Table of Contents
- What is a Smart Fridge?
- Smart Fridge Buying Guide
- Review of the 5 Top-Rated Smart Fridges
As technology continues to advance, the top fridge brands in the market are continuously improving their products to match the needs of the modern consumer. This is where smart fridges come. In this guide, we’ll cover a brief description of what smart fridges are, highlight their merits and demerits, and review the top five products in the market which we feel could suit your needs.
So, let’s get started!
What is a Smart Fridge?
Smart fridges differ from ordinary models because they come fitted with modern digital technologies that give users added flexibility when interacting with the appliances.
For instance, the best smart fridges in the market come with WiFi connectivity which allows you to pair them with other smart devices in homes such as smartphones, dishwashers, and TV. They feature internal cameras and touchscreen interfaces that give users more ways of interacting with appliances including voice commands.
Smart Fridge Capabilities
The capabilities of smart fridges vary depending on the brand and model. For example:
- You can use the touchscreen of a smart fridge to coordinate the schedules of every family member around the kitchen. Each family member can also create personal profiles and get updates on their to-do lists;
- You can run various applications such as browsers which allow you to search for recipes online and have the fridge read the steps for you as you cook. If you are running low on groceries, you can create a list of what you need to replenish and the list will get updated on your smartphone. This way, you will not forget to buy important items as all you will need to do is confirm with the list on your smartphone while shopping. Even more, if you are not sure of the quantity of the items you need to buy, you can connect to the fridge’s internal cameras from the store;
- Moving further, you can avoid food wastage by setting expiry dates for every item in the fridge. This way, you will get alerts to consume the item before it goes bad. Some models come with customizable screens that allow you to upload photos which you can use as background images for the touch screen. These screens may be transparent, a feature that allows you to see the contents of the fridge without opening them. Moreover, these touch screens may come with a whiteboard mode which allows you to communicate with other family members by leaving them messages on the screen;
- It is possible to enjoy a show from the kitchen by casting a program showing on another TV in the house on the smart fridge screen. This connectivity enables you to catch your favorite show even while cooking. Other functionalities that come with the smart fridges include the convenience of customizing compartment temperatures, controlling the icemaker remotely on your smartphone, and monitoring when the water filter needs to be changed;
The above capabilities make smart fridges easy to use. The ability to connect these appliances to the internet, allows you to access data about your stored food any time anywhere through your smartphone or iPhone.
Challenges Associated with Smart Fridges
Smart fridges are some of the latest models in the market. For this reason, some people think that they are super expensive. On the contrary, the prices of smart fridges do not vary too much from those of ordinary models with comparable sizes. Moreover, there is an increase of brands producing smart fridges and this has lowered the prices of these appliances.
Essentially, the only difference between an ordinary fridge and a smart one is the interface such as touchscreen, voice command, and motion sensors. Otherwise, the compressor and condenser components are pretty the same. Therefore, the maintenance costs may not vary too much if you are not repairing the smart features.
It is also important to mention that the lifespan of these appliances is about 15 years. Therefore, you may need to replace your smart appliance after this period.
A smart fridge comes with a computer and a touch screen interface, which allows you to connect to the internet via your Wi-Fi. Therefore, if the security of your wireless network is compromised, someone can access the device remotely and use it to gather information about you.
While this challenge remains a big challenge associated with smart homes, it is incumbent on homeowners to use strong passwords on their networks and devices to ward off cyber attacks.
Also, create a guest account on your Wi-Fi profile with limited permissions which your guests can use. This way, you will not compromise the security of interconnected devices.
Upgrades and Software Updates
It is anticipated that new models of smart fridges may come with advanced features. Some consumers have concerns that these improvements will render their appliances obsolete. Well, while these concerns are genuine, it is important to note there may be the little impact if any on the performance of your appliance with the release of new models.
For starters, note your appliance will continue to operate normally and keep your food frozen or chilled as long as the main components such as compressor and condenser are working as expected. The only challenge you may have is with the software and connectivity issues to the internet. In this case, you will need to upgrade the appliance software from the manufacturer’s website. If the specs of the computer cannot support the new software, you can consider replacing it.
