a single larger freezer below. The freezer has several compartments, including two for storing different-sized ice cubes: full-sized and pebble. Samsung even includes a scoop. A water dispenser is built into the inside of the left refrigerator door alongside several shelves for storing shorter bottles and cans. While the RF30BB69006M is technically impressive, it comes with the same core issue as its larger sibling: smart features, especially a touchscreen, add a lot of complexity and cost to this appliance.
This smart fridge may be a lot smaller than our other recommendations, but it’s also the most innovative mini fridge we’ve ever seen. Rocco’s Super Smart Fridge is equipped with five pull-out shelves, each of which can be adjusted to accommodate differently-sized bottles and cans. Each shelf can be separated into its own “temperature zone” by pushing buttons on a control panel inside the fridge. This means your white wine and seltzers can be chilled to their ideal temperature individually.
The capacity of Rocco’s mini fridge isn’t measured in cubic feet. Instead, the company has outlined how many bottles and cans it can hold. In one example, the fridge held five bottles of wine and 22 sodas (a mixture of bottles and cans), but your experience will vary based on which beverages you’d like to keep chilled. You can keep an inventory of what you’ve got inside the mini fridge broken down by rack.
Having a smart mini frdige has its advantages, but it’s limited to being used with bottles and cans, not produce and frozen goods.
Samsung’s RS22T5561SR is another smart fridge built around the company’s “Family Hub,” but it’s a lot more pared down when compared to its much more luxe siblings. The biggest difference is that this is a smaller, two-door fridge with a standard-looking beverage dispenser built into the left door. It’s definitely the most traditional-looking smart fridge we’re recommending. That’s great as it’ll be more familiar to use for less tech-savvy members of your house who don’t want to learn how much to pull on the door just to reach the beverage dispenser. This streamlined design also comes at a significant cost savings when compared to Samsung’s cutting-edge models. This is true despite the RS22T5561SR having the same smart features. If you’re curious about making your kitchen smarter, but have a somewhat constricted budget, this is the one to get.
There are many decisions to make when deciding which smart refrigerator is right for you. Below are the factors we deemed most important when doing research for this guide.
A smart refrigerators fancy features aren’t going to matter much if it’s too big for the space in your kitchen. We’ve done our best to include options that’ll fit in apartment and home kitchens, and included a mini fridge that would be at home in a living room or den. We’ve also listed each smart refrigerator’s capacity (the amount of usable space inside) for your convenience.
One of the hallmarks of a smart refrigerator is a screen, which can display details like its internal temperature, the time, and any number of informational widgets. However, this isn’t a necessary feature, as some smart fridges will simply deliver that information to you via an iOS or Android app. Screens add to a smart refrigerator’s price, so think long and hard about whether it’s essential for you.
A decision you’ll have to make with any type of refrigerator is whether you’d like one with a water dispenser built inside. This will necessitate having a water line that can be fed into the smart fridge, which may not be feasible if you’re not willing to renovate your kitchen or at least the plumbing.
A smart refrigerator will be more complicated for folks less familiar with touchscreen technology or internet-connected gadgets.
A smart fridge should last a decade or more if properly maintained. The amount of time their built-in software is supported is entirely up to the manufacturer.
Yes and no. Their connectivity is wireless, but their power still requires a cord. A smart fridge needs to be connected to an outlet for power but will connect to the Internet via WiFi.
A smart fridge can be connected to the Internet to feed your smartphone a steady stream of information, or display information on a digital screen built into the door.
This depends on their size, whether they have a screen, and the extent of their smart features. Our recommendations cost between $1,300 and $2,885.
A smart refrigerator is the latest in a line of connected kitchen appliances, such as smart ovens, that harken back to the ideals of mid-20th century electronics design, wherein futuristic convenience features were constantly touted. The idea that you could see a delivery driver delivering a package in real-time on the door of your fridge proves how far we’ve come from a simple box that keeps produce and dairy cold. While these smart refrigerators are more expensive than their basic brethren, they prove there’ve been great leaps forward in appliance technology lately.
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