Electrolux EW28BS85KS Refrigerator Review
Shaving a couple grand off the top might make this fridge worth it.
Our experience with Electrolux's products definitely runs an extreme gamut. While some items managed to earn assorted accolades, others simply earned our disappointed indifference. The EW28BS85KS (MSRP $3749) French door model doesn't necessarily fall face first into the latter category—there were certain aspects we quite liked—it's by no means an award winner. It makes it all the harder to recommend when you consider the gargantuan price tag, something that we simply can't justify. There's no reason to spend that much on this fridge, regardless of what small positive attributes we could find.
Design & Usability
We were most excited about the beveled shelves. Is that a bad thing?
At first glance, you may think this Electrolux is the same as every other stainless steel French door fridge out there. Dig a little deeper—that is, open the doors and look around—and you'll notice that the designers have definitely created a product that maintains a degree of individuality. The LED lighting is quite attractive compared to regular bulbs, and its forward location (the lights literally shine into the fridge as opposed to coming from the top or back) ensures plenty of illumination.
The ice maker in the upper left corner may be standard and clunky, but you also get a separate, bulk ice maker in the freezer, complete with a bucket for containment. The water filter can prove to be a bit finicky to get out, but its location in the lower left-hand corner means it doesn't take up much room and keeps the actual storage areas open and accessible. Speaking of storage, the niftiest part of the whole design is actually the adjustable glass shelves: each one happens to be beveled. The slight downward slope around the edge means anything that spills will pool into the shelf center. It's the best spill containment method we've ever seen in terms of impact on the rest of the fridge.
The control panel is a bit confusing at first. It's a touch screen console that activates when you (surprise, surprise) touch it... but only if you press certain spots. Until it's turned on, you're essentially driving blind, but once you get the hang of where to press, it works like a charm. Control locks, vacation modes, the option to set your fridge to Fahrenheit versus Celsius: this fridge can pretty much do anything short of calling your phone to tell you when the milk has gone off. There's a bit of a steep learning curve, but as long as you keep the manual around for reference, you should be fine.
Performance & Features
The freezer needs to chill out.
In almost every way, this fridge is actually quite good. It's not good enough to merit a $3000+ blow to the wallet, but quite good nonetheless. The fridge offers up some nearly spot-on temperatures that hardly fluctuate at all. The top and bottom are exactly where they should be, though it's worth mentioning that there was a bit of a cool spot right in the middle. The crisper drawer is better than average, ensuring that your fresh fruits and vegetables will be well-preserved for slightly longer than average.
Where this Electrolux falls short is with the freezer. While we had the thermometer set to an even zero degrees Fahrenheit, this model decided to go the extra mile. Our temperature sensors recorded sub-zero temperatures (we're talking more than ten degrees worth of sub-zero), with the result that everything was extremely frozen. You might think "Well, what's wrong with that?" The reason this is a bad thing is two-fold: first, it means that the sensors and air vents inside the freezer don't necessarily work the way they should. Second, temperatures that cold are harder to maintain, and as such, we saw shifts over time of multiple degrees; this means your food is at a definite risk of freezer burn.
That one (major) disappointing factor aside, this product seems to have everything you could ask for. It's got a through-the-door water/ice dispenser in addition to a bulk ice maker in the freezer, a temperature control drawer with nine preset settings and three extra customizable ones, vacation modes, control locks... it's a veritable smorgasbord of fridge tech.
A great fridge, if you can find it for a grand or two less.
When we bring in a fridge that costs as much as this $3749 Electrolux, we set our standards pretty darn high. If consumers are going to shell out that kind of money, they should get a fridge that is as good as, if not better than, virtually everything else on the market—with some extra bells and whistles to boot. The sad thing is, we actually like the EW28BS85KS; it's a very good fridge. Even without the major issue in the freezer, however, it simply wouldn't be worth that much money. Even if you can find one on sale—we bought ours for about $2749, which is about as good as it gets right now—it's still probably not worth it unless you can get it at a sub-$2500 price tag.
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