Kenmore 50022 Side-by-Side Refrigerator Review
This side-by-side couldn't get on our good side.
The Kenmore 50022 (MSRP $1,399) is an entry-level fridge. On sale for just under $900, it's one of the least expensive on the market to feature through-the-door water and ice. Though it looks perfectly presentable from the outside, old-fashioned lighting, slightly awkward interior design, and middling performance in our lab tests kept us from getting too excited about this fridge. But if it's only a low-cost fridge you're looking for, the 50022 might be worth your consideration.
Design & Usability
A simple interior suffers from poor illumination.
When we opened up the Kenmore 50022, we found a decent-looking fridge with a relatively spacious interior. While simple, the interior is fairly customizable. We set up the fridge with a large area at the top for tall bottles, but that cramped the lower shelves. We suggest you use the extra-large shelves in the door that can easily fit a milk jug or wine bottle. These can be moved as well.
We were a little disappointed by the lighting. After reviewing scores of well-lit fridges, we've become partial to the white-blue LED lighting, and the 50022's warm light looks garish in a cold refrigerator.
The icemaker and vent bulge do cut into the 50002's usable space. Even with three shelves and a drawer, access is difficult in a packed fridge since the cavity is so narrow. Freezer door shelves are tiny, but should prove useful in keeping the smaller freezer items from getting buried. On the other side of the freezer door, the control panel's green LEDs look appealing, but the buttons feel a bit flimsy.
Performance & Features
You might want to verify the temperatures with a thermometer.
The Kenmore 50022 didn't have too much difficulty honing in on the proper temperature, but fluctuated more than we like to see. On a good note, temperatures were warmer at the top, which is appropriate since veggies in the crisper drawer don't need to be as cold as the milk and yogurt up top. The crisper drawers didn't hold on to humidity that well, losing slightly more moisture than the competition.
The freezer offered better consistency, but averaged temperatures a little too high for long-term food storage. Since the temperature control panel doesn't feature degrees, we recommend using a thermometer to help calibrate your freezer. Ours ran warm, but some may not.
Despite the freezer's temperature issues, it performed admirably in some tests. When we stuck our test foods into the freezer, they froze in just an hour and fifteen minutes—a full half hour less than average. And in our power loss test, the 50022 stayed under 32°F during our simulated 36-hour outage, indicating superior insulation.
For in-depth performance information, please visit the Science Page.
There are other fridges at Sears, if you can expand your budget.
If you're willing to pay a little more, there are much better options than the Kenmore 50022. The Kenmore 41152 is an Editors' Choice pick and goes on sale for under $1200, and the Frigidaire Professional FPHS2399PF won our Best of Year award.
However, the 50022's sale price of $879 is almost impossible to beat for a side-by-side, or any fridge with through-the-door ice and water. If your budget is inflexible but you want to stay hydrated, this fridge will be do the trick. Just don't expect the fit-and-finish or top-notch performance of a higher-end model.
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