However, if new models have more automated functions that come with new hardware, upgrading the old model might be too expensive.
Smart Fridge Buying Guide
To help pick the best smart fridge that suits you, we have highlighted the salient features that you need to consider when buying a smart fridge. Read on to find out!
How to Choose a Smart Fridge that Suits You
Here are important features you need to look out for when buying a smart fridge:
Level of Automation
When looking for a smart device to use in your home, one of the things you are interested in is the convenience that comes with automation. For instance, a model that senses your proximity and opens its doors when you are near or automatically dispenses water when you put a cup or bottle at the dispensing unit gives added convenience. Other automation features include responding to voice commands, intelligent inverter technology, and smart cooling technology for the prolonged freshness of your produce.
Different brands use varied technologies to connect their smart fridges with other home appliances. These include WiFi and Bluetooth technologies. WiFi-enabled smart fridges allow you to add the appliance to your home wireless network. This way, you can access the device anywhere anytime from your smartphone or iPhone. Bluetooth connections have a limited range and can only work when you are near the appliance. However, they are effective when sharing data such as audio files and pictures.
The technology used when building a smart fridge determines the number of applications it can be used for. For instance, models that support artificial intelligence technologies such as Alexa, Google Assistant, and Sonos give you a lot of flexibility in the amount of data you can share with different smart devices in your home. Moreover, incorporating a touchscreen interface with the ability to install apps to the fridge gives you limitless opportunities to use your appliance.
The size of a smart fridge will determine the area they will occupy in your house. Therefore, consider how big the space where you wish to install the fridge is before paying for your fridge of choice. This way, you will avoid buying a unit that cannot fit in your kitchen especially if you are interested in a big model.
The capacity of a refrigerator determines its storage volume and therefore the number of food items you can store in the appliance. It is advisable to determine the volume of the food items you want to preserve before choosing a smart fridge. This way, you will avoid scenarios where the appliance is too big or too small for your use.
The prices of smart fridges differ from one brand to another depending on the model and the features. For instance, some of the best smart fridge models in the market cost between $3500 and $5000. You can also get smaller models with limited features at lower prices. It is advisable to shop for an appliance that suits your needs and budget.
Smart Fridge Safety Tips
Smart fridges come with more advanced features than ordinary models. For instance, you can browse the internet or cast your favorite show from your smart TV and watch it on your kitchen fridge. You can also control other interconnected devices in your home using your fridge.
To protect yourself from hackers, ensure that you use strong passwords on your smart fridge and WiFi network. Never share these passwords with guests. If you must connect your guests to your home network, create a guest account. Also, make it a habit to change your passwords regularly.
Ensure you update your smart fridge software regularly as your manufacturer makes them available to wade off security threats.
How to Use a Smart Fridge
- The first thing you need to do when you receive a smart fridge is to read through the manufacturer’s manual to understand how the unit operates. This way, you will avoid operating the unit via guesswork which could spell doom to your new appliance.
- Once you have acquainted yourself with the appliance, follow the instructions on the user manual to set up the unit. If you are not sure what to do, consult the company support team for help. This way you will avoid mistakes that could invalidate your warranty. Alternatively, get a qualified technician who is approved by the company to install the fridge for you.
- Take time to understand the unique features of your appliance and be bold enough to try them out. This way, you will enjoy your smart fridge to the fullest.
Review of the 5 Top-Rated Smart Fridges
With so many smart fridge brands coming up in the market, it can be difficult to know which model best suits your needs. You will need to compare the salient features of various smart fridges from different brands to know how they perform.
Luckily, we have made this process easier for you. We have scoured the internet and identified five top smart fridges which we feel will suit your needs. We hope that as you read this review, you will find a smart fridge that works for you.
Samsung is one of the leading brands in the manufacturing of electronics ranging from home appliances to smartphones. The company has embraced innovative technologies to lead the way in manufacturing smart devices for home use. For instance, the Samsung RF23M8570SG/AA Counter-depth Smart Fridge is designed to bring entertainment for the whole family to the kitchen. For starters, it comes with a 21.5 inches QLED touchscreen interface for crystal clear display. You can connect the fridge with other Samsung devices such as smartphone TV and stream music and videos right on the fridge.
