Bosch B26FT70SNS Review
Even high-end fridges can be broken down into a spectrum of quality. The Bosch B26FT70SNS is a stainless steel French door fridge that falls somewhere in the middle.
Even high-end fridges can be broken down into a spectrum of quality. The Bosch B26FT70SNS is a stainless steel French door fridge that happens to fall somewhere in the middle, with decent performance and very good storage capacity, but a decidedly less-than-flawless user experience. It’s an average high-end fridge whose flaws balance well with its strong points, though the high price tag—we’re talking about an MSRP of $2,835—may scare away consumers looking to get the most bang for their buck. There are sale prices available, but the best we found online only dropped it to about $2,500. It’s certainly a high-quality fridge, but compared to the very best, it comes up just a little short.
Design & Usability
This Bosch fridge looks elegant and stylish. It also has the manufacturer’s name printed all over it in case you forget.
The fact that this particular model isn’t of gargantuan proportions is what saves it from looking too boxy. The smooth, stainless finish looks very sleek despite the prominent grain, which is only visible when hit by the light at certain angles. In regards to smudging, it doesn't help that this grain is only sometimes visible.
The Bosch’s interior is very typical of a French door layout. There are very few surprises in either compartment, though the LED lighting is a nice touch. While the layout should be very familiar to consumers, it's worth mentioning that the wide drawer in the fridge doesn't get its own thermostat; it's basically a big deli bin.
The only unusual thing worth mentioning about the freezer is the built-in handle found on the divider in the main storage bucket. You can actually lift this compartment up and out of the freezer, something that could come in handy for cleaning. Again, you may notice that Bosch put the company name on at least one surface in every cavity, door, nook, and cranny of this fridge… just in case you want to be reminded who built the product you bought.
Funky controls put a damper on an otherwise easy-to-use fridge.
While the back of a fridge houses the kitchen's version of laundry gremlins, anything stored at the back of this one shouldn't get lost, since the adjustable shelves can easily slide forward. In fact, other than the necessary stooping required to get at frozen goods in any model with a bottom freezer, you shouldn’t have any trouble getting to your groceries no matter where you place them.
The control panel on the left fridge door seems simple enough: A few buttons set around the panel operate the water and ice dispenser, manage the thermostats, and carry out the other extra functions the fridge offers. Unfortunately, these buttons function more like a touch panel, and are a bit of a pain in the neck due to their slight lack of responsiveness. They’re also not laid out in a terribly efficient manner; rather than make the temperature go up or down, you have to cycle through a finite selection of temperature settings (two degrees at a time) until you hit your mark. It’s an inefficient setup that’s unnecessarily frustrating, especially since the controls don’t have a huge array of functions.
The water and ice dispenser, located under the control panel, doesn’t use a paddle: It relies on the aforementioned control setup to produce water or ice. There are three buttons—one for water, one for crushed ice, and another for cubed ice—that must be held down to release your moisture of choice. It’s unusual, but not necessarily in a bad way. Other than our minor distaste for the choice of control design in general, the layout may actually help prevent accidental spills. There’s no paddle to accidentally hit, and the dispenser only works if you hold down the buttons—nothing comes out if you merely tap them.
The performance is mediocre in many respects, but it’s definitely on the positive side of average.
Average temperatures in the fridge remained within the acceptable margin of error common for most products. We had the thermostat set to 37 degrees Fahrenheit, but for really spot-on performance, you may want to actually turn it down a notch. Regardless of the actual temperature output, this fridge was really steady over time. As long as you’re not shifting items from one shelf to the next and exposing them to different average temperatures, your food will be well-preserved.
The freezer proved to be a combination of excellent and very poor results. The lower storage bin was even colder than our desired zero degrees, but it had some trouble maintaining that deep chill. It’s not perfect, but it’s good enough to effectively freeze your food while minimizing freezer burn. The upper drawer, however, was noticeably warmer than our preferred setting. Ironically, it only fluctuated a quarter of a degree over time. It’s not as perfectly cold as we would like, but the chance that your food will contract freezer burn and spoil is about as low as it can get. You'll want to keep more sensitive items on top, with the hardier things like frozen pizzas on the bottom.
Vegetable drawer performance was mediocre at best. Produce stored here should be fine, as long as you don’t let it sit for too long; keep your carrots in the Bosch for a week and you may end up with long orange toothpicks.
While it's not a bad fridge, it commands a price that's too high.
For $2,835, consumers can purchase a really nice fridge… or the Bosch B26FT70SNS. Don’t get us wrong, this is certainly a high-quality fridge, but it doesn’t quite match up to the very best that’s available, especially when you consider the high MSRP.
Yes, this model performed sufficiently and has plenty of storage space, but the slightly wonky control scheme and less-than-ideal vegetable drawers don't quite add up to a good deal. If you’re looking to upgrade to a French door model, there are others that perform just as well that cost a bit less, or others that cost the same but offer superior overall quality. With the incessant branding all over this fridge, it seems Bosch expects you to pay extra for the privilege of having their product in your home. We suggest you look elsewhere.
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