refrigerators
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GE GIE16DGHBB Refrigerator Review

Full-sized storage on the cheap.

September 17, 2014
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Most of the best rated top freezers on our site cost upwards of $800; some even break the $1,000 mark. If you’re looking for a second fridge for your garage, or need to outfit your first apartment and don’t have a lot of cash to spare, that might be too much of a blow to the bank account. To fill that need without voiding your savings, you can turn to the GE GIE16DGHBB (MSRP $699), an affordable top freezer that won’t make you sacrifice size for money.

With excellent energy efficiency, a built-in icemaker, and plenty of storage space, this is a great fit for the frugal consumer. Sure, some temperature issues and wire shelving racks may keep this from being a top-of-the-line unit, but it does what it was designed to do without sucking up all your cash.

Design & Usability

GE GIE16DGHBB Exterior
A little black fridge never goes out of style. View Larger

Mostly bare bones, plus a couple extras

The odd thing about this GE’s design is its blend of budget elements with higher-end features. A glossy black finish—also available in white—is great for hiding fingerprints and displaying your kid’s latest artwork with novelty magnets.

On the inside, the lightweight wire shelves are very convenient to move around. Plus, a tiered design for one shelf makes storing unusually tall or bulky items quite easy. The downside is that wire shelves have absolutely no spill protection, so make sure any liquid is securely sealed before you put it away.

You can only adjust the shelf in the freezer if you don’t plan on using the icemaker. When the shelf is in its upper slot, the removable bucket won’t fit.

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Performance & Features

Double-check the thermostat!

A budget top freezer like this GE isn’t going to give you perfectly even cooling, but it works well enough. Your standard cold cuts and milk will be just fine here.

Our biggest complaint? The thermostat dial is inconveniently placed, forcing you to bend over or crouch in front of it just to see what the knob is set to. The knob also feels loose, making it needlessly difficult to choose the correct, precise temperature.

GE GIE16DGHBB Controls
The loose control dial and vague thermostat means you'll want to buy a thermometer for proper fridge calibration. View Larger
GE GIE16DGHBB Icemaker
The ice bucket isn't very tall, so be careful not to spill any cubes when you pick it up. View Larger

If you dial it too far to the right, you’ve got ice crystals melting all over your Hot Pockets. Too far to the left, and that bag of iceberg lettuce may start to live up to its name. If temperature accuracy is important to you—say you're storing especially delicate foods—you’re definitely going to want to shell out the extra $25 or so for a separate thermostat.

Everything else about this top freezer did quite well. Crispers did an adequate job retaining moisture, freezing times were fast, and the machine proved to be very efficient, even with the icemaker running. All in all, this is a solid package.

For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.

Fine Frugality

Efficient, roomy, and affordable

It can be difficult to find a decent 15-cubic-foot fridge for less than $700. In that price range, you’re usually stuck with smaller units or truly rotten machines. While the GE GIE16DGHBB may have some issues, it strikes a balance between price, size, and performance that should make any frugal apartment-dweller very happy. With sale prices that can go as low as $585, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better deal.

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

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