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The Rabbit Hole of Smart Refrigerators


The Rabbit Hole of Smart Refrigerators

If you love cooking and technology, connected appliances and kitchen devices are the ideal gadgets for your smart home. Perhaps the appliance with the most buzz in the smart home space is the smart refrigerator. They have been on the market for years and have developed a faithful following.

Companies like LG and Samsung continually improve their connected refrigerators, offering updated features. Some let you check their status through your phone so you can make sure things are working properly and that you have enough ice. Others have their own touch screen and can function as a communication center for your home, and even have cameras inside so you see what you’re low on while you’re out shopping.

Smart refrigerators carry a significant premium, and you can expect to spend several thousand dollars on each. But they tend to be equivalent to the highest-end non-smart appliances from manufacturers, in terms of design, build quality, and features. You can expect stainless steel finishes and other very nice touches you won’t find on cheaper options.

The question is – which smart refrigerator is best for you?

Bells and Whistles with a mid-range price tag.

For bells and whistles at a mid-range price, the LG French Door Smart Refrigerator with InstaView Door-in-Door is a safe bet. Tap the door twice to take a look at what’s inside without opening it, or use the Door-In-Door feature to grab frequently used items — cold drinks — while keeping cold air in. This refrigerator also features a companion app to remotely survey your refrigerator’s contents. At the grocery store and can’t remember if you have eggs? No problem. Hit the app and the answer becomes evident.

Reliable but fits a tight budget.

There’s no question that smart refrigerators cost more than their “non-smart” counterparts. But the LG 30 in. W 21.8 cu. ft. French Door Refrigerator in Stainless Steel model won’t completely devour your appliance budget.

This fridge is a tamed down smart device but comes with many of the technology features found in higher end units. French doors and adjustable shelves mean you can configure it as needed and easily see all the fridge contents. This streamlined, energy-efficient model has a temperature sensor that adjusts interior temps as needed. While it is not as “smart” as some of the pricier models, it does pass the class.

A smart refrigerator for a smart family.

Samsung pretty much wrote the book on smart fridges, and their Family Hub Four-Door, French Door model remains the gold standard for busy households. This refrigerator makes it easier to connect to what’s most important to you, your family and home, whenever and wherever. Family hub lets you manage your family’s calendars, play music on Spotify, share pictures, and stay connected right on your refrigerator. Now with the family board, a digital bulletin board, you can customize pictures, add stickers, and leave handwritten notes for your family. And those are the perks before adding in the utility of the actual fridge. The FlexZone feature lets you switch different quadrants of the fridge from cooling to freezing functions. It also features spill proof shelves and app capabilities.

Not too complicated.

For a smart refrigerator that doesn’t require advanced smartphone skills, the Bosch 800 Series French Door model is best. It features an internal icemaker – no drips and puddles on the floor – and an alarm that sounds off when the door is left open. It’s also counter-depth, so takes up less floor space in your kitchen. Simple and easy to use, yet efficient.

My kitchen is too small for a smart refrigerator.

Bigger isn’t always better, and a small kitchen shouldn’t keep you from enjoying the convenience of a smart fridge. This skinny model from the Bosch 800 series is the perfect size for a city apartment or suburban condo. It offers HomeConnect wired technology, a door alarm and quick-cooling features for the freezer and fridge. Note that this model is customizable, meaning panels and door handles are sold separately.

And now you know. Is it time to make your kitchen just a little smarter?