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Hotpoint HTR16ABSRWW 15.6 Cu. Ft. Top Freezer White Review$499.00
Ease of Access
The lack of shelves means food is relatively easy to get at. Without other storage devices in the way, reaching into the back of the fridge isn't a problem. The only time this design becomes a hassle is when you overwhelm the appliance by shopping in bulk or for the long term. The more items you have, the sooner you have to start stacking things. If you have so much that things start to pile up, then getting to items in the back or on the bottom can become problematic. This is especially true in the freezer, since its complete lack of shelves means you'll wind up with a leaning tower of groceries sooner than you will in the fridge.
The Hotpoint is controlled with a simple little dial inside the fridge interior. This controls both sections, meaning the fridge is at the mercy of the freezer (or the other way around). There isn't any actual degree correlation or manufacturer's recommended setting, so if you want to know what temperature your actually storing your food at, you'll need to purchase an external thermometer.
The controls are easy to manipulate, since they consist of just a single rotating dial. What makes this simple design a pain in the neck, though, is that in no way does it indicate what exactly you're storing your food at. There's no degree correlation, and there's no mark indicating a manufacturer's recommended setting. If you want to know what temperature you're storing your food at, you'll need to invest in an external thermometer and then just start fiddling with things.
If anything spills in this fridge, you're in for a big mess both literally and metaphorically. You may not want to store liquids high up in the fridge, since the top two shelves are made of wire and won't prevent any spill, drop, or dribble from falling onto the items below. The bottom shelf is a bit better, with a raised edge keeping things from leaking behind the drawer. The door shelves are also quite poor at keeping things contained, since the bottom isn't attached to the front. A gap about an inch and a half wide will only keep larger items from falling out, and won't help in the least if your favorite condiment wasn't shut properly when you put it back. At least the freezer's boxy design means if something spills, you'll know exactly what happened and where without having to do much hunting.
This fridge isn't terribly noisy, but the ambient whir was a bit more prominent than the typical budget fridge. When the Hotpoint is working, you're likely to know, especially if you have a very quiet residence.