This unit comes with the Family Hub features which give you access and control of other smart devices in your home thanks to technologies such as Arlo and Alexa. For instance, Arlo allows you to monitor various rooms in your home and see who is at the door without leaving the kitchen. Alexa on the other hand allows you to use voice commands to do various activities remotely, such as adjusting thermostat temperature, turning lights on/off, opening doors, and powering gadgets.
The beauty of it is that you can do these activities away from your smartphones.
You can view what is in the fridge and plan your meals. You can also send cooking instructions to your smart Samsung oven from the Family Hub solution. If you are running low on certain foods, you can make a shopping list and send it to your smartphone.
Its counter-depth design gives the appliance a sleek modern look that makes your kitchen stunning. Moreover, its black stainless steel finish is fingerprint-resistant. This way, you don’t have to worry about wiping the fridge so often to clean fingerprint smudges.
The Samsung RF23M8570SG/AA refrigerator comes with a FlexZone Drawer that features a smart divider with different storage zones. You can adjust the temperature of each zone to suit the ideal conditions for preserving various foods. It also has a Twin Cooling Plus design that ensures both the upper and lower sections of the unit maintain high levels of humidity to keep fruits and vegetables fresh and the freezer burn-free. This way you will keep your food fresh and tastier.
Other features that come with the RF23M8570SG/AA include Autofill Pitcher that fills automatically and gives you the option to infuse your drinking water. The adjustable shelves give you the flexibility to organize your storage space to fit your items. Moreover, the space-saving Ice Max design allows you enough storage for your drinks while giving you enough ice. Lastly, the unit comes with external water and an ice dispenser for added flexibility. These features combine to give you an awesome product that takes your food refrigeration experience to another level.
LG is a South Korean electronics brand multinational that specializes in manufacturing a wide range of home appliances such as dishwashers, fridges, microwaves, and TV sets. It is also one of the brands that have embraced smart technology and are now manufacturing revolutionary products such as the LG LRFVS3006D Stainless Smart French Door Refrigerator.
This smart fridge comes in a sleek InstaView door-in-door design that gives your kitchen a classy look. You can activate the internal lights of the fridge with two quick knocks allowing you to see its contents without opening the door. This feature goes a long way in reducing the unit’s power consumption. You can also store your favorite foods nearest so that you can reach them first.
Its 30 cu ft capacity gives you enough room to store your foods. This refrigerator comes with a sliding bin that helps you store your drinks and snacks organized for quick access. You don’t have to worry when you want to serve your guest drinks on the rocks since this LG smart fridge gives you multiple ways to make ice cubes. For starters, the Craft Ice maker dispenses three slow-melting ice spheres per day. You can also get regular ice cubes or crushed ice from the dispenser. This flexibility allows multiple ways to cool your drinks.
The LRFVS3006D smart fridge comes with a universal water/ice dispenser that fits all bottle sizes ranging between 4 and 32-ounce capacity. It uses a combination of cooling technologies namely Door Cooling+, Linear Cooling, and Smart Cooling to keep your produce fresh up to two times longer than ordinary fridges. Moreover, the CoolGuard technology used on its interior, which incorporates a metallic finish, helps keep the unit cold while giving it an executive look. This smart fridge comes with the ThinQ app which keeps track of how you use the unit and intuitively adjusts to your temperature, energy, and ice needs. It comes with a linear inverter compressor that saves you on the running costs of this fridge. You can connect this unit to your smart home devices. It’s compatible with Alexa and Google Assistant. The company offers a one-year warranty on parts and workmanship, 7 years on sealed parts, and up to 10 years on its compressor.
The Cafe is one of General Electric’s home appliances brands which is reputed for high quality and stylish products. For instance, theCafe 22.2 cu. ft. Smart French Door Refrigerator comes in a beautiful counter-depth design with multiple shades and handles styles to pick from. These features allow you to customize your fridge to match your kitchen design.
This refrigerator is WiFi-enabled and is compatible with Amazon’s Alexa, Sonos, IFTTT, and Google Assistant smart technologies. The capabilities allow you to use voice commands or your smartphone to control your fridge. For instance, you can tell it to preheat water and alert you when it’s ready when you wish to brew your hot drink. The full-color touch screen interface allows you to interact with the unit with ease.
The smart dispenser allows you to dispense the exact amount of water without the risk of overfilling your bottle or ruining your recipe. You can also dispense cubed or crushed ice from this unit for chilling drinks or other applications in the kitchen.
Its TwinChill cooling technology allows food to remain fresh for longer by creating separate temperatures for both freezer fresh food sections. This unit comes with internal LED lighting for enhanced vision at all times. The company offers up to a 2-year warranty on workmanship and a 5years warranty on sealed parts/compressor.
Primst is a Chinese-based brand that specializes in designing innovative and highly functional home appliances such as the Primst Smart Refrigerator Coffee Table. This product is designed to give you more flexibility in your living room and additional refrigeration space.
The refrigeration chamber features a dual drawer design with a total of 4.6 cu ft storage space. In simple terms, this space can hold up to 164 cans of drinks or 180 apples, which makes the unit an ideal pick for family party applications. It comes with dual speakers that are Bluetooth enabled for hassle-free connection with your smartphone, iPad, or TV for up to 10 meters. Its smart controls on one side of the tapered glass top make it easy to control.
You don’t have to worry if you have a toddler in the house because this unit comes with a child lock function. Moreover, it has round edges which protect your little ones from bumping against the sharp corners and hurting themselves. This feature makes this coffee table fridge a good investment for young couples.
This Primst smart fridge comes with a super quiet compressor with a noise level as low as 36 dB(A). This way, you can use it in the living room without being a nuisance to your guests. Moreover, this compressor is energy efficient with an annual power consumption of about 149.65 kWh. This fridge frees you from charging your phone, iPad, laptop, and other portable devices. The company offers a lifetime warranty on this product.
The history of BSH Home Appliances Corporation dates back more than 50 years ago. Over the years, the brand has grown to be a leading manufacturer of home appliances in Europe. It also has 39 factories strategically located in various parts of the world to serve the global consumers. BSH stands out from other brands in the market for its high-quality products that are designed to give consumers convenience and value for their money.
For instance, the Bosch B36CT81SNS 36″ French Door Refrigerator comes in a stylish design that is sure to give your kitchen a classy look. It is also Energy Star rated and highly energy efficient. This model consumes only 568kWh of electricity per year compared to other fridges in its class which consume more than 600 kWh of power annually.
The unit comes with an LED lighting system that lights up the interior when the doors open. This way you can find your foods with ease at any time of the day. When it comes to keeping your produce fresh, this fridge score high in its class due to its FarmFresh System. This feature combines four freshness technologies that keep your produce fresh 3x longer than your ordinary fridge. For example, the VitaFreshPro feature balances both temperature and humidity levels depending on the type of food in the storage chamber for the results.
In addition, the MultiAirFlow feature circulates cool fresh air for a uniform temperature inside the unit. This fridge also comes with the Home Connect app that allows you to monitor the unit vitals anywhere anytime from your smartphone.
The Bosch B36CT81SNS has a Super Cool feature that works to equalize the effects of warm air when you open the unit’s door. This function drops the temperatures rapidly to 360F to prevent warm air from spoiling your food. It also helps cool items placed in the fridge faster.
Other features that come with this smart fridge include a sleek fingerprint-resistant finish and an intelligent inverter technology that ensures maximum efficiency. The unit comes with a 1-year warranty.
The prices of smart fridges differ from one brand to another depending on their features. Some of the best models in the market cost between $3500 and $5000.
Smart fridges come with some of the best refrigeration technologies in the market. If you’re looking for convenience and class, then you won’t go wrong with a smart fridge.
The best smart refrigerator is one that suits your needs and budget.
In addition to preserving your foods, a smart fridge gives you the flexibility of connecting and controlling other smart devices in your home. You can also use it to entertain yourself and communicate with other family members. However, the things you can do with your fridge depend on the features it supports.
Some of the concerns people have with smart fridges revolve around affordability, user learning curve, and cyber security.