GE GNE25JMKES French Door Refrigerator Review
Give your kitchen some love with this sleek, slate-look French door fridge
When you love your refrigerator, you love your kitchen more, and French door models give you more to love. You get the visibility of a side-by-side, with favorite fresh foods at eye level, along with a full-width bottom freezer. The GE GNE25JMKES 24.8 cu.-ft fridge (available at Home Depot for $1,397.70) adds convenience and style to the work triangle.
Design and Features
We spent a week testing this fridge, and we liked a lot of what we found. As far as its outward appearance goes, this refrigerator is ready for the runway. And for the most part, its features are as fierce as its looks.
You might be able to find the Whirlpool WRF53SSMBM at about the same price, but it doesn't have the same striking good looks.
• Unique finish — Nobody but GE makes this handsome slate finish. It’s matte, not shiny, so it looks totally dashing, and doesn't show fingerprints. No makeover is necessary to add this fridge to your current kitchen. The sturdy handles are stainless steel, coordinating with appliances you might already own. However, you'll have to wipe prints off them.
You can buy the fridge in black (GNE25JGKBB), white (GNE25JGKWW) or stainless (GNE25JSKSS), if you’d prefer.
• Smooth surface — It doesn’t have water or ice dispensing on the outside, and that’s part of what gives it a sleek look. You get your water and ice on the inside. Using the almost hidden water dispenser (inside the left-hand door) might take two hands, because the button is above the dispenser. We could scoop from the ice bucket easily.
• Brilliant lighting — The interior is crazy bright, thanks to an LED light. The fixture is small enough not to interfere with the groceries. The water filter, also petite, is located on the right side, at the back.
• Retractable shelves — You can keep food organized on the four partially retractable shelves. Pull them back to accommodate tall items. The half rear-mounted, half side-mounted shelf design might be awkward for some.
• Big bins — Six gallon-size bins on the sides are ample, holding milk, juice, and 2-liter bottles of soda with ease. You can move the bins around to customize the space, though there’s a learning curve at first. A small, narrow bin on the lowest level of each door is just big enough for little condiment jars, or possibly, baby food.
• Separate crisper controls — Two crispers, one each for fruit and vegetables, allow you to adjust the humidity for each drawer separately. Each crisper drawer pulls out smoothly, but it can slam shut, taking you by surprise.
• Cold (cuts) drawer — The long cold drawer is the MVP (most valuable place) for storing cold cuts, cheeses, and other lunch supplies, and its location makes it easy for kids to get their own. A leftover pizza box would fit nicely, too. You can set the drawer’s controls from cold to coldest. We didn’t try to interpret that.
• Control panel — The panel is high up, at the spot where the doors meet. It lets you adjust the temperatures, turn on the door alarm, and start the TurboCool feature, which cranks up the chill if you’re adding a lot of warm leftovers. If you ever lose power, once you get it back, use TurboChill to bring the fridge temperature down to where it should be.
• Freezer drawers — We liked the sliding dividers in the wide pull-out freezer drawers, keeping frozen foods in line. It's good design to have solid drawers, to discourage tiny frozen veggies from getting away.
How It Works
The fridge did well on most of our tests. It held safe temperatures in the top, middle, and bottom of the refrigerator, and the freezer temperature was very consistent. The time to freeze was very good.
The main concern we had with this refrigerator is that it had trouble maintaining humidity. The produce drawers lost water three times faster than some of our highest scoring models. There’s nothing dangerous about this, though your apples and oranges can end up looking tired if you keep them around for a while.
What the Owners Say
We did some research to find out what people who bought this fridge think of it. The slate finish is very popular with owners, who love that it doesn’t show fingerprints. They also praised the amount of space in the bins on the doors.
A small number expressed concerns with the location of the control panel, which they said could reset when the doors close. We were unable to replicate that in our labs. Since the doors do not sit flush against the controls, they never bumped them. If closing the doors resets the control panel on your refrigerator, contact the store or the manufacturer.
The Bottom Line
Other GE French door refrigerators we've tested have done well, and this one is replete with features at a size (33"), and a price point that fits the bill for many buyers.
And since this model boasts good looks, your kitchen will thank you for it. It will be a focal point wherever it makes its home.